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.”
A 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.”
Furman 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.”
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Lawsuit, certified as class action, seeks damages in the millions of dollars The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has certified as class action a lawsuit against Donald Trump and his presidential campaign for recklessly inflicting emotional distress on voters. The case is expected to go to trial this fall. “This class action certification is a victory for tens of millions of Americans who cannot concentrate on their jobs during the day or sleep in their beds at night because of the daily barrage of outrageous statements coming out of the mouth of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump,” says Steve Parker, counsel for the plaintiffs. “What this certification says is, we as a country are being treated to intolerable statements that betray the standards of civilized decency. More.
Republican presidential nomination frontrunner Donald Trump says having a dad who starts a successful real estate business and then hands the business over to you is a great way to become rich like him. “That’s really the best way to amass wealth,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News today. “You gotta start rich and go to a good school, which being rich helps you get into.” In the interview, with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Trump said that having your dad get rich first enables you to focus your attention on sexier but riskier types of businesses like beauty pageants, reality shows, casinos, and airlines. And it provides a cushion in case some of the businesses fail and you have to file for bankruptcy protection. “All in all, having a dad who paves the way is a really great way to become rich,” says Trump, 69. More.
Marla Maples, the former wife of Republican presidential nomination frontrunner Donald Trump, says her former husband is endowed with wealth and a go-getter personality, but he is not well-endowed in the one aspect of his life he would like to be, and she thinks that this inadequacy is driving his presidential run. “Do I think he feels small in that respect?” asked the one-time actress who was Trump’s wife from 1993 to 1997 and was known as the “other woman” when Trump was married to Ivana Trump. They had one daughter between them, Tiffany Trump, who today is known for her enthusiastic use of Instagram. More.
Is Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump a dictator in the making? A report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests he is, based on a body-language analysis that finds he and former Iraq strongman Saddam Hussein, along with other strongmen throughout history, share a key oratorical gesture. The gesture is called “Dictator’s Finger,” because it’s seen only in people who believe they are infallible. “The moment we saw Donald Trump raise his index finger for the first time in a debate, we saw the connection with dictators throughout history,” says Nelson Pottsmann, professor of communications at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and director of the MIT Center for Body Language and Non-Verbal Communication Studies. More.
The bible of the journalism profession, The Associated Press Stylebook, has downgraded Donald Trump to a “millionaire” because his “billionaire” claims cannot be verified. “We take our responsibilities as the official guide to journalists in the United States seriously, and we feel the only responsible course of action is to downgrade the status of Donald Trump from billionaire to millionaire until further notice,” says Alfred Whitehurst, editor-in-chief of the Stylebook. Under the reference to Trump in the latest edition, Trump is identified as, “Trump, Donald J., millionaire* real estate developer and 2016 presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States.” More.
In a move that’s sure to make to make it harder for Donald Trump to get his election message out, Twitter has suspended the account of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for including banned hate speech in his tweets. “We take our responsibilities to foster respectful dialogue seriously,” Twitter Chief Enforcement Officer David Hearns says in a statement the company released this morning. “This was not a decision we made lightly, but we stand by our policy and did what we felt we had to under the circumstances.” Under the company’s hate-speech policy, accounts are suspended 60 days for tweets that . . . . More.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says he hasn’t started arranging his combover in a different way to reflect the surge in popularity of Hillary Clinton now that she has amassed enough delegates to be his Democratic opponent in the general election this fall. “Crooked Hillary will be in jail before she’s the Democratic nominee, so I can assure you I haven’t changed anything about my hair,” Trump said at a campaign stop in San Diego this morning. “I’ve been combing it the same way since I was 30 years old. And you know why? Because it’s perfect the way it is. Even the Mexicans love it. They wish they could have my hair. And maybe they can someday, if they behave themselves.” More.
I know Donald Trump isn’t as rich as he says he is. He’d show his taxes to us if he were. And I know he’s conned a lot of people out of their money at Trump University and Trump Mortgage. And I know he caused no small amount of grief to rich folk who invested money in his airline, casino, and the XFL. And I know he was for socialized medicine before he was against it, and I doubt he’s cracked open the Bible more than once in 40 years. And I know he used to call up reporters and pretend he was someone else to boast about how much women wanted him. I know all that, but there’s just something you don’t understand. You see, after years—decades, really—of repressing my feelings, he’s allowed me to express my inner racism and bigotry, and I can’t tell you what a relief it is. More.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump named John Miller his top press secretary today and said Miller will be his White House spokesperson should he win in November. “I’ve known John all my life and no one has my back the way he does,” Trump told reporters at a press conference. MIller, 69, who also goes by the name John Barron or John Baron, has served as spokesperson for the New York real estate mogul several times over the years and is known among reporters and editors as someone who knows Trump well. More.
In a sensational claim, the supermarket tabloid Weekly National Report says a 50-year-old woman in Fayetteville, Ark., Dannielle Eggles, is the daughter of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and she’s demanding a “White House bedroom” for her and her husband if he is elected president. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I feel I must come forward because it’s time for my daddy to stop pretending I don’t exist,” Eggles said at a press conference in Fayetteville yesterday. Eggles, a clerk at Target, said she had resigned herself to living in the shadow of her famous father and her glamorous half brothers and sisters, but six months ago she and her husband, Ron Eggles, decided she could no longer do that. “We just thought it wasnt fair that Ivanka, Tiffany, Eric, Donald, Jr., and Barron all get to live the high life while we have to scrape our fingers to the bone just because daddy pretends I don’t exist.” More.
Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump is running on the slogan “Make America Great Again.” Here are 10 ways the United States is no longer great. 1. Its women are no longer beautiful. Today, someone wealthy has to look outside the United States for a wife, at least two out of three times, because all of the hot women are taken. 2. It’s no longer a meritocracy. It’s possible for someone to use his wealth to run for president even though he’s driven the company his dad started into bankruptcy four times. 3. It’s no longer a melting pot. It’s possible for someone running for president to win more votes than his competitors by asking his supporters to slug immigrants or people of color who disrupt his rallies. More.
Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump said today he’s not a misogynist and that “his women” will tell you that. “My wife Melania and my daughter Ivanka, just ask them,” said Trump. “They’ll tell you I’m no misogynist. And my other women—Marla and Ivana. They’ll tell you the same thing. All of my women, past and present, know I like women. In fact, I love women. I love them a lot.” Trump said “his women at work” also know he’s not a misogynist. “I give all of my women at The Trump Company opportunity. I give them responsibility. I don’t have to give them those things, but I do. Because my women are the best. In fact, I wouldn’t have anything but the best women.” More.
The Mexican legislature received a petition yesterday from Mexico City to block Donald Trump, the leader for the Republican presidential nomination, from entering their country in retaliation for his proposal to build a border wall that Mexico must pay for. José de Jesús Zambrano, the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Mexico’s equivalent to the U.S. House of Representatives, said in a statement he would consider taking up the proposal. “The United States is an important country, our largest trading partner, so taking up such a petition has far-raching implications for the Mexican people,” he said. “I will consider it carefully.” More.