Saturday, December 06, 2008

No job for you

I've been waiting for Krugman's reaction to the unemployment figures, which were worse than even he suspected. Here it is. He points out that the official number does not count the many who have given up on searching for a job.
The chart above shows the employment-population ratio, the ratio of employed Americans to the adult population. By this measure it’s been a weak economy all along — and now it’s falling off a cliff.
It's almost as though Obama is being set up. The real job losses will hit in January. At that time, people who now suddenly find themselves without employment will also start to lose unemployment benefits -- and their homes. The present insecurity will, by February, become the sort of panic that scars a national pscyhe forever.

Also: Gas prices are quite low right now. Will they start creeping up after January 20?

Bottom line: Six-to-ten months from now, Republican propagandists may be in a position to craft a false but persuasive narrative which will picture the Dubya years as the Good Old Days.


Anonymous said...

These are interesting times - everywhere you look, in every direction, there's an abyss instead of light. Except for the usual stupids (though more numerous than ever), this present society is damn sophisticated. A lot of people have been making money (more or less honestly) - when there has been money - without having regular, old-fashioned jobs. Really, now you can relocate online (RelOkies). I watched the brilliant Bound For Glory last week, I expect a lot of organizing and co-operation. I expect that (except for the stupids) most people will realize that organizing and co-operating is all we have to avoid catastrophic self-destruction. Rich people are starting to say they'll pay more taxes (because it's cheaper than the security they'll need). We're ripe and ready for the change from greedy selfishness to secular sharing. Naomi Klein came ever-so-close to calling this meltdown the progressive's Pearl Harbor. What she said is, "This is a progressive moment: it's ours to lose."

Anonymous said...

"Bottom line: Six-to-ten months from now, Republican propagandists may be in a position to craft a false but persuasive narrative which pictures the Dubya years as the Good Old Days."

Or was it something more? Did the Republicans throw this election away to an over confident DNC and to 'the one' with the biggest ego in the world.

I made the comments that follow over on another blog a few weeks ago. I will put it out there again for what it is worth. I have made a few changes and updates to my original post elsewhere.

I have been thinking for some time that the Republicans and Karl Rove just pulled a gigantic rope-a-dope on Democrats this year.

Start with Obama's seed money even before the primary - largely from Republicans and lots of Bush Rangers. Also look at Donna Brazille's chummy friendship and advice from Karl Rove this year. Look at the huge numbers of Republicans that crossed over and voted for him during the primary, some even in the general. (Although some of that was most likely moderate Repubs disenchanted with Bush as well.) And look at the number of Republicans who worked on Obama’s campaign. If you look all through his campaign there were Republicans always with the Obama team some where, some how.

I used to think it was just to defeat Hillary and nominate the weaker candidate. Now I think it may have been some thing more, something far more sinister. (And I am not into conspiricy stuff. Like I believe Oswald acted alone.)

I think Republicans knew this would be a tough year to win given Bush's low approval rate. I also think they knew the economy was going to fall sooner rather than later. So did they throw it? Was McCain their sacrificial lamb?

And look also at how many Republicans sat home this year and did not vote at all. And where were those 527's?

Lose this time round after ensuring the most egotistical, inexperienced, and unqualified Dem candidate was nominated and then just hammer him for two years because they know that the economy will not improve over the short run and they can gain seats and the Presidency when hope and change has failed and voters blame Obama and the Dems, as they will?

IF the Dems were smart and knew how to think STRATEGICALLY they would have let McCain win because no matter who was elected this time round, they were destined to be a one-term President. That was one of the chief reasons I voted for McCain. Then the Dems could step in with Hillary and win in 2012, as well as usher in 30+ years of Dem power.

I see 2008/2009 as analogous to 1929 when Hoover was elected. He too was destined to be a one-termer. And Hoover's mistakes ushered in 30+ years of FDR and his legacy and his policies. Repubs have wanted to kill that for years. What better way than letting Obama be the NEW Hoover and the Repub candidate the new 'FDR' in 2012. A fox in sheeps clothing.

I can see Rove and the Republicans hatching a plan like this. On election night Kristol and Rove did not seem that upset. In fact, they had smirky little smiles playing around the corners of their mouths just like the cat that has just eaten the bird. When Obama's policies make things worse, Repubs can come back and install a very conservative agenda and get rid of what's left of FDR policies, thanks to the stupidity and egotism of Obama, Pelosi, Dean, et. al.

As I said, ROPE-A-DOPE.

bert in Ohio

Anonymous said...

Well said, Joseph. The only firms which may do very well in the next six months are the ones selling alcohol.

I am not sure the Republicans deliberately caused this disaster. (And I don't think you are implying that they did, but please correct me if I am reading your post incorrectly.) They wanted to loot a lot of money (by passing hidden risks off to others without regulation) and would have loved to do so indefinitely. And Democrats did not help the situation by blocking regulation of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. But I do think some, like Karl Rove, foresaw a very bad time coming and decided to help advance the weakest, least experienced Democratic candidate in history, while sabotaging a Republican he dislikes and helping to defeat the Democratic Party's best candidate in years, Senator Clinton.

He must be a very happy man.

Now most Republicans can't put the country first and try to make it better, because then a Democratic President would get the credit. But I think the situation is even worse than they realized and maybe worse than they think it is, even now. I wonder how it will affect their personal finances.


Anonymous said...

On setting Obama up:

I said the same thing on Lion's Share/PumaPac Radio when I was co-hosting it some weeks ago, and was pooh-poohed.

Adding to bert in ohio' points:

- The USSC siding with the Dems on NOT checking the legitimacy of new voter registrations in Ohio;
- The judge dismissing Berg's case on the grounds that it's not the place of citizens to police the Constitution (true, but misleading - it's the courts' job, but citizens go to them);
- McCain not trying very hard to win (e.g. where were the devastating ads combining "I would do it again" Ayers with "God Damn America" Wright?);
- The mysterious way that Obama seemed to know *exactly* what McCain was going to say in the debates ahead of time;
- The Republican-owned MSM not turning on Obama after knocking out Hillary for certain (i.e sometime post-Convention;
- The subprime meltdown occurring almost exactly when Obama needed it (to within a few days).

I think the fact of the setup is pretty obvious, so - again on PUR - I moved to the why:

1) Blaiming Obama - and by association the Dems - for the mess, or;
2) Obama is easier is push around/manipulate/bribe/etc. than McCain, or;
3) Retaking Congress in 2010, then impeaching Obama for any or all of a number of things -campaign finance, caucus fraud, taking bribes, ineligibility for Pres., etc.

...or some combination of the three.

Sergei Rostov

Gary McGowan said...

Sweet Jesus. How long before we barf up the Dem--Repub paradigm and walk away from it.

One doesn't have to defeat -- or even understand -- the tobacco industry to stop smoking.

Anonymous said...

I think the prime reason for all this mess is the fact that most people are sheeps. They like to sit on their asses listen to some one else tell them how to feel and vote. They resigned to the fact that they have no way out of the 2- party system, and will not try. Even those who are disgusted to the core with the behavior of the Dem. party, if you mention a new party, the idea seems to terrorize them. so tell what is the motivation on the part of the political system for any thing different?

Edgeoforever said...

The ending of your article struck me as I have been saying for months that an Obama presidency will make W's seem like the good ol' days.
I am not sure if the set-up will go in the direction you suggest though.
I remember W/Cheney were trying hard during the campaign to say that there was a recession in 2000. As the actual recession was declared in November 2001 retroactively as having started in March 2001, all media perpetuated a typo where the recession started in 2000! (for the obvious political points)
Considering the gymnastics they went through to elevate Obama, a reversal is not to be expected. He will be the new teflon, shinier than Ronnie and we'll be reminded constantly - the actual truth- that W wrecked the economy, with only the good news being connected to Obama (incoming bad news will continue to be attributed to the "US Government" as done during W's praisng days. Watch for it.
I stand by my original prediction as B0 doesn't seem to want to have the money for effective new deal (tax raises to the rich, oil company windfall) and is not inclined to restore the POTUS functions to pre-W (eavesdropping, war etc)

Perry Logan said...

I love the concept that Karl Rove--after watching his party humiliated in two successive national elections--is "a very happy man."

When you start talking about how clever Republicans are, it's time to take a break. Turn off the computer. Get some fresh air.