Now that we’re on the cusp of a new year, and the first full year of the Trump presidency, it is beyond time to call out those self-proclaimed economic gurus who predicted death and destruction for the U.S. and world economy upon the election of Donald Trump.
While pollsters rightly took a beating for their near-universal swing and miss at predicting the outcome of the 2016 election, how about those wizened, highly esteemed (read overrated) economic prognosticators populating the left-wing establishment media? Don’t they deserve an equal level of scrutiny? After all, while charges against Trump of racism, misogyny, authoritarianism, and others too numerous to count cannot be evaluated outside of subjective standards, economic forecasts most certainly can.
Yes, Paul Krugman, we’re looking at you. That insufferable, Trump-addled blowhard who writes opinion pieces for The New York Times once actually won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, which can only mean the Nobel standards were reduced to a point so low that they became unrecognizable. Hell, Barack Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize Prize after nine months in office in recognition of…well, no one really knows. The fact that Obama joined Woodrow Wilson (who got us into World War I) and Jimmy Carter (whose weakness practically invited the Soviets to invade Afghanistan) among the four presidents to win that “peace” prize tells you all you need to know about how obviously political that coveted award is.
Now that we’ve put the Nobel Prize in perspective, let us consider the dystopian predictions of Mr. Krugman the day after Donald Trump was elected President. Here are the highlights of his screed on November 9, 2016
“We are very possibly looking at a global recession with no end in sight…markets are plunging. If the question is when markets will recover, the first-pass answer is never…this is the mother of all adverse effects on the still-fragile U.S. economy…What (the election) brings with it is a regime that will be ignorant of economic policy and hostile to any effort to make it work.”
That column was such a rank embarrassment to the Gray Lady that the newspaper absorbed it into a much larger online page with their other writers entitled “What Happened on Election Day,” as you will see if you hit this link. They actually removed access to Krugman’s stand-alone column, a rare occurrence outside of stories which include proven falsehoods or induce legal challenges.
But The Times is likely grateful that they removed it, now that we have witnessed a 35% rise in the stock market since Trump was elected. Consumer confidence has soared as we are now about to conclude a third straight quarter of 3% economic growth, on top of the lowest unemployment rate of the century. And tax reform kicks in early next year. There’s more great news, but you get the point. What happened to Krugman’s award-winning prowess in “economic sciences”?
Just to put a fine point on Krugman’s TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome), he suggested in another column that Trump might gin up a 9/11-style attack on his own country to change the subject from his illegitimate electoral victory.
But lest we perseverate on this single disgraced columnist with rapidly vanishing relevance (though it’s still a worthy – and fun – pursuit), it’s not like Krugman was alone among economists in forecasting the destruction of the world economy under Trump, both before and after 11/8/16.
“How President Donald Trump will wreck the world economy,” read a headline in the U.K.’s The Independent. “Welcome to the Trump Recession” read one on 24/7 Wall St. The Chief Economist for HSBC, a huge British multinational banking and financial services company, wrote that Trump’s economic policies “would likely put the economy into a recession after a year or two.” (at least HSBC has another year to cling to their dire prediction).
Then there’s the “respected” Brookings Institution, which jumped on to the economic catastrophe bandwagon shortly before the election:
In almost every case back to 1880, equity markets have risen on the news that Republicans win elections and fallen when Democrats win. But our analysis of 2016 shows it to be a strong exception to this rule…even a comparison of the 2016 American election to the 1933 German election (when Hitler won) may be insufficiently pessimistic: “Given what’s happened in the United States, who’s going to save the world this time?”
While you just knew that even economists would have to bring Hitler into the equation, the scary predictions of world economic meltdown in a Trump presidency were not limited to only leftists. Shortly before the election, the Wall Street Journal polled 17 economists who had advised Republican presidents, and not a single one said they backed Trump. Yes, these GOP-friendly economists thought Hillary Clinton was a better bet for improving the economy.
We all know economics is an, uh, inexact science. But should these economic wizards be allowed to just skate past their historically wrong forecasts, hoping we will just forget them? If these people had bothered to look at Trump’s actual policy positions, instead of his unprecedented behavioral issues, perhaps they would have known the economy would not only recover, but thrive, once Trump took office.
Instead, these same economists have been reduced to rationalizing their stunningly wrong predictions by claiming things such as: this roaring economy will soon slow down, the stock market is headed for a massive correction, and the tax reform bill is not as good as it looks because it could theoretically raise taxes in ten years.
But now at least we know, if we didn’t before, what their predictions are worth: nothing.