In context, liberal economic policies are still killing jobs

When considering what the dismal economic facts and realities of today mean for liberal economic policies and liberal thinking in general, one criticism I have encountered is a lack of consideration of the economic context in which those policies were enacted. Certainly, consideration of context is important for good public policy.

In this case, it turns out that if you take that context into account, it doesn’t change the basic conclusion: Liberal economic policies are depriving low- and middle-income families of job opportunities that the economy should otherwise be producing.

A recently published editorial on the website of Investor’s Business Daily provided economic context for the liberal federal economic policies of today by looking at how the current economic recovery compares with previous recoveries. In other words, setting aside the recession, which the policies of the current federal administration had nothing to do with, how does the economic recovery of the last three years – all of which have occurred under the current administration – compare with what we should expect, based on past recoveries? The answer: terrible.

The evidence? The current recovery has “produced the worst rate of economic growth of any recovery in the past 65 years,” according to the Investor’s Business Daily editorial. Ten recoveries have occurred over that time span, under both Democratic presidents (Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter) and Republican presidents (Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II). Arguably, the economic policies of these past administrations have been more conservative/less liberal than those of the current administration. None have produced more dismal results.

In fact, the inflation-adjusted rate of growth in the economy in the current “recovery” has not only been the lowest, it has actually gone down since the “recovery” began (from 2.2 percent per year in 2009-2010 to an annualized rate of 1.5 percent today). The proportion of employed Americans has similarly decreased since the “recovery” began in mid-2009 (from 59.4 percent in June 2009 to 58.4 percent today).

Of course, this evidence is not the final word, nor is it meant to be – this is a blog post, not a comprehensive and rigorous analysis of current administration economic policy. However, the economic context of the liberal policies currently in place seems to support what the sad facts suggest: Liberal policies chain low- and middle-income families to the bottom rung of the economic ladder by preventing jobs from being created.

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  • JBT

    Virtually all of President Obama’s proposals for creating jobs have been blocked by the Republican controlled House of Representatives and the Senate which has used the filibuster more times than any other Senate in recent history. It is disingenuous for Republicans to now point to the economic stagnation and blame the current administration when from the outset of the Obama administration their stated primary goal has been to force him to fail—even at the expense of the welfare of American citizens in order to make him a 1 term president.

    It is not the wealthy who are job creators as the Republicans claim. It is the middle class who spend their incomes on goods and services that drives the economy creating more jobs and more middle class consumers with money to spend. President Obama’s programs designed to use federal funds to help states pay the salaries of public service employees such as teachers, firefighters, and police would have generated or saved more thousands more jobs and in turn generated more tax revenue for both the states and the federal government. In a similar vein, President Obama’s program to use federal dollars to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure and construct projects that would clean renewable energy would have put tens of thousands of people to work in good paying jobs and help the country come out of the recession. Unfortunately the party of NO, said NO and we have the economic stagnation we have, not as a result of President Obama’s policies, but because those very policies were blocked at every turn by the Republican Party.

  • Maggie

    JBT…for three years,each summer my husband and I have traveled through the states of Washington,Oregon and Utah on a quest to visit our children. Each year we encounter orange cones for miles and miles in all of these states.All accompainied by occasional signs indicating the projects are being paid for by my federal tax dollars. 90% of these areas have no humans or equipment in sight ,just the orange cones. My curiosity finally got the best of me and when we stopped for fuel and food in the midst in one of these projects I asked what they were doing to the roads? The answer was “Damned if I know,they have been moving those cones around for years.” My exact observation! Those dang cones must be pretty expensive and they are not fooling to many people anymore. Please tell me one project that stimulus money went to that accomplished something.Just one. If you find one I promise I will give the Republican party h*** for blocking further spending and blocking what appears to be a waste of money,unless of course you can come up with one thing that provided jobs and helped a community.Solyndra does not count, nor do any projects where Obama bundlers received the money and returned it to the Obama campaign.