Nobel Prize-Winning Economist: Trump May Not Survive A Recession
President Donald Trump will struggle to survive if there is a recession, according to economics professor Robert J. Shiller. Writing in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, the Nobel Prize-winning economist argued that voters will be less tolerant of Trump’s ‘whims’ in an economic downturn.
“Part of Trump’s genius has been to pursue for a lifetime the features that have sustained narrative contagion: showcasing glamour, surrounding himself with apparently adoring beautiful women, and maintaining the appearance of vast influence,” Shiller writes.
He argues that Trump has embraced America’s economic success and made it part of his story. However, if the country experiences a recession, Trump’s image could be a problem for him.
“During a recession, people pull back and reassess their views,” Shiller said. “Consumers spend less, avoiding purchases that can be postponed: a new car, home renovations and expensive holidays. Businesses spend less on new factories and equipment, and put off recruiting. They don’t have to explain their ultimate reasons for doing this. Their gut feelings and emotions can be enough.”
“So far, with his flashy lifestyle, Trump has been a resounding inspiration to many consumers and investors. The US economy has been exceptionally “strong”, extending the recovery from the Great Recession that bottomed out just as Barack Obama took over the US presidency in 2009.”
But voters could turn on Trump, as a previous generation turned on red-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy.
“There is too much randomness in Trump’s management of the presidency to make persuasive predictions. He will surely try to stick to his public narrative, which has worked so well for so long. But a severe recession may be his undoing. And even before economic catastrophe strikes, the public may begin paying more attention to his aberrations – and to contagious new counter-narratives that crowd out his own.”