As Scott wrote earlier today, President Trump is in Davos, Switzerland, for a meeting of…whom, exactly? The Western world’s elites, I guess. Scott quoted the section of Trump’s speech that rejected the environmental catastrophism that we have all put up with for decades. News accounts have focused mostly on Trump’s supposed duel with a Swedish teenager, but that was a small portion of his speech, which was rather brilliant and is well worth reading in its entirety.
Trump’s prevailing mood was one of optimism. This, in itself, is a challenge to the European order. The alleged inevitable decline of the West is comfortable for European elites because it insulates them from criticism. Trump’s success, conversely, raises an obvious question: If he can do it, why can’t you?
Thus, we have this:
We’ve regained our stride, we discovered our spirit and reawakened the powerful machinery of American enterprise. America is thriving, America is flourishing, and yes, America is winning again like never before.
When I took office three years ago, America’s economy was in a rather dismal state. Under the previous administration, nearly 200,000 manufacturing jobs had vanished, wages were flat or falling, almost 5 million more Americans had left the labor force than had gotten jobs, and more than 10 million people had been added to the food stamp rolls.
The experts predicted a decade of very, very slow growth — or even maybe negative growth — high unemployment, and a dwindling workforce, and very much a shrinking middle class. Millions of hardworking, ordinary citizens felt neglected, betrayed, forgotten. They were rapidly losing faith in the system.
That is a good description of much of Europe today.
Since my election, America has gained over 7 million jobs — a number unthinkable. … The projection was 2 million; we did 7 [million] — more than three times the government’s own projections.
The unemployment rate is now less than 3, 4, and 5 percent. And at 3.5 percent, that’s a number that is the lowest in more than 50 years. The average unemployment rate for my administration is the lowest for any U.S. President in recorded history. We started off with reasonably high rate.
This is the part the Davos crowd really hates:
For the first time in decades, we are no longer simply concentrating wealth in the hands of a few. We’re concentrating and creating the most inclusive economy ever to exist. We are lifting up Americans of every race, color, religion, and creed.
The data here are overwhelming.
Unemployment rates among African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans have all reached record lows. African American youth unemployment has reached the lowest it’s ever been in the history of our country. African American poverty has plummeted to the lowest rate ever recorded. The unemployment rate for women reached the lowest level since 1953. …
The unemployment rate for veterans has dropped to a record low. The unemployment rate for disabled Americans has reached an all-time record low. Workers without a high school diploma have achieved the lowest unemployment rate recorded in U.S. history. Wages are rising across the board. And those at the bottom of the income ladder are enjoying the percentage, by far, largest gains.
Workers’ wages are now growing faster than management wages. Earnings growth for the bottom 10 percent is outpacing the top 10 percent — something that has not happened. Paychecks for high school graduates are rising faster than for college graduates.
That is heresy to the Davos crowd.
In the eight years before I took office, over 300,000 working-age people left the workforce. In just three years in my administration, 3.5 million people have joined the workforce. Ten million people have been lifted off welfare in less than three years. Celebrating the dignity of work is a fundamental pillar of our agenda.
This is a blue-collar boom. Since my election, the net worth of the bottom half of wage earners has increased by plus-47 percent — three times faster than the increase for the top 1 percent. Real median household income is at the highest level ever recorded.
More heresy. There is much, much more. Just a few more excerpts:
We have created 1.2 million manufacturing and construction jobs — a number also unthinkable. After losing 60,000 factories under the previous two administrations — hard to believe when you hear “60,000 factories” — America has now gained, in a very short period of time, 12,000 new factories under my administration. And the number is going up rapidly. We’ll be beating the 60,000 number that we lost, except these will be bigger, newer, and the latest.
Years of economic stagnation have given way to a roaring geyser of opportunity. U.S. stock markets have soared by more than 50 percent since my election, adding more than $19 trillion to household wealth, and boosting 401(k)s, pensions, and college savings accounts for millions of hardworking families.
America achieved this stunning turnaround not by making minor changes to a handful of policies, but by adopting a whole new approach centered entirely on the wellbeing of the American worker.
Every decision we make — on taxes, trade, regulation, energy, immigration, education, and more — is focused on improving the lives of everyday Americans. We are determined to create the highest standard of living that anyone can imagine, and right now, that’s what we’re doing for our workers. The highest in the world. And we’re determined to ensure that the working and middle class reap the largest gains.
This is the exact opposite of the policies of Europe’s ruling elites.
A nation’s highest duty is to its own citizens. Honoring this truth is the only way to build faith and confidence in the market system. Only when governments put their own citizens first will people be fully invested in their national futures. In the United States, we are building an economy that works for everyone, restoring the bonds of love and loyalty that unite citizens and powers nations.
“Citizen”? What’s that?
We’ve also launched the most ambitious campaign in history to reduce job-killing regulations. For every new regulation adopted, we are removing eight old regulations, which will save an average of American households about $3,100 per year. It was going to be, “for every one, we do two,” but we were able to lift that to eight, and we think that’s going to go quite a bit higher. We still have a way to go.
Today, I urge other nations to follow our example and liberate your citizens from the crushing weight of bureaucracy.
Here, I think Trump was kidding. His audience consisted largely of the “crushing weight of bureaucracy.”
Next, we have energy, where Trump challenged the enormous and fraudulent “green” energy sector that is enriching so many politically connected insiders at the expense of the rest of the population:
To protect our security and our economy, we are also boldly embracing American energy independence. The United States is now, by far, the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world, by far. It’s not even close.
While many European countries struggle with crippling energy costs, the American energy revolution is saving American families $2,500 every year in lowering electric bills and numbers that people said couldn’t happen, and also, very importantly, prices at the pump.
We’ve been so successful that the United States no longer needs to import energy from hostile nations. With an abundance of American natural gas now available, our European allies no longer have to be vulnerable to unfriendly energy suppliers either. We urge our friends in Europe to use America’s vast supply and achieve true energy security.
With U.S. companies and researchers leading the way, we are on the threshold of virtually unlimited reserves of energy, including from traditional fuels, LNG, clean coal, next-generation nuclear power, and gas hydrate technologies.
At the same time, I’m proud to report the United States has among the cleanest air and drinking water on Earth — and we’re going to keep it that way. And we just came out with a report that, at this moment, it’s the cleanest it’s been in the last 40 years. We’re committed to conserving the majesty of God’s creation and the natural beauty of our world.
We will never let radical socialists destroy our economy, wreck our country, or eradicate our liberty. America will always be the proud, strong, and unyielding bastion of freedom.
In America, we understand what the pessimists refuse to see: that a growing and vibrant market economy focused on the future lifts the human spirit and excites creativity strong enough to overcome any challenge — any challenge by far.
There was a lot more, but that is enough for now. Trump threw down the gauntlet before Europe’s governing classes, standing up for free enterprise, limited government, and an administration that cares about all of its citizens, not just plutocrats and bureaucrats. In a better world, the assembled elitists would say, “Wow! What President Trump does is really working. We should try it in our country!” But that, of course, is not the world we live in.