Economists always declare the starting point of a recession with the aid of the rearview mirror. I have long predicted the inevitable Trump Recession. Historians will mark its start as March of 2020. Let’s explore.
Like the child he is (not chronologically but in terms of moral development) Trump will say that it was not his fault. That is after he gets done disavowing its existence. Reality and truth have no place in the Donald Dome.
The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was the coronavirus. I’m certainly not saying Trump concocted it – although he did a terrible job of handling it. At first he ignored it, and then he said it was a hoax and he still is wasting valuable time combating it. This has been and continues to be a classic case of too little too late.
As to my prediction of a Trump Recession it actually didn’t take much more effort than simple observation. Today, as in the past, I will use the analogy of driving home drunk every night. If you keep doing the wrong thing eventually it will catch up with you. In fact Trump’s bully efforts with the economy in the past are now catching up with him. He pushed for Fed actions in the past when it was unnecessary and unwarranted and now when he needs them those “bullets have already been fired”. There is an old adage about guarding your favors carefully; in effect saving them for a time when you might really need them.
Other presidents have been much more prudent. I like to tell the story of Lyndon Johnson who kept two jars on his desk in which he placed jellybeans. One jar was for favors given; the other for favors owed. His goal was to make sure the favors owed jar always contained at least twice as many jellybeans.
The coronavirus and subsequent Coronagate have already had a profound negative effect on the American economy and it is reasonable to assume it will only get worse. I don’t know exactly what the future holds but, at least in the immediate future, it’s not good. The model I’m looking at is Italy and my current over/under date for a complete nationwide shutdown in America is March 28th. I sincerely hope I’m way off the mark but that is the conclusion a dispassionately analysis of the data available leads me to.
As to Coronagate itself I’m going to comment on a mix of facts, analysis and continually reported rumors. No person is a knowledgeable expert in all areas therefore good managers delegate tasks to people with the specific knowledge needed. Trump initially labeled the pandemic a hoax. Then he put Vice President Mike Pence in charge. Pence has no specific knowledge or experience that qualifies him for the job and in fact he has a track record of failure in a somewhat similar (but much simpler and smaller) health crisis during his time as Governor of Indiana. My guess is that Trump has set up Pence as the whipping boy when the federal government effort is more widely recognized as a colossal failure.
Perhaps the scariest aspect of Coronagate is the persistent rumor that Trump is waiting for Jared Kushner to complete his analysis of the situation before taking final action. Why would anyone in their right mind put the Boy Blunder in charge of a matter of literal life and death to many Americans?
There are dark days ahead and we are all in this together; we literally all breathe the same air. The pressure on state and local officials is tremendous and increasing because our federal government is simply not doing its job. State and local officials can only do so much. It will fall on we the people to help each other through the coronavirus challenge and then we can begin to deal with the Trump Recession.
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