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From JFK to Trump: ‘A Rising Tide (of Free-Market Policies) Lifts All Boats’

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AP Photo/Richard Drew, File

In a 1963 speech, President John F. Kennedy said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” JFK, of course, was not referring to the pristine waters lifting the luxurious vessels located along the Kennedy Compound’s waterfront property on Cape Cod. Rather, the 35th president was referring to the economic theory that when the entire economy grows, everyone (rich and poor) benefits.


In 2019, JFK’s words ring more true than ever. We are in the midst of an unprecedented economic expansion. In fact, as of this writing, the U.S. economy has now reached an all-time record (121 months and counting) of sustained economic growth.

No doubt, critics will claim that much of this economic good news should come with grains upon grains of salt. Even as the economy continues to break records (more on this later), far too many detractors still moan and groan about “inequality,” the “wealth gap,” and all other sorts of class-warfare nonsense.

Here is the blunt truth: The U.S. economy is back and better than ever. And despite the naysayers, all Americans  (rich and poor) are better off because of the booming economy.

Obviously, some are better off than others. However, why does this matter if everyone (by and large) is in a better economic position because of the free-market policies that have supercharged the U.S. economy since Donald Trump took office?

No, this is not intended to be another hyperbolic pro-Trump piece. Yet one cannot deny that the policies put in place by the Trump administration (with some help from Congress) have put the economy on warp speed. In short, President Trump’s deregulatory agenda, tax cuts, and other free-market policies have transformed the U.S. economy from a sputtering engine into a well-oiled machine.

In other words, free-market economic policies are working like magic! And just in case you still don’t buy the good news, just consider these awe-inspiring statistics. As of this writing, the blackHispanic, and female unemployment rates have all reached all-time record lows. Yes, under Trump’s free-market agenda, all these groups have more job opportunities than ever before!


Of course, capitalism-haters (a.k.a. socialists) bellow that these are terrible jobs and these groups are no better off than the day before Trump stepped into the White House. Well, maybe these so-called progressives missed the fact that wages for (all) U.S. workers are growing at the fastest rate in years. In fact, median usual weekly real earnings (for all Americans) are increasing gangbusters, at the fastest clip in decades.

And what has fueled the sudden and stark growth in wages? It is quite simple: Trump’s free-market policies are creating (well-paying) jobs at a blistering pace. And all these new jobs are making employers compete for good workers. And how do employers entice good workers? Well, usually they offer them more money and other goodies.

Just look at the numbers, the proof is in the pudding. As of this writing, the labor force participation rate is slowly trickling up after years of plummeting. Moreover, the U-6 unemployment rate, which includes discouraged and part-time workers, is at the lowest rate in almost 20 years.

If you are still unconvinced that the U.S. economy is gaining more momentum than a rocket, just consider that Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the ultimate measurement of a nation’s economic health and vitality is more vigorous than it has been in years. In fact, in 2018, U.S. GDP in the second quarter finally broke through the 4 percent threshold (something never achieved during President Obama’s two terms). And first quarter GDP for 2019 registered a robust 3.1 percent. In other words, the good times just keep on coming.


What is even more astonishing is this is happening while strong headwinds continually blow against the U.S. economy. Let’s not forget, the United States and China are engaged in a bitter trade war, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives is more concerned with impeachment than passing legislation, and the United States still has a whole host of problems weighing down the economy like an anchor (a $22 trillion national debt, a crazy Federal Reserve, a deep state working against the administration, just to name a few).

Just imagine how much better off Americans could be if all cylinders of the U.S. economic engine would function in tandem! Who knows, maybe the “rising tide” could turn into a tidal wave of prosperity that would, of course, engulf all Americans.


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