Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
By way of comparison, conservative economics "austerity' measures in Europe have led to a 14 year high in unemployment Euro-Region Unemployment Surges to 14-Year High, Nears Record - Bloomberg, and Europe has slipped into a government policy induced double-dip "austerity recession." Europe's austerity recession - European Financial Crisis - Salon.com. Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece are in recession. "[I]t seems highly likely France and Germany are also contracting."
"Blame it on austerity economics – the bizarre view that economic slowdowns are the products of excessive debt, and so government should cut spending in a slowdown."
The European recession is having an adverse impact on the U.S. economy because we are a global economy. This is why I have been posting the series "The Fire Next Time: The Euro Financial Crisis."
The other day Willard "Mittens" Romney said his economic policies would be "to do exactly the opposite of what President Obama has done," meaning that he would follow the conservative economics "austerity" measures being used in Europe and called for by Tea-Publicans in Congress. We have a real-life example of what those policies would mean for the U.S. -- massive unemployment and recession.
While the April jobs numbers are disappointing, the U.S. economy is still expanding and is not contracting in a double-dip recession like Europe -- a recession caused by misguided conservative economics "austerity" measures.
Steve Benen writes, The Maddow Blog - Job totals disappoint again, but overall rate inches lower:
The U.S. economy added 115,000 jobs in April, which fell short of already-tepid expectations, while the overall unemployment rate dipped slightly to 8.1%. As has been the case, there was a big gap in the public vs. private sectors -- American businesses added 130,000 jobs last month, while the government shed 15,000 jobs.
It is the second consecutive month of disappointing totals, but there was a silver lining in today's Bureau of Labor Statistics report -- job creation in February and March were both revised up by a combined 53,000 jobs. It offers a reminder that these initial estimates are just that -- initial estimates -- and that overreacting to new reports generally isn't a good idea.
That doesn't change the fact, however, that 115,000 obviously isn't good enough. It's a figure that barely keeps up with population growth, and is roughly half of what the economy should be producing as part of a larger recovery. Ideally, policymakers would see data like this and take steps to boost job creation, but given the Republican agenda in Congress, that's no longer an option.
The overall economy has now added over 2 million jobs over the last year, and nearly 3.5 million jobs over the last three years. For America's private sector, it's 2.3 million over the last year, and 4 million over the last three years.
Incidentally, the 8.1% unemployment rate is the lowest since before President Obama took office, but as we've talked about before, that's not necessarily the best metric for looking at the overall jobs landscape, and in April, it was largely the result of people dropping out of the workforce.
Here's another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.
Steve Benen has more on the effect of conservative economics "austerity" measures being followed by Tea-Publican controlled state legislatures on job creation in this country -- it tracks closely what conservative economics "austerity" measures have done to cause job losses in Europe. The Maddow Blog - Austerity economics, American style:
It didn't generate much attention at the time, but Mitt Romney delivered a speech in Ohio recently in which he condemned the Recovery Act. Among other things, the Republican said it did too much to protect public-sector jobs, "which is probably the sector that should have been shrinking."
This isn't just some throwaway line. Romney believes the U.S. economy would be stronger if there were fewer government jobs, not more. In other words, as far as the GOP's would-be president is concerned, fewer teachers, fewer firefighters, and fewer police officers would mean more economic growth. Public-sector layoffs = lower unemployment.
Remember, this guy considers economics to be his strong suit.
For those inclined to take a more sensible look at recent events, the reality paints a very different picture. The truth is, the public sector has been the part of the economy that has been shrinking. Paul Krugman posted this chart last week:
Krugman explained, "That spike early on is Census hiring; once that was past, the Obama years shaped up as an era of huge cuts in public employment compared with previous experience. If public employment had grown the way it did under Bush, we'd have 1.3 million more government workers, and probably an unemployment rate of 7 percent or less."
If you take all the job losses that have happened under President Obama, and all the job gains over the same period, the economy is still in the hole -- but nearly 100% of the losses are from the loss of government jobs.
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Since the beginning of his term, state and local governments have shed 611,000 employees — including 196,000 educators — according to government statistics. Unlike the recovery in private-sector employment that Obama and his reelection campaign often cite — with businesses adding 4 million jobs since hiring hit its low point in 2010 — the jobs crisis at the state and local level has continued throughout his term. [...]
"The job losses at state and local governments is the most serious weight on the job market," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, who has advised both parties.
The developments that hurt the most are the same developments Republicans think are the best. The difference is, in 2013, they want to ensure an austerity-only approach, intensifying the policies that have held us back so far.