Monday, April 8, 2013

Scary chart

This was  as the scary chart as posted by the Economist Brad DeLong.  He titles it:

"Less than 100,000 Payroll Jobs, a 58.5% Employment-to-Adult-Population Ratio Exactly Where It Was a Year Ago, and Labor Force Participation Down by 0.5 Percentage Points in the Past Year"

Source (hat tip nc)

Note that Mr. DeLong believes that it was a lack of serious stimulus that has sunk the economy.  While I would agree that stimulus would not have been as bad as the seriously flawed medical program we got, I think we are pretty much where we would be in any case.  We have been kicking the can down the road to some degree, but there is a very definite possibility that if that had not been done our economy would have imploded and we would have had a militia-favorite collapse scenario.  Bubbles push economies beyond the normal corrective patterns.


John D. Wheeler said...

As Dmitry Orlov has said, politicians in America have just two choices: collapse now, or collapse worse later. I would say that has been the case since the election of Ronald Reagan. I can't really blame them for making that choice, especially ones who wanted to be reelected.

PioneerPreppy said...

The end of growth. The trouble with Obama especially and most politicians is that yes they could slow the decline but only if they put the energy where it would do the most good and they refuse to do that. Just makes the decline that much faster.

russell1200 said...

John: I didn't like him much at the time, but I think Bush1 was the last adult president we had.

Pioneer: On economic grounds I don't see much of a change between Obama and Bush2. They both listen to the same "Captains of Industry" and thus pretty much work along the same bailout strategies. Both of them have tried differing versions of "stimulus". Bush2's was a little more effective (tax cuts to low income people), but a bandaid is a bandaid.

Going back a little to what John was saying, possibly our only plausible way to get out of the mess was for Bush2 to become the most hated President since...what he wound up being anyway... and really screwing down the lid on debt. Instead he did the difficult job of making Clinton look like a cautious spender.

PioneerPreppy said...

I would have to disagree from one point. Bush spent, no denying that, but Bush spent across the board. Obama is very selective about his spending and targets specific "friends" alot more than Bush ever did. That is why the decline is picking up speed much faster under Obama.

russell1200 said...

Pioneer: The last sentence doesn't necessarily follow from what preceeded. Being an indiscrimate spender is not exactly a brilliant strategy. It has a lot more to do with the congress each President was working with in any case.