Build on the Trump Presidency: COVID Did Not Shut Down the Real Economy

 March 02, 2021 ·  


(Thanks to Bill Roberts and Paul Glumaz for their contributions to this report.)

We are not on our knees, thanks to four years of the Trump Presidency.

For all of 2020, during COVID-19, total increases in non-agricultural unemployment in the heartland states averaged around 4.5% overall, while on the west and east coasts, the numbers were roughly half again as high, or in some cases twice as high (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts), over the course of January through November 2020.

Above Photo: President Donald J. Trump signs the Section 232 Proclamations on Steel and Aluminum Imports. March 9, 2018 (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Manufacturing, heavily centered in the red states, was down only around 4-5% for all of the COVID-dominated months of 2020. Construction also has quickly bounced back. Essential areas of employment, including aerospace, NASA, utilities, healthcare, fire and rescue, and agriculture and food processing, continued to operate, often through heroic efforts. This pattern continues today, despite the avatar occupying the White House, the “Texas Windmill Massacre,” and Game Stop-style financial swindles.

For the United States, machine tool orders in 2020 were down 15% from all of 2019, compared to the 50% drop that had been forecast. As the reader may know, machine tools make the machines that make our economy run. In December 2020 alone, machine tool orders climbed 17.9%. In 2020 overall, orders in the Southeast were the strongest, down 8.3%; the Northeast was the worst, down 22%; and the Central states were down 12-13%, all from a year earlier.

In January 2021, the bellwether Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) reflected continued U.S. economic recovery and growth, and the Federal Reserve’s industrial production figures (measuring factory, mining, and utility output) showed a similar trend.

We also see a clear distinction between red and blue states. Citizens and state and local elected officials in red states—oriented to agro-industrial activity and real growth—showed a combativeness in fighting back against the pandemic, a refusal to lay down and accept an Orwellian blanket shutdown policy. There has also been another clear distinction: the population of red states is growing—families are growing in red states compared to blue states. It is understood, even if preconsciously, that we as a nation must be about the business of creating our destiny. We cannot run in place.

For example, Midwest cities such as Columbus, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Cincinnati have among the lowest unemployment rates of 51 major metropolitan areas, placing heartland cities well ahead of the “blue” bi-coastal tech and financial centers. Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin were selective in reintroducing COVID restrictions again in October 2020. In contrast, and in draconian fashion, Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan shut down schools, restaurants, and businesses and placed limits on the size of gatherings in October 2020. Unemployment climbed to 7.9% as a consequence. This pattern is repeated across the country.

This cultural and political combat has been a critical defense of the principles of our Constitution. President Trump’s significant efforts to improve the wage levels of working families nationally were undermined by the pandemic shutdown. The shutdown has also meant a huge psychological toll, and particularly for our families. It was used to steal President Trump’s second term, and used to attempt to smother the American people. Wealth transfer over the past year can be said to have outstripped prior periods of “corporate greed,” overturning President Trump’s efforts to reverse decades of economic erosion and the failing conditions of life faced by many of the forgotten men and women of America—Hillary’s so-called “deplorables.”

It also should be recalled that it was the lukewarm opposition to the Russiagate coup attempt against President Trump by the Wall Street/City of London–tied Republicans, and near non-existent Republican support in Congress for the Trump economic policy agenda of infrastructure and manufacturing, that led to a Democratic counter-surge in the 2018 congressional elections, bringing Wall Street Democrats like Nancy Pelosi into control of the Congress, as well as into the governorship of Michigan, followed by Wisconsin in 2019. It should be clear that rebuilding the Republican party as a Lincoln “Party of Producers,” that retakes the Congress in 2022, is critical if the green fascist lunacy of the Biden collective is to be reversed, and a national infrastructure and manufacturing plan of nuclear power, water projects, urban infrastructure, hospitals, and high-speed rail are going to be realized.

So, as a fuller picture of our circumstances becomes clear, a very revealing picture emerges—and it is contrary to the depressing psyops and memes of the COVID-19 crisis, amplified by the mass media. With the Trump presidency and campaigns, we recognize a deeper and enormous political potential, elevating the deliberations of our citizenry. President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed continues to produce new vaccines and therapies; economically we continue to recover—U.S. durable goods orders surged in January to pre-COVID highs. Despite the avatar named Biden currently occupying the White House, there is also a growing recognition of our nation’s great economic potential, albeit raw, and President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed and NASA’s Artemis project have been but a foretaste.

Teaching Lessons

Americans can recognize an irony embedded in the COVID-19 shutdown: recognition and approximate proof of an existential distinction between essential productive economic activity and what we understand as “services.” In the course of the pandemic, our nation’s most essential workers have held our society together; they kept working, despite real danger to themselves and their families. Already in late spring of 2020, industrial, manufacturing, and construction workers were being quickly called back to work, and by the end of 2020, an actual labor shortage was developing, for example, in manufacturing. The “Texas Windmill Massacre” of early February 2021 is another wakeup call: We have to produce power, not chase quick-buck speculation.

Simultaneously, we now can see that we have millions of unemployed service sector employees—restaurant workers, apparently redundant office workers, gig economy employees, and more—trapped in what were largely low-wage and temporary jobs. These workers and their families suffered in the so-called “post-industrial economy.” What a wealth of human productive potential! These members of our workforce are essential to building out the United States as the leading scientific, technological, and advanced agro-industrial economy.

The Texas Windmill Massacre

For evidence of our problems, and to see more clearly our solutions, look no further than the latest infrastructure collapse in Texas. What happened? Yes, there were the frozen windmills and snowed over solar panels. Nothing, after all, was left “green” in Texas. However, more critically, was the insane deregulation of Texas electricity in 1999. The scheme was to break up the utility companies by using “market efficiencies” to drive down costs and increase profits. This came in the form of the Wall Street/Enron siren-song: “We can get you something for free.” It was supported by foolish Republicans and Democrats at the time—and fought against in the state capitol by the LaRouche movement.

The lessons? Wall Street finance, algorithms, and computer modeling do not cut it; greed is not a substitute for human foresight. Most importantly, it is high time to move forward our nation and mankind scientifically and technologically, harnessing more advanced forms of energy, including nuclear and associated increased energy flux densities, mirroring the negentropic development of the universe itself. That means tapping the real source of our wealth: human imagination and human productivity.

Productive Work and a Well-Paid Workforce

We must ask an essential question: Where does wealth come from? We hear endless chatter about the “gambling industry,” the “entertainment industry,” the “prison industry,” and what-not. Also, constant talk of stock market self-promoting zillionaires pontificating about a dystopic “green” Great Reset. None of this creates wealth. None of this has anything to do with a productive, physical economy!

How does any economy “worth its salt” really work? What do we do to make it work? What, after all, do we mean by “work” itself?

President Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visit Saint Andrew’s Catholic School in Orlando, Florida, March 3, 2017. By the White House from Washington, DC - President Trump’s First 100 Days: 24, Public Domain.

President Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visit Saint Andrew’s Catholic School in Orlando, Florida, March 3, 2017. By the White House from Washington, DC - President Trump’s First 100 Days: 24, Public Domain.

The physical economy is the means through which we reproduce ourselves as a society, from generation to generation. We accomplish this by making the physical changes on nature required for our society’s continued existence, with our posterity in mind. How do we make America great again? How are we going to produce a truly human future?

We start by increasing the portion of our workforce that is productively employed. We have now, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdowns, 8-10 million unemployed Americans, hotel and food service workers, gig workers, and office workers of all stripes. We can immediately start to train-up a significant portion of those 8-10 million Americans, employing them productively.

Better said, these individuals, if given the opportunities, are going to develop themselves, retrain themselves in part, as indispensable and unique contributors to our skilled and productive workforce. That is, directly making the physical changes on nature for mankind’s continued existence. We really do need all hands on deck. We will simultaneously invest in the future by building the productive capacity—real infrastructure, industry, manufacturing, mining, and agriculture—and there-in, simultaneously train and employ an ever-expanding and increasingly skilled and well-paid workforce.

How? We will do this by means of national credit, not debt, just as Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon LaRouche would do, financing major infrastructure projects across the nation. We are going to do this through apprenticeship programs, mentoring, and a critical modern-day Space CCC program, drawing on the lessons of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the late 1930s and early 1940s. We will do this in conjunction with machine shops, manufacturing plants, community colleges, and labor and business jointly-run apprenticeship programs. We cannot run in place. We must discover and realize the next wave of scientific and resource breakthroughs, and for this we must rely on our young people.

Currently less than 25% of America’s workforce is productively employed, that is, making the direct changes on nature for society’s continued existence. These are the goods producers—steel workers, machinists, welders, electricians, HVAC specialists, miners, transport workers, farmers, and so forth. However, during the past 50 years of criminal deregulation, greening (the first “Earth Day” was in 1970), and “financialization” of the American economy, overhead employment has grown massively at the expense of such productive employment; we have been turned into a nation of paper shufflers and hotel and restaurant workers. What was 60% of our workforce employed productively has been cut to a fraction.

We will now reverse this process of entropy and death. Further, we are not so foolish as to think we can turn back the clock. Bold new discoveries await, reaching out into the interplanetary macrocosm and into every unfolding domain of the microcosm. Through discovery and inventions, we will make America great again.

Lincoln’s Second Inaugural, 1865. At his inaugural on the steps of the newly completed Capitol, Lincoln expressed his hopes for reconstruction of the Union after the Civil War. Allyn Cox Oil on Canvas 1973-1974 Great Experiment Hall Cox Corridor.

Lincoln’s Second Inaugural, 1865. At his inaugural on the steps of the newly completed Capitol, Lincoln expressed his hopes for reconstruction of the Union after the Civil War. Allyn Cox Oil on Canvas 1973-1974 Great Experiment Hall Cox Corridor. Architect of the Capitol (Flickr Photostream) Public Domain Picture

Where We Stand Now

The source of all wealth, as Hamilton, Lincoln, FDR, and physical economist Lyndon LaRouche would agree, is to be found in the unique, God-given creative powers in each individual person.

To quote Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States:

“To cherish and stimulate the activity of the human mind, by multiplying the objects of enterprise, is not among the least considerable of the expedients, by which the wealth of a nation may be promoted. Even things in themselves not positively advantageous, sometimes become so, by their tendency to provoke exertion…

“The spirit of enterprise, useful and prolific as it is, must necessarily be contracted or expanded in proportion to the simplicity or variety of the occupations and productions, which are to be found in a Society. It must be less in a nation of cultivators and merchants, than in a nation of cultivators, artificers [manufacturers – ed.] and merchants.”

To make America a manufacturing superpower, that creativity must now be applied in areas such as industry, mining, advanced manufacturing, and agriculture. We must drive total goods production, as discussed above, with an eye to the future. This process is fueled by new scientific breakthroughs, made by individuals, the effects of which spread throughout society’s increasing division of labor. The proven method for creating the density of such scientific breakthroughs necessary to power us out of the present depression is to undertake mission-oriented crash programs such as the Artemis program for Moon/Mars colonization, fusion energy development, and in the life sciences.

This begins by kicking the Avatar named Biden, and his collective, to the curb. Required is a citizens’ movement of candidates, and a Party of Producers that sweeps the nation, as Lincoln and his party did. We must move on from here to create a hot house for real economic growth.

Now is a time like no other to advocate for productive infrastructure projects and real skill-training, with all their benefits, by working through and putting into action Lyndon LaRouche’s Four Economic Laws. We will then shift the balance of our workforce from services to a heavy emphasis on physical production. We will be creating better, productive jobs for our unemployed and formerly mis-employed. Thereby we will create the increases in physical wealth that will provide for our families, including healthcare and a Classical education. Likewise, with youth. We will fire the imaginations of the young, regarding their role in the future, with science-driver programs in fusion, space, and the bio-sciences.

And we can start with the energy grid. As the Texas electrical grid collapse underscores, to expand our economy we must expand power and electricity production. No one who actually understands the prerequisites for a productive, and therefore expanding economy would move to draw down energy supplies, as with a “Green (fascist) New Deal.” Economic progress requires more energy, never less. Service jobs are not the same as productive jobs. Productive jobs are those that make necessary, physical changes on nature for us humans. Casino gambling is about separating poor people from their money. That became most of the economy.

The Avatar’s collective and mass media do not want Americans to know that manufacturing is growing—not only in the United States, but also in Japan, Germany, and other countries. Along with manufacturing, construction is growing as well. Likewise, the exploration of our solar system, with now three nations at the planet Mars. “Leisure and entertainment”? Not so much. So, what needs to be done today, and tomorrow? We hope this article has provided a challenge, as well as encouragement and clarity. We must be a truly productive nation—not green or brown. Join us!

See the accompanying article to this piece, The Household and the Physical Economy: Lyndon LaRouche’s Heuristic Bar Diagram of the Physical Economy.