It’s been a month since Donald Trump won the Presidential election. The way some panicked people have been talking about it, though, it sometimes feels likes he’s already nearing the end of a four-year term! Much like Brexit in the U.K., people seem to have forgotten that a vote for something doesn’t make said thing happen instantly. We still have over a month before Trump is actually the 45th President of the United States! (And yes, I do still occasionally have to pinch myself to make sure I didn’t fall into some strange fever dream.)
It was predicted by many that the dollar, as well as many stock prices, would suddenly and severely plummet if Trump were to win the Presidency. Through the act of simply winning the election, Trump would already cause financial catastrophe across the world. This scared quite a few people, sure – though it’s doubtful that anyone actually changed their mind based on this information.
Many economic experts had already debunked this prediction. And, sure enough, the global market took the news just fine. There was a very brief, very small dip – followed by a rise in the value of the dollar. So why did so many analysts tell the public that some financial disaster was sure to occur
Part of it can be explained when we look at the anti-Trump fearmongering that occurred throughout the campaign. And while Trump’s “side” were certainly guilty of the same thing, there was definitely a lot of fake news and hyperbole being spread around to dissuade people from voting for Trump. He’s basically Hitler! He’ll start World War Three! He’ll bring back slavery! He’ll take away free speech! That sort of nonsense that outlets like The Huffington Post and The Guardian tried to convince you of. (It’s certainly a shame that his promises to “drain the swamp” – referring to the flushing out of corporate interests in America government – certainly seemed to have been dismissed right out of the gate, as his many haters predicted.)
So there’s definitely an element of fearmongering when it came to these predictions. But is that all there is? Was this supposed catastrophe supposed to occur simply because the world has a negative opinion of Trump? Or are there actually serious underlying economic concerns at play here? Certainly Clinton’s claims that Trump would cause hyperinflation by defaulting on debts was wildly misguided and hyperbolic. She even made a direct references to 1920s Germany and the recent Zimbabwe dollars crisis when discussing Trump’s economic statements.
One of the worst parts about this abysmal election, aside from America being forced to decide between the least popular candidates in American history, was how little attention was being paid to the policies. Y’know, the things that the candidates will actually do (or at least try to do) if they become President. And, unfortunately, there are a lot of reasons to be concerned about the long-term health of our economy with Trump in charge.
His recent actions involving Carrier set a bad precedent (pun only half-intended) when it comes to business interests going forward. Yes, he may have saved one thousand jobs, for the moment, by preventing Carrier from outsourcing jobs. But there’s a reason a company will want to outsource jobs: to keep their prices low. When governments interfere in the way Trump has done here, it increases manufacturing costs. This results in layoffs in the long run – the very ones you tried to avoid in the first place. The price of the end product also rises, putting more pressure on consumers. These sorts of regulations simply cause more damage in the grand scheme of things.
Still, this could just have been a short-term measure; a quick saving of 1000 jobs before he even becomes President certainly looks good on the surface. And Warren Buffet doesn’t seem too concerned about Trump’s impending effect on the economy. And if anyone should be worried, it would be him, right?
Still, there is cause for concern. This isn’t to say that Clinton would have helped the economy much, either. All projections suggest that she could have ended up causing a lot of economic damage herself, just in different areas.
At the end of the day, it’s time for us all to stop getting distracted by the histrionics of the mainstream media and to start paying close, serious attention to what our politicians are doing. The economics at play here aren’t always the most exciting thing. But they are extremely important, and will make up the bulk of any President’s actions throughout their term. Whether or not you supported Trump, you owe it to yourself to keep a close, scrutinous, even suspicious eye on everything he does during his Presidency. This is the attitude we should have towards all the people in charge. After all, isn’t it the government who is supposed to serve you?