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Wednesday, April 30, 2008


The New York Times on Bush's "job growth"

No, they didn't claim he's "grown on the job"; that would be too big a whopper. But this comes close:
Mr. Bush has spent much of his presidency riding high on claims of solid job growth.
Actually there are two versions of this article online; the second one, the version I read in the San Jose Mercury News (and which, based on its URL, may be the later revised version), is even worse, with a change from "solid" to "unparalleled":
Mr. Bush has spent much of his presidency riding high on claims of unparalleled job growth.
Now I admit they stuck in that weasel word "claims," but since it's preceded by the (questionable) assertion that Bush has been "riding high" one has to assume that the Times feels those claims were at least basically true. That's reinforced by the rest of the sentence, which reads, "but with nine months left in office, he has to confront a new reality." So evidently that solid or "unparalleled" job growth was the old reality according to the Times. And my simple question is: WHAT PLANET ARE THEY ON??? (Sorry, bold or italics just didn't seem to cut it for that last bit).

Here's a graph I found at the U.S. Dept. of Labor:

What it shows, as we all know (check that: all of us except, apparently, the New York Times), is that during the first four years of the Bush Administration, from January 2001 to January 2005, the increase in jobs was...zero. None. And of course it's really a lot worse than that, because, as I was writing at the time, that doesn't take into account population increase, which in turn translates into something I've named "job inflation." In fact, as I wrote, in the first term of the Bush Administration, there were more than 7.5 million "job-inflation-adjusted jobs" lost.

The second term has clearly been better, although looking at the slope vs. the slope of the graph for the years that preceded Bush, I very much doubt the word "unparalleled" is remotely justified even for that period. But for the entire time ("much of his Presidency" says the Times), the increase in jobs has been only 5.5 million. But that's a decrease in "job-inflation-adjusted" jobs of a whopping 8.9 million jobs! And the "claim" that Bush "has spent much of his presidency riding high on claims of solid (or unparalleled) job growth" has about as much validity as my claim that I'm 6'11" - it falls well short of reality.

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