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January 26, 2022

Wednesday Morning Guest Rant [Joe Mannix]

A Referendum of His Own Baffling Choice
In his presser of lies, prevarication and bombast last week, Brandon said this little gem:
But the fact is that I think that the - I'm happy to debate and have a referendum on how I handle the economy, whether or not I've made progress on when - look, again - how can I - I'm taking too long answering your questions. I apologize.
Okay. You asked for it. Let's look at some key economic indicators from the past three years, comparing data for the month of December or Q4, depending on availability. Where applicable, all data are seasonally adjusted. Data source is the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

2019 2020 2021
Labor Force 164,633,000 160,671,000 162,294,000
Total Nonfarm Employment 151,919,000 142,503,000 148,951,000
Labor Participation Rate 63.3 61.5 61.9
Productivity (change from year ago) +0.6% -3.4% -5.2%
CPI-U 258.203 261.56 280.192
Urban Gasoline Index 240.923 204.217 305.483
Urban Energy Index 219.718 203.716 264.08
Urban Food Index 260.393 270.656 287.67
Med. full-time pretax weekly wages 936 984 1,010

Okay, so there's the BLS data. Let's compare each item from December or Q4 2021 to the final pre-pandemic month (December/Q4, 2019) and the final Trump month (December/Q4, 2020).
Labor Force -2,339,000
Worse Better
Total Nonfarm Employment -2,968,000
Worse Better
Labor Participation Rate -0.033
Worse Better
Productivity (change from year ago) Already Relative Already Relative Worse Worse
CPI-U +21.989
Worse Worse
Urban Gasoline Index +64.56
Worse Worse
Urban Energy Index +44.632
Worse Worse
Urban Food Index +27.277
Worse Worse
Med. full-time pretax weekly wages +74
Better* Better*

That's not a good scorecard. He's not going to be judged only on his first year in office, but also as compared to the Dread Trump and the good times we had before the pandemic was used a justification to blow up the world.

Compared to a year a go, Brandon has improved on the labor force, total employment and the participation rate. Everything else is worse except *gross earnings, which are up, but by less than CPI-U growth and by a lot less than the Gasoline, Energy and Food sub-indices.

Compared to the last pre-pandemic year, though, every single category is worse. The labor force is smaller. Employment is smaller. Participation is lower. Productivity is down. Prices are up. Gasoline and energy are up hugely. Food is up by a lot. *Wages are up haven't kept pace with anything.

If you're spinning this like mad, it's mediocre at best compared to Trump's last month and the improvement (the employment figures) were essentially a fait accompli as restrictions started to wind down. Prices and wages are out of control and that squeeze is getting worse every day and everyone has no choice but to notice it. But even that's just as compared to Trump's last month. Compared to the final pre-pandemic month/quarter, everything is an unmitigated disaster in every respect.

You're happy to have a referendum on how you've handled the economy, Brandon? You want to run on your economic performance? Are you sure about that? Because if you're running on that, your prospects are about as good as the Wermacht's were around, say, April of 1945.
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posted by Open Blogger at 11:00 AM

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