Why Trump Won Follow the Money
How Income "Equality" Helped Trump
by Phil Gramm and Robert B. Ekelund Jr. June 24, 2018 1:47 p.m. ET  WSJ

Did Fake News Help or Hurt?  12/18

summarized by
Walter Antoniotti   antonw@ix.netcom.com   



The number of lower quintile workers in the Underground Economy,
 receiving benefits and not formally working much added
 to resulting middle class animosity.


Income inequality was a large theme in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign however, it fail to move voters. A massive voter shift among lower-middle and middle-income Americans resulted in the wealthiest U.S. President since George Washington.

A recent analysis by the Cato Institute’s John F. Early used comprehensive date of how taxes and government payments affect U.S. income distribution. Added to census income was roughly $1 trillion from annual government spending not currently counted in the U.S. Census Bureau’s income-distribution tables. Items added included Medicaid, food stamps, the earned-income tax credit, and 85 other federal payments and services, along with similar state and local income supplements. Then federal, state and local taxes paid were  subtracts leaving usable income.


Trump Voters Understood

Government Help Poor So Much Working Provide Little Gain
as little income variability among the bottom sixty percent.
Not Working Plus Safety Net = Working for Too Many

Why Trump Won

Bottom quintile earnings share of total rose from  2.2% to 12.9%
Second quintile share rose from 7% to 13.9%
quintile middle-income quintile rose from 12.6% to only 15.4%
Fourth quintile’s share fell from 20.5% to 18.6%
Top quintile share fell from 57.7% to 39.3%.

Top to bottom multiple dropped from 26 times to three times

In addition work effort increased moving up the income ladder as more family members worked and more worked two jobs.

Mr. Gramm is a former chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Mr. Ekelund is a professor emeritus in economics at Auburn University. This article is adapted from a forthcoming book, “Freedom and Inequality.” Mike Solon and John Early contributed to this article. Appeared in the June 25, 2018, print edition.


There was little income variability among the bottom sixty percent. Many hardworking middle and lower-middle-income families recognized their efforts gain them little over government transfer recipients. Some could resent that people who don’t work are about as well off as they are. Many felt disrespected and alienated. They perceived an injustice and voted for Donald Trump.