The Obama Recovery

Here are some graphs of how well President Barack Obama’s regulations and economic policies have been working since he exploded our national debt with his “Stimulus” package in 2009. The graphs come from Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business’ Maguire Energy Institute.

First, the sad classic graph of how the Obama Recovery compares with past recession recoveries. It speaks for itself.RecoveryComparison_Cox

This graph shows the total number of Americans still unemployed—the flip side of the number of Americans who actually have jobs.TotalUnemployed_Cox

Some Empirically Determined Pipeline Benefits

A study prepared by the SMU/Cox’ Maguire Energy Institute for the Consumer Energy Alliance has some interesting data from the Keystone XL leg that connects Cushing, OK, with Nederland, TX (built because it’s a purely domestic leg and so did not require President Barack Obama’s personal approval). The figure below presents a map of the pipeline and some proposed adjuncts to it. The Gulf Coast Project is the section of the Keystone XL pipeline project that connects the two towns, and it was open for business last January, so the empirical data are current.Keystone-System-Map

The Obama Recovery is in Full Swing

We’re booming now, in our post-Panic of 2008 recovery, so much so that the Fed lowered its expectation for the US’ 2014 GDP growth to 2.2%—a sharp reduction of their 2014 estimate of just three months ago of 3%.

Oh, wait—did I say “booming?” Hmm….

As a beer ad once said, with a different slant, it doesn’t get any better than this. Not with Democratic policies.

Seattle’s Minimum Wage

Here‘s a part (certainly not all) of the Left’s rationale for the $15/hour minimum wage just passed in Seattle. It’s from FoxNews‘ cite of David Goldstein, of whom they refer as a “Seattle blogger.”

If some jobs are lost, but we lift tens of thousands of low-wage workers out of poverty, that’s a net plus in the long run[.]

Pipelines

The Canadian government has approved a proposed pipeline to the Pacific Coast that would allow Canada’s oil to be shipped to Asia.

This is oil that would be flowing to American refineries through a pipeline that would be up and running today, if the Obama administration hadn’t stonewalled the Keystone XL pipeline proposal all these years.

Remember this in the fall and in 2016.

In Which Russia Creates an Opportunity

Russia on Monday cut gas supplies to Ukraine as a payment deadline passed and negotiators failed to reach a deal on gas prices and unpaid bills amid continued fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Naftogaz company head Andriy Kobolev said Russia had cut the supply of gas to Ukraine, but that Ukraine can manage without Russian gas until December.

There’s no reason at all we can’t fill this newly created market with American natural gas, even if it will take longer than next December to get the delivery chain up and running.

Another Reason to Reduce Financial Support for the IMF

[T]he [IMF] said there is significant slack in the [US] economy and authorities must do more to stimulate growth in the near term. At the same time, Washington must cut spending and raise revenue in the long term to avoid public debt overwhelming the country’s finances.

The best option is for the government to boost spending, notably on infrastructure, the IMF said.

This is a clear misunderstanding of the role of government in a free nation’s free market economy—by folks who should know better. Hence the need to reduce support: these folks are merely squandering what they have.

Our Economic Future

James Pethokoukis, at AEIdeas, has some thoughts. Oddly, so do I.

Pethokoukis first. He paraphrases Binyamin Appelbaum in New York Times:

…economist accept slower growth is partly the result of long-term trends…. [Y]ou have (a) the demographically-driven decline in labor force participation and (b) an apparent productivity slowdown starting in the mid-2000s as the pace of technological innovation and diffusion has slowed.

But these two are easily corrected. The “demographically-driven decline in labor force participation” is largely, if not primarily, the retirement of us Baby Boomers without associated replacement from births into existing and new families, much less an increase in that rate. (The long-term departure from the labor force by those who’ve given up finding work in this economy is a separate matter that policy corrections will resolve.)

Can’t Win for Losing

Economists were pleased that the economy created 217,000 jobs in May. That sent US payrolls to a record high. It was the first time since the late-1990s boom that the economy created more than 200,000 jobs a month for four consecutive months.

This despite fact that, as of the last jobs report, the US economy had—finally—”rehired” all the workers fired since the start of the Panic of 2008: “US total employment passed its previous peak of 138.4 million, set in January 2008.”  Normal recoveries regain their pre-recession levels after several months to a couple of years.

“Green” Energy Loans Have Consequences

Fisker Automotive—the US electric car company that failed to repay roughly $139 million in federal loans [out of an original loan total of $192 million] before going bankrupt—is now owned by a Chinese company eager to unleash its cut-rate acquisition on the American auto industry.

The company’s assets were acquired earlier this year by China’s biggest auto parts supplier, Wanxiang Group, for $149.2 million in a US bankruptcy auction.

And

Wanxiang acquired A123 Systems [Fisker's battery supplier] in a 2012 bankruptcy sale, after the company failed to repay millions to the same federal loan program that helped Fisker.