THIS WEEK IN NYC 
 
 

MANHATTAN CHRONICLES 
January 21, 2017
by Alexandra Ares
FAREWELL OBAMA, HELLO TRUMP

The former President left this week with high approval ratings and an impressive list of accomplishments: Obama's administration rescued the economy from the 2008 depression, kept the oil at $50 a barrel, caught Osama Bin Laden, restored the prestige of the United States after the Iraq war, brought the stock market from 6000 to 20000; opened an embassy in Cuba; banned torture; managed 82 months of straight jobs growth; put a Rover on Mars; passed a credit card reform; allowed gay marriage; decreased the dependence on foreign oil; reduced the deficit from 9.8 of GDP to 3.2 of GDP; passed the Volker rule; ended the solitary confinement for juveniles; regulated tobacco;; allowed gays, women, and transgenders to serve in the military; saved the US auto industry; passed the affordable care act which expanded coverage to 20 million people and banned insurers from banning coverage because of preexisting conditions, despite its man flaws, etc.

On the other hand, in many ways Obama outBushed Bush. Under his tenure, US expanded fracking, supported TPP, increased deportations, had a cabinet appointed by CitiBank (as per Wikileaks), doubled the military personnel stationed in the Middle East and Afghanistan, doubled the national debt. Most of all, Obama failed to fix what many feel it’s wrong at the core of the country:

Per the New York Times, the middle class has been shrinking since Obama took office:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/01/25/upshot/shrinking-middle-class.html

Per the New York Times, race relationships were at their worst in nearly 24 years under Obama:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/14/us/most-americans-hold-grim-view-of-race-relations-poll-finds.html?_r=0

Per the New York Times, infrastructure decay is a dire threat:

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/06/us/politics/human-cost-rises-as-old-bridges-dams-and-roads-go-unrepaired.html

Truth be told, American manufacturing has been disappearing to satisfy Wall Street and executive chasing quarterly earnings, well before Obama, and continued unhindered under his administration. The manufacturing wealth that was formerly shared with the US middle class wasn’t shifted only overseas. It was also shifted upward to financial industry compensation. 

Obama's supporters might loathe the messenger, but it is truth to President Trump’s message. It remains to be seen if the new administration will manage to shift the power back to the American people as promised in Trump's Inaugural Address. The new President will deal, just like the former President and any other President, with a Congress where, as per "60 Minutes", every Congressman spends hours every day dialing various special interests for dollars, and with partisan politics where opposition (be it Democrat or Republican) would rather see the President fail than help him do anything good for the American people (and ta