by ilene - September 3rd, 2010 4:41 pm
Indeed, even after the government plays with the numbers to make them look better (using inaccurate birth-death models and other tricks-of-the-trade), this is how the current jobs downturn compares with other post-WWII recessions:
The Government Has Encouraged the Offshoring of American Jobs for More Than 50 Years
President Eisenhower re-wrote the tax laws so that they would favor investment abroad. President Kennedy railed against tax provisions that "consistently favor United States private investment abroad compared with investment in our own economy", but nothing changed.
For the last 50-plus years, the tax benefits to American companies making things abroad has encouraged jobs to move out of the U.S.
The Government Has Encouraged Mergers
The government has actively encouraged mergers, which destroy jobs.
This is nothing new.
Citigroup’s former chief executive says that when Citigroup was formed in 1998 out of the merger of banking and insurance giants, Alan Greenspan told him, “I have nothing against size. It doesn’t bother me at all”.
And the government has actively encouraged the big banks to grow into mega-banks.
The Government Has Let Unemployment Rise in an Attempt to Fight Inflation
As I noted last year:
The Federal Reserve is mandated by law to maximize employment. The relevant statute states:
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy’s long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.
The Fed could