Christmas Week is always full of blessings. Thanks to the good folks at pro-MAGA news aggregator Whatfinger News (and a helpful tip from photog of Orion’s Cold Fire on how to submit links to them), The Portly Politico has seen its best week in terms of traffic all year. Two pieces, “Napoleonic Christmas” and “Christmas and its Symbols” made the main page, leading both to surpass my previous top post for the year, “Milo on Romantic Music.” Apparently, people still get riled up about Napoleon.
It’s also been a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and to overeat lots of delicious, rich foods. If you’ve never heard of the Appalachian delicacy “chocolate butter,” do yourself a favor and look it up. Yes, it’s even better than the name suggests.
Of course, all of that good cheer requires a solid financial foundation. And in his three years in office, President Trump has shattered records for unemployment, wage increases, and economic growth. Economics isn’t everything, but the Trump economy is something for which we should give thanks.
CNBC features analysis from Bespoke Investment Group. That group tracks the growth of the S&P 500 across presidential administrations, and finds that the third and fourth years of an administration see the greatest growth in the index.
While Trump had a rocky second year in the S&P 500—thanks in part to the necessary trade war with China—seeing a decline of 6.2%, his first and third years demolished averages for other presidential administrations, with 19.4% and 28.6% growth, respectively.
By comparison, average growth is 5.7% in a president’s first year, 4.5% in his second, and 12.8% in his third. The fourth year average returns to 5.7% (if that’s too many numbers, here is a chart).
That means President Trump—even amid a sham impeachment and other Deep State persecutions—has overseen an economic expansion over double that of the average president. The next time someone complains he isn’t a typical president, show him these numbers.
Now, the wags (and Progressives) will argue, “Well, that’s just growth of one stock market index; that money is just lining the pockets of fat cats.” Consider, though, that a low-cost Vanguard mutual fund that tracks the S&P 500—a go-to for small-time investors plopping down their $6000 a year into an IRA, or making what contributions they can to a 401(k) or 403(b)—is a common investment. Those working investors have seen substantial gains in their retirement portfolios.
The CNBC piece does mention that the stock market rose a whopping 32% in 2013 under President Obama—but that was after four years of a molasses-slow recovery, and with the Fed pumping $85 billion a month into buying its own bonds. The market was on a sugar high that did not reflect the reality on the ground.
In the Trump economy, the market gains reflect the reality on Main Street: the unemployment rate is down to 3.5%, the lowest since 1969. I’m sure there’s some fudging with the whole “work force participation rate,” just as there was during the Obama Era, but it does seem like more people are actually working.
Even more importantly, wages are rising steadily for the first time in decades. Moribund wage growth, especially among working-class men, has created a whole host of social problems. Higher wages means more spending (and hopefully more saving, but don’t hold your breath). That’s why this Christmas shopping season saw the most coin spent in the history of Christmas shopping.
I don’t pretend that the good times will never end. That’s certainly not the case—I lived through the Great Recession, and it’s left an indelible mark. The market does seem to conform to reality, but bubbles have occurred before, and corrections happen.
Economics, too, often fails to answer to important questions about the human condition, and financial success does not always mean spiritual or social fulfillment (see also: Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol). But strong wages and economic strength do help provide a strong foundation for families, and ease the drudgery and fear that come with economic privation.
So let’s give thanks as we head into 2020 for our abundance—and that our pugilistic GEOTUS supports policies that favor American business and workers.
God Bless America!