Stories by Steve LeVine

For Trump, a China trade war election

Hand putting ballot in box
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Short of a highly improbable climbdown by China, President Trump, confronting a strong re-election challenge from Democrats, is likely to maintain an aggressive public posture toward Beijing at least through the 2020 campaign cycle, experts tell Axios.

The big picture: Standing tall against China is one of the very few issues with strong bipartisan popularity across the country, which will make Trump hesitant to let it go, especially given the strong economy.

Big data, attention and wealth

Man walking past data
Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty/Somerset House

A core obsession of internet reformers is to loosen Big Tech’s stranglehold on the financial spoils from the data they vacuum up, and spread the riches around. But some economists say the payoff to ordinary Americans will be much less than many imagine.

What's happening: Economists say we live in an age of income inequality not seen since before the Great Depression — and possibly since the Gilded Age at the end of the 19th century. But they struggle to identify precisely why it's happened.

Trump has remade the bully pulpit

Roosevelt campaigning

Photo: Bettmann/Getty

JFK went on a public tirade against steel companies, as did Harry Truman. Woodrow Wilson nationalized the railroads. Dwight Eisenhower went after the "military industrial complex." And Teddy Roosevelt and FDR were aggressive populists.

Reality check: But President Trump may eclipse all his predecessors in terms of tapping and stirring public anger in service of his policies, historians say.