Saturday, July 11, 2015

Daily Trumpeter: Why Trump trumps other GOP candidates - Bush flunks Econ 101

You have to look no further than Jeb(!) Bush. AZBlueMeanie at B4AZ tears into Bush for his total lack of understanding of economics.

Bush suggested that the way to get to 4% growth is for America to work more hours. BlueMeanie responded. More hours at same salary? (Lower $$$ per hour.) More hours for part-time employees? (They're already stressed working multiple jobs.) Etc.

Quoting from Politico:

Bush said, "My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours."

Steve Benen at MSNBC/Rachel Maddow Show explains what's so totally wrong with that.

The problem with Bush’s rhetoric, however, is the real-world implications, and the degree to which he fails to understand the issue.

For example, the Republican candidate, who made $5.8 million in "consulting and speaking" income in 2013, makes it sound as if sluggish economic growth is your fault – you’re just not working enough hours. In reality, however, full-time employment is soaring when compared to part-time employment, and Americans are already working, on average, 47-hour weeks.

And second, Bush isn’t just struggling to understand the details, he’s also proposing no solutions. Aside from more tax breaks for the rich, the former governor, whose economic record isn’t nearly as good as he thinks it is, has no meaningful plan to address the problems he’s describing. Indeed, as far as Bush is concerned, the economy hasn’t even improved during the Obama era – an argument that’s obviously bonkers given the strides we’ve made since the economy collapsed under the last Bush presidency.

We can add to that the now well-known graph comparing soaring productivity gains to flat wages since the 1970s. Actually, you could use as a marker the date of the Powell memo. After that, productivity and wages were decoupled. That's the problem - not hours worked.

BlueMeanie concludes:

The disproved and discredited faith based supply-side "trickle down" GOP economics would only make our economy worse. Bush’s advisers are the same geniuses (sic) who advised "W" and gave us the Bush Great Recession, from which we are still digging out of that hole today. Learn from your mistakes people, don’t repeat them.

If you think any of the other occupants of the GOP clown car are better than Bush, please advise. That's at least part of the reason why Trump is polling so well.

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