Trump Slump 2020 is a Nightmare
During the early onset of the Trump Slump we were mostly looking at a severe global slowdown. It was not yet certain if the poor economic and political policies pursued by the Trump administration would result in an outright U.S. recession, but it was clear that growth was slowing down rapidly around the world, and that, however much the nationalist-in-chief may wish otherwise, the U.S. is part of that world.
Fast forward a bit into 2019 and forward-looking leading economic indicators were mostly flashing spray-tan-orange to MAGA-hat-red that recession was on squarely on the table within the next six to eighteen months.
The way recessions are made is simply not by economic shocks (unless they are overwhelmingly big). The way most garden variety recessions get made is thus: You take a significantly slowing and weakening economy, say, a Trump Slump, and then toss in a trigger. Almost any significant trigger will do. Voila! Recession.
Most recessions in the U.S. average about 11 months duration in the Post WWII era, with annual GDP declines of perhaps one-half to two percent. Unemployment may rise two to three points. Pretty lousy stuff.
Most global recessions in the Post WWII era result in global GDP growth slowing down to under a still positive 2.5% – this is because the benefit of developing economies, such as China, and the few individual nations that avoid a severe slump themselves, help buoy overall world GDP growth.
But imagine if you will, a situation where the world’s most powerful country, both militarily and economically, designed an economic and foreign policy that largely seriously weakened the economies of developing nations, and even hurt the economies of some of your trading partners who might otherwise be some of the few countries to avoid recession within their own borders, thus helping shore up overall world GDP.
Imagine if, let’s call it the Trump Slump economic and foreign policy, did just that. And imagine if the primary target of your war was not only a very large developing nation, but in fact, the second largest economy in the world. Let’s call that country China.
And let’s call some of the long-time allies that could have been strong, but have been injured, even hobbled, by your Trump Slump: Germany, Canada, France, Japan, to name a few.
And now, just for shits and giggles, let’s say a part of your administration’s policies are to strip the federal government of its ability to proactively foresee, prepare, and thus be ready to deal with, things that go bump in the night in the real world. I don’t know what. But for the sake of this thought bubble, let’s just say you gutted the nation’s Centers for Disease Control, and outright terminated the team responsible for looking out for, preparing for, and dealing with global pandemics.
I’m writing this entry on April 1st so someone visiting from another planet without any real-time context might think this is all a set-up for a good joke. The alien waiting eagerly for the punchline.
Except this is no April Fool’s and the only punchline is that the Trump Slump world economy not only got hit with a trigger, but with a novel pandemic the likes of which we haven’t seen in at least 100 years.
Funny, huh. A real leg-slapper this Trump Slump is. Hahahahaha!
But wait, there’s more.
What if, just what if, the head of the U.S. administration that did all this, once the pandemic started washing ashore on our now resource-starved and unprepared nation, denied to everyone on camera for weeks, even months, that there was anything to worry about. That the pandemic was all just some sort of, I don’t know, HOAX. That the real problem was still things like, I don’t know, families seeking asylum.
Now that ought to be good for an extra laugh or two, huh?