Wednesday, August 22, 2012

When will Obama reap what he has sown?

Joan Walsh--whom I've dissected before--has a new piece at Salon entitled "The GOP reaps what it sowed," with the subheading:
The GOP sold its soul to the extremist Christian right. So why do its leaders act surprised by their Todd Akins?
I don't need to read it to know what's in it. I'm sure it's a bunch of pseudo-analysis about how the GOP has been catering to the so-called "fringe right" or "religious right" for decades now, so when someone like Akin sticks his foot in his mouth, the GOP should deservedly catch heat for it, should fairly be held responsible for the silly ideas from Akins and others of his ilk. Blah, blah, blah.

And Akins is all every pundit and his or her brother can talk about right now. There's rampant speculation about how the Akin situation might affect Romney, about how it might even cost him the general election. In the grand scheme of things, it's such a nothing issue. We're still in the midst of a non-recovery, yet most pundits and analysts throughout the land categorically refuse to credit the President for this dismal economy. Indeed, they happily lap up the nonsensical "evidence" offered by the Administration and buy into the phony metric of job creation.

With so much of the media talking and writing heads in the tank for Obama, the Campaign is sticking to its guns on this. Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter--of "Romney may be a felon" fame--said the following yesterday on MSNBC:
Well, I think that worker probably has a good understanding of what's happened over the past four years in terms of the president coming in and seeing 800,000 jobs lost on the day that the president was being sworn in, and seeing the president moving pretty quickly to stem the losses, to turn the economy around, and over the past, you know, 27 months we've created 4.5 million private sector jobs. That's more jobs than in the Bush recovery, in the Reagan recovery, there's obviously more we need to do, and as I said to Mika at the at beginning of the program, I think that unemployed worker probably sees one person in this race trying to move the country forward and that's the president.
As I've previously noted, these numbers are actually not good at all, since--right now--it takes from 100,000 to 150,000 new jobs each month just to keep pace with population growth. What that means in actual numbers:
So, if we figure this in to Obama's impressive number of 4.3 million jobs created (assuming it's accurate), what do we have? Estimates vary on this, but generally it is assumed that somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000 jobs are needed each month to keep pace with population growth. Thus, on the low end we have (for Obama's cited 27 months) 2.7 million of those jobs amounting to, well, nothing. On the high end? 4.1 million of the jobs serving only to keep pace with population growth.  
At best, Obama can tout some 1.6 million jobs that have had a meaningful impact on unemployment, that represent new growth. That works out to under 60,000 jobs per month. At worst, 200,000 jobs...or less than 7,500 per month.
Though I do have to wonder where the extra 200,000 jobs came from (4.5 now vs. 4.3 in the past, for the same 27 months). Oh, I know! Perhaps the higher number reflects "corrections" by the BLS, which--as we know--basically manufactures some numbers to make things look better than they really are. But even BLS fudging can't obscure the reality of employment, or lack thereof. Cutter wants to compare the Obama Recovery to the Reagan Recovery, does she? Chew on this, Ms. Cutter:
At at this point in Reagan's first term, the unemployment rate was 7.8%, down from a peak of 10.8%. He ultimately was elected when unemployment was 7.2%.
What else is there to say? That stat was from back in May. The unemployment rate under Obama in May was 8.2%. Two months later, it sits at 8.3%, headed in the wrong direction. And that's with massive cuts by the BLS to the labor participation rate. Let's look at Tyler Durden's chart from February once again:



The red line is the unemployment rate minus BLS fudging. In reality, there's been minimal growth in employment. This bares out the reality of the job creation numbers being touted by Cutter: looked at through the lens of reality, they are pathetic. But again, even with the fudging the unemployment rate has little chance of dropping to 7.2% by election day. The idea that--somehow--Obama has managed a downturn more effectively than did Reagan is laughable.

And yet, pundits willingly buy the argument advanced by Cutter. I get why Cutter is being disingenuous: politics, nothing more. But the self-styled media elites? They feign intelligence and understanding greater than that of the common man, but when it comes right down to it they're either being manipulated or they are openly obfuscating. I have to wonder what they would rather be: idiots or liars. Though I guess they could be both. Either way, it now seems clear that Obama will never reap what he has sown, will never be held responsible for the failures of his economic vision.

Cheers, all.

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