“But politics is not about facts. It is about what politicians can get people to believe.”
National’s do nothing, leave the market to sort itself out ideology is squarely to blame for this. Faced with the worst recession in a decade, they responded not with stimulus spending, but accounting tricks, reallocating existing spending and grandly dressing it up as something “new”. And even that was cut off too quickly. The results of that cynical policy could be seen a couple of weeks ago in Manukau, where thousands queued for a shitty supermarket job.
No Right Turn. Emphasis mine.
So clearly I/S is very angry that we’re not running a stimulus. He believes that this has resulted in our 7.3% unemployment.
Well, clearly the best place to see the results of unemployment on jobs is in the US, where their stimulus has pushed out the nations debt to levels that will not be paid off for decades, leaving the grandchildren of the current generation in debt.
(Now, interestingly the debt in the last year of Bush’s administration was to bail out the banks, and was a loan. That money is now coming back, but it’s not going to reduce that line since the Obama administration wants to spend it.)
So after mortgaging the family silver and putting themselves in debt to the chinese for generations, what did the US get for all that money?
Well, this is the graph that Obama used to sell the stimulous, along with the actual data of what’s happened so far.
That’s right, the “Recovery Plan” most certainly hasn’t made things better. In fact, with it things are going worse than Obama thought they’d go without it. Either Obama got his numbers very wrong, and reduced an increase in unemployment that was simply unthinkable, or the stimulus was a big, fact exercise in throwing money away that actually made things worse.
Certainly, it hasn’t made a dent in unemployment.
An Associated Press analysis of stimulus spending found that it didn’t matter if a lot of money was spent on highways or none at all: Local unemployment rates rose and fell regardless. And the stimulus spending only barely helped the beleaguered construction industry, the analysis showed.
In the US, they’re focusing on highway projects. Here, we were already pretty focused on improving our roads so the Labour party focused on explaining the benefits of having other people insulate your home to helpless qualified builders.
So… let’s sum up.
The US has had an unthinkable increase in debt, which has resulted in an unemployment figure far in excess of what Obama predicted had he done nothing – which he didn’t. On the ground, a few people are being pulled into road construction, but otherwise the big spend isn’t doing a thing.
Now, here in New Zealand we already have rising government debt – thanks to Cullen’s deliberate strategy of committing to massive spending increases to hobble the next administration. So borrowing more was never a real option anyway.
And we have only 7.3% unemployment. As you can see above, the US is pushing 10%.
But hey, it’s always easy to make things worse.