NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Feb. 28 that socialism poses a greater risk to the U.S. economy than the coronavirus, amid ongoing concerns surrounding the outbreak.
At this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, the largest U.S. gathering of conservatives, Kudlow touted the current state of the economy but noted that uncertainty arising from the outbreak spread fears throughout financial markets, sending stocks lower.
At the time of writing, the U.S. stock market had lost nearly 15 percent from record highs reached just nine days ago, while the VIX volatility index had jumped to its highest level since the financial crisis of 2008.
Nevertheless, the country is in safe hands, Kudlow said.
“[The coronavirus] is not going to sink the American economy. What could sink America is socialism coming from our friends on the other side of the aisle,” he said.
Economists believe that the coronavirus will have a negative short-term effect on the U.S. economy, primarily in the first quarter. But they expect the economy to make up for the losses in the following quarters.
Kudlow, in his speech, targeted Democratic candidates who embrace socialism. He said that history has proven that the American free enterprise model will whip socialism.
Speaking at the event, President Donald Trump’s daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump said that women have been the biggest beneficiary of economic expansion buoyed by Trump’s pro-growth policies, including tax reform and deregulation.
“There are more women working in the labor force than men,” she said, adding that of all the new jobs added last year, 72 percent went to women.
In December last year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed for the first time that there were 109,000 more women working than men. Women occupied 50.04 percent of job positions. Economists predict this trend to continue and gain momentum this year.
Ivanka Trump said the continued economic expansion and record jobless rate pulled almost three out of four new workers from the sidelines of the economy into the workforce.
According to Kudlow, at least 6 million more Americans could come back to the workforce.
Ivanka Trump also touted the Women’s Global Development Prosperity (W-GDP) initiative begun by the White House last year. The initiative aims to help women in underdeveloped countries advance in the workplace, succeed as entrepreneurs, and fully and freely participate in the economy.
“[The president] is taking his economic freedom approach into our foreign policy as well,” she said.
The W-GDP initiative last year encouraged the governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco to amend laws, giving women the right to own property and land.