The Norman Transcript


September 23, 2012

Job growth will take some time to recover

NORMAN — Editor, the Transcript:

Both sides in the campaign for the presidency this November emphasize the importance of jobs. In fact, the Republican nominee has claimed he will create 12 million new jobs if he’s elected.

No doubt that whomever is elected president this fall, job growth will slowly gain momentum. But the idea that the country will see 12 million new jobs seems highly dubious.

After all, when the Republicans had the White House for eight years under George W. Bush, the economy produced only about three million jobs (the worst job record of any administration since World War II).

Bush was in office, of course, during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. And the nation’s economy is still acutely suffering from that devastating event. 

In a recent effort to explain why the economy is so slow to recover, Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody Analytics, discussed the job situation in an interview with National Public Radio. Using a powerful and comprehensive computer model, he has estimated future job growth.

By manipulating his model to incorporate the most favorable future economic trends, over the next four years, Zandi’s model could not get a prediction of less than 5.2 percent unemployment. He was surprised that the predicted future job outlook was so bleak.

Zandi offered this explanation: “When you go through a really big, catastrophic recession, it’s not always possible to fix things ... We dug ourselves a huge hole. It’s gonna take a generation to get completely out of it.”

Two conclusions seem apt based on Zandi’s computer analysis. First, it’s clearly unreasonable to blame Obama for the country’s sluggish job growth. Second, why would informed voters want to return to the failed economic policies of the Bush administration?

And, that’s exactly what the Republicans will do if they’re successful in the upcoming election.



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