Trump stock market doesn’t deliver economic wins for regular Americans

President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address on Feb. 4, 2020.


Leo Hindery Jr.

The stock market is soaring and setting records, a point that President Donald Trump often notes on Twitter and that he highlighted in his State of the Union address. He sees it as evidence of his administration’s economic success. But the stock market, which is mostly driven by large hedge funds and a small concentration of extremely wealthy individuals, hardly reflects the economic realities experienced by the vast majority of Americans.

As the presidential primaries kick into high gear, the Democratic candidates should focus on exposing the president’s obsession with the stock market and get laser-focused on advancing, once again, a truly balanced economy.

The truth is that America’s richest 10% is winning. But the so-called Trump bump is leaving Main Street and 90% of American households behind.

Recession wipeouts

After the financial crisis of 2008 that wiped out nearly $8 trillion in market wealth, there was a marked decline in stock ownership across the country, especially among younger and lower income people. As median income families experienced a massive drop in their household income and savings, many viewed the then-erratic stock market as a dangerous investment for what little they had left. 

During this same period, however, there was no decline in market participation among upper income Americans. As a result, the richest 10% of households in America gained, directly and indirectly, control of nearly 84% of the value of all stocks.

Nearly half of the country’s households today have nothing at all invested in the stock market. 

President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address on Feb. 4, 2020.

What led to this perverse concentration in stock ownership? 

While everyday Americans, with their savings largely demolished, were left wondering how they were going to afford their mortgages, car payments and groceries, the wealthiest Americans were excited at the prospect of buying low in the stock market and selling high — and they did just that. 

What he didn’t say:Missing from Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, the I-word and the D-words


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