I must thank the president. Because of him I know there will always be something to write about every week. This week it was the breakup of the bromance between the president and the architect of his victory, Steve Bannon. When Trump wants to demean a person, he puts a derogatory adjective before the person’s name. It is “Crooked” Hillary (Clinton), “Lying” Ted (Cruz), and now “Sloppy” Steve (Bannon). I decided to take a page out of Trump’s book and give him the nickname “Tempestuous” Trump because he acts in a tempestuous manner. He is King Achashverosh with a Twitter account.
The falling out was due to comments that Bannon made about the president in the book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. On one hand, the president claims that the book is fiction, yet he relies on the comments in the book attributed to Bannon and attacks him for making them. Bannon did not deny the comments.
It is amazing that the writer was given daily access inside the White House. I guess Trump thought that he is so great that of course a book about him would be positive. It reminds me of when King Achashverosh was asking Haman what should be done for a person whom the king wants to honor, and Haman thought the king was referring to him.
I was watching a show where an advisor to the Trump campaign, Sam Nunberg, admitted that he did in fact call Trump an idiot, but justified it by stating that Trump called him much worse. He also confirmed the information in the book about Trump becoming disinterested while being read the Constitution.
When the government touts a 4.1 percent unemployment rate,
it has no relation to the reality of the extent
of the economic pain that many suffer
Some people are denying their comments in the book, which could be due to them not being true or because they saw what has happened to Bannon and do not want to have the wrath of Trump on them. It is not good for their career.
It should not have come as any surprise that the relationship between Trump and Bannon would not last. Each has an ego the size of Manhattan and believes that he is smarter than everyone else. Bannon is losing the battle with Trump since Trump is the one with the power. Therefore, Bannon is attempting to walk back his comments.
Bannon, who espoused the America First strategy relied upon by Trump, had financial backing of Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of Robert Mercer, the Long Island billionaire. As a result of Bannon’s comments, Mercer has cut off funding for Bannon and his cause. This is just another billionaire pretending that they care about the middle and lower economic classes.
This may be the death knell for the biggest fraud, namely, that Trump is a populist. First Trump supported the tax bill that was passed that mainly helped the rich. Now the president has broken with Bannon and is back with the traditional Republicans. Next on the Republican agenda is to reduce entitlements. When I refer to entitlements I refer to individual entitlements such as Medicaid, and not corporate entitlements such as subsidies.
Donald Trump likes to mention about the stock market reaching new highs. How many people are in the market? The people who live day to day or week to week are not investing in the market because they do not have any disposable money left to invest. These are the people whom Trump claimed he would help.
Statistics do not lie. How you use and manipulate them matters. The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines “unemployed persons” as those who “had no employment during the reference week, were available for work, except for temporary illness, and had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the four-week period ending with the reference week.” There is one exception to this rule: “persons who were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been laid off need not have been looking for work to be classified as unemployed.” Those who do not have jobs and are not actively searching are not counted as being part of the labor force.
Thus, people who have been searching for so long or otherwise have given up hope of getting a job are not counted as being unemployed, even though if they were offered a job they would take it. Part-time workers who work as little as one hour a week are considered employed. People who are working at jobs below their skill or education level are counted as being employed.
Wages have barely increased, which is what you can expect when there are few jobs available and many people looking for work. You would not expect it when there is low rate of unemployment.
“About 15 million children in the United States – 21 percent of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold, a measurement that has been shown to underestimate the needs of families. Research shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice that level to cover basic expenses. Using this standard, 43 percent of children live in low-income families.” (National Center for Children in Poverty)
Therefore, when the government touts 4.1 percent unemployment rate, it is nothing more than playing with statistics and has no relation to the reality of the extent of the economic pain that many suffer.
The increase of income disparity in this country is a ticking bomb. As was said in the 1960s, “When you have nothing you have nothing to lose.” The Trump base voted for Trump because they believed the rhetoric that Bannon helped create. If they realize they have been snookered, where will they go? If the Democrats are smart they can recapture this voter bloc. If they cannot and these voters are completely turned off it could get ugly.
Warren S. Hecht is a local attorney. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org