Reader J.C. joins the discussion over the Dems’ insistence that the U.S. economy is tanking–despite all statistical evidence to the contrary. (See The Other Charlotte’s “Nancy Pelosi’s Bleak House,” Aug. 2, and the Mailbag for Aug. 4.) Writes J.C.:
“[L]ast October I was at an event for my daughter’s school here in heavily liberal Massachusetts, and overheard one parent talking to some others. She was mentioning how a friend of hers who worked at Wal-Mart was complaining about the slow pre-Christmas sales at the time. ‘The economy is collapsing,’ she said with an unmistakeable tone of glee in her voice. There’s something wrong with a party when its members find dire (and in this case false) economic news a cause for exultation.”
Indeed, something is wrong, J.C. Right now, the Democratic Party, which has pushed itself into minority status on every front, is banking its hopes on the possibility that one or more of these three dire catastrophes could catapult it back into power: 1) The American economy indeed collapses as your fellow parent speculates, necessitating a New New Deal; 2) The war against terrorism takes an appalling deadly turn, preferably in Iraq, precipitating Spain-like capitulation and hasty change of government; 3) Scandal erupts in the Bush administration (we may be talking Valerie Plame here, although I think most Americans have already forgotten what that one is all about). Hence the wild expectations attached to a slow holiday season at Wal-Mart.
And who knows? The Dem propaganda campaign may be making some headway. Here’s a headline from Saturday?s Washington Post: “Economic News Isn’t Helping Bush.” Here’s the reality:
“Employers added 207,000 jobs in July, the biggest monthly gain since April. And job growth was stronger than previously reported in May and June, said the Labor Department, which added a combined 42,000 jobs to its earlier estimates.
“Factory orders are climbing, and businesses are investing more in new equipment and software. Inflation is tame except for energy costs, and interest rates remain low. The economy expanded at a 3.4 percent annual rate in the spring, and analysts see the pace quickening this summer….
“Average hourly wages for most workers rose 6 cents in July, to $16.13, the biggest monthly increase in a year, the Labor Department said. The figures are for production and non-managerial workers, who make up 80 percent of the labor force. Average weekly wages rose $2.02 in July, to $543.58….
“The July job gains were shared among racial and ethnic groups. The unemployment rate for whites was unchanged at 4.3 percent. The rate for blacks fell to 9.5 percent from 10.3 percent in June, and the Latino rate was 5.5 percent, down from 5.8 percent.”
And here?s the perception:
“Yet a CBS News poll released this week found that 52 percent of respondents disapproved of Bush?s handling of the economy, while 42 percent approved.”
And of course, this being the Washington Post, the spin of the story was the perceptions are correct, not the reality. The article quoted a 55-year-old computer engineer laid off three years ago who still couldn’t find work in his field–although it?s hard to say what his plight has to do with the general state of the economy. And then there was this quote:
“‘I feel the economy is just not as good as it should be,’ said Adam Judis, 40, a Pasadena, Calif., computer consultant and political independent. ‘We’re spending too many lives, resources and money on Iraq.'”
“Just not as good as it should be”? No, nothing in life is perfect, but I don’t see what the war in Iraq has to do with it. But that’s the Dem spin machine a-whirl.