As Joel Kotkin points out, Donald Trump faces two major hurdles. One is the structural mess Barack Obama left; a shallow, fragile “prosperity” (nonetheless called a “boom” by the Democrat media) built on hoarding low-interest cash.
The second? The perception that the media is pumping out that this potemkin prosperity is actually a “boom” (emphasis added):
Yet this is more a matter of perception than reality, a kind of “fake news.” To be sure, President Barack Obama inherited a disastrous economy from George W. Bush and can claim, with some justification, that on his watch millions of jobs were restored and the economy achieved steady, if unspectacular, growth. Under Obama average GDP growth has been almost twice as high as under his predecessor, but roughly half that of either President Reagan or Clinton.
(And, lest anyone forget, “under Clinton” really means “under Gingrich”, since Clinton showed every sign of being no better than Obama for his first two years).
Less appreciated, however, are the fundamental long-term weaknesses in the U.S. economy that Obama and Bush have left for Trump. A recent report from the U.S. Council on Competitiveness details a litany of profound, lingering flaws — historically slow growth, rising inequality, stagnant incomes, slumping productivity and declining lifespans. As the report concludes: “The Great Recession may be over, but America is dangerously running on empty.”
Like everything by Kotkin, it’s worth a read.