Trumponomics and Employment

Trumponomics and Employment

I am not the first to coin the word Trumponomics. I prefer it to Trump Economics, since “Economics” has the first syllable “Eco”, which these days means something that considers the environment, and is friendly to it. Trump has stated in many ways that he is not going to be friendly to the environment. Trumponomics is probably directed by UC Irvine Business School Prof. Peter Navarro, who is Trump’s only economics advisor with a degree in economics. Prof. Navarro is a trickle down theorist, so Trumponomics is a copy of Reaganomics, another reason to use the “onomics” term.

I am not going to repeat the simple set of numbers that constitute this, since they were read off the TelePrompTer on cable news channels by the Trump himself. I haven’t seen an analysis yet by a well known economic school or organization. That is also the trouble with the original announcement. Trumponomics was not vetted by any reputable, unbiased, economic school or organization. Announcing the plan without vetting, which is Trump’s “surprise them” style, leaves the plan open to multiple validated criticisms over the next two months until the election.

The tax cuts in the new version are supposed to be only half as large as the first version of the economic plan, and more directed to the middle class. Lowering the tax on bringing offshore profits back to the US from 35% to 10%, sounds to me like an enormous tax break for the super rich.

I am not an economist, so I cannot analyze the plan in detail. One thing struck me though. Trump said that he would create 25 million jobs in the next decade. This necessity goes along with the Republican claim that 92 million Americans are unemployed. Yesterday, an analysis of the now 94 million unemployed over 16 years of age, showed that you might not want to grab students out of high school or college, you might not want to force disabled people to work, you might not want to force retired people to work, and you may not want to force mothers of young children to work, since the standard Republican dogma is that they are supposed to be housewives. The actual number of unemployed people looking for jobs is 7.8 million people, since President Obama has brought the unemployment rate below 5%. 5% is considered a standard unemployment rate due to shifts in businesses and technologies. Long range unemployment of more than half a year is 2 million. There are 6.1 million workers just at part time jobs who would like full time jobs. Even if they take full time jobs, the part time jobs have to be done by workers who may make maybe 3 million jobs out of them. So there are maybe 11 million full time employees available.

In the last year, there were an average of 200,000 new jobs a month. That is 2.4 million new jobs a year. Trump’s 25 million new jobs in 10 years is essentially no more than the present rate under President Obama. Over the last year, average hourly non-farm earnings have risen 2.4%. While Trump said that Clinton has not created a job or earned a dollar for the economy, to the extent that she continues President Obama’s policies, those policies have been successful, “bigly”.

Trump’s expulsion policies will immediately strive to remove 6 million people, and eventually all 11.5 million illegal aliens, although Trump doesn’t believe estimates, and considers the number to be between 3 to 30 million people. Eight million of these people are workers. So that opens even more millions of jobs, which are low paid, probably not observing work hours rules, without medical coverage, and in difficult working environments, like crop picking and cooking in hot kitchens. So who is going to take these 25 million plus jobs?

Despite tax cuts to the middle class, the disappearance of  8 million low wage gardeners, construction workers, maids, nannies and cooks is going to greatly inconvenience the middle class and raise their expenses. Illegal immigrants are going to be replaced by professionals in these jobs, probably placed by agencies who take a cut, limited to standard hours or requiring overtime, adding the cost of social security, taxes, workers comp, health plans, safe working conditions, and passing licensing courses. Many spouses will quit the work force to replace the child care workers. Also, half of our crops are picked by undocumented immigrants. The cost of food will greatly increase when undocumented workers are replaced by those who require the above job amenities.

There is also the unknown effect to the economy, wages, unemployment, cost of imported goods, and meaniality of created jobs when Trump breaks all free trade agreements and renegotiates them, (for what is never specified or asked about) and adds tariffs and penalties for taking jobs oversees.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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