Today, most Trump supporters point to the stock market and jobs report as a barometer as to how well the Trump administration is doing on economic issues. There has been a constant call on the right for the media to “just let POTUS do his job” without distraction or endless reporting about the Russia investigation. Republicans claim that the country has turned the corner and Trump has placed us on the right track. However, critics of the Trump administration are less excited about letting POTUS do his job because the job POTUS is doing is negatively impacting the American working-class.
While some point to the stock market or jobs reports as proof of how well Trump is doing, others seek to dive deeper into these economic indicators to see exactly who is benefiting from the President’s policies.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), despite Trump’s claim that he would bring back industrial and mining jobs, the top two jobs reported as being the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. from now into 2023 are renewable energy jobs such as solar installer and wind turbine tech. While Trump’s own agency estimates that these are the fastest growing job sectors moving into the future, the Trump administration is actively cutting back programs to expand these renewable energy jobs throughout the country. Most of these positions pay an average of $50k or more, which in most jurisdictions would be considered a livable income. Saying that, BLS stats also show that the two occupations with the most growth based on recent job report numbers is personal care aid and food services worker. These occupations pay an average of $25k per year or less and are not considered to be livable incomes.
Despite the fact that these jobs don’t pay a livable income, these are the types of low paying jobs which have been propping up Trump’s bogus job report numbers these days. While, as a country, we just invested $1 Trillion in tax breaks for the wealthy elites and corporations, we have yet to see returns on our investment such as good paying jobs or rising wages. In fact, the small bump we saw in wages recently was a direct result of the small number of corporations who provided bonuses to their staff after the tax law was implemented. Notice I said “bonuses” and not “wage increases”. This was a creative way for corporations to make is seem like they were lifting wages when in reality this was nothing more than window dressing.
The fact remains that many Americans are not feeling the impact of the small tax breaks they are receiving. At the same time the jobs which are being created in this Trump economy are jobs which don’t pay a livable wage. Unfortunately, the jobs that do pay a livable wage, such as renewable energy jobs, are not the type of jobs this administration is interested in helping to create.
So, if according to government statistics from the Trump administration, we deduce that Trump policies are not benefiting the working-class, we then have to ask who is benefiting from this Trump economy?
Well, according to Nick Bunker at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, wealthy elites are benefiting the most from today’s stock market boom. Bunker reports that less than 52% of American household own stock either directly or indirectly. However, 97.4% of the wealthiest 10 percent of families in
America own stocks and are benefiting greatly from the Trump economy.
One reason why the economy has been doing well is because corporations and the wealthy elites are getting everything they want and desire. Telecommunications and internet providers are getting the repeal of Net-Neutrality rules they’ve been hoping for. These rules were put in place by both Republican and Democratic administration in order to protect consumers and limit internet providers from giving preference to corporation over people. The repeal of these rules could create higher bills for consumers or slower internet services.
The elites are also getting their way in the area of the environment. The Trump administration has been fast at work repealing environmental protections and making it easier for corporations to save money by polluting our rivers, streams, and air. In fact, the EPA recently blocked a report from HHS indicating that far lower levels of certain chemicals in water are dangerous to public health as was previously thought. The EPA, however, places corporation profits over the health of the American public.
Elites and corporations have also been excited about the rolling back of banking protections. Recently, the Pittsburg Gazette’s editorial board drafted a letter asking for Mick Mulvaney, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to do his job or resign.
Mulvaney runs a department which was setup after the economic collapse of 2008 in order to regulate Wall Street banks and ensure that consumers are protected. However, instead of Mulvaney doing his job and protecting the finances of the American public, he has instead decided to systematically dismantle the agency at the behest of Wall Street bankers.
So yes, it would make sense that the economy would be doing well at this time. However, it’s doing well for a small slither of the American public who have their interests being acted upon by this corporatized administration. While corporations, the investor-class, and wealthy elites are having that time of their lives at our expense, the working-class of this country continue to see stagnate wages, repeals of consumer protections and non-livable wage job creation. The Trump economy is certainly working, but for who?