Thursday, December 13, 2007
The "newspaper of record" continues to astound. These are the first few sentences of an actual alleged news article (emphasis added):
Maybe the American economy is not going to keel over just yet, after all.
Government reports released Thursday showed surprising resilience in the broader economy, even as the financial system and the housing market continue to weaken.
Since early 2000 the 21st century American economy has grown through the collapse of the NASDAQ tech bubble and telecom investment bubble, the Enron/Worldcom era financial scandals and the massive new business regulation in response thereto, the first mass casualty attack on an American city since Sherman burned Atlanta, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the destruction of one of its three most important ports by natural disaster, a massive increase in the price of oil and natural gas, and the wiping out of a staggering amount of capital invested in subprime mortgage loans. Who other than the editors of the New York Times is surprised that our economy is resilient?
Th - I regularly find myself having to cite many of the core statistics of our economy to average Joe's because it has become conventional wisdom that are economy sucks since the day G.W took office. Regular people who are not politically aware who just believe we have been in a constant recession since Bill Clinton left office. Often times I have to bring it down to a level they get - such as if our economy sucks so bad how many new flat screen T.V.s do you now own, how many cell phones do you and your children own, how many channels of premium cable TV do you now subscribe to, etc...
In historical measures G.W. from an economic growth perspective, real GDP growth, jobs created, unemployment, etc. (not from a public policy budgetary spending position - which by the way does contribute to the economy) my guess is that his administration would fall in the top five if not two or three. I am thinking that maybe Kennedy, Regan, Coolidge, Teddy Roosevelt would all be part of that five (complete guess?)
Not to take anything away from your central argument, TH, but the Sherman reference is not your strongest point. Sherman's very name is incendiary, but in this case it was not he but CSA General Hood who put Atlanta to the torch, burning military supplies and much of the city as he evacuated his army. The Battle of Nashville and the Siege of Petersburg came later and certainly produced mass casualties within American cities. Then, of course, there was the Oklahoma City bombing of much more recent memory.
Urban insurrections, race riots and mob violence that produced mass casualties since the Civil War include New Orleans in 1866; Pittsburg during the Railroad strike of 1877; and numerous American cities including Los Angeles and Newark in the mid- 1960s. Fatalities in these incidents amounted to scores of people with many more casualties and enormous destruction of property. Some of these incidents had significant impacts on the national economy (and within affected cities, some areas never recovered).
greenmantim's fact-checking is indeed important (as often as bloggers rightly-rail on the gray lady for example)...
but in terms of Atlanta's impact the economy...whether Hood or Sherman burned it is a distinction without a difference.
Fact is, it burned.
The good news is that 4% growth is now defined as recession by the media. That may prove prickly for a democrat president when headlines like this appear:
GROWTH DOWN ONLY 1% AS ECONOMY IMPROVES.
Even a sub-moron will detect the problem with that and question it.