For eight years, I had to endure articles from the Left about all the jobs Obama had created. Now that the White House has changed hands, it is all the bloggers on the Right breathlessly reporting job creation by Trump and heralding the February job figures (example). Though the Left is still trying to credit Obama (example)
- Presidents do not create private jobs. Period. Even so-called infrastructure spending and stimulus merely take private money from whatever it was being used for previously and applies it to investment projects that politicians want. Sure, there are new easy to see infrastructure jobs from these projects, but what is also there, largely unseen, are whatever jobs would have been created (or not lost) had the money used for these projects been left to private individuals to spend or invest as they see fit.
- Presidents do have long-term effects on prosperity, but these are usually based on regulatory and tax policy that can take years to play out -- not the span of days from January 20 to February. The main effect government officials can have is negative, by creating drags on private enterprise. The best they can achieve is generally removal of past negatives.
- To the extent individual companies credit Trump with various job growth steps, this is a function of our corporate crony state, not any underlying economic reality. I have been at the highest levels of Fortune 50 companies (not as an executive but as a consultant and later as executive staff). Corporations do not suddenly make changes in business strategy and capital investment plans based on elections. They do make changes based on real changes, e.g. this tax policy was changed or that regulation was changed, none of which has yet occurred. Of course, they may credit the new President as responsible for certain investments or changed decisions, but this is generally flattery attached to actions that would have happened anyway, or crass calculations meant to garner higher crony status in the future.