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Shawn Sebastian @shawnsebastian
, 35 tweets, 16 min read Read on Twitter
1. It's NOT time for some game theory when it comes to Jay Z v. @realDonaldTrump on the issue of black unemployment, because -- like so many things involving Trump -- it's not complicated, it's just so wrong in so many ways.. So unfortunately, we need a THREAD.
2. Here's some categories: a. Trump doesn't deserve the credit for low unemployment. Yellen (the woman he essentially fired) does. b. These numbers don't tell the whole story and they should be a lot better. c. Trump's policies are consistently anti-jobs (and black jobs).
3. First a recap. Jay-Z appeared on the #VanJonesShow and @VanJones68 presented Trump's claim that Black people should be happy because he's delivering jobs. Jay-Z basically said that nothing can justify a broad assault on the civil rights of Black people

4. So today, @realDonaldTrump ignored Jay-Z's critique, but bragged about the low Black unemployment rate. Trump taking credit for the Black unemployment rate and declaring mission accomplished are both ... what's the word? Stupid.

5. Black Unemployment has gone down under Trump, as has the overall unemployment rate. Here's a graph from the BLS from January 2017 to Dec. 2017 of the Black unemployment rate and the overall unemployment rate. It's true, they've gone down under Trump. But let's zoom out a bit.
6. If we zoom out to the beginning of the Obama administration, and -- more significantly -- when the Fed dropped rates to zero -- we see recent gains are part of a years-long trend. Trump didn't do anything, he's just along for the ride. Black and overall unemployment attached.
7. The REAL story is that after a cataclysmic financial crash, we needed a massive fiscal stimulus to get back on track. What we got was anemic because @GOP was pushing austerity. So the @federalreserve had to step up, and dropped rates to zero to stimulate job growth.
8. This recovery has been anemic and slow because of the @GOP blocking effective fiscal stimulus. But the overall unemployment rate -- and the black unemployment rate -- has dropped as low as it has because of the visionary leadership of the first female Fed Chair, Janet Yellen.
9. The record low numbers Trump is bragging about is because Yellen fought her colleagues and conventional wisdom who were saying that unemployment couldn't go lower than 7 or 6% -- with Black unemployment at almost 15%. Yellen thought we could do better.
10. The credit for the low Black and overall unemployment rates isn't Trump's, and it's not even Obama's. Yellen gets the credit for the continuation of the jobs-growing economy she built. So of course Trump fired Yellen. Because she's a woman.…
11. If Trump wants to claim credit for "jobs" he could have just reappointed the Chair, as every president since Reagan has, even across party lines. She's a job creator of historic proportions. But he replaced her just because she's a woman. Sacrificing jobs for his misogyny.
12. While Trump's coasting on the lingering effects of a woman's work, he's doing EVERYTHING WRONG on the economy. Remember those idiots Yellen had to fight to drive unemployment low? Now Trump's stacking the Fed with them, e.g. Marvin Goodfriend.…
13. The deposed Yellen got us to these low levels of Black and overall unemployment, and the EXCLUSIVELY white men that Trump has nominated to the Fed have been WRONG about everything. Goodfriend didn't think unemployment could get below 7%!

14. @realDonaldTrump has a habit of pretending like he's earned what he inherited. The trends in black unemployment started years ago and are due to the Fed. In the meantime, Trump has purged the Fed of the woman who created these jobs, for white, male, WRONG job-killers.
15. That's one reason, in response to the question from @VanJones68 on the #VanJonesShow that Jay-Z has no reason to thank Trump for this economy. It's not his. Another reason is that we are nowhere near "mission accomplished" on the issue of Black unemployment.
16. As @ValerieRWilson and @econjared say in this excellent piece at @voxdotcom, Black unemployment is at 6.8%, almost double white unemployment. Trump tells himself he spoke to his base's economic dissatisfaction. His base wouldn't accept 6.8%.…
17. And before you even start, this isn't about a "skills gap." It's about racism. A Black College Student has the same chances of getting a job as a white high school dropout.…
18. The headline Black unemployment number is too high and it doesn't tell the whole story. It only measures people actively looking for a job. But it hides people who dropped out of the labor force. The labor force participation rate hasn't recovered.…
19. The number of people who are forced to work part time jobs because they can't find full time jobs are still significantly higher than before the recession. Women and people of color are disproportionately impacted.…
20. And the biggest issue of all: WAGES. Our wages haven't gone up in over 30 years, and black wages have actually GONE DOWN. This study is from 2014, but the attached graph shows that wage growth has GONE DOWN during Trump's tenure.…
21. So Trump wants to brag about jobs, but Black unemployment is still double white, too many people have been shut out of the labor market completely, and the jobs out there don't have enough hours and definitely not enough pay. This isn't mission accomplished.
22. One of the most powerful solutions to these issues is tighter labor markets. Racial disparities decrease when unemployment is lower, there's more wage pressure. But Trump's Fed appointees like Goodfriend, think unemployment is TOO LOW. That there are TOO MANY JOBS.
23. So Trump deserves no credit for the success of the economy, Black unemployment and wages are STILL unacceptable, and everything Trump HAS done on jobs has been totally wrong (barely scratched the surface there).

But I have another problem with @VanJones68 question.
24. @VanJones68 implicitly sets up a dichotomy for Jay-Z between jobs on the one hand and "treating people like human beings" on the other. But of course dignity and economic well-being are intertwined and it makes no sense to weigh one against the other.

25. MLK Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington for JOBS and FREEDOM and people carried signs that said "Civil Rights PLUS Full Employment EQUALS Freedom." I know it was a rhetorical device for @VanJones68, but they're inextricable.…
26. As noted above, the Black unemployment rate is double the white unemployment rate and it doesn't correlate to a skills gap. The disparity is smaller when unemployment is lower, because the demand for labor can outweigh racist considerations.…
27. According to the Fed's own analysis, no other factor accounts for persistent racial disparities, including education. That leaves RACISM. I know it's obvious, but not "being treated like a human being," like Jay says, has ECONOMIC consequences.…
28. And when your DOJ ramps of marijuana enforcement to turbocharge the war on drugs, and halts investigations of police killings and brutality, and blocks African people from coming to the US, no number of shitty jobs can outweigh that devastation ...
29. And @realDonaldTrump can't take credit for Black unemployment when every attack on the civil rights of Black people is also an an attack on the economic well being of Black people. It's impossible for him to succeed at one and fail at the other. He's a failure at both.
30. If @realDonaldTrump wanted to do something real for Black unemployment he'd invest in jobs programs, he would stop pulling people out of the labor market and into jail for nothing. He'd follow this groundbreaking "Freedom to Thrive" report.…
31. And instead of bragging about an 6.8% Black unemployment rate, Trump could actually appoint people to the Federal Reserve who would drive unemployment lower, instead of people like Goodfriend who want unemployment to be HIGHER.
32. I didn't even get into the fact that the Financial Crash obliterated Black wealth and now @realDonaldTrump is destroying the @CFPB, and working to gut Dodd-Frank so it can all happen again.…
33. And we know how Jay feels about building wealth ...

"Financial freedom my only hope
Fuck livin' rich and dyin' broke
I bought some artwork for 1 million
Few years later, that shit worth 8 million
I can’t wait to give this shit to my children"
34. Also, if you want some real expertise on how to parse Trump, race, and the economy follow @ValerieRWilson, @WSpriggs, @SandyDarity, @DarrickHamilton, @DeanBaker13, @econjared, @EconomicPolicy (and many more -- would love your suggestions!)
35. I may add more to this later, but for now, in the matter of Jay-Z v. Trump: civil rights and economic dignity are inseparable, Trump didn't do anything anyway, things aren't that great anyway, and Trump has done everything wrong.
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