Monday, September 06, 2010

Apples To Apples, For A Change

As usual, I'm responding to my pals over at Where Are My Keys, who keep posting charts comparing this recession to the other post-WWII recessions. I don't think that's a good comparison. None of those recessions started with a complete credit freeze; none of them had a market crash comparable to the one we experienced the day that John McCain said "The fundamentals of the economy are sound."

In fact what this recession resembles is the Great Depression. The difference is, of course, that having gone through the first one we had a chance to apply the lessons we learned which is why we're not in a Depression now. So look at the chart above. We only have three years of data to work with (that last year isn't even complete yet, and I estimated the rate at 9.8, which will hopefully prove to be too high). You can see too things - stepping in early we appear to have dodged a bullet; and no matter how wonderful people think the economy was under Bush, unemployment was higher than during the roaring 20's when he was running things.

Also remember that the current talking point from ANY Republican you hear is that we'd be far better off if we'd done nothing. Which is exactly what they said in the thirties. As far as they're concerned the fundamentals of the economy ARE strong, which makes sense if you don't really care about unemployment. The middle class? Those people can take care of themselves.

So what I'm saying is yes, things are awful right now, and they'd have been much much worse if Republicans had been in charge.

2 comments:

Publius said...

I love it when people try to prove a negative. "It would have been WORSE if Bush were still in office," or "It would have been WORSE if the GOP was in charge, " or my favorite, "It would have been WORSE without Obama's communist takeover of the nation."

I just have one question... where is your crystal ball that tells you all this definitively and what are next week's lottery numbers? OK, two questions.

Danielk said...

What if Al Gore had won? We'd all have Sharia law by now!