Democratic presidential candidates do not seem particularly concerned about Americans’ retirement savings accounts, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday.
“I listened to the Democratic debate last night. None of those candidates, I find, is really interested in your 401(k),” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street.”
Seven candidates qualified for Thursday’s primary debate in Los Angeles, spending nearly three hours going back and forth on topics such as Trump impeachment, climate change, the role of money in politics and how the contenders would approach foreign policy with China.
It was the conversation on China that caught Cramer’s attention the most, the “Mad Money” host said.
Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, took one of the strongest stances toward China, whose poor human-rights record has been spotlighted in recent months by protests in Hong Kong and by Beijing’s treatment of minority Uighur Muslims.
Cramer said Chinese leader Xi Jinping should agree to a definitive trade deal with the U.S. because a potential Democratic administration would likely be tougher than President Donald Trump.
“They’re talking about a titanic struggle between two great nations,” Cramer said of the Democrats.
It was also Buttigieg — considered one of the top-tier candidates alongside former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who took explicit aim at the stock market.
He argued the Dow Jones Industrial Average isn’t the way to measure how Americans are doing financially, and instead the focus should be on how people feel when it comes time to pay the bills each month.
Some people who share Buttigieg’s view may point to the fact only half of Americans have access to 401(k)s.
Many experts agree that the stock market shouldn’t be the sole measuring stick for the broader economy.
When trying to gauge the stock market, others such as CNBC’s David Faber also note that the S&P 500 provides a better read than the Dow, which consists of just 30 large companies.
“But I think there is a component that does matter because of 401(k)s,” Cramer said, noting the “trillions of dollars in wealth being created.”
In addition to Biden, Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, entrepreneur Andrew Yang and billionaire businessman Tom Steyer rounded out the seven candidates at the Los Angeles debate.