You wouldn’t think it to look at him, but President Trump is the definition of modest. Every time he exerts his influence in a positive way, he doesn’t make grand speeches on the evening news, he doesn’t hang bigly banners from White House balconies and he doesn’t travel around in the presidential limo and shout his accomplishments through a megaphone. Yet. He merely types out 140 characters on his phone and the world shifts. Even his recent attempts to take credit for the US-based jobs and investments created by big companies (think: Lockheed Martin, Ford, GM, Walmart, IBM, Intel, Amazon and Sprint) were rudely challenged by the biased media, especially considering that Trump already announced that he will be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created”. It’s certainly no coincidence that a lot of companies are announcing (um, re-announcing) jobs creation policies since Trump came into power, but how much influence did Donald “You’re fired!” Trump really have over these plans?
Pretty much none, actually. Sure, some business executives have been vocal about their support for President Trump’s pro-business agenda, however most of the announced jobs were part of previously announced plans, most of the announced facilities were already in the works, and most of the announced investments were influenced by market forces rather than politics. Of course, Trump is not the first president to take credit for jobs creation, but he is the first to praise and shame individual companies on social media – many of whom would like to either avoid being a target or gain some political brownie points. So, at most, Trump can claim credit for the timing of these announcements, but it is way too early to tell how much his eventual policies will affect the overall job market.
But even if President Trump isn’t responsible for these jobs, you ask, what about his promise to create 25 million jobs over the next decade? This is probably where that whole “take him seriously but not literally” thing should come into play. Because that’s a bigly unrealistic number, even for him. The basic problem is that not only do you need to create 25 million new jobs (presumably while ignoring factors like automation, competition, changing demographics, declining productivity or globalization in general), you also need to find 25 million new workers to fill those jobs (hmm maybe the immigration ban wasn’t such a great idea after all). Not to mention that thanks to 8 years of growth, the US is almost at pre-recession unemployment levels. So while it’s true that some of Trump’s proposed policies could eventually have very real, and positive, effects on jobs and businesses (think: higher tariffs on goods made outside the US, lower taxes and less red tape to make it cheaper to produce goods in the US), it’s simply way too early for him to have done so.
Feel like you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Movie for your matured mood: The Intern