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Why did Americans vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 election? Show more Show less
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In 2016, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton to the American Presidency, winning the election with 48% of the national vote. His victory defied expert opinion and polling forecasts, leaving many to wonder what crucial elements they had missed when predicting its outcome. So, why did Americans vote for Donald Trump in the US election?

Americans voted for Donald Trump in 2016 because they preferred his campaign promises Show more Show less

Donald Trump built his billions with a sophisticated understanding of the US economy. The electorate therefore trusted him with the nation.
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Donald Trump was considered the best hope for revitalising the American economy

As a self-made billionaire, Donald Trump was perceived as being a skilled economist with expertise to reinvigorate the US economy.

The Argument

In 2016, a quarter of Americans born since 1980 believed that democracy is a bad form of government.[1] The US economy under the Democrats failed to deliver the growth and jobs that people expected, therefore voters wanted a change in leadership - a different party. Trump succeeded in becoming a billionaire by building businesses in highly competitive markets. He created huge amounts of wealth not just for himself, but for thousands of others, including vast numbers of employees. His business background was believed to provide value to the US economy. Trump planned to cut the corporate tax rate to 15% to incentivise investment by businesses and individuals. He also wanted to decrease regulation on energy production to create mining and energy-related jobs, which had been decreasing in the years building up to the election due to deindustrialisation. Trump believed that negotiating new deals could be beneficial, and the US could "win" at trade under his presidency. He argued that existing trade deals under agreements including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were reducing manufacturing jobs in the US and blamed competition from Chinese imports. Mass deportation of undocumented migrants would create vacancies in the job market for American citizens to fill, increasing employment for native-born Americans.

Counter arguments

Trump's proposal to close the American economy to foreign goods by imposing tariffs would kick off a global trade war, slowing down economic growth and increasing unemployment. Retaliations from countries such as China and Mexico would result in new tariffs and lower American exports to those countries, reducing economic activity. Higher interest rates in the US along with uncertainty around a potential global trade war would drive up the cost of the dollar, making all American exporters less competitive in the global market. In 2016 Moody's Analytics suggested that if Trump were elected president and put his stated policies into practice, the United States would experience a lengthy recession, enormous job losses, much higher interest rates and diminished long-term growth prospects.[2] Tax cuts and larger deficits cause an economic contraction in the long run, and largely benefit only the rich. Over time tax cuts would lead to higher government deficits, eventually pushing interest rates up and crowding out other economic activity in the economy. Mass deportation would create a negative shock to the supply side. Trump's proposal to deport millions of undocumented immigrants would reduce the nation's economic output as there would be fewer workers in the US. Employers would struggle to fill these vacancies and many employers are reliant on cheaper immigrant labour.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.economist.com/leaders/2016/11/05/americas-best-hope
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/22/us/politics/hillary-clinton-speech-highlights.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

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This page was last edited on Saturday, 3 Oct 2020 at 10:11 UTC

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