Friday, November 19, 2010

Obama: Crony Capitalist or Socialist Hack?

I have a few friends who need to listen to Dave Weigel:
"Since inauguration day the Dow is up 41 percent, and the S&P is up 49 percent.

Can you use this to argue that Barack Obama's presidency has been an economic success? Oh, I don't think so. Unemployment, foreclosures, bank closures, and other much more important metrics are much worse than they were when he was inaugurated. But the recovery of the stock market, outpacing the recovery of the economy, is unusual. Ronald Reagan was inaugurated at the start of a growing recession with the Dow at 950.68; it closed at 1,021.25 on November 19, 1982. That was a rise of 7.4 percent from inauguration to the post-midterm weeks.

I see two things here. One: The lefty critique of Obama as an incompetent crony capitalist continues to make more sense than the conservative critique of the president as a radical anti-capitalist. Two, politicians are hacks who'll use any economic data they can find to make their points, and ignore the data once it stops making the points."

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