For all but the last few hundred years of history, economic expansion and the acquisition of big things came by using force. There are really only two economic systems, taking by force or trade by mutual agreement. The United States has always had a combination of the two systems. We took what land we wanted by forcing native Americans off their land and made imperialist acquisitions by using the military. During the early days of the country domestic trade was almost all by mutual agreement. This was the free market system. Over the years industrialists learned to draw subsidies from the government and use tax payers to help finance their enterprises. Railroads got free land from the government, for example.
Today, consumers are still bound by free market incentives but producers have learned how to use force in achieving their economic goals. When force is used, it is deemed in the national interest. The system whereby the largest industries use force as a means of growing is called fascism. Today 100% of bills on which congress votes are efforts to use force as a means of making a profit. Obamacare is a system of using force to make gains in the industries which lobbied to have the bill passed. Consumers are forced to buy ethanol as part of their gasoline. The TARP bill in 2008 was passed to preserve profits and assets of the richest Americans. Over time fascism becomes a feeding frenzy aimed at acquiring profits by controlling markets by use of government.
The nation’s military is used as a means of making economic gains and earning profits.
Fascism is socialism where the benefits are from the top down. More typically socialism starts under the auspice of helping the poor, or providing benefits from the bottom up. In any case, any time economics by force is used, there is a net loss to society. The appearance may be otherwise but that is because with free markets, benefits are initially invisible
During the Bush and Obama administrations, economics by force was used constantly and to the exclusion of everything else. So, will this all change now that Trump is president? So far, all indications are that the use of force will continue. That is what protectionism is. I say protectionism but it is hard to say exactly what the changes will be since only a handful of people around the globe know what is contained in the trade agreements.
The only thing a government can do to bolster economic activity is to set up rules for free markets and enforce those rules. Citizens must have the confidence to rely on themselves instead of upon government dictates. So far there is no evidence of those things happening. It looks as if a Trump administration will usher in another round of economics by force but that new tools will be used.
As fascism progresses, destruction climbs the income ladder. The poor are destroyed first, followed by the middle class followed by the upper middle class and so on. The destruction occurs because wealth and income are constantly being transfered from the bottom to the top. Eventually there is enough destruction that the entire system collapses. The United States is very close to the last stage now.