A Little Truth

Ok, so let’s talk about the economy for a second using a little thing I like to call, FACTS!

FACT: We have had 81 consecutive months of job growth. Over 15 million jobs since 2010 and 2.2 million in 2016 alone. (psst: It’s a record!)

FACT: There has been NO recession since the ’07 recession ended in July of 2009.

FACT: We have seen 89 months of economic expansion. The 4th longest in history.

FACT: The Federal budget deficit has been cut by 2/3. From 47.4% (Bush’s 2009 Budget) to 12.5% (Obama’s 2015 Budget).                                                                                                                        Before we can work on national debt reduction, we must reduce the deficit to  0.0%.   It is impossible to do so without this.

FACT: We are not in a failing economy, in any sense.

FACT: Estimates show Trump’s plans increasing the debt to 105% of GDP by 2026.  That is 19% higher than previous (non-Trump, status quo) estimates.

FACT: (historical) GDP growth (boom cycle) between 2-3% can last for years. (Obama’s average is 2.1%) GDP growth above 4% will lead to a ‘bust.’ (Trump’s stated goal is to boost GDP to 4-5%).

FACT: Unemployment is at 4.7%. This is low. Many economists see us at full employment. The Solman scale (unemployment plus underemployment) is 11.3%, which is still low.

FACT: The labor participation rate is only falling by 1%.

FACT: Wages grew 2.9% in 2016.

You are being lied to…and have been for eight years. Worse, you are buying it.

Doublespeak: definition- language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words.                                                                                                                     Doublespeak disguises the nature of truth.

This term likely stems from George Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. A merger of doublethink, which is described in the novel as:

To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies.

and Newspeak, the language developed to control thought.

Throughout his campaign (and today on Twitter), Trump has painted the image of scores of jobs leaving the country. Despite 81 months of continuous job growth. The truth is, we gained 2.2 million jobs in 2016 alone. It is also true, that 2016 saw a loss of 45,000 manufacturing jobs.  And it is this number that Trump and the Republican party are focusing on, while omitting the FACT, that 2.2 million jobs were added. Effectively obscuring the truth, creating an unfounded anxiety about the economy.

They focused on the relatively few jobs leaving (primarily in manufacturing, coal,  and construction–male dominated professions) while failing to acknowledge the millions of jobs added (primarily in health care and education–female dominated jobs).  They fail to mention that the US STILL leads the world in nominal GDP and that industry counts for 19.1% of that.

They will tout that China has the world’s largest manufacturing economy and decry the US’s second place. They will utterly fail to mention that China has four times the population of the US. It will also fail to mention the China’s manufacturing intensity was $1978/capita (2013) but in the US was $6338/capita. They won’t mention that the US accounts for 17.2% of the WORLD’S manufacturing. Nor will it mention that at the end of 2015 it was predicted that the US would retake the top spot by 2020…regardless of party or policy.

Instead, they will continue to focus on those lost 45,000. Blaming offshoring, which they have spent the last 20 years refusing to regulate, as opposed to productivity and technology changes.  The jobs lost in 2016 were NOT lost because companies were moving factories to Mexico or China, but because technology has made them obsolete.  Those jobs are not coming back.

The greatest failing of the GOP is the inability to recognize, and thus prepare, for the changing economic structure that has been occurring over the last 40 years.  Yet they continue to lie because it is far easier to win elections by convincing you that brown people are to blame.

Despite their obvious success at convincing many of their version of reality it does not replace the truth. We can either accept and adapt to the changing economy, re-evaluate how we measure economic success, in order to succeed. Or, we can continue to cling to a  past that no longer exists in a futile effort to grasp at a ‘greatness’ we never really lost. (economically speaking)

Trump and his GOP survive on doublespeak. On lies and half truths, placing blame for perceived woes on ‘the other.’ This is the hallmark, the beginning of every totalitarian, authoritarian,  fascist regime in history. If one wonders at the reaction of liberals following this election, it is because while you were playing politics we were fighting something far more insidious. This is not about, nor was it ever, a mere difference of opinion. It was about preventing an administration that calls lies fact and fact lies. And the inherent danger in allowing them to come to power. Then, smiling and jubilant, as so many misguided souls before, you opened the door and warmly greeted them as your saviors.

Tell me, how do you feel, knowing that the plan was always to have the American taxpayer pay for the wall? About Trump’s ‘press conference,’ which told the world he feels as though he does not have to answer to anyone? Or about how ‘draining the swamp,’ meant replacing politicians and diplomats with billionaire businessmen not required to divest themselves of their financial interests? Nepotism? Foreign interference and collusion?

Or, do you still believe that a handful of people are telling the truth while the rest of the world is lying? Do you genuinely not see the danger you let through the gate? Or do you just not care?