Donald Trump has been frantically tweeting to try and prove that the U.S. economy is just fine after the DOW dropped 800 points this week in response to the news of new tariffs against China. Even worse, economists reported that a key line has been crossed that has reportedly been a sign of an imminent recession, which resulted in #TrumpRecession trending on Wednesday.
Why did the Dow drop over 700 points this morning & why is #TrumpRecession trending? Because the yield on the 10-year Treasury Note broke below the 2-year rate. This inverted yield curve has historically signaled an approaching recession.#WednesdayWisdom https://t.co/iSszaJeSmZ— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) August 14, 2019
Trump tweeted repeatedly insisting that the U.S. economy is strong, even going so far as to say that if it does crash, it’s the fault of the “fake news media” who will definitely deliberately tank the economy just to blame it on him.
The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election. The problem they have is that the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
Today, the president pointed to Walmart’s earnings as a sign the U.S. economy is doing great!
Walmart, a great indicator as to how the U.S. is doing, just released outstanding numbers. Our Country, unlike others, is doing great! Don’t let the Fake News convince you otherwise.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
Trump is right that Walmart is a great indicator for how the U.S. economy is doing—just not in the way he means it.
Walmart—with its underpaid workforce, profit-vacuuming family ownership, and reliance on cheaply made foreign goods—is a microcosm of the U.S. economy and the poster child of wealth inequality.
The six members of the Walton family hold more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of Americans, according to reports.
The Waltons make $4 million per hour.— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) August 12, 2019
$4 MILLION PER HOUR.
Meanwhile, new Walmart associates—many of whom have to use food stamps and other government assistance to get by—make about $11 an hour https://t.co/W3RcBWCtwu
Since then, the Waltons have gotten increasingly richer, earning four million dollars in the same amount of time it takes their lowest-paid employees to make $11. As any economist will tell you, massive wealth inequality is bad for an economy.
Not only that, the Walton costs average U.S. taxpayers a total of $6.2 billion every year in public assistance for their underpaid employees, who often have to rely on food stamps and other forms of public assistance to get by.
$36.5B: How much the Walton family made last year— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) August 12, 2019
$6.2B: How much Walmart workers cost US taxpayers in food stamps, subsidized housing, & Medicaid—all b/c Walmart refuses to pay a living wage😐#PublicCharge isn’t about self-reliance
It’s about GOP’s continued war on the poor
When people have so little money that they can’t even afford to buy food on their own, that’s bad for the economy.
In the last three decades the top 1% increased its net worth by $21 trillion.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 15, 2019
The bottom 50% of Americans lost $900 billion.
We should be treating our inequality crisis as an emergency—because it is one.
It’s also been found that obscenely wealthy people like the Waltons tend to hoard their money in offshore accounts rather than feeding it back into the economy the way underpaid workers do when their wages are raised. In 2015, it was found that Walmart is keeping $76 billion locked away in undisclosed tax havens.
Although Walmart made a big deal about recently raising its minimum wage to $11 per hour, at the same time, they’ve announced that they will be handing $20 billion to shareholders over two years.
With that money, they could increase their company minimum wage to $16.66 per hour. Instead, they’d rather continue catering to shareholders, increasing their ridiculous wealth while $11 per hour at 40 hours per week is not enough to afford an average apartment in many areas of the country.
Trump is measuring the U.S. economy by how much richer the richest 1% of Americans are getting. So when you hear “Walmart is doing great,” it’s best to read that as “The Walton family is doing great.” Walmart workers—along with the rest of the country—are still getting screwed.