"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

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs - Reagan v. Obama

I've said before here (and many others have said) that the job numbers reported every month are somewhat misleading.   Politicians will tout as a "good" job number when the economy creates 150,000 or 200,000 new jobs.   But those figures are gross numbers and are meaningless except in relation to the size of the country, which is always growing.   150,000 jobs in a country of 30 million is a significant boom; 150,000 jobs in a country of 300 million is barely keeping up with population growth.  

To get a real sense of how the economy is growing or not growing, you thus have to "net out" population growth.   Here's a neat graph that compares the Reagan recovery of the early 1980s to the Obama recovery in terms of job growth adjusted to net out population growth:  

Obama v Reagan Net Jobs

Seems pretty obvious whose recovery was robust and whose recovery was weak.   The fact that their policies were so different should suggest the failure of Obama's big government/Keynesian-socialist solutions to economics.   That is, if people can learn from history.   Which is not always the case, sadly.


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