This Isn't Your Father's Recession


I’m convinced that future historians will look back on the 2006 and 2008 elections as years in which Americans chose the worst possible government at the worst possible moment.

Not that the preceding governmental policies were all that great. Indeed, we now know that most of the apparent prosperity that followed the bursting of the Internet stock bubble in the spring of 2000 was fake, unsustainable prosperity based upon dirt-cheap mortgage money that created the housing bubble plus out-of-control consumer credit card debt.

Things were definitely going to get ugly economically around 2008 no matter what. That was baked into the cake long ago. But what the U.S. electorate did by putting Democrats in control of both houses of Congress in 2006 and then handing them the White House too in 2008, was put in charge those least ideologically, philosophically, and morally equipped to manage the crises. Indeed, it was like having one’s house on fire and calling in the gasoline brigade. The Republican firefighters might have been inept, but at least they would have used water.

That brings us the latest update of ClusterStock’s employment chart, which compares this recession and “recovery” with that of past recessions since World War II.


Sadly, we’re in the red line at the bottom. The dotted line shows what employment levels would have been without the wave of temporary census worker hiring. In other words, there has been almost no recovery.

The chart shows that in the past, steep drops in employment were invariably followed by equally steep rebounds. Indeed, the pattern is, the more dramatic the drop in employment, the more dramatic the recovery. It’s the classic business cycle at work–creating a predictable and natural sine wave on economic growth charts.

But not this recession. What is different about this one? Three words:

Hope and Change.

As I have noted in past cranky, gloomy posts (like this one, for example), this administration has been conducting a quiet (but obviously effective) war on business owners from day one. And it is business owners that create jobs. From the day Mr. Obama’s crew got unpacked in Washington, small-to-medium sized businesses have been under assault from virtually every department of the Executive Branch.

OSHA, the National Labor Relations Board, the EPA, Health and Human Services, and about a half dozen different departments within Eric Holder’s Justice Department have been a part of this shock-and-awe campaign.

So what was this President’s recent response? Blame the business owners.

CNBC: “Obama Tells Companies to ‘Step Up’ and Hire Workers”

Right. It’s not that business owners are being perfectly rational in holding off hiring while the government is being run by a bunch of lefty academics who have never so much as run a lemonade stand in their lives and view with disdain anyone with the huevos to launch a business and consider profit an inherent evil to be minimized if at all possible. America’s business owners just aren’t being patriotic.

“Step up” indeed. I suspect business owners will begin to step up right after Mr. Obama gets invited by the voters to step down.