Monday, April 4, 2016

Job Killer

"Job Killer."  How many times have we heard the Republicans throw around that term, whenever the Democrats try to accomplish anything, and invariably without a shred of fact to back up their claims. No Democratic initiative has come in for more of this counterfactual name-calling than Obamacare. So, five years on, it is helpful, I think, to look at the reality, as shown by this chart, from an article at Forbes' website, hardly a progressive bastion:

As the article points out, the Republicans have unwillingly had to pretty much give up that talking point, but they've had five years to work it into the public consciousness; so it is unfortunately necessary to make a counterstrike against a punch that was thrown years ago.

This is just one little specimen of the Alice in Wonderland fantasy that is Conservative economics; a fantasy that has brought us two total economic collapses in the last century, and never done a damned bit of good to anyone, except as an excuse to cut rich peoples' taxes, which is all the Republican party exists for.  So they will keep pushing discredited slogans and economic cant on us until we just get worn out and let them get away with their predatory behavior.  We can't let that happen, unless we all want to end up living in tin shacks alongside of open sewers, so we have to fight long won battles over and over.


Adam Alabaster, A-1 American said...

I know some people who had one good full-time job before Obama took office.

They now have two or three lousy part-time jobs. They aren't doing better, partly because they are working multiple jobs.

But your chart doesn't make a difference between full-time and part-time jobs.

QUESTION: Which is better?
(1) 1000 people with one full-time job each (1000 total jobs), or
(2) 750 people with two part-time jobs each, and 250 more people with no jobs (1500 total jobs)?

Obviously, (1) is better. But, by counting jobs, your chart makes (2) look better.

That's not right.

Green Eagle said...

You "know some people." Well, that is certainly a comfort. Unfortunately for you, the facts are what they are, and the graph I posted is pretty conclusive.

Let's just get this straight: the economic problems our country has had since 2008 were entirely created by a Republican administration following demonstrably false Republican economic cant which never had a single purpose other than to justify giving more of our wealth to the rich. This is the same behavior that caused the Great Depression. This time around, of course, due to Republican ownership of the media (a gift to the country from Ronald Reagan) the Republican party has managed to retain enough power to do everything it can to thwart economic recovery, satisfied that the nation's loss is their party's gain. Obama has actually made tremendous headway in the face of this sabotage. Talk all you want- everyone with a brain knows what has happened to the US in the last two decades.

FNZ-795 said...

I hate to break it to you, but the graph doesn't refute what Adam says. He's arguing that an increase in jobs might not be a good thing because it doesn't say what type of jobs they are.

His question: Which would you rather have? One good-paying job at 40 hours a week with a living wage, or two or three poor-paying, part-time jobs which total 60 hours a week?

It's obvious: I'd take the choice of one good job over three lousy jobs. But, if we only count jobs, the three lousy jobs make the statistics look better than one good job.

As far as I can tell, the United States is adding good jobs, so Adam's objection isn't a very good one. (I've tried to find the total number of jobs that pay a living wage, for all years from 2009 to 2016, but I don't have all the numbers yet.)

Unfortunately, about 40 to 50% of all new jobs don't pay a living wage. This is an argument for more government intervention, not less: We need a hike of the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. Obama's plan here isn't good enough, but it's much better than the Republican proposal, which is having a minimum wage of $0.

I would also add that health care is a human right, and that Obamacare has made this right available to more people. It hasn't helped enough; I would like at least a public option, and consider single-payer optimal. But it's still better than the Republican proposal, which is "get sick and die."

-F.N. Zimmermann