Mourning In America
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Bragging Rights? Kevin Drum at Political Animal points to the LA Times' editorial on the choice of John Edwards as the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee. The paper didn't like it. Not one bit.
On the topic of Edwards' experience, they come up with this astounding series of sentences:
A tougher issue about Edwards' mad dash to greatness is whether he has garnered enough experience for the world's biggest job. A short answer to that is: No, but no one has. The job is unique.
Why is it that I don't think we'll see many Bush-Cheney Ads bragging about Halliburton's accounting?
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Paul Krugman Does the Math so I Don't Have To! Paul Krugman's NY Times column has the historical unemployment data that supplies the context necessary to truly appreciate the absurdity of the Bush-Cheney campaign's claims that "1.5 million jobs created in the past 10 months" puts their economic record on equal footing with the Clinton administration's.
Over the 8-year Clinton administration, the nation created, on average, 2.36 million jobs every 10 months.
The details get better. Shamed by Mr. Krugman, I visited the Bureau of Labor Statistics web site and did a little math of my own to find the best and worst 10-month periods for job creation under that administration. Their employment report archives dates only to 1994, so it covers only 7 of Clinton's 8 years in office, but the trend is still pretty striking:
Berkeley economist Brad Delong's nuanced post explains it well:
Is George W. Bush responsible for the fact that the employment situation is lousy? No. The economy is an ocean liner, but the president is not its captain. Presidents influence the economy. They don't control it.
The Bush campaign thinks attacking Kerry for economic "pessimism" is a winning argument, but as usual, they show a painful lack of understanding of the English language. Kerry's message isn't: "things will get worse," it's "we can do better." That's the definition of optimism, and that's why the challenger is gaining traction.