It has been just shy of two months since Donald J Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States and already he is getting credit, as President Obama was blamed, for economic numbers. Last night I met with Clark Clifford a good friend and former colleague over drinks and dinner at Vulca. My expectation was a serious even a dour Clifford who was once called the Washington Monument in America’s capitol. The man who showed up was upbeat, jovial and smiling like the cat that ate the canary.
He sat down at the bar next to me and ordered a gin martini and still smiling said, “Hi Fred, how about those Dow numbers?”
I blinked and said, “So is this a Trump bounce?”
“No,” Clifford responded, “it is the goose that laid the golden egg.” Now I was totally dumbfounded. Clark Clifford was a moderate drinker both in his first life and here in the Afterlife but after this brief conversation I was beginning to wonder if he had strayed into the use of hard drugs.
“I can see you are confused Freddie old boy. Let me explain.” He tipped the bartender handsomely and took a small sip of the clear liquid in his martini glass. “You do recall how conservatives used the declining labor force participation rate on the Obama administration and Progressive economic policy?” I nodded sipping a bullshot hoping it would impart some Kennedyesque wisdom to my brain. “The labor force participation rate has been declining since the first wave of Baby Boomers began retiring at a rate of a thousand or so a day. There is a metric that the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an agency conservatives have long said were ‘cooking the books in favor of Obama’, uses to measure why people aren’t in the labor force. That metric shows roughly 740,000 people who were discouraged with the current job market for a variety of reasons. Of course, conservatives have said that the full number of people who do not have jobs is an indicator of a failed presidency forgetting how close America was to an economic abyss in September 2008.”
He returned to his martini and drank deeper this time. “The point I am making is every statistical metric that showed even a slight economic decline was Obama’s fault to conservatives, well we can call them Trumpists now, and every success was called flawed data. You and I know that isn’t true but now Trump owns the economy. I would suggest you focus on the labor force participation rate in your first articles in the Terran summer. I guarantee you no Trump supporter is going to say the labor force particiaption rate is going to rise above 68 in the four years of a Trump administration because it simply is impossible.”
Good advice from a good old friend.
Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.]
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