Trump Economy And Regular Americans

 

I keep seeing the media present the case that Trump only helped the 1% and did nothing to help regular Americans.  That assertion is demonstrably untrue.

Let’s look at real (inflation adjusted) median wages.   (Expressed in 1984 dollars.)

Real median weekly wages of full time employees.  (Expressed in 1984 dollars.)

BLS Data series LES1252881600Q

Obama 1st inauguration:            340

Trump inaugurated:                     349

Change Obama 8 years:   +9

Trump inaugurated:                     349

Q1 2020 pre pandemic:                367

Change:  +18

Trump inaugurated:                     349

Biden inauguration:                      377

Change under Trump  +28

Biden inauguration:                      377

Today:                                                 365

Change under Biden:    -12

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/LES1252881600Q

Lots of people go to GDP to judge the health of an economy.   And there’s lots to be said for GDP.   But it’s a total.   And like any aggregate, it can obscure as much as it reveals.  That’s what I usually like to look at Real Median Wages and Real Median Household Income.   Unfortunately, the Household Income number comes out annually, in September.   So 2022 is the most recent we have…

Real Median Household Income

Obama 1st inauguration:         66280

Trump inaugurated:                  70840

Change 8 Obama years:  +4560 (6.9%)

Trump inaugurated:                  70840
EoY 2019 pre pandemic:          78250

Change 3 Trump years:  +7410 (10.5%)

Trump inaugurated:                  70840
Biden inaugurated:                    76660

Change Trump:  +5820 (8.2%)

Biden inaugurated:                   76660
2022 (most recent avail):       74580    

Change Biden so far:   -2080 (-2.7%)

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEHOINUSA672N

So the reality is that for regular Americans, the Trump economy (especially pre-pandemic) was a resounding success.

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  1. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Ekosj: Real median weekly wages of full time employees

    This is a good metric. 

    • #1
  2. Addiction Is A Choice Member
    Addiction Is A Choice
    @AddictionIsAChoice

    Ekosj: So the reality is that for regular Americans, the Trump economy (especially prepandemic) was a resounding success.

    And Democrats had no answer for Trump’s roaring economy, so they weaponized the flu and shut it down.  I think it all can be traced back to this moment:

    She wasn’t just tearing up an official document; she was tearing up the social contract.  It was a signal:  “Release the hounds virus!

    • #2
  3. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    I am no economist, but I have always read that real wages inclusive of inflation were up at least 8% during Trump’s Presidency. Good post. It’s always important to read truthful figures, which I believe are called FACTS.

    • #3
  4. Lunchbox Gerald Coolidge
    Lunchbox Gerald
    @Jose

    My retirement accounts had one good year under Obama, versus 3 good years under Trump.

    Under Biden?  Three bad years.  We’ll see how the last one turns out…

    • #4
  5. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Ekosj: I keep seeing in the media that Trump only helped the 1% and did nothing to help regular Americans.  That assertion is demonstrably untrue.

    That’s what they’ve said about every Republican administration for generations and what they will say about every future Republican administration.  The old “The Rich get richer and the poor get poorer” trope.

    • #5
  6. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Ekosj: I keep seeing in the media that Trump only helped the 1% and did nothing to help regular Americans. That assertion is demonstrably untrue.

    That’s what they’ve said about every Republican administration for generations and what they will say about every future Republican administration. The old “The Rich get richer and the poor get poorer” trope.

    I hear it a lot regarding Reagan … “destroyed the middle class” yadda yadda yadda…

    For the record..
    Median Real (inflation adjusted) Personal Income:
    1976: 26450
    1980: 25380
    Carter Change: -4%

    1988: 29080
    Reagan Change: +14.5%

    So much for destroying a thriving middle class. Carter did that. Reagan reinvigorated them! 

    • #6
  7. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Ekosj: I keep seeing in the media that Trump only helped the 1% and did nothing to help regular Americans. That assertion is demonstrably untrue.

    That’s what they’ve said about every Republican administration for generations and what they will say about every future Republican administration. The old “The Rich get richer and the poor get poorer” trope.

    I hear it a lot regarding Reagan … “destroyed the middle class” yadda yadda yadda…

    For the record..
    Median Real (inflation adjusted) Personal Income:
    1976: 26450
    1980: 25380
    Carter Change: -4%

    1988: 29080
    Reagan Change: +14.5%

    So much for destroying a thriving middle class. Carter did that. Reagan reinvigorated them!

    Yes, I well remember talk about him “crushing” or “strangling” the middle class.  Our side does it too, to some degree.  People on the right talk about the “elites” killing off the middle class because the middle class is shrinking.  But the middle class is shrinking in numbers not because middle-class people are becoming poor, but because many middle-class people have become upper class.

    • #7
  8. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    So many wins under Trump. Too bad people got tired of winning.

    • #8
  9. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    JoelB (View Comment):

    So many wins under Trump. Too bad people got tired of winning.

     

     

    • #9
  10. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Ekosj

    I keep seeing in the media that Trump only helped the 1% and did nothing to help regular Americans.  That assertion is demonstrably untrue.

    Would it be fair to say that assertion applies to Biden and not to Trump? Most of the excessively moneyed class did well during the pandemic and Biden.

    • #10
  11. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Ekosj: I keep seeing in the media that Trump only helped the 1% and did nothing to help regular Americans. That assertion is demonstrably untrue.

    That’s what they’ve said about every Republican administration for generations and what they will say about every future Republican administration. The old “The Rich get richer and the poor get poorer” trope.

    Why do all the super-rich people seem to be Democrats? Even the mega corporations support mostly left-wing positions.

    • #11
  12. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    cdor (View Comment):

    Why do all the super-rich people seem to be Democrats? Even the mega corporations support mostly left-wing positions.

    •  

    This is what has been supported by all administrations since Reagan until Trump and he was unable in his four year term to change that other than some small inroads.

    • #12
  13. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Biden was put in place to put you peons back in your place and reverse Trump’s gains.

    • #13
  14. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Biden was put in place to put you peons back in your place and reverse Trump’s gains.

    Trump’s possible future actions worry Biden supporters even more.

    • #14
  15. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Trump’s possible future actions worry Biden supporters even more.

    Ya, you betcha!

    • #15
  16. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    cdor (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Ekosj: I keep seeing in the media that Trump only helped the 1% and did nothing to help regular Americans. That assertion is demonstrably untrue.

    That’s what they’ve said about every Republican administration for generations and what they will say about every future Republican administration. The old “The Rich get richer and the poor get poorer” trope.

    Why do all the super-rich people seem to be Democrats? Even the mega corporations support mostly left-wing positions.

    I don’t know what the voting habits of the super-rich are.  Democrats always used to say they were all Republicans, now Republicans say they are all Democrats.  I’d want to see some data before assuming that what everybody knows is correct. 

    This is just a pure guess on my part.  If you are rich and Republican, you maybe don’t want to talk about politics in public a lot because you don’t want to reinforce the stereotype that rich people support Republicans because they have greed in common.  So you vote and you donate, and mostly keep your mouth shut in public. 

    If you are rich and a Democrat, you want to trumpet it and tell the public, “I’m not one of those greedy rich people.  Why, if I had my way, the government would confiscate most of my wealth!”  It’s entirely possible that the very rich are fairly evenly split between the two parties, but one group is much more inclined to bring attention to themselves.  But it’s just a theory.  I don’t have data to back it up.

    • #16
  17. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    It’s entirely possible that the very rich are fairly evenly split between the two parties, but one group is much more inclined to bring attention to themselves.  But it’s just a theory.  I don’t have data to back it up.

    I think this way.

    • #17
  18. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    cdor (View Comment):
    Why do all the super-rich people seem to be Democrats? Even the mega corporations support mostly left-wing positions.

    Mega corporations like lots of regulation (small businesses cannot compete and it creates barriers to entry) and globalization.  The Dems are the party of regulation and globalization, so…

    • #18
  19. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):
    Why do all the super-rich people seem to be Democrats? Even the mega corporations support mostly left-wing positions.

    Mega corporations like lots of regulation (small businesses cannot compete and it creates barriers to entry) and globalization. The Dems are the party of regulation and globalization, so…

    Yes, for those who want power with the people, big is bad.

    • #19
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Biden was put in place to put you peons back in your place and reverse Trump’s gains.

    Trump’s possible future actions worry Biden supporters even more.

    • Release the J6 video. Run it on a loop.
    • Declassify every piece of paper, every computer file, involved in Crossfire Hurricane.
    • #20
  21. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Addiction Is A Choice (View Comment):

    Ekosj: So the reality is that for regular Americans, the Trump economy (especially prepandemic) was a resounding success.

    And Democrats had no answer for Trump’s roaring economy, so they weaponized the flu and shut it down. I think it all can be traced back to this moment:

    She wasn’t just tearing up an official document; she was tearing up the social contract. It was a signal: “Release the hounds virus!

    I have always thought that was an extremely cheap gesture — completely without content.

    • #21
  22. Macho Grande' Coolidge
    Macho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Addiction Is A Choice (View Comment):

    Ekosj: So the reality is that for regular Americans, the Trump economy (especially prepandemic) was a resounding success.

    And Democrats had no answer for Trump’s roaring economy, so they weaponized the flu and shut it down. I think it all can be traced back to this moment:

    She wasn’t just tearing up an official document; she was tearing up the social contract. It was a signal: “Release the hounds virus!

    I have always thought that was an extremely cheap gesture — completely without content.

    Like her face.

    • #22
  23. Macho Grande' Coolidge
    Macho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    GDP is OK as a metric but it includes government spending, so that can impact the number significantly.  

    • #23
  24. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    His energy policy helped all Americans.  

    • #24
  25. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Addiction Is A Choice (View Comment):

    Ekosj: So the reality is that for regular Americans, the Trump economy (especially prepandemic) was a resounding success.

    And Democrats had no answer for Trump’s roaring economy, so they weaponized the flu and shut it down. I think it all can be traced back to this moment:

    She wasn’t just tearing up an official document; she was tearing up the social contract. It was a signal: “Release the hounds virus!

    I have always thought that was an extremely cheap gesture — completely without content.

    Yet, she ran the House the same way.   She rammed through all the legislation she wanted.   Trump was impeached twice, Peter Navarro is in jail and Bannon is next.   She even ran a Fedsurrection to install Biden under emergency procedures that did not allow debate or dissent.  Nancy was the Tyrant in White.

     

    • #25
  26. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    People can’t have that short of a memory – everyone did better and they are trying to flip the truth – it won’t work…….

    • #26
  27. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    But economic freedom is bad for the planet, increases income disparity and threatens to cause small business owners, plumbers, and auto technicians to move into and even exceed brackets occupied by college administrators and career regulators. And it causes icky conditions like competition.  People should all be certified by diplomas, licenses, and certificates to keep jobs secure and everyone in their place.

    • #27
  28. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    People can’t have that short of a memory – everyone did better and they are trying to flip the truth – it won’t work…….

    They already have for many.   I presented these same numbers elsewhere and was informed – Yeahbut

    Yeah but Trump is a wannabe dictator who will sell America to the corporations and his violent rhetoric stokes racists white supremacists Christian nationalists fascists neo-Nazis and religious extremists.     Biden’s just a nice guy trying his best

     

    [facepalm]

    • #28
  29. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Ekosj: I keep seeing in the media that Trump only helped the 1% and did nothing to help regular Americans. That assertion is demonstrably untrue.

    That’s what they’ve said about every Republican administration for generations and what they will say about every future Republican administration. The old “The Rich get richer and the poor get poorer” trope.

    Why do all the super-rich people seem to be Democrats? Even the mega corporations support mostly left-wing positions.

    I don’t know what the voting habits of the super-rich are. Democrats always used to say they were all Republicans, now Republicans say they are all Democrats. I’d want to see some data before assuming that what everybody knows is correct.

    This is just a pure guess on my part. If you are rich and Republican, you maybe don’t want to talk about politics in public a lot because you don’t want to reinforce the stereotype that rich people support Republicans because they have greed in common. So you vote and you donate, and mostly keep your mouth shut in public.

    If you are rich and a Democrat, you want to trumpet it and tell the public, “I’m not one of those greedy rich people. Why, if I had my way, the government would confiscate most of my wealth!” It’s entirely possible that the very rich are fairly evenly split between the two parties, but one group is much more inclined to bring attention to themselves. But it’s just a theory. I don’t have data to back it up.

    For a couple of decades and running, I have noticed that the richest Americans have been overwhelmingly democrats.  Here is a list of the top ten right now, according to Forbes Magazine, and their political affiliations (as far as I can tell):

    1.  Elon Musk – Though republicans have been rallying around him of late, he is a self-identified Socialist.
    2. Jeff Bezos – HUGE Democrat
    3. Larry Elison – Hard to say.  He might lean conservative.  He was a partner of Michael Milken who I think is a democrat, but I never asked him.
    4. Warren Buffet – BIG BIG democrat.
    5. Larry Page – Correct me if I’m wrong but I think the Google co-founder is a democrat.
    6. Bill Gates – Staunch Right-Wing Knuckle-Dragging Conservative Republican (just kidding, folks!)
    7. Sergey Brin – The other Google co-founder, I surmise he is in the democrat camp.
    8. Mark Zuckerberg – Take a big guess, folks.
    9. Steve Ballmer – A former CEO of Microsoft, hired by Bill Gates in 1980.  I’ll take a wild guess – democrat.
    10. Michael Bloomberg – He’s about as democrat as you can get.  He ran for president in their party.

    Ellison is the lone guy in the top ten that I would even consider might be a republican, but I don’t know.  If anybody knows their political affiliations better than I, please fill us in.

     

    • #29
  30. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Macho Grande' (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Addiction Is A Choice (View Comment):

    Ekosj: So the reality is that for regular Americans, the Trump economy (especially prepandemic) was a resounding success.

    And Democrats had no answer for Trump’s roaring economy, so they weaponized the flu and shut it down. I think it all can be traced back to this moment:

    She wasn’t just tearing up an official document; she was tearing up the social contract. It was a signal: “Release the hounds virus!

    I have always thought that was an extremely cheap gesture — completely without content.

    Like her face.

    Oh, her face has a lot of content — mostly Botox, I believe.

    • #30
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