Michael Bloomberg – Don’t Believe Trump – Our Economy Is Broken – Too much wealth is in too few hands.
Mike Bloomberg: Don’t Believe Trump – Our Economy Is Broken
By Michael R. Bloomberg
This article originally appeared on MarketWatch, a sister publication of Barron’s.
President Donald Trump says our economy is “the best it has ever been,” and he is planning to ride that false claim to a second term.
I won’t let him get away with it. I have the track record—in business and government—to show America what real economic leadership looks like.
Sure, the stock market is at an all-time high. But almost half the country doesn’t own any stocks. And yes, the unemployment rate is low. But nearly half of all workers are in jobs that earn $18,000 at the median. In fact, the share of national income going to workers—rather than investors—is near an all-time low.
Too much wealth is in too few hands. And while a handful of big cities are doing well, a lot of the country is struggling; our middle class is being hollowed out; and working Americans are being squeezed by higher prices on everything from health care to housing.
As a candidate, Trump promised to take on these issues. As president, he has been in the pockets of the special interests that dominate Washington.
Remember when candidate Trump promised to deliver for regular people—the forgotten Americans?
Well, President Trump pushed through the biggest tax cut for the wealthy in history, and nearly all the money goes to people like me, who don’t need it.
Remember when candidate Trump stood in front of the GM factory in Lordstown, Ohio and promised to keep it open?
In 2018, that plant closed down.
Remember when candidate Trump promised to “protect the farmers”?
Last year, farmers lost billions of dollars, and many lost their farms, as a direct result of his tariffs and trade wars.
Again and again, candidate Trump made economic promises to working people that he had no intention of keeping. And sure enough, he has broken all of them.
In fairness, we faced serious economic problems before President Trump took office. That’s one of the reasons he won. He promised to fix them.
Instead, he has made them worse.
We need to elect a leader who can actually deliver real change—not just talk about it—and create more good jobs, with good salaries, all across America.
And I know I can do that, because I’ve done it.
Coming from a middle-class home, where my father never made more than $6,000 in a year, I was lucky to get a good education and work my way up from an entry-level job. When I got laid off, I started a company from scratch that now employs 20,000 people. We pay good salaries and provide the best health benefits money can buy, including six months of parental leave—at full pay.
As mayor of New York, I helped create nearly 500,000 new jobs, most of them outside of Manhattan.
When I was first elected shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the question everyone asked us was: Can you rebuild Lower Manhattan?
Our answer was: Yes, but that’s not enough.
We set out to rebuild every area of the city, starting with those outside Manhattan that had faced decades of industrial abandonment and decay. We spread good jobs with good salaries to those communities. I know we can bring about that kind of progress all across America.
This week on the South Side of Chicago, I announced some of the core elements of the strategy I’ll take to create millions of good jobs where they are needed most, by investing in areas of the country that have been hurt by globalization and automation, and have been ignored by the federal government for too long.
To start, I will dramatically increase spending on research and development, by over $100 billion. Rather than sending that money to only a few places that already have massive research budgets, like Harvard and Stanford, we’ll spread it to places like Akron, Ohio, where I was today.
The way we’ll do it is by funding new “job factories” in Akron and around the country, with the goal of bringing opportunity to places that don’t have enough of it. We call them job factories because that’s what they’ll produce: jobs. They’ll do it by generating scientific breakthroughs in a wide variety of areas, which will generate millions of good jobs in everything from green energy and sustainable agriculture to advanced manufacturing and public health.
We’ll also make sure Americans have the skills they need to do the work—supporting community colleges, apprenticeships, and job-training programs all across our country.
In addition to preparing people for good jobs, we will modernize the social contract between employee and employer—so laborers are protected, no matter where they work.
We will do that by working to guarantee paid sick leave and paid family leave for all workers—just as we do at my company. We will support the right of all workers to organize and bargain collectively—including gig, contract, and franchise employees, many of whom have to work two or three jobs to put food on the table.
I know a lot of candidates say they’re going to create good jobs. But for me, creating good jobs is not something I just talk about. It’s what I’ve spent my whole career doing.
That’s a key part of the message we need to beat Trump. I’m ready to take it directly to him.
Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, is the founder of Bloomberg LP.