Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jacob Weisberg - Obama's Brilliant First Year

Jacob Weisberg has an article at called "Obama's Brilliant First Year".
The subheading reads "By January, he will have accomplished more than any first-year president since Franklin Roosevelt".

They always say that like it's a good thing.

The idea of busier equals better has always mystified me. When people say that FDR got us through the depression, it's kinda like saying that Kennedy and LBJ got us through Viet Nam.

Here's the unemployment rate for FDR's term(s) in office. Remember, he was jacking around with the economy, Congress had jacked around with imports and trade, and no one had any idea what insane stunt they were going to try next.

Disregard that line running through the 20% mark. We're probably at about 11% unemployment right now, and the worst mark the year after the stock market crash was 14%.

We wouldn't see those happy times again until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Business will not expand in an unstable environment. As long as The Teleprompter Jesus is publicly considering Cap And Trade, as long as he's considering Card Check, as long as he's considering adding to inflation with a second Stimulus Package, as long as he's considering making health insurance mandatory for all employers, employers aren't going to put their money at risk. You wouldn't either.

We won't see anything below 10% unemployment until after the 2010 elections, an event future historians will call "The Great Rebuke".

Update from Monday a.m., November 30th.... Go here to read a Roger Kimball dissection of the Weisberg piece. It's called "Humor from Jacob Weisberg", and is worth the trip.

Mr. Kimball and I once had an email exchange about Lewis Lapham, editor of Harper's magazine. I remember that he used the word "egregious".

Roger Kimball. Interesting guy.


Obnoxio The Clown said...

"an event future historians will call "The Great Rebuke"."

I hope the American electorate is wiser than the British one.

Dr Ralph said...

The upshot of your argument is that conservative myth that WWII ended the depression, not FDR. At least that's what your little graph from the right wing Heritage Foundation seems to suggest.

So... if I'm reading you correctly, you're saying massive government spending, a planned economy, huge amounts of debt (as a percentage of GDP) and an 80 to 90% top tax bracket are what it takes.

Because that was the situation during the war years.

By the way, is it necessary for a bunch of people to be killed along the way? I'd kind of like to leave that part out if possible.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

No one in their right minds actually PAID 80-90%. There were loopholes then, just like now. Otherwise productivity grinds to a halt.

And not only were there people killed, they were sent out of the country. Jobs were abandoned as workers became soldiers. Competitors were killed. Devastated. Shut down.

And Smoot-Hawley got repealed.

And Roosevelt got distracted from his role as economic savior.

It coulda been a lowly, generic recession. But NOOOOOOOoooooo....