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July 30, 2004

Economic Growth Slows "Dramatically"... Falling All the Way Down to Clinton's Average

Let's keep this in perspective, ay?

The growth rate "plunged" to a healthy rate of 3.0% per annum in the second quarter. Clinton's average growth rate was 3.6%; during the much-feted "miracle economy" of which we've heard so much, there were numerous quarters featuring growth of less than one percent per annum, and even the occasional quarter featuring negative growth, or contraction. (Not "recessions," as his negative quarters were never back-to-back, as the common definition of a recession requires.)

Meanwhile, the growth rates during several of the past quarters were revised upwards.

Remember last quarter? The growth rate then had been originally noted as being 4.1% or so; it was then revised downwards to 3.8%, and the media declared -- I kid you not -- that the economy grew "much slower" in the first quarter than previously estimated. Well, now the first quarter GDP has been revised back up to 4.5%, and yet I doubt we'll be hearing the economy grew "much faster" than we'd originally thought.

Should the growth this quarter be revised upwards, as has been the strong trend of late, don't expect to hear about it from CNN.

Meanwhile, the growth for the previous year was revised upwards from a sizzling 4.8% to a downright sensational 5.1%, but don't expect to hear much about that, either.

We'll get one more of these quarterly readings, right before the election.

Now that I've put this into perspective, I'll say this is disappointing news, but only because I was hoping for fairly ridiculous numbers. I wanted a booming economy of such explosive growth that not even the liberal media could downplay it with a straight face. I wanted the election all over but for the shouting, based on economic data alone.

Unless there's a big uptick in growth, I'm sad to say that economic expansion won't be so enormous that the media can't pretend we're in a recession. Bush will have a two-year growth spurt exceeding Clinton's average by a whopping 1% or even 1.5%, and yet the media will compare unfavorable his piddling little 4.6% two-year average to Clinton's magical, supercharged 3.6%.

Which means, probably, that the economy won't re-elect Bush by itself, although it will become a neutral-to-slightly-positive issue. It seems we're going to have to have this stupid election anyway.

And I was so looking forward to a fascist takeover of the nation as predicted by Paul Krugman. Sigh.

Maybe next year. There's always next year.


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posted by Ace at 01:33 PM

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