Author Topic: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?  (Read 1627 times)

ctuser1

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https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/02/opinion/sunday/democrats-economy.html

Finally!! A mainstream media article on the 800lb gorilla

Anyone who ever looked at the data (especially the jobs data) would come to the same conclusion beyond all reasonable statistical doubt - that Republican administrations are horrible for the economy, at least when compared to the Democrats.

This is intuitive too! Championing vodoo economics and shunning experts WILL take it's toll on the economy.

Even so, I'm struck by the almost-religious belief among many people that the Democrats are "bad for business"!

It isn't quite possible (or desirable IMO) to directly counter Faux/Sinclair/Koch-army! But at a minimum, there should be much broader discussion on something that is of critical importance to the well-being of the US economy.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 04:38:20 PM by ctuser1 »

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2021, 06:39:47 PM »
It depends on whether you see growth as being necessarily good for the economy.

Here in Australia the government spent massive amounts of stimulus during covid, to the point where household disposable income jumped massively (because of increased government payments). This has led to rampant inflation - CPI at 0.9% last quarter alone. I've anecdotally noticed a large increase in the price of food and entertainment.

If your view is that inflation is okay because it supports jobs etc (this is the mainstream view), then that's a good thing. You lose a little purchasing power and some economic efficiency in order to keep the beast well-fed and keep more people in jobs.

if your view is that we need to keep inflation down to keep efficiency and productivity high and benefit savers and those who are prudent with money, then a growing economy can be a bad thing if it's not growing organically.

Malcat

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2021, 06:46:44 PM »
Facts tend to get in the way of good narratives, so most people prefer to ignore them.

Myths are powerful forces to try and deconstruct.

ctuser1

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2021, 06:47:00 PM »
It depends on whether you see growth as being necessarily good for the economy.

I view private sector job growth as the "real" measure of the economy.

GDP growth is more of a fictitious number that does not correspond to anything real in the economy - jobs do. This also has "real" implications in how history is written.

e.g. in a world where GDP growth is championed over and above jobs, Reagan would be considered to have been a more "effective" president over Carter. When you measure job growth, IMO, you get a very different picture.

 
« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 06:51:15 PM by ctuser1 »

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2021, 07:02:27 PM »
I would see productivity growth as the best measure.

ctuser1

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2021, 07:19:34 PM »
I would see productivity growth as the best measure.

Productivity = GDP / hours worked.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/productivity.asp

GDP is a bad measure because:
1. It is disconnected from "real" reality. If you and I trade a bitcoin 100 times back and forth, we have raised the GDP by 100 X 1BTC.
2. It has much higher inertia than job growth. Business hire in "anticipation" of growth.

Productivity growth has problem #1, but a little less. It is issue #2 that kills productivity as a good measure of a political administration. Productivity growth is very sticky and plays out over a very long time. Measuring productivity growth in a couple of decade intervals is meaningful, over 4 year intervals it is meaningless.


BicycleB

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2021, 08:59:52 PM »
It's possible that immediate job growth or decline is not so meaningful either, at least as a measure of the overall impact of a President.

For example, imagine a president whose technique to generate a little bit of job growth in ordinary times is spending financed by heavy government debt. It could be that the debt slows down future growth in jobs as well as GDP, because said government lacks the ability to borrow during future crises when the spending would have greatest impact. Either phase, the initial spending or the later crisis, could involve Republican or Democratic Presidents. The President in crisis could be falsely viewed as "bad" for jobs as an effect of a previous President who was "good" for jobs, because the long term effect is falsely assigned to the new President.

ctuser1

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2021, 09:26:09 PM »
It's possible that immediate job growth or decline is not so meaningful either, at least as a measure of the overall impact of a President.

For example, imagine a president whose technique to generate a little bit of job growth in ordinary times is spending financed by heavy government debt. It could be that the debt slows down future growth in jobs as well as GDP, because said government lacks the ability to borrow during future crises when the spending would have greatest impact. Either phase, the initial spending or the later crisis, could involve Republican or Democratic Presidents. The President in crisis could be falsely viewed as "bad" for jobs as an effect of a previous President who was "good" for jobs, because the long term effect is falsely assigned to the new President.

That possibility is specifically addressed in the article:
Quote
First, it’s worth rejecting a few unlikely possibilities. Congressional control is not the answer. The pattern holds regardless of which party is running Congress. Deficit spending also doesn’t explain the gap: It is not the case that Democrats juice the economy by spending money and then leave Republicans to clean up the mess. Over the last four decades, in fact, Republican presidents have run up larger deficits than Democrats.

That leaves one broad possibility with a good amount of supporting evidence: Democrats have been more willing to heed economic and historical lessons about what policies actually strengthen the economy, while Republicans have often clung to theories that they want to believe — like the supposedly magical power of tax cuts and deregulation. Democrats, in short, have been more pragmatic.

A trend persisting for a century is a heck of a pattern to be explained away by randomness/chance/noise. It's possible, but extremely unlikely.

----------------------------------

The hypothetical scenario you had proposed actually happened for Carter. The oil crisis + the Volcker Fed raising the interest rates precipitated a recession.

If anything, that impacted the democratic scorecard.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 09:32:39 PM by ctuser1 »

Gin1984

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2021, 09:56:32 PM »
It depends on whether you see growth as being necessarily good for the economy.

Here in Australia the government spent massive amounts of stimulus during covid, to the point where household disposable income jumped massively (because of increased government payments). This has led to rampant inflation - CPI at 0.9% last quarter alone. I've anecdotally noticed a large increase in the price of food and entertainment.

If your view is that inflation is okay because it supports jobs etc (this is the mainstream view), then that's a good thing. You lose a little purchasing power and some economic efficiency in order to keep the beast well-fed and keep more people in jobs.

if your view is that we need to keep inflation down to keep efficiency and productivity high and benefit savers and those who are prudent with money, then a growing economy can be a bad thing if it's not growing organically.
We've had that increase in groceries here in the US without any increase in disposable income. Could it just be that supplies are limited so costs go up?

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2021, 10:25:28 PM »
It depends on whether you see growth as being necessarily good for the economy.

Here in Australia the government spent massive amounts of stimulus during covid, to the point where household disposable income jumped massively (because of increased government payments). This has led to rampant inflation - CPI at 0.9% last quarter alone. I've anecdotally noticed a large increase in the price of food and entertainment.

If your view is that inflation is okay because it supports jobs etc (this is the mainstream view), then that's a good thing. You lose a little purchasing power and some economic efficiency in order to keep the beast well-fed and keep more people in jobs.

if your view is that we need to keep inflation down to keep efficiency and productivity high and benefit savers and those who are prudent with money, then a growing economy can be a bad thing if it's not growing organically.
We've had that increase in groceries here in the US without any increase in disposable income. Could it just be that supplies are limited so costs go up?
Food harvest is a problem - we usually have backpackers and Pacific Islanders doing a lot of it, but they’ve been locked out by covid19 restrictions, so food is rotting in the fields. Entertainment will probably cost more per person because of the restrictions. This has been known for months, and doesn’t equate to inflation or higher wages. In fact the RBA is trying to get inflation to rise.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2021, 10:33:00 PM »
Personally, I'd be happy with deflation, or at least stagnation, unless organic demand compels inflation.

BicycleB

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2021, 11:36:26 PM »
It's possible that immediate job growth or decline is not so meaningful either, at least as a measure of the overall impact of a President.

For example, imagine a president whose technique to generate a little bit of job growth in ordinary times is spending financed by heavy government debt. It could be that the debt slows down future growth in jobs as well as GDP, because said government lacks the ability to borrow during future crises when the spending would have greatest impact. Either phase, the initial spending or the later crisis, could involve Republican or Democratic Presidents. The President in crisis could be falsely viewed as "bad" for jobs as an effect of a previous President who was "good" for jobs, because the long term effect is falsely assigned to the new President.

That possibility is specifically addressed in the article:
Quote
First, it’s worth rejecting a few unlikely possibilities. Congressional control is not the answer. The pattern holds regardless of which party is running Congress. Deficit spending also doesn’t explain the gap: It is not the case that Democrats juice the economy by spending money and then leave Republicans to clean up the mess. Over the last four decades, in fact, Republican presidents have run up larger deficits than Democrats.

That leaves one broad possibility with a good amount of supporting evidence: Democrats have been more willing to heed economic and historical lessons about what policies actually strengthen the economy, while Republicans have often clung to theories that they want to believe — like the supposedly magical power of tax cuts and deregulation. Democrats, in short, have been more pragmatic.

A trend persisting for a century is a heck of a pattern to be explained away by randomness/chance/noise. It's possible, but extremely unlikely.

----------------------------------

The hypothetical scenario you had proposed actually happened for Carter. The oil crisis + the Volcker Fed raising the interest rates precipitated a recession.

If anything, that impacted the democratic scorecard.

I think we're trying to address different questions, so you are misunderstanding me.

I'm not trying to argue Dems vs Repubs. I'm saying that the main evidence quoted in the thread - number of jobs during a president's term - doesn't logically prove anything if the duration of the biggest effects is different from the timeframe being assumed.

The article has that cool moving chart that "proves" its point by showing the data for immediate effect upon taking office, a six month time lag and a year time lag. It does not address effects that take longer periods such as a decade, nor does the show much consideration of such long timeframes.

PS. I see the comment that a quote from the article addresses my point, but respectfully, the quote doesn't give an adequate analysis. Yes it briefly considers that one president's actions can have effects in another's term, but that part of quote assumes a partisan argument that I did not make, and therefore supports its point with a partisan analysis. The evidence it does cite - that Republicans run larger deficits - could be significant, but someone would have to find a way to determine the timing when that has its biggest effect, and also the timing when other policies discussed in the article have their biggest effect, combine the various effects over time (or separate them analytically despite their real life overlap) and show causation. That seems tricky to me and it's not at all clear from what the author writes that it was seriously tried. The rest of the article's discussion assumes short term results as the important ones.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 12:15:57 AM by BicycleB »

ctuser1

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2021, 05:26:12 AM »
I'm not trying to argue Dems vs Repubs. I'm saying that the main evidence quoted in the thread - number of jobs during a president's term - doesn't logically prove anything if the duration of the biggest effects is different from the timeframe being assumed.

The article has that cool moving chart that "proves" its point by showing the data for immediate effect upon taking office, a six month time lag and a year time lag. It does not address effects that take longer periods such as a decade, nor does the show much consideration of such long timeframes.

PS. I see the comment that a quote from the article addresses my point, but respectfully, the quote doesn't give an adequate analysis. Yes it briefly considers that one president's actions can have effects in another's term, but that part of quote assumes a partisan argument that I did not make, and therefore supports its point with a partisan analysis. The evidence it does cite - that Republicans run larger deficits - could be significant, but someone would have to find a way to determine the timing when that has its biggest effect, and also the timing when other policies discussed in the article have their biggest effect, combine the various effects over time (or separate them analytically despite their real life overlap) and show causation. That seems tricky to me and it's not at all clear from what the author writes that it was seriously tried. The rest of the article's discussion assumes short term results as the important ones.

There has been serious research on this - FYI, and this paper has even be obliquely referenced in the NYT article : https://www.princeton.edu/~mwatson/papers/Presidents_Blinder_Watson_Nov2013.pdf.

Final two paragraphs from the conclusion from this paper:
Quote
It seems we must look instead to several variables that are mostly “good luck.” Specifically, Democratic presidents have experienced, on average, better oil shocks than Republicans, a better legacy of (utilization-adjusted) productivity shocks, and more optimistic consumer expectations (as measured by the Michigan ICE). The latter comes tantalizingly close to a self-fulfilling prophecy in which consumers correctly expect the economy to do better under Democrats, and then make that happen by purchasing more consumer durables. But direct measures showing increasing optimism after Democrats are elected are hard to find.

These three “luck” factors together (oil, productivity, and ICE) explain 46-62% of the 1.80 percentage point D-R growth gap. The rest remains, for now, a mystery of the still mostly unexplored continent. The word “research,” taken literally, means search again. We invite other researchers to do so.

TL;DR:
1. Luck plays a role, and explains about half of the gap in growth (not jobs, where difference is MUCH bigger).
2. They set up many other plausible hypothesis (e.g. fiscal/monetary policy) and disprove them. You are basically trying to argue this point as hypotheticals - it has been addressed in this paper. e.g. your "timing" question would be specifically countered by the "Trends and mean reversion" chapter in this paper. Much of the other statistical tools would also implicitly counter it. e.g. very simplistic approach, not taken in this paper probably because it would seem silly in a serious economic research - if you only take the second/third terms of same-party-presidency - does the effect disappear? But there are other, more serious statistical tests in the paper disproving some of this simpler counters like the ones you are proposing to disprove the result.

If you were a professor guiding my PhD thesis in economics, then I would probably not propose such a partisan and "useless" topic for my PhD dissertation. I would likely not even present a conference paper with the level of evidence that exists without basically giving a "I dunnno" answer in the end - just like Blinder and Watson did. If I did any of that, you or anyone else would be more than justified in handing me my a*se backwards.

That ivory tower criticism, however, does not address the problem that Heritage/AEI and the rest of the right wing propaganda network has basically run away with the narrative exactly backwards and brainwashed most of the American population.

How do you address that?
 
Option 1: Set up an easy to disprove hypothesis like "No, economic data does not suggest Republican presidents are better for the economy. Arguably, a lot of data exists tentatively indicating just the opposite, subject to further serious research.".

Option 2: Ignore the easy to disprove, partisan hypothesis; set up a goal that is worthy of serious research; try to find evidence for such positive hypothesis; and conclude "I dunno".

To me, it seems Option 2 is better when deciding the topic for a PhD dissertation, while Option 1 is infinitely better when dealing with the likes of Heritage/AEI/Faux/Sinclair.

Do Heritage/AEI/Faux/Sinclair provide the standard of evidence demanded by option 2 (that you seem to be demanding) when dealing with this topic?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 06:49:01 AM by ctuser1 »

BicycleB

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2021, 06:11:14 PM »

There has been serious research on this - FYI, and this paper has even be obliquely referenced in the NYT article : https://www.princeton.edu/~mwatson/papers/Presidents_Blinder_Watson_Nov2013.pdf.

Final two paragraphs from the conclusion from this paper:
Quote
It seems we must look instead to several variables that are mostly “good luck.” Specifically, Democratic presidents have experienced, on average, better oil shocks than Republicans, a better legacy of (utilization-adjusted) productivity shocks, and more optimistic consumer expectations (as measured by the Michigan ICE). The latter comes tantalizingly close to a self-fulfilling prophecy in which consumers correctly expect the economy to do better under Democrats, and then make that happen by purchasing more consumer durables. But direct measures showing increasing optimism after Democrats are elected are hard to find.

These three “luck” factors together (oil, productivity, and ICE) explain 46-62% of the 1.80 percentage point D-R growth gap. The rest remains, for now, a mystery of the still mostly unexplored continent. The word “research,” taken literally, means search again. We invite other researchers to do so.

TL;DR:
1. Luck plays a role, and explains about half of the gap in growth (not jobs, where difference is MUCH bigger).
2. They set up many other plausible hypothesis (e.g. fiscal/monetary policy) and disprove them. You are basically trying to argue this point as hypotheticals - it has been addressed in this paper. e.g. your "timing" question would be specifically countered by the "Trends and mean reversion" chapter in this paper.

Thanks for the info! I accept my concerns as met.




talltexan

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2021, 11:30:15 AM »
I've thought that the problem is that we're using the party of the President rather than accounting for the "super cycles" of power.

The middle third of the twentieth century was dominated by progress through the New Deal and Civil rights (think of it as the FDR-LBJ era). It took a fantastically conservative backlash to the to position Reagan in the WH and show the way to our current supercycle of conservative dominance (think of it as the Reagan-Gingrich-McConnell era).

Eisenhower may have been President, but liberals were very much setting the agenda during the 1950s and 1960s, sort of the way Clinton and Obama were forced to triangulate from the right to achieve anything meaningful during the current super-cycle.

J Boogie

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2021, 11:41:17 AM »
To answer the question the article poses, the Reagan administration and the intense landslide that gave him his 2nd term kind of reinforces the idea that small-gov Repubs are good for the economy. His classic quote that govt is the problem, not the solution comes to mind.

Whether it was causation or correlation is beside the point for the article; for millions of Americans his presidency solidified the idea that a Republican president will equal a ~150% increase in the DJIA over their 2 terms.

Never mind equal/greater increases occurred during Obama's and Clinton's tenures respectively - if you have the story to point to as a Republican that treehugger Jimmy Carter tried and failed to revive the economy and freedom lover Ronald Reagan succeeded, you point to that story.

It's a great rhetorical device to have on your side especially as things become a lot less clear cut and easily digestible moving forward.


ctuser1

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2021, 09:56:38 PM »
I've thought that the problem is that we're using the party of the President rather than accounting for the "super cycles" of power.

The middle third of the twentieth century was dominated by progress through the New Deal and Civil rights (think of it as the FDR-LBJ era). It took a fantastically conservative backlash to the to position Reagan in the WH and show the way to our current supercycle of conservative dominance (think of it as the Reagan-Gingrich-McConnell era).

Eisenhower may have been President, but liberals were very much setting the agenda during the 1950s and 1960s, sort of the way Clinton and Obama were forced to triangulate from the right to achieve anything meaningful during the current super-cycle.

If you take the jobs numbers, and try to discount any such patterns to see if a counter-narrative emerges or not, you will notice that nothing like that is there.

My professional training is as an Engineer. I like to think of this as a signal vs. noise issue. You can try to frame any test on the raw jobs numbers, and will quickly realize that the signal has been so strong and consistent that no plausible noise would come close to explaining it. Democratic administrations have tended to add a lot more - double - as many jobs as Republican administrations do.

Unfortunately the one or two academic papers on this topic only focus on growth numbers, and not jobs. I suspect that may be because they want to reach a somewhat ambivalent conclusions and to avoid being branded a biased partisan.


talltexan

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2021, 09:49:59 AM »
I remember living through 1992 at a time when GDP growth was high, but the labor market led many to believe that the economy was still bad. I think the economic signals that affect voting are more salient when they're grounded in jobs than in GDP, which is not available as soon and is noisier.

I doubt any economists are unaware of the political winds when they work on these studies. Many embrace them, even, as their funding comes from organizations that try to influence them. Indeed, some I know would love nothing better than to randomly choose the President and see what happens.

As I type this, I realize that this is kind of what we go in 2000.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2021, 01:29:30 PM »
I don't think the government is there to 'create' jobs. That's for private industry. Creating unnecessary or inefficient jobs leads to inflation and hurts the financially prudent.

PKFFW

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2021, 07:14:41 PM »
I don't think the government is there to 'create' jobs. That's for private industry. Creating unnecessary or inefficient jobs leads to inflation and hurts the financially prudent.
Deflation from high unemployment also hurts the financially prudent, it's just not as obvious.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2021, 07:26:27 PM »
Deflation is mainly a good thing for the financially prudent. Inflation is like a rising tide that lifts all boats but makes it harder for your relative purchasing power to increase. Deflation is a receding tide that shows who's swimming naked. Those with a healthy income and asset position stand to do better in relative terms from deflation.


PKFFW

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2021, 08:51:56 PM »
Deflation is mainly a good thing for the financially prudent. Inflation is like a rising tide that lifts all boats but makes it harder for your relative purchasing power to increase. Deflation is a receding tide that shows who's swimming naked. Those with a healthy income and asset position stand to do better in relative terms from deflation.
The negative consequences can be found in your quoted statement.  As I mentioned though, they are not as obvious as the effects of inflation though.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2021, 08:55:46 PM »
Every negative has a positive and vice versa.

ctuser1

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2021, 09:11:40 PM »
I think it is a valid point that a Soviet style jobs for life program is a very bad idea for any economy.

I'd argue that failed libertarian ideas are worse in the present context, however. e.g. The idea of the mythical libertarian ubermensch, who apparently doesn't rely an iota on the wider economic system and hence only stands to benefit from a deflation despite the stress it causes on the wider economic system. It causes a lot of wrongheaded policies in the US Economy and exacts a terrible toll on it.

We aren't talking about the theoretical. The context is failed libertarian policies in the US. Had the context been recovery from the failed soviet policies in 90's Russia, it would have been much more logical to be more scared of the "socialist" ideas than "libertarian" ones. In this day and age however, the typical American concept of "libertarianism" (e.g. "deflation" is "good") is the clear and present danger for the economy I inhabit. I can understand the theoretical concern for the danger that the soviet style jobs program could pose, but that is simply not very relevant while discussing the US job/payroll numbers for the past 50+ years.

------------

On second reading, my post reads like an attack. It isn't meant to be, however!

Please realize that as "self sufficient" you decide you are, you are actually dependent on a symbiotic relationship with the "society" or "markets" the moment you choose to store economic value that you hope to redeem X years in the future. There is very little economic consumption that you can store on your own. Maybe you can store a bag of dry rice for a few years. But when you are looking to redeem stored value 10/20/30 years hence, you are basically relying on society to grant you a part of it's economic output at that point in return for a piece of otherwise useless paper (or a piece of shiny, useless metal) from 30 years ago.

A real deflation causes extremely high economic turbulence. Most of the time it causes major macro issues. Even when it may not (e.g. I've seen economists claim that US economy from 1800 - 1900 was claimed to have "deflated" for "good" reasons), at a minimum it came with multiple great-depression level crashes. None of this is likely "desirable" by anybody, even the winners, who lived through it. How do I know? Well, I was a survivor/winner of the 2008 crisis where I basically survived when 90%+ of my co-workers got laid off around me, and my position was eliminated twice and I barely found something else to survive in my job by the skin of my teeth. I have people in my linkedin friends list who literally went from being a million-dollar-a-year-trader-in-hedge-fund to a realtor-in-new-jersey today. '08 was much milder compared to multiple of the depressions that happened in the US in 1800's. So I can only imagine what the farmer in Kansas or Pennsylvania - who won in the end - must have felt going through them every so many years like clockwork. Living in Australia, which had no recessions for 30+ years before COVID, maybe you see reality differently than I do.

The foundational idea of the Libertarian philosophy is freeloading, i.e. to deny or minimize such reliance on society even when taking full advantage of them. They basically want all the benefits of such social system, while eschewing their own responsibility in maintaining that system. I'd request you to please resist that temptation.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 05:46:42 AM by ctuser1 »

PKFFW

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2021, 11:18:19 PM »
Every negative has a positive and vice versa.
Maybe, maybe not.

My point was that even the financially prudent stand to lose from a deflationary cycle.  An unbiased look at most research would tend to lead one to the conclusion that low level inflation (which is the worst case scenario being discussed here if the Government were to embark on a jobs program through infrastructure projects and the like) is a much, much better problem to have than deflation.  Even for the financially prudent.

talltexan

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2021, 07:15:35 AM »
I believe the 2016 Republican platform still calls for a return to the gold standard. There's your deflation.

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2021, 08:26:31 AM »
To answer the question the article poses, the Reagan administration and the intense landslide that gave him his 2nd term kind of reinforces the idea that small-gov Repubs are good for the economy. His classic quote that govt is the problem, not the solution comes to mind.

Whether it was causation or correlation is beside the point for the article; for millions of Americans his presidency solidified the idea that a Republican president will equal a ~150% increase in the DJIA over their 2 terms.

Never mind equal/greater increases occurred during Obama's and Clinton's tenures respectively - if you have the story to point to as a Republican that treehugger Jimmy Carter tried and failed to revive the economy and freedom lover Ronald Reagan succeeded, you point to that story.

It's a great rhetorical device to have on your side especially as things become a lot less clear cut and easily digestible moving forward.

What we are hopefully starting to understand now though in the current political environment is that Reagan made a bunch of short-term trade-offs that in the long run ended with labor getting the short end of the stick.

Reagan is responsible for the destruction of unions, failure to keep the minimum wage at a reasonable level, privitization of government work, and the giant monopolizations of almost every industry. At the time, those industries promised reduced costs that would be passed on to the end consumer.

That was true for a while, but corporations made sure to take larger chunks for themselves too.

Politically, there really isn't a difference between Reagan and Trump. They actively worked against the long-term interests of labor and did everything they could to consolidate power into private corporations that in return fund their campaigns.

I don't blame anyone who voted for Reagan at the time, but in hindsight, Reagan's destruction of the American economy should be completely apparent.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: NYTimes Article - Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2021, 02:34:15 PM »
I don't think there's a dichotomy between labor and capital. Each of us every time we invest in shares, or start a small business from home, or get promoted to 'partner' in a firm, are mixing the distinction between labor and capital. So many of my friends and colleagues are now partners at firms, having started from humble roots. As long as there is a workable path for the talented to do this, I'm not too bothered.

talltexan

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I don't think there's a dichotomy between labor and capital. Each of us every time we invest in shares, or start a small business from home, or get promoted to 'partner' in a firm, are mixing the distinction between labor and capital. So many of my friends and colleagues are now partners at firms, having started from humble roots. As long as there is a workable path for the talented to do this, I'm not too bothered.

I'm glad that upward mobility is still the rule of things in Australia.

rocketpj

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Here in Canada we play a similar game.  The right wing Conservative party campaigns on fiscal responsibility and being pro-business.  When elected they repeatedly, consistently rack up the national debt while cutting taxes for the wealthy.

Sooner or later they lose an election, and the centrist Liberal party gets in.  Their track record on debt and spending is comparable, though they tend to spend it on things rather than just hand out tax cuts.

In some provinces we occasionally get saddled with the NDP (democratic socialist-ish), who inflict 4 or more years of competent governance, and usually leave office with some kind of budget surplus and a net increase in average income.  Immediately the 'fiscally responsible' pro business party takes over and starts racking up big debts again while doing nothing to help the economy or the people.

Cultural myths are hard to counter with evidence or facts because they aren't based on those things.