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Old 10-24-2004, 12:20 AM   #1
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Its the Economy, Stupid

I'll be the first to admit that the President has made some bad calls affecting the economy. Steel trade tariffs (crushing to the rust belt) come to mind. But how bad are the numbers? Not as bad as you have been lead to believe or as bad as John Kerry wants you to think. Considering the blows to the economy the Bush presidency has been through--9/11, corporate scandals, the stock market collapse, we are still the fastest growing economy in the industrialized world. Our current growth rate of 5.1% is alot higher than Europe's for example and the standard projection of 4.5% for next year is almost twice what Europe's is. The unemployment rate is at 5.4% (the same as '96 and a number Clinton ran on that year) compared to an 8% average in Europe. Interest rates are still very low in "historical terms." The misery index (inflation plus unemployment for those of you unfamiliar) is 8.5% compared to Clinton's 8.4% in 1996. Financial wealth is up for the average middle income families, says the U.S. Federal Reserve board. Homeownership and stock ownership are at their highest levels ever. Here are some other numbers along with ones I've already mentioned--most of which I think are pretty good--especially when compared to Clinton in '96--when the economy was something the former President could hang his hat on come re-election time.

Clinton '96 Bush '04
Inflation 3% 3.1%
Unemployment 5.4% 5.4%
Misery Index 8.4% 8.4%
Mortgage Rates 7.8% 6.3%
Homeownership 65.1% 68.6%
GDP Growth 3.7% 4.4%
Stock Market Growth 11% 0.3%
Federal Tax Burden 21.3% 16.5%
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Old 10-24-2004, 06:39 AM   #2
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You raise some valid points. My support for Kerry is based on the environment, international treaties, and health care, for the most part. I disagree with Bush's policies in all three areas.
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Old 10-24-2004, 07:11 AM   #3
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International treaties? You mean begging the UN for mercy?

Kerry and his camp are desperate, and his know-it-all attitude is hurting him more than it's helping. This is a man with no real achievements in his life. His senate record is about as status quo as it gets...well, when he was actually there. The fact that somebody can pretty much do nothing their entire life and then run on 4 months 30 years previous, and then get this close to the presidency having no real definitive stance on any of the issues just shows how dumbed down America actually is. Bush is running on basically the economy Clinton ran on and won in '96 and the dems are calling this economy a disaster. If Bush were a democrat they would be calling Iraq brilliant. Clinton bombed PILL FACTORIES (probably only killing the custodial crews) and was lauded for his judgement. I used to actually lean left 10 years ago, but they have since turned into a complete farce and their uncompelling candidate this time around makes it easy for me to vote Bush.
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Old 10-24-2004, 07:19 AM   #4
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Re: Its the Economy, Stupid

Quote:
Originally posted by drivemytrabant
Here are some other numbers along with ones I've already mentioned--most of which I think are pretty good--especially when compared to Clinton in '96--when the economy was something the former President could hang his hat on come re-election time.
If the media weren't already in Kerry's camp, this would be the first question asked of Clinton if he campaigns for Kerry. "But Mr. Clinton, isn't this basically the same economy YOU ran on and won with?" Yeah. That'll happen.
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Old 10-24-2004, 08:20 AM   #5
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great thread iota

db9
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Old 10-24-2004, 08:37 AM   #6
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No, I mean the Kyoto treaty. I'm not talking about the U.N. There are some things wrong with the U.N, I will agree. It's true that there are not a hell of alot of bills with Kerry's name on them, but he's done some good work on the environment, getting POW stuff worked out with Senator McCain, and other stuff I like. I looked at his web site earlier this year to see what I thought. After reading all of his positions and thinking about them, I decided I could support him even though he's not exactly my ideal candidate. As I'm sure you can notice I think there are plenty of valid criticisms of the guy. I agree with *many* of the notes people post here criticizing the guy, and if he doesn't win it really won't bother me a hell of alot. I don't believe in fretting over things I don't have any control over. I believe in God and think that ultimately He is in charge. I do not hate George Bush. I think he is a decent guy who is trying to do the right thing. It's honest disagreement. I can only vote. I have always been a liberal, and it's too late for me to change my stripes now.
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Old 10-24-2004, 09:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by iota
This is a man with no real achievements in his life. .


Coming from a Bush supporter. Well, now I've heard it all.
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Old 10-24-2004, 11:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by iota
This is a man with no real achievements in his life.
Except for marrying Teresa Heinz!
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Old 10-24-2004, 03:01 PM   #9
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One of the problems with the unemployment numbers is that there are a lot of people who are unemployed who are no longer counted. So, although the percentage may be the same as during Clinton's years the number is supposed to be a lot higher.
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Old 10-24-2004, 03:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by MissMoo
One of the problems with the unemployment numbers is that there are a lot of people who are unemployed who are no longer counted. So, although the percentage may be the same as during Clinton's years the number is supposed to be a lot higher.
Depends on what you consider "unemployed". If these people are no longer counted, it's because they don't meet the definition of someone who's unemployed.
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Old 10-24-2004, 03:20 PM   #11
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I consider unemployed to mean people who would like to work and have no job. There are people who fit this category and are not counted because they are no longer eligible for unemployment benefits. Or as the bureau of labor statistics puts it: Persons Not in the Labor Force (Household Survey Data)

The number of persons who were marginally attached to the labor force was
1.6 million in September, about the same as a year earlier. (Data are not
seasonally adjusted.) These individuals wanted and were available to work and
had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as
unemployed, however, because they did not actively search for work in the 4
weeks preceding the survey. There were 412,000 discouraged workers in September,
little changed from a year earlier. Discouraged workers, a subset of the mar-
ginally attached, were not currently looking for work specifically because they
believed no jobs were available for them. The other 1.1 million marginally
attached had not searched for work for reasons such as school or family respon-
sibilities. (See table A-13.)
People are not counted because it doesn't look good for the government.
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Old 10-24-2004, 03:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by MissMoo
One of the problems with the unemployment numbers is that there are a lot of people who are unemployed who are no longer counted. So, although the percentage may be the same as during Clinton's years the number is supposed to be a lot higher.
If long term unemployment was added in, it would only increase the figure by about 1 percentage point. This is according to the United Nations statistics that go into determining standard of living. There were a similar number of people that were not classified as being unemployed under Clinton in 1996, so the two things cancel each other out. Were left with the fact that 5.4% unemployment was good enough to get Clinton re-elected, a President who was elected with the slogan, "its the economy stupid".
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Old 10-24-2004, 05:27 PM   #13
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MissMoo is exactly correct.

Unemployment statistics ONLY count those who are currently receiving unemployment compensation - the statistics DO NOT count:

- those who are unemployed and have exhausted their benefits

- those who are underemployed in low wage jobs (often with NO ACCESS to health care)

- those who have given up on trying to find a job and have gone back to school (although they are still desparately poor)



I know there are a lot of people who would want to help re-elect Bush using or misusing any statistics that they can get their hands on, but as ONE OF THE ABOVE STATISTICS (#2),
I simply ask you NOT TO MISREPRESENT THE PRESENT UNEMPLOYMENT CRISIS in certain parts of the USA to further a political point of view.

Millions of us are suffering TREMENDOUSLY through no faults of our own in this economy and because Bush is the current President he gets the honor of being scrutinized either positively or negatively for where the U.S. economy stands.

For WallStreet (Bush's buddies), the economy looks bright. For the average U.S. citizen, whose wages are not increasing and whose savings are decreasing, the U.S. economy is still looking glum.

Please don't try to sugarcoat OUR REAL PAIN just to re-elect your man to office - that would REALLY BE HITTING BELOW THE BELT!

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Old 10-24-2004, 06:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila
MissMoo is exactly correct.

Unemployment statistics ONLY count those who are currently receiving unemployment compensation - the statistics DO NOT count:

- those who are unemployed and have exhausted their benefits

- those who are underemployed in low wage jobs (often with NO ACCESS to health care)

- those who have given up on trying to find a job and have gone back to school (although they are still desparately poor)



I know there are a lot of people who would want to help re-elect Bush using or misusing any statistics that they can get their hands on, but as ONE OF THE ABOVE STATISTICS (#2),
I simply ask you NOT TO MISREPRESENT THE PRESENT UNEMPLOYMENT CRISIS in certain parts of the USA to further a political point of view.

Millions of us are suffering TREMENDOUSLY through no faults of our own in this economy and because Bush is the current President he gets the honor of being scrutinized either positively or negatively for where the U.S. economy stands.

For WallStreet (Bush's buddies), the economy looks bright. For the average U.S. citizen, whose wages are not increasing and whose savings are decreasing, the U.S. economy is still looking glum.

Please don't try to sugarcoat OUR REAL PAIN just to re-elect your man to office - that would REALLY BE HITTING BELOW THE BELT!

As I stated above, the umemployment figures do not misrepresent what is going on in the country. People who do not show up in unemployment figures (long term unemployment) are around every year, including in 1996 when Bill Clinton was re-elected with a 5.4% unemployment rate.

In order to make its Human Development Report every year, the United Nations tracks the number of people who do not show up in normal unemployment statistics and the latest figure for the USA was 1.2% and is usually about that percentage every year.

So while its true that the current unemployment rate of 5.4 percent does not show this extra 1.2% unemployment, unemployment last year and in 1996 when Bill Clinton was re-elected president did not show this type of unemployment either.

The fact is, the economy today is in equal or better shape by nearly every statistic used to measure its health than it was in 1996 when Bill Clinton was re-elected President.

I understand some people would like to get their candidate re-elected by discrediting the facts, but one should never do that in order to get their candidate elected.

Lets remember that in the United Nations annual Human Development Index which measure and ranks the standard of living of over 175 countries around the world, the United States currently has the 8th highest standard of living in the world.
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Old 10-24-2004, 06:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila


Unemployment statistics ONLY count those who are currently receiving unemployment compensation - the statistics DO NOT count:

.........

- those who are underemployed in low wage jobs (often with NO ACCESS to health care)

- those who have given up on trying to find a job and have gone back to school (although they are still desparately poor)

1) "Underemployment" does not = UNemployment. Sorry

2) Take an intro level Econ course and you'll learn that the definition of "unemployment" does not include people w/ no job who are not actively seeking employment. That's just the way the word is defined and how the numbers are calculated, it has nothing to do with who's president. So you're going to hold it against Bush that the word "unemployment" doesn't and never has refered to people w/ no job who aren't looking for one?
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