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I yelled at the TV more than once during the recent Republican National Convention. The topic that prompted my outbursts most frequently related to claims that the American economy and stock market are the greatest in The History of the Universe!!!! This is not true. RNC speakers also talked about how Trump saved the country from a recession once Trump became president. Also not true.
During VP Mike Pence’s acceptance speech at the RNC he said, “Four years ago (2017) we inherited…an economy struggling to break out of the slowest recovery since The Great Depression (mid-1930s).” I had to rewind to know if I heard him correctly. If you doubt his assertion, check out the two attached charts and compare 2017 to 2007-2009. These two charts show how the stock market (or the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index anyway) and unemployment rates have fluctuated over the last two decades, broken down by Presidential terms.
I should note here that the economy and the stock market are not the same thing, but when you also look at the unemployment rate you get a pretty good idea of how the economy is doing. Also, the economy, the stock market, and unemployment rates result from many factors, not just who is President. That’s why reasonable past presidents didn’t take credit for stock market surges. When you do that it implies that you are to blame if the market drops. Trump, as with so many issues, takes credit when good things happen, but takes no responsibility for bad things.
Concerning, the “best stock market ever” claim, you can see that during the eight years when Barack Obama was president, the average rate of return was a stunning 23% per year. During Trump’s 43 months in office, average annual growth was an excellent 14%. It should be noted that most people believe that 23 is a higher number than 14.
Concerning unemployment, President Obama took office in January of 2009 in the midst of The Great Recession as many now call it. During George Bush’s administration, unemployment hit a low of 4.4% in May of 2007. By October of 2009 it reached 10.0%, then began to fall. Remember The Stimulus? When Donald Trump was elected and when he took office in January of 2017, the unemployment rate was 4.7%. This declined to a low of 3.5% last December. That’s a good rate, lowest ever, but cutting unemployment by 1.2% is just not that big a deal. Within four months, the rate hit 14.7% due to the COVID-19/Economic Crisis. It is now at 10.0 percent.
I’m not saying the economy wasn’t good during Trump’s first three years, You just shouldn’t brag that the stock market has risen 36% in the last five months when it is back to where it was six months ago. Same thing with unemployment statistics.
People shouldn’t believe Magical Thinking if there are valid, third-party statistics to verify what actually happened. If Trump says that he restored gravity to Earth, you should recall if salt shakers often floated away from your dinner table during the Obama administration.
I better stop now. I just wanted to provide some charts that show what actually happened if you have a conversation with someone who believes the fantasies peddled by RNC speakers, including the glassy-eyed Presidential son and his hollering girlfriend.
Unemployment: Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/charts/employment-situation/civilian-unemployment-rate.htm
Standard and Poor’s 500 Chart.
NOTE: It should be noted that the S+P 500 Index, which you cannot invest in directly, is made up of the largest 500 American companies. Indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly S+P is not the same thing as “the stock market.”