Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Free Markets, Freedom, Progressives, Regulation, Taxes, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: Hillary's Economics, More Obama Economics, Progressives
From Labor day on, we are in the purely political world. “In her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, presidential nominee Hillary Clinton insisted that the economic performance of the preceding eight years was ‘much stronger’ than it was during the Bush years. More than fifteen million private sector jobs were created under President Obama, she said, many more people are now on health insurance, and the automobile industry is booming.” That, said Richard Epstein, seems to be her argument that progressive policies led to economic growth.
The day after her big speech, the Commerce Department reported that the slowest economic recovery since 1949 was getting slower still. The Gross Domestic Product growth was down to 1.2 percent. Well, nothing to do with the success of Progressivism. It’s the decline of the middle class, or rising levels of inequality that are the problem. The FED just said that we have full employment, though I just mentioned yesterday that Obama had put 83,000 coal miners out of work. It’s no wonder people get confused. Who can you believe?
The U.S. Department of Labor unemployment rate (U-3) defines the unemployment rate as those who are jobless but actively looking for work. But there are five other measures of labor underutilization. U-6 refers to not only the unemployed, but also the marginally attached who are neither working or looking, but want to and are available and have looked in the past year, and the people who have a part-time job but want to work full time. That rate at it’s peak was 17.1 percent but is now down to 9.7 percent. That’s still a lot of discouraged people.
The thing is that Progressives don’t really do economics. They are opposed to the free market, they believe that business and industry need to be heavily regulated, and that government should be big enough to manage the whole economy. They find the idea that government doesn’t need to manage the economy, but to leave it alone — completely absurd. The idea of small government, or disposing of some agencies altogether gives them a case of the willies.
Some things are not important to a Progressive. Obama has cut funding for the military by $265 billion over 5 years. They are opposed to war, so prefer not to fund it — which can be awkward when your enemies start to see you as very weak, human nature being what it is. But then Progressives don’t really believe in human nature either. Economist Mark Perry at AEI gives us the Venn Diagram of the day:
You see the problem. The official national debt is at $19 trillion and climbing, but the real debt is much higher. Need proof? Nancy Pelosi, declared that “the best way to stimulate the economy” is through food stamps and unemployment insurance. The more people who get free food, the more prosperous we become?
Hillary wants to spend $1 trillion more on government works programs, free day care and free college education and expanded entitlements. She will pay for all this by raising taxes on everybody, but especially the undeserving rich, the top 1% who already pay 38% of all federal taxes paid.
Hillary attacked Donald Trump saying “While he may have some catchy sound bites, his statements on the economy are dangerously incoherent. They are deeply misguided, and they reflect an individual who is temperamentally unfit to manage the American economy.” Well, yes. Cutting taxes and turning loose the economy is, to a progressive — dangerously incoherent.
Obama has added over $7 trillion to the national debt all by himself, and if you remember back when he started off so confidently to create lots of jobs with repairing our crumbling infrastructure — exactly the same thing Hillary is promising. Except Obama had to sheepishly admit that “there don’t seem to be any shovel-ready jobs.”
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