The mass media has focused so much on high-flying Wall Street than struggling Main Street has received insufficient attention. It’s mentioned that the pandemic lockdown damages the economy and increases unemployment, but happy talk about stock prices overwhelms occasional grim stories about skyrocketing use of food pantries, decreasing resources of the lower working class, and increasing homelessness.
Also distracting attention from the damage on Main Street while Wall Street is flying high is Trump’s disastrous pandemic actions, his ADHD twitter stream, and his income tax betrayal and financial double dealing. The public and the media flit from one crisis to another crisis with none ever resolved.
Economic problems exist right now, but Trump has given analysts—both for and against him—so much other grist that they currently neglect to assign blame to him. Republican-leaning business analysts (the majority) forgive him, because they value Wall Street over Main Street, while Democrat-leaning analysts are so consumed with his non-economic policies that scrutiny of his economic failures don’t get their due attention.Issue Whiplash. Examples
One of Trump’s strengths is he never second-guesses himself. Despite massive failures (for instance with the coronavirus pandemic), he charges ahead in all areas as if everyone is cheering on his every utterance and action. Never hearing, minding, or slowing down his train of assaults on the checks-and-balances necessary for our democracy.
Wall Street and Main Street
There is a split now between how the richest 10% and the rest of the nation are faring.
- The stock markets makes new highs. How? Wall Street has bent the Fed and the Congressional bailouts to favor companies now in business. The government picking winners and losers is the exact opposite of a free-market which business analysts laud to high heaven when it supports their backers desires.
- The President and Republican-led Senate blocks further economic aid to Main Street. Why? Two-fold reasoning. First, if enhanced unemployment benefits are continued, front-line and essential workers will insist on pay commensurate with their importance. Second, if the economic goes into a further downturn and the Democrats win, they will have a ready-made issue against the newly elected Democratic administration.
If Biden wins, as seems likely, these current problems will then be blamed entirely on him.
- Unemployment rate over 8%
- Recession of falling GDP
- Retail shops, restaurants, leisure, entertainment, and travel that employ millions are continuing to fail
Watch for the Republicans to pivot their positions after the election. If Trump loses, they will Republicans ignore their many billions for corporate bailouts and insist budget discipline forbids more Main Street assistance.
When Trump finally is out of office, the following president will have a huge task of rebuilding capable teams in foreign affairs, the justice department, and ensuring the civil service is staffed with properly skilled professional.
If Biden is the new president, he will be presented with the difficult task of reducing presidential powers. It’s like the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings. The powers are immense and alluring. An honest person may think, “I’ll only use them for good.” But as Lord Acton wrote, Power tends to corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
It seems likely Biden will be opposed by a Republican leadership more unified in their hatred of Democrats than by their desire to advance America. It would be tremendous if the Republicans prove my pessimism wrong.
Image of Ballot Box. By Ben P L from Provo, USA – Salt Lake County ballot drop, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70920971