Failing Trump administration. Sad!


Testing as in running trillion-dollar deficits with low unemployment, while simultaneously engaging in trade wars. This is unprecedented.


Re: The Great Depression’s effects on the US, didn’t the Smoot-Hawley tariff exacerbate things quite a bit?


Yeah the government didn’t always help and has made things worst in the past but… not the cause of the downturn. I mean you can help smooth the downs and ups or you can make them worse and hurry them along, but there hundreds of other factors, like a lot of other things going on. The president’s policy is usually not the cause, just another influence to what is already going on.

But hey if you want to get Trump credit for the past few years and ready to lay it all on his feet when things go down faster than the Fed wants it to, go ahead. I won’t stop you. It’s just, he’s just a part, not even the biggest.


There’s a pretty strong argument that Jimmy Carter’s appointment of Paul Volcker in 1979 led directly to the nasty double dip recessions of 1979 and 1981. Admittedly, the US economy was in a very screwy position at the time, and have gone off the rails regardless, but this Podcast with Rick Perlstein is pretty great (hat tip to @Triggercut).


No doubt, but if the market was properly regulated it wouldn’t have crashed in the first place.


Yeah, I was struck in that podcast about the inflationary statistics, and how real inflation essentially has been about at a 2% clip through a lot of the industrial age into the modern era…and then you get to the 1970s, and a variety of factors click into place and we have these three massive inflationary spikes within like a 8-year period of time…and those three things – combined with Carter’s decision to put Volcker on the Fed – have managed to shape how the modern Democratic Party conducts economic policy for the next 40 years.

The way Democrats have abandoned their New Deal mentality to be this austerity party is kind of equivalent to the way Republicans have abandoned their progressive, anti-slavery mentality to be the opposition party on civil rights and racial equality.


Well sure, administration can make it worst. They can, for example, make a mild recession into a deeper one or even push it right into a depression… but it was going into a recession already and there were specific markets that were experiencing turmoil not due to the president signing something, like steel and oil. That recession was also pretty mild. Of course the old saying still holds true: what’s the difference between a recession and depression. In a recession you lose your job, in a depression I do. So mild always feels, relative.


I hope all the layoffs are in red states.


Michigan voted Trump, is one of Fords big states, and 20,000 pissed of Michiganders would make a huge difference in elections.


I don’t want to wish for anyone to lose their jobs (well, except for the Trumptistas) but I don’t see anything moving the needle other than hard economic times. Bill Clinton was right about the economy.


Watch them blame China, though.

Thus justifying Trump’s trade war!


Pffft, they’ll blame Obama. If he’d been a real president Trump wouldn’t have had to do this.


Strangely I agree with what you’re saying about a lot of it but this statement. The President is our nations leader in most senses of that phrase. He assigns the cabinet, sets broad policies, and influences our actions politically, militarily and domestically more than any one person, department, market or company.

They should take blame, the buck stops with them. They don’t pull the levers and flip the switches themselves, but unlike anyone else, they can make a difference, good or bad. We may be a tanker, but they can steer the ship.

They should also take credit. Per above, sure, they didn’t do anything themselves. They may not directly influence the sale of millions of goods or the actual creation of millions of jobs, but again, per above, if the captain of that tanker makes a small course correction, or indeed, ordered the helmsman to do so, and that prevents catastrophe, shouldn’t the captain get a nod when the decorations come around?

Like I said, i agree with you entirely, our Presidents do little direct influence, but unlike anyone else, they do quite a bit of indirect influence, and have more power to do that than any other citizen.


You’re right. He certainly isn’t at the bottom of the individual influence.

The fact is though, right now, we have a lot of private companies sitting on mounds of cash. It’s one of the reason the tax cuts didn’t make sense and why we’re seeing a bunch of them just take cash and by up stocks. They’re not increasing wages. Heck it’s like a lot of them are still stuck in the 2008/09 recession and don’t know or want compete for employees anymore. They’re not expanding like you’d expect, and if we had the private sector doing more of either or both of those things, that would have a very large affect on our economy as well as others. I mean there is and has been a lot of discussion about economic recovery without wage increases. This president wouldn’t do it, but trying to raise the minimum wage out of the problem isn’t going to work. Blanket raising or lowering taxes won’t fix that either. We need the private sector behavior change. Of course now we have inflation concerns so trying to address that at this precise moment might not be ideal but hey this admin wasn’t going that route anyway.


Which is what is kind of crazy because I agree with you completely in regards to the fact that it isn’t fair the President can take blame or can take credit, as thought they really do anything directly. We saw that last recession. There wasn’t much any one President did directly, but in addition to what several did, things were -slowly- changed. I guess back toward your side of that argument, the US could run off the rails and our entire economy collapse and I’m not sure any President could do enough to stop it.


Yeah. In our country at least, he or she really can’t. If we’re going off the tracks, there’s not much they can do… but there can be attempts to smooth or shorten the process. Now due to regulation, tax cuts, all that jazz, they could certainly set us on the wrong track from the very start, or throw in fuel so we really go flying and don’t make the turn or cut off the fuel and bring us to a screeching halt instead of say staying slow. but the motion itself, not often to due to much of what the president is doing.

So they do matter but when I hear any of them stand up there and brag about the economy and then try to run and take cover when it’s not so good, it’s just ugh.


Re: Presidents and the economy. I didn’t expect to be using this phrase any time soon, but … it turns out people are not as simple-minded as you might think.

If you look at the numbers there’s not actually a strong correlation between a president’s approval rating and economy/the unemployment rate. Here’s a nice WaPo piece on it with lots of graphs and examples.

It turns out that people mostly form their approval of the president based on other factors, like LBJ’s handling of the Vietnam War, or Trump having the mental and moral qualities of something stuck to the sole of your shoe.

(As a note to stats nerds, yes this is a simple univariate correlation we’re looking at, and if you were to do a multivariate regression you might find a relationship between approval and unemployment. But the point is, the public is in fact capable at looking at more than one variable at a time when forming its impression of a president, which is more than many narratives give it credit for, If I had a nickel for every time someone in 2012 said, “The unemployment rate is high, therefore Obama can’t win re-election …”)


We’re talking about the Trump administration, as in Trump is the president. I think that’s proof enough how simple-minded a lot of people are.

Also, this entire conversation stemmed from, looks above, about what Trump might say about the economy and of course why he says it. Most presidents are not stupid. They say these things because people are listening, not because they aren’t.



I take it that’s supposed to be an insult.