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Saturday, September 08, 2012

Jobs and Arithmetic

Media pundits are not economists.  When they report one month of job recovery data, this should be compared to where our economy was, before the recovery from the Great Recession began.

I'm disappointed with pundits who have a responsibility to compare the jobs lost in the Great Recession with those gained since the recovery began:
The Great Recession—which officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009—began with the bursting of an 8 trillion dollar housing bubble. The resulting loss of wealth led to sharp cutbacks in consumer spending. This loss of consumption, combined with the financial market chaos triggered by the bursting of the bubble, also led to a collapse in business investment. As consumer spending and business investment dried up, massive job loss followed. In 2008 and 2009, the U.S. labor market lost 8.4 million jobs, or 6.1% of all payroll employment. This was the most dramatic employment contraction (by far) of any recession since the Great Depression. By comparison, in the deep recession that began in 1981, job loss was 3.1%, or only about half as severe. 

Although the US economy added 96,000 jobs in August, while the unemployment rate edged lower to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent, the flat economic report doesn't compare cumulative data collected at the beginning of the Great Recession. One data report reflecting a particular point in time is most effective when contrasted with another, similar, point in time. In other words, what did the 2007 jobs report look like?

Media pundits should follow President Bill Clinton's idea of applying simple arithmetic. We should compare the number of jobs lost during the collapse of the economy at the beginning of the Great Recession, against the number added, since then.

President Clinton is a stunningly convincing speaker. My husband and I saw him in person several times.  His greatest gift is an uncanny ability to speak in a common language to any audience he addresses. Regardless of who's in the audience, whatever their socioeconomic status or education level, Mr. Clinton can speak directly to everyone, at their level in life. 

Transcript of Clinton's convention speech at this link:
"...Since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private- sector jobs. So what’s the job score? Republicans: twenty-four million. Democrats: forty-two." 

Cliinton supports President Obama's re-election because, he said:
"I want -- I want a man who believes with no doubt that we can build a new American dream economy, driven by innovation and creativityy, by education and, yes, by cooperation."
"And by the way, after last night, I want a man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama." (Referring to The First Lady's remarkably delivered and personal Democratic National Convention- ie DNC speech)
Although I'm the last person to criticize media for reporting the news, my ire is raised when these same sources create the news.  Frankly, when it comes to reporting on the economy, I prefer President Clinton's arithmetic to media pundit news creating analysis.  
Let's move our nation Forward with the policies that have saved the US economy in the past, like reported in Clintonian arithmetic. Let's get out and vote for the re-election of President Obama.



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