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Framing the Economic Debate
October 8, 2004 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Framing the Economic Debate. If you read Metafilter, you've no doubt seen a few links criticizing Bush's handling of the economy. The unabashed partisans at the Heritage Foundation have put together a document from which many of Bush's talking points about the economy (tonight, and throughout the campaign) are likely to come.
posted by Kwantsar (16 comments total)

 
Why does the Heritage Foundation hate the economy so much?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:51 PM on October 8, 2004


Why does the Heritage Foundation hate the economy so much?

Because it's the American thing to do.

(Some people might even say they're heroes)
posted by NewBornHippy at 12:58 PM on October 8, 2004


If you read Metafilter

Don't go there much myself.

The interesting thing to me was the chart showing business investments before and after the tax cuts. One of the reasons I'm a Kerry fan is that he's made mention in his policy docs about tax credits for companies that behave well -- say, ones that actually hire people. Bush simply says "cut the taxes, and everything will be fine"... when it's clear to me that it's entirely possible the investing class may choose to do something else with their money other than put it into american enterprise. But the business investment does seem to go up. Causality? Maybe not, and if anyone knows of mumery going on with the chart, feel free to fill me in, but it does look good.

On the other hand, I definitely see a shell game going on with the employment numbers. Unemployment insurance claims as a metric? Bad, since they run out. People not in the workforce just choose not to work? Maybe if you're part of the investor class. Us proles need jobs. And I've seen plenty of things personally that indicate to me that rising productivity is productivity per worker demanded by employers who know they can get it because the job market is still very, very frightening.
posted by namespan at 1:04 PM on October 8, 2004


Duly noted... but why isn't this a comment down here, where the discussion is, and where people are already camped out to discuss the debate?
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:15 PM on October 8, 2004


but why isn't this a comment down here, where the discussion is

If we have a "one FPP per topic" policy, it is news to me.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:24 PM on October 8, 2004


Why does the Heritage Foundation hate the economy so much?

All right, nothing to contribute from me, but I just spit up water all over my computer when I read that. First time that meme has been funny to me in years. Carry on!
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:27 PM on October 8, 2004


Claims are actually a pretty good metric, when you understand what they're measuring. Ditto with workforce numbers, ditto with payroll numbers.

And I think we make that point pretty well (I'm from Heritage and worked on this paper). Been a MeFI member for years, but haven't logged on in, oh, 12,000 or so links.

The problem is that many are too quick to seize at their favorite metric, be it payroll jobs, the unemployment rate, participation, aggregate earnings, etc. Look at all of these, along with other measures, together, and the jobs situation looks very different than if you look at just, say, payrolls, which have been popular of late on a certain side of the political spectrum.

And by the way, that popularity, to the exclusion of all other metrics, may be quite ill-conceived, in the end.
posted by gdog at 1:41 PM on October 8, 2004


(I'm from Heritage and worked on this paper). Been a MeFI member for years, but haven't logged on in, oh, 12,000 or so links.

Coincidence, or watching referrer logs?
posted by Kwantsar at 1:44 PM on October 8, 2004


Neither. Popped up in my aggregator. Technorati, probably.
posted by gdog at 1:46 PM on October 8, 2004


"The problem is that many are too quick to seize at their favorite metric, be it payroll jobs, the unemployment rate..."

So... what you're saying then is as long as we don't concentrate on the fact that:
- We aren't creating enough jobs to keep up with population growth...

AND

- The jobs we are creating have lousy salaries...

This economy looks *SUPER!*

I see...

Bye! Thanks for playing!
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:07 PM on October 8, 2004


what he said. You can't just look at claims--add in the amount of people each month whose unemployment has run out, and the amount of people entering the workforce each year (18 year olds, and new college grads)...
posted by amberglow at 2:20 PM on October 8, 2004


Look at all of these, along with other measures, together, and the jobs situation looks very different than if you look at just, say, payrolls, which have been popular of late on a certain side of the political spectrum.

I hear the war in Iraq has a real success, too.
posted by y2karl at 2:43 PM on October 8, 2004


has been a real success, that is...
posted by y2karl at 2:44 PM on October 8, 2004


Not a refutation of that specific Heritage report, but here is another take on how the Republicans Frame the discourse.
posted by boo at 3:05 PM on October 8, 2004


with this Pepertual War TM thing raging on, certain (heh) parts of the US economy have received so much stimulus that it'd take an actual corpse not to show a little reaction.
posted by matteo at 4:47 PM on October 8, 2004


One of the reasons I'm a Kerry fan is that he's made mention in his policy docs about tax credits for companies that behave well

Bingo!

Companies are like any other collection of humans, they behave better when it's in their interest to behave better.
posted by jonmc at 6:12 PM on October 8, 2004


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