More On "It's The Economy, Stupid"

As a companion post to my look at a WSJ pundit's "It's Obama" thesis, consider this WSJ article:

Ms. Jones is part of an unmeasured, agitated mass: unemployed Americans who don't believe the Obama Administration and Congress have done enough to produce jobs. With elections coming up, their unease is especially troublesome for the Democrats, who control both chambers.

A poor economy never bodes well for incumbents. Cook Report, the nonpartisan political newsletter that tracks congressional races, estimates that 73 House seats are vulnerable—including Mr. Schauer's. This group has two things in common. Almost all (66 of 73) are held by Democrats, and most include counties that have unemployment rates exceeding the national average, according to data assembled by The Wall Street Journal.

[. . .] "The jobless are the new swing voters," says Rick Sloan, [. . .] "You can talk about deficit reduction, health-care reform—you can talk about all those things but you're talking past the jobless voters."

Robert Gibbs and Jane Hamsher can argue all they want about 'what's progressive enough,' but voters care about jobs. And the Obama Administration and Dems have simply failed on this issue. It is why they will lose the November election.

Speaking for me only

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    Some people and some industries (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 08:46:21 AM EST
    are doing extremely well in this economy.

    Wellpoint, the nation's largest insurer by membership, "reported a 4% increase in profit for the second quarter that helped generate earnings of $1.6 billion since the beginning of the year - a 26% increase over the same period in 2009,″ and Aetna said its "second-quarter profits rose 42 percent, with a net income of $491 million, compared with $346.6 million for the same quarter last year.

    As a group, insurance CEOs saw a "167 percent raise," while "Americans saw their averages wages increase by about 2 percent." Insurers are spending less on health care and seeing higher profits: link

    Mission Accomplished... (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 08:56:39 AM EST
    if Dems get tossed on their keister, there is always work in the insurance lobby, the finance lobby, the defense lobby...and they've got the iou's to cash in.

    The Key Point (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by The Maven on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 08:56:14 AM EST
    in that excerpt, and what should be utterly obvious to everyone in the Administration -- yet instead they're completely oblivious -- is "Americans who don't believe the Obama Administration and Congress have done enough to produce jobs."  Aside from the wholly-detached-from-reality fringe which is critical of the Admin and Congressional Democrats generally for taking over the entire econony with their "socialistic schemes" (and whose votes would never have been available to Dems in any scenario), these disappointed voters are going to be the inflection point on which November's elections turn, and possibly 2012 as well.

    It's truly incredible that so many supposedly bright folks in DC just dont get that.

    I think they get it (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 11:19:10 AM EST
    But they don't want to get it.  I think most Obama apologist bloggers get it, but they don't want to get it either.

    It means that most everything this administration has done about the economy was wrong in one respect, everything they did helped aggravate the unemployment situation and nothing they did addressed it.

    And we have Larry Summers on the record pounding the table top and hollering that nothing can be done about the unemployment situation.  That isn't true, but it is true if we are using his economic recovery blueprint....which we are.....and how is that working out for us now too?  We aren't recovering AND we are all unemployed.


    Maybe Larry Summers (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 11:22:20 AM EST
    Needs to be unemployed, with no  insurance, and lose his house,

    Who says this administration can't (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 09:00:19 AM EST
    create jobs.

    Despite President Obama's pledge to retain more hi-tech jobs in the U.S., a federal agency run by a hand-picked Obama appointee has launched a $36 million program to train workers, including 3,000 specialists in IT and related functions, in South Asia.

    Following their training, the tech workers will be placed with outsourcing vendors in the region that provide offshore IT and business services to American companies looking to take advantage of the Asian subcontinent's low labor costs. link

    3,000 new jobs is nothing to sneeze about. Of course, they are designed to eliminate the need for 3,000 jobs here in U.S.

    Mo Blue - Could you source this for me...I'm not (none / 0) (#18)
    by mogal on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 01:19:16 PM EST
    questioning you, you have too good a reputation here in Missouri. I just would like to have the information.
    Keep up the good work. Mo Gal

    See the LINK in #4 (none / 0) (#21)
    by PatHat on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 01:45:25 PM EST
    According to a bunch of know-it-all WH (none / 0) (#25)
    by Joan in VA on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 03:11:15 PM EST
    apologists at DK, this will steal jobs from Indians-not Americans- and anyone who questions this idea-like David Sirota-doesn't understand the difference between offshoring and outsourcing. So, stfu, if you can't see how brilliantly our $36 Mil is being spent.  

    Or something like that. I think.


    Here (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 09:56:23 AM EST
    in GA on the news this week has been a story about how there are 30,000 people waiting for public housing. Fighting ensued in the lines and all. People are so desperate for housing, jobs etc. and the Obama administration has not a clue about this.

    The GOP is probably going to have a rout this fall but then they are going to fail to deliver too because conservatism is a failed ideology that produces nothing. I'm willing to bet that the GOP doesn't get the message about jobs either and spends the entire time issuing subpoenas to the Obama administration.

    Agreed. One pollster (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by masslib on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 10:06:18 AM EST
    said some time ago that Congress members are going to find themselves sitting in a swivel chair for several upcoming election cycles.  I can't remember the reasons he laid out, but to me it is obvious.  The pols just do not get it.  People need jobs, those with jobs need to see their incomes increase not lay flat.  I predict the GOP wins the day but not the war, but then it will be the same for the Dems if they can't get their act together on the economy.

    IMO voters (Ds,Rs & Is) (none / 0) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 07:39:51 PM EST
    need to adopt a "Throw the Bums Out" philosophy until the members of Congress do "get it" and work for people.

    I saw that chaos in Atlanta (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 11:13:45 AM EST
    on the news, when 30,000 showed for housing help.  That the agency had vastly underestimated the need, relying on federal figures, was telling.  And the interviews were heartbreaking.

    It looked like something from the 1930s -- from the early Hoover '30s, when the federal government also just did not get it, did not get how bad it is.


    I thought (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 11:26:43 AM EST
    the same thing.

    We must have seen the same report, (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 12:01:38 PM EST
    and I can tell you that it alarmed me; it had a very "third-world" look about it, with too-strong undercurrents of restless-and-angry mob; it's like the match was being held too close to the gasoline.

    And I'm fearful of what the cold weather will bring if something is not done to turn things around.

    Obama is just not believable on the economy, not when so many lives have fallen into desperation and his policies have helped them get there; am I the only one who sees nothing in his body language and facial expression that suggests he sees or understands the human consequences of his actions - or lack of action?

    Patience is not an option when you have no job, are losing or have lost your home, cannot support your children and see nothing on the horizon that will help you.


    Revolutions (none / 0) (#26)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 05:00:47 PM EST
    and other cataclysmic events don't start with a bang, but rather with a drip, drip, drip...leading eventually to the big bang. I'm thinking about that Airline steward, and how the pressures just got to him, until he couldn't contain it any longer. Not sure why, but it just seems like his action was some kind of prophesy.

    I'm afraid the pressures you described in your post will lead to a point of no return. I said from the beginning of this disaster that adults can put up with enormous hardships, but when that pain is reflected in in their children's' faces, something's gotta snap.

    The noxious obscenity of Multi Billion dollar bonuses comes to mind....


    Must Be Tough (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 05:08:08 PM EST
    Feeling so entitled...  relative economies and conditions can get you used to undue luxury...  when it is gone it is hard to adjust to the standard of what 4/5th of the rest of the world has to endure.

    hmmmmm (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 01:43:35 PM EST
    Barack "little herbert hoover" Obama sounds about right.  = )

    Actually I saw whats his face head of the DNC on TV this morning telling us once again how good things are since Obama won.


    Maven's and MO Blue's Points (none / 0) (#5)
    by cal1942 on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 09:35:55 AM EST
    It was obvious during the primaries and is now absolutely clear; Obama and his administration is absolutely business oriented.

    Where have you been? (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 02:24:44 PM EST
    Busy (none / 0) (#28)
    by cal1942 on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 05:58:56 PM EST
    Working on my High School Class' 50th anniversary reunion.

    Sucked away available energy.


    Were CCC camps declared unconstitutional as (none / 0) (#8)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 10:29:31 AM EST
    part of Roosevelt's NRA?

    Yes, I think the situation is approaching the need for them. And not outsourced or privatized.

    People want to work and get paid. They'll put up with low pay if they think they're doing something productive. Fixing up parks and bike lanes, cleaning the gulf, heck, people need some option.

    Maybe a CCC camp might be considered demeaning by some, but.

    Will the government actually consider something like that? PRobably not.

    CCC camps here were fine (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 11:18:18 AM EST
    and existed throughout the '30s, so as with so many crucial and popular programs, must have escaped the constitutional challenges -- probably owing to their popularity, not worth conservative attacks.

    And yes, those CCC sites could use some upkeep now (those not benefiting from historical preservation campaigns, which have helped save many here).  And with the debacles facing local government budgets, many more sites could use maintenance, and many more could be built like the millions built in the '30s -- when the men sent a lot of paychecks home to help families in distress.

    I agree with you, if also that this White House would not attempt it now, sadly.


    The CCC (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by christinep on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 01:22:52 PM EST
    My dad always thanked the CCCs for giving him work and the ability to be directed, productive as a teenager in the 1930s. The stories he told my sister and me when we were growing up reverberated with respect and thankfulness for the program.

    As for the general job situation today: Paul Krugman was right again when he observed at the time of the stimulus package that the stimulus was not large enough. He explicitly stated that underfunding stimulus recovery could well result in a partial recovery that never quite made it out of the depths with which we started in 2009...and, that could exacerbate cynicism and disbelief when it became clear that more $$ were needed. It seems to me that many people know that is where we are: We gave a nudge, a push to get up the hill or we gave a partial dose of antibiotics, etc.  

    Unlike those who wring hands with their conclusion that the underfunding or other steps were deliberately designed to help only business, I do not buy that. Individual perceptual screens differ. What I do believe--like Krugman--is that the stimulus jolt was too cautious, not big enough; and, with the Republicans yelling about "the deficit" from the get-go, the Administration erred in taking that bait and using the more measured stimulus. At the time, there were arguments for the bolder approach as well as for the less risky approach that was selected. (That hindsight sure is 20/20.)


    Demeaning? (5.00 / 6) (#15)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 11:24:14 AM EST
    I spent my first year of life in a CCC camp my dad built in GA.  He had dropped out of engineering school, but studied on his own and became a professional engineer with an excellent job during the rest of the depression. He pretty much 'built' 2 of Oak Ridge's plants, 1941-1963.  

    I have met many a successful man who worked in the CCC (and I have enjoyed the parks they built).


    I didn't say I considered them demeaning. (none / 0) (#30)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 06:51:43 PM EST
    I can think of a lot of right wing blowhards who would call them demeaning-- a move towards socialism, etc.

    I think they are needed now.


    A CCC would never work with today's (none / 0) (#32)
    by BTAL on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 07:08:24 PM EST

    Anecdotal, but true.

    Have a business acquaintance in Houston that owns his own company.  During the Katrina evacuation he went to the Astrodome as part of an organized program to assist people with the relocation.

    There were thousands of displaced and out of work people there.  He set up his booth/table and was offering jobs paying $12/hour with some benefits doing light delivery and warehouse work.

    ZERO, ZIP NADA takers.  In fact, he less than 10 actually stop and talk to him.



    I think that there's a natural fear. (none / 0) (#35)
    by EL seattle on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 08:26:26 PM EST
    I don't doubt your Katrina anecdote at all.  (I wasn't near that disaster so I have no personal experiences one way or the other there.)

    But among the people I know who've been laid off over the past several years, I've noticed a very real fear that if they accept a part time job or a job at reduced wages, then they'll never recover from that pay-grade setback.  

    For a lot of people, this economic experience has been actually truely very depressing, and without a clear road map for recovery I'm not surprised that they don't act like they're enthusiastic participants in a variaton of the American Dream a la Horatio Alger.  


    I wonder (none / 0) (#34)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 07:52:13 PM EST
    how many of those blowhards have grandparents who survived the depression because of the CCC?

    The CCC (none / 0) (#29)
    by cal1942 on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 06:02:19 PM EST
    was not part of the NRA.

    ty cal, wasn't sure (none / 0) (#31)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 06:52:26 PM EST

    Seems to me (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 11:21:00 AM EST
    That Obama could look to his hero - Ronald Reagan .  As someone who was too young to vote in 1980, but lived in the home of "Reagan Democrats" (Macomb County, Michigan), I can tell you the mood is the same - jobs, jobs, jobs.  Everything else is secondary.  But this administration and this Congress is so out of touch, that they better get used to the idea of being pounded.

    'Moron, "It's The Economy, Stupid"' (none / 0) (#14)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 11:23:59 AM EST

    Why would any voter anticipate a GOP (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 02:28:22 PM EST
    Senator or Representative would help with joblessness?

    They likely don't. (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by masslib on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 02:33:08 PM EST
    But that's not how people vote when they are fed up.  They either sit on their hands or vote against the in Party.  It's a voter's only recourse.

    Worked pretty well for you (none / 0) (#36)
    by Rojas on Sat Aug 14, 2010 at 08:13:14 AM EST
    didn't it?
    Oops, I forgot, those were Democrats who built the prison nation.