Imagine you had just been diagnosed with a rare and debilitating disease. Defining rare, there have been only 14 previous cases. Still, there are two medical treatments that have been tried on those 14.
Here are the results:
OK, I’m sure you guessed that this wasn’t about medicine, unless you agree that our economy is sick and needs treatment. But what treatment?
I’ve been debating with some of my libertarian friends what I think is the folly of their preferred course of treatment, and utterly stunned that the political debate seems to be leaning toward letting the same crew that screwed up so badly have their hands on the economic controls yet again.
This chart came from the web site set up by two enterprising people who are busy combing through the data on the US economy over the past 14 Presidents.
They’re looking at what happened with unemployment, recessions, tax policies, and yes, even whether each President had his own party or the opposition controlling Congress at the time. They’re also looking at lagged effects, as another chart in today’s blog post shows:
I’m so impressed with people willing to look at the facts without the filter of pre-conceived notions that I’ve included a link to their blog on the main page (right hand column).
From the blog post today, a paragraph that shows how unconventional a reality-based review of our economy might be:
“Notice… administrations that cut the tax burden early saw mediocre increases in private investment later. On the other hand, administrations that started out by increasing the tax burden enjoyed big increases in private investment in the remainder of their term. This is yet another instance where real world results contradict just about everything that standard economic theory teaches, particularly the Chicago School, Austrian, and Libertarian variety. And sadly, that theory has so permeated our collective thought processes that it has come to be referred to as “common sense.” Just as it was common sense at one point that the earth was flat, and the center of the universe.”
Let’s get out of our mental straightjackets and get out of those two party ideological boxes while we’re at it.