History Repeats Itself

By Celina Simmons

Many Republican leaders are quick to jump to skepticism, most often in regards to economics and climatology — though they are often ready to follow the lead of business experts. But as history has shown, this is not the best route to take.

The last time the Republican Party had extended unified control in the government, or when they controlled the House, the Senate and the White House, was during the years preceding 2007 and 2008. And if you remember those two years, you may recall how they were not glorious. In fact, the United States fell into an economic crisis, known as the Great Recession. This was not the first time our country had fallen into crisis after a G.O.P.-controlled government.

The only three periods of unified Republican government since the beginning of the 20th century coincided with arguably the worst banking crises in U.S. history. That is not to blame the Republican Party entirely for the Panic of 1907, the Great Depression and the Great Recession, but a pattern does seem to be forming, especially with Trump’s business — I mean, political — administration.

Economic expansion has been occurring now for over nine years, and experts believe we are due for another recession. As the saying goes, what goes up must come down. Could the Trump administration be hurtling us towards this next recession faster than we would otherwise?

Although numbers bounce up and down from quarter to quarter, experts have been looking at signs in other areas that may point to a downturn. Interest rates in long-term treasury bonds are going down, and the gap between interest rates in short-term bonds and long-term bonds is shrinking. The shrinking of these gaps often occurs right before a new recession hits. Now, the risk of long-term bonds is becoming less and less worth it because of these interest rates.

Interest rates in treasury bonds are not a telltale sign of a looming recession, but what could very well be a legitimate sign is a trade war. Trade conflicts with other countries strain our relationship with them and if we’re not doing civil business with other countries, our economy will inevitably shrink. If countries begin refusing imports from the United States, many jobs will be lost. Although the unemployment rate is at an 18-year low, it could skyrocket if trade relations with other countries collapse.

DYER_History_repeats
Illustration by Eden Dyer

In summary, a country should not be run as a business. There is more at risk than just money; people’s jobs and lives could be at stake. Not to mention the increasingly terrifying results of climate change, which we see on the news every day. The Democratic Party is at a risk of losing more seats in the Senate and House against the Republican Party. There are Republicans out there who understand how governments should be run, but with the Republicans we have in office today and the potential imbalance in parties in office, a recession may be just around the corner.

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