Ron Bischof: Dig a little deeper into economic reality

In Gary Horton’s column entitled “Setting the chains on transition,” published Dec. 13 in The Signal, he wrote: “Americans seem to be a frustratingly short-sighted bunch. Our collective memories have been impaired, perhaps by too much ‘Housewives of Beverly Hills,’ or Kardashians, or Juicy Carl’s Jr. commercials – or maybe it just started with Saturday morning cartoons.” From my perspective, a fairer representation of those whose opinions differ from your own is that reasonable, rational and intelligent people often disagree. Diversity of thought keeps our republic vibrant. “When Obama took office eight years ago, America was in its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. …” Well, yes. And Mr. Horton proceeds to reel off improved metrics from this very low baseline. However, understanding that presidents don’t run the economy, a more useful perspective is economic performance over a statistically relevant period. In fact, GDP growth has been atypically low when compared to previous U.S. recoveries from recession. Here’s the data by year: 2009: 2.8 percent 2010: 2.5 percent 2011: 1.6 percent 2012: 2.2 percent 2013: 1.5 percent 2014: 2.4 percent 2015: 2.4 percent For an expanded time frame of 1961-2015, access this link for an accurate perspective: data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG?locations=US More economic reality from CNBC: “Millennials cause homeownership rate to drop to lowest level since 1965.” www.cnbc.com/2016/07/28/millennials-cause-homeownership-rate-to-drop-to-lowest-level-since-1965.html Gallup reports this: U.S. economic confidence stuck at lower level. www.gallup.com/poll/193799/economic-confidence-stuck-lower-level.aspx A review of facts from these credible sources leads one to rationally conclude economic performance has been less than stellar over the last eight years. Citizens obviously didn’t vote for an “Obama third term” by electing Hillary Clinton. The intellectually curious should explore the real and substantive reasons they did not.

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