Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Obviously, Trump’s Economy Is Indeed The Best In History

The BBC asks the question and the answer has to be yes, it is true that Trump’s US economy is the best in history. Subject to a particular and precise definition of course, but true as long as that is accepted:

US economy under Trump: Is it the best in history?

Quite obviously and clearly, yes. For never before have 320 million people, not in all human history, lived at such an unparalleled level of wealth and income. In terms of economic outcome this is the apogee, this is the best that anyone, ever, has done.

Claim: President Trump says the US economy is the best it’s ever been.

He has been repeating that message in the run-up to the mid-term elections in November, when voters choose members of both chambers of Congress, some state governors as well as state and local officials.

According to one estimate by the Washington Post in early September, the president had made the claim – or a variant of it – 40 times in the previous three months.

Reality Check verdict: Yes, the economy has been doing well – but there have been periods when it was even stronger.

And there are some indicators that have not really improved – such as wage growth and household income.

Ah, no, that’s to confuse level with rates of change – to get the distinction between speed and acceleration wrong.

The US has grown faster at points in history, incomes have risen faster at such and other points. Inequality has been lower if that’s something you care about. But that’s all to be talking about rates of change. Which can, of course, be described as better, but that’s not normally the way we do talk about things. “Better” usually refers to levels. GDP per capita is at an all time peak. That means collective output, or incomes, or consumption – by design the three are equal in our measure – are higher than they’ve ever been. So, yes, Trump’s economy is the best the US has ever seen.

All of which does leave the question of how much Trump is responsible for this but let’s glide over that shall we? For if we were in a recession he most certainly would be blamed so why not allow him the glory when we’re not?

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