President Barack Obama has turned fearmongering into an art form. He has repeatedly raised the specter of another Great Depression. First, he did so to win votes in the November election. He has done so again recently to sway congressional votes for his stimulus package.
In the last year, the U.S. economy shed 3.4 million jobs. That's a grim statistic for sure, but represents just 2.2% of the labor force. From November 1981 to October 1982, 2.4 million jobs were lost -- fewer in number than today, but the labor force was smaller. So 1981-82 job losses totaled 2.2% of the labor force, the same as now.
Job losses in the Great Depression were of an entirely different magnitude. In 1930, the economy shed 4.8% of the labor force. In 1931, 6.5%. And then in 1932, another 7.1%. Jobs were being lost at double or triple the rate of 2008-09 or 1981-82.
Auto production last year declined by roughly 25%. That looks good compared to 1932, when production shriveled by 90%. The failure of a couple of dozen banks in 2008 just doesn't compare to over 10,000 bank failures in 1933, or even the 3,000-plus bank (Savings & Loan) failures in 1987-88. Stockholders can take some solace from the fact that the recent stock market debacle doesn't come close to the 90% devaluation of the early 1930s.
Now his transcripts from his recent town hall meeting in Indiana.
Economists from across the spectrum have warned that if we don't act immediately, millions more jobs will be lost, and national unemployment rates will approach double digits. More people will lose their homes and their healthcare. And our nation will sink into a crisis that, at some point, we may be unable to reverse.
Where's his hopenchange rhetoric now? Read on.
Now I'm not going to tell you that this bill is perfect. It isn't. But it is the right size, the right scope and has the right priorities to create jobs that will jumpstart our economy and transform it for the 21st century.
I also can't tell you with 100% certainty that everything in this plan will work exactly as we hope. But I can tell you with complete confidence that endless delay or paralysis in Washington in the face of this crisis will bring only deepening disaster.And that is why I hope Congress passes it as soon as humanly possible, so we can get to work creating jobs, helping families and turning our economy around.
So here we have a bill that may or may not work, may or may not create jobs and the world will end if congress doesn't pass it immediately. Congress did pass it so Princess Pelosi could make a PR appearance in Rome and.... things haven't changed. So what was the rush? Why did we need it passed right then and there if it may or may not work but it will save the world.