Media Predicted Economic Collapse Under Trump — It Didn’t Happen

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Amber Athey Podcast Columnist
Font Size:

Media pundits, businessmen, and even Nobel Prize-winning economists predicted a economic collapse would occur under President Donald Trump — but the 2017 economy tells a different story.

Doomsayers claimed that Trump had an uneven temperament and unclear policy positions, which would bring unpredictability to the markets. In response, investors would hedge their money and the markets would collapse.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who won a Nobel Prize in economics, predicted just one day after the 2016 presidential election that the markets will “never” recover under Trump. Krugman wrote in The New York Times that Trump’s unpredictability would be particularly damaging to an already fragile economy.

Business tycoon Mark Cuban similarly stated back in September of 2016 that the stock market would crash if Trump won the presidency.

“If the polls look like there’s a decent chance that Donald could win, I’ll put a huge hedge on that’s over 100% of my equity positions… that protects me just in case he wins,” Cuban said.

Perhaps most infamously, journalist Kurt Eichenwald announced he was selling all of his stocks in his children’s education accounts in preparation of the stock market tanking.

Policy analyst Sean McElwee tweeted in December 2016 that economic experts were predicting that Trump’s economic plans would not help the working class.

Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post warned that former president Barack Obama was handing Trump a booming economy that was sure to falter once Trump took office.

Financial journalist Caroline Baum insisted that Trump is “NOT good for economic growth,” explaining that his plans to renegotiate trade deals would crush the markets.

The fear mongering over Trump’s economy probably ended up costing some people a good chunk of change, as the stock market hit a number of record highs and the economy experienced high growth during Trump’s first year in office.

In the year since the election, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 28.5 percent and has set 86 new record closing highs. The most recent record was set on December 18, 2017 when the Dow closed at 24,792.20. For the first time ever, the Dow hit four 1000-point milestones in one year.

At least some of these stock market gains can be accredited to deregulation under Trump, the passing of the Republican-led tax bill, and the Federal Reserve announcing hikes in interest rates.

The Trump economy has made major gains beyond just the stock market. The 4.1 percent unemployment rate is the lowest in 17 years, and the economy grew 3.2 percent from July to September, the highest quarterly growth in three years.

Trump’s plan also particularly helped the working class and manufacturing in the United States,  as manufacturing was one of the fastest growing job sectors in November.  The manufacturing sector added 31,000 jobs in November, up from a low at the same time last year, and hourly wage earnings went up 0.2 percent.

 Follow Amber on Twitter