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In a week that saw the breaking of an outlandish ‘fake news’ story concerning President-Elect- Trump, it is too easy to overlook the significance of his press conference on Wednesday. In a question and answer session in New York that saw Trump brand Obamacare as a “complete and total disaster”, it is time to give thought to how Trump is going to change the economy of the United States.

Viewers were treated to a stage set for the entrance of a true American, the backdrop adorned with the stars and stripes as expected. More mysterious, however, was the table weighted down by folders and binders, which sat adjacent to the lectern. Were these the missing 30,000 emails from Hillary Clinton’s server? Or perhaps proof that Obama’s passport was falsified? No. they were the documents with which Donald J Trump claimed to have divested himself of any interests in his own company. Quite a statement to make, and as he assured us several times, there was no obligation for him to do so.

In the same conference that saw Trump’s tax lawyer give a lengthy diatribe on all the ways that Trump had removed any conflict of interest that may have troubled his earthly, pre-presidential mind, he also reminded us that the economy in the US has a lot of work to do. With the prophetic words “(20)17 is going to be the bad year…it’s going to be catastrophic”, he set his electors up for the reality that there is no quick fix for the American economy.

It is no secret that since the 2008 recession, certain states in the US have struggled to get back on their feet in terms of industry and economy. Perhaps the most salient example is that provided by Detroit, a city once flourishing during the peak times of the American auto industry. However, the recession hit the city particularly hard, with unemployment rates still more than 1% higher than the national figure of 9%. Even Obama’s bid to keep the General Motors Headquarters in Detroit was not enough to tackle the issues in this case study city of economic decline.

With this in mind, the appeal of corporate magnate Donald Trump becomes a little more tangible. Imagine a presidential candidate with a proven business record and an eponymous shrine to his own success shooting skywards along Fifth Avenue. With such a physical manifestation of wealth and success, backed up by the rhetoric to sell said success back to the American economy at large, Trump’s ability to overcome news stories that would have derailed any other candidate becomes less about his political prowess, and more about the economic desperation of many Americans.

Throughout his campaign, Trump pledged to create 25 million jobs and boost annual economic growth to 3.5%. Admirable aims in theory, but policies and projects demonstrating how said growth will be initiated have been thin on the ground. The promise of growth and sustainability along with a radical immigration shake-up gifted Trump the presidency, but the lack of viable planning and fore-thought will no doubt be the downfall of his visions.

Watching the President-Elect of the United States petulantly refuse to answer the legitimate questions of CNN journalists, whilst branding their work as “garbage”, was a little too reminiscent of his performance during the presidential campaign. Anyone hoping that campaign-Donald was a hyperbolised version of the soon-to-be President Trump would have been sorely disappointed.

If anything, the most recent presidential election and Trump’s performance since, has proven that the American Dream is merely that; a figment of hope. The very same utopian vision of a fair wage and picket fences for all that led to the creation of this twentieth century fantasy has given way to a new reality.

Today’s America is divided not simply by state boundaries, but by the increasingly irreconcilable identities of religion, race and social background, antagonised by radical political rhetoric. It is unlikely that Trump’s economic policy will be able to repair the fractious nature of American cultural identity. Particularly if he insists on building that wall.

Charlotte Smith is a member of Bright Blue and a Researcher in the House of Commons. The views expressed in this article are those of the author, not necessarily those of Bright Blue.