Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Watch the unemployment spread since the beginning of the recession in 2007. Try as one might, it is difficult to draw political or policy generalizations from the geography.
We've seen a small uptick in total jobs in March, but it's not a meaningful trend given that we're coming out of winter and doing census hiring. The broader measure of unemployment -- U6 -- is 17%. It's higher in the private sector. It's higher still in regions of the country, as the map above attests. This isn't normal recessionary unemployment. This is "Grapes of Wrath" unemployment.
When it passed, I saw Stimulus as evilly designed to give a Sugar Rush in 2010 -- not 2009 -- in order to boost Obama & Co in the 2010 mid-term elections. This may not go to plan as the private sector is so frozen. Interest rates are low -- gas is kinda cheap -- we're spending an extra trillion ... thus, the economy should be going gangbusters. WTF?
Between now and November expect the following:
Unemployment will stay high. But if you look at the map above, you see an unusual distribution -- Blue States are bearing the brunt, except for the DC-area donut hole. This could have interesting repercussions come November.
Obama will keep himself in the news all the time. He can't help himself. It's his world, we just live in it. He'll soon be on "Cribs" showing off his current digs. Like many past Presidents, Obama has a vacation home -- his is called Air Force One. It's clear he doesn't share our pain. In ObamaLand we're not all equal pigs, are we? This will create a backlash, ultimately.
Obama will push Energy, but it won't play as well as Healthcare. Healthcare got sold by promising to end people's fears of evil insurance companies ... with someone else paying the bill. Even then, the only majority that bought this bill of goods was the Democratic caucus. Energy does nothing for no one -- except for deluded greenies and Van Jones hustlers. We may even see AGW put on trial. Look at the map above -- for different reasons, the areas with high unemployment have reason to rebel against AGW orthodoxy.
The Doc Fix will have to be dealt with. Ordinarily this wouldn't get any attention, but Obama & Co put so much weight on the CBO saying that Healthcare would cut the deficit that it got Katie Couric to chirp that Healthcare had a "certified price tag." Come the Fall, when the Doc Fix gets voted on, at least a few MSM journalists will be asking the obvious questions. They may even juxtapose Paul Ryan's telling Obama that Healthcare's accounting would make Bernie Madoff proud.
Obama told us that we needed to pass Healthcare to not go broke, amazingly. Recently, down in Charlotte, he started telling us that we need to pass Energy to solve unemployment. Obama thinks the more "out of the box" his fib, the more likely we'll believe him. At some point we'll stop drinking the Kool-Aid.
The mortgage market has been propped up by the Fed buying over a trillion of Fannie and Freddie paper. The Fed is ending this practice. The effects of this are uncertain, but are likely to be more felt in states with high unemployment ... like California.
California will go broke, but I'm not sure if it will happen before November as Stimulus bought the Governator a two-year reprieve. This could be the biggest issue of all, if states like California need bailouts. Queen Nancy will want to do this -- but most House Democrats have to know it's seppuku. In any event, many states and municipalities will be jacking taxes -- they have a high correlation to the places suffering high unemployment -- which in turn have a high correlation to the Blue States.
Look at the map above -- we could have sea change voting in November. The potential is there because so many of the problems are hitting Democratic strongholds and traditional Democratic answers have already been tried and have failed. Come November I expect to not be the only one doing a Howard Beale.
The Republican Party still sucks. Sarah Palin may prove better at raising money for others than the RNC. But there are some green shoots within the Party. Developing .....