Why Liberals Keep Losing
James Carville was certainly right: “It’s the economy, stupid.”
And under Democrats (compared to Republicans), the economy kicks ass:
This is GDP growth, but that kick-assness is blatant in any economic measure you look at, from job growth to stock-market returns to household income to government deficits. And it’s true over any lengthy period (say, 30+ years) over the last century. I could post fifty graphics here that tell exactly the same story. (Here’s a favorite: even the rich get richer under Democrats.)
But now ask yourself: how many Americans know that Democrats make them richer? (Lots richer.) One in ten? Maybe? Now ask yourself why liberals keep losing.
The Republicans have successfully branded themselves as “the party of growth,” and Democrats have just let them do it, for decades — even though it’s completely contrary to reality.
Democrats have the strongest possible political argument sitting in their rhetorical holsters, but for whatever reasons, they just won’t draw.
There is one and only one story that Democrats need to be telling, and they need to follow the Republican political playbook: repeat it endlessly, for years on end.
We will make you richer. We’ve been doing it for decades, and we’ll keep doing it.
“Equality” is important (especially because it does make people richer). But really: Americans just change the channel.
“Opportunity” is important. But it’s just a proxy for, a chance of, getting richer.
“Getting the rich” (truly progressive taxes, a more-level playing field, reining in finance) is necessary and important. But Americans get only visceral satisfaction from that message — it doesn’t speak to personal, direct, material benefit that they’re going to experience.
Americans want to hear how Democrats are going to make them more prosperous. Full stop.
And Democrats have a loud-and-clear story on that subject. They just need to 1) tell that story constantly, repetitively, ad nauseum, like the Republicans do, and 2) put aside other stories (like, identity politics) that dilute, confuse, and distract from that story.
Start with that lede — “we make America prosperous” — and a whole litany of talking points emerges. And they’re the very talking points that have driven Republicans’ (otherwise inexplicable) political success over the last thirty years.
But there’s one key advantage for Democrats: In their mouths…the story is true.
Democrats could be stealing Republicans’ best Frank Luntz/Grover Norquist talking points and riding them all the way to the ballot box. Here’s a sampling to start with:
Wisdom of the Crowds. Democrats’ widespread government spending — education, health care, infrastructure, social support — puts money (hence power) in the hands of individuals, instead of delivering concentrated streams to big entities like defense and business. Those individuals’ free choices on where to spend the money allocate resources where they’re needed — to truly productive industries that deliver goods people actually want.
Preventing Government “Capture.” Money that goes to millions of individuals is much less subject to “capture” by powerful players, so it is much less likely to be used to then “capture” government via political donations, sweetheart deals, and crony capitalism.
Labor Market Flexibility. When people feel confident that they and their families won’t end up on the streets — they know that their children will have health care, a good education, and a decent safety net if the worst happens — they feel free to move to a different job that better fits their talents — better allocating labor resources. “Labor market flexibility” often suggests the freedom (of employers) to hire and fire, but the freedom of hundreds of millions of employees is far more profound, economically.
Freedom to Innovate. Individuals who are standing on that social springboard that Democratic policies provide — who have that platform beneath them — can do more than just shift jobs. They have the freedom to strike out on their own and develop innovative, entrepreneurial ventures that drive long-term growth and prosperity (and personal freedom and satisfaction) — without worrying that their children will suffer if the risk goes wrong.
Give ten, twenty, or thirty million more Americans a place to stand, and they’ll move the world.
Profitable Investments in Long-Term Growth. From education to infrastructure to scientific research, Democratic priorities deliver money to projects that the free market doesn’t support on its own, and that have been demonstrated to pay off many times over in widespread public prosperity.
Power to the Producers. The dispersal of income and wealth under Democratic policies provides the widespread demand (read: sales) that producers need to succeed, to expand, and to take risks on innovative new endeavors. Rather than assuming that government knows best and giving money directly to businesses, Democratic policies trust the markets to direct that money to the most productive producers.
Fiscal Prudence. True conservatives pay their bills. From the 35 years of declining debt after World War II (until…Reagan) to the years of budget surpluses and declining debt under Bill Clinton, Democratic policies demonstrate which party deserves the name “fiscal conservatives.”
Labor and Trade Efficiencies. The social support programs that Democrats champion — if they truly provide an adequate level of support — give policy makers much more freedom to put in place what are otherwise draconian, but efficient, trade and labor policies. If everyone is guaranteed a decent wage by an excellent program like the Earned Income Tax Credit, we have less need for the admittedly mixed blessings of unions and protectionism.
Take the graph from the top of this post and put it on billboards all over America. It’s time for Americans to understand who makes them richer.
Cross-posted at Asymptosis.
I saw an idea in the Washington Post yesterday that might be the — no candidate could invent any excuse to oppose it/no candidate should dare — perfect Democratic win issue: a law requiring a vote for or against having a union in every workplace. This vote would take place in every workplace every so many years. How can a pol tell us we cannot vote?!
Laws that decimate unions may be inevitable. Here’s how labor can survive.
Denis, I love your idea but it isn’t going to happen and I doubt it would be as cut and dried as you suggest. The Democrats couldn’t round up enough solid votes to pass card check, a significant amount of the caucus is neo-liberal.
One example, Senator Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin. She has bent over backward to carry water for a large printer in her state and for the paper industry with respect to postal issues. She hasn’t shown a bit of concern for all the jobs lost at the various processing plants in Wisconsin, real job losses not the anticipated kind Quad Graphics and the paper companies say will occur with modest increases in advertising rates (losses that aren’t supported by any economic analysis).
Baldwin’s one expression of concern for labor was to demand that the PMG make sure the same percentage of managers lost their jobs as craft employees.
As for the general claim of this piece, it’s hard to disagree but Democratic growth hasn’t led to increases in wages. It hasn’t led to a system where productivity gains are shared beyond the 1%. There’s no question that at this point in time any nominal Democrat is better than any nominal Republican but quite frankly that isn’t saying much. Bill Clinton’s economic team helped set the table for a whole lot of pain for a whole lot of folks. Was Clinton’s triangulating better than what any Republican would have done? No doubt but that doesn’t mean that what Clinton did was all that good.
There’s a world of difference between Democrats like Warren, Brown, and Whitehouse than a good deal of the caucus. We need to return to ideas that value public goods, that create an even playing field for workers and labor while reining in the excesses of the technocratic watch state.
If you want to know why something worked in the time of FDR but not in the time of Clinton, you might ask yourself: what has changed?
Have politicians changed? FDR was a rich scion of the Northeast. Congress was full of lawyers, doctors, and other wealthy people. Big banks used their cash for maximum influence. None of that is any “worse” now than it was then.
There has been a dramatic change, though. The media used to be produced by the working class, for the working class. Pulitzer and Hearst employed high school graduates who wrote things that other not-well-educated people wanted to read.
Today, our journalists have masters degrees and write breathy inside baseball stories that are all based on the (ruinous) Watergate formula of professional news: access, access, access.
The “left” bitches and moans about leadership and messaging and a long list of things that haven’t changed. Just because you’re educated, don’t mean you’re smart.
The economy rolls on regardless of which political party is in power. Politicians seem to love taking credit for improving the economy without having a documented action plan for how they accomplished that improvement.
(Not the same Jim V as the above commenter. I never use a space in my online name, in case anyone wants to be able to tell us apart.)
I don’t vote my paycheck myself. My anecdotal experience is that Reagan got a lot of voters (among my acquaintances) that way by giving them a hundred dollars or so back on their income taxes. If Democrats manage to do better on economic issues, my guess is that it is because reality has a liberal bias, so the Democrats’ ideas make more sense then the Republican ones (anti-evolution, anti-science in general, that government is best which works the most ineffectively, trickle-down economics, let’s blow everybody up who disagrees with us, you’ll pry our guns out of our cold, dead hands, etc.).
A few points:
(1) Though it is true that growth is higher under Democrats, there is a lot that goes into that growth that is policy independent or timing induced and not necessarily due to some fantastic amalgam of Dem policies.
(2) I am not sure that either party, Dem or Rep, can truly claim to be pro-growth, which would naturally stem from being pro-market. Both parties are pro-special interests and the regulations and finance that goes toward protecting these special interests subvert market forces and detract from honest sustainable growth.
(3) The real problem with Dems is that the programs they create are large, inefficient, and take up the bulk of the federal budget, these include Soc Sec, Medicaid, Obamacare, etc. but also anti-poverty programs, etc. These non-discretionary items are what are truly driving the deficits, not discretionary spending…though that is bad too. On autopilot these programs will continue to metastasize to the point that they consume the entire budget. Increasing taxes to offset the increase will only be growth reducing. In addition, continued issuing of debt and printing of cash to fund the portions of the budget that the government does not want to honestly pay today will also be growth penalizing, especially if interest rates ever rise (and they will).
(4) The regulations that support and protect Dem programs, of which there are many, are growth retarding. The compliance costs grow each year, which makes the starting and growing of a young business more and more difficult, thus benefiting established incumbents. This is where the Dems should focus their attention to assert a pro-growth platform. There are a lot low-hanging fruit, regulation wise, that could be simplified in a manner that helps the economy but does not imperil some of these large bloated programs and initiatives that Dems love.
Note that we have a new and slightly more subtle troll contributing to the discussion. Lots of opinion with little or no facts to support what is opined. Read Kai-HK’s four numbered paragraphs, above. What has been said other than the presentation of conservative/Republican talking points? Nothing, but opinion without the support of facts. Note that in paragraph three Kai-HK offers us the concept that Social Security is an anti-poverty program while ignoring the fact that the nation’s retirement program is self supporting and supported by an ear marked payroll tax. Cut the creep loose. He/she offers nothing that’s new or factual.
If you consider everyone who disagrees with you a troll, you will be closing yourself off from fair debate. Maybe that is what you prefer. Kind of a ‘make the bad man shut up, mommy, make him shut up!’ approach to opinions that you do not like.
Regarding paragraph three, Soc Sec is not fully funded. Sure, money that comes in can meet existing obligations as the stand now, but the funding does not fully reflect the future obligations still outstanding that it is obligated to pay. Over time, these obligations will grow while collections stay constant or grow at rate lower than the growth of future claims as they come due. But that was not my point, but rather that entitlement programs and other non-discretionary spending already take up a bulk of the federal budget and will continue to grow as a percentage of the federal budget. That is a fact. They will, in time, grow to the point where either more taxes or less entitlement will be required, both of which will be growth reducing. Sorry if that was unclear in the paragraph above.
Finally, I am no friend of the Republicans and make the point that they are also not so much pro-growth and pro-market as they are pro-special interests and the protections they afford those interests. As are the Dems.
Actually, the really stupid thing that K says is that Soc Sec. is “inefficient”. I don’t think he knows what that word means.
If one is interested in democracy; neither party is a good choice. But we have a great opportunity to end neoliberalism in the democratic party at this time in history. We need to finish what was started in the last election cycle; stop voting for democratic promises. Perhaps this will force the end of neoliberal democratic policies.
What is conspicuous is the lost of a economy that produces for the Nation as a whole. Despite all the bs of statistics; the truth is the Nation has run a trade deficit since 1980 and wages for all but the top 10 or 20% have declined.
Kai-HK says: “Jack,
If you consider everyone who disagrees with you a troll, you will be closing yourself off from fair debate. Maybe that is what you prefer. Kind of a ‘make the bad man shut up, mommy, make him shut up!’ approach to opinions that you do not like….”
That’s a +10 maybe even more.
It is not the disagreement with others that define a troll, it is the listing of unsupported bs stated as facts that define a troll.
Democrats believe that they are the voice of reason, so they refuse to engage in low brow politics. (See Merriam Webster for the definition of low brow.)
I recently watched a PBS program on the Roosevelts. It included a sarcastic part of a speech at the Democratic State Convention, Syracuse, New York in 1936.
Let me warn you, and let me warn the nation, against the smooth evasion that says: “Of course we believe these things. We believe in social security. We believe in work for the unemployed. We believe in saving homes. Cross our hearts and hope to die! We believe in all these things. But we do not like the way that the present administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them, we will do more of them, we will do them better and, most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything!”
When he said ” Cross our hearts and hope to die” his voice was dripping with sarcasm and there was a small smile. The build up was perfect, the line was easy to understand, and the following lines built on the ridicule.
But even that will not help Democrats as long as they insist on tying their fate to that of illegal immigrants. The supply and demand of labor is easy to understand and the low brows understand that illegal immigrants take jobs. The Democratic argument that they do not, failed miserably in the last election and I don’t expect any greater success during the next.
@Mark Jamison: “Democratic growth hasn’t led to increases in wages”
Wage growth under Dems has been way higher than it’s been under Pubs. Just like pretty much every other economic measure.
@Jim V: “The economy rolls on regardless of which political party is in power.”
So you want to suggest that policies implemented under Reagan, or under FDR, had no effects on the economy. Okay…
Kai-HK: “Though it is true that growth is higher under Democrats, there is a lot that goes into that growth that is policy independent or timing induced and not necessarily due to some fantastic amalgam of Dem policies.”
See the “any economic measure” link above. Since it’s so hard to suss out particular causes/effects, we’re left with Occam’s explanation: better economic policies.
The bullets at the bottom explain that in more detail.
@Beene: “We need to finish what was started in the last election cycle; stop voting for democratic promises. Perhaps this will force the end of neoliberal democratic policies.”
So by voting for Republicans we’ll eventually get Dems who actually are liberal? That’s a very long, deep, and arguably very dangerous game…
@JImH: “Democrats believe that they are the voice of reason, so they refuse to engage in low brow politics.”
Very true. Very much the point I’m making here. Rather than qualifying the shit out of every economic statement, Dems should make bald, blanket statements like the one made in the opening graph. Dems are congenitally much less comfortable with those kind of “simplistical” statements (see my years of excruciating, long-form analytical work), but those simplistic statements, repeated endlessly, are what win elections.
“@Beene: “We need to finish what was started in the last election cycle; stop voting for democratic promises. Perhaps this will force the end of neoliberal democratic policies.” So by voting for Republicans we’ll eventually get Dems who actually are liberal? That’s a very long, deep, and arguably very dangerous game… ” Steve Roth
Only if you believe that republican light for the past 40 plus years has improved the Democratic Party or that we cannot survive another Bush II. Remembering that democratic trade deals is what has almost eliminated the middle class; least we forget immigration policies that have encouraged a Multilanguage culture which is to purchase the ignorant vote.
Think of the best the democrats have at present even if Warren would run is very conservative and would continue one of the worse of our ongoing wars (war on drugs) which has filled our prisons with far too many innocent young people.
I think Dems are as bad as they are to a significant degree because they constantly face an election threat from the right (especially in crucial swing states/districts). Even as those election threateners are dragged even further right by those even further right, dragging the whole ecosystem further right.
The solution, IMO, is to win elections resoundingly.
This won’t instantly turn Dems into the perfect party of progressive prosperity. They’re still politicians who have to spend half their time dialing for dollars, and real change takes decades, centuries.
But increasing that threat from the right in hopes of some kind of Democratic road-to-Damascus epiphany and transformation is, IMO, exactly not what’s needed.
If Dems can’t learn the lesson of FDR winning four terms, resoundingly, based on a very loud progressive platform, getting repeatedly beat by the right certainly isn’t going to do it, quite obviously hasn’t done it.
“The solution, IMO, is to win elections resoundingly.” Steve Roth
Good argument Steve; but the reason IMO is public see only republican light or not a dimes worth of difference. So the constant change of parties in Washington.
It seems strange to me that a discussion of the self defeating behavior of the electorate when they choose their representatives in the government has not even mentioned the corporate capture of the national media and the resulting prevalence of propagandist rhetoric coming from that same media. The “fourth estate” is the means of communication between the people and its government and amongst the people. We’re not getting anything even remotely approximating a fourth estate from our mass media industry. Journalism no longer plays the role of ombudsman in regards to a wide spread discussion of social issues. Expertise is bought by the highest bidders and opinions with little or no factual support masquerade as supportable argument. Fox News is only the worst and most obvious example of this trend away from a fourth estate that sees itself as the eyes, ears and voice of the citizenry. Control the means of communication and you control the argument. Go back and read 1984. Orwell pretty much predicted this phenomenon and it is becoming increasingly apparent that the facts of any issue are only what can be repeated often enough to become common knowledge.
How on Earth would Scott Walker be seen as a viable Presidential candidate? We are served up smoke and mirror images of reality in place of people with reasonable leadership qualities. Look at the entire Republican list of potential candidates. The Democrats offer little more if at least none as absurd. Maybe time’s up for American politics and government as we’ve known it for the past two centuries. Maybe we’ve used up some quota of great leaders allocated to social groups like our country.
You state, ‘It is not the disagreement with others that define a troll, it is the listing of unsupported bs stated as facts that define a troll.’
I would argue that much of the article above is an opinion piece and that the author has yet to satisfactorily support his suppositions. But I would not call him a troll nor his point BS. They are worth valid consideration and discussion. But…correlation is not causation and taking the simple average economic growth rate without accounting for changes in business cycles, monetary policy (which runs independent of the president), control of Congress (both houses), the time lag in policy roll out, and other outside global factors is…well…intellectually flaccid. It could be very well true that the data once all the other factors I listed above still supports his claim. But he has yet to demonstrate it and all I am doing is pointing that out.
A better economic test would be to take two areas with similar geographic, labor, and general conditions, hold those constant (ceteris paribus) and then look at which area grows faster under Dem supported polices or Rep supported policies. Luckily that can be done by looking at county-level data along red state-blue state borders. Those areas are quite similar with only Right-to-Work laws, lower taxation, etc making the difference.
But that is digression; I should not have to factually support every simple challenge to a view I come across when the person espousing the view has yet to provide incontestable proof that they are correct. True. Simple growth under a Dem president is higher. I stated as much. I am simply pointing out why the simple approach to considering rate growth, measure fiscal prudence, etc might not accurately reflect the true nature of Dem polices as being growth inducing.
Thanks for taking the time to write.
You state, ‘See the “any economic measure” link above. Since it’s so hard to suss out particular causes/effects, we’re left with Occam’s explanation: better economic policies.’
I clicked on the link: Oil, Productivity Shocks, and Consumer Confidence all can have outside influences that can be (and often are) independent of the President and his/her policies and those three things explain half the gap. So…not sure that link really supports your claims at all. Those would mostly fall under the ‘luck’ category.
If you want to use Occam’s Razor to justify mistaking correlation for causation well than the simplest answer is you are wrong.
You state, ‘It seems strange to me… corporate capture of the national media… We’re not getting anything even remotely approximating a fourth estate from our mass media industry. Journalism no longer plays the role of ombudsman in regards to a wide spread discussion of social issues.’
You make a good point. But I am less pessimistic about the fourth estate. I believe that media today is more democratic than ever. I am excited about the huge universe of diverse media that the internet allows so we do not have to rely on three or four broadcast news channels for our political indoctrination. I also like the fact that alternative media operates as a check and balance on major media outlets, media matters tracks fox and I am sure that other right wing news orgs track MSNBC. It makes partisan control of the news and dissemination of the news impossible.
Just the fact that you and I can debate here on this site is a testament to the power that the internet allows. I no longer have to sit back and idly listen to what is put out there. I can actively participate to challenge it. I find that cool.
Am I to understand that you think the news media is conservatively biased and that is why S Walker is getting good press? I know plenty of people who would argue the opposite and that most news organization skew left.
” I know plenty of people who would argue the opposite and that most news organization skew left.”
And I would suggest that those people are likely the same people who would foster and promote the concept of a media that skews left, as you say. Virtually all media outlets that have broad circulation are owned by major corporations or are themselves corporations with enormous capital value. Which corporations do you and those people suggest are corporations that “skew left”?
I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that Walker is getting good press, but rather that his ideas, and those of his cohorts on the right, are being promoted as “fair and balanced” and good for Americans at all levels of economic status. That’s the joke of American politics and the media which supports this form of a status quo.
I don’t have the extensive list of which ones skew left and which ones skew right but rather pointing out a contrarian sentiment exists among others. News organizations may be big business, but those who decide on what to write, analyses what has happened, opine on what should happen, etc have a lot of latitude on what they can write or report. Other than Fox, which is blatantly right, what other major/important news organization is biased right? New York Times? Washington Post? LA Times? CNN? MSNBC? NBC? CBS? Boston Globe? Nightline? 60 minutes? Which ones are not giving the left and their policies a fair shake?
Not sure where you are getting your news but there have been several attempts at gotcha news on Walker since he shot to the fore. Washington Post recently had an article saying he automatically disqualifies himself as not being a serious candidate. NYT was equally dismissive. Other than Fox, which news organizations are giving him big love?
Finally, as stated above, I am optimistic about news dissemination. The internet and alternate cable have really disintermediated and lessened the major news corporations control of the story. The fact that you are here debating an issue on the primacy of the Dem party shows that other sources for news exist. This is great for consumers of news and for democracy. The solution to speech and news you do not like is MORE speech and news, not less. Nothing stopping you from jumping in and starting you own news and opinion site. The barriers to entry never lower. Good luck.
Sorry. But when I hear bs about deficits being caused by Obamacare, SS and Medicaid in a paragraph that makes no mention of defense spending, I know I am listening to a troll. Just like when the assumption is made that “pro-market” means “pro-growth”, I know I am listening to a troll.
More like concern trolling:
Certainly military spending is part of the growth in deficits, but when you look at excess in the budget you have to look at the totality of spending. Doing so you will see that normalised military spending as a percentage of budget is lower today than it was in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Not because it is smaller today but rather because non-discretionay spending has grown to aggressively since then that military spending is now smaller as a percentage. MY point isn’t that deficits are bad, they are not necessarily if managed well, but that non-discretionary spending will grow to outstrip current revenue…and it is the primary driver of spending growth(and hence deficits). This will, in time, have a growth limiting effect on the economy.
That being said. By all means lets cut the military. Why not.
We have a healthcare spending problem in the US. Been around for a while, and some people have even attempted to address the problem.
Then again, another aspect of trolls is to ignore things they do not like. It constantly amazes me that when people talk about deficits they restrict their thoughts to spending, totally ignoring the other side of the ledger.
I have had some conversations with my RWDW friends about the fact that Obama’s administration will go down as the lowest tax administration since WW II. They simply do not believe me(and yes, there are other reasons besides policies that drove that).
Then again, the US has seen a decline in corporate tax revenues of more than 60% since the 50s(same link). Yet, none of these things ever enter into the discussion of deficits. Instead, the same people with “Restricted Deficit Disorder” constantly rant about the “highest marginal corporate tax rate in the world” while ignoring that our effective corporate tax rate(y’know, the one that means something) is one of the lowest in the civilized world.
That’s a troll.
“…correlation is not causation and…”
I always laugh when I see this statement. What is left out is that causation requires correlation. For example while the correlation between greater economic growth and democratic control does not prove that democratic control caused the greater economic growth, it does prove that republican control does NOT create greater economic growth.
Exactly right. We tried trickle-down Reaganomics. It did not deliver as promised. QTC, in fact.
It’s a failed experiment.
Maybe you can’t say Dem policies deliver faster growth. But you can definitely say that Pub policies don’t.
Jer and Steve,
OK. We have a healthcare spending problem. I never claimed otherwise. Pulling excessive private healthcare spending that was done onto the US federal budget and increasing taxes and regulations to support the program will be generally growth restricting,right? I think the topic above was economic growth.
It is early days on the program, and I like elements of the program so I am not an absolute detractor, but its impact on the budget will only continue to grow (instead of being neutral when it passed) and that will add to the increase in non-discretionary spending as a percentage of the budget to the point that all discretionary will be deficit creating by default (as it mostly is now). You squeeze out the governments ability to deal with crises as they come. Non discretionary spending is the primary driver of normalised deficits. This non discretionary spending is through mainly Dem programs that will, in time through automatic increases in spending, have a negative effect on growth. Are you denying that? If so, what is the rationale?
And you end up like Japan, where 43% of their current tax revenue goes toward servicing debt. Tell me how that is more stimulative and growth inducing as a government expenditure than leaving it in the private economy.
You state, ‘It constantly amazes me that when people talk about deficits they restrict their thoughts to spending, totally ignoring the other side of the ledger.’
I not only do not ignore it but in my original post i point out that dealing with the revenue side will be inevitable: Increasing taxes to offset the increase will only be growth reducing. In addition, continued issuing of debt and printing of cash to fund the portions of the budget that the government does not want to honestly pay today will also be growth penalizing, especially if interest rates ever rise (and they will).’
Since the article/opinion piece above is about growth, you cannot have an honest discussion about being a pro-growth party, as the author claims, without acknowledging that the programs they favour require taxation and regulations, both proven to be economic growth retarding. No?
You go on to point out that Obama has a very low tax collection record as if that should be a surprise. Worst financial crisis since 1930’s you would expect that you would have to go all the way back to the 1930’s to find something similar but doing so would be an apple-to-oranges comparison. Anyway, it is not as if Obama is anti-tax and that is the reason for his lacklustre revenue collection, right? Taxes generally average 17.5%, give or take, and he back there in 2014 and I expect 2015 as the economy starts to normalise. His spending is what is worrisome and will add to growth reduction when the stimulus needs to be pulled out and the debt retired. Or it will continue to grow which will become growth retarding over time. Either way spending today is growth restricting in the future if not managed well. And it is not being managed well.
Not sure your point on corporate taxes, but looking at the link it looks like the normaiized corporate tax revenue (tax collections prior to the great recession and before corporations were writing off losses as is common in all OECD countries) 2.0%-2.4% range, give or take, in the good years of the early 2000’s and 1990’s not sure that is a big driver of the deficits but assuming it is and you want to increase them dramatically….how is that going to be growth creating? What company hires and expands as its operational costs and compliance burdens go up? Is this the growth platform that the Dems are extolling? Corporate taxes, by many expert, are considered to be the worst kind of tax that affects growth.Better to drop corporate taxation all together and tax capital gains as income tax. It would make those that work and the that hire pay the same tax rates and simplify the tax code.
Finally, you can continue to call me a troll if it makes you less scared of my opinion. Whatever gives you comfort. But it is a shame. You make fair well-reasoned comments and I try to address them without calling you names.
Not claiming that causation does not require correlation but it does not go to reason that anything that is correlated is causative, right? You would agree with that, right? I am also clear to point out that it may very well be true that research done, once taking into account all the factors (and more) that I listed above proves that Dem presidents are better for growing the economy. That could be the case. But before reaching that conclusion you gotta do more than just post a simple average based on correlation with presidency. Is that the rigorous science you use to support your assumptions?
You state, ‘Exactly right. We tried trickle-down Reaganomics. It did not deliver as promised. QTC, in fact.’
Just so we are clear, how are you defining Reganomics and on what metrics did it fail and over what time period?
Assuming that Reganomics was a failure, how is ‘Obamanomics’ better? I would like to know what the key differences in the two approaches will be providing the better growth.
Finally, you end with this nugget, ‘Maybe you can’t say Dem policies deliver faster growth. But you can definitely say that Pub policies don’t.’
So by your own admission, Dem policies may not be better and Pub polices are not better…since neither are better….eh, wouldn’t that make them equal? 😉
Finally, for everyone that keeps calling me a troll, I will give you advice:
For your run-of-the-mill troll, a simple low-level fire-based spell should work. But for a troll boss, like myself, you will need to at least be a level 24 paladin capable of mad defences to protect against logic and fact. You should be armed with the +20 Sword of Reason and you will want to take a potion to boost your intelligence.
Unfortunately I am being attacked by a gaggle of garden gnomes, armed with bacon.
And a self aggrandising putz to boot. Good vocabulary, but you lack the inherent logic that you claim to be putting on display. You may not have noticed that no one seems to be particularly impressed by your wordsmanship in the absence of a defendable thesis. Florid does not take the place of substantive.
I wouldn’t know; no one has has substantially challenged my thesis. I defend it where I can.
Instead I get a lot of name calling. Not sure how that is adding to the debate or challenging anything that I have written. It is just mean and an effort to marginalize my opinions. But maybe that is more important than staying on topic and discussing the points.
What part of my main thesis do you find uncompelling or controversial. Which is that taking a simple average of growth during a president’s term is proper way to measure the impact of that president’s party on growth.
Well, it would appear that this thread has been successfully hijacked. See yah!
Jerry, I would suggest that those who mostly read the blog enjoyed the banter.
Neither side really addressed what has gone wrong IMHO, which are debt currency and deregulation, both of which were fostered by Federal Reserve Chairmen over the past 40 plus years.
Listen up, people.
You may have noticed that mine was the only criticism of the OP that Steve Roth did not address. That’s because I’m right and that has far reaching implications for the project of “the left”.
I am liberal as the day is long, but I was never tempted by Marx. That’s more or less the only position where one can see the causal factors driving current events. If you’re “conservative” or Republican, you are either cynically promoting your interests at the expense of the voters or you have a set of false beliefs about how the world works. See, http://thorntonhalldesign.com/philosophy/2014/5/5/reaganism-is-a-series-of-claims-about-the-world-that-have-turned-out-to-be-false
On the other hand, too many “liberals” have been influenced by Marx in a way that distorts their thinking. Ironically, both liberals and conservatives end up in the same, wrong, place: believing that people almost always act on financial motives. Marxist imagines uniform thinking among people of the same class and Reagists imagine government workers (teachers, cops, bureaucrats) to be logically incapable of doing a good job because they can’t get fired and get paid the same either way.
Many of Roth’s points above would have some efficacy if members of the working class in the South self-identified as “working class”. But that assumes the past is dead, when the past ain’t even the past. The baby boom generation of Southern white men will never self-identify in a way that puts them in the same group as black people. It is stupid to try to change this because their identity is fixed at this age.
The other Marxist confusion is the inability to see that in order to spark a movement, the elite proffering the ideas must be causally connected to Rosa Parks or her equivalent. The Civil Rights Movement happened because of the common identity of black people and the strategizing of black leaders who told Rosa Parks what to do and how to do it. The number of college professors and journalists who have that kind of influence over a Rosa Parks type figure is close to zero. Unless you think they can get their nannies and house painters to risk their lives for their “populism.”
The greatest mark of a troll is to keep repeating things that have no facts behind them as if they were written in stone somewhere.
You have repeated several times that regulations kill growth. Course, we just watched the lack of regulations annihilate growth, yet you just continue.
The key to attracting Southern whites isn’t their pocket books, it’s their pride. We need a new narrative that asserts, without pulling punches, that Ferguson is the result of slavery, but so is rock and roll, so is corn bread, and so is the global domination of our entertainment industry.
Minnesota has terrible food because it never had slavery.
Slavery was horrible, but it led to the dynamic clash of cultures that makes America the best country in the world. The South is home to the very worst American history, but the interaction and cooperation of whites and blacks is also responsible for all the things that makes America exceptional.
A high profile fight to move the rock and roll hall of fame from Cleveland to Memphis would lose, but it would kick the discussion in the right direction.
So much for this topic….
Frankly I’m really tired of small population states with small minded populations having an equal say in policy decisions for the country as a whole. The structure of the Senate was set up when there were thirteen states trying to act in concert against England. It’s outlived its usefulness and has made the Congress a dysfunctional gathering of millionaires and wanna be millionaires. Twenty-eight percent of the Senate represents about 14.8 million citizens, or less then 5% of the population. Combined with the limitless amount of money now allowed to influence elections and we’re headed straight for the crapper.
Do you mean being tired of Red states having a larger say due to the skewing of the House? The Senate is free from such skewing in that the state can not be gerrymandered the same as those districts which select the representation in the House. Much of the skewing towards Republican domination in the House comes from 6-7 swing states. The state in which I live (Michigan) votes 54% for the Democrats in National elections. If one looks at the representation, you would see 2 Democrat Senators, 5 Democrat Reps, and 9 Republican Reps. How can a state which votes the majority Democrat end up with more Republican Reps? Since 1990 and every 10 years afterwards, the Republicans have had control of both the State Senate and the House. The Districts are approved by them and end up being packed and skewed to meet their political needs. By the way, Michigan even with its voting Democrat is 2nd to Texas in wackiness. To accommodate the Republican skewing of influence within the state, the Republicans plan to take it one step further by changing the Electoral College voting award from winner take all to awarding votes by winning the Districts. If you win the majority of the Districts, you will be given 2 extra votes.
The fly in the ointment for the Republicans in Michigan is the inability of it to attract people. Michigan is the 2nd highest population in the nation for having a population born there. 2nd to Louisiana which managed to attract more people and lower its percentage. Michigan lost people again. Ironic is the state’s advertising motto which is “Pure Michigan.” White America is losing the race in domination as it is not reproducing in the same rate as minorities. For Michigan, the Detroit population held captive by Milliken versus Bradley so many years is slowly heading west towards Lake Michigan which is scaring the bejabbers out of my neighbors. For the nation? Hispanics will be the largest population by 2040 to 2050 at 40-50%. Will their be millionaire Hispanics? Probably. I expect them to be more middle class than wealthy and they will be the power block in Michigan and Congress.
Truer words were never spoken.
An 18th century democracy cannot work in the 21st century. Combine that with the ability of money to control elections, and we are looking at the US becoming a third world country.
One of the only reasons I am glad I am in my 60s. These kids growing up today are going to have a bad time.
“One of the only reasons I am glad I am in my 60s. These kids growing up today are going to have a bad time.”
Sadly, between the toxic American politics, the crap economy, the future of robot overlords, peak oil and the inevitable global warming crisis, I’ve come to the same conclusion.
don’t forget being eaten and turned into gray goo buy nanobots!
No a troll is someone who goes around repetitively name calling without staying on topic.
So is it your contention that regulations have no negative impact on economic growth? Let’s see your research.
The bulk of the literature supports that regulations have a negative impact. Sure some degree of regulation is necessary and even warranted and part of the rule of that underpins capitalism. I like clean air and water, safe roads, honest businesses, etc….but I also understand that these protections come at a cost to economic growth, job creation, and innovation over time. In addition, as the federal government grows in its regulatory power through larger and larger programs, the attendant regulations compound to inhibit growth, not all of the inhibition is bad but good or bad it happens. You find that not to be the case? Let’s see the rationale.
You rationale would run counter to these guys who have dot deal with the regulations as they create jobs:
‘In 2012, major regulations could reduce the total value of shipments from the manufacturing sector by up to $500 billion in constant 2010 dollars. This is a loss in shipment value equal to 85% of the 2010 pre-tax profits of the entire manufacturing sector.In 2012, manufacturing exports will be up to 17% lower than they would be without the estimated burden from major regulations.’
You cant be claiming to be the party of growth when the people creating jobs are putting out reports like this.
‘U.S. federal government regulations cost an estimated $2.028 trillion in 2012 (in 2014 dollars), an amount equal to 12 percent of GDP. Regulatory costs are distributed across major business types and among firms of different sizes; the findings of this report indicate that compliance costs fall disproportionately on small businesses.’
or, lets go to the academic research:
I like the name of this one,
‘Federal Regulation and Aggregate Economic Growth’
‘We find that regulation has statistically and economically significant effects on aggregate output and the factors that produce it–total factor productivity (TFP), physical capital, and labor. Regulation has caused substantial reductions in the growth rates of both output and TFP and has had effects on the trends in capital and labor that vary over time in both sign and magnitude. Regulation also affects deviations about the trends in output and its factors of production, and the effects differ across dependent variables. Regulation changes the way output is produced by changing the mix of inputs. Changes in regulation and marginal tax rates offer a straightforward explanation for the productivity slowdown of the 1970s.’
‘The Regulation of Labor’
‘Heavier regulation of labor is associated with a larger unofficial economy, lower labor force participation, and higher unemployment, especially of the young.’
‘Where does regulation hurt? Evidence from new businesses across countries’
‘Tighter regulation also exacerbates fear of failure, further discouraging business start-up. All our estimates point to a negative effect of regulation.’
Anyway here is the whole search category for ‘regulation’ within the NBER research aggregator, you get a similar result if you search through RePEc. The greater consensus of the research shows a negative impact from regulation. This should not even be controversial. There is a trade off between protections (environment, consumer, property, labor, etc) and the ability for people to use resources as productively or efficiently as they might. And that is not necessarily a bad thing for society as a whole, but it is not wholly conducive to economic growth. There is a trade off.
Before the author of the opinion piece above can start claiming that simple averages of economic growth correlated with presidents is proof a pro-growth platform for his party he will need to reconcile it with the above that data that shows increased regulation hurts businesses and the economy. That is all I am saying.
If he fails to do that then he (and you) will continue to misunderstand ‘Why Liberals Keep Losing’.
Actually, EMichael got it correct.
This “The bulk of the literature supports that regulations have a negative impact.” is conjecture on your part. Furthermore, there is enough evidence to refute your findings:
“How do labour laws affect unemployment and the labour share of national income? The experience of six OECD countries, 1970–2010”
“They find that worker-protective labour laws in general have no consistent relationship to unemployment but are positively correlated with labour’s share of national income. Laws specifically relating to working time and employee representation are found to have beneficial effects on both efficiency and distribution thus proxied.”
If Sandwich man were here, I believe he would make the argument citing from Sidney Chapman a reduction in work day hours has a positive impact in productivity allowing a company to hire more labor. Remember Direct Labor cost is not the largest ratio of the cost of manaufacturing.
Now if you excuse me, I have to leave today for Juarez Mexico and help a company improve their processes.
Would you be open to less federal power, say a re-disolution into a republic with most of the governance at a the state level? That way states would have more power and the bumpkins you decry would have less sway over how your state takes care of you.
They could, say, create a document that limits the power of the federal government, restricting it from infringing on the rights of individuals and states as they conduct their business.
Would that work for you? If not why not?
“create a document that limits the power of the federal government, restricting it from infringing on the rights of individuals and states as they conduct their business. ”
So the federal government couldn’t prevent a lunch counter owner in some states from denying service to people with dark skin? So the federal government couldn’t prevent bus stations in some states from having segregated waiting rooms? So the federal government couldn’t prevent states from setting up racially separate schools?
Been there. Done that. No thanks.
“Would you be open to less federal power, say a re-disolution into a republic with most of the governance at a the state level? That way states would have more power and the bumpkins you decry would have less sway over how your state takes care of you.”
Spoken like a true right wing ideologue. Scrap the entire body in order to cure a limb. You haven’t addressed the criticism I raised concerning the structure of the Senate. You skipped over to the form of government. Nicely subtle and insidious all at once. What’s your day job? Speech writer for Boehner or McConnell?
How about simply requiring a state to have a certain minimum population in order to qualify for statehood? Let’s combine Wyoming with its neighbors on each side. Better yet, let’s make the five boroughs of NYC each an independent state. Maybe we’ll have to combine Staten Island and the Bronx in order to make the population cut off. And most definitely let’s scrap this seniority bull shit when it comes time to appoint committee chairs. There are lots of good answers to the Senatorial misrepresentation issue. Maybe we could allow the south to finally be independent of the rest of the country. That southeast quadrant is a socially and intellectually barren waste land.
“There is a trade off.”
Yep. Lots of words to say one thing that matters.
The problem is that the tail is wagging the dog. And under our Constitution the only way to change that is for the tail to give up its power to wag the dog.
Ain’t gonna happen.
I don’t disagree with that assessment. There is no reason for the minority to give up their strangle hold on the rest of the civilized population. I was only pointing out an obvious fact, that we are suffering under the tyranny of minority rule. Worse yet, not a minority of the intelligentsia, but one due to a quirk in our Constitution that allows ignorance and bigotry to rule over progressive ideology and humane interactions within our society. As is historically always the case, things need to get a whole lot worse before we have any hope of them getting better.
Great. You found a report that states that labor laws do not affect unemployment (or the greater economy). Fine. There are some out there. That is why I stated the BULK of the literature supports that legislation (and not just labor legislation) negatively affects the economy. It does. But more importantly it should! The whole point of legislation in many cases is to limit or control how some types of economic activity is done and it fits nicely with the rule of law that is a necessity to capitalism. But, in doing so, it has a knock-on negative affect on some economic activity. This should not be controversial, right?
My point is that if you are claiming that you are the party of economic growth; you have to address the fact that large government programs require tax and legislation, both of which mute economic growth. That is the reality it despite the fact that some people here believe that reality is a Nazi, racist, right-wing, rich white man’s plot to keep them enslaved and kill their unicorns.
Sorry, there is more than some and the fact remains it does nothing to impede fair and honest economic activity which you indeed bring up yourself here: in many cases is to limit or control how some types of economic activity is done and it fits nicely with the rule of law that is a necessity to capitalism. But, in doing so, it has a knock-on negative affect on some economic activity. This should not be controversial, right? The knock down negative impact on certain types of economic activity hits such areas at Child Labor, slavery, Workmans Comp for injury, indentured servitude, etc. Are you suggesting you are in favor of such?
The Dems have out performed Repubs over the years. There is no argument you can make to refute such.
You state, ‘So the federal government couldn’t prevent a lunch counter owner in some states from denying service to people with dark skin? So the federal government couldn’t prevent bus stations in some states from having segregated waiting rooms? So the federal government couldn’t prevent states from setting up racially separate schools?’
In all the cases you mentioned the majority, supporting and being governed by a few empowered leaders, kept the minority from exercising full individual rights under the law.
It is what Jack is proposing above, removing the checks and balances that the minority exercises over the majority. He would be fine with those checks being removed so that the majority and their technocratic rulers can implement the will of the majority…perhaps implement a ‘final solution’ to get rid of those pesky red-neck conservatives once and for all.
As you said, it has been tried (in the 1930’s) and found disastrous for everyone.
No thanks. I will take my checks and balances and adherence to an old document that supports individual rights over the will of the majority any time. The smallest minority is the individual.
You state, ‘Yep. Lots of words to say one thing that matters.’
I tried not to. You are the one that kept asking for support. Glad you recognize that trade-off exists and that regulations (both good and bad) will have some attendant effect on economic growth. This is common sense and should not be controversial which is why I resisted providing support to begin with.
Dems should not try to deny this fact but should embrace it. Nothing wrong with some trade off on economic growth if the benefits warrant it.
But a lot of regulation is not geared to standardizing economic activity or providing a fair market place but instead is meant to protect some market participants (state-provided monopolies, labor protections, industry protections, etc) or are meant divert economic resources away from economic activity some people do not like (prohibitions against pot and other drugs, alcohol, guns, pornography, cigarettes, fat foods, etc)… as are some taxes. My point is that the Dems could really embrace the mantle of being pro-growth by attacking some of the more bad prohibitions and protections. Not all of them but, as stated above in my first post, there is a lot of low hanging fruit that could be addressed.
Surely we can agree on that?
Thanks for the response.
Skipping the first part of your response which makes a lot of erroneous assumptions and infers a position not being taken on my part, I will focus on the meat of your second part.
You have clarified that your problem is with the Senate, not with the House or President, and that is a fair criticism since it seems dysfunctional. It would mean, by default though, that states with strong majorities would always hold power over lightly populated states. If that is the case, what would be the benefit to Montana or Alaska or New Mexico, etc. to stay in the union. They would be relegated to minority status, forever having to submit to the will of the majority without proper recourse.
Could they or should they be allowed to secede? As you stated above, the original 13 states had a common goal which united them but they also had most of their governing power vested at the state level not the federal level. Massachusetts could do what it wanted independent of what Virginia did, etc. That is no longer the case and under your system, whatever coastal states wanted to do, Montana and the fly-over states would have to do regardless of the will of their people. Would that be a fairer system in your opinion than the one now?
Wouldn’t it just be easier to relegate the federal government to some limited role and scope, with much of the power invested at the state level? It would solve the problem with the Senate by making them less important to how power and funds are doled out and it would move it closer to the people who could hold their local politicians more accountable.
I am just asking because I am truly interested in your opinion, not because I am a Nazi trying to make you wear Wal-Mart socks against your will. 🙂
Not saying that I am for or against. I grew up on a farm and was working from very young. But I get your point and as stated above, I like some of the protections that legislation enables. I was and am very clear on that. So let’s not get into a ‘because you think some legislation is bad therefore you support slavery’ argument. That is a straw man argument you can go have by yourself.
I am simply pointing out that legislation and tax have a negative impact on growth and that large government programs require both tax and legislation hence they negatively impact economic growth. That is a fact. Like I said in several other responses, it should not even be controversial.
The author above is claiming that the Dems are the party of economic growth based on flimsy correlative averages that do not take into account several other factors (refer to my original email if you want the whole list). You make the mistake of simply parroting his claim.
Like I said, if you guys do not want to understand why you are NOT taken as the party of growth, then you will always fail to understand ‘why liberals keep losing’.
There are good taxes and good regulations. Bad taxes and bad regulations.
You admit that, while constantly ignoring it with the vast majority of your statements. Brandies should have included regulation in his taxes and civilization comment.
Libertarians(and trolls) never think about that civilization part.
You keep avoiding the point that the data correlate with Democratic control. Therefore the economy does not do better under republican control, regardless of the reasons. It doesn’t matter if regulations and controls hurt economic growth. Growth is still greater with the democrats in control.
Perhaps, the perception that democrats are the party of big government is wrong. Time and time again we see that what republicans say and what republicans do are two very different things.
“Wouldn’t it just be easier to relegate the federal government to some limited role and scope, with much of the power invested at the state level?”
Again spoken like a true ideologue with a resolution to a problem that only exacerbates the problem of misrepresentation to the state level.
“Massachusetts could do what it wanted independent of what Virginia did, etc.”
Do you mean like making slavery illegal? Or just making discrimination of many types legal? You seem to forget that our system of government requires that the states all treat their citizens as equals. Should we switch to some form that allows the discriminatory behavior that seems to be so prevalent in those red states that you seem to admire so much?
If the small population states have an issue that needs to be addressed they can certainly act in concert with one another rather than having their elected representatives have a grossly disproportionate amount of control over one of our two branches of the Congress. And I’d point out in addition that those two branches of the Congress were intended to balance one against the other though that is not recently seen to be the case.
This thread proves that arguments in the OP will never be persuasive to people who are in the conservative tribe. It’s not a question of facts.
What is not disputable is since adoption M. Friedman’s and the Federal Reserve’s push for deregulation (free market) in early 70s the USA has gone from a creditor nation to a debtor nation; plus increasing the number of citizens living in poverty and almost eliminating the middle class.
You have a facile understanding of American history, and political theory in general, if you think that slavery and discrimination grew out of state rights. That is not the case. In addition, both existed before and after at the national level in various countries (including ours) with a compliant legislature that either tolerated it or downright supported it. Consolidating power in the hands of the fewer is no sure cure to the problem caused by consolidating power in the hands of the few. The problem with slavery and discrimination was not that power was concentrated at the state level, it was that power was concentrated at all. So instead of setting up a system whereby one government can control lives of some people unfairly, you have faith that such power will not be abused if only it is concentrated at a much higher level and that well-intentioned technocrats get to wield it. Just as majority will was forced on the Blacks in the South you now want to force the will of the majority on the minority states, make them slaves to your will, pay for you programs, answer to your beck and whim. That is very liberal of you.
Besides, you are a slave now anyway, you just do’t realise it. You are already working for the benefit of others against your will. Working and handing over the product of your labor to the government so that they can ensure that Goldman Sachs gets its bonuses, Warren Buffet collects his Soc Sec, Solyndra executives get their payday, Boeing gets is Ex-IM Bank, etc.
At least if power disseminated your taxes would be spent closer to your home and the people spending it would be more accountable to you. As a citizen with a vote you would still have the right and the power to object to slavery, a vote that would be worth more in a smaller voting pool.
You state, ‘And I’d point out in addition that those two branches of the Congress were intended to balance one against the other though that is not recently seen to be the case.’
Eh, …. you left off the ‘check’ part. Check and Balance! The check part even comes first in that phrase. The gridlock you see today is the check function of the Constitution. It is a feature, not a bug of the Constitution. Meant to ensure that very broad support was garnered before laws passed. Instead you see very partisan legislation being offered and blocked.
I for one am happy to see Reid, Pelosi, et al, blocking some of the nonsense being put forth recently. Not you?
You state, ‘What is not disputable is since adoption M. Friedman’s and the Federal Reserve’s push for deregulation (free market) in early 70s the USA has gone from a creditor nation to a debtor nation; plus increasing the number of citizens living in poverty and almost eliminating the middle class.’
We are more regulated today than ever. Look at the Federal Registry for the number of laws and regulations, so of which deregulation are you speaking?
More importantly, the fact that we have become a debtor nation has more to do with the growth of our government not the free markets. Have big government with big programs that they can only pass if the taxpayer does not have to pay for it today and the result will be more debt at the federal and state level.
We manufacture as much today as we ever have, just with a lot less workers and with it being a smaller part of our economy. That is a good thing. A majority of manufacturing is dirty and pays not well. It is not an industry worth having unless you are at the high end of the spectrum and that industry we have generally is. Celebrate it!
I am not sure how you cannot see (above) that I have repeatedly claimed that some legislation is required and is part-and-parcel of capitalism. It has been acknowledged.
I addressed your point already above.
Again, mistaking correlation for causation is a rookie mistake. Take an Econ 101 course and come back when you are educated.
I have not claimed causation. I have claimed that the lack of correlation between greater economic growth and republican control means that republican control does not result in greater economic growth. If it did, there would be correlation. That is Econ 101. Perhaps you need a refresher course.
You have a facile and incomplete understanding of what can and cannot be implied from correlation. Causation, one way or the other cannot be implied, from either positive or negative (inverse) correlation.
Their are OTHER FACTORS at play that do/can/might/ have an impact on growth that are independent of who is president.
Just as I do not blame Obama for the Great Recession, I do not blame Bush for IT Bust, nor do I credit Clinton with the IT boom, nor do I credit Truman for the Post WWII Boom, nor Carter for the inflation-driven GDP growth of the 70’s. Like I said, it would be a rookie mistake to do so. There were other factors at play, other than who sat in the oval office. If you can’t see that, you need to run (not walk) to your nearest library and start educating yourself.
Though it would be interesting to note that under Truman, Kennedy-Johnson, & Clinton, taxes were cut quite a bit. In fact it was Kennedy who started the whole supply-side cut idea as president, not Reagan. And it was under Carter a huge amount of deregulation occured (airlines, trucking, banking, breweries, etc)….so…eh….uh oh….
“A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget. Every taxpayer and his family will have more money left over after taxes for a new car, a new home, new conveniences, education and investment. Every businessman can keep a higher percentage of his profits in his cash register or put it to work expanding or improving his business, and as the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues.”–John F. Kennedy ~Sept. 18, 1963
“Deregulation are you speaking” Kai-HK
“We manufacture as much today as we ever have” Kai-HK
If the above was true not everything I buy would have a foreign stamp. Also the USA would not be running a trade deficit since 1980 and growing.
Governments run deficits when they import more than they export; print money without backing, or fight wars they do not pay for them. Then the worst is debt created money.
There is a quote someone made that goes something like let me control money creation and it matters not who the elected are.
I am talking about regulations in general. Take a look at the federal registry and you will see that we are more regulated today than at any time prior, not less regulated.
Eh…Glass-Steagall was regulation so not sure how you view that as deregulation, as was Gramm-Leach-Bliley which repealed Glass-Steagall (which was inadequate but at least simple and clear) and replaced it with even more regulations, restrictions, and perverse incentives through legislative fiat.
NAFTA, same, more legislation not less.
But that is a digression, since the topic is general regulations and their impact on economic growth. We have more today than in the 1970’s or 80’s or 90’s…a lot more, not less…despite what the unicorns are telling you.
You state, ‘If the above was true not everything I buy would have a foreign stamp.’
That does not necessarily follow reason. It is quite possible that we could have more regulations and MORE foreign trade…not only is it possible it is the current reality. But your concern is on stuff like NAFTA that you feel unfairly lets goods in. But that is not what is hurting us; it is the host of regulations OSHA, labor, EPA, etc that make our goods too expensive for export and compete. Personally I am fine with that. I like clean air and labor protections…but it hurts our manufacturing competiveness and AS I STATED ABOVE…regulations have tradeoffs…and the hindering of our manufacturing industry is one of them.
I for one am not sorry to see that industry go. It is environmentally dirty and unrewarding as a job (hence high alcoholism in heavy manufacturing) and it is quickly being disintermediated by robots. No use clinging to a 19th century industry. 70% of our economic is services now…we should hope that goes to 100%. But then again, I am educated and have one of the better service-type jobs, I may not feel the same way if I was less educated and manufacturing or Wal-Mart was all that I could get.
You continue, ‘Also the USA would not be running a trade deficit since 1980 and growing.’
Great news indeed. Consumers are freed from having to pay the rapacious and extortive fees of American producers. Why should the 89% of Americans that buy things have to be extorted by the 11% of Americans that work in manufacturing and produce things? They can vote with their wallets; the greatest form of democracy. Let me guess. As with all progressives, you hate freedom, individual rights, economic democracy, and property rights?
You state, ‘Governments run deficits when they import more than they export; print money without backing, or fight wars they do not pay for them. Then the worst is debt created money.’
Eh…no! Governments print money and create debt when they spend too much on government goods and services. Trade deficits run independently of government deficits. We have run deficits in the past when we mostly had positive trade balances. It can happen.
And oh yeah….NAFTA (Clinton, 1993) and Gramm Leach Bliley (Clinton, 1999)….I guess they were right, Dem Presidents are great for US economic growth….eh…wait….uh oh….oh nos….
So a regulation that reduces regulation is jut more regulation even though after it is passed the net effect is to reduce regulation?
I am glad to see that we are in agreement. On one hand, whichever party is in power has no effect on the economy. Economic growth is outside the influence of the political party in power.
On the other hand, if the influence of the political party in power does have an influence on economic growth, then there must be correlation between that party and the economic growth.
Therefore, IF the political party in power has influence, it is the democrats who influence greater economic growth than the republicans because that is what the correlations dictate.
Correct! In many cases, what you take for ‘deregulation’ is, in fact, ‘reregulation’. Sure parts of laws you do not like are rescinded and regulations relaxed, only to be replaced with other laws and regulations. There were a lot fewer regulations associated with Glass-Steagall than with Gramm-Leach-Bliley (which replaced Glass-Steagall). This should come as no surprise since laws written in the 1930’s tended to be less wordy, more straightforward, and requiring less regulatory compliance. Today’s laws get a lot of stuff added on at the last minute to get it passed, and much of that is regulation inducing. Tell me that is no surprise to you, please.
I agree with you on one thing though, it is time for you to get the check and bow out. You have been bravely suffering through your reading comprehension debilitation but it is finally getting the best of you. Keep practicing; you will get there one day. We are all pulling for you.
You have an even worse reading comprehension level than EMichael above. You are arguing straw men.
You state, ‘I am glad to see that we are in agreement. On one hand, whichever party is in power has no effect on the economy. Economic growth is outside the influence of the political party in power.’
I never said that. Both parties will exert some influence on the economy. They are just one OF MANY factors that influence the economy with the OTHER FACTORS often being of equal or greater magnitude and when combined are often much more important than anything a president is doing during his/her term.
I am not saying that party decisions and presidents do not have an impact on growth, I am saying that the simple averaging and use of correlation does not adequately prove which is better for economic growth. Right?
You continue, ‘On the other hand, if the influence of the political party in power does have an influence on economic growth, then there must be correlation between that party and the economic growth.’
I would agree with you here IF the decisions made by the president while holding office were the ONLY major economic drivers of growth. But the fact that it can be does not make it so. In other words simple correlation does not equate to causation.
As with my slap down of Beene above, Clinton signed both NAFTA and the repeal of Glass Steagall, but it will be follow-on presidents that have to deal with the fallout. This is the case with much legislation. And you have to take into account lag, as well as other macroeconomic factors. Clinton rides a Fed induced IT boom and leaves office just before it implodes. Greta for him. Bush gets to suffer two Fed induced busts, the IT bust and the Housing Boom-Bust. Obama is enjoying a Fed Boom now, but that could quickly turn to a Bust before he leaves office or it could fall to the next president. These other factors are important. Failing to recognize them does not make them go away.
You can keep returning to this idea that correlation is causation all you want but it is stupid, biblically stupid actually.
“As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.” Psalm 26:11.
I have never claimed causation, but there is clearly greater economic growth under Democratic control…whatever the cause.
Dissemble all you want.
Go get educated and come back when you understand data analysis and how to apply it to real world situations.
You can talk around the data all you want, but whatever the influences on economic growth, the influences are greater when democrats are in power…although I do admit, the democrats (or the republicans) may have no influence on them.
Kai-HK, you’re last post to Beene was just prattle.
You say pollution is stationary.
You state the only the less educated suffer from new economy of service jobs; when in truth many highly educated are losing their well paying service jobs.
You then say government causes debt by spending too much on goods and services. The government’s spending is what has brought the economy out of recession in all cases.
You, state trade deficits run independently of government deficits. In truth the ruination of nations has been when there were constant trade deficits.
Not talking around the data at all. I have embraced the data, simply pointing out that correlation is not causation and the a simple averaging of economic growth during presidential terms incorrectly represents all the drivers of growth during that presidents term. But I see that you refuse to be confused with the facts. Good for you.
In sum, I pointed out the folly oif reading too much in to a simple analysis of presidential terms and economic growth to infer a greater causality but if you still think that Dems are better for the economy based on that flimsy correlative analysis well then you will fail to understand ‘why liberals keep losing’
That point of your self-beclownment, remains a mystery to me.
You state, ‘You say pollution is stationary.’
Where do I say that? I hope you win that argument with the straw man you are constructing. Good luck.
You continue, ‘You state the only the less educated suffer from new economy of service jobs; when in truth many highly educated are losing their well paying service jobs.’
Again, I make no such claim that ‘ONLY (my emphasis) the less educated suffer from new economy service jobs’ That is a second straw man.
You continue, ‘You then say government causes debt by spending too much on goods and services. The government’s spending is what has brought the economy out of recession in all cases.’
Eh, the former sentence and latter sentence can both be correct and non-contradictory. At least this time you are not constructing a straw man; instead simply failing to comprehend basic English.
I disagree with you that government spending is what has brought the economy out of the recession but rather simply muted it somewhat while prolonging a real recovery. Regardless of that, it does not conflict with my statement that ‘government causes debt by spending too much on goods and services.’
If that is not the case, Prove it!
You state, ‘You, state trade deficits run independently of government deficits. In truth the ruination of nations has been when there were constant trade deficits.’
Again, the first sentence does not conflict with the second sentence. They can both be correct.
Again I disagree that constant trade deficits lead to absolute ruination but again that was not point, simply that the two deficits can exist (or not) independently. We have run huge government deficits in the past when we were net exporters and likewise it is possible for a government to have a government surplus while being a net importer. Both situations can and do happen.
Always happy to educate you. Come back when you need more.
You have only wishful thinking if you believe that republicans are better than democrats with the economy. At least I have “flimsy correlative analysis” in my favor. You have no correlation at all. I have data. You have no data. All you have is opinion. I have facts.
Seriously, what is wrong with you people?
Didn’t you know people like Kai in college? It’s that strange combination of high intelligence and utter lack of introspection that can generate either an uber-dork or third world dictator. He can’t possibly see how wrong he is. He may not have a concept of “false” that could possibly overlap with his concept of “things I know.” You’d have better luck teaching a dog algebra.
Keep following the unicorns….
‘When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.’—Socrates. Thanks for acknowledging your loss.
In light of your comment to Thorton, I graciously accept your surrender.
Normally I would give you that one. But pointed out that you are erroneously dreaming would not fall to the slanderous level Thorton dwells.
As stated before, get educated on basic Economics and Statistics and come back. You would do better to start speaking from a position of knowledge in your future comments instead of relying on correlation, supposition, and blind faith.
I’d like to take your points 1 by 1
“I am not sure that either party, Dem or Rep, can truly claim to be pro-growth, which would naturally stem from being pro-market.”
Huge supposition here. What does being pro-market even mean? That is one of THE worst terms thrown around in economic discussions. Markets do not naturally grow, they naturally flux if anything… so this is a pretty poor start to your critique
” Both parties are pro-special interests and the regulations and finance that goes toward protecting these special interests subvert market forces and detract from honest sustainable growth.”
Define “honest and sustainable”…. but either way this is no critique of Steves point. His numbers show better growth during democratic administrations. The fact that both parties serve special interests is irrelevant… not all special interests do the same type of harm to economic growth.
“The real problem with Dems is that the programs they create are large, inefficient, and take up the bulk of the federal budget, these include Soc Sec, Medicaid, Obamacare, etc. but also anti-poverty programs, etc. These non-discretionary items are what are truly driving the deficits, not discretionary spending…though that is bad too”
The % of federal budget a program occupies is irrelevant. All that matters is if a program is growth promoting. SS actually promotes economic growth by providing incomes which get spent and not saved. That spending goes to businesses which then hire employees to serve those retirees. Health care spending promotes a lot of growth in fields like development of new products, it also keeps our workforce healthy and able to show up for work. You are also assuming that a deficit, by definition, is bad……. not true.
. “On autopilot these programs will continue to metastasize to the point that they consume the entire budget.”
Not true. We will never spend every federal dollar on medicare or SS. Thats pure scare tactic language
” Increasing taxes to offset the increase will only be growth reducing”
First off taxes will never HAVE to be increased to “fund” those. Its a choice
and we already know that increased taxes are not automatically growth reducing.
“In addition, continued issuing of debt and printing of cash to fund the portions of the budget that the government does not want to honestly pay today will also be growth penalizing, especially if interest rates ever rise (and they will)”
What is “honestly pay”? Taking from someone else? Its not a zero sum game….. or at least it doesn’t have to be. And actually interest rates, on federal debt anyway, can be permanently placed at zero. Banks can still charge whatever they wish for a mortgage but FFR can be at zero permanently…. its a choice not a market force.
“The regulations that support and protect Dem programs, of which there are many, are growth retarding”
Another faulty assumption. You still haven’t defined “growth”
“The compliance costs grow each year, which makes the starting and growing of a young business more and more difficult, thus benefiting established incumbents. This is where the Dems should focus their attention to assert a pro-growth platform”
The truth is there are more small business startups during democratic administrations as well…… repubs are more big business than mom and pop stuff.
You made a point about regulations in one comment about the number of regulations. There are lots of regulations, we all know that but how many are being enforced, at least when it comes to the big boys in the banks and financial firms? Thats what matters
Slander? A billion people on the internet and yet… stock phrases like “correlation is not causation” and “slander is the tool of the loser” pass for erudition. If my reply makes me a loser, what is the correct manner of dealing with an obtuse ass? I’m always ready to learn.
Not sure how you huge erudition but ‘correlation is not causation’ isn’t it. It is simply a fact. Someday when you graduate high school and get an opportunity to take a basic statistics course you will learn that.