October 7, 2008

Want a Strong Economy? Vote for a Democrat!

Yesterday, I highlighted a post over at Angry Bear that showed that every Democratic president since World War II has left office with a lower unemployment rate than the one he inherited from his predecessor, whereas only one Republican president, Ronald Reagan, could make the same claim. The moral of that story: if you want a job, you should vote for a Democrat.

Today, the folks at Angry Bear have ranked the last fourteen presidents (since Herbert Hoover) as to how the American economy did in
real terms (i.e., adjusted for inflation) during each administration. Interestingly enough, five of the top seven presidents were Democrats, and only one Democratic president (Truman) was in the bottom seven. Below is the listing of presidents and the last two paragraphs of the essay; you can read the entire post here.

1. FDR
2. LBJ
3. JFK
4. Clinton
5. Reagan
6. Carter
7. Nixon
8. Ike
10. GW (that's 10 so far – don't be surprised if he sinks further into the mire)
11. Ford
12. Bush Sr.
13. Truman
14. Hoover

What the list shows us, is that, the top half of the spots are dominated by Democrats. Two Republicans, Reagan and Nixon, make it in (5th and 7th, respectively). It also shows us that the bottom half of the list is populated almost exclusively with Republicans. The one Democrat in the bottom half of the list, not incidentally, is the Democrat most beloved of Republicans today: Harry Truman. George Bush has compared himself to Truman, and a few weeks, Sarah Palin told us how she too was comparable to Truman. What are the odds that prominent Republicans would compare themselves with FDR or LBJ? (Snarky answer – probably about the same as the odds a Republican administration would produce a growth rate comparable to FDR or LBJ.)

Now, after 70 years of data, after observing what we've observed over all sorts of conditions, it is hard to conclude anything but this: one party advocates policies that produce rapid economic growth, and one part dismisses those policies with epithets like "socialism" and advocates instead policies that produce dismal economic growth. And dismal economic growth has consequences. Poor economic growth makes people worse off, and hits them in their pocketbook. And when people are hurting financially, their health suffers, the rate of divorce goes up, suicides increase, and the abortion rate increases. So those who advocate the policies that bring us lower incomes, poorer health, break up families, increase suicides, and increase the rate of abortions are doing us all a lot of harm. More, in fact, than Osama or Saddam could possibly have done. And yet, the folks who advocates those policies question the patriotism of the rest of us. It's very, very strange.

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