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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Job Growth and Republicans Everywhere--

Job Growth and Republicans Everywhere Just Don't Add Up.

Economist Jared Bernstein published this article last week about the Republican ticket's job growth claims:   A Forecast That Sounds More Impressive Than It Is .  

Bernstein discusses Romney/Ryan's claim that they can create twelve million jobs over the next four years.  Well, sure, maybe, if we dismantle the EPA and get rid of that pesky minimum wage.  O.K., I'm being snarky.  The Republicans haven't talked about getting rid of the minimum wage.. yet... except maybe a few of them like Michelle Bachmann.

Bernstein points out that is and has been forecasting twelve million more jobs over four years under a "normal growth pattern"  regardless of who gets into the White House.  That comes out to about a 9% growth over those four years "about the same percentage gains as in each of the Clinton terms and over the second Reagan term".

What's their employment policy? 

Bernstein suspects that, with no reference to any kind of employment policy, Romney/Ryan are just hoping the economy will continue to expand as it often does in a recovery.  (Remember, however, that Romney took over Massachusetts during a recovery, and, yes, while Massachusetts added jobs as did just about every other state in the union during those years, Massachusett's recovery simply lagged that of most other states.  So Romney may be the kind of leader who can take a recovering economy and mess it up, as he did in Massachusetts.  I'm not sure any of us want to find out for sure.)

Bernstein summarizes this "twelve million jobs" claim like this:
I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen, and I’m certainly not suggesting that Rom/Ry’s agenda will blaze the path back to normal levels of job growth.  To the extent that their supply-side tax cuts and deregulation generate results similar to those of the GW Bush years, they won’t get anywhere close.   But from what I can tell, they’re just looking at a typical model’s predictions—with no reference to their employment policy agenda—and claiming that’s what’s gonna happen.

Here are my thoughts on this whole 9% job growth thing: 

We haven’t had 9% job growth over a four year period since the 1996-2000 period. That’s a long time ago. I threw the jobs numbers up onto a spreadsheet to determine exactly how often we've had 9% job growth over a four year period.  I discovered that, over the past 42 years, going back to 1970, we’ve had at least 8.5% job growth over a four year period exactly 17 time out of those 42 4-year periods.  I would say that 9% job growth over 4 years is simply not normal now and it’s unclear if it will ever be normal again.
Another thing that became crystal clear as I looked through those numbers:  Generally, Republicans in control of everything, the White House, the Senate and the House, has NOT brought the country much in the way of sustained job growth. In fact, BOTH times in the last 90 years we’ve had Republicans in control of everything (the White House, the Senate, the House) for at least four years, we’ve had an extremely serious economic crash shortly after that four year blitz.
Job growth and Republicans everywhere simply don’t add up.

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