GOP Administration == Recession?
jbone at place.org
jbone at place.org
Thu Sep 25 01:51:06 PDT 2003
An interesting bit of back-of-the-envelope analysis, putting the lie
yet again to the "Republicans == Good For The Economy" myth / lie.
This, James, is supportive of the water-cooler argument I made a while
back which you simply rejected as subjective distortion. Or, putting
the lie to another old saw (recently mentioned by Gojo): " If you're
not a Republican by the time you're 30, you have no brain." I submit
that if regardless of age you're still a Republican in 2004, you've got
no math, no historical perspective, and no common sense.
With a single exception, every recession since 1970 has happened on a
GOP President's watch. The timeline looks approximately like this:
4th Q 1969 - 4th Q 1970: Recession (4Q)
4th Q 1973 - 1st Q 1975: Recession (5Q)
1st Q 1980 - 3rd Q 1980: Recession (2Q)
3rd Q 1981 - 4th Q 1982: Recession (5Q)
3rd Q 1990 - 1st Q 1991: Recession (2Q)
1st Q 2001 - 3rd Q 2002?: Recession (6Q)
Looked at another way, in the 132 quarters since 4Q69, we have had 24
quarters (18% of all quarters) in which the economy was officially
considered recessionary for most or all of the quarter. Of those, 2
quarters (8.3% of all recessionary quarters, 1.5% of all quarters) were
on a Democratic President's watch. Consider that (48 / 132 = .3636)
36%of all quarters over that period (since 4Q69) were spent on a Dem's
watch, while 64% were on GOP watch. So, naively: given the last 1/3
century of data as exemplary, you're about ((91.7 / 64) / (8.3 / 36) =
6.2) six times as likely to be be in a recession on any given day under
a Republican as on any given day under a Democrat.
Let's pick that apart a little more. We're saying that around 92% of
all recessionary days occurred during the 64% of all days in which a
Republican was in office. 8% or so of all recessionary days occurred
during the 36% or so of all days in which a Democrat was in office.
Thus, factoring out the relative amount of time that Republicans have
held the White House over the last 33 years vs. the Democrats, any
randomly-chosen day under the GOP is 6x likelier to be during a
recession than any randomly-chosen day under a Democrat.
Conclusion: if you love recessions, vote GOP --- you're far more
likely to get one. If instead you want economic growth, vote Democrat.
Grrr. Hey, the numbers are what they are.
Conclusion, more "fair and balanced" than is probably deserved: a
Republican in the White House is much more highly correlated to and
predictive of economic recession than a Democratic administration.
Exercise for the reader: squint just a little at the timeline above to
see that recovery is also prolonged / delayed under Republican
administration and policies.
Granted, this is all correlative rather than causative and is a gross
simplification. The above ignores the partisan makeup and ideological
bias of the Congress during any particular President's tenure and about
a bazillion other factors. However it is important not to
underestimate the impact of the President as a figurehead, the impact
on consumer confidence and business climate, or the power of the
presidential "bully pulpit." Ultimately, the President proposes
budgets, signs bills, and has a high degree of control over the size,
makeup and actions of the federal bureaucracy --- he and his team have
more power over these things than any other single person, and
ultimately he (they) must take more credit (or blame) for the impact of
those things on American society.
A.B.B. in '04!
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