Thursday, October 29, 2020

The "Trump economy" was never that great. Especially for Wisconsin and the Midwest

I was already going to write about this subject, but then I saw the Veep try to sell this BS in Marathon County yesterday at yet another Trump/GOP Superspreader Rally.
Vice President Pence warned this election is a choice on whether “America remains America.”
Well, there's THAT meaningless pile of BS. But I meant this statement.
“This election is really a choice between a Trump recovery and a Biden depression,” he said. “I promise you we’re going to make America great again, again.”

Pence spent the majority of his speech praising the first three years of the Trump presidency, arguing the administration successfully “made America great again” with a growing economy through 2019.
Oh really? Well, let's look at those first 3 years of the Trump/Pence record with the Obama/Biden record of the previous 3 years. We even have updated numbers from today's GDP report to get a more complete picture.

Let's start with year-over-year GDP growth, and I'll mark Obama/Biden in blue and Trump/Pence in red. Mostly because it's the best way you'll tell the difference between those years.
Let's then look at the unemployment rate over those 6 years. After notable drops in unemployment in 2014 and 2015 under Obama/Biden, these declines moderated as we got closer to full employment.
So let's go into job growth instead, using the December-December totals. And here we see some definite favor of Obama/Biden.
Again, this isn't tyaking intio account, although there is little doubt that Trump/Pence's botching of the response to COVID-19 is a big reason behind a lot of those losses, along with the continued spread of COVID in Wisconsin and much of the rest of America.

But it's especially garbage for Pence to try to claim "Trump is better for the economy" to Wisconsinites. Because the Trump years haven't been so great for us. Unemployment started rising again in 2019 in our state, and job growth dropped to near 0 by the end of that year before tanking after COVID broke out.

Reuters had an article along these same lines, calling out Trump/Pence for not coming through on their claims to bring back the Midwest economy, in an article titled "The Rust Belt Boom that wasn't."
Across the industrial belt from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, private job growth from the first three months of 2017 through the first three months of 2020 lagged the rest of the country - with employment in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio growing 2% or less over that time compared to a 4.5% national average, according to QCEW data analyzed by Reuters....

Perhaps notably for the election, a Reuters analysis of 17 prominent counties in the five battleground states of Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin showed the limits of Trump’s controversial tax and trade policies in generating jobs where he promised them. All 17 of the counties had a voting age population greater than 100,000 people as of 2016, supported Obama in the 2012 election, and voted for Trump in 2016.

In 13 of those counties, all in the Rust Belt region, private job growth lagged the rest of the country. Employment actually shrank in five of them. Of the four with faster job growth than the rest of the country, two were in Florida, one was in Pennsylvania and one was in Wisconsin (Kenosha, FYI) .
As you can see, the ice cold blue in the Midwest shows that job growth was slowing significantly in the Trump era even before COVID-19 broke out, and we were left far behind the rest of the country.
Central to Trump/Pence's claims were that they would put "America First" and bring manufacturing back to a part of the country that had lost so many of these good-paying jobs. Instead, it was another area of the economy where the Midwest was behind the rest of America under Trump.
Trump, in his 2016 campaign, put a premium on manufacturing jobs - last century’s path to the middle class - and as president used a combination of trade policy, tariffs, and blunt force arm-twisting on companies to try to shore up the prospects of the industrial heartland that formed his electoral base.

It didn’t happen. Texas, according to QCEW data, gained more manufacturing jobs from 2017 to the start of 2020 than Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania combined; the smaller but increasingly competitive manufacturing cluster in Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama gained as many factory positions as those legacy manufacturing states.
To go further, manufacturing in America stagnated after 2018 - 12-month job growth on manufacturing had dwindled to near-zero by February 2020...before COVID hit. And that sector is now down 650,000 jobs in the COVID World. While Mike Pence may have been "lying for the Lord" when he talked up Donald Trump's record on the economy in the 715 this week, it didn't make it true. The bottom line is that the Trump years weren't that great for Wisconsin before COVID-19 broke out, and now that is has, it's become a full-fledged disaster. And it won't get better if these guys are kept in office.

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