Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in more than 20 years and the lowest ever for some groups, such as African-Americans and Hispanics.
Growth is right at 3 percent, a level President Obama’s economy never achieved, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta said last week the growth for the month of April was 4 percent.
In fact, the economy declined in the last year of the Obama administration, with growth of 1.6 percent that barely outpaced inflation.
The New York Times itself, no fan of the Trump presidency, said in a headline, “We ran out of words to describe how good our jobs numbers are” after the May 2018 jobs report came out on Friday.
But according to an AOL story Saturday, “Poverty in the United States is extensive and is deepening under the Trump administration, whose policies seem aimed at removing the safety net from millions of poor while rewarding the rich, a UN human rights investigator has found.”
Phillip Alston, U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty, called on the U.S. to “provide solid social protection and address underlying problems rather than ‘punishing or imprisoning the poor,’” AOL reported.
“While welfare benefits and access to health insurance are being slashed, President Donald Trump’s tax reform has awarded ‘financial windfalls’ to the mega-rich and large companies, further increasing inequality,” Alston wrote in a report he will submit this month to the UN Human Rights Council.
Trump’s economic policies “seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship,” Alston told AOL.
If Trump’s objective is to hurt the poor, he is not succeeding. The number of Americans in poverty peaked in 2013 at 43 million and has gone down since to 41 million. More than 3 million jobs have been created during the Trump administration, and 5 million workers have gotten pay hikes or bonuses. Walmart and Costco, two of the nation’s biggest employers, have raised their entry-level wage to $13 without government coercion.
According to Steve Moore of the Heritage Foundation, more than $7 trillion in wealth has been created in the U.S. since Trump took office. The stock market’s value alone increased by 27 percent during Trump’s first year, and set the record for highest Dow Jones Industrials Average on 71 days in 2017 – the most ever in a single year.
Still, Alston insists things have gotten significantly worse for America.
“Its citizens live shorter and sicker lives compared to those living in all other rich democracies, eradicable tropical diseases are increasingly prevalent and it has the world’s highest incarceration rate … and the highest obesity levels in the developed world,” he said.
Alston, whom AOL describes as a “veteran UN rights expert and New York University law professor, based his findings on a trip last December to several U.S. locales, including rural Alabama, a slum in downtown Los Angeles and Puerto Rico.