By every conventional measure, America’s economic revival since the 2016 election has been one for the history books.
New highs in gross domestic product growth, record highs in the stock market, record low levels of unemployment for women, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and increases in real wage growth have all become key outcomes of the “America First” policies put forward by the Trump administration.
The economy is so good, in fact, that Democratic candidates vying for the 2020 presidential nod can’t even decide on a unified message on how it needs to be improved. (Tax hikes, maybe?)
While labor statistics and economic analyses point to the fact that America’s economy is driving overall global growth, these figures tell only part of a larger story.
In this new era, the economy is great not merely because workers are seeing bigger paychecks and businesses are expanding. Rather, it is great because economic conditions today are creating even better opportunities for workers and businesses tomorrow. American optimism about the economy is back — and the opportunities that we as a nation are creating “are and of right and ought to be” the envy of the world.
For workers, conditions are some of the best they have ever been: 5.6 million new jobs have been created under the Trump administration. More than 4.8 million workers have received increased wages or bonuses from their employers.
Over 400,000 jobs have been brought back to our great domestic manufacturing industries. Construction employment stands at its highest level since 2008. Wage gains are significantly outpacing inflation, with year-over-year weekly wage growth staying above 3 percent since 2018.
From this position of strength, America’s workers are witnessing the creation of opportunities and institutions equipped to safeguard their prosperity well into the future.
The most important investment made today to maintain economic security tomorrow is “upskilling” — American workers are being trained for high-skill jobs the future will demand.
In establishing the National Council for the American Worker, President Trump assembled the resources to “ensure that America’s students and workers have access to affordable, relevant and innovative education and job training that will equip them to compete and win in the global economy.”
Part of this initiative is the Pledge to America’s Workers, a commitment by companies and trade groups to train, equip, and upskill workers across the nation for tomorrow’s careers.
Over 200 entities, from multinational corporations to small businesses, have committed to training or upskilling nearly 10 million students and workers over the next five years. Many of these efforts prepare lower-skilled workers for higher-skilled technical jobs, guaranteeing economic security as automation continues to develop.
Combined with the administration’s commitment to increase science, technology, engineering, math and computer science education in K-12 schools across the nation, it is clear that America today is laying the groundwork for workers to thrive in tomorrow’s economy.
As America’s employees make huge gains in this strong economic environment, America’s employers continue to enjoy unprecedented levels of business success. After slashing away regulatory red tape and lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent down to 21 percent, American businesses have been unleashed.
Coal exports have increased by 60 percent while U.S. oil production has reached an all-time high. The Small Business Association is loaning out record amounts of money to support women-owned businesses.
Publicly traded companies are performing better than ever, causing the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 to reach never-before-seen heights. Likewise, small businesses and self-employed workers have been freed from the Affordable Care Act’s most financially burdensome regulations, giving them greater freedom to invest in their own growth.
To build on these successes, the American economy must prioritize innovation and support the risk-takers who bring their entrepreneurial visions from concept to reality.
Such is exactly what the Trump administration is doing. Over $1 billion has been allocated in the president’s fiscal 2020 budget proposal to support research and development across the four biggest technological drivers of innovation: artificial intelligence (AI), quantum information sciences (QIS), advanced communication networks (such as 5G), and advanced manufacturing.
From health care to agriculture, federal agencies are launching initiatives to increase data resources, develop workforce training programs, and remove regulatory barriers in efforts to unleash the potential of the American economy.
Stateside, the Small Business Association’s Small Business Technology Transfer program, provides $295 million each year for the creation of public-private partnerships that connect federal research and development programs with private sector innovators.
For technology leaders seeking an entry into emerging markets, the new United States International Development Finance Corporation helps those with a socially conscious focus expand their reach internationally while supporting U.S. interests abroad. These measures help American innovators to reach their fullest potential.
There is an old rumor that Albert Einstein once referred to “compounding interest” — gaining interest on reinvested interest — as “the eighth wonder of the world.” Looking at America today and how we use the “interest” of current economic prosperity to invest in areas to make us stronger tomorrow, you can’t help but think that he was right.
The American story is one of innovation and growth — and as long as Americans keep their drive and economic policy continues to put America first, you can now, and forever, bet on America to be the hottest economy in the world.