By Noel T. Braymer
President Donald J.Trump talks big, but rarely delivers. He may be the only person in history to lose money owning Gambling Casinos. But he is good at distracting at least some people from the problems he has created. One of the greatest failures of the President of all times has been the failure of leadership by this administration to control the outbreak of COVID-19 this year. The United States failed to fully use measures which worked to control this epidemic in most countries around the world. Basically it comes down to isolating infected people, social distancing, hand washing and wearing masks to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
But President Trump wanted first to reboot the economy at the start of this year after the COVID-19 outbreak caused major shutdowns of businesses and services. Instead of waiting for the measures to stop the spread of the disease, President Trump wanted people to go shopping and socialize. The result of this was the pandemic got a new lease on life. Since Spring major outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus have led to many rural areas of the county having outbreaks of COVID-19. Instead of jump starting the economy, Trump’s measures led to major outbreaks of illness, additional deaths and stagnation of the economy.
Because of the failure of President’s Trump’s efforts to kickstart the economy, the economy has been racing into one of the biggest recession in American History. How has the country handled major economic downturns before? A major example was the Great Depression which started in late 1929. What largely started the recovery from the Great Depression was President Roosevelt’s recovery program called the New Deal. Basically it boiled down to creating work for people out of work and paying them which stimulated local economies. These involved numerous programs which some critics called make work or boondoggles. What was often forgotten since the 20th century was the large scale of infrastructure projects built during the “New Deal” and still in use today. (if you town predates World War 2, you likely got a new Post Office built downtown in the 1930’s. Not only construction, but the New Deal included reform of Wall Street which caused the crash, unemployment insurance as well as the creation of Social Security. While the New Deal wasn’t perfect. It did help keep the economy going.
Since the recent instabilities of the economy, several “stimulus projects” have been approved. The issue is, are the monies being approved going to help most people or large corporations? What history has shown is a healthy economy is based on consumer demand . That means people are being paid enough to afford housing, to eat, travel and stay healthy. When the United States was brought into World War 2 the Federal Government “encouraged” workers to buy “War Bonds”. This was done to prevent inflation by reducing demand. Because of the war there was little available supplies to spend money on. The War Bonds at least got people to save money. When the war was over people could then buy things they wanted and used their savings to buy houses, businesses, new cars or household appliances.
Infrastructure has been falling apart in many places in this county for years since the 1970’s. A minor example of this are the roads near where I live over the last 30 years. Thirty years ago the roads were in good shape, Now every time it rains, the patches on the potholes get washed out and the potholes reappear.The freeways are often crowded and rail passenger service often doesn’t connect to where people want to go. Where there is good rail passenger service, there is new housing construction near the stations. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, many people haven’t been riding the trains or buses. This has dramatically cut the revenue of these services. These services can carry more people. But it will cost money to attract more passengers with better service.
The next presidential election is going to be different. The big question is what will be done to rebuild the economy? Transportation and housing are 2 issues that have long been ignored. If former Vice President Joe Biden is elected, what can the public expect from his administration? What happens if most public transportation goes bankrupt in this country? The legacy of Donald Trump will be the same as it has been most of his life: a mess.