Great Depression II


Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  Steve Rattner, Obama’s former car czar, explains in the video above how economic growth under Obama is in the toilet along with Obama’s re-election prospects.

Steve Rattner, the former “car czar” for Barack Obama, explains why voters may have narrowly given Obama the edge in the debate on Tuesday night, but give Mitt Romney a 31-point advantage on the economy.  You have to go all the way back to the 1930s, Rattner explains after Willie Geist presses the point, to find a President with a worse record on economic growth in a first term.

American Presidential elections are really pretty simple.  Absent some great national crisis they always come down to the economy.  Obama has been a lousy steward of the economy, and hence in 2013 he will probably get to make his next career move:  world celebrity for life.

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  1. The economy stinks because of the policies Obama has pushed.

    The first Great Depression lasted until 1946 (let’s not name wartime conscription, rationing, deficit spending as full employment, economic growth or recovery) because of the big government control/New Deal, not because it was otherwise impossible to restore the economy.

  2. The first Great Depression lasted until 1946

    It did not. Real domestic product per capita had by 1941 exceeded the value it had had in 1929. The labor market in 1941 was suffering from a sclerosis it had not in the earlier period.

    Great Depression II

    Again, the rate at which goods and services were being produced in this country declined by 27% between the summer of 1929 and the spring of 1933. Over a period of a year (spring of 2008 to spring 2009) that metric declined by 5% and then began slowly to increase again. The scale of these two sets of events differs too much to be using the same terminology.

  3. “Great Depression II”

    Art in FDR’s first term the economy grew by a robust 7 percent each year erasing the losses incurred under Hoover’s term. The Great Depression II might be a misnomer, but only because Obama’s stewardship of the economy is worse than that of FDR’s as to economic growth during FDR’s first term.

  4. Absent some great national crisis…

    No Oct. Surprises. If we can clear a few more
    days without a new conflict, other than a Biden moment, we should be in good shape for Tuesday. Please Almighty Father, confusion for our foes and VICTORY for America.

  5. Given the enormous growth in govt between FDR and Obama it’s not easy to compare the effects of their policies on the same ruler. A major problem for Obama is that he is pursuing FDR like policies when the debt was already getting excessive and regulatory sclerosis was much more advanced at the time he took office. Like any strong medicine, leftist policies must be administered in small doses to be beneficial as opposed to destructive. Unfortunately the Dem party has a pronounced autocratic bent.

  6. Art, I think there’s a problem with claiming the Depression ended in ’41 because of real GDP. GDP can increase during a war because we are producing a lot more stuff; the problem is, it’s not stuff that anybody wanted. The very fact that real GDP measures production but not sales aggravates the problem. If I make a billion bombs, GDP may go up, but it doesn’t mean we’re better off.
    Plus, during the Depression, deflation caused people to delay purchasing until prices reached their real value; their decision to withhold from purchasing made sense. They would not purchase

  7. sorry, they would not purchase because it made sense not to. Low GDP was the necessary result of people responding to uncertainty. The war didn’t take that uncertainty away, it just took their money and they were forced to spend it in ways they would not have before, on guns and bombs and whatnot.

  8. $1101 : 1947
    $1133 : 1946
    $1284 : 1945
    $1314 : 1944
    $1230 : 1943
    $1072 : 1942
    $915 : 1941
    $789 : 1940
    $732 : 1939
    $683 : 1938
    $713 : 1937
    $682 : 1936
    $607 : 1935
    $561 : 1934
    $509 : 1933
    $519 : 1932
    $601 : 1931
    $648 : 1930
    $716 : 1929

    Ike, the foregoing are the figures for real gross domestic product per capita expressed in 1937 currency units. You will note that the figures for 1939, 1940, and 1941 all exceed the figure for 1929. The war began in December of 1941 and the anticipatory expansion of the military in the Fall of 1940. The Depression was over before the war.

    As for ‘deficit spending’, public sector borrowing as a share of domestic product never exceeded 4% in any of the fiscal years years running from 1929 through 1941. Mr. Big Spender Roosevelt turned in two balanced budgets, which is two more than most of his successors have managed.

    You will also note the figure for 1947, the data for which were collected at a time when demobilization was complete. It exceeds the value for 1929 by 53%.

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