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Mitch Berg Still Trying to Rationalize The Data

Category: Economy
Posted: 12/03/12 17:15

by Dave Mindeman

I have been posting about how I believe that Minnesota business has little to fear from Democratic control of state government. Conservative blogger Mitch Berg has been arguing against that premise and I responded with a list of factual examples that respond to the point.

Well, he took issue with that as well.

His counter argument centers on this....

Again, as I pointed out, there was more to it than just the ?D? or the ?R? attached to the guy at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The ?Blizzard of Fact? completely dodges the important part ? all that inconvenient context. It merely piles data together to repeat a flawed thesis.

So Berg says to ignore the correlation between upticks in the economy under Democrats and downturns under Republicans. It's more about the broader economy.

So, if Presidents are not a factor in economic cycles, then why in the hell did the Republican Party make Obama's economic policy the entire focus of their campaign. They were so sure that Obama had made "the economy worse", to quote a certain Presidential candidate and his talking heads, that they geared their GOP Primary to find the candidate that could make the best economic case.

Why would that be if a President is simply subject to the macroeconomic picture?

And when I pointed out that corporate profits have skyrocketed with Obama as President, Berg counters with this....

Except it?s not because business is banging along on eight cylinders. It?s because businesses are sitting on their cash. They?re laying off workers, and outsourcing jobs. They are not investing in new plants, new products and new hires.

So these are the "job creators"? They would rather sit on their wealth and tank the economy than move the country forward?

Glad the Republicans take advice from these characters.

The insinuation is that business is waiting for a better "business climate". And what is that exactly? Is there a need for more workers? Unemployment says no. Better tax rates? If they have all this cash, why would they need tax cuts?

Well, maybe it is more demand? You know, people willing to buy their products and use their services. People who have not benefitted from the pro-business Republican dogma and policies. The vast majority of Americans who spur consumer spending and make the economy run.

Maybe that's what business is looking for.

But let's look at Berg's "bonus" questions.....

Why is Paul Krugman?s wet-dream state California floating toward the surface, its belly slowly rotating toward the sky, with a private sector that is leaving the state as fast as moving trucks can be secured?

California was the victim of the Republican "wet dream", Proposition 13....which has shackled California legislation for decades. And the idea that super majorities are required to pass tax legislation (another GOP "wet dream".) Now that California has formed Democratic super majorities, we shall see how the state can work.

Ditto Illinois, which seems, more than any other, to be the state the MN DFL most idolizes? It?s taxes are among the country?s highest, and its debt is out of control, and it is collapsing bit by bit.

Illinois is a state beset by state government corruption. Too many Democrats pursued personal advantages. Pat Quinn is the most unpopular governor in America; and he follows Rod Blagojevich. It is worth noting that Illinois has had more job growth than Walker's Wisconsin. Just saying.

Indeed, why are 9 of the 10 states with the lowest unemployment not only run by GOP governors, but have fundamentally GOP cultures ? while most of the worst performers are Democrat (or southern Republican, which have plenty of other problems that have little to do with politics)?

Since you want to me to look at the macroeconomics of things - you should as well. North Dakota, Wyomins, Oklahoma, Texas all have one major thing in common - large amounts of natural resources. If they were NOT doing well economically, those state governments would have to answer some serious questions. In a Forbes list of the 20 best run state governments, 10 are red and 10 are blue.

You say unemployment isn?t the sole arbiter of economic heath? OK ? how about business climate? Eight of Forbes? top ten states for business climate are Republican (and mostly the ones with the low unemployment). Eight of the bottom 10 are run by Democrats (Alaska is mostly Federal property and a hard place to do business; Mississippi is a basket case no matter who runs it).

Again, you want specifics for your "facts" and want my facts to respond to "macroeconomics". Business climate is an arbitrary gauge...especially coming from Forbes. It caters to business and what business wants. How about quality of life? Environmental quality? Any rating that takes in other factors has a balance of red and blue states.

Berg concludes his statements with pointing out that all of the major urban centers are run by Democratic mayors and that a number of those major cities are doing poorly -budgetarily speaking. Of course, he neglects to mention these large centers of state population still require disproportionate state services and, as demonstrated by the recently defeated MN Republican legislature, large swaths of urban aid cuts from such legislatures, follow state revenue problems.

As often happens with conservative bloggers, they just explain away the data and ignore what it says.

Berg and I will just have to agree to disagree about the "facts".
comments (1) permalink
12/04/12 11:02
I'm amazed that you even bothered to read the blabbering of a cave man like Mitch Berg.


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