"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, June 8, 2012

You're Kidding, Right?

UPDATE: James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise blog, echoes my comments below:

But is it really? Is the private sector “doing fine?”
1. Private-sector jobs have increased by an average of just 105,000 over the past three months and by just 89,000 a month during the entire Obama Recovery.  In 1983 and 1984, during the supply-side Reagan Boom, private sector jobs increased by an average of 292,000 a month. Adjusted for population, that number is more like 375,000 private-sector jobs a month
2. If the labor force participation rate for May had just stayed where it was in April, the unemployment rate would have risen to 8.4%. As it is, the U.S. economy is suffering is longest sustained bout of 8% unemployment or higher since the Great Depression.
3. Private-sector GDP rose just 2.6% in the first quarter, after rising a measly 1.2% last year.  By contrast, private-sector GDP rose 3.8% in 1983 and 6.5% in 1984 during the supply-side Reagan Boom.
4. The U.S. stock market is down 7% since early April.
5. Real take-home pay is down over the past year.
6. That first-quarter GDP report also showed that after-tax corporate profits dropped for the first time in three years. Major red flag.


This almost needs no gloss:

4.3 million jobs in 27 months?   Hmmmm... that works out to a non-robust 160,000 jobs a month.  

Let's put this in perspective.   In the first five months of 1984, the American economy under Ronald Reagan added 1.87 million jobs, or nearly 375,000 a month, on a base that was roughly 40 million workers smaller than the economy today.   That's a far cry from Obama's last two months of 77,000 and 69,000, isn't it?   From his first inauguration to reelection day in November 1984, the American economy under Reagan was up 4.9 million jobs, again on a much smaller base.    For Obama to match that record even in gross terms, he would have to add nearly a million jobs a month from now until election day.

Oh, by the way, Obama's math is wrong anyway.   From March 2010 through May 2012 (27 months), the economy added only 3.6 million jobs according to the BLS.  Wishful thinking?   Lying?   You decide.

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