Making America Great Again? Donald Trump and the US Economic Boom

Professor Iwan Morgan , Institute of the Americas
17 October 2018

The management of prosperity has been fundamental to the political success of America's presidents since World War II. Measured on conventional indicators, Donald Trump's economic record during his first two years in office is arguably superior to that of any predecessor at the same stage of his presidential tenure in the last half-century. However, this talk suggests that Trump is less the instigator of America's current economic boom than the beneficiary of a long process of domestic and global recovery from the Great Recession that was set off by the financial crash of 2008. It further considers the persistence of factors that could undermine prosperity such as the growing inequality of income, the revival of the fiscal deficit under the impact of Trump's 2017 tax cuts and planned spending expansion, and the limited growth of manufacturing jobs. Finally, it assesses the significance of the economy in relationship to the broader aspects of conservative populism in the Trumpian project of making America great again. Iwan Morgan, Professor of US Studies at the Institute of the Americas, is the author of numerous books, including biographies of Nixon and Reagan. He is the leading authority in the country on the modern presidency and economic policy.