<\body> Stories in America: Bush's Brain

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bush's Brain

When Bush speaks in front of a staged audience, he usually lies, receives a standing ovation and leaves. Lately, he's been taking questions from the audience to prove that he really cares. He usually does a great job of adding that "average Joe" tone to his voice, but tends to screw up after receiving a question he doesn't like (from Think Progress):
After getting frustrated at the length of the Q&A session of his speech in Cleveland today, Bush blurted out, "Anybody work here in this town?"

Bush inadvertantly hit upon a subject he otherwise ignored - unemployment in Cleveland. Economic conditions in the city have worsened considerably during Bush's presidency. Some facts:

- 5.8 percent: Cleveland unemployment rate, Jan. 2006
- 4.5 percent: Cleveland unemployment rate, Jan. 2001

- 5.3 percent: Ohio unemployment rate, Jan. 2006
- 4.0 percent: Ohio unemployment rate, Jan. 2001

- 31.3 percent: Cleveland poverty rate, 2003
- 24.3 percent: Cleveland poverty rate, 2001

So the answer, Mr. President, is that a lot of people in Cleveland don't work because they can't find jobs.


At 3/20/2006 3:29 PM, Anonymous timmy said...

Sounds like Bush need to jack up the minimum wage to $20.00 an hour. That'll help things.

At 3/20/2006 3:49 PM, Anonymous jobseeker said...

We need to start having a "take your unemployed friend to work day."

At 3/20/2006 5:14 PM, Blogger kat said...

Sounds like Bush need to jack up the minimum wage to $20.00 an hour. That'll help things.

Sounds like Bush just needs to pull his head out of his ass every once in awhile. That would help even more.

At 3/20/2006 5:45 PM, Anonymous timmy said...

Hmmm, interesting proposal, Kat. I've never completely grasped Keynesian economic theory...maybe this is the missing link in my education.

One other thing he might try is another tax cut. Look up how it affected unemployment claims in 2003.

At 3/20/2006 7:22 PM, Blogger kat said...

Without running to the reference tables, I'll just assume that those numbers posted above are correct. If that's the case, then I'm not sure the tax cuts did much at all for the general employment in Cleveland.

But then again, knowing who your audience is when you're speaking to them is part of not having your head engaged elsewhere. Nothing Keynesian about it at all.

At 3/20/2006 11:14 PM, Anonymous timmy said...

This may come as news, but Cleveland represents only one city (and Ohio only one state) in the United States, and what we’re talking about here has more to do with macroeconomics. The prosperity and unemployment rates of cites and states for a number of reasons – some due to federal policies, some due to state and local policies. As for what the federal government does or doesn’t do for Cleveland, consider this: Fresno, California receives $16 million per year in Community Development Block Grant money. Cleveland, with almost the same population, unemployment and poverty levels, receives $53 million. So if you think federal assistance is the only answer, you might want to consider some other possibilities. I might also point out that the Mayor of Cleveland is a Democrat.

Another thing, the official unemployment rate does not paint an accurate picture of the number of unemployed workers because it does not include individuals who are so discouraged by the job market that they no longer seek employment. In October 2003, the unemployment rate counting discouraged workers was 6.3 percent, and that number has since declined to 5.7 percent. Every other alternative measure of unemployment has shown a brightening employment picture and a decline of at least 0.5 percent age points over the past year.

Tax cuts put money back into the economy, spurring demand for new products and investment in new plants and equipment. Both of those, in turn, result in more and better jobs. Congress should make those tax cuts permanent. The tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 were critical in limiting the damage caused by the recession, corporate scandals, and terrorist attacks of 2001. In order to assure that the economy continues to grow, in Cleveland and elsewhere, tax cuts should be made permanent.

At 3/21/2006 6:58 AM, Blogger kat said...

Wow, Timmy, thanks for Econ 101.

But let's make this a little more simple. The President will look like a huge douchebag if he addresses an audience in New Orleans, who have concerns related to Hurricane restoration, with a speech about the utter importance of saving the salmon in the Northwest.

So the gist of it is...the detailed mechanics of micro versus macro economics are truly irrelevant here when the President can't be bothered to get briefed on what the prevailing situation of the crowd is to whom he's addressing.

At 3/21/2006 7:34 AM, Anonymous timmy said...

Something else you might want to familerize yourself with is meant by the term "full employment".

This Wikepedia entry offers a fairly decent explanation....


As you read it, keep in mind the unemployment numbers cited here for Cleveland and Ohio.


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