Economists: Trump-Distracted Workforce Slowing U.S. Growth

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Taking a point off growth

The U.S. economy grew by a meager 1.1 percent last quarter and economists are laying the blame on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, whose statements, they say, are driving people to the Internet almost on an hourly basis to read news stories or watch video about him to the detriment of their jobs.

“The work of our country is simply not getting done,” says Albert Strauss, associate director of quantitative analysis for the Reichman Institute of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. “Emails are not getting sent, reports are not getting written, mathematical equations are not getting solved while people read about the rift between Trump and the GOP leadership or watch a video about Trump insulting a mother.”

ReichA productivity analysis prepared by Strauss appears to find a correlation between the amount of media coverage of Trump and the output of goods and services by American businesses over the last 18 months. “As more words come out of Trump’s mouth, fewer tasks that support production of goods and services are accomplished,” Strauss says.

Jason Furman, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, says his team has been aware of the so-called Trump Effect on productivity since the first quarter of 2015 and they’re now putting the finishing touches on proposed policy changes to address it. “We’ll be recommending to the President a two-part policy response that we think will increase productivity by 50 basis points by getting federal funds into the hands of states and localities quicker and recommending to the Federal Reserve that they lower the overnight bank lending rate by a basis point every time Trump says something.”

https://www.amazon.com/Vfemage-Asymmetric-Neckline-Ruched-Draped/dp/B01LACAODY/ref=as_li_ss_il?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=KVBF5JKG5R7BNHSPXS54&linkCode=li2&tag=daily031-20&linkId=6964f65f445f638730c990c4018693c4Furman says how well the policy works in speeding up growth will depend on the Federal Reserve’s willingness to go along, but he thinks the Fed’s Open Market Committee will be receptive to the idea. “I’ve spoken to Yellen [Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve] and she understands the gravity of the situation,” he says. “She sees this in the same light as the financial market meltdown after the collapse of Lehman Bros. Drastic, radical action is needed to avert a recession. And given that Donald Trump is unlikely to stop talking anytime soon, especially now that the CIA is giving him intelligence briefings that he can disclose publicly, the Fed needs to act quickly and decisively.”

Peter Morton, a marketing associate with an insurance contractor in Chicago, hopes the federal government acts soon, because he’s worried about his job. “My boss is talking layoffs,” he says. “I think the only thing that’s kept me from getting laid off is he’s always on the Internet watching Donald Trump. If Trump goes a day without saying something, that would be good for the economy in the short term, but I’d probably be doomed.”

This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos (some modified) gs (Creative Commons and public domain). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.

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