Productivity figures and job cuts expose Trump’s growth fraud
19 May 2017
One of the factors that led to the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency was his commitment to boost the growth rate of the US economy, striking a chord in industrial states hit by job losses and factory closures.
Just four months into his presidency these promises lie in tatters. Underlying US economic trends continue to worsen, amid increased financial parasitism. The announcement by Ford that it will cut 10 percent of its global workforce is an expression of this process—the ruthless and relentless demands by finance capital for job destruction and cost-cutting to boost “shareholder value.”
The Ford decision is only one manifestation of the parasitic processes in the US and major economies internationally. Some of the effects were highlighted in the results of research conducted by the Conference Board think tank published in the Financial Times earlier this week.
Labour productivity in the US—one of the main drivers of economic expansion—will rise this year by only one-third of the rate that prevailed before the financial crisis of 2008. While the expected increase for 2017 is 1 percent, compared with an increase of only 0.5 percent last year, it is still well below the level of 2.9 percent recorded between 1999 and 2006.
Trump said his policies of lower taxes and deregulation would lift growth in US gross domestic product (GDP) to at least 3 percent, compared with its present level below 2 percent. But their only real effect, if enacted, will be to shovel more money into the hands of the financial elites.
The prospects for growth are no better in the longer term. Even barring the eruption of another crisis, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the…