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Making the Worst of Good News

February 4th, 2012

The economy continues to improve, as unemployment dropped to 8.3% and the number of new jobs created was the highest in almost a year. This is very good news for Obama, as a bad economy would help Republicans defeat him in the elections later this year–a goal they have clearly been shooting for.

So it should come as no surprise who is all alone trying to find the cloud in the silver lining:

Screen Shot 2012-02-04 At 1.14.45 Am

Good to see conservatives cheering America on.

Update: They’re still at it this morning (evening in the U.S.):

Screen Shot 2012-02-04 At 10.11.58 Am-1

I can only imagine that the right-wing core watching Fox has the impression that things are worse than before. Not that the news says that we’re free and clear, or that there’s no down side to it, only that it is hardly as negative as Fox is desperately trying to paint it.

While expression of the down side of the unemployment news is warranted–and all other news sites are including it–highlighting it consistently and downplaying the better aspects is, well, Foxlike.

And if we’re pointing out lesser-known facts about the unemployment rate, another point deserves to be made regarding the oft-noted “fact” that the rate is still “above” where it was when Obama took office (it was putatively at 8.2%). This is superficially accurate, but in truth, since the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator, the “real” rate when Obama took office was between 9.5% and 10.1%–meaning that Obama has not only taken us from losing 750,000 jobs a month to gaining 250,000, a net gain of 1 million jobs per month, but has also lowered the unemployment rate, whatever its accuracy, by between 1.2% and 1.8%. They won’t mention that on Fox, though.

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  1. kensensei
    February 8th, 2012 at 03:46 | #1

    Yes, the recent economic news is good news for Obama and bad news for Boener and GOP political hopefuls. Their message about “putting the economy back on track” and giving tax breaks to the “job creators” may fall on increasingly deaf ears.

    Having said that, the increase in overall employment figures does not take into account that, while domestic hiring is expanding, salaries are falling. With so many job-hunters desperate for any kind of employment, the “job creators” have found a way to cover more work tasks with fewer people and for lower wages. It’s really a big win for corporations with the middle class holding the short end of the stick again.

    Another issue is that wages are increasing in China and other developing nations. That may make outsourcing less popular that it was several years ago. Also, recent media attention on Apple (and others) for its abusive labor practices in Chinese/Foxconn factories may persuade US companies to keep jobs here in order to avoid negative publicity.

    Either way, the employment figures are good news for Obama because it shows once again that middle-class spending –not tax cuts for the wealthy– is the only true cure for an economic recession.


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