...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

October 24, 2006

The Economy

According to today's New York Times,

In many ways, the economy has not looked so good in a long time.
Yet Republicans can't get any love when it comes to the strong economy.
“Voters overwhelmingly don’t approve of the president on the economy,” said Amy Walter, a senior editor at the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan firm that handicaps political races. “It comes down to the issue of credibility. And so many voters feel so pessimistic about the direction of the country.”
Take the unemployment figures for instance. The rule of thumb I always heard in school was that anytime you have unemployment at 5% or below, the country was doing great. Right now, unemployment is at 4.4%. That is great. Check out this graph from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for some historical perspective.

As you can see, since WWII, unemployment has been over 5% a lot more than it's been under. Yet you still get comments like this one:

Ann O’Callahan, a 64-year old Irish immigrant in suburban Philadelphia, defines herself as a social conservative. She voted Republican in 2000, but switched to the Democrats in 2004. This year she plans to vote Democratic again, mainly because of the economy. “I am very disturbed by the economic policies of the Bush administration,” she said.

Ms. O’Callahan’s district, Pennsylvania’s Seventh, is an island of relative affluence. The median income in the area, according to the Census Bureau, topped $63,000 last year, more than a third higher than the national median. According to Economy.com’s analysis, based on county data, unemployment this year in the district should average 3.8 percent, well below the national average.

But, Ms. O’Callahan said, jobs were not enough. “I work with job placement so I see up close how a lot more work is demanded of people, how benefits are disappearing, how hourly rates have been stagnant throughout the Bush administration,” she said. She said that jobs were plentiful, “but paying $8 an hour with no benefits.”

What I think Ms. O'Callahan overlooked is that in any economy there's going to be a bottom of the barrel type job. These days it's probably going to pay $8 an hour without benefits. But when 96.2% of the people in Ms. O'Callahan's district are working, I'd imagine that she's spending most of her time placing people in these bottom of the barrel type jobs. Most people with skills are probably already employed, and making more money.

We need entry level jobs. They're where most people start out. And they're good for students and retired people. Look at what's going on in France where "youths" are burning busses and attacking police because their country won't allow businesses the freedom to offer entry level jobs.

With the Dow over 12,000 and unemployment under 5%, I say the economy is doing great.

Posted by annika, Oct. 24, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: annikapunditry


Predicatably the MSM was much more interested in Foley and their media driven story than the Dow hitting 12,000. If this had been a Dem President, you'd still be reading stories about it.

Here's a prediction: The Foley story will continue to garner media attention until Nov 3 when miraculously it will go away never to be heard of again.

Posted by: blu on Oct. 24, 2006

MSM turns every bit of good economic news into economic disasters. The only people who think the economy is doing great are those who ignore MSM.

The truth is that never in the history of America has economic conditions been so good.

Posted by: Jake on Oct. 24, 2006

However, national debt is at an all-time high; this extravagant lifestyle must eventually be paid back. Personal debt in the US is at record levels; there is no longer the ability to run out and shop to buy one's way out of the federal deficit, especially since so many buy foreign goods, which exascerbates the foreign trade deficit. There are many other indicators to look at beyond the hollow GDP.

Posted by: will on Oct. 24, 2006

LMAO, there is nothing more reliable than the leftist fucktard. Their acquaintance with truth is never more than a passing one. May God bless Arthur Laffer.

Posted by: Casca on Oct. 24, 2006

The L7 is right about the the national debt, but destroying economic growth, via tax hikes, to eliminate the deficit doesn't appeal to me. I'd rather the Republicans stop acting like Third Way-ers and cut all of the massive spending on bullshit.

Posted by: reagan80 on Oct. 25, 2006

I agree with reagan80: way too much pork still exists.

Posted by: will on Oct. 25, 2006

For more depth discussion on the topic, I recommend "Running On Empty: How The Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It" by Peter G. Peterson, Secretary of Commerce under Nixon.

Posted by: will on Oct. 25, 2006

The spending under Bush (and I'm not talking about the military, which Clinton gutted and needed to be addressed) has been out of control. For me, this is the biggest failure of Bush and the Reps. They have had the majority; they can't blame it on Dems. Luckily, his tax strategy has paid off, so we have tremendous economic growth. Time to address the other half of the equation.

Posted by: blu on Oct. 25, 2006

Hmmm. Bruce Bartlett probably got the idea for the title of his book from that Peterson guy's.

Blu, the only other major flaw I'd add is that the administration isn't running much of a meritocracy. (Harriet Miers, WTF?)

Posted by: reagan80 on Oct. 25, 2006

Didn't Bartlet pass on? What's the book title? I read "The 7 Fat Years", which (I think) was published in the early 90's.

Posted by: blu on Oct. 25, 2006

Oh no, he's still alive. The title that I'm referring to is not flattering to Bush & Co.

Posted by: reagan80 on Oct. 25, 2006

Thanks Reagan80,

I had his name confused with Robert Bartley, who did pass away a couple of years back. (He was the editor of the WSJ - awarded the Pulitzer at one point.) Bartley wrote the "The 7 Fat Years."

Posted by: blu on Oct. 25, 2006

No problem, Blu. Though, I think I'll shut up now before I start sounding more like Skippy or Roach.

Posted by: reagan80 on Oct. 25, 2006