Anyone who doubts the worries about the economy, just needs to review the September labor report which showed only 156,000 new jobs were created. This was below expectations and led to an increase in the unemployment rate to 5%. In reality, this rate is fiction because it does not account for the Americans who are working several part time jobs and those workers can’t find employment that matches their skill set. The broader unemployment rate of 9.7% is a more accurate reflection of a country which also has 94.2 million Americans who are outside of the labor force.
Other economic factors are a concern as consumer spending was flat last month and businesses delayed investments in new equipment and machinery. In this uncertain economic environment, it is still believed that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December after keeping them artificially low for nine years.
This false economy of low rates and the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policies have kept Wall Street happy, but has done very little for Main Street. The United States is a country with stagnant wages and a dearth of quality high paying jobs that allow Americans to support their families. It is a major reason why the percentage of Americans who own homes is at only 62.9%, a 51 year low. The rate has been plunging ever since Barack Obama became President. Since the financial crisis of 2008, credit is much tighter and housing prices are increasing much faster than incomes. Even low mortgage rates have not succeeded in turning around the downward trend in home ownership. Buying a home used to be a major part of achieving the American dream, but today it is an unattainable fantasy for millions of people struggling in this economy.
To deal with the nation’s economy, Hillary Clinton vows to continue the policies of Barack Obama. In fact, she is vowing to be more progressive than Obama. She promises to raise more taxes and expand government even more, with free college tuition and expanded Obamacare. In contrast, Trump promises to cut taxes, restructure “bad” trade deals, end Obamacare, and expand domestic oil exploration. Unlike Clinton, Trump vows to protect coal industry jobs, while both candidates claim they will return more manufacturing jobs to the country.
Every week, key economic indicators are announced. Recently, a report on economic growth was released showing the nation’s economy grew at an anemic rate of only 1.2% in the second quarter of 2016. This was approximately half the level of growth expected by most economists. The report is especially troubling since the economy only grew by .8% in the first quarter and .9% in the last quarter of 2015. An economy in full recovery should be growing at 3% or more, so the American economy is sputtering at best with our current recovery being the nations’ weakest since 1949.
While some Americans are finding jobs, many others are getting left behind in the Obama economy. Today, there are approximately 47 million Americans in poverty, including an astounding 45 million people receiving food stamps.
With such economic woes, will Americans want to stay the course and elect Hillary Clinton or vote for change and support Donald Trump? In a recent Rasmussen poll, 64% of Americans believe the nation is on the “wrong track,” but Hillary Clinton still maintains a 4% lead over Donald Trump, according to the Real Clear Politics national poll average. It is the controversies, comments and style of Donald Trump that has overshadowed real concerns about the economy and Hillary Clinton’s various scandals.
To redirect Americans to the important issues, it is essential that Trump use the opportunity of the debate to highlight the real plight of average Americans, not the Wall Street tycoons who contribute to Hillary’s campaign.
If voters begin to appreciate the real state of the economy today, they may reject Hillary Clinton and a continuation of the Obama policies and vote for Trump. However, a majority of voters will only support him if they feel comfortable enough in his leadership abilities and his policies. At that debate, he has a fantastic opportunity to make his case as a change agent, a job creator and an advocate of economic policies that will restore the American dream. He must forgo the trivia and focus on the essentials, the issues like the economy that really matter to Americans