HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Obama: measurements that ...

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 11:53 PM

 

Obama: measurements that best define his success (or failure)?

After almost three years in the job, I'd say:

1. Is the percentage of Americans in poverty increasing or decreasing?
2. Is the percentage of working-age Americans who are employed, full time, increasing or decreasing? Using this measure bypasses the skullduggery that's done with official unemployment figures.
3. Is the median wage rising faster than the true inflation rate, i.e., is the typical American's purchasing power increasing or decreasing?

What are your thoughts?

17 replies, 3227 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obama: measurements that best define his success (or failure)? (Original post)
MannyGoldstein Dec 2011 OP
babylonsister Dec 2011 #1
cthulu2016 Dec 2011 #2
MannyGoldstein Dec 2011 #3
cthulu2016 Dec 2011 #17
BootinUp Dec 2011 #4
MannyGoldstein Dec 2011 #5
BootinUp Dec 2011 #7
jaxx Dec 2011 #8
ClassWarrior Dec 2011 #11
jaxx Dec 2011 #13
cthulu2016 Dec 2011 #6
BootinUp Dec 2011 #9
cthulu2016 Dec 2011 #12
BootinUp Dec 2011 #15
Tierra_y_Libertad Dec 2011 #10
hfojvt Dec 2011 #14
Selatius Dec 2011 #16
SidDithers Dec 2011 #18
MannyGoldstein Dec 2011 #20
kenny blankenship Dec 2011 #19

Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 11:59 PM

1. He SUCKS! Why don't you provide how bad he's doing, with links? I know you have them.



, Manny!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:06 AM

2. Your metrics focus on direction

These things have both increased and decreased during the three years so a snapshot of today doesn't really tell us the quality of what was done during the three years.

Obama has done a poor job of understanding the crisis and adressing the crisis, but his opponant (McCain) was campaigning on a platform of bringing about the utter destruction of the global economy.

Compared to what almost anyone else would have done Obama gets an A- on the economy.

Compared to what the smartest guy in the room should have known, he gets a D.

No easy answer there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:10 AM

3. Your point is well taken, but

 

direction avoids the complication of arguing whether the hole was dug by previous administrations and Obama just hasn't dug us out yet. Three years in, we can't really blame *direction* on Bush.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 10:59 AM

17. I still blame direction on wages on Reagan

(A joke... but also true)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:13 AM

4. The smartest guy would have still had to wait for legislation to sign right?

In light of that I would probably say Obama gets a B. In fact we don't know what he really believes since he has to play politics.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BootinUp (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:22 AM

5. A leader's job is to lead.

 

No?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:29 AM

7. Its not a one sided equation. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:32 AM

8. There are three branches of government.

Article. I.
Section. 1.
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Article. II.
Section. 1.
The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Article III.
Section. 1.
The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.


Where does it say that the president is boss of the Congress? Or he rules the Supreme Court? This President is a great leader, not a dictator.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jaxx (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:44 AM

11. You're right. That's why I won't be volunteering for Obama this time around...

...the way I did in 2008. I'll be spending the lion's share of my time electing a very progressive individual to the U.S. Senate.

NGU.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ClassWarrior (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:50 AM

13. That's your choice.

Me, I'll be working to re-elect the President. I don't want a dictator in the White House.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BootinUp (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:27 AM

6. Yes, but the WH (Biden, Carney, Obama himself) have said they didn't get it

There has never been a public claim I know of that, "We understood the situation and understood that no legislation we suggested would actually be as effective as needed, but for political reasons we decided to not even propose what needed to be passed."

There have been public statements that "nobody knew" (A political term of art meaning "I didn't know" ) how bad the crisis was.

Are those statements themselves political? To some degree, sure.

But the real bottom line is that it doesn't much matter what people in power think in their heart of hearts because they the powerful are defined by real world manifestations.

Or, to put it more straightforwardly, as Biden says, "Show me your budget and I'll tell you your priorities."

There is no evidence I know of that the WH secretly wanted effective measures to deal with a crisis they understood.

That doesn't mean they didn't. Maybe they did. But it kind of doesn't matter what they felt inside if they never proposed or called for right answers. A president doesn't need a compliant congress to say, "This is the right answer and you should pass it."

They won't pass it, but there is great value to speaking the truth and having the right answer at least on the table. Being on the table counts, even if it won't pass. It elevates the visability of the right answer.

All of that said, I don't know that anyone who could have gotten elected in the first place would have done all that much better. It's not like we were alone. They pulled the same bone-headed shit in alost every first-world economy. Europe did as bad or worse. Lots of people "got it" but none of them had power.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:34 AM

9. I think that putting things on the table is still a political calculation. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BootinUp (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:44 AM

12. Absolutely. I agree.

It is unknown to what degree more effective measures were even considered, but assuming that the WH did not ask for things they knew wouldn't pass then to some degree a calculation was made that the downside of appearing weak was greater than the upside of being right and advancing the possibility of enhanced power/efficacy down the road.

This is why I lean toward believeing they honestly didn't get it. If they knew (as they should have known) that unemployment was going to go up a lot then it seems poltical malpractice to accept that inevitability quietly.

If you know it will happen and you are unable to prvent it then you would want to say, "Pass X or else Y." And then when Y happens at least you called it. And maybe then people rally to you. (Like they rallied to Churchill because he was famous for criticizing Chamberlain and warning abut the Nazis, despite not having had the power to implement what he thought.)

That's why I suspect they really didn't know. It all makes no political sense if they knew. And I KNOW that Obama is a good politician.

It is entirely possible that politicians, as a global class, were unable to understand what was obvious to others.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:57 AM

15. Its not really a question of being right.

If I have learned one thing about politics, its that being right is in the eye of the beholder. So the real question is how can you be most effective. The best way to measure or at least analyze effectiveness is probably through various historical comparisons. And is probably best left to the historians.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BootinUp (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:38 AM

10. Or, veto. Like he said he would veto the NDAA....oh, wait.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:51 AM

14. I think those are bad measures

1. the economy fell into a hole created by Republicans, we are still slowly climbing out of it

2. what is so great about working full time? Personally, I think I would be better off if I didn't have to. That's why millions of people play powerball, so they can win enough money to tell their boss "take this job and shove it"

3. I never trusted median as a measure. For example, if a person is making 1/2 of the median wage and the median goes up by 4% in real terms, that doesn't necessarily do a thing for him/her. Their wage does not necessarily follow the median. A rising median does not life all boats, it only means those in the 45th to 55th percentiles are moving up.


I judge the President more on effort than results. Is he, for example, fighting for the bottom 60%. Trying to pass proposals that will benefit us? Is he fighting RightWing talking points, or is he spreading them?

In both of those, I judge him to be an absolute failure. Not because of results, but because of effort.

This Republican house will not even pass a rightwing jobs bill, much less anything progressive, but it would be better if Obama at least proposed a progressive jobs bill and failed to pass it than proposing a rightwing jobs bill and succeeding in passing it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hfojvt (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 01:06 AM

16. As far as median income goes, it would be a better gauge in certain situations.

Median measurements as opposed to average measurements are less subject to being pulled one way or the other due to outlier samples.

For example, if you lived in a middle class neighborhood and Bill Gates moved in next door, all of a sudden average wages in the neighborhood for the year would skyrocket, whereas with median income for the year for that neighborhood, it would just change slightly; it depends upon the sample size of the participants involved.

Aside from that, I generally don't disagree with anything else in your post.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 11:03 AM

18. Don't forget that he also cut Social Security by 22%...nt

Sid

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SidDithers (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 05:55 PM

20. Obama only called for cuts to SS

 

Although according to Rep. Conyers he *demanded* cuts.

No matter, he was as successful at *that* as he was at getting a public option for health care.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Thu Dec 22, 2011, 11:53 AM

19. Remember context: financial collapse was best opportunity for Dems in 70 years

Last edited Thu Dec 22, 2011, 01:28 PM - Edit history (2)

By 2008, thanks to a tide of corruption scandals, a pair of unnecessary and disastrous wars dragging out and going sour for America, and also thanks epic tax cutting profligacy and banking fraud bringing on the total collapse of the financial system, it was at last in the power of the Democratic Party to rescind the Reagan Revolution and to convert the deep & wide discontent in this country into a new legislative & ideological landscape. Under the historical leadership of Barack Obama, they blew it completely, and sold out a chance the likes of which occurs only once in maybe 3 generations, like some crackhead pawning their family's heirloom jewelry for just enough dollars to stay high for a week. 70-75 years is a long time to wait for change, but that's about the interval between major changes in direction in this country's political history. That's about the interval from ratification of the Constitution to the beginning of the Civil War, and then from the Civil War to the New Deal, and from the New Deal to the crisis of 2008.

For 30+ years following the election of Ronald Reagan, Democrats have been promising they would govern for the ordinary people, in the tradition of their party, instead of catering to the rich as the Republicans do. In the atmosphere of general collapse prevailing in 2008, they'd been given the best chance they could ever ask for. It was up to them to deliver their voting constituencies from the predatory grasp of the Reagan (counter)Revolution. Obama and his party failed utterly. Delivering on Democratic Party rhetoric conflicted with their present source of income, and they punted. You must judge his failures against this background - against those stakes. Historians will.

So you ask for some numbers to judge the Obama years by, and I'll say the only ones of real interest are 75 and 30. Did Obama herald change and declare the end of the discredited Reagan Revolution, or did he thwart generational change and restore the Reagan Revolution's robber baron ascendancy?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread