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  • Trump will probably have to deal with a 10%-plus unemployment rate come November's election

    The U.S. labor market will probably be in a more positive place come election season this fall than the one being battered by the COVID-19 pandemic this spring.

    But most Wall Street pros Yahoo Finance has spoken with think that even if the U.S. economy is back to creating jobs later this year as businesses reopen, the unemployment rate will remain above 10%.

    Legions of people will have to be retrained to support the jobs of today, which is one factor in the unemployment rate likely staying elevated. It will take time to make that happen, and experts believe the government may have to get involved with a major upskilling program.

    The other factor in play is that scores of U.S. businesses simply won’t survive the health crisis currently gripping the country. By extension, those are jobs that could completely go away. And another is that when businesses do reopen, they will be doing so with far less demand, lessening the need to bring back a large amount of their workforces.

    “We think the unemployment rate is going to decline relatively slow. By the end of the year, it will still be in the double-digits,” Deutsche Bank chief U.S. economist Matthew Luzzetti told Yahoo Finance’s “The First Trade.” “My concern is that reopening is not flipping a switch, and it’s not just going back to 100% for a lot of these businesses. It will be a much slower process. And it means businesses are operating at less than full capacity for a long period of time.”

    Indeed, these will be brutal macroeconomic headlines for president Trump to circumvent in the lead-up to the November election. Trump arguably hasn’t created the existing economic downturn, but by the fall people will be looking for clear plans to return back to work if they haven’t done so already. Frustrations tied to the lack of jobs and sub-par pay could easily be expressed at the polls.

    Deutsche Bank estimates the U.S. unemployment rate will fall to 7% by the end of 2021. That would still be light years away from the 50-year low unemployment rate of 3.5% hit at the end of 2019.

    To be sure, a 7% unemployment rate would be great compared to right now.

    ‘Lacking leadership at the federal level’

    The U.S. economy shed a record 20.5 million jobs in April and the unemployment rate spiked 14.7%, as the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses across the country to temporarily shut down and lay off or furlough workers. All sectors bled jobs in the month. Upward revisions took the total number of jobs lost in March to 870,000.

    In a new interview with Yahoo Finance, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-founder Melinda Gates blamed the federal government for the nation’s economic struggles.

    “We are lacking leadership at the federal level in the United States, and it’s highly distressing and disappointing to have 50 state grown solutions is insufficient. It makes no sense and it’s costing people their lives. It’s costing people their health,” Gates told Yahoo Finance’s editor-in-chief Andy Serwer.

    She added, “It it impacting families now because if we had good testing and tracing systems like Germany, we would have started to reopen slowly more places in the economy and people wouldn’t be struggling so much to put a meal on their table. The lack of action is really causing harm and hurt unnecessarily in this country. And I'm incredibly disappointed to see that.”

    Many unemployed people may also be disappointed, and they will have a chance to vote those feelings come November.
    Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


    • Back in the old days (2017-18)

      Red states and a few Deep Purple took the top and bottom of the rankings in terms of real growth in personal income in 2017-18. First place goes to Wyoming (6.7%), followed by Colorado (5.3%), South Dakota (5%), and a fourth-place tie between Iowa and New Mexico at 4.8%. Others above the 4% mark include North-eastern Connecticut and Delaware (4.5% each); Texas, Oklahoma, Utah, and Montana (4.4% each); Washington (4.3%) and Idaho (4.1%).

      At the other end of the spectrum were Mississippi (0.9%), Kentucky (1.4%) and New Jersey (1.9%). Among the economically large states, New York grew just 2%, Michigan 3.3%, Illinois 3.3%, and California 3.6%.

      Trust me?
      I'm an economist!


      • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
        Sir, Nixon did in fact go through an audit, in 1969. Per the link I posted weeks ago on another thread:

        "The IRS had audited Nixon’s 1969 tax return but failed to catch major league cheating by the sitting president. Only when Congressional tax lawyers went over it, and the IRS did a second audit, did they spot blatant tax evasion."

        I have never once stated that Trump should make them available publicly or that Congress should release his details to the public at large.

        What I've been saying all along is that someone, preferably multiple agencies, should do an in-depth audit of Donald Trump's personal and business taxes, just as was done with Richard Nixon.

        The idea that the IRS has the resources to do such an in-depth audit is erroneous, by an order of magnitude: The IRS is a shadow of its former self, to the benefit of the rich.

        - The IRS has fewer auditors now than it did in 1953
        - The IRS budget has dropped by almost $3 billion since 2010
        - The IRS conducted 675,000 fewer audits in 2017 than it did in 2010, a drop in the audit rate of 42 percent
        - New investigations of “nonfilers,” dropped from 2.4 million in 2011 to 362,000 last year
        - By its own admission, the IRS has done a terrible job of auditing the ultra-weathly

        Donald Trump and his Family are known tax cheats. He is no longer "merely" a failed businessman from New York, he's the President of the United States and the lack of oversight and investigation into his financial background is simply astounding.
        And a year after this post, nothing has changed, just more evidence of the IRS as a toothless gutted least when it comes to the uber-wealthy.

        The IRS is failing to collect billions in back taxes owed by super rich Americans
        Janna Herron - Editor
        Yahoo Money
        June 5, 2020

        The federal government is failing to go after rich Americans who’ve skipped paying their taxes for years, according to a new oversight report.

        “In the past, the IRS has focused on the tax compliance of high-income individuals because their noncompliance can have a significant corrosive effect on tax administration,” the report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration stated. “Intentional non-filing of tax returns by those with significant financial resources and sophistication is a brazen form of noncompliance.”

        Almost 880,000 high-income Americans owe $45.7 billion in overdue taxes from 2014 to 2016, the report found. The top 100 high-income non-filers during that time had estimated tax due totaling $9.9 billion.

        The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) didn’t investigate 42% of those cases, representing $20.8 billion in lost tax revenue, because of lack of oversight and dwindling resources.

        Of the outstanding 879,415 high-income tax cases, the IRS never investigated 369,180 of them, according to the report. The IRS never placed 326,579 cases in line to be further investigated after non-filers ignored a second delinquency notice. Another 42,601 cases were closed out without ever being investigated.

        The remaining 510,235 cases, or an estimated $24.9 billion in taxes, are still waiting to be investigated but likely won’t because of a lack of resources at the agency, according to the report.

        Additionally, the agency shelved 37,217 cases totaling $3.2 billion in estimated tax dollars. These will not likely be worked by the IRS, the report found.

        Intentional failure to file federal tax returns is a crime and can also result in civil fraud penalties.

        The non-filing of tax returns also makes up part of the tax gap, or the difference between the amount taxpayers are estimated to pay and the amount paid voluntarily on time. The report estimated that non-filers make up 9% of that gap.
        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


        • Unemployment fell to just below 10% this week, hopefully the good news will continue.
          The markets are well this week too.

          Last edited by surfgun; 29 Aug 20,, 00:01.


          • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
            Unemployment fell to just below 10% this week, hopefully the good news will continue.
            The markets are well this week too.
            Well, at least your source doesn't believe that garbage.

            Latest data: July 2020
            Labor force: 159.87 mn
            Employment: 143.53 mn
            Unemployment rate: 10.22%
            For the innumerate:

            For Trumpet apologists, go to that website and search "unemployment rate."
            First headline, Aug 9, 2020: "Unemployment rate 'undoubtedly' higher than 10.2%: Fed's Evans"
            Trust me?
            I'm an economist!


            • 8.4% unemployment rate reported.



              • Context is always important.

                From the article:

                “The fact that employment is settling into a trend of slow, grinding improvement is a worrisome sign for the broader recovery,” economist Lydia Boussour of Oxford Economics wrote in a note to clients.

                The latest figures were inflated by the hiring of 238,000 temporary workers for the 2020 Census who likely will be laid off in coming months. The private sector added 1 million jobs, down substantially from 1.5 million in July.
                “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                Mark Twain


                • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                  Context is always important.

                  From the article:
                  GOPers don't need no stinkin' context!
                  Trust me?
                  I'm an economist!


                  • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                    Context is always important.

                    From the article:
                    Actually reading the links one posts is important too, yet here we are, yet again
                    Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


                    • again
                      Trust me?
                      I'm an economist!


                      • Don't know what you mean by "context." The unemployment rate fell to 8.4%, a rapid decline from prior double-digit numbers and well below possible highs north of 20%+. Having to grind out employment gains is a lot better at 7.5% compared to 10+% from the last recession.

                        Yes, we lost a lot of jobs, but we started out at a base of under 4%.

                        This is an unambiguous improvement compared to reasonable expectations in April.
                        "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck


                        • Originally posted by GVChamp View Post
                          Don't know what you mean by "context." The unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent, a rapid decline from prior double-digit numbers and well below possible highs north of 20 percent+. Having to grind out employment gains is a lot better at 7.5 percent compared to 10+ percent from the last recession.

                          Yes, we lost a lot of jobs, but we started out at a base of under 4 percent.

                          This is an unambiguous improvement compared to reasonable expectations in April.
                          The Easy Part Of The Economic Recovery Might Be Over

                          Is the economy finally starting to rebound? Based on the headline numbers from the August jobs report, things sure look that way. The report shows that the economy added 1.4 million jobs in August, and the unemployment rate fell below 10 percent for the first time since March, to 8.4 percent — down 1.8 percentage points since July.

                          Good news, right? Well, when it comes to jobs reports in this pandemic, looks can be deceiving. The economy is certainly improving: The August report shows that the labor force participation rate increased a bit and millions more furloughed workers returned to their jobs.

                          But there are a bunch of clues in this month’s report that the growth we’re seeing now isn’t as robust as it looks, and that it probably isn’t sustainable without a dramatic change in public health conditions:
                          • A significant chunk of the jobs gained in August were added thanks to a once-in-a-decade phenomenon that has nothing to do with the current recession — a slew of temporary hiring for the U.S. Census.
                          • Private-sector job growth is slowing overall, and the industries that were hit hardest by the pandemic — like leisure and hospitality — appear to be stalling out well below their pre-pandemic peak.
                          • Getting people back to work will likely be harder and harder in the coming months, because a growing share of unemployed people have lost their jobs permanently.
                          • The recovery is arriving faster for some groups than others — which means that workers of color, in particular, are still suffering much higher levels of unemployment than white workers.
                          Trump can thank the census for this month’s positive headlines

                          A lot of credit for this month’s better-than-expected jobs numbers should go to the U.S. Census Bureau. Every 10 years, the bureau goes on a hiring spree, bringing hundreds of thousands of workers onto its payroll to fan out across the country for a few months, knocking on the doors of people who haven’t returned their census forms to ensure the count is accurate. In a normal year, this sudden spate of hiring would be extremely noticeable — several hundred thousand new government jobs could increase that month’s total number of jobs gained by an order of magnitude.

                          But the COVID-19 recession has thrown our frame of reference out of whack. Because we lost tens of millions of jobs in March and April, it doesn’t seem weird that we’d be gaining well over a million jobs in a single month these days. So the addition of 238,000 Census jobs in August wasn’t as obvious as it ordinarily would be; instead, it’s quietly padding the total. But Census hires accounted for fully 17 percent of total nonfarm jobs added in August. And more importantly, this uptick is extremely temporary. Most Census workers will be laid off when canvassing for the count ends later this month.

                          The private sector is less of a success story

                          It’s also important to remember that we’re still very, very deep in the hole we fell into in April, and that job growth in the private sector is slowing. While government employment rose by 1.6 percent from July to August — again, fueled in large part by Census Bureau hiring — private-sector employment was up only 0.9 percent over the same period. After a similar 1.3 percent gain in July, this may signal that private hiring has hit something of a plateau. That’s corroborated by data from job-search websites such as Indeed, which also shows a slowing trend of job listings after steady gains earlier in the summer.

                          The job gains are slowing down fastest in industries that were hardest hit by the pandemic, which means it could be especially difficult for those industries to make it back to their pre-pandemic levels. For instance, the leisure and hospitality sector lost a staggering 8.3 million jobs in March and April, but after quick gains in May and June, the industry only added 621,000 jobs in July and 174,000 in August, leaving it 4.1 million shy of its pre-pandemic (February 2020) baseline:

                          And that’s true of essentially every major industry in America through late summer. Every economic supersector except mining and logging saw job gains in August, and all but a few made gains in June and July as well. Yet every one of them also employs fewer people now than it did in February. The closest to normal is utilities, which is down 1.3 percent from before the pandemic. But the median supersector is down 6 percent, with some industries (like leisure and hospitality) down as much as 25 percent from pre-pandemic levels.

                          Nick Bunker, the director of economic research for North America at the Indeed Hiring Lab, a research institute connected to the job-search site Indeed, told us that the slowdown in leisure and hospitality is especially concerning, because it could indicate that as long as it’s operating under pandemic conditions, the beleaguered industry could be running out of new jobs to add.

                          “For me, it’s about figuring out when we’ve moved out of the rebound stage into what looks more like a typical recovery from a recession, where there are steady gains but not a huge surge in employment,” he said. This month’s job numbers indicate that we could be reaching that point, which is quite alarming given how far below the pre-pandemic peak those industries still are.

                          A permanent problem

                          One thing economists feared earlier in the summer is coming to pass: The number of people who had permanently lost their jobs rose last month, even as lots of temporarily unemployed people were returning to work. According to the BLS, 9.2 million workers had been on temporary layoff in July, which was similar to the number from June (10.6 million). But only 6.2 million fell into that category in August, meaning 3.1 million furloughed or otherwise laid-off workers went back to work. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the number of people who had been permanently laid off did not see the same decline — that group actually grew from 2.9 million workers in July to 3.4 million in August.

                          On the one hand, 64 percent of people who lost their jobs were categorized as temporary layoffs, which is down dramatically from earlier in the pandemic (it was 90 percent in April) and is more in line with numbers from before the crisis; the share in February, for instance, was just 39 percent. But with unemployment still quite high by historical standards, this also means it will be increasingly hard for the people who are now permanently unemployed to find jobs. “We have a slow-moving unemployment crisis coming,” said Martha Gimbel, an economist with Schmidt Futures. “We saw this happen in the last recession — it took many people who lost jobs an incredibly long time to come back from that.”

                          The share of workers in part-time jobs is also increasing: In August, 17 percent of people with jobs worked part-time. In a way, this, too, is more in line with a “normal” economy; the share in February was 17.5 percent. But the reason so many more workers are taking part-time hours speaks to one of the biggest economic issues of the pandemic: child care. When the BLS lists workers by full- or part-time status, they also track whether that status is due to economic reasons — like a slowdown in that industry or a slack job market — or noneconomic reasons. Right now, 71 percent of all non-agricultural part-time workers fit the latter category, and one of the biggest noneconomic reasons that people look for or accept part-time work is child care obligations. We know that, even under normal circumstances, about one-third of women who have young children and work part-time do it because of caretaking duties. With in-person learning at school still curtailed in many areas, it makes sense that this would factor into an even greater rise in part-time work, simply out of necessity.

                          The recovery isn’t helping everyone equally

                          Meanwhile, the recovery continues to arrive more quickly for some people than for others. This month, the unemployment rate for white workers fell to 7.3 percent — down 1.9 points from July. But workers of color continue to struggle with much higher levels of unemployment. The unemployment rate was 13 percent for Black workers, 10.7 percent of Asian workers, and 10.5 percent for Hispanic workers.

                          The gap between Black and white workers is especially concerning. It’s unfortunately normal for the Black unemployment rate to be much higher than the unemployment rate for white workers — that was true earlier this year, when times were good, and it was also true during the Great Recession.
                          Since the current recession started, the black-white unemployment gap has actually been smaller than it was during the Great Recession, when Black unemployment peaked at a stunning 16.8 percent in March 2010, while white unemployment was much lower at 8.9 percent. But that’s in part because Black workers — particularly Black women — tend to be overrepresented in jobs that have been deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant they may have been insulated from some of the dramatic job losses in April and May.

                          As workers start to be rehired, though, both Bunker and Gimbel told us that they expect white workers to be called back more quickly, thanks to employers’ intentional and unintentional racial bias. “Black workers tend to be the first to be laid off and the last to be hired,” Bunker said. “Unfortunately this is a factor you see in lots of recoveries — it takes a very strong labor market market to get the Black unemployment rate down to levels that would be acceptable for other groups.”

                          For instance, this month, the unemployment rate for white women fell by 2.3 points, one of the largest drops of any demographic group.1 But for Black women, the decline was much narrower, only 1.3 points.

                          That disparity is troubling on a number of levels. It’s telling, first of all, that we’ve grown so accustomed to a high unemployment rate among Black workers that the current disparity isn’t all that surprising. And moral considerations aside, Gimbel said, unevenly distributed job gains can turn into a drag on the economy. Race-based job discrimination, whether it’s deliberate or not, means that the person who gets any given job may not be the most qualified person for that position. “Then you have to remember that those people are also consumers,” Gimbel said. “They spend money. So if they don’t have that money to spend, that holds us back too.”

                          All of this is a reminder that as the recovery continues, there will be a lot that the headline jobs numbers can’t tell us about how the recession is being experienced by different groups of people. Some industries are rebounding faster than others; some people are much likelier to benefit from the rallying economy than others. And if the recovery is indeed starting to slow down, those inequalities could be with us for a very long time. FiveThirtyEight

                          That's probably what DOR meant by "context"
                          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


                          • A little more on this very point from Jerome Powell, the Fed Chair.

                            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                            Mark Twain


                            • “The Trade War Has Cost 175,000 Manufacturing Jobs and Counting”

                              by Lydia Cox (Harvard University) and Kadee Russ (University of California, Davis), both formerly on the staff of the Council of Economic Advisers.

                              A study released in December by Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce, two highly respected experts in trade and labor markets, was widely covered in the press. “Trump Tariffs led to job losses, higher prices for businesses,” was the most succinct and comprehensive among the article titles.

                              ...By mid-2019, manufacturing employment ended 1.4 percent lower than would have been the case without the tariffs levied in 2018-2019, likely due to a combination of increased costs of production and retaliatory tariffs. Yet it was hard to find in the articles an articulation of how many jobs this represents in level terms.

                              Exactly how many jobs is 1.4 percent of pre-trade-war manufacturing employment? Take 1.4 percent of 12.5 million, the number of manufacturing jobs at the end of January 2017, the month before the trade war began. The answer is 175,000 manufacturing jobs missing by mid-2019. Flaaen and Pierce’s study suggests that increased costs for imported inputs account for about two thirds of the total reduction in manufacturing employment. Retaliatory tariffs account for the remaining third.

                              In fact, more than 175,000 jobs disappeared: this figure nets out the roughly 40,000 jobs that may have been added or protected in industries benefitting from tariff protection. Furthermore, the estimate captures the decline in manufacturing employment only through mid-2019, but the tariffs have remained in place for a year since that time, likely leading to additional losses.

                              Digging a little deeper, we see evidence in Figure B5a that within this number, about 75,000 of these missing manufacturing jobs (about 0.6 percent of manufacturing employment, once we weight by the average cost share of steel) are associated with the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum that went into effect in March 2018. A potential positive impact on employment from import protection is much smaller and not significantly different from zero. The steel and aluminum tariffs plausibly may have led to an increase of 1,000 jobs in these industries and kept a few thousand more from disappearing...

                              Flaaen and Pierce’s study design filters out effects of macroeconomic conditions like variation in the value of the dollar and changes in economic growth overseas. By doing so it can plausibly be seen as a conservative estimate if the escalating tariff war led to the dollar strengthening against some currencies or dampened global growth, as downward revisions in growth forecasts by the IMF and OECD have suggested. Moreover, the estimate of 175,000 missing manufacturing jobs does not include adverse effects on employment that may have occurred due to the way that trade policy uncertainty dampened investment and industrial production during that period across many countries, according to macroeconomists Dario Caldara, Matteo Iacoviello, Patrick Molligo, Andrea Prestipino, and Andrea Raffo.

                              In addition to job losses, tariffs create a burden on households in the form of higher prices on goods and the inconvenience of having to substitute away from goods targeted by tariffs. Estimates assess the costs of the trade war from January 2018 to June 2019 at about $800 per household. Considering the macroeconomic effects of the trade policy uncertainty more than doubles this figure. The study by Caldara, Iacoviello, Molligo, Prestipino, and Raffo captures the overall impact of the trade war during that period, including trade policy uncertainty and attendant effects on national output through its adverse impact on investment and industrial production. They estimate that the trade war caused the U.S. economy be 1 percent smaller in 2020 than it would have been without the tariffs, equating to an average cost of $1,700 per household...


                              Trust me?
                              I'm an economist!


                              • Trump Is in Trouble for a Lot of Reasons, But the K-Shaped Recovery Is a Big One

                                The president's happy talk about the bounceback from the pandemic downturn will not resonate with the voters who may have put him over the top last time around.

                                It was buried a bit in the autopsies of Tuesday night's presidential debate, what with the sitting president refusing to denounce white supremacists and repeatedly undermining the legitimacy of the coming election. But there was a telling bloc of discussion dedicated to economic issues, specifically the nation's recovery from the pandemic-fueled downturn. It was probably too much to ask for this discussion to be predicated on the basic fact that many of our problems in this arena are rooted in our failure—and really, the national government's decision to stop trying—to contain the virus. But moderator Chris Wallace could also have done more to make reality less negotiable.

                                In the exchange, Wallace suggested that while the president insists we're seeing a "V-shaped recovery" from the economic meltdown, Joe Biden calls it "K-shaped." In the former, we'd be seeing a strong recovery across the board. The latter refers to the notion the recovery is actually being experienced differently by different people—the rich have recovered swiftly and comprehensively; those less well off are still struggling, or even experiencing continuing decline. Wallace presented this as an open question, one that's a matter of opinion or political ideology. But it is knowable. The Washington Post made that clear on Thursday.
                                The economic collapse sparked by the pandemic is triggering the most unequal recession in modern U.S. history, delivering a mild setback for those at or near the top and a depression-like blow for those at the bottom...
                                Recessions often hit poorer households harder, but this one is doing so at a scale that is the worst in generations, the analysis shows. While the nation overall has regained nearly half of the lost jobs, several key demographic groups have recovered more slowly, including mothers of school-age children, Black men, Black women, Hispanic men, Asian Americans, younger Americans (ages 25 to 34) and people without college degrees.

                                The graphics in the Post piece make the situation abundantly clear: More well-off groups have largely recovered and were less likely to lose their jobs and income in the first place. The stock market is booming, but only a little more than half of Americans own any equities and, according to CNN, the wealthiest 10 percent of households own 87 percent of stocks and mutual funds. Meanwhile, poorer Americans—more likely to work jobs you can't do from home, in industries disrupted by the virus or the lockdowns—are seeing none of those market gains. We were already living in two Americas, but now we're experiencing two economies and two recessions. That's on top of two pandemics, where these same groups are also more likely to contract the virus and die from it.

                                The president has proven incapable of—or unwilling to—grasp this reality. In an ABC News town hall this month, he declared that "stocks are owned by everybody," adding: "Look, we're having a tremendous thing in the stock market, and that's good for everybody, but people that aren't rich own stock and they have 401(k)s." Maybe he feels like he has no choice but to trumpet the strength of the economy he's overseen. Maybe it's that he's incapable of admitting weakness in anything he's associated with. But the gap between his message and many people's actual day-to-day lives may cost him dearly. He ought to know this based on how things shook out in 2016.

                                Of the many factors in why Hillary Clinton lost that election—misogyny, racism, James Comey, Russian meddling, propaganda, ignoring Wisconsin and Michigan, decades of attacks during her time in public life that left the electorate primed to doubt her integrity—one is that the Democratic campaign misjudged the economic state of the country. While on the surface the Obama administration had overseen a dramatic rebound in employment and GDP growth since the Great Recession in 2009, and the growth of inequality began to slow down in Obama's second term, the recovery was not evenly shared.

                                That was true based on income and wealth level, as richer Americans experienced a full recovery while poorer Americans did not, and it reflected structural inequalities on racial lines. It was also true of geography. Smaller cities in, say, the industrial Midwest never really recovered from the economic cataclysm of 2009, which rounded off decades of decline in manufacturing and beyond. Clinton highlighted inequality as an issue, and suggested she'd make the super-wealthy start paying their fair share, but the Democratic nominee failed to channel the energy of a key slice of the electorate in what was another Change Election. Maybe it was an impossible task for a candidate who was, essentially, running as an extension of the Obama years.

                                Meanwhile, Trump lied fragrantly about the state of the Obama economy—and continues to this day. But for some, the message likely resonated. The Republican candidate may have been trying to attack the Obama record as a whole, but the rhetoric might have landed most with people who felt the top-line numbers—which showed an economy that had returned to good health—did not represent their experiences. The core of Trump's appeal was to his base supporters' fear and resentment of a changing world, the threat crystalized by changing demographics and the ascension of Barack Obama to the presidency. These are many of the circa 40 percent of people who, the polling suggests, support him unconditionally. But he likely could not have won without roping in some voters along the margins, who, faced with a choice between a steady and professional hand who says things are largely on track, and a chaos vector pledging to shake things up, went for the latter. Others, unconvinced that Clinton grasped their situation and would do anything to meaningfully change it, may have just stayed home.

                                This time around, Trump will, despite his best efforts, own the current economy, where the emerging American underclass may be left even further behind than they were in the 2009 downturn. He has clearly demonstrated he has no plan to create good jobs that pay a living wage for the millions of people who are un- or underemployed. While the left doubts his commitment, Joe Biden has pledged to spend $2 trillion on clean energy and infrastructure with a plan that touts union jobs that pay $15 an hour. He is also, conveniently for him, not the president currently presiding over an epidemiological and economic disaster. He's also not a degenerate narcissist who is set to reject the outcome of a democratic election. So there's that, too.

                                Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value