Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

The Economy, Father of Us All

Victor Davis Hanson // Nationals Review

Each week we are warned of a recession. And each week the economic news “unexpectedly” and “surprisingly” improves or stays steady — in ways well aside from the staples of continued near-record-low peacetime unemployment (3.8 percent), near-record-low minority unemployment, booming annualized GDP (3.1 percent), and a record-high stock market.

In June, retail sales increased for the fourth straight month. The rate of Hispanic home ownership continues to increase. A quarter-million new jobs were created in June, with strong growth in construction and manufacturing. Record oil and gas production seems only to keep increasing. Strong wage growth of 3.4 percent continues.

The point is not so much “It’s the economy, stupid,” but rather that the economy is the font of all contemporary politics, and it adjudicates the parameters of presidential prerogatives.

In the standoff between the “Squad” and Donald Trump, near-record peacetime unemployment in general and in particular historic-low minority unemployment argue against the idea that Trump is racist.

Polls suggest that Donald Trump may well win a greater share of the minority vote than moderates John McCain and Mitt Romney — largely because of a raise in middle-class wages in a tight labor market, and new leverage of entry-level workers over labor-hungry employers. Do working-class blacks and Hispanics suffer then from false consciousness, and do they need tutorials from progressive grandees so they won’t be so incorrect as to appreciate having more jobs at better pay?  Racists do not craft economic policies that empower African Americans far more so than those promoted by the first African-American president.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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