October 8, 2010

The Tea Party's Economic Recovery (Already in Progress)

Good news, teabagger!  Your perfect economic recovery is already underway! 

According to the US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the September job numbers show a net loss of 95,000 non-farm jobs for September, with the jobless rate holding steady at 9.6%.  How is this good news, you say? 

Well, the private sector actually added 64,000 jobs, while the public sector lost 159,000 jobs . . . which means the number of those suckling the government teat is shrinking, while those bootstrappers out there humpin' it for the good of pure capital is actually growing.  Let's let out a war whoop of celebration!* 

This is so perfect for the Tea Party that Karl Rove couldn't have designed it better if he tried.  In addition to the continued shrinkage of the hated public sector, in addition to the expansion of the private sector (however modest), the unemployment rate remains at a high level . . . all that the average American hears is that the unemployment rate is 9.6%, and the discussion's over.  The economy sucks, and the guy in charge is doing a lousy job.

The right doesn't have to worry about anyone giving credit to Obama for the expansion of jobs in the private sector, because even the people who would parse the more subtle points of the numbers are going to either be upset about the public sector job loss and blame Obama, or they will be happy about the public sector job loss but never be willing to give Obama credit on anything to begin with.

Meanwhile, expert after expert continues to point out that corporate liquidity is growing in the US, but job growth is not keeping pace.  In other words, everyone is lamenting the weak labor market, but not really calling out the people who have the means to fix it (that would be corporate America, in case you're missing the point).  There is money in the economy, it's just under the asses of corporations, who are "sitting on it", as they say.

I will once again repeat that I believe presidents/administrations get too much credit and/or blame when it comes to the economy.  I also don't fully blame corporations who sit on their money in uncertain economic times, although it's really starting to take on a "if you don't do things my way, I'm gonna take my ball and go home" sort of feel to it. I'm not even joining in the "can't we all just get along" choruses of moderate public discourse . . . all I'm asking is a bit of principled ideology and rhetoric in the public sphere.

Apparently, that is much too much to expect.

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In related news, the Dow Jones Industrial index rose 57.90 points (.5%) to close above the 11,000 level (11,006.48) for the first time since May.  All other major stock indices finished up for the day as well.

Speculation about the gains centers around today's announced job numbers: it seems they were bad enough that Wall Street expects the Fed to intervene and continue to sweeten the pot, but not bad enough that unemployment will do any real damage to the economy, which is recovering much less slowly for those at the top of the economic scale than it is for those at the bottom.

This is all so wrong I don't know where to start . . . so I won't.  Not now, at least.
Fun fact that you may have forgotten: many of the participants in the original Boston Tea Party disguised themselves as Mohawk Indians.  In case you were wondering, this was not a tribute to the integrity and free spirit of the American Indian.

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