Free Markets, Free People


Officials can call it what they want, most Americans think we’re still in a recession/depression

And like it or not, the Obama administration’s future probably depends on turning that around somehow:

The April 20-23 Gallup survey of 1,013 U.S. adults found that only 27 percent said the economy is growing. Twenty-nine percent said the economy is in a depression and 26 percent said it is in a recession, with another 16 percent saying it is "slowing down," Gallup said.

With growth slowing to 1.8% in the first quarter, those on the pessimistic side seem to have a point.

Severe winter weather, a dip in defense spending and higher energy prices all slowed the growth of gross domestic product in the January-through-March quarter.

Of course our economic experts – who’ve been so dead on all through the financial difficulties – say this is only a temporary blip and recovery should restart anytime.  But:

Leaders of the Federal Reserve, for example, said Wednesday that they expect the economy to grow 3.1 to 3.3 percent in 2011; in January their estimate was 3.4 to 3.9 percent.

Keep an eye on energy prices (which have an effect on everything we produce/buy) as a means of testing that claim.  If they stay up, which appears likely, then growth isn’t going to speed up that much.  Remember the economy needs to grow at about 2.5% annual clip to begin to expand the job markets.  Right now that isn’t happening.  And energy prices could be the drag that keeps it from happening.

Oh, and key demographic in the poll?

Fifty-seven percent of independent voters — a crucial segment of the electorate for Obama’s re-election bid — said the economy is in a recession or depression and 24 percent said it is growing.

Big job ahead to change those numbers around.   And not much time.

~McQ

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15 Responses to Officials can call it what they want, most Americans think we’re still in a recession/depression

  • No time at all, McQ.
    For Obama to turn things around, he would have to revolutionize (pun) his whole world-view.
    As a Collectivist Thug In A Good Suit ™ that really is not possible.

    • Nah, the modus for these sorts of situations is to redefine the definitions and how the data is gathered to reflect the desired outcome.

      • Which CAN work to an alarming degree, BUT…see the poll results.  “You can fool some of the people all of the time…”

      • Exactly how could any post on economics these days come without an “unexpectedly” ?

    • “not much time”

      If your only concern is re-election that is.

    • I don’t think there is enough time for Obama to turn this around now …

      “Our customers are running out of money, buying smaller pack sizes and less discretionary items near the end of the month,” [Walmart CEO] Duke said. “It shows greater pressure on consumers. Rising fuel price has been one of the factors that affect consumer spending. The end of paycheck cycle is pronounced among our core customers.”
      ..
      “Consumers have learned to pay attention to what they pay,” he said. “It’s a form of (behavior) reset. Price transparency is becoming even more important.”

      No amount of “Hope and Change” hand waving is going to turn this around.

  • Severe winter weather, a dip in defense spending and higher energy prices all slowed the growth of gross domestic product in the January-through-March quarter.

    Hmmm… Two of those things are directly tied to the policies of Captain Bullsh*t.  Actually, all three of them: didn’t he promise that the seas would recede and the planet would get cooler?  Well, it DID get cooler.  A lot cooler.

    This guy is a friggin’ disaster.  Jebus… O’ course, I’m a raaaaacist for even suggesting that he’s anything less than perfect.

  • Last fall, after the “shellacking” in the November midterms, sage chin-tuggers such as our own Prof Erb noted that Ronald Reagan suffered even worse declines in the polls and still came back to win handily two years later.

    You can still sorta make that argument since Reagan hit harder lows than Obama, but by this time in Reagan’s first term his polls were clearly on an upward trajectory, while Obama’s are going sidewise, if not declining.

    Personally I think Obama polls higher than he will generate votes. Americans still want to like Obama, but given that Obama’s policies poll about five to ten points lower and that the economy is going nowhere, I can’t imagine that voters will give him votes at the ballot on par with approvals in Gallup polls.

  • a dip in defense spending … slowed the growth of gross domestic product

    No way !!  Next they will tell us that taxing the “rich” will slow the growth of gross domestic product

  • What we’re underestimating is Obama’s ability to pull a new plan out of his hind regions that will be a government give-away to the Taxpayers to help them through this time of trouble.  Think of it like the GM bailout on a national scale and in excess of the now famous Happy Meal tax break.

    He’ll feel sure that will secure the votes of those who aren’t paying income taxes (made specific for those noodle heads who like to argue when we say roughly 50% of the eligible population pays no tax, and we mean INCOME tax, they loudly shout about sales taxes, gas taxes, excise taxes, property taxes, etc)

    It’s coming, give it about 2-3 months more pain so he can be the Big He-Row.

    • He hasn’t come up with any plans yet. TARP was a plan sold to Bush. Using TARP money to bail out UAW is a reaction, not a plan.

    • Golly,

      As much has I want to agree with you all, from my distant perch, I think the Hindmost has plenty of time. I think Looker is on to something about the next set of smoke and mirrors. We can be sure it will be creative.

      The big thing is how long does something take to get through the economic pipeline? I figure 9 months. … And, the election is how many months away?

      No, despite the pounding by the Donald, I’m figuring Obama by about four or five points. Now, I did hear Harry Alford say that the black vote would desert O because they have been hurt most. I’m not so sure.

      The sad truth is that O has plenty of time and the real secret is the number of independents suffering from Obama shock.

  • USA Today exposes the fraud that is activist-organized protest at Republican town halls this recess. Their story opens with Paul Ryan calling on a man in the front row before recognizing him, “You changed clothes!” USA Today reports that the man had been at a separate event six hours earlier. Politico reports that “Citizens Action of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Labor Council have enlisted a traveling band of seniors to follow Paul Ryan’s every move.” But the leftist activists have been unable to match genuine support for Ryan. The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack posts video of constituents giving Ryan a standing ovation after a town hall near Milwaukee.
    Thought that was amusing.
    Astro-tuff FAIL OTD…

  • Last fall, after the “shellacking” in the November midterms, sage chin-tuggers such as our own Prof Erb noted that Ronald Reagan suffered even worse declines in the polls and still came back to win handily two years later.

    You can still sorta make that argument since Reagan hit harder lows than Obama, but by this time in Reagan’s first term his polls were clearly on an upward trajectory, while Obama’s are going sidewise, if not declining.

    Personally I think Obama polls higher than he will generate votes. Americans still want to like Obama, but given that Obama’s policies poll about five to ten points lower and that the economy is going nowhere, I can’t imagine that voters will give him votes at the ballot on par with approvals in Gallup polls.