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Discussion: (25 comments)

  1. rj chicago

    Fact’s do not enter into Obama’s view of the world. He only speaks in broad pejoratives and little else – a vacuous dummy mimicking the hand motions of his handlers.

  2. Joe Marinaro

    Thank you Mr. P.!

  3. America’s pro-market turn some three decades ago reversed what then seemed like unstoppable national decline

    That is not supportable in the broadest sense. Take the midpoint of the 1945-2013 period. Hasn’t GDP per capita been lower in the 1980-2013 period than in the 1945-1979 period?

    1. John Pamlico

      There is a tiny confounding variable you are overlooking. 1945-1979 contained the post WW2 economic boom years. Every major industrial center in the world outside of North America had been destroyed and took many years to recover. The US/Canada was essentially the only gig in town and we reaped considerable benefits in economic growth.

      1. The “tiny confounding variable” is not supported by the 1960-1980 data. If you have data for 1945-1960 show it. I think that it contradicts your position.

        1. John Pamlico

          Right, 15 years post war recovering economies are picking up speed and US growth rate is not as dynamic. You indexed to that time period (’60-’80) showing growth in real gdp per capita over that period which fails to articulate the lead the US had in actual value of GDP per capita. Now show me a graph with real gdp per capita from the next 20 year period indexed to January 1st, 1980. Venture a guess which of the two periods is going to contain greater US growth rate? Which of the three nations will have experienced the greater growth from 1980-2000?

          1. Right, 15 years post war recovering economies are picking up speed and US growth rate is not as dynamic.

            There is more rapid growth rate convergence from 1945-1960 than 1960-1980 in the ruined economies, so what? And what does it have to do with the decline in U.S. per capita growth rates post-1980? You are going far afield. Jimmy P’s bottom line is bull.

            The linked FRED graph is interactive. Plug and play! Add in Japan for good measure.

            Venture a guess which of the two periods is going to contain greater US growth rate?


          2. John Pamlico

            Ok, I’m going to use your new time period to compare US to French per capita GDP. In 1960, French GDP per capita was ~64% of US GDP per capita. In 1980 it had risen to ~82% of US GDP per capita. Clearly outgrowing the US during that time period.

            The US decided to embrace “pro-market” policies in the late 70’s, France did not. Today French GDP is down to ~73% of US GDP per capita. If his bottom line is bull, please reconcile this for me.

          3. U.S. per capita GDP was cumulatively 8.3 percentage points (~40 basis points per year) higher in the 1960-1980 period than in the 1980-2000 period. “[R]evers[ing] what then seemed like unstoppable national decline” is just rhetorical bull.

            please reconcile this for me. Please reconcile Japan which went from 66% to 71%.

          4. John Pamlico

            Japan’s economic stagnation has contributed to it’s falling birthrate and aging population. It will be facing labor shortages within the next generation. This reality means Japan’s PER CAPITA GDP is masking ground lost in TOTAL GDP. Numbers which you have failed to provide.

            There is my response for Japan. I am still waiting for your reply regarding France.

          5. Annual hours worked. The French prefer more leisure to work than Americans. But France output per hour rose from 88% to 95% relative to the U.S. from 1980-2011.

          6. John Pamlico

            France’s employment percentage has decreased over that time period while the US’s has increased. The US has added marginal workers to the labor force who have decreased productivity, and still outpacing France on per capita GDP.

            To clarify, your position is that in the 32 years from 1979-2011, the French culture collectively decided to emphasize leisure to the extent that they decreased working hours by 18.2% (1804 down to 1476) over that ~30 year time period? And that this decrease is due to valuing leisure and not factor’s such as France’s high unemployment rate, earlier retirement age, etc?

          7. Yes, and Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands and even the “Thatcherite” U.K. Germany moved from 81% to 91% output per hour relative to the U.S.

            Get over your U.S. centricity. There are many Americans, like Jimmy P, who “snooze” at their desks dreaming about their leisure time. Workers in other countries just do it.

            I still wait with baited breath for an intelligent response to the fundamental “unstoppable national decline” bottom line bull.

            For every right wing think tank, there is a left wing think tank. Neither is dispositive.

          8. John Pamlico

            Wow you are all over the place. It helps when you keep moving the goal post and switching nations/time periods/etc. every single post to avoid getting pinned down on your inaccurate theories.

            How healthy are the economies of Spain and Italy right now? You think a 10% relative increase in productivity level is worth 20% unemployment? That certainly is a lot of leisure time. Enjoy a full time siesta!

            What about the continual decrease in German’s gross fixed investment? Or the fact that their 25-34 age group has fewer higher education qualifications than the preceding generation, virtually unheard of in a modern (healthy) economy? Time marches on as they say…

            There is a reason the term is “eurosclerosis” not “francosclerosis”. Productivity per worker might have increased relative to US, but the fact remains that the eurozone as a whole suffers from high unemployment (fewer workers), lower birthrate (fewer future workers), an aging workforce (hence higher productivity), lower per captia gdp, and lower median income under policies the US avoided.

          9. John Pamlico

            And there you have it.

        2. John, in the debate (?) which follows between you and marmico, you have confirmed my assertion that arguing with a fool proves nothing. I declare you winner by reason of logic, factual evidence and wit.

          1. Well, so the debate preceded. Not within my control.

  4. Todd Mason

    Mr. P critiques “Obama’s revisionist history and one sided, black-and-white partisan analysis.”

    Short version: Contradicts Mr P’s revisionist history and one sided, black-and-white partisan analysis.

  5. Who cares what he has to say? This is all misdirection. The Obamacare meltdown is the real story. This is just noise. When the Right starts talking about inequality in response to a speech he gives, we’re falling right into his hands. Don’t take the bait. Keep up the heat on the OBAMAcare fiasco.

  6. Obama is a Marxist.
    Economic improvement will not occur as long as this nincompoop is in charge.

  7. Trekbiker6500

    To address the inequality, we have to learn the proximate cause of it. Otherwise, any “remedy” will be a forlorn hope. I doubt that the man has the intellectual honesty to follow facts where they lead. Demagoguery is more his line. So, if he gets his way it will be more of the same, and greater inequality still. With the blame heaped upon the “free market.”

    1. Hope And Change

      Mr. Obama promised “hope and change”. His hope was to have changed America by the end of his time as President. The change was the end of European-White, Christian America as it was founded and prospered. Personal criticisms of him notwithstanding, he is realizing his hope; the change has begun (

  8. Debbies21

    Decreasing mobility is because of the eze of the cars. I grew up with see the USA in your Chevrolet, who wants to do that in a volt or a smart car.

  9. The whole point of “income inequality” is to use the term as a rhetorical device to bring in scapegoatism, envy and class warfare without more overtly embracing these ideas. It’s a scam. He wants his low information supporters to point fingers and blame others rather than look squarely at his failed policies. Unemployment isn’t caused by some guy starting a software company and making billions. Runaway taxes and federal spending aren’t caused by that either. They are however a reflection of the president’s policy choices. So having failed economically, the president needs a distraction. That’s what “income inequality is. The issue should not be if someone has more than I do. Rather it has to be if I am better off and can achieve a decent standard of living. And we know the general answer to that question under this administration. What does the “big house on the hill” have to do with my life and my economic well-being? But that’s what Obama wants, for you to blame your unemployment, your high taxes, your personal debt on the shadowy figures in the big house on the hill. It’s dishonest and irresponsible. Standard practice for the blame everyone but me president.

  10. Freedom Or Equality

    “For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies.” – Will Durant (1885-1981)

    Obama’s criticism is correct concerning the current state of economic inequality in America. His solutions are incorrect.

    The independent variables generating political, economic, and social behaviors the consequence of which is a counter-productive level of economic inequality are not singular but multiple. No single-minded plan, such as raising the problematic minimal wage, will resolve the situation-in-question. Only a comprehensive approach scientifically-based and scientifically-driven can fulfill goals agreeable to most rational, well-intentioned people. Fortunately, such an approach already is available (

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