Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Road to Recovery

I just received a mass e-mail from David Plouffe, the organizing genius behind the Obama 2008 campaign. The e-mail includes the above chart, contrasting job loss rates between the Bush and Obama administrations. The Obama supporter in me wants to say: “Haha! See that? Buck Fush. Obama’s come to save the day.” But my inner skeptic sings a different tune. The chart does an effective job in mirroring Bush from Obama (or vice versa), with the message being: A) Bush = bad; Obama = good, B) Bush = down; Obama = up. Right? But that’s kind of misleading. Could it not be that the exorbitant job loss rates at the end of 2008 until the beginning of 2009 were simply the absolute zenith? Would we imagine job loss to have ever been over 1,000,000 per month? Unlikely (but what do I know). Bottom line: While this chart is reassuring in presenting dwindling job loss rates, it’s safe to be skeptical until job loss is reversed (i.e. when we’re talking about job growth, not job loss). Just my two cents.