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How the Trump economy compares to economies under other presidents – CNN

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AMERICA’S ECONOMY

President Donald Trump inherited a strong economy, and it continued to grow at a healthy rate during his first three years in office. Then the Covid-19 pandemic changed everything.

At the start of Donald Trump’s presidency in January 2017, the economy was healthy.

Employers had added jobs for 76 months straight — the longest hiring streak on record at the time — and unemployment was just 4.7%, a 10-year low. Corporate profits were near all-time highs, and so were stocks. Overall, gross domestic product was growing around 2.5% a year — a modest rate for the world’s largest economy. Not everything was rosy: the federal debt was at its highest level since the 1950s. But by most metrics, it was hard to deny: the economy was on solid footing. And fortunately for Trump, the growth continued from there.

Then came the pandemic.

Below, we’ve tracked 10 indicators to show how the economy evolved under each president from Ronald Reagan to Trump. Keep in mind, each presidency started under different circumstances. George W. Bush’s first year in office was plagued by the dot-com bust and the September 11th attacks. Barack Obama’s started with the Great Recession, following a devastating housing crash and a global financial crisis. Despite these crises, however, most recent presidents have presided over a growing economy during their time in office. The Trump presidency will be characterized by the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which is still playing out both as a health crisis and an economic one.

Hover over the charts to see how the economy under Trump compares with how it evolved under his predecessors.

JobsBig losses

Up until 2020, President Trump’s first term was characterized by solid job growth, but then the pandemic wiped out about 15% of American jobs in just two months. Since May, the economy has recovered only about half those jobs, and Trump is heading into the election with the worst job losses on record under any president.

In contrast, at this point in Obama’s presidency, the job market was up 0.4%. He took office at a time when employers were cutting hundreds of thousands of jobs a month. Hiring kicked into higher gear later in his presidency.

UnemploymentA big rise

By the time Trump entered office, he had inherited one of the strongest job markets in American history from Obama. But Covid-19 swiftly put an end to that. The unemployment rate shot to 14.7%, up 10 percentage points from when Trump took office. Although it has improved slightly since then, unemployment still remained elevated in September. No other president has encountered such a sudden spike in joblessness.

Trump loves to talk about how middle class incomes have increased during his presidency — and that was true in his first three years. In September, the Census Bureau released data showing that the median American household earned $68,703 in 2019 — up $5,800 or 9% from 2016, after adjusting for inflation. A strong job market helped lift incomes, as more people worked full-time, year-round. And more than 20 states also raised their minimum wage, boosting earnings for low-income workers.

We don’t have data for 2020 yet, but the pandemic will surely impact those numbers in a big way. For some families, $1,200 stimulus checks and a temporary $600 boost in weekly unemployment benefits actually lifted incomes during the pandemic. But many others, especially those who have lost businesses or are grappling with long-term joblessness, are struggling to make ends meet.

S&P 500Big gains

The longest bull market in history began shortly after Obama entered office and continued well into Trump’s presidency. Investors welcomed Trump’s corporate tax cuts in 2017, and although the trade war with China put them on edge, stocks enjoyed a record-breaking run all the way up to 2020. At the start of the pandemic in 2020, the S&P 500 plunged 34% in about a month, before recovering later in the summer. As of October 27, the index was up 49% in Trump’s presidency, overall. While that quick bounce-back is a bright spot for him, it also contrasts with 76% stock gains under Obama and 64% gains under Clinton at the same point in their presidencies.

Home pricesBig gains

The housing market is one of the few parts of the economy that hasn’t dramatically declined during the pandemic. That’s in part because record-low interest rates and the work-from-home trend have led city dwellers to buy homes in suburban and rural areas, boosting home prices in many regions. It’s also because extensive measures, including a moratorium on evictions and forbearance programs for mortgages, have helped struggling families weather the crisis so far. Those unpaid bills could eventually catch up to millions of families, causing distress in the housing market. But so far, home prices are up 21% since Trump’s inauguration.

Food pricesSmall increases

If it feels like your grocery bill is higher lately, that’s because food prices did surge suddenly during the pandemic. Over the longer haul, however, they’ve been relatively stable. At this same point in the presidencies of Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush, food prices were already up 9% or more. They’re up only 6.1% under Trump, and were up 5.9% under Obama, reflecting an era of low inflation.

Consumer spendingUp, but underperforming

American consumers are the backbone of the US economy and are not easily fazed. Although consumers sharply cut back on spending at the start of the pandemic, they were quick to reopen their wallets in May and June once stimulus checks and unemployment benefits came to their aid. Retail spending on goods, particularly through online retailers, rebounded swiftly. (Meanwhile, spending on services like haircuts, travel and dining out at restaurants remains well below pre-Covid-19 norms.) Even with a quick recovery, though, consumer spending has grown less under Trump than under any of the prior five presidents.

Manufacturing jobsBarely changed

American manufacturing jobs peaked in 1979, and no president other than Clinton has presided over gains in factory jobs since then. So when Trump promised to bring back factory jobs, it was a tall order. In Trump’s first three years, the manufacturing sector did add some jobs, but in 2020, the pandemic ruined what little progress those workers had enjoyed. As of September, the sector was down 164,000 jobs, or 1.3% from when Trump took office. That said, layoffs at factories were even steeper under Presidents Reagan, Obama and the Bushes, as globalization and technological progress reduced America’s manufacturing workforce.

Debt-to-GDPA big rise

The federal government’s debt burden hasn’t been this high relative to the size of the economy since World War II, but it didn’t get there during Trump’s presidency alone. The debt grew under Reagan, who ushered in massive tax cuts, and it surged under Obama, who used federal stimulus funds to aid the economy during the Great Recession.

At the time Trump took office, the debt totaled around 76% of GDP. But by mid 2020, it was 105% – a 29 percentage-point increase during his presidency. Economists often argue for paying down the debt when the economy is strong, and spending more when the economy is weak. But despite his promises to “get rid of” the debt, Trump has grown it in both good times and bad. While much of that increase came from coronavirus relief funds, earlier policies like corporate tax cuts and an increase in defense spending also fueled the rise.

Gross domestic productA deep recession

The widest measure of economic activity — gross domestic product — measures the value of the goods and services produced in the country. It typically grows between 2% to 3% per year after adjusting for inflation. Trump’s first three years were all within that range, but 2020 saw a deep decline. We don’t have a full year of data yet, but the second quarter was the worst in records going back to 1947. Third-quarter data is due out on Thursday, and is expected to show some improvement — but not a full recovery.

Many economists predict businesses and workers will not fully bounce back from this severe economic downturn for years.

Additional development by Byron Manley

Notes

The gross domestic product lines are calculated as percentage change from the fourth quarter preceding each president’s inauguration, which is the most recent data before they took office. The lines for median income are calculated as percentage change from the last calendar year preceding each president’s inauguration. The lines showing unemployment and the federal debt are calculated as percentage-point change, since those two metrics started as ratios. All other lines are calculated as percentage change from the January when each president was inaugurated. President Reagan isn’t featured in the home prices data because the data is only available back to 1987 and doesn’t encompass his entire presidency.

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Galloway: to oxygenate economy, break up Big Tech – CNN

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Consortium of Indigenous chiefs seeking a way to participate in cannabis economy – Maple Ridge News

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Indigenous communities have been left out of the Canadian cannabis economy, and a group of Indigenous chiefs are out to change that for the good of their communities.

Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y First Nation says a consortium they’re calling “All Nations Chiefs” has worked for months to negotiate an agreement for on-reserve cannabis distribution directly with the province – but to no avail.

“It’s been two years since the rollout where they did not consult adequately with First Nations,” said Gladstone. “We are trying to find a way to participate in this new economy.”

To get there, they’ve organized an online forum with All Nations Chiefs from the communities of Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets for the morning of Dec. 2. Organizers have invited Premier John Horgan, stakeholders, and the public to join them in the virtual dialogue on the cannabis question.

Gladstone described the recalcitrance from provincial counterparts as “another pathway out of poverty blocked” for First Nations communities across Canada, noting that only four per cent of Canadian cannabis licences are Indigenous-affiliated.

“That four per cent should be disturbing to everyone,” he said.

The group has also launched a petition that had almost 1,500 signatures by Nov. 27.

“We are asking Honourable Premier Horgan to take real action towards reconciliation and honour his government’s platform commitment to the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights (UNDRIP) by allowing First Nations to participate in B.C.’s cannabis industry,” according to the petition preamble.

Since legalization, local First Nations leaders have been trying to control their own their destinies by finding a way to participate in the emerging economy “on a nation-to-nation basis,” the chief said.

Shxwha:y officials decided to go the route of applying for a Section 119 licence agreement under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Agreement Act, Chief Gladstone explained.

A Section 119 licence is required to legally distribute cannabis from retail stores on reserve land, and involve the province entering into agreements with individual First Nations, which supersede the Act. Only one community has signed such an agreement to date, the Williams Lake Indian Band. The Shxwha:y application used the Williams Lake vision as their model.

Some of the on-reserve cannabis stores in the area without provincial licensing have been operating in what government officials would describe as a grey area legally, while leaders are trying to negotiate a better way, with formal applications pending.

They started on-reserve stores under the inherent laws of their nation rather than under provincial licensing, some by enacting cannabis laws through land codes.

Those models differ from the route chosen by the owners of the first fully licensed cannabis store on reserve, which is The Kure on the Skwah reserve.

“The ultimate goal is to codify and harmonize the laws and regulations among all three levels of government,” Gladstone underlined.

But months later they are stymied, with no timeline, feedback or any response from the provincial government on their application. So they’re stepping up the pressure.

“We are reaching out. If they don’t answer, it’s a direct way of saying they are not interested in working toward a government-to-government relationship. There’s just no other way to interpret this.”

The online forum next Wednesday will focus on solutions to bring inclusivity and diversity to the nascent cannabis sector with First Nations involvement.

They feel they’ve put in the work to give the province a workable model.

“Now all we ask is recognition for our inherent right to trade and barter,” Gladstone said.

Chief Gladstone tells a story of how cannabis has changed everything in his village and beyond.

In total more than 100 people are working in the on-reserve stores around the Chilliwack area.

“These workers are not on CERB or social assistance,” Gladstone said.

As of a couple of years ago there were only four people working in Shxwha:y village. Now there are 13 jobs being held down currently at the store, and another 30 at the cultivation facility, where All Nations Cannabis Corp. is a Health Canada licensed cultivator and licensed producer applicant.

“It’s changed the standard of living for many in our village, going from abject poverty to a tier closer to the middle class,” Gladstone said. “So this is a success story.

“What we’re saying to the province is: ‘Don’t destroy this miracle of economic revival.’

“We’re just asking for co-operation.”

READ MORE: Cannabis stores rolling through the pandemic

READ MORE: Chilliwack has unique approach to cannabis retail

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
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Consortium of Indigenous chiefs seeking a way to participate in cannabis economy – North Delta Reporter

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Indigenous communities have been left out of the Canadian cannabis economy, and a group of Indigenous chiefs are out to change that for the good of their communities.

Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y First Nation says a consortium they’re calling “All Nations Chiefs” has worked for months to negotiate an agreement for on-reserve cannabis distribution directly with the province – but to no avail.

“It’s been two years since the rollout where they did not consult adequately with First Nations,” said Gladstone. “We are trying to find a way to participate in this new economy.”

To get there, they’ve organized an online forum with All Nations Chiefs from the communities of Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets for the morning of Dec. 2. Organizers have invited Premier John Horgan, stakeholders, and the public to join them in the virtual dialogue on the cannabis question.

Gladstone described the recalcitrance from provincial counterparts as “another pathway out of poverty blocked” for First Nations communities across Canada, noting that only four per cent of Canadian cannabis licences are Indigenous-affiliated.

“That four per cent should be disturbing to everyone,” he said.

The group has also launched a petition that had almost 1,500 signatures by Nov. 27.

“We are asking Honourable Premier Horgan to take real action towards reconciliation and honour his government’s platform commitment to the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights (UNDRIP) by allowing First Nations to participate in B.C.’s cannabis industry,” according to the petition preamble.

Since legalization, local First Nations leaders have been trying to control their own their destinies by finding a way to participate in the emerging economy “on a nation-to-nation basis,” the chief said.

Shxwha:y officials decided to go the route of applying for a Section 119 licence agreement under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Agreement Act, Chief Gladstone explained.

A Section 119 licence is required to legally distribute cannabis from retail stores on reserve land, and involve the province entering into agreements with individual First Nations, which supersede the Act. Only one community has signed such an agreement to date, the Williams Lake Indian Band. The Shxwha:y application used the Williams Lake vision as their model.

Some of the on-reserve cannabis stores in the area without provincial licensing have been operating in what government officials would describe as a grey area legally, while leaders are trying to negotiate a better way, with formal applications pending.

They started on-reserve stores under the inherent laws of their nation rather than under provincial licensing, some by enacting cannabis laws through land codes.

Those models differ from the route chosen by the owners of the first fully licensed cannabis store on reserve, which is The Kure on the Skwah reserve.

“The ultimate goal is to codify and harmonize the laws and regulations among all three levels of government,” Gladstone underlined.

But months later they are stymied, with no timeline, feedback or any response from the provincial government on their application. So they’re stepping up the pressure.

“We are reaching out. If they don’t answer, it’s a direct way of saying they are not interested in working toward a government-to-government relationship. There’s just no other way to interpret this.”

The online forum next Wednesday will focus on solutions to bring inclusivity and diversity to the nascent cannabis sector with First Nations involvement.

They feel they’ve put in the work to give the province a workable model.

“Now all we ask is recognition for our inherent right to trade and barter,” Gladstone said.

Chief Gladstone tells a story of how cannabis has changed everything in his village and beyond.

In total more than 100 people are working in the on-reserve stores around the Chilliwack area.

“These workers are not on CERB or social assistance,” Gladstone said.

As of a couple of years ago there were only four people working in Shxwha:y village. Now there are 13 jobs being held down currently at the store, and another 30 at the cultivation facility, where All Nations Cannabis Corp. is a Health Canada licensed cultivator and licensed producer applicant.

“It’s changed the standard of living for many in our village, going from abject poverty to a tier closer to the middle class,” Gladstone said. “So this is a success story.

“What we’re saying to the province is: ‘Don’t destroy this miracle of economic revival.’

“We’re just asking for co-operation.”

READ MORE: Cannabis stores rolling through the pandemic

READ MORE: Chilliwack has unique approach to cannabis retail

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

cannabisIndigenous

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