Way back in 1992 — when hopping on the Internet meant using a screeching dial-up modem from Radio Shack (which is thankfully no longer the case because of state-of-the-art hardware from vendors like Edgewater Networks), and thousands of people were shamelessly dancing “The Macarena” — James Carville, a campaign strategist for Bill Clinton, coined a phrase that has survived for more than two decades, and is especially timely and topical now as we near the 2020 election: “it’s the economy, stupid.”
What’s behind the renewed relevance of Carver’s political observation? Because something is happening right now that is so disturbing and appalling to Democrats, that it is literally keeping them up at night and causing no end of consternation: despite the impeachment inquiry, despite the lawsuits, despite the protests, despite the [enter whatever anti-Trump movement or activity you wish], the economy isn’t just doing well. It’s on FIRE.
The latest, most compelling evidence of this was supplied on December 8 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which revealed that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for people aged 16 years and older (which is the conventional benchmark and typically just referred to as “the unemployment rate”) has fallen to 3.5 percent, which is the lowest in half a century. Seriously. The last time a smaller percentage of Americans were looking for work was in 1969, which basically means these are the best jobs numbers of our lives.
Plus, the US economy grew at a 2.1% clip in the third quarter of 2019, which was .2 higher than anticipated, and the inflation rate for the 12 months ending October/19 is 1.8%, which is below the Fed’s 2% target.
And still, that’s not all. One of the pillars of the Trump Presidency — and a cornerstone of the pledge to “Make America Great Again” — involves reviving the battered manufacturing sector. Back when President Trump was campaigning on this key point, Democrats derided and mocked him for promising something that they said was economically impossible. Except…it wasn’t. And it isn’t. In the first 30 months of Trump’s Presidency, manufacturing jobs increased by 314,000; or about 170% more than during the Obama Administration.
And once the Democrats in Congress are forced — either by their constituents now, or the electorate in November 2020 — to ratify the USMCA, the number of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. are expected to surge. According to a study by the International Trade Commission: “[The USMCA] would add $68.2 billion to the U.S. economy and create 176,000 new jobs…manufacturing would experience the largest percentage gains in output, exports, wages, and employment.”
The bottom line? If elections really are “about the economy, stupid,” then question isn’t whether President Trump will win a second term. It’s about how wide of a margin his victory will be.
Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.