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Letter to the Editor: The Trump Economy and Economic Terminology

Although there are many other things that President Trump is now worrying about (Impeachment perhaps?) I think a few statements about the economy that he continues to tout as going so well need to be mentioned.

Tariffs are hurting manufacturing and farming in America. Trump's trade war has produced a mix of rising costs and falling revenues in both areas. People are losing their jobs because of his policies.

Since his infamous “tax cuts for the middle class” which definitely meant more money for wealthy stockholders, CEO’s, Oil and Gas Companies, Big Pharma and Trump himself, this is what it has done for the rest of the country:

  • Adjusted for inflation, wages are still stuck at 1979 levels; there has been an increase of 2% which means someone making $10 an hour now makes $10.20 an hour.
  • Many people are stuck in part-time jobs with no benefits.
  • Although the unemployment rate is low, the number of people working is the lowest since 1970.
  • College grads are making less while the costs of college have skyrocketed
  • The cost of health care premiums has gone up 55% and the cost of drug prices 11% just this year.
  • More and more people cannot afford the rent or the cost of buying a home, thus homeless populations have grown.
  • Our National debt has grown to $4 trillion
  • 83% of the savings from Trump's tax cut have gone to the wealthiest 1% of Americans.

(Robert Reich, University of California at Berkeley Economist)


A recent letter to the editor talked about some of our Democratic Candidates and their economic philosophies. The writer said there can be no such thing as Democratic Socialism. He used Communism also in his writings saying that we must also be communists. Let’s just get the definitions of these terms straight!

Communism is a political philosophy that requires a central government that dictates laws to the people of the country. This usually requires an autocratic ruler such as Putin and Kim Jon Un. Fascism is also a political ideology in which white nationalism has a big part (Hitler and Mussolini). Laws governing these types of leaders' actions aren’t adhered to (Rule of Law). James Buchanan, father of libertarianism believed nothing should be done by the government—no taxes, no public schools, no health care, everything privatized. Republicans are doing this by trying to do away with Medicare, Social Security, and Public School while privatizing such things as prisons and mental health institutions. Lastly, there is Oligarchy, where everything is run by a small group of wealthy people. 

Socialism is an economic philosophy that says that some things in a country would be better for the inhabitants if done as a group. There are many countries including France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, England, and Switzerland which are Democratic countries because they have free and fair elections and are socialist because of their many social programs. Capitalism is also an economic philosophy. The U.S. uses a mix of Capitalism and Socialism. The United States is a Constitutional Democratic Republic that has long embraced both capitalism (free markets) and socialism (public schools and universities, and public works – i.e., parks, roads sewer, water, dams, harbors, as well as social welfare, such as worker’s comp, unemployment insurance, social security etc. and medical care).

It could be argued from all the above definitions (from Economics experts) that Trump fits the description of Fascist, Authoritarian, Libertarian, Oligarchic and Communist (along with his good friends Putin and Kim Jon Un).

I think I would rather be a proud liberal who believes that all people no matter what color, religion, economic state, or sexual orientation deserve an economy that is fair to ALL and free and fair elections with no influence from foreign countries!


Bette Holland