Agreed. Economics is still the dismal science.
It is much more entertaining to read about President Obama’s latest, dumb, out-of-context quote such as, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”
Or Mitt Romney’s stupid gaffes about the London Olympics and declaration that “corporations are people, too.”
There also is the media’s fixation on horserace polls. Who’s ahead, who’s behind? Who has the most winning personality? Who do white males like or who do women prefer?
But the biggest concern of the American people is the economy. Not only do the polls report it time and again, our relatives and friends and business associates tell us they’re worried about where the economy is going.
Americans want Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney to explain how the country can pump out new jobs and put millions of unemployed Americans back to work.
Even though the economy added 163,000 new jobs in July, the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent in June. It’s worse here in North Carolina where the jobless rate is stuck at 9.4 percent.
The average hourly wage in 2012 is lower than the average wage in 2011, $23.39 cents to $23.44. We are stuck.
The public should have an understanding of Mr. Obama’s plan. He has been trying to move the economy forward since 2009. But because of threatened Republican filibusters in the U.S. Senate, Mr. Obama’s initial spending stimulus was curtailed.
He has since offered more modest proposals such as his current jobs bill aimed at building roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects. But no WPA-scale back-to-work program. His new jobs bill died in the now Republican controlled House.
The stimulus, contrary to Mr. Romney’s and the FOX network’s catcalls, did work. A recent essay in Bloomberg News reported that 92 percent of the country’s leading economists, conservative and liberal, believe the stimulus lowered the unemployment rate.
Mr. Romney’s plan is less concrete. Indeed, it’s hardly more than bromides. He’s for good schools and energy independence and more global trade. Who isn’t? He will approve the Keystone oil pipeline and cut environmental rules and lower taxes and kick labor unions and kill national health care. He will reduce federal spending dramatically.
This plan, he promises, will produce 12 million new jobs over four years. When President George W. Bush tried many of these things, the country got the current recession.
While the candidates and their surrogates are devoting millions to negative ads, they should heed the revised Bill Clinton slogan. It’s still the economy, stupid.