This is good news

I know it’s going to be hard for the FOX audience to accept,  but we seem to be seeing a trend here. Unlike the charts I posted yesterday, this shows private sector jobs only. Picked this up at Washington Monthly, where Steve Benen notes:

“All told, the economy has added 763,000 private-sector jobs in 2010. For comparison purposes, note that the economy lost nearly 4.7 million private-sector jobs in 2009, and lost 3.8 million in 2008.”

  

It’s hard to read those numbers on the bottom – the last bar on the right is August 2010.

18 responses to “This is good news

  1. Moe – I have been making this same comment on several other blogs – and I am simply amazed by the way conservatives are finding a way to put a negative spin on better-than-expected economic news.

    Also in the news this week – and also ignored – is that productivity has been dropping. That sounds like a bad thing – but in actuality it is in indication that businesses are reaching their current capacity and will need to expand their facilities and workforce if indeed they want to continue expansion.

    You will never hear this on Pravda-FOX of course. I am not generally prone to conspiracy theories, but I suspect FOX (and others) are intentionally spreading doomsday news on the economy with the specific aim of weakening consumer confidence, slowing the recovery, and keeping their followers angry.

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    • And don’t ever forget Prof, that whatever their strategy, it must include making money for Murdoch.

      I heard that productivity comment too but didn’t realize what it meant till you just explained it. So – another good thing. And these days, at least if it’s not negative, we can fairly call it good.

      Screw FOX – I’m rooting for more good news.

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  2. hippieprof,

    We do not have to do what ‘your’ side did during Bush’s eight years. You are guilty of projection. Projecting your own actions on to other people. Even when unemployment dipped below 5% during the Bush Presidency, Democrats talked down the economy. The worst economy since the Great Depression was common during those years.

    ” I suspect FOX (and others) are intentionally spreading doomsday news on the economy with the specific aim of weakening consumer confidence, slowing the recovery, and keeping their followers angry. ”

    Fox does not have to. And you are giving Fox credit for power it does not have. You really think that lil ole Fox can keep the US economy in a recession? Obama is doing that quite nicely with Pelosi and Reid’s help, thank you very much. You can’t accept that class warfare failed. You can’t accept that Obama’s Socialist policies have failed horribly.

    Let’s talk about angry, shall we? You have people who have been unemployed for two and three years now. Since Democrats took Congress. Apparently ‘you’ are just fine. Do you actually believe it is Fox who is responsible for these poor folks being discouraged and angry? If that is what you truly believe, please tell what you are smoking, because as the great Tommy Cong used to say, I’ll have two of them.

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    • Alan said: Let’s talk about angry, shall we? You have people who have been unemployed for two and three years now. Since Democrats took Congress. Apparently ‘you’ are just fine. Do you actually believe it is Fox who is responsible for these poor folks being discouraged and angry? If that is what you truly believe, please tell what you are smoking, because as the great Tommy Cong used to say, I’ll have two of them.

      First, I believe you meant Tommy Chong….. unless there was a “Cheech and Cong” who somehow flew under my radar….. 😉

      So – yeah – lets talk angry. I am pretty pissy these days, and I may soon lose my hard-earned reputation for being reasonable.

      The GOP spent 8 years massively screwing up the economy – leaving it in absolute shambles and at risk of total systemic collapse. The Democrats have had two years to fix the problem (with the GOP fighting every solution) – and indeed the economy is recovering. Yet you and FOX and others want to blame the problems on the Democrats? How outlandish is that?

      Yes – FOX and the mindless drones who listen to them (and sadly I am going to have to number you amongst those – only a mindless drone could call Obama’s policies socialist) do contribute to the problem. The GOP and FOX and right-wing radio don’t want Obama to succeed – so they are doing everything they can to see that he fails. Hell with the country – we just need to insure we get back into power…. Yeah – just keep stirring that political pot – keep people pissed off – that way we can put the rich back in power and fuck things up some more…..

      The part that really pisses me off? Obama hasn’t failed unless you read the FOX propaganda sheets. Oh – his policies haven’t been progressive enough, for sure, but sadly too many of his party are afraid of bold action. He has managed to get some decent reform measures passed He kept the economy from complete and irreversible collapse. We need more stimulus, not less…..

      So – here is a challenge. Tell me what the economy would be like right now had the GOP been in charge. I will take it is a given that we would have more business and bank failures, more real estate foreclosures, and higher unemployment. How would the GOP – whose only policy seems to be to give tax cuts to the rich – wade out of the mess. Seriously. Go for it.

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    • Like the prof, I too have a challenge for you too, Alan.

      Please tell me what the Bush Administration and six years of a Republican congress accomplished – other than adding a huge entitlement, wrecking hte economy, and taking us into two wars on borrowed money. What did they accomplish for the American people?

      Of course, they did cut taxes for the richest 1% of Americans and saved them from the horror of inheritance taxes. You may consider that a plus, but don’t say it’s because these are the people who create jobs- because they didn’t. Instead, they managed to lose (see above) nearly nine million jobs, many of which were sent off shore.

      And then there was calling a special session of congress to interfere iwth the private decisions of a grieving family (Terry Schiavo) because the Christians in the congress thought it was God’s will to fight the family. Very small government of them, wasn’t it.

      Look forward to your answers.

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  3. hippieprof, Ms. Holland,

    Thank you for the detailed response. You know that I live for the argument, but you both made so many points which you want me to address that long winded as I am, I do not want to write my version of War and Peace. I’ll try to keep it the length of the health care bill that nobody in Congress read.

    First, you are correct about Tommy Chong. I tend to miss spelling and grammar screw ups . I was wrong.

    ” The GOP spent 8 years massively screwing up the economy – leaving it in absolute shambles and at risk of total systemic collapse. ” You was, I mean you were wrong. It’s pretty hard to have 8 straight years with out a down turn. Considering 911, the post 911 white powder scares, the increasing cost of oil, Katrina, and the growing power of the opposite political party , I would say looking at just the unemployment numbers, President Bush had 6 out of 8 good years. And my good Professor blaming the GOP for all 8 years is slightly dishonest on your part. Did you ‘forget’ that the last 2 ‘Bad’ years coincided perfectly with Democrats taking Congress? What do you think they were doing, making sure things went well so that Republicans could hang onto the Presidency in 08???

    Ohhhh, lets discuss who really was responsible for putting the equivalent of Botulism and Salmonella into the financial food chain, which caused ‘runs’ on the Banks. I guess it was Republicans who shielded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while they ran up billions in phony profits and millions in bonuses for the executives. Those executives conveniently retired when the mortgages started going bad.

    I guess it was George Bush, not Chris Dodd who was a friend of Angelo and helped Countywide write and sell all of the bad mortgages that crashed the system.

    ” only a mindless drone could call Obama’s policies socialist) do contribute to the problem. ” I really hope that economics is not what you are a Professor of. Buzz,buzz. Tell me how we are to judge objectively the Obama economic plan? The unemployment rate went from 7.5% to 9.5 and 10% during the execution of his master plan. I am using the Administration’s own measuring stick, when I say it was not to go above 8%. That is a failure using your side’s measure.

    ” The GOP and FOX and right-wing radio don’t want Obama to succeed – so they are doing everything they can to see that he fails. Hell with the country – we just need to insure we get back into power ”

    Earth to hippieprof, Fox does not have that power, the GOP has much less power than Democrats had at any time during Bush.

    ” just keep stirring that political pot – keep people pissed off – that way we can put the rich back in power and fuck things up some more….. ” If those people had ‘jobs’ instead of years of unemployment checks the evil Fox would not matter. And why are you so profane ? Your Party has had God like political power for 19 months. Why are you so unhappy?

    ” How would the GOP – whose only policy seems to be to give tax cuts to the rich – wade out of the mess. Seriously. Go for it. ”

    Study your history. What worked in the past when all seemed lost? One word, Reaganomics. Do not not tell me it did not work. I lived through the 70s and 80s. I’m not one of your college students with no life experience.

    Ms. Holland,
    I am already soooo long, but .

    ” Please tell me what the Bush Administration and six years of a Republican congress accomplished ”

    They kept the Country from falling apart in the post 911 period. That means the economy. They rebuilt the military. They pushed radical Islam back. They showed the world that the US could outlast terrorists. This was lost during Clinton. They refilled the strategic oil reserve, which is a big deal because ‘none’ of this green BS does anything to lessen our energy dependence on the Middle East. You remember how your boy Clinton was always taking out of the reserve.

    ” other than adding a huge entitlement, ” I can see why you are mad about that. That was the Democrats job. You guys should sue the Republicans the way Obama is suing Arizona for doing his job. 🙂

    Sorry for not getting into the rest of your points. I just hate it when people like me drone on and on and on.

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    • Alan, I don’t have time and I am not in the mood at the moment to respond in detail. I tend toward political despair these days – we finally get the country moving in the right direction again and the rich and powerful are damned well going to stop it. The bastards are winning, too….. and the hold all the cards, especially after the Citizens United debacle….

      Unless you are mega-rich you are their tool, Alan. Their policies benefit them, not you. As Moe says, trickle down only works if the money trickles domestically and doesn’t make its way to som outsourced worker in India instead. Don’t fool yourself. FOX is very very very powerful – and behind the FOX propaganda machine are mega-billionaires WHO DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU.

      Like I said, I have limited time right now. Until I have a chance for a longer respond, chew on this article. It tells you who is really calling the shots – and believe me – they aren’t your friend and would be happy to trample you if you got in their way.

      http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer

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    • Oh – and yes – I have quite a background in economics including a professional publication record in behavioral economics. That is why I can say with confidence that only a fool (or a tool – interesting rhyme) would call Obama’s policies socialistic.

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    • Alan
      In your response to me, you list things you say Bush did (I think you’ll want to check your facts on things like “pausing radical Islam back” and “outlasting the terrorists” – whatever that means), but every single one of the things you list is reactive. Tell me one active thing they did for THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Waiting. . . .

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  4. hippieprof,

    I have a correction. Countrywide did not write and sell ‘all’ of the bad mortgages. My editing failed again.

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  5. hippieprof,

    ” Unless you are mega-rich you are their tool, Alan. ” I may very well be. I am not at all afraid to consider the possibility. But tell me, whose tool are you ? I do enjoy our discussion and hope I have not upset you. I feel your pain. I felt it every time my side lost the discussion and the elections in the last few years. I don’t know that we handled it any better than you are now.

    Ms Holland,

    ” (I think you’ll want to check your facts on things like “pausing radical Islam back” ” Many grammar mistakes I’ve made, but I did not make that one. I said, ” They pushed radical Islam back.”

    ” but every single one of the things you list is reactive. Tell me one active thing they did for THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Waiting. . . .”

    I am afraid that you and I will have to continue to disagree on what the value of a President is. It took me a long moment to follow your meaning when you spoke of reactive and active things. To you a President’s value is in changing things. Well President Obama must be the greatest thing since sliced bread to you.

    President Bush also came into office with an ‘active’ agenda. Unfortunately events forced his Presidency into what you would call a reactive one. I believe that over time, his reactions will cause him to move rapidly up the list of great Presidents. Certainly Obama’s ‘difficulties’ are making Bush better looking by the moment.

    Have a nice holiday.

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    • Okay Alan – you’ve made a valid point about Bush being forced into a reactive mode. Great presidents? Dont hold your breath.

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    • Alan, I do owe you an apology – and I owe Moe one as well. I have a p0licy of remaining civil in my blog discussions, and I let myself cross the line yesterday. You did nothing per se to set me off – it was just the culmination of my building frustration after a day of blogging. My reason for doing this is to promote civil conversation, and I can’t do that if I am going off on people.

      I admit I indeed could be someone’s tool – it is like being in the movie Inception – trying to figure out if you are dreaming or not. I generally think I am not someone’s tool because I can’t think who might have the motive or power – and most of all the money to control me in such a way.

      I see the conservative side differently – and remember I once was a conservative so I have seen it from the inside. The right wing indeed has the motive and power and money. Right wing policies favor the megarich far more than they favor the rest of us – so there is the motive and the money. The power? FOX and right wing radio are far far more powerful than you are admitting.

      Did you read the article I posted? It is pretty scary. It is from The New Yorker – and though perhaps a bit left of center it is well respected. The article does a good job of describing the money machine driving the conservative agenda.

      You didn’t do one thing I asked, though: I challenged you to tell me how the economy would look now had the GOP won back in 2008. I suspect it would look far far worse given their only economic proposal was to give more tax cuts to the rich.

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  6. hippieprof,

    I am ready to try to be more civil, but the stakes are tremendous so it is not always possible. I have a lot to say and don’t know how to get it all in. I will start with your request about how I think things would be now. You have to realize that I can’t prove anything I say. Predicting what would have happened in that context is useless but also fascinating. I will be as brutally honest as I can be.

    To first side track for a moment. You said you are a former Conservative. There are no greater enemies to an ideology than a former student. Which is why I hold Charles Krauthammer as a sage, being a former Liberal, he knows all of their rhetorical tricks.

    If President McCain were running things right now, I believe he first would have done much of the same things in the beginning that President Obama did. The banking system had to be saved . HE would have relied on the experts to tell him what had to be done. Now McCain is not a real Conservative and he would have also had to deal with Pelosi and Reid.

    There would have been a Stimulus, not as big and not as controlled by Congressional Porkbarrelers. There would have been more relief for business. (tax cuts) Democrats would have used this to demonize McCain as only for the rich. I think that unemployment right now would be about 8.5% and going down. However, that number would be just as bad politically for McCain because the current Obama reality would not exist to compare it to. McCain’s numbers wouldn’t improve quickly enough for him to get reelected in 2012, and also partly because he would be called Bush’s 3rd term.

    The BP oil spill is a fascinating what if. I believe that McCain Palin would have handled it much better, but since again no Obama response to compare it to, the political damage to Republicans would have been much more than really occurred to Obama Biden. That spill would have really tarred Vice President Palin as a friend to big oil polluters. Even though it would have been false, perception is reality today.

    Ms. Holland,

    ” Great presidents? Dont hold your breath. ” Holding my breath is one thing I ‘never’ lost at in my younger days. I could always stay under water far longer than anyone I grew up with.

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    • Alan – you are hitting on an important thing – and in fact something that is on the back burner for a future blog post of my own. In economics we have no control group – so we really have no idea idea how much better or worse such things would be under an alternative system. Oh – we can speculate – but such speculations are often just reflections of partisan talking points.

      You expect it would be better under the GOP. I suspect it would be worse. Nobody really knows.

      I actually hate it when people run on economic issues because of exactly these types of problems. Back when Clinton was running against Bush #1 I was still center-right in my political views. I hated it when Clinton ran on “It’s the economy stupid!” because if you actually knew anything you would have realized that a recovery was already well underway. When Clinton came into office it was hailed as “The Clinton Recovery” when in fact he had inherited a recovery already in place.

      Maybe it is payback, but the same thing is happening in reverse now. Obama inherited an economy with serious problems – an economy that nobody could completely fix in 4 years much less the 18 months he has had so far – yet the GOP is already running on “It’s the economy stupid.” If they do retake the White House I am sure they will be happy to take credit for a recovery that should, by that time, be well under way.

      Sadly, the average American voter does not have enough knowledge about economics to really evaluate economic policies. I am not being an arrogant liberal here – I mean voters of all persuasions. Politicians (on both sides) are nevertheless very happy to run on economic issues because an ill-informed electorate plays to their advantage.

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  7. hippieprof,

    I was going to be polite and give you the last word, but I had to read your reply and I just can’t not answer. You are amazingly honest in your assessment of the Clinton election. While I of course disagree with you on whether anyone could have rescued this economy now, luck has an awful lot to do with politics. Obama got lucky in the way the economy hit crisis mode just weeks before the election.

    I think we will have to end this politeness. As we get closer to the midterms the partisan in me wants to fight. While we are still on speaking terms , it’s been civil.

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    • Alan, I think you can stay civil and avoid sinking into anger – after all, you guys are most likely going to win in big numbers. A few months ago I was confident that dems would turn things around – but not really anymore. When you are winning it is a lot easier to avoid the anger and nastiness than when you are losing.

      The big test of whether we remain on speaking terms will depend on how you react to your probably victory. If you gloat, or try to read too many implications into it, I may get nasty. You have already admitted that the timing of the wave in election cycles is a lot of luck, so perhaps you won’t get into my face too much on election night.

      I probably will stay pretty calm until then. I am already pretty much resigned to big losses and depression is setting in.

      Like

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