The myth that Trump would be good for the economy

The myth that Trump would be good for the economy
Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune

Donald Trump’s much-anticipated speech on the economy is set for today. Much anticipated by whom? I sure don’t anticipate it. The only thing I dread more than hearing his speech is dreading the notion he would ever be in a position to put his inane ideas to work.

There is a myth among Republicans that somehow wealthy guys are good for the economy. That is a stereotype like white men can’t jump and all African-Americans can dance. Wealthy guys are good at making money for themselves and looking at the greater good is something most have little, to no practice doing.

There are some exceptions to one having a total self-focus if one is a billionaire. Men like Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, and Warren Buffet, all have world-views, but becoming very rich is mostly a self-centered activity. It appears to me that Mr. Trump falls into the self-centered category.

From his public tirades, most particularly on trade, Donald Trump has demonstrated he knows very little about trade or the economy.

He keeps portraying the economy as bleak, when in July, the US added 255,000 new jobs according to the Monthly Jobs Report showing US companies are largely unconcerned by Britain’s decision to leave the EC, or the modest growth the first half of the year. Unemployment remained at a healthy 4.9%.

Mr. Trump’s message of gloom and doom is not for America, rather for the wealthier Americans who lost money in the stock market during the recession and have not recaptured their losses.

The growing divide between the rich and poor would only get worse under a Trump presidency. It would get worse because his economic plan would drive even more jobs off our shores.

It has to be embarrassing to be a conservative and support a lefty like Donald Trump. That is exactly what he is: way left on trade. In fact, he is further to the left on trade than any Democrat Nominated for President in my lifetime.

He joins the chorus with his pals in Occupy Wall Street, and the AFLCIO, his spiritual brothers and sisters in economic policy with his protectionism. Trade wars are not the path to prosperity for our nation. You can’t say you support free markets then support Donald Trump on trade. The two can’t coexist.

Contrary to Trump’s assertions, which are flat out fabrication, the global trading system has not been a failure by any means. It is the great success story of the post-World War II era. Five minutes with google and Mr. Trump would see study after study showing how our trade agreements have enriched the nation including our workers, opened up trade to medium and small firms, and brought small and impoverished nations into the marketplace too. Bringing them in also expands markets for American goods, since they go from subsistence to consumer economies.

History has shown, when the USA has retreated into protectionism other nations have followed suit. What we see when that happens is shrinkage in the US economy; less wealth, less opportunity and higher unemployment.

Free trade does not benefit every industry in every country, and clearly, we can point to individual companies who have not done well under free trade. U.S. Policy is not about individual companies, rather about what is best for the greatest number of people at a given time. Expansion of markets as a whole is a greater good than the expansion of a single corporate entity.

However, that is not the populist view. That begs the question, is Trump a populist?

Well, he is when it is convenient to Donald Trump. He is all things to all people. The real truth is we don’t know what his real position is on any issue because he flips and flops more than lemmings running up on the beach.

Usually, with candidates, we can detect a fundamental theme in their campaigns. The only fundamental theme we can discern in the Trump campaign is his fundamental dishonesty. Politifact tracks his comments and fact checks them. Trump is truthful only 4% of the time, so we can’t be sure what parts of his economic program he believes, and what parts are pure fantasy.

What we do know is his economic programs as written will lead to higher unemployment and a widening gulf between the rich and poor.

In the USA, the average worker makes more than $20.00 per hour. In Mexico, the average worker makes around $2.50 per hour. What is the magic policy that will allow a company to pay ten times more for labor in the USA and remain competitive in the marketplace?

Trump has a plan for that he says, but like his tax returns, it never is released to the public for discussion.

Trump is in trouble, and the GOP with all its newly minted lefties on economics don’t have the answers.

It’s a tough time to be a Republican but a great time to be an ex-GOP.

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