Obama's Economic Fatalism

Yglesias challenges (with graphs!) Obama's recent assertion on the Today Show that while the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was a success, it's possible nothing more can be done about unemployment.

The President:

There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to be much more efficient with fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller. Or you see it when you go to the airport and you use a kiosk instead of checking at the gate

Yglesias:

Maybe Barack Obama has some reason to believe that the pace of technological change accelerated in some unaccountable way during his time in office. But above I’ve illustrated my alternative theory of the recession. It shows that the housing crisis and the problems in the banking sector led to a historically unprecedented drop in personal consumption. It also shows that while consumption has ticked back up, it hasn’t returned to its pre-recession trend level. All else being equal, if households spend fewer dollars, then fewer people will be employed in providing them with goods and services. One strategy would be to ensure that all else is not equal and that government spending fills the gap opened up by the collapse in private spending. But that hasn’t happened. Federal spending has continued roughly at trend levels, and state/local spending has also fallen below trend. The result is mass unemployment.

Prolonged unemployment, the White House seems to be arguing, is simply a result of a sudden structural shift in the economy due to rapid technological advances -- advances that haven't accellerated during Obama's first term or since the recession began.  The ARRA did all we could, and now we just wait and see what happens?  The government spent some.  Gave it an honest go.  End of story?

Outside of the poor economic (anti)-policy behind this position, I don't see how "Not Much Else We Can Do" plays well as a 2012 campaign slogan.

Obama's Economic Fatalism

Yglesias challenges (with graphs!) Obama's recent assertion on the Today Show that while the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was a success, it's possible nothing more can be done about unemployment.

The President:

There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to be much more efficient with fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller. Or you see it when you go to the airport and you use a kiosk instead of checking at the gate

Yglesias:

Maybe Barack Obama has some reason to believe that the pace of technological change accelerated in some unaccountable way during his time in office. But above I’ve illustrated my alternative theory of the recession. It shows that the housing crisis and the problems in the banking sector led to a historically unprecedented drop in personal consumption. It also shows that while consumption has ticked back up, it hasn’t returned to its pre-recession trend level. All else being equal, if households spend fewer dollars, then fewer people will be employed in providing them with goods and services. One strategy would be to ensure that all else is not equal and that government spending fills the gap opened up by the collapse in private spending. But that hasn’t happened. Federal spending has continued roughly at trend levels, and state/local spending has also fallen below trend. The result is mass unemployment.

Prolonged unemployment, the White House seems to be arguing, is simply a result of a sudden structural shift in the economy due to rapid technological advances -- advances that haven't accellerated during Obama's first term or since the recession began.  The ARRA did all we could, and now we just wait and see what happens?  The government spent some.  Gave it an honest go.  End of story?

Outside of the poor economic (anti)-policy behind this position, I don't see how "Not Much Else We Can Do" plays well as a 2012 campaign slogan.

Obama's Economic Fatalism

Yglesias challenges (with graphs!) Obama's recent assertion on the Today Show that while the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was a success, it's possible nothing more can be done about unemployment.

The President:

There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to be much more efficient with fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller. Or you see it when you go to the airport and you use a kiosk instead of checking at the gate

Yglesias:

Maybe Barack Obama has some reason to believe that the pace of technological change accelerated in some unaccountable way during his time in office. But above I’ve illustrated my alternative theory of the recession. It shows that the housing crisis and the problems in the banking sector led to a historically unprecedented drop in personal consumption. It also shows that while consumption has ticked back up, it hasn’t returned to its pre-recession trend level. All else being equal, if households spend fewer dollars, then fewer people will be employed in providing them with goods and services. One strategy would be to ensure that all else is not equal and that government spending fills the gap opened up by the collapse in private spending. But that hasn’t happened. Federal spending has continued roughly at trend levels, and state/local spending has also fallen below trend. The result is mass unemployment.

Prolonged unemployment, the White House seems to be arguing, is simply a result of a sudden structural shift in the economy due to rapid technological advances -- advances that haven't accellerated during Obama's first term or since the recession began.  The ARRA did all we could, and now we just wait and see what happens?  The government spent some.  Gave it an honest go.  End of story?

Outside of the poor economic (anti)-policy behind this position, I don't see how "Not Much Else We Can Do" plays well as a 2012 campaign slogan.

Obama's Economic Fatalism

Yglesias challenges (with graphs!) Obama's recent assertion on the Today Show that while the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was a success, it's possible nothing more can be done about unemployment.

The President:

There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to be much more efficient with fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller. Or you see it when you go to the airport and you use a kiosk instead of checking at the gate

Yglesias:

Maybe Barack Obama has some reason to believe that the pace of technological change accelerated in some unaccountable way during his time in office. But above I’ve illustrated my alternative theory of the recession. It shows that the housing crisis and the problems in the banking sector led to a historically unprecedented drop in personal consumption. It also shows that while consumption has ticked back up, it hasn’t returned to its pre-recession trend level. All else being equal, if households spend fewer dollars, then fewer people will be employed in providing them with goods and services. One strategy would be to ensure that all else is not equal and that government spending fills the gap opened up by the collapse in private spending. But that hasn’t happened. Federal spending has continued roughly at trend levels, and state/local spending has also fallen below trend. The result is mass unemployment.

Prolonged unemployment, the White House seems to be arguing, is simply a result of a sudden structural shift in the economy due to rapid technological advances -- advances that haven't accellerated during Obama's first term or since the recession began.  The ARRA did all we could, and now we just wait and see what happens?  The government spent some.  Gave it an honest go.  End of story?

Outside of the poor economic (anti)-policy behind this position, I don't see how "Not Much Else We Can Do" plays well as a 2012 campaign slogan.

Quick Hits

Here are some of the other items making news today.

The Senate approved $10 billion to states and local school districts to prevent teacher layoffs and an additional $16 billion in Federal aid to cash-strapped states. The procedural vote in the Senate was 61 to 38, with the Maine Republicans, Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe, joining all Democrats in support of cutting off a filibuster. Louisiana Senator David Vitter did not vote. Speaker Pelosi is to summon House back from its summer recess to grant final approval to the bill. The full story in the New York Times.

With President Obama is headed to fundraisers in Austin and Dallas, Texas junior senator, Republican John Cornyn accuses the President of "using Texas as an ATM." This will be the President's third visit to the Lone Star state. The fundraisers are on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. However among the Democratic political establishment in Texas, Obama's visit is proving to be as toxic as Gulf Coast oil spill. Former Houston Mayor Bill White, the Democratic nominee for governor, has said he'll be elsewhere during Obama's visit. Ditto for Barbara Radnofsky, the Democratic candidate for Attorney General.

Up in the Big Sky country, $90 million in Federal stimulus funding to expand high-speed Internet is coming Montana's way, for projects on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and rural Gallatin County, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today. The story in the Billings Gazette.

New York state lawmakers finalized a $136 billion budget for fiscal 2011 late Tuesday, approving a final piece of legislation that will raise about $1 billion through a mix of tax hikes and other measures. More from Reuters.

Divorced from reality, Tim Geithner seems married to indifference. The Secretary of the Treasury has an op-ed in the New York Times entitled Welcome to the Recovery.

In another New York Times op-ed, Rep. Anthony Weiner of the New York Ninth Congressional District explains that anger that led to his outburst on the House floor.

Mayor Ron Dellums of Oakland announced Wednesday that he won't seek re-election in November. Dellums, 74, was elected mayor in June 2006 and took office in January 2007. His term expires next January. Dellums served 13 terms in the House before becoming mayor of Oakland. More from CBS-5 San Francisco.

The birther madness will not die. CNN has a poll showing the 27 percent of Americans do not believe the President Obama was born in Honolulu or anywhere else in the United States. Twenty-seven percent of Republicans say he was probably not born here, and another 14 percent of Republicans say he was definitely not born in the US. In other words, 41 percent of Republicans view the President as a Constitutional usurper. Today, by the way, is the President's 49th birthday which is spending at home alone in Chicago.

Diaries

Advertise Blogads