Monday, September 15, 2008

"The fundamentals of our economy are strong"

John McCain spent the morning channelling the spirit of Herbert Hoover (circa 1929) and the afternoon trying to spin away from his comment.

I'll leave it to others to discuss the Hoover analogy in depth. Let's just quickly talk about the economy.

...Unemployment is up to the highest levels in five years and is up almost 30% in a year (4.7% in August 2007; 6.1% in August 2008.) Historical info here.

...Inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index is the 2nd highest it's been in more than a decade.

...Retail gasoline prices are almost 2.5 times what they were when George W. Bush took office in January 2001. (data available here)

...The housing market remains completely in the tank. It is worse in McCain's home state of Arizona than it is in most places, but since McCain has more homes than he can keep count of, he hasn't noticed how badly his constituents are hurting.

...The U.S. dollar has lost much of its buying power internationally. When George W. Bush took office, one dollar would purchase approximately 1.06 Euros; today that same dollar nets less than .71 Euros. That's a 33% drop. (Historical data here)

...The stock market, as measured by the New York Stock Exchange's Dow Jones Industrial Average, fell more than 500 points today (the largest drop since the attacks of 9/11/2001) on news that Lehman Brothers, an investment back that was a fixture on Wall Street for more than a century and a half, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

...Consumer Confidence, as measured by the Conference Board, is hovering just above historical lows...

In light of all this evidence that apparently (apparent to people who live in the real world, anyway) contradicts McCain's pronouncement, what kind of "fundamentals" could McCain be talking about?

Well, corporate CEOs are receiving compensation packages that are ever larger and oil company profits have remained at record levels...

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