Saturday, 5 May 2012

US employment numbers - not good for Obama

The US economy seems to be slowing. In April, employment numbers only increased by 115,000.

Due to population growth, the US economy needs to put on about 200,000 to 300,000 jobs a month, just to keep unemployment constant. Steady employment growth is something that has eluded the US economy for the last five or so years.

Slowing employment won't help Obama. The US economy is in trouble, despite four years of the hopey-change presidency.


Anonymous said...

Were you expecting something better?

droog said...

This is one area where I agree with Alice. I'm sure we disagree on whether Republicans would be better or worse, but Democrats are bad enough.

There's plenty of blame to go around as Republicans have explicitly stated they want to make Obama's presidency a failed one. But even setting aside their obstructionism the Democrats have focused too little on employment. And from what I read recently if Obama is re-elected they'll go back to the same level of ignorant policies.

Instead of focusing directly on employment they spin these yarns about creating confidence that never translate into jobs. The finance sector continues to invest in itself, running derivatives that continue to be little more than a casino. Why would they change their ways when they were bailed with none of them held to account? Anyone in jail? Is the system less risky than four years ago? Or is it blowing up a new bubble?

Pretty much anything having to do with Tim Geithner and Eric Holder has been a waste of four years, and Obama is responsible for that.

Alice Cook said...

Droog, I have to say I am fascinated by the upcoming election. Obama, it seems to me, is really vulnerable on the economy. So he is adopting a very divisive and polemical strategy based on social issues. It is a deeply cynical game plan.

droog said...

It is not a diversionary tactic. The Republicans elected to Congress and in charge of state legislatures are clearly waging war on social issues. I think it's fair to point out how this is the only thing they do when they have power.

It would be stupid to let the opposition dictate the terms of the election. Democrats make that mistake too often. If Republicans are waging these social fights at the state and federal level it's fair game to use the stuff. It's not like Republicans won't use the economy against Obama.

I'll criticise Obama if he makes up stuff. But choosing his line of attack is something he gets to do, not his rivals.

Alice Cook said...

Droog, I don't think so. Obama would like to characterize opposition to his healthcare reform as the Republicans taking up a social agenda. But it isn't really. Obamacare is a fiscal disaster waiting to happen. The effective start date for this mess is just after the election in 2013.

droog said...

The fiscal disaster is the current system. That's why both sides are trying to reduce costs.

It's funny how a law that is essentially what Bob Dole proposed in the 90s and even more similar to what Romney passed (and took credit for) as governor of Massachusetts less than a decade ago is now some stalinist, bankrupt engine of euthanasia simple because The Kenyan Usurper was the one who pushed it through Congress.

Obamacare gives coverage to 30 million more and should still bring savings. This is from the CBO which is still accepted as the best estimator on these matters. Savings on its second decade could be past the trillion dollar mark.

The Republican system may deliver savings but a) it provides less coverage, not more and b) Republican Paul Ryan asked the CBO to use a GDP growth rate slightly higher than the historical average in order to get those results. This is the same kind of magical thinking that makes Mervyn King look like a fool every quarter. The same optimistic irrationality that led Osborne to believe GDP growth would be 2.8% this year and 2.3% last year.