Saturday, February 02, 2008

The coming recession

From The New York Times:

The nation’s employers eliminated 17,000 jobs in January, the government reported Friday, the first decline in the work force in more than four years, and the strongest signal yet that the United States may be in the early stages of a recession.

Politically, the job figures were particularly troubling for the Republican Party and President Bush, who had just this week responded to doubts about the economy by noting in his State of the Union address a 52-month streak of uninterrupted job growth. That streak ended last month.

The broad weakness in the job market, which affected many sectors, shows how the collapse of the housing bubble is rippling through the rest of the economy and suggests the likelihood of more pain for millions of American families in the months ahead from job losses, lower real wages and fewer working hours.

Citing the new jobs report, Mr. Bush — who was in Kansas City, Mo., on the third day of a trip that also took him to California, Nevada and Colorado — acknowledged that it provided “some troubling signs” that the economy was weakening.

A recession is two or more quarters of back-to-back negative economic growth. We have not reached that point yet, but probably will before the end of the year.

In a recession the best person to have in the White House is a person with an intimate understanding of the workings of the economy. A person who has massive experience in the private sector managing businesses through the ups and downs of the economy. In other words Mitt Romney.

However if the Republican nominee is not going to be a person with the knowledge and skills to guide the nation through the coming recession with as little loss and pain as possible but is rather to be an economically illiterate liberal then it would be better for the Republican Party and the nation if that economically illiterate liberal were Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama rather than John McCain.

That way the Democrat Party would get the blame and in two years when the nation wanted change they would elect Republicans to the House and Senate and in two more years they would elect a Republican to the White House.

That would give the Republican Party the best possible setup to retake the White House in 2012 and give a genuine conservative leader time to emerge from the battle to minimize the damage that Obama or Clinton could do to the nation.