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October 8, 2010

Conservative Policy = Bad Jobs Report

-- by Dave Johnson

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture as part of the Making It In America project. I am a Fellow with CAF.

The September jobs report is out and conservatives got exactly what they wanted: less government, less stimulus, less aid to states, less help for small businesses, less infrastructure investment, less help for the unemployed and ... a bad jobs report. Conservatives successfully watered down the first stimulus, defeated further stimulus, fought aid to state governments, fought unemployment benefits, defeated help for small businesses, etc., etc. Here are the results, just in time for the election.

NY Times, Employment Picture Dims as Government Cuts Back:

... over all, the economy shed 95,000 nonfarm jobs in September, the result of a 159,000 decline in government jobs at all levels. Local governments in particular cut jobs at the fastest rate in almost 30 years.

“We need to wake up to the fact that the end of the stimulus has really hit hard on local governments,” said Andrew Stettner, deputy director of the National Employment Law Project.

Conclusion: conservative policies kill jobs. They got what they wanted, and most of all they wanted bad job news, right now. Now, some if this was strategic, using obstruction to intentionally cause a bad jobs report in time for the election in order to turn voters against the governing party. But this jobs report clearly demonstrates what the results will be if conservatives get what they want: less government = fewer jobs. Less state government = fewer jobs. Less stimulus = fewer jobs. Fewer jobs = more people fighting for what jobs there are = lower wages. Lower wages = more stress on workers = angry electorate. Angry electorate = people divided, set against each other, not thinking long term, not thinking about the greater good, not seeing the bigger picture = conservative paradise.

Less government: Government payrolls shrank by 159,000.

Less help for the states: Local governments reduced payrolls by 76,000, 50,000 of those in education.

Less stimulus: The stimulus obviously turned things around, halting the freefall of job losses, but is running out. The chart below shows this Conservative have blocked more stimulus. Keep in mind, conservatives want to go back to the policies of the left side of this chart, the part that is in red. They want to stop government from stimulating demand in the economy.

Lower labor costs for businesses: "Flat hourly wages, now at $22.67, also threaten what fragile confidence American families may have in their household budgets."

Less help for the unemployed: Conservatives say helping the unemployed makes people lazy. They follow a dehumanizing "If you feed them they will breed" philosophy. There are nearly 15 million unemployed, 42% of them out of work longer than half a year. At the end of November help for those unemployed more than 26 weeks runs out.

Desperate workers: "In September, the typical unemployed worker had been searching for a job for 33.3 weeks."

Chad Stone, Chief Economist at the Economic Policy Institute, on the jobs report,

Today’s jobs report shows that the economy still faces a long and difficult climb out of the jobs hole created by the recent recession. The private sector has created, on average, fewer than 100,000 jobs a month this year — not enough to keep up with population growth and not nearly enough to reduce the unemployment rate. Worse, the pace of job creation is slowing as the economy slows, with only 64,000 private-sector jobs created in September.

Speaker Pelosi,

Today’s jobs report shows our private sector continues to lead our economic recovery. We lost more than 800,000 private sector jobs the last month of the Bush Administration, but America’s business owners and entrepreneurs have added more jobs this year than the Bush Administration and its Republican allies did in eight years. Democrats are moving our country forward, and we will and we must do more to strengthen our economy and put people back to work.

The American people face a clear choice: Democrats fighting for the middle class or Republicans standing up for special interests. They know Democrats want to ‘Make It in America,’ cut taxes for small business, and create good-paying jobs here at home. Republicans want to protect Wall Street and corporations that ship jobs overseas. Democrats want to cut taxes for the middle class, and Republicans want to give a break to millionaires and billionaires, and blow an even larger hole in our deficit. Democrats will preserve Social Security and Medicare; Republicans promise to privatize and cut benefits.

Americans can’t afford a return to the ‘exact same’ failed policies that produced the worst recession in generations. We will keep moving forward to create more jobs, growth, and prosperity for our workers and our families.

The "underemployed" - people who can only find part-time jobs, or have had hours cut, is up to 17.1%. See this chart:

PartTimeSep2010


And, finally, here is Calculated Risk's "scariest jobs chart," updated:


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Posted by Dave Johnson at October 8, 2010 10:02 AM


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