Economic Recovery

88 Months of Job Growth, All Time Record, So Future Is Economic Recession, Just A Question Of When And How Severe

America has experienced 88 months of job growth and an improving economy, an all time record, so the future is economic recession, with the only question being when and how severe it will be.

It is like gravity, in that what goes up must come down, and Donald Trump has been bragging as if he created the economic growth, when it was the contribution of Barack Obama, who was overseer over the greatest economic recovery in American history, and without war.

Franklin D. Roosevelt is credited with helping to solve the Great Depression in the 1930s, but it took until war spending for World War II for the recovery to be totally successful, while Obama avoided a major war, and created the economic conditions that now Trump is making it as if he did it all by himself in the past year.

Trump came into office with a great economy, while Obama came in at the worst time since Herbert Hoover, and had to deal with what we call the Great Recession.

As I write this, the stock market has had its two worst days in two years, losing 666 points on Friday, and 1175 on Monday, making for the greatest two day loss in stock market history. The market actually went down 1579 before it revived to 1175 by the close of trading. So it went down in the past two days by 1840, a total of seven percent of the stock market.

It will be interesting to see how Donald Trump reacts to this, since he loves to give himself credit for the improvement in the stock market, even though it was steadily rising under Barack Obama, who he will never give credit to on anything.

if the economy falters, Trump will lose a lot of his supporters, and his public opinion polls will collapse into the 20s instead of the low to mid 30s where it is right now.

Barack Obama State Of The Union Speech One Of Leadership, But Also Asking For BiPartisanship!

President Barack Obama gave an outstanding State of the Union speech tonight, but one with an attempt to promote bipartisanship as he begins his second term.

He asked for cooperation to avoid constant budget battles that undermine economic recovery, and reflect badly on our image internationally, considering that we are a world leader.

He called for investments in energy, infrastructure, and education, including a preschool program for all young children.

He called for action on climate change, and indicated he would take executive action if nothing was done on the issue.

He called for a program of immigration reform that apparently impressed Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, in an interview on CNN after the speech.

He backed the need for Medicare and Social Security reforms, as long as they did not harm the long term stability of the programs.

He appealed for basic gun legislation to try to cut down the widespread violence, with more than 1,400 people killed by gun violence in the past month and a half alone!

He informed us that half of the remaining 68,000 troops in Afghanistan were coming home within the next year. This made clear his goal to focus on domestic reform, and wind down the overseas commitment of military forces.

He called for an increase in the minimum wage, and for prevention of laws that interfere with the right to vote, informing us that this is basic justice for all Americans.

Any reasonable person would have to say that his speech set a series of goals that were very mainstream and reasonable, but of course, the opposition will see it otherwise. One can hope that a lot of his ideas and initiatives can be accomplished, but it will not be easy to do so!

“It’s The Economy, Stupid!”: How Obama Is Helped, Despite Economic Slowdown

The latest news on the economy is very disconcerting, as we saw the smallest job growth in eleven months, 69,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate inching up to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent.

According to economists, the Great Recession started in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, and we are now into three years of “economic recovery”. After losing 7 million jobs, we have regained 4.2 million of them in the past three years.

Economic statistics can be used to prove or disprove any point. Obviously, the economy is a big problem, and Republican nominee Mitt Romney banks on that, and keeps on hammering it home, and will do that even more with the new economic figures.

But it is also important to realize that the economic recovery, the slowest since World War II, could also be seen in a different perspective, that the Great Recession has never really ended, and that the Republican opposition, by resisting any jobs legislation in the past year and a half, when they have controlled the House of Representatives, has massively contributed to it.

There is plenty of blame to go around, and Barack Obama and the Democrats must share the blame, but to claim that the GOP has no responsibility is ridiculous, and those who would claim that a President McCain would have had a better economic record must be smoking something that promotes delusions!

And the good aspect of the economic problem is that in seven of the ten “swing states” that the Obama Victory Fund contributes funds from sale of merchandise, the unemployment rate is lower, often substantially lower than in the nation at large.

This includes the following:

Iowa 5.1%
New Hampshire 5.0%
Virginia 5.6%
Wisconsin 6.7%
Ohio 7.4%
Pennsylvania 7.4%
Colorado 7.9%

The unemployment rate is higher in:

Florida 8.7%
North Carolina 9.4%
Nevada 11.7%

It should also be pointed out that in 34 states out of 50, two thirds, the unemployment rate is lower than the national average.

So Mitt Romney using the issue of unemployment in seven of the ten”swing states” is not going to ring as genuine, and if Obama wins those seven states, he can lose Florida, North Carolina, and Nevada, and still win a second term handily!

Two Prestigious Scholars Blame The Republican Party For The Stalemate In The 112th Congress

Two well known scholars, Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norman J. Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, have recently published a book and authored articles criticizing the Republican Party for the stalemate in the 112th Congress.

The Republican Party is blamed for its refusal to hold members of their party in Congress accountable for their wild statements; is seen as totally against compromise; refuses to accept facts, evidence and science; lacks respect for the legitimacy of the opposition party and its members; and is so far outside the mainstream as to be alarming for any hope of accomplishment of any goals or programs!

The two people most responsible for this extremism are former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and Grover Norquist of the Americans for Tax Reform. But also the filibuster has been abused in the Senate, and prevented many executive branch appointments from being confirmed, both in the government agencies and in the court system.

The reaction to Roe V. Wade after 1973 mobilized social conservatives, while the tax revolt in California in 1978 mobilized anti tax activists. Also, the South turned conservative Republican after the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s; and the rise of conservative talk radio, and the growing impact of Fox News on cable, also had a great impact on what has become a growing stalemate and gridlock.

Health care reform, climate change, economic recovery, deficits, and debt issues have become a chasm between the two major political parties. Polarization has become the norm, and is a dangerous trend which may continue, if the voters again send a confusing message of a divided Congress in the 2012 Congressional elections. The Tea Party movement, if it grows, will further create conflict at a time when we need negotiation and compromise!

This assessment is extremely worrisome, as it means that our national government may be totally paralyzed, when we need true statesmen in both parties dealing with our important national agenda!

Brisk Economic Growth In 4th Quarter Good Sign!

Great news has been announced by the government this morning, indicating that we have witnessed the fastest growth quarter in six years in the last three months of 2009.

The economy grew by an annualized 5.7 percent, way above what was expected, and far better than the annualized 2.2 percent in the third quarter of 2009.

The biggest fear, however, is that we could be in the midst of what economists call a “jobless” economic recovery, so there is a great need for an aggressive job creation program this year, but one wonders if the opposition Republican party will work to undermine such an event by lack of legislative support, particularly in the Senate. 🙁 Let’s hope they do what is right for the American people!