President Donald Trump made a few strange remarks when he talked to reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday, but perhaps the strangest was his statement that everybody owns stocks.
Trump was boasting about the stock market when he declared, “Don’t forget, stock markets — it’s not just rich people, it’s all people. Because all people own in the stock markets. New York Stock Exchange, all of them. They’re at record highs. Nobody’s ever done what we’ve done.”
Here’s a clip of his remarks:
Trump falsely claims that everyone owns stocks: "Don't forget, stock market is not just rich people — it's all people. Because all people own in the stock markets." pic.twitter.com/VqdTCyiYtM
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 16, 2019
The real number of people who “own in the stock markets” is nowhere near 100% of Americans. We know that because, in 2018, Poliifact ran a fact-check on Democratic congressman Ro Khanna who claimed that “most Americans don’t own any stocks.” Like Trump, Khanna was pretty far off in his assessment.
In reality, about half of Americans are invested in the stock market, though many of them may not know it. Their pensions or 401k plans may be tied to stocks. And wealthy Americans own most of the stocks being exchanged; so, while Trump may never admit it, a booming stock market benefits the rich more than anybody else.
The president seems to go through phases in which he obsessively talks about the stock market. Over the summer, he thanked himself for the rising numbers.
Stock Market is heading for one of the best months (June) in the history of our Country. Thank you Mr. President!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2019
But Trump is also responsible for some noticeable plunges in the markets. After he tweeted an “order” that American companies look for alternatives outside of China, the Dow went into a free-fall, dropping around 600 points. The volatile markets frequently sway as the president tweets.
Of course, when the stock market magic dries up, Trump tends to turn his attention to other matters.