Thursday, May 11, 2006

Voting The Pocketbook

Over the past few years, some have dubbed this a "jobless" recovery. I think it's better characterized as "joyless." For those who don't understand the gap between what the pollyannas insist about the economy (and that's reaching a fever pitch these days, isn't it?) and what people are telling the pollsters, I highly recommend reading this interview with a reality-based economist. I saw it a few months ago when it first appeared, but a reader reminded me of it this week. It's a subscription-based site, so I don't know how long this particular piece will be available to the public. Excerpt:
If the numbers don't seem real to the man in the street, they probably aren't. Real unemployment right now -- figured the way that the average person thinks of unemployment, meaning figured the way it was estimated back during the Great Depression -- is running about 12%. Real CPI right now is running at about 8%. And the real GDP probably is in contraction. I venture that if you talked about those numbers now with the average person, they would say that they seem reasonable.
I might quibble a bit on GDP, but I agree on the rest. Listen, I've spent significant non-airport time in most states in this country. The old adage that "people vote their pocketbooks" is true. Most people couldn't give a damn about the next town over, much less the rest of the world; as long as they can pay their bills and go to a stable job every day, all is well.

But the opinion polls tell us that all is not well. Part of that is due to Iraq, of course. But it's also because this has become the "Proof is in the Pudding" presidency. Things that can be cherry-picked, massaged or made up---GDP, inflation, unemployment, or prewar intelligence---paint the desired picture. Things that are impervious to politicization---gas prices, the dollar, gold, and ultimately opinion polls---tell a different story. That gap leads inexorably to the "accountability moment" it appears the upcoming midterm elections will provide.

23 Comments:

Anonymous Scott_api said...

It's a nice thought that the midterms will be about accountability, but don't count on it. What you can count on is lots and lots of homecoming parades as the GOP brings home the troops in September and October to rally the base around the flag, and show everyone that the Prsident was right about Iraq.

I know Thirdeye will say something about Iraq being about Israel, and who am I to argue. But this Administration is all about power, and defending Israel isn't going to win the midterms, "Welcome Home Heros" parades will.

You saw it here first.

5/11/2006 7:40 PM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

God, I hope you're right. I also have great hopes for Israelis and Palestinians laying down their arms and joining together to form a true, lasting peace in the Middle East.

...and I'm not being sarcastic...

5/12/2006 9:55 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I truly fear for the future of our Republic if the GOP is able to avoid any fate except a devastating loss in the Midterm Elections.

Anyway, the barrage of BS that comes out of DC, disguised as high-fallutin-sounding metrics, is a big part of the problem.

http://mikesneighborhood.blogspot.com/2006/04/dont-believe-hype.html

5/12/2006 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Eric said...

I think the factor that isn't being paid enough attention to is how much gerrymanderign has created totally safe seats for so many incumbants. It may simply not be possible for a huge swing in the House.

5/12/2006 2:24 PM  
Blogger DED said...

I can attest that Connecticut still hasn't recovered from the Recession, at least in terms of jobs. Employment is still down here. But since we're a blue state, which is surprising considering how the state is stereotyped by Greenwich, Westport, New Canaan, etc.

scott_api: After reading McCaffrey's field trip to Iraq last month, I don't believe that there will be a big troop reduction in time for the elections. They need every soldier they can possibly get over there. They can't raise troop levels for fear of appearing "wrong" (this admin has a tough time admitting mistakes) and lowering troop levels will weaken their tenuous hold on what passes for "order."

Mike: I heard on Countdown that polls conducted have indicated that while citizens are unhappy with Congress, their own representatives deserve re-election. The "bad guys" are in the other states. And I'm just as guilty as I'm leaning toward voting for my incumbent rep.

Eric: I think you may be right. But there might be some shift. Duke and Hammer won't be running and it's quite possible that their stink will taint whatever candidate the Republicans field in their place.

\_/

5/12/2006 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Eric said...

ded,

definitely I think the Dems can pick up more seats than in a less volatile mid term, it is just that huge '94 type swings may not be possible in a single election. A lot of incumbant Republicans in safe districts who normally win 60-40 or greater may win in much tighter races than usual, but still win.

5/12/2006 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry Bush will kill the free press, consolidate all media, and release only government propaganda with their "own" manipulated numbers.

I was at an investment meeting, and after all the enthusiastic financial speakers were done promoting their products, one man raised his hand and said, if everything is so grand while do we all feel so bad. So this sentiment seems very wide spread in middle America.

The increase and transference of risk is one reason. Another, our lack of unity and civility, and increased corrupt cronyism. And the crumbling of our Democratic institutions including regulatory agencies, 3 branches of government, watch dogs, etc. We are raving mad at our politicians for not getting things done and setting priorities. People want alternative energy and options, but big money and power influence the politicians instead. We are being told we are heading for a brick wall, peak oil, yet the politicians seemed impervious to reality. They rather pander, smoke cigars, and play golf than do their job.

My favorite number is productivity. Sure technology helps, but people are working crazy long hours, but how many are doing it because they are scared they will lose their job, which includes health insurance.

How long can you run a country on fear, Armageddon, and no hope for the future (guess that last one kind of implied that).

Do you look at the poverty or Gini index much?

Our way of life is growth and consumption. Poor quality and excessive dangerous waste are winning. If you ignore problems today, you get more profits today. There is little concern for the quality of life which includes wildlife, open spaces, the environment, clear air, water, and food, honest debates, ethics, education, health, etc. Fair and balanced doesn't seem to mean give us both sides and we decide, but rather we give you our side and you are either with us or against us, [insert wing-nut naming calling here]. Corporations which control our lives more and more, don't provide quality neccessities, but race to the bottom to market us stuff. Luckily we have some standards or we'd be in really deep dog do. Financial institutions are great at this. We are told to save for retirement, yet financial institutions are skimming large fees off the top. You'd think the some economic law would apply here that as assets increase fees decrease, but the opposite has been happening.

Paul Farrell always says it straight. Scott Burns - Such thing as too much money? Lots of cash chasing too few assets. The harder we run, the further behind we fall when inflation is considered.

5/12/2006 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Antonie said...

To ded: we all get the government we deserve. And since this is still a democracy, we all share responsibility for what this elected government does. I truly believe this.

5/13/2006 7:10 AM  
Blogger DED said...

antonie,

Do those of us who see through the crap *deserve* to meet the same fate as the sheep who blindly follow the rhetoric merely because we couldn't convince them that they were headed down the wrong path? If that's the case, I'll gladly nuke D.C. myself to spare my children any further bullshit that comes out of there. I don't think that they *deserve* to carry the debtload of the Boomers. They don't *deserve* having to go to war in the insane region of the world we call the Middle East just so that people can get cheap gas. They don't *deserve* a degraded climate just because making the necessary investments in our power generation and transportation infrastructures are politically unpopular with the companies that swell their re-election coffers, even though it has been estimated to have been cheaper than what we've already spent in Iraq and the economy hasn't tanked. And they don't *deserve* a government that spies on its citizens because they called a guy, who called a guy, who called a guy, who called a terrorist. Maybe you meant your response to be something optimistic and positive, so I'm sorry if this sounds like a rant against you, but it didn't sound too positive to me.

5/14/2006 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Scott Arthur Edwards said...

Here it is... FREE advertising, FREE download. No cost to you! Get your FREE download NOW! Make money and get FREE advertising! This is a great program for you to take advantage of... Check this out now for FREE!

To find out more visit: residual income opportunities site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering traffic and residual income opportunities related stuff. Don't forget, FREE, FREE, FREE!!!

8/24/2006 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Scott Arthur Edwards said...

Here it is... FREE advertising, FREE download. No cost to you! Get your FREE download NOW! Make money and get FREE advertising! This is a great program for you to take advantage of... Check this out now for FREE!

To find out more visit: internet treasure chest site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering traffic and internet treasure chest related stuff. Don't forget, FREE, FREE, FREE!!!

8/25/2006 3:57 PM  
Blogger Scott A. Edwards said...

Dear friends, Now you can help yourself take advantage of the huge frenzy of FREE advertising in your spare time, while in the comfort of your own home. Hook up NOW with this exiting program. Click here: FREE INFORMATION

10/21/2006 4:10 AM  
Blogger Scott A. Edwards said...

WATCH CAREFULLY...Here it is... FREE advertising, FREE download. No cost to you! Get your FREE download NOW! Make money and get FREE advertising! This is a great program for you to take advantage of... Check this out now for FREE!

To find out more visit: home business opportunity site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering traffic and home business opportunity related stuff. Don't forget, FREE, FREE, FREE!!!

10/21/2006 6:31 AM  
Blogger Scott A. Edwards said...

AMAZING...!!! Dear friends, Now you can Fulfill your destiny! LordoftheHits is the lord of all exchanges. One exchange to rule them all!!! Hook up NOW with this exiting program. Click here: FREE INFORMATION

10/21/2006 10:58 PM  
Blogger Scott A. Edwards said...

Here it is... FREE advertising, FREE download. No cost to you! Get your FREE download NOW! Make money and get FREE advertising! This is a great program for you to take advantage of... Check this out now for FREE!

To find out more visit: mlm site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering traffic and mlm related stuff. Don't forget, FREE, FREE, FREE!!!

10/22/2006 6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WATCH CAREFULLY...Here it is... FREE advertising, FREE download. No cost to you! Get your FREE download NOW! Make money and get FREE advertising! This is a great program for you to take advantage of... Check this out now for FREE!

To find out more visit: net opportunities site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering traffic and net opportunities related stuff. Don't forget, FREE, FREE, FREE!!!

10/25/2006 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Scott Arthur Edwards said...

Check this out for FREE...

This opportunity says:

"Your Ad" Will Be Instantly Displayed on Thousands of Websites and Read By Over 10 Million People Per Week For FREE, and It Only Takes 60 Seconds To Get Started!

To find out more visit: based business home internet opportunity work site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering Traffic and based business home internet opportunity work related stuff.

11/30/2006 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good day !.
might , probably curious to know how one can reach 2000 per day of income .
There is no initial capital needed You may commense to receive yields with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you need
The company incorporates an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

It is based in Panama with offices everywhere: In USA, Canada, Cyprus.
Do you want to become really rich in short time?
That`s your chance That`s what you wish in the long run!

I`m happy and lucky, I started to get income with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. If it gets down to select a correct partner who uses your funds in a right way - that`s it!.
I make 2G daily, and my first deposit was 1 grand only!
It`s easy to start , just click this link http://etomikir.angelcities.com/ryruhu.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take this option together to get rid of nastiness of the life

12/03/2009 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello !.
You re, I guess , perhaps very interested to know how one can collect a huge starting capital .
There is no initial capital needed You may begin to receive yields with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you haven`t ever dreamt of such a chance to become rich
The firm represents an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

Its head office is in Panama with structures everywhere: In USA, Canada, Cyprus.
Do you want to become an affluent person?
That`s your chance That`s what you desire!

I feel good, I started to get real money with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. If it gets down to select a correct partner utilizes your money in a right way - that`s it!.
I take now up to 2G every day, and my first investment was 500 dollars only!
It`s easy to join , just click this link http://orosoluke.envy.nu/bekodubo.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take this option together to get rid of nastiness of the life

12/16/2009 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello!
You may probably be very interested to know how one can make real money on investments.
There is no initial capital needed.
You may commense to get income with a sum that usually goes
on daily food, that's 20-100 dollars.
I have been participating in one project for several years,
and I'm ready to let you know my secrets at my blog.

Please visit blog and send me private message to get the info.

P.S. I earn 1000-2000 per day now.

http://theblogmoney.com

1/12/2010 7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good day, sun shines!
There have were times of hardship when I felt unhappy missing knowledge about opportunities of getting high yields on investments. I was a dump and downright stupid person.
I have never thought that there weren't any need in big starting capital.
Nowadays, I feel good, I started to get real income.
It's all about how to select a proper partner who utilizes your money in a right way - that is incorporate it in real business, and shares the income with me.

You may get interested, if there are such firms? I'm obliged to answer the truth, YES, there are. Please be informed of one of them:
[url=http://theblogmoney.com] Online investment blog[/url]

1/15/2010 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there!
I would like to burn a theme at here. There is such a nicey, called HYIP, or High Yield Investment Program. It reminds of financial piramyde, but in rare cases one may happen to meet a company that really pays up to 2% daily not on invested money, but from real profits.

For quite a long time, I earn money with the help of these programs.
I don't have problems with money now, but there are heights that must be conquered . I make 2G daily, and my first investment was 500 dollars only.
Right now, I'm very close at catching at last a guaranteed variant to make a sharp rise . Turn to my web site to get additional info.

http://theinvestblog.com [url=http://theinvestblog.com]Online Investment Blog[/url]

1/28/2010 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have a very good blog that the main thing a lot of interesting and useful! erectile dysfunction Read a useful article about tramadol tramadol

1/12/2012 6:59 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home