Is America better or worse economically after and during Obama?
How are you doing financially? Is money tighter or have you had more opportunities for better jobs and pay?
What do you think about the state of America?
For some people it's been pretty damn good. When Obama came into office the Dow Jones had already fallen to around 6400 and a lot of people lost a lot of money. Today it's at 16,400. So some people are making a ton of money. Apparently, as far as business and Wall Street is concerned, the Obama Administration has been pretty good for them. The unemployment numbers were climbing to 10% and 800,000 jobs a month were being lost. Today the unemployment figure is at 7%.
Since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 in seasonally adjusted numbers:
◦7.4 million MORE jobs in total
◦8.1 million MORE private sector jobs
◦6.4 million MORE people working*
Since Bush left office & Obama took office (January 2009) in seasonally adjusted numbers:
◦3.1 million MORE jobs in total
◦3.9 million MORE private sector jobs
◦2.2 million MORE people working*
If Congress passed a jobs bill, things would certainly be better, however that might make Obama look good, and that's not something that the Republicans want to allow. One of the most appalling things I've seen is that the Government shutdown cost the taxpayers $23 Billion. We aren't getting that back. And now the Republicans have no interest in extending unemployment benefits to those still trying to find jobs. That would cost about $24Billion. Extending unemployment benefits is not on the Republican agenda for this session, so those people will have no way of paying their mortgages or rent or car payments, or paying for heat or even gas to get to a job if they found one. Unemployment benefits are paid through the FICA tax that we all pay into. These people have paid into it all their working lives. Now, they're screwed. Meanwhile Congress gets Six figure salary's for doing absolutely nothing. Pretty nice gig.
The question is relative. Where we are VS where we should be. The economy is improving, but at an anemic pace. By anemic that means the labor market. Looking at stock prices doesn't tell us much. The market has been influenced more by the Fed's monetary policy in recent years than anything else. At the same time the stock market hit dramatically oversold levels in 2008 even for the crisis at that time. It is not unusual for markets to over react both up an down.
In terms of the labor market, U6 unemployment is still well into the double digits. About 70% of new jobs created recently have been part time and low income. Amazingly the BLS counts the same person working 3 part time jobs as three new jobs. More importantly, the labor force participation rate is the smallest we have seen sine the late 1970's. We simply stopped counting an enormous number of people who have completely left the labor force. Some of that is attributable to baby boomers retiring. But not enough, as those jobs are not being replaced, and employers are not hiring aggressively.
The good news is that even though the ACA legislation has been a huge detriment to employers looking to hire, there hasn't been much legislation of any significance passed since then. Since 2010's mid term elections, we have seen political gridlock. And in the long run gridlock is actually a good thing. The less Washington does, the better off the economy will be. Since those mid term elections the huge spike in Federal Spending has slowed and deficits have begun to reign back in. The sequester turned out to be the biggest deficit reduction act seen in decades. If we continue to see the status quo...and Washington doesn't tinker with the rules...business can begin to forecast capital expenditures better and things will get a lot better. Some new legislation around incentives for capital investment would be nice. But considering the incompetence we've seen out of the Obama administration...I'd prefer to see them continue to pass nothing...rather than get it wrong again and try another piece of legislation that gets in the way.
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