A Hillary Clinton Presidency Means 10.6 Million Jobs & Higher Wages -- So Why Are Some Working People Voting for Trump Who Will Destroy 3.5 Million Jobs? by Nick Smyth


I support Hillary for many reasons, but today I'm going to focus on the reason that matters most to those struggling working Americans who have been left behind by the post-Recession boom.

Jobs. These voters desperately want decent jobs and, according to polls, are torn between Clinton and Trump, between big-promises Trump and more wonkish Hillary.

What would it take for them to make up their minds?

One fact is surely compelling: The U.S. economy has historically performed much better under Democratic presidents than under Republicans. This fascinating article (and graphs) show that, on literally every indicator, Democrats have done better: GDP growth, stock market performance, employment, job creation, and change in personal income.

Not surprisingly, the same is true at the state level as at national level. There is a correlation between median household income and percentage of state residents who voted for Obama in 2012. Same with poverty rates, standard of living, and life expectancy. People tend to be much better off in states that are governed by Democrats.

A skeptic might argue that correlation does not equal causation. Maybe people in more prosperous states just lean Democratic, for whatever reason. And maybe Democratic presidents just got lucky.

The blog suggests there is causation, both at the state and Federal level. It examines how GDP growth within states has fluctuated with Democratic and Republican governors (e.g. Minnesota and Florida) and finds better performance under Democrats than under Republicans. It also compares U.S. economic performance to that of some NATO allies and finds that the U.S. economy does disproportionately better than those allies under Democrats than under Republicans.

All of this means that whatever a voter's philosophy about government, if he or she cares about seeing wages and work prospects grow, the choice is Democratic candidates over Republicans. It doesn't matter whether you like government or hate it, whether you see it as a force for good or an impediment to job growth: the data is plain that Democrats have been far better at creating jobs and growing wages than the other guys have been.

Of course, we could remind white working class voters who are suffering now that most of them (and all of us) had it much worse 8 years ago. The Financial Crisis was enabled by Republicans who refused to rein in Wall Street excesses, which in turn wrecked Main Street.The economy was on the verge of collapse, we were losing jobs at a rate of 750,000 jobs per month, and rich guys like Trump saw it as an opportunity to cash in on the suffering of others.

And we could remind working people that the previous time Republicans had the White House, from 1981 to 1993, the median income of workers without college degrees made a steady march downwards, interrupted only by the terrific growth of Bill Clinton's presidency. (For some illustrative graphs on the fall in incomes for working families, see this article.)

However, the truth is that neither of these facts seem to be persuasive today with working people who have minimum wages or have lost their job. They are desperate for a break and will vote for whichever candidate seems most likely to create decent work for them.

Many like Trump because he magically promises to bring back all the jobs, but the non-partisan Moody's Analytics estimates that Hillary would create 10.4 million jobs during her four years, and that Trump would destroy 3.5 million jobs, a difference of 14 million jobs!

This is a massive difference, but getting ordinary folks to understand it will be a key challenge in this election because Trump and some media have turned the campaign into a reality TV show. Hillary needs to demonstrate enormous empathy and understanding for ordinary folks who have been left behind by globalization, private equity and tech disruption. These folks have been bilked by predatory lenders, they have been conned by false promises from the tea party, and they have been left behind by a corporate culture that ignores all stakeholders except shareholders. Don't talk to these voters about the economic recovery because it has mostly passed them by.

But now these voters have a candidate who has credible, detailed plans for a massive jobs and better wages program that will finally lift them up. What will it take for them choose her rather than be bamboozled by the false and cynical promises of a reality TV con man?


August 2, 2016

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