Conventional wisdom seems to think that Trump's re-election chances hinge on America's economic performance through 2020, given his unpopularity everywhere else. Of course the president, Kudlow, Conway and the other administration credability-less flunkies are praising it but so are many main stream reporters and pundits who should be looking wider and deeper.

The first thing sited is the historically low unemployment rate (the labor participation rate no longer commonly accompanies release of such figures). However, in a market economy the basic tenant is supply and demand. Less supply relative to demand bids value and prices up yet we still see stagnant wages (relative to the 1970s, adjusted for inflation) as the political fight for a livable, $15 an hour wage exemplifies. That doesn't compute unless the market is interfered with.

This puzzle goes mostly unaddressed except for Liz Warren who makes the case that industry after industry is oligopolized, where a few corporations collude to hold down wage rates. Remember that Republicans, since Reagan at least, defend privatizing everything because the private sector can provide goods and services better and cheaper than government — due to competition. But when the mergers, acquisitions and takeovers come around they disappear leaving us with wage repression as well as price gouging. No wonder profits and stocks soar, especially when tax cuts for the corporate rich are used to buy back stocks and further invest in congressmen, presidents and other politicians who work for them and not their constituents. This is more akin to corporate fascism than democracy.

Consequently we see average economic prosperity pulled up by elite megaprofits while the bottom two thirds stagnate or sinks. And national deficits, carped on when Dems are in charge, balloon as well as personal debt. The bottom half can't come up with $500 in an emergency and many live paycheck to paycheck. That's not middle class. And we are all getting poorer because physical and social infrastructure is deteriorating while man made climate change takes increasing amounts out of our economy. And all Republicans are responsible because they support those who stand in the way of attempted redress, especially Trump and McConnell.

Given his other horrendous policy endeavors, his terrible appointments, his ubiquitous lies and copious ignorance it shouldn't be surprising that Trump's economics are bad and shouldn't be touted when other factors are figured in.

John Zimmerman

Coos Bay

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