Larry Bartels has written an interesting book, as this write-up shows. The differences between a future Democratic president and a Republican one are stark, just in potential economic prosperity:
Data for the whole period from 1948 to 2007, during which Republicans occupied the White House for 34 years and Democrats for 26, show average annual growth of real gross national product of 1.64 percent per capita under Republican presidents versus 2.78 percent under Democrats. That 1.14-point difference, if maintained for eight years, would yield 9.33 percent more income per person, which is a lot more than almost anyone can expect from a tax cut.
Over the entire 60-year period, income inequality trended substantially upward under Republican presidents but slightly downward under Democrats, thus accounting for the widening income gaps over all. And the bad news for America’s poor is that Republicans have won five of the seven elections going back to 1980.
The two Great Partisan Divides combine to suggest that, if history is a guide, an Obama victory in November would lead to faster economic growth with less inequality, while a McCain victory would lead to slower economic growth with more inequality. Which part of the Obama menu don’t you like?
My thoughts exactly.
It was reported yesterday that the Federal government was prepared to bail out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Between the two of them, they secure over $5 trillion in home loans. The two giants straddle the public/private divide in a way that I don’t think any other company does. The private side of the equation has, as we all have been forced to learn again, failed quite spectacularly. Well, the U.S. has seized Freddie and Fannie.
Fannie and Freddie have become virtually the only source of funding for banks and other home lenders looking to make home loans. Their ability to do so is crucial to the recovery of the battered home market and the broader U.S. economy.
Thanks to conservatives’ obsession with deregulation, American taxpayers have been forced to bail out Bear Stearns, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae. Elections do have consequences. The billions of dollars that taxpayers will fork over could have gone instead toward programs or policies that would have made us all more prosperous. Stop falling for the false images Republicans like to put on display during campaign season. It’s how they govern that matters.
The last two space shuttle missions of 2008 are being delayed by two days due to delays associated with Tropical Storms Fay and Hanna. Atlantis will now launch no earlier than October 10. An International Space Station mission will launch no earlier than November 12.
NASA’s Cassini mission has discovered ring arcs orbiting two of Saturn’s smaller moons. The partial rings extend ahead of and behind the moons Anthe and Methone. Cassini has helped scientists discover some amazing things during its mission so far.
Lake Erie could lose 1.5 feet of water to climate change by the end of the century. That might not sound like much, but for every inch less of water, ships have to carry 8,000 fewer tons of cargo. That has real economic impacts over the course of just one year. Can our economy withstand this and the countless other results of climate change?