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Robert Reich: The Trump Economy Is Not What It Appears

Economist Robert Reich. (YouTube screen grab)

I keep hearing that although Trump may be a scoundrel or worse, he’s done a great job for the economy.

Baloney. Yes, the stock market is great, but 84 percent of it is owned by the richest 10 percent of Americans.

The economy is growing, but very little of that growth is trickling down to average Americans. Jobs may be back but they pay squat, especially compared to the rising costs of housing, healthcare, and education.

Trump slashed taxes on the wealthy and corporations, and he promised everyone else a wage boost of $4,000 but it never happened.

Meanwhile, employers continue to cut pension and healthcare benefits. Jobs are less secure than ever. One in 5 jobs is now held by a worker under contract, without any unemployment insurance, sick leave, or retirement savings.

Housing costs are skyrocketing, with a large portion of Americans now paying a third of their paychecks in rent or mortgages.

Trump’s budget proposes drastic cuts in low-income housing. Trump’s undermining of the Affordable Care Act is also making life harder. Over the past two years, some 4 million people have lost healthcare coverage, according to the Commonwealth Fund.

The costs of college education continue to soar. All Trump has done is make it easier for for-profit colleges to defraud students.

And as the climate changes, more Americans are being hit with floods, mudslides, droughts, and wildfires.

And what’s Trump’s response? Allow more carbon pollution into the atmosphere and make climate change even worse.

So don’t be fooled. Don’t judge this economy by the stock market or economic growth, or even the level of unemployment.

Look at actual living standards of average working Americans, and you see an economy that’s getting worse, not better.

Robert Reich
Contributor
Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the…
Robert Reich

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