A Bad Economy Is in the Democrats’ Favor Structurally

William Jacobson makes an interesting point regarding the intersection of the economy and electoral politics:

Workers giving up hope, thereby keeping the unemployment rate artificially low, is keeping Obama’s reelection hopes alive. If the headlines screamed that unemployment was 11.4%, even I might begin to believe [that the U.S.A. would not give Obama a second term].

We’ve already begun to see commentary and political cartoons attempting to smear Republicans on the grounds that it’s in their electoral interests for the economy to stay sour until the next election. There is some truth to that, but inasmuch as it’s a bipartisan reality with every election, it’s hardly a strong moral condemnation.
Rephrased, a bit, what Jacobson is saying is that it would help the Republicans if the statistics better reflected, to voters, how bad the condition of the economy really is. But there’s a deeper way in which this particular data point helps the Democrats: Workers who give up move toward dependency on the government, and the Democrats are the party of dependency. If you’re struggling to find work in the private sector, you’re more apt to want the market to be free to thrive, to want employers to be given more space to invest and hire. Those who throw up their hands are thereafter more likely to put out their hands to collect whatever money the government directs toward them.

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michael
11 years ago

Republicans and Democrats alike are willing to take what the government gives them. It’s a people thing, not a party thing. I can guarantee that if you had equal lines of democrats and republicans, and a pile of freebies from the government the pile would be equally distributed. Stating the Democrats are the party of dependency is an stretch to say the least.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

Posted by michael:
” I can guarantee that if you had equal lines of democrats and republicans, and a pile of freebies from the government the pile would be equally distributed. ”
I think I can guarantee that if this were to happen on Monday, on Thursday ownership of “freebies” would be unequal. “It’s a people thing”.

Justin Katz
Justin Katz
11 years ago

Oh, come on, Michael. You must be reversing the meaning of what I said on purpose. Maybe a line of people picking up freebies would be equally of both parties, but the Democrats have deliberately and successfully branded themselves as the party that is going to place more in the pile. (Much of the Republicans’ problem, in terms of both elections and governance over the last decade, can be explained by an ill conceived desire to weaken that brand by imitation.)
The point is that, whatever one’s affiliation when stooping to pick up largesse from the pile, when one becomes dependent on it, the Democrats are more likely to claim one’s affiliation.

ANTHONY
ANTHONY
11 years ago

Hussein Obama is a proponent of the Coward-Piven “strategy”. Do your own research. More dependence=more Democrat voters legal and illegal. Here’s a little teaser:
“The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by Columbia University American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward (1926-2001) and Frances Fox Piven (b. 1932) that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty”.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

“The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966”
Ah yes, the 60’s, when we were going to end poverty with a “War”. That one seems to have been even less successful than the “War on drugs”.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

Just a note, in 1941 the unemployment rate was at 15%. The sainted Mr. Roosevelt’s chances of re-election were regarded as nil. Then Messrs. Hitler and Tojo saved him.

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

Warrington, put down the Republican Kool Aid you’ve been sipping and admit that Roosevelt won in 1940 and that it was just about a forgone conclusion that he would do so. The article cited below was written more than a year before Pearl Harbor.
This is from a NY Times Article, Oct 1, 1940, entitled “Copeland predicts New Deal Will Win”
-“Senator (Copeland) says only strong third party can defeat Roosevelt plans in 1940”
-“He (Copeland) disagrees on Vandenberg proposal for Democrats to join Republicans”
-“Senator Copeland, who has been one of the severest critics of administration policies, said today that President Roosevelt’s New Deal program would win in the 1940 election…”
– “Democratic schism doubted”
– “I do not believe that disgruntled Democrats will join Republicans in united opposition against the New deal as proposed by Senator Vandenberg.”
– “Unless we have violent inflation or some other unforeseen upheaval the same crowd will string along with this administration. The Republicans cannot hope to win back many followers who are now WPA workers, the farmers and others who are the benficiaries of Administration support.”
So please, put to bed forever the fantasy that Hitler won the 1940 election for Roosevelt. Need more convincing? Here is a NY Times dated 8/1/1957 entitled “Captured German Documents Reveal Hitler’s Steps to Prevent Roosevelt’s Re-election”
“The German campaign in the United States centered on violent antipathy to President Roosevelt. The documents involved the names of such public figures as James D. Mooney, then president of the General Motors Overseas Corporation; the late Henry Ford, the late Wendell Wilkie and Col Charles A. Lindberg.
“The 415 papers included in the volume cover the weeks from the fall of France in June, 1940 to the end of August.”
Get the point?
OldTimeLefty

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