Liberal economic policies are killing jobs (part 2)

As a follow-up to a previous blog post about how liberal public policies on a federal level are contributing to the pitiful number of job opportunities for low- and middle-income families since the end of the recession in 2009, here’s a rather depressing fact: Less than 60 percent of Americans have had a job now for 40 consecutive months. By comparison, before the current presidential administration, no fewer than 60 percent of Americans were employed in any given month for more than 23 years straight (280 months).

In fact, in the more than two years (27 months) since Obamacare was passed, the proportion of Americans with a job has never risen above 59 percent. The last time that this was the case (pre-Obama)? 1984.

This is just more evidence that liberal public policies kill growth in the economy. In other words, putting liberal thinking and policies into practice means that more low- and middle-income families struggle to obtain life’s necessities and remain stuck at the bottom of the economic ladder.

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  • Jason Williams

    This “analysis” is so bereft of economic context or relational causality I can’t even muster a snarky response. I want to believe you are being intentionally ignorant, Derek, but these two posts together have me wondering if your ignorance may be more — sadly — sincere.

    • Derek H Monson


      This blog post isn’t an “analysis,” it’s just simple commentary on the sad economic facts of the past 2-3 years. It kind of surprises me that someone like yourself who is regularly on the radio doing both can’t tell the difference. Your criticism is akin to calling me ignorant because I didn’t have my blog post peer reviewed…but of course, as simple commentary on a blog it is not meant to be peer reviewed.

      And if you don’t want to go for snarky, you could at least try for substantive ;)

      Derek Monson

  • Matt Blank

    Wow two Weekly Standard articles and a link to your previous blog post. That is some substantial evidence to back up your claims that these two things happened at the same time so they must be related! Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir became Iceland’s first female Prime Minister and the world’s first openly lesbian head of government about the same time (Feb 1 09). Maybe we can blame her too!

    • Derek H Monson


      If you have another opinion as to why the American economy has not only failed to significantly recover in the roughly three years since the end of the recession, but is actually in worse shape in the current “recovery” than it has been in the middle of past recessions, I would love to hear it…such substance is somewhat lacking in your response.

      But I will give you an “A” for snark, which is more than I can say for Jason’s comment, which seems to just be aiming for insulting :)

      Derek Monson

      • Matt Blank

        Some substance would include the fact that every ‘jobs’ bill passed by the obstructionist House has had nothing to do with creating jobs and instead pushes distracting right wing agendas like de-funding various government programs and enshrining no abortions with federal dollars (even though that is explicitly on the books already). The obstruction occurring on the hill from both parties refusal to cooperate and compromise is what is stalling any sort of federal government action. And action from the federal government, even just to say “we’re working together to create stability” sends the right messages that things aren’t changing and that this is the status quo to maintain. Businesses won’t sign off on anything more permanent than a short-term deal because they don’t know what to expect from the operating environment. Consumers aren’t going to buy houses and consume credit because they don’t know what the situation is going to be next month or next year. It’s not ‘liberal public policies’ that drive this uncertainty. It’s crazy whiplash public policies brought about by hard line obstructionist politicians who are worried more about scoring the next big political point than they are setting this country on a steady foundation. So stop blaming one party or the other. Work for compromise – America is a diverse place. People hate extreme partisan politics blaming liberals or conservatives for their problems. Congress has earned its mid-teens reputation. The problems come from tying your hands with useless mandates not to increase taxes or from focusing so hard on your polling numbers and extracting the next drop of blood from your opponent. The federal government exists. Get over it. And guess what? Admitting they can do some good once in a while isn’t going to kill you. It’s compromise. It sets the standards and guides for how the environment is going to operate. Stop blaming people for the problems and try to fix them instead.

        • Derek H Monson


          Thanks for taking me up on the challenge to try and offer some substance. I’ll try to address all of your substantive points.

          First, you aren’t going to get any argument from me that partisan power politics in Washington, D.C. are hurting the economy. Political battles over power rarely do much beneficial for anyone, including those who win such battles.

          However, I would argue that the uncertainty created by current power battles in Washington, D.C., and contributing to American economi stagnation, isn’t grounded in concern over conservative policies being enacted, but liberal ones. For instance, I don’t think businesses are holding back on hiring because they’re worried that taxes may go down next year, or because their health care costs will go down with the repeal of Obamacare. Rather, they’re holding back because they’re worried about taxes going up and regulations becoming more burdensome.

          Second, I’m not “blaming one party or the other,” as you claim. I’m blaming a system of thought – liberal thought, in particular. No one party has the monopoly on that system of thought, though some would believe otherwise, especially those in the media who often prefer simple narratives to the complicated, multifaceted stories that actually reflect reality.

          Third, if you take the time to carefully investigate what Sutherland thinks about government, you will find that not only do we have no problem that the federal government exists, but that we’re happy it does. Taking what I’ve said in this blog post and arguing based on it that we somehow aren’t willing to admit that the federal government “can do some good once in a while” is an opinion without any perspective. Sutherland takes the conservative view – meaning we believe in good government, not no government. We are conservatives, not libertarian anarchists.

          Derek Monson

  • Paul Mero

    I wonder what you gents think you’re defending in your criticism? In reality, causality is difficult to uncover, not because it’s not there but simply because of the economic context Jason speaks of…in other words, I can argue that government economic development or even direct government jobs are not really “job creation” except for the fact that someone who didn’t have a job now does because he now works for the government or his company received a tax subsidy allowing him to hire someone else. They are not privately-generated private sector jobs…which would be my point in the assertion about “job creation” but they they are indeed jobs. Likewise, there is so much minutia involved with government intervention in the marketplace…be it regulation, taxes, subsidies, “rules,” licensing etc…that the minutia can hide the merits of any policy if dishonest researchers ignore the fundamental truth about all public policy: government-driven anything drives up costs, reduces efficiencies and lowers quality. To the degree that “liberal” policies endorse government-driven anything, those policies hurt the economy. Outside of this universal truth, and faced with the minutia of byzantine government efforts that can act to hide or mask the full negative influence of liberal policies, we’re typically left with correlations not causality. So while I appreciate everyone’s eye for “truth,” I would be more impressed by criticisms that offered alternative accurate analysis — not simply a criticism that lacks the same merit as what’s being criticized. But that takes real time and expertise…and I know you guys are busy working real jobs. :)

    Another way to say this is…tell us why we’re wrong?

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