It’s The Economy, Stupid!

William “Slick Willy” Clinton rode that line all the way to the White House in the 1992 elections. It reduced American politics to its most essential ingredient, the economy. It’s almost always about the economy, isn’t it? Most Americans, even the low information members of our society, have an inherent sense of foreboding when the economy they live in is not doing well. They may not understand the details of what is wrong with the economy; but they do know when they are hurting. James Carville, a Clinton campaign strategist, understood how to play on the voters minimal understanding of the economy. Conservative campaign strategist today could learn from Mr. Carville. The economy is as sick as it has ever been since the Great Depression. Let’s look at just a few “sound bites”, sort of speak, on the state of our economy today. Despite what the Obama administration and their mainstream media propaganda arm are telling the public, the economy is not exactly peachy.

What about thee latest jobs report touting an increase if 169,000 jobs in August? Zero Hedge shows us that a large percentage of those jobs were low-income jobs:

Of the 169K jobs added, the vast majority, some 144K or 85% of the entire August gain, consisted of the lowest paying jobs possible:

  • +44K jobs added in Retail Trade
  • +43K added in Education and Health
  • +27K added in Leisure and Hospitality
  • +17K added in Government (looks like sequester effect has finally “tapered”)
  • +13K added in Temp Help services

But at least they are full-time “lowest paying jobs” possible. If there was one silver lining in today’s jobs report it is that Full Time jobs added finally surpassed the Part-Time jobs, which actually declined.

Finding that “silver lining” is no easy task, these days.

Our good friend at Spellchek reports:

Total not in labor force
January 2009 – 81,023,000 million
August 2013 – 90,473,000 million
Uh-oh! The inconvenient truth. 9,450,000 million more people no longer even in the labor force. They didn’t die. They didn’t win the lottery. They are the gift that keeps on giving to the Obama Administration as they allow for the artificially low unemployment rate numbers to be reported as evidence of an improving economy.

And, how are black Americans fairing after five years of Obama’s recovery? Not so good, according to this source:

One of the areas that should be very troubling, especially to Obama is the fact that black unemployment rates have just spiked up to 13.0 percent in August. This is according to data just released (today, in fact) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics….

We haven’t heard much recently about the “student loan bubble”. How are our young people doing at paying back their loans?  The My Budget 360 blog tells us that the day of reckoning is coming on  student loans, which are now at or above $1 trillion and has this illustrative graph for our viewing pleasure.

Student debt is now the biggest non-housing debt class in the United States:

non-housing debt and student debt 2

The rate at which the cost of higher education is rising is phenomenal. This Zero Hedge article says the rising costs of text books is just one indicator that university costs are out of control:

“We keep on stretching the proverbial rubber band, and at some point it’s going to come back and hit us in the face and it’s going to hurt.”

Here is a scary question How many more “Detroit’s” are out there ready to collapse? Watch has some information on the state of state pension liabilities:

Using a more conservative method of accounting for financial gains in the marketplace, there is a $4.1 trillion gap between assets and liabilities — known as the “unfunded liability” — of all state-level pension systems in the United States, according to State Budget Solutions, a fiscally conservative think tank that deals with tax and spending issues at the state level.

Oomph! $4.1 trillion! That’s a tidy sum.

A good indicator of a healthy economy is the “Velocity of Money”. So, how is the velocity of money doing after five years of the Obama recovery?  Let’s check with FRED (the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank):

Graph of Velocity of M2 Money Stock

Oh my! The velocity of money is lower than it has been since, at least, the 1960’s. That can’t be good.

What in the world are governments to do? That is a question that should keep you awake at night. Many “Gloom and Doomers” over the last few years have warned that the day will come when over indebted governments  will make a grab for private pension funds, (Claiming it is for the good of the stupid citizens, of course.) But, that’s just scare mongering, right? Governments would never do something so outrageous, would they? Well, apparently they would. It seems Poland has decided to be the global trend setter in this regard.

(Reuters) – A Polish central bank policymaker has defended the government’s decision to transfer more than half of private pension fund assets to the state, saying the move would give the economy a vital investment boost.


Poland, the largest of central Europe’s emerging economies, said on Wednesday it would transfer many of the assets held by private pension funds, including treasury bonds, to a state vehicle. This means the government can book those assets on the state balance sheet to offset public debt, giving it more scope to borrow and spend.

Watch and see, my friends, if this trend doesn’t spread to other European countries. Then how long will it be before some US politician picks up on the idea.

So, back to today’s post title. When are conservative campaign strategists going to figure out that IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

7 thoughts on “It’s The Economy, Stupid!

  1. The economy is in tatters. In my neighborhood it seems every week a new storefront is boarded up. Don’t expect Obama’s minions in the MSM to report this.

    Everything is fine. Nothing to see here.

    As far as pensions? Forget about it workers of America. Your municipalities have no money left. And all those years they bought your vote was for naught.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if President Redistribution started grabbing pension funds.

  2. Approximately 7 million jobs were permanently lost in the Great Recession. They will never return. The lucky ones were able to retire. The others are living in their cars or under metropolitan bridges on government assistance.

    It’s an exaggeration to think a government and/or an Administration either causes a recession or recovers us from one. Recessions are squarely within the realm of the business cycle… nowhere else.

    The government can help or hinder, but not fix or cause.

    I paid my college loans, but that was in a different generation that still believed in the work ethic. Today’s youth live in a something-for-nothing mindset. Parents are paying their college debt or supporting them in other ways. (or both)

    Given that reality, looking at just non-housing debt is not seeing the big picture. If you include both you get this different picture from the FRBNY from the same data:

    Yes, student loans are now the largest non-housing debt, but it is dwarfed by housing debt which parents are also paying for. In that context, student loans are only a shift in non-housing debt, but the overall non-housing total remains on the same path.

    To my reading the last FRED graph only proves, given the severity of the Great Recession, that Obama has done no better or worse than any other President in any other previous recession going back to 1960.

    For recession comparisons… see this well-worn Calculated Risk graph:

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