Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Undead FDR SMASH Denver Post

Today's NY Times:
Though unemployment levels dropped to 8.6 percent last month, they remain higher than the level at which any president has been re-elected since the Great Depression. [emphasis added]
The version that appeared in today's Denver Post:
Although the nation's unemployment rate dropped to 8.6 percent last month, no president has been re-elected with an unemployment rate so high.
For the record, here are the unemployment levels during FDR's three successful reelection bids:
1936: 16.9%
1940: 14.6%
1944: 1.2%
What, there wasn't space for the four words that would make the sentence true?
Grrrr...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its only been a month, but it would be interesting to add Newt to your graph of ideology and probability of victory at various levels of growth for the various GOP candidates of 11/6.
best,
Ben

metrichead said...

So basically, this is the worst unemployment's been since 1982.

I'm no economist, but it looks to me as though we've gotten through stuff like this time and time again, and at some point, we'll get through this. Am I overly optimistic?

Seth said...

Metrichead, yeah, we've been through worse. We'll keeping having crises and keep recovering from them, until the day that we don't. I'm pretty sure that day isn't today. Pretty sure.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps those clever folks at the Denver Post read this footnote to the data and concluded that all those Depression era unemployment numbers were made up by FDR: "NOTES: Estimates prior to 1940 are based on sources other than direct enumeration. Data prior to 1948 are for persons age 14 and over. Data beginning in 1948 are for persons age 16 and over."
On the other hand, maybe they deserve a Brad DeLong "why oh why can't we get a better press corps?" award.
Joe D.

metrichead said...

I guess the thing for me is how can the Democrats keep using the fact that Obama inherited a mess from President Bush when Reagan inherited a (slightly) worse mess than Carter and was able to turn it around by his third year in office?

Seth said...

From everything I read, the mess Obama inherited is substantially worse than what Reagan inherited. Obama inherited a collapse of the financial industry, which was basically intact under Carter/Reagan. Such collapses tend to freeze up lending and investments for many years.

metrichead said...

Okay, I see what you're saying now. I'm not an economist, so I sort of figured the unemployment figures were more or less an overly simplistic comparison.

Obviously economies grow if there's movement of money/credit/capital (that my little brain does know), and right now we can't move because banks and/or other institutions won't lend money which tightens movement everywhere else.