What “Raging” Economy?
With his typical bogus hype, Trump likes to brag that the economy is the greatest of all time. He cites the bullish stock market (as if this actually affects most Americans’ bottom lines) and the relatively low unemployment rate. But what he doesn’t tell us is that so many of these new jobs are low-paying gigs servicing wealthy elites—“wealth work” is the fastest growing employment sector and includes pedicurists, pet caretakers, private cooks, gift wrappers and horse exercisers. In other words, Help me into my jodhpurs, Jeeves! Not exactly the kind of jobs that propel poor people into the middle class. This shows that while the rest of America still struggles, the ultra-rich are getting richer, which is how they can afford these new platoons of humble servants.
A majority of Americans are not buying the hype, because they’re feeling the reality in their pocketbooks. According to a poll last November by the Financial Times, 31% say they’re actually worse off since Trump was elected, and 33% say there has been no change. That’s a solid two-thirds who are not thrilled with the so-called “greatest economy in American history.” Going by GDP growth, there were better boom years in the ’50s and ’60s. As for the unemployment rate, it declined from 10% in 2010 to about 4.7% in 2016 under Obama, and now stands at 3.6%—definitely not the miraculous change that Trump brags about.
Slow wage growth continues to be a big problem. The Wall Street boys are going like gangbusters again, but middle-class incomes remain stagnant, while the price of everything skyrockets. I don’t know exactly what a pet caretaker earns, but I doubt it’s enough to cover the catapulting costs of healthcare, college tuition and so many other things.
All Presidents get credit or blame for the economy under their tenure, whether their policies had anything to do with it or not. That’s just par for the course. But it’s clear that the economy was on a steady upward trend for the last five straight years of Obama’s Presidency. That locomotive has continued to gather steam, but there’s been no big bump in the trend over the last three years.
Trump promised to bring back high-paying manufacturing jobs that do lift people into the middle class, but reports from October indicate that 22 states have actually lost manufacturing jobs in the last year, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina—states that he won by less than five percentage points in the last election. Yes, Trump and his one-percent cronies are making out like bandits in this economy, but the middle class is still on life support. It’s up to the Democrats and an honest media to call the President on his lying inflation of the truth and focus on the actual numbers.