August 22, 2004
During the seemingly eternal campaign for president, there has been a lot of talk about the economy, and a lot of close investigation of numbers. I know I've heard repeat descriptions of these numbers as the worst recovery since the Great Depression, ans so on. To be honest, I haven't kept real close tabs on the whole thing, because frankly, I'm not really interested nor concerned. You can't just create a couple million jobs on a whim. Besides, I know there are a lot of politics at play in the stated opinions. That's why I thought this article by the chairman of Bush's economic advisor team was interesting; it lays out some contested numbers in a simple way.Now I know that the chairman of Bush's economic advisors would have cause to be a bit biased. However, I know that some of the numbers he states are actual facts, as opposed to many pessimistic articles that just basically say Bush has taken the economy to Hell in his personal handbasket. Anyone can see that the "bubble" burst before Bush took office and that 9/11 hit while he was in office. Those are two pretty big shocks out of the president's control to deal with.The fact is that, yeah, there remain more jobs to be created, but as I've said before, I wouldn't call it a crisis. I do know that at my work we're desperately looking for some additional help in some areas and there just can't find any qualified applicants.
Posted by charr at 8:44 AM
These Great Depression comparisons are silly. I don't recall hearing about day traders jumping out windows to their deaths when the tech sector went bust. The streets are lined with new Lexuses (Lexi?) and houses are being built and bought at a strong rate. The economy isn't bad enough to be compared with a time when much of the nation was going without not luxuries but even cutting back on basic necessities like food.
This is actually a good example of the economic pessimism I was talking about: "...a financial crisis within five years." I realize Volcker is a Republican and I'm sure knows infinitely more about economics than I do, but I don't buy what he's saying. A national economy doesn't stay flat, i.e. it has rises and falls, and has a period greater than a 4-year presidential term. The country has been in large deficits before and has gotten out of them as times improve. Do I like the country to be in debt? No. Do I think the current administration could do a better job between spending and bringing in revenue? Yes. But they are also criticized on everything they do and have to do what they think is right. I'm ok with that and figure we'll be fine. I would call the Great Depression a crisis and we aren't anywhere close to that.