State of the Union

Nope, Trump Doesn't Get Credit for Low Black Unemployment

Some of Trump's economic policies could be good for everyone, including African Americans. But those numbers aren't his doing.


"Something I am very proud of, African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded," said Donald Trump in tonight's State of the Union address.

Trump's wording is somewhat uncharacteristically circumspect here. He's "proud," he says, of the figures.

He wasn't so careful earlier on Twitter.

Earlier this week, the president took full credit, demanding: "Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!" He made a similar claim at Davos last week as well.

Trump's not alone in this: presidents love to project economic omnipotence and take credit for anything good that takes place under their administrations. And presidents do have the power to influence the economies of the countries they preside over. But the connection between Oval Office action and the movement of major economic indicators like unemployment or GDP is rarely as direct as presidents would like to claim, and certainly not as direct as Trump has made a habit of claiming in the run-up to the State of the Union.

The core fact in his black unemployment claim is true: it is currently the lowest it has ever been, at 6.8 percent. But that low is part of a roughly linear trend that goes back to about 2010, making it unlikely that anything Trump has done since he took office is primarily responsible for the figure.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

But the long-term trend of decreasing black unemployment is a reminder that catering to specific demographics or juicing certain sectors isn't what gets the real results. What matters is long-term economic growth, which is the product of forces larger and more powerful than any man, and long-term cultural change, which is the result of billions of people making the choice to be more compassionate, empathetic, and open every single day.

The president doesn't get credit for that. We do.

The irony is that Trump could be making a pretty decent case that some of his economic policies will facilitate growth and help black Americans in the long run: Trump's deregulatory bias and his leadership on the reduction of the corporate tax rate do increase growth potential. But nothing that Trump has done so far has has had time to show up in major economic indicators, including that black employment figure.

It remains to be seen whether his crony capitalist tendencies and his willingness to Bully Bribe Beg Borrow and Steal from American companies—following how own brand of corporate authoritarianism—will counteract the positive changes. Or whether an increase in protectionism, an uptick in trade spats, and a shrinking workforce due to immigration restrictions will squelch the growth the other reforms could make possible for everyone in the long run.

NEXT: Trump Says In SOTU That Administration Will Pursue Prison Reforms

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  1. the longer time-series of that chart is more interesting, and would be more defensible in an argument if there were a moving average line

    yes, presidents shouldnt get credit when macroeconomic numbers simply carry on w/ trends while they happen to be there.

    its sort of an evergreen point which is occasionally forgotten

    the only time a president might deserve some particular attention, at least, for influencing any given metric, is if that metric experiences some inflection point – significant change in the rate of change, or change in the direction of that movement – in anticipation of some policy-shift… like e.g. tax breaks, or ‘ending a war’, stuff like that.

    it would also make sense if presidents were occasionally attributed some responsibility for the things that happen which are distinctly *bad* … which experience those same sort of inflection points as a distinct consequence of known policy.

    e.g. as much as things like “changes to Title IX interpretation ” were written about here, for instance, rarely was it ever actually attributed to the president’s conscious policy decisions. Agency administrator might occasionally be named/blamed (e.g. llamon), but you’d be hard pressed to ever find journalists crediting the president for a significant change in how agencies behaved.

    1. “…the only time a president might deserve some particular attention, at least, for influencing any given metric, is if that metric experiences some inflection point – significant change in the rate of change, or change in the direction of that movement – in anticipation of some policy-shift… like e.g. tax breaks, or ‘ending a war’, stuff like that….”

      Whether by accident, mistake or design (and with Trump, it’s hard to tell) I think he’s done enough in this regard to claim quite a bit of responsibility for the market run up.
      Yes, he has not measurably reduced existing regulation, but he’s certainly cut the growth by a great amount; the market discounts the future. And there’s plenty to argue about in the tax reform (paying Musk’s wealthy customers for their eco-costume-jewelry is a bit much), but it certainly looks to increase profits and repatriate a lot of that overseas money.

      1. By comparison, a current book on FDR makes it clear that he had no idea of how wealth was enlarged; most all of the jobs he ‘created’ were make-work, producing nothing of value, nothing that would sell, and thereby increase the wealth of the seller and the buyer.
        And his business policies left businesses with no certainty that they would be able to keep their profits and, worse, no certainty that the government wouldn’t end up competing with them. It’s no wonder FDR managed to keep people poor for a very long time.
        Trump is a long way from owning the gains, but he’s proven adept at getting out of the way and letting business increase wealth.
        “What can we do to help you?” “Leave us alone.”

        1. He’s certainly doing a lot of the right things to prime the pump. Which is what a good president should do. After that he should also have the good sense to get out of the way and let industry get to work. For his faults, I think he understands that pretty well.

          1. “”prime the pump””

            Cutting corp taxes isn’t ‘priming the pump’. Its creating a “permanent” (until someone raises them) change in a base metric which promises higher profitability long term.

            What happened under Obama … Federal QE 1-3 – T bond buybacks, mostly …. were “priming the pump” by literally stuffing cash into banks and depressing the interests rates which basically made cash-holders (in theory) more likely to loan that money out in search of better return…

            …but which many didn’t. so its effect was minimal in terms of actual ‘stimulus’, and its net effect was to massively swell the fed debt.

            1. “What happened under Obama … Federal QE 1-3 – T bond buybacks, mostly …. were “priming the pump” by literally stuffing cash into banks and depressing the interests rates which basically made cash-holders (in theory) more likely to loan that money out in search of better return…
              …but which many didn’t. so its effect was minimal in terms of actual ‘stimulus’, and its net effect was to massively swell the fed debt.”

              But, that econ genius Obama (and his minions) KNEW where the taxpayer money should be spent to ‘prime the pump’, and the market said ‘up yours.’
              Cash for Clunkers should have been called “O-cars”; he deserves to have that pasted to his ass forever:
              “Obama’s Cash for Clunkers harmed the industry it was meant to help.”

              1. Every car I’ve owned classifies as a clunker! At least “O-cars” isn’t classist. Maybe being a community organizer in Chicago makes some decent money, but nobody shared any with me.

                All my cars are also Japanese which is why they were still running after 20+ years. The one Dodge (and only new car ever) my household bought in 1985 required a new engine at 27k miles and broke again after 5k more miles.

                But yes, let’s artificially prop failing American car companies so they don’t have to be competitive to succeed. That’s definitely how you encourage growth. Keynes said so, so it must be true (Keynes would slap Obama, et al. for that stunt).

            2. Repatriating a few trillion dollars fro, overseas certainly provides a shot in the arm.

              1. Depends on how it’s spent. If it just sits in a bank here versus there… notsomuch.

          2. “He’s certainly doing a lot of the right things to prime the pump”

            Agreeing with Gilmore, but a different take:
            FDR presumed he could ‘prime the pump’; that HE (or his minions) knew where to stuff (taxpayer) money to make things work again. Fail: That’s a 5-year plan under a different name.
            Trump is “Leave us alone.”.
            In my business, we do not need any ‘pump priming’ by some fool who presumes to know how our business will prosper. We need the fools in general to get out of the way and leave us alone.
            My business sells non-essentials; when the market rises, people tend to spend on things they want. We are doing fine, thank you, and yes, I do credit Trump with quite a bit of that, even if many of our customers whine about Trump as they place their orders.
            I instruct the staff not to laugh at them as they take the orders…

            1. Good that your business is doing fine. Many are not. Between a tax cut and repatriation of a few trillion dollars from overseas, we are seeing signs of increasing economic activity going forward. I’m not sure why this a difficult thing for anyone to gras. Or maybe too many here begrudge Trump any amount of credit for getting something good done.

              1. There are two halves to that tax cut bill. Cutting corporate taxes, while costly, isn’t where most of the outrage is aimed.

                And let’s not forget the $1.5T hit to the debt that was waived away with “trickle down economics” silliness.

                So yeah, there may be a peanut wedged into that pile of dogshit and maybe people should give Trump credit for the peanut too.

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  2. Pres. Trump vaingloriously claims credit because his downscale base is credulous enough to believe it and because he is insecure enough to need and deluded enough to believe he is entitled to claim that credit.

    1. Its actually not his own base that he’s making that point to, in my opinion.

      its the *other guy’s base*.

      who, it should be noted, at points felt like Obama + the dems hadn’t really delivered the goods for them, specifically. and whom were a notably underperforming constituency in some key areas of the country during the 2016 election

    2. “EVERY SINGLE president claims credit because his downscale base is credulous enough to believe it and because he is insecure enough to need and deluded enough to believe he is entitled to claim that credit.”

      Fixed it for you.

      If you’ve never noticed that all presidents, at least over the last 50 years, but probably more like the last 100 years or more, is an insecure/narcissistic egomaniac, deluded about lot of things, and dependent upon a credulous base of blind followers, then you really haven’t been paying attention.

      Either that, or you’ve completely bought into the “one major party good, other major party bad” delusion. Hopefully spending time around here will help cure you of that affliction.

      1. Nothing is likely to fix Artie. At least not in this century.

    3. Trump is doing far more to create an opportunity rich economic environment for everyone, which includes blacks. Obama worked hard for eight years to shit on them.

      1. +, well, a lot.

      2. Obama didn’t ‘shit’ on them. He was preparing them for the all encompassing largesse of the benevolent and protective leviathan.

        1. Same difference.

        2. Thomas, have you ever seen that leviathan take a dump? I don’t think we’re far apart on this one.

    4. Now tell us about how Obama presided over the strongest economic recovery in American history and the 10 trillion dollars of debt he racked up is Bush’s fault.

  3. Maybe it’s cherry picking, but the numbers didn’t go in the opposite direction. They’re all pretty meaningless stats, since they no longer count those not seeking work.

    1. I didn’t know this. When did this change? I hate it when people do that. Folks take “scientists/researches say,” statements with too much trust. I’m guilty of it because of laziness, but I’m willing to dig in when my bullshit sensor is chiming.

      Want to make 3=0? Move the coordinate system so the origin is at (3,0).

      1. During the recession was when it mattered. They’ve always not counted people who weren’t looking for work, but during the recession that number climbed into the millions. Basically the way you can figure out the real math is by looking at labor force participation rate. It declined multiple percentage points, and has never fully recovered. People just gave up looking and retired early. If you add in those figures our current unemployment rate, compared to pre recession, is a few percent higher than reported.

  4. If economies stopped and restarted with each new government, then it would be easy to attribute where the success and failure can be applied.

    But economies flow endlessly like rivers into the sea so it’s near impossible. Leaders will always benefit – or not – from the previous administration. They take too much credit for when things fly and too much blame when they don’t.

    Which makes Obama’s constant claim of ‘inheriting a mess’ all the more absurd and cynical.

    Gee, duh, Obama. And no one forced you to take the job so you take the good with the bad.

    1. It’s funny, but the “inheriting a mess” claim never bothered me that much. What bothered me a whole lot more was that inheriting a mess was somehow the justification for an concerted effort to make it worse.

      Complain about your predecessor’s needless foreign wars that drag on and on? Solution: double-down on existing ones and start new ones of your own!

      Complain about your predecessor’s sluggish economic progress? Solution: institute more federal stupidity to fan the flames.

      Complain about your predecessor’s spying on Americans and civil rights violations? Solution: Keep that going and ramp it up some more!

      That guy has to be the biggest conman in the White House in modern memory, and that is not a low bar when you consider they are all master con artists to even get anywhere near occupying the White House.

      1. Good points all but that’s exactly, to me anyway, what bothered me about it. It gave him a convenient out and excuse do what you just said.

        Now watching Joe Kennedy. Oof.

        I just can’t take this emotional nonsense. As if Obama wasn’t divisive with his class warfare mumbo-jumbo.

        And what’s that grease in the corners of his mouth?

        1. Sounds like the DNC is gonna stick to the SJW narrative and game plan.

          1. Good. I hope they keep doubling down on the SJW bullshit. Everybody, including many of the shitlibs I am friends with here in Seattle, are starting to tire of at least certain aspects of how crazy it has got. People NOT in the coastal areas seem to be completely against most of it at this point. It’s just going to alienate more and more sane people, and not going to expand their voting block at all. All the hardcore lefties are already on board, and wouldn’t leave them even if they softened their messaging a bit, but the middle of the road folks are really getting tired of it all.

            Republicans are awful… And I keep waiting for the libertarian moment to come rolling around… But until then I’ll settle for the Democrats crashing and burning I guess.

            1. Maybe if libertarians could refrain from running to the left of Democrats on social and economic policy they might have more success. Not even Clinton advocated conscripting Jews to bake cakes for Nazis or ban wearing religious garments. Plus I’m reasonably sure she knows what Aleppo is.

              1. Libertarians are usually decent on fiscal stuff, but I do think many have taken the progressive friendly social stuff TOO FAR. The official position should be “It’s not the governments business, so I will not endorse laws favoring one side or the other. I will make laws that leave it up to individuals.” Instead they virtue signal the progressive side, including using state force to enforce it. Not libertarian. You can be in favor of gays not being burned at the stake, and ALSO in favor of NOT forcing gay wedding cakes to be baked against the bakers will.

        2. “Now watching Joe Kennedy. Oof.”

          Rufus, I appreciate you taking one for the team.

          1. I gotta do what I gotta do.

            1. See that new red paint? I’m watching it dry.

      2. Obama fooled a lot of people. It frustrates me how many folks blindly worship him; he’s charismatic and a better speaker than Bill Clinton, and that’s unsettling. And I get it, he seems cool. I’m sure it’d be fun to play a round of pickup basketball with him, but I just can’t trust somebody so adept at lying. Trump literally can’t tell the truth, but he’s not fooling anyone. Nobody has to even make excuses about Obama inheriting an awful economy. People would love him anyway. Blind adoration is dangerous, and Trump has his fair share of similar fans.

        And like Rufus said, Obama seriously stoked racial tensions, which I think earned Trump a few spite votes that he wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.

        1. Also Trump and Obama both play obscene amounts of golf. If citizens took that much time off the government would go broke.

        2. I would argue Bill Clinton was a vastly superior speaker to Obama.

          I don’t know why everyone thinks he’s such a great speaker/orator.

          It was all mumbo-jumbo cliched rubbish laced with ums and uhs.

          1. ^This. Anyone who has taken a public speaking course will tell you Obama was a terrible public speaker. Even with a prompter he stumbled over his words and said “um” and “uh” a thousand times. At times when the prompter failed he was completely lost.

            1. It was also funny seeing Obama acolytes saying it is not impressive that Trump can read off a teleprompter…ignoring that it was one of the few skills their Messiah had.

            2. My wife claimed it’s a lawyers thing to let it sink in. I claimed he needed to remove Michelle’s phallus from his mouth.

          2. I enjoyed listening to Bill Clinton. He always seemed to be taking everything he said with a little grain of salt and finding it just a tiny bit funny or ironic.

            Obama was so unrelentingly sure he was the sole source of goodness in the USA I just couldn’t listen to him. The day the rise of the oceans starts to slow? Incidentally, according to 139% of scientists, that didn’t happen…

    2. No one forces you to redirect every discussion to Obama, neither.

      1. Uh, what is the point?
        Hint: These are threaded comments and you’ve been here long enough to know it.
        Copy and paste the comment to which you’re replying or don’t bother posting.

      2. No one forced you to spend 8 years blaming all of Obama’s failings on Bush either. If you don’t like tuquoque arguments you probably shouldn’t base your entire political identity on it.

  5. I’ve always found it retarded how much credit people give the president for everything towards the beginning of their term, especially the economy.

    As far as economics go, in the first year or two the only real effect they can have is in the confidence level of businesses. On that front Trump has definitely done well. He hasn’t done too much in the way of anything, but people think he isn’t go to do anything that is anti business either for the most part. So there, I think he has probably done far better than Hillary would have done.

    Imagine if HRC had won… She’d be trying to pass carbon taxes, hiking up taxes on the rich/businesses, all manner of crazy left wing shit. Do you think THAT would have inspired more confidence in businesses??? Hell no. So doing an A/B comparison, I’m pretty sure Trump’s economy is chugging along a lot stronger than an HRC economy would have been.

    The real test will be to see how much money gets repatriated from overseas and invested here. I think many businesses are doing the bonuses and pledging investments because they KNOW they better SHOW that stuff happening or else people will be pissed about the cuts. If they see the benefits in their face it’ll be harder to argue against the cuts, which they obviously want to keep around. We’re over due for a recession, but this stimulus may well keep it at bay for a few more years, we’ll see.

    1. On carbon taxes:

      What is the libertarian position on pollution?

      Pollution is an externality. It’s an uncaptured cost of doing business that ends up being paid by others without their consent.

      So should a company that generates pollution attempt to internalize that cost (carbon tax, for example) and include it in the cost of the product in order to ensure the market responds more accurately? Or should they just dump it into the environment willy-nilly and dare people to sue them?

      1. Well Shawn, that’s one of the more complicated issues to tackle from a pure libertarian position for the reasons you spell out.

        There are hardcore libertarian theories on such things. Like letting people sue, which would establish bounds of what would be likely outcomes, which would probably make most companies minimize especially nasty stuff on their own because they don’t want to be sued. After 10 guys get sued for doing the same thing and found guilty, everybody would know it is an open and shut case, and not do it for fear of the repercussions.

        How many mechanics intentionally do shoddy work on cars to maximize their profits, knowing that they may be sued for being fraudulent in their faulty work? Not many, hence self policing works decently most of the time. It’s the same principle. Back in the day NOBODY gave a shit about pollution, which is why it got so bad. People do nowadays, so it would probably be kept in check reasonably well.

        Carbon, is a whole different thing from known nasty chemical pollution. Carbon may or may not even be having any real effects on anything, it IS still debated in the real world outside of left wing politician land. It is a green house gas, but we don’t really know how much of an effect it is really having from our emissions, and if it IS doing exactly what the IPCC says it is highly likely that half the planet will in fact benefit from its effects anyway! So that’s a bad example. But there are plenty of definitively nasty things.

      2. My personal take is that I wouldn’t mind BASIC laws that say things like “You can’t dump acid directly into rivers, asshole!” and so on. But the stuff we have now is so micro managed and so overbearing that it is ridiculous. I’m not a pure libertarian on a lot of stuff, as I will concede SOME basic things, if kept within reason, are easier to just have laws about. The problem is when they laws get out of control to the point of insanity as many are in the USA today.

        For instance some of the environmental laws passed in the 70s were probably within reason. 90% of those passed in the 2000s/2010s were just overkill because our country was already very clean. But the greenies kept fighting a battle they already won to get crazier and crazier laws passed, because nothing is ever “good enough” for them, when in fact we were already at “good enough” by any reasonable standards.

        Does it help the environment to kill industries in the USA with overly onerous rules, when they will in fact just go to China where they have even fewer controls, which is actually worse for the environment… Or might it be reasonable to accept that a little pollution has to happen for humanity to exist, and in fact it will be better than it going to China?

      3. The air and water is cleaner now than 50 or even 100 years ago. We have more acres of forest land. Yet they push for even more crazy stuff every day. We could not add a single new law and our environment would be plenty nice forever. We could roll back many things and it would be equally nice. It’s all about being sane/reasonable on this IMO.

        Also, all the “environmental” laws we have that don’t really have any real large scale externalities to speak of are BS. Why is it illegal for someone to cut down trees on their property they bought and paid for to put in a farm, or a pond, or a mini golf course, or a house, etc. It’s not going to give some kid down the street cancer if a guy decides to cut down an acre of trees to build a pond. It’s a combo of environmental extremism and NIMBYism. Those kinds of laws should all go.

  6. How much of lowering Black unemployment is due to Blacks leaving the workforce?

    1. Eight years of people rolling their eyes at any question about plummeting workforce participation rates is your answer.

    2. It’s possible that there isn’t any.

      There’s a Republican president, house, and senate, with a Republican majority of governors and statehouses. It’s very likely that the Obama-friendly method of counting the unemployed was ditched the second Trump became president-elect.

      1. that criteria was started under Reagan so we can’t blame others for following it. its still gives false info but thats what they do

    3. Explain me something. Doesn’t the Dept of Labour collect the data? Aren’t they, ostensibly, supposed to compile it based on their own criteria regardless of who is President? As such, isn’t it supposed to be the most reliable source?

      1. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does.

        The problem with how unemployment is defined is the problem. By the Bureau’s own longstanding definition, once your unemployment benefits run out, you are no longer considered unemployed. I guess they figure you MUST find a job or you will end up starving and homeless. It doesn’t take into account a) those with college degrees waiting tables, b) former double income families with now only one wage earner, and c) kids moving back into the parent’s home.

        By federal law, once you start working, you are required to submit yearly federal tax form(s) whether you have an income or not. The easiest, and cheapest, way to track the health of our work force is to add 6 lines to the income tax form and have each taxpayer fill it out, and then have the IRS turn the data over to the BLS for analysis:

        Please check the circle below that fits your current employment condition:
        O Fully employed
        O Partially employed
        O Under employed (working, but making less and/or working in a position below your skill/education level
        O Unemployed
        O Physically/mentally disabled and unable to work.

        It’s only with an accurate picture, that we can address the employment situation.

        1. Currently, a more accurate measure of the health of our work force is the Work Force Participation Rate (WFPR) put out by the BLS. Its a measurement of all work eligible people, 16 years of age and older either working or looking for work. This measurement started in the late 70’s when for the 1st time more than 50% of women were in the work force. Its highest point was 67.8%, it’s lowest was under Obama at 62.4%, In Obama’s 8 years it climbed to 62.7%. Under Trumps 1st year it peaked at 63.4% right before the 2017 holiday season. As of January 2018 its at 63.0% So in 11 months of Trump’s term it jumped 0.3%, the same as Obama’s 8 year term.

          Sometimes is not the policies of a president that affect employment but rather the confidence a president can instill in the economy that makes a difference. It’s the same as the unemployment numbers. Even though they are not accurate, they can instill confidence in the employers, or instill fear and doom. Make the employers feel optimistic and they will hire. Make them think a recession is coming and they will cut back on expenses as a safeguard. Businesses always try to stay a step ahead of actual conditions..i.e. seeing Christmas decorations in late October.

          1. Thanks.

            “…but rather the confidence a president can instill in the economy that makes a difference.”

            Without a doubt. I think this is indeed at play here.

  7. It’s possible the BLS changed their methodology again. but I doubt it. Regardless, when you redrawn the chart the methodology still remains constant in today’s terms.

    Since 1980 the only time black unemployment was higher was around 1982. After that it largely trended down until the massive increases seen in 2007-2009 (which IMO is largely due to the bursting of the housing bubble and subsequent drop in construction employment.) What we have seen subsequently is a gradual return to the long run trend line.

    The place where I am willing to point fingers is the period from 2009-20012, where Obama’s statist heavy hand largely prevented any sort of meaningful recovery.

    If, in the next 3 years or so that trend line continues it’s decline, then Trump will be the one responsible for something truly new and positive.

  8. I find it interesting that the three presidents who most soundly doubted government presided over the greatest economic growth.

    Reagan – “Government *is* the problem”

    Clinton – “The era of big government is over”

    Trump – OK, it’s hard to quote Trump because I think he’s nearly a random walk in his pronouncements, but in general he gives the impression that government doesn’t work.

    1. What about Obama? His numbers are as good as or better than those under Trump to date.

      1. “What about Obama? His numbers are as good as or better than those under Trump to date.”

        The best you can say about Obo is that he didn’t screw the economy as badly as FDR did.
        Both started from record lows and managed to keep them low for a looong time.

        1. You could also make a pretty good argument that what few gains the Obama administration did accrue were largely due to the miscalculations that led to reduced spending through the sequester.

    2. Government rarely works as efficient as private industry. Government is best suited to only monitoring the compliance activities of private industry.

  9. Nope, Trump Doesn’t Get Credit for Low Black Unemployment”

    actually Trump does get credit since it hasn’t gone back up it has continued down even though he is a racist pig, so I’m told.

  10. Nope, Trump Doesn’t Get Credit for Low Black Unemployment

    ‘Reason’ does not agree with the premise that lower taxes and less regulation leads to more economic activity and by extension more employment?

  11. Nope, Trump Doesn’t Get Credit for Low Black Unemployment

    ‘Reason’ does not agree with the premise that lower taxes and less regulation leads to more economic activity and by extension more employment?

    1. I’m sure Trump get credit for the squirrels…

  12. The last paragraph destroyed validity of the rest of the text.

  13. For your stated claim and/or the graph you’ve offered in its support are to be taken seriously, you will first have to convince that post-2010’s apparently falling rate is a measure of a decrease in unemployment. Is not, that is, the consequence of the same removal of folk from the labor force that allowed the Obama Gang to claim, as the numbers of the unemployed grew by the hundreds of thousands, a declining rate of general unemployment!

    My money, NYC (Trump Tower and all!) to a single brick, says: YES! President Trump DOES SO Get Credit for low Black Unemployment

  14. I agree with this. The participants in the market create the prosperity – gov’t just impedes it.

    But Trump is just playing politics and that is how they work. If he succeeds in doing more deregulation, which I don’t think any candidate from either party in 2016 had the will to do, then I hope he succeeds. Trump made noises about making changes to Davis Bacon. That would be great. I think he would if he could get enough GOP in the senate and retain the ones in the house. Last night he talked about civil service reform beyond the VA. That would also be much needed.

    I don’t like Trump’s populist stuff. Pandering on health care, prescription drugs, NAFTA. NAFTA has been very beneficial to most Americans. But the fact of the matter is you can either go along w/ a guy with some support of working class ex-Democrats or you can lose and have more Obama types. There just isn’t a big enough market for free market capitalism. Some compromise has to be made and hopefully it is watered down. And maybe even that won’t work. In which case, the only answer is moving assets and businesses out of the US.

  15. The first chart I saw showed stats back to the 1970s. Those stats indicated that Obama inherited a black unemployment rate that was as low as it had ever been. But it had been that low a few times before. It looked like a standing wave. Up, down, up, down. But never getting lower than it was when Obama took office. During Obamas tenure, it went way up, during the crash. By the end of his 8 years, it was back where he started… in that never-lower trough. So, there HAS been an inflection point right at the moment that Trump came along. If the historical pattern had continued, black unemployment would have continued “low” or started to rise again. Instead, it went the opposite way, into uncharted territory. Lower and lower. It is remarkable. Who gets the credit can be debated, and how the numbers don’t reflect the entire reality is annoying. But if the criteria stayed the same, something new really has happened. As someone who has always owned my own business, confidence that the governemnt cares about you is “Uuuuge”. I can also tell you that constant harassment, and the endless left-wing vilification of capitalism, was depressing and de-incentivizing. If that line continues down for a while, I’m going to award it to Trump.

  16. Lets address the grossly biased and misleading last paragraph of Mangu-Wards post.
    The current 4% + unemployment rate numbers are an average of the full spectrum of all income levels. At the upper income end the unemployment rate levels are in the 1-2% range and inversely much higher at the middle to lower income levels than the overall unemployment rate. The problem is the influx of illegals with little to no education will just increase the unemployment rate levels at the lower income end, thus making it harder for poor US citizens to find a job. The illegals, in taking jobs at nearly any income offer, also helps to suppress the natural market wage rates. Understand, the illegals are leaving South American countries and Mexico where less than a $1 per hour is not too uncommon of a wage rate. To them $4 per hr is great money (the theory of relativity). This always happens when there are too many job seekers for the available open positions. In the mean time the taxpayers are paying for unemployment subsidies.
    Healthy wage increases occur when labor conditions are very tight. Who hates tight labor conditions? Employers that like cheap labor.

  17. If the stock market had tanked 5,000 points this year and black unemployment had gone up, Trump would be getting 100 percent of the blame.

  18. Ms. Mangu-Ward,
    OF COURSE Trump can’t take full credit for Black low unemployment, but that’s never stopped other presidents. Such claims are rarely seriously contested. Trump has the helm and is responsible for what happens. The captain of a ship is court-martialed if his vessel runs aground, even if it was a relief crew that did it. I’m saddened and disappointed when a libertarian or Libertarian is too clever by half and sounds “stupid on purpose.” Obama blamed Bush for all the bad and took credit for all the good. So lighten up and ride some other hobby horse.

    To Brian Doherty, my Mexican-American family members know more about immigration than you ever will except perhaps as a statistical study. They experienced it. Trump was not at all conflating all immigrants with MS-13, although my relatives consider them a serious threat. If he was so conflating them, why would he offer a way to legalization for the DACA beneficiaries? You sound like the Leftists who accuse Trump of anti-Semitism when he has a Jewish son-in-law who is close to him and has a very pro-Israel foreign policy. Of course, those criticizing him often don’t care about facts. They suffer from “graduate student’s syndrome,” using only evidence that supports their thesis. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Doherty in the past. As an award-winning speechwriter, I often admire both the elegance of his prose and his marshaling of the evidence. But this, Mr. Doherty isn’t anywhere near your usual standards.

  19. You mean African-American unemployment levels fell around the time Obama deported millions of illegal immigrants. Anyway … how about that weather? It is getting warmer every day. Should I blame fossil fuel consumption?

  20. The author complains about “a shrinking work force due to immigration restrictions;” yet asserts that Trump’s immigration policy does not positively affect black unemployment. If there are less unskilled or low-skilled workers coming into the country and competing with black for jobs, how does this not make it easier for blacks to gain employment and make higher wages? Does the author even understand the law of supply and demand?

  21. If HIllary had won the black unemployment would have stagnated and the low wage jobs would continue to grow. GEEZE.

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