Booming US Economy-Reality Check-Bob Davis Podcast 811

These days Trump cultists love to talk about the booming economy. Time for a reality check. Learn more in Booming US Economy-Reality Check-Bob Davis Podcast 811.

Under 3 Percent

Especially relevant are Gross Domestic Product numbers from the 4th quarter of 2018. The average for the whole year is predicted to be under three percent.

Cherry Picking Numbers

Boosters like to cherry pick statistics. I like good old Gross Domestic Product numbers. They are released at the end of every quarter. GDP performance for each fiscal year is pretty hard to ignore. Especially when people say this president has ‘fixed’ the economy and worked miracles.

Just Because You Do Well Doesn’t Mean The Economy Is Doing Well

Moreover if I’ve heard it once I have heard it a thousand times. Saying your business is doing well does not mean the economy as a whole is doing any better than it has. The latest retail performance is a good example. This distinction is important only because the president wants us to believe he “blows Ronald Reagan Away”.

Objective Legislative Achievements On Economy

In Booming US Economy-Reality Check-Bob Davis Podcast 811 I objectively list President Trump’s few legislative achievements when it comes to the economy as well as his executive orders concerning the economy.

Hardly A Boom

In 2017 the US Economy grew by 2.2 percent. First quarter of 2018 was 2.2 percent. Second quarter 4.2 percent. Third quarter 3.4 percent. Fourth quarter 2.6 percent. Hardly a boom.

Not Even As Good As Obama

In contrast, President Obama’s best year was 2015, at 2.9 percent. Obama also presided over one quarter of growth of 5.1 percent, followed by another quarter of 4.9 percent growth. Better than Trump’s best two quarters so far.

Actual GDP Numbers

First of all growth is growth and we’ll take it. However, because of republican claims of great economic success, it’s time for a reality check based on actual GDP numbers.

And Obama Wasn’t That Good Either

At issue are claims by the president and his supporters he has done a fantastic job. Truth is so far his numbers are still about the same as Obama’s, which weren’t very good either.

We Pale In Contrast To The Early 80’s, Mid and Early 1960’s and 1950’s

Even more, all the numbers in our time pale in contrast to performance above 7 percent in the 80’s, high six percent in the 60’s and above 8 percent in the 1950’s.

Contrast our time with the 1980’s, 1960’s, or 1950’s.

What we’re living through is not a boom.

Republican Doesn’t Mean Conservative Anymore

Finally a republican in the White House does not guarantee ‘conservative’ economic management. Pushing for a weak dollar. Borrowing to stimulate. Trade Protection. Adding trillions to the national debt. More debt and deficit spending for ‘infrastructure‘ don’t seem like ‘republican‘ ideas.

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Booming US Economy-Reality Check-Bob Davis Podcast 811

Podcast 595-Money

Money and Controlling the Media Battle Space

Money. Money. Money! Everything the new President says and does is controversial. The latest eruption concerns Trump’s executive order regarding immigrants from several war-torn countries in the middle east region. A handful of court rulings challenging the order are centered on whether due process can be denied people allowed into the United States legally. The court rulings do not suggest the President cannot use executive orders to control departments in the executive branch but whether if the executive orders deny legal rights without due process.

This is just another in a series of actions and comments by President Trump and his administration that have received wide comment and coverage in the media. While protesters protest and media outlets gas-bag about the latest affront to society, Trump and his people throw another rock into the lake creating new ripples that have to be protested against and reacted to by the already too reactive media. This is a tactic or strategy known as an OODA Loop. Trump is forcing the media and his opponents to react to him. When they react his team observes their reaction, decides on a new initiative and then acts, restarting the loop. In this way the administration controls the media battle space.

About the Money

In Podcast 595-Money: When it comes to Money, once the initial spate of executive orders and stunts at press conferences passes, Congress and the President will get down to work on legislative initiatives to address the moribund economy of the United States. Podcast 595-Money wonders whether what has been talked about by this president on the campaign trail and in the media will indeed, make America Great Again.

No Growth

The United States has grown less than 3 percent a year roughly for the last eight years. Those old enough to remember the early 80’s know that the experience of robust economic growth in that era was real. People didn’t worry so much about getting jobs. As inflation came under control and interest rates came down and as unemployment started to come down, optimism took hold. We have not had that kind of feeling in the United States for a long time.

The question is whether the things Trump wants to do will actually produce economic growth. Middle Class taxes are already historically low. Cutting corporate taxes may result in higher profits which is good for Wall Street but may not translate to jobs. Some parts of clearing out the thicket of Federal Regulations can be done by executive order but most of it will require congressional action. Will a Trillion Dollar Stimulus package to build roads and bridges spur economic growth?

A Republican Stimulus?

President Obama’s Trillion Dollar stimulus was supposed to stimulate economic growth and didn’t. Part of the problem with big federal stimulus efforts is the money has to be block granted to states and the spending becomes political. Another issue is the fact that most people in the United States are employed in services rather than construction trade. Aside from the fact that government spending doesn’t ‘create’ jobs, putting people to work in a small swath of the population usually doesn’t result in a high multiple. This is why the Obama Stimulus produced dubious results.

Another problem is Trump’s Trade Protectionist sentiments. While the trade unions love the idea generally the United States has been a free trade nation. Trade agreements are negotiated because most of our trading partners are trade protectionists. The agreements generally break down borders to our trade. The fact certain kinds of manufacturing is cheaper in Latin America and Asia has actually benefited Americans in the form of cheaper goods. Putting up barriers to manufacturing overseas also means goods in the US will become more expensive.

Most of the jobs lost in the last decade or so have been lost due to information technology, robotics and automation. New manufacturing plants are much more automated these days which means they will not produce the manufacturing jobs expected. When one considers completely automated warehouses like Amazon’s and robotic manufacturing like Elon Musk’s showplace plant, don’t expect ‘bringing manufacturing back to the United States’ means jobs at the factory for Uncle Mike.

If you believe the economy is the sum total of individual’s transactions then an economy can be considered a force of nature. This is the first time in recent memory a ‘conservative’ president has endorsed trade protection and big government spending. Two of the biggest problems economically in the United States are the ongoing budget deficits and the total public debt. One wonders how the cornerstones of the Trump economic policy will produce enough growth to reduce the deficits and public debt.

Finally in Podcast 595-Money, the proof will be in the pudding. With all the other controversies swirling around this president after just two weeks if his policies fail to produce the promised economic growth republicans will have real problems in the 2018 and perhaps the 2020 cycles, especially for the politicians that endorsed Trump. Be careful what you pray for.

Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

 

Podcast 547-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-43

Podcast 547-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-43. Back after a Labor Day Week Hiatus with Podcast 547-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-43, which puts the election of 2016 in context. The party system in the United States has changed several times since the ratification of the US Constitution and the establishment of the Republic. From the first election in 1796 to today. Left and Right in this country have changed poles, and political parties have come and gone. From the Federalists and Anti Federalists, to the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans, to the Democrats under Jackson and the Whigs, to the Republicans and Democrats parties, and the issues they advocate for have shifted. Are we undergoing another one of those seminal shifts in American Politics, or is the election of 2016 going to result in a presidency without much long term impact? Polling suggests Americans have strong negative feelings about both mainline party candidates. It’s a ‘hold your nose and vote’ election, where voters try to make a choice that is ‘least bad’ for them. Meanwhile local, statewide and congressional candidates are left to fend for themselves. Moreover the things both parties advocate don’t seem to make much sense in terms of addressing the salient issues on the minds of voters, as well as the challenges of the future. Technology, the developing countries of the world, immigration and the borders, the economy, the changing demographic picture of the country and more. From a population of about 3 million in 1800 to a population of over 320 million today, the country’s demographics, occupations and output have changed frequently. What do we need from government given new tools and ideas? Do we need a government? As the country changes quickly, politics in 2016 hasn’t kept up. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.