Now that President Donald Trump has found a way to conquer Covid-19 – at least that’s what he keeps telling us with his “last turn” talk – he wants you to know how he That makes the economy great again. When you look up the word “gaslighting”, Google just shows you a photo of the president.
But there’s Trump ahead of Thursday’s GDP release on our country’s economic output from July to September, bragging on social media: “FAST GDP growth IN HISTORY. ” And on Thursday morning, after the report was released announcing that the US economy had seen record 33% growth over the previous horrifying quarter, Trump’s campaign tweeted: ” President Trump is making our economy great again! ” Trump then spoke via Twitter: “The GDP figures have just been released. Biggest and Best in our country’s history.”
Trump’s new statements on the economy are no different than his claims about the coronavirus: self-serving exaggerations, if not outright lies, designed only to help Trump politically .
Our economy is far from being “great”. It’s not even close to where it was before the pandemic. Millions of Americans are still unemployed, the weekly unemployment rate is nearly four times higher than before Covid-19, Yelp reports that as of August, about 160,000 businesses are listed on the website. closed, Americans are still applying for unemployment benefits at historically high levels. and Trump has no real plan to create new jobs. You cannot go back to your old job when the old job is no longer available. And a new wave of layoffs seems to be permanent, from Disney to US and United airlines. Just a few days ago, Boeing announced that it had laid off 7,000 workers for less demand caused by the pandemic.
Yes, GDP – our gross domestic product, which measures the total output of goods and services in our economy – soared in the third quarter, but that’s an incomplete part of the story. First of all, the spike in GDP should be compared to the GDP figure from April to June, the largest decline in our gross domestic output since the inception of modern bookkeeping. “The obvious warning is that when you’re down 30% and up 30%, you’re still below the starting point,” said economic analyst Jon Burckett-St. Laurent told NBC News.
Our economic health is tied to the health of our fellow citizens, both of which are not likely to improve significantly over the next few months.
But more importantly, GDP figures released on Thursday look outdated, not futuristic. They told us about the economy ever since. Let’s see where we are. With the number of Covid-19 cases spike to an average of 75,000 new cases per day – up from 36,000 a day in early September – we can expect to see more of the economic pain of winter. is sure to make things worse. Our economic health is tied to the health of our fellow citizens, both of which are not likely to get significantly better over the next few months.
Additionally, Trump’s bragging about the economy may lack empathy. According to Trump’s Labor Department, 22.7 million Americans are still asking for some form of unemployment benefit. On the same day that our GDP figures were released, we learned that 751,000 Americans applied for the state’s weekly unemployment claim for the first time. (The previous record for the highest number of first-time weekly jobless claims was 695,000, in 1982.) Before the March closing, the number of first-time weekly claims averaged nearly 200,000.
On Thursday, we also learned that 360,000 Americans applied for an initial claim under the federal Unemployment Assistance program – an increase of about 15,000 from last week. But combined, this means more than 1.1 million new lawsuits have been filed for state or federal unemployment in the past seven days.
In addition, we are seeing an increase in the number of unemployed people for more than 26 weeks, meaning they are running out of state unemployment benefits. This could lead to more deportations and food insecurity.
If Trump really wanted to help Americans in trouble, he would stop bragging and come up with a blueprint to create new jobs instead. But that’s not really Trump’s style. By contrast, former Vice President Joe Biden has proposed a multifaceted “Build a Better Return” plan to create millions of new jobs. Unlike Trump, Biden argues that government needs to play a real role in helping unemployed Americans.
No one should be surprised that Trump’s economic plan is the same as his Covid-19: it is all tweets, not substantive. Tragically in both cases it was the most vulnerable Americans who paid the price for Trump’s failures. And in both cases, it’s clear that Trump is only interested in what’s good for Donald J. Trump.