Our "So-Called" Leader

The trouble with Obama's State of the Union

Of the many tall tales spun by President Barack Obama during the State of the Union address this week, there is one—and perhaps only one—that most Americans believe to be true.

The old yarn goes something like this: A long time ago, the United States was an economic powerhouse. We built things with our hands and worked in factories, and we loved it.

Our recent prosperity, on the other hand, was built on a house of cards—intellectual innovation, risk, freewheeling markets, and international trade—and was nothing more than an illusion.

"We can't afford another so-called economic 'expansion' like the one from the last decade—what some call the 'lost decade,'" Obama explained. The president went on to promise he will do all he can to stop any pesky so-called "expansions" in the future. And I believe him.

A recent poll shows that Obama is not alone in his aversion to the 2000s. According to a Pew Research Center poll, more than 50 percent of Americans hold a negative view of the decade. Yet the 2000s, like previous decades, were, by nearly any measure—be it health, standard of living, the environment, or technology—a success.

The average unemployment rate during this "lost decade"—which included one of those unfortunate man-made disasters, to the country's financial center—was 5.6 percent. One would think that the president—a man who believes a "jobs" bill that only saw unemployment go from nearly 8 percent to more than 10 percent was a wild success—would be sort of impressed.

No. Obama tells us a real economic expansion will be based on legitimate, tangible economic drivers, such as high-speed rail systems no one wants and government-subsidized "clean energy" nobody uses. (Trains and windmills? Could the ox-yoke-and-millstone sector be far behind?)

Which suckers are going to buy our solar panels? Free suckers, that's who. According to Freedom House—a group that measures political rights and civil liberties around the world—during the "lost decade," the percentage of the world's population living in freedom climbed from 35 percent to nearly 46 percent. Leading the way was China.

So whom did the president single out for populist scorn during his State of the Union speech? Not Iran. Not Saudi Arabia. Not Venezuela. That, I suspect, would be counterproductive and inflammatory. We're not haters. No, it was China, our second-leading trade partner.

Now, I'm not suggesting that the president prostrate himself in front of any Red Chinese tyrants—though chances are he will—only that he understand it's free trade that brings peace to nations.

China is headed in the right direction, but our lot in life hasn't been dreadful, either. Our "so-called" prosperity helped survival rates for cancer patients rise and deaths caused by HIV and AIDS decrease. Life expectancy in the United States—even while we welcomed immigrants from the poorest of nations—increased from 77 to 78.5 last decade, matching the percentage growth of the '90s.

Meanwhile, teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. have declined dramatically, and higher education enrollment has exploded, with 40 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 24 enrolled in college. Our "so-called" prosperity saw the gross domestic product rise from $9.7 trillion to $14 trillion last decade.

Still, the Pew poll shows that 50 percent of Americans believe the 2000s were a real downer, whereas only 16 percent of them think the same of the '70s. The '70s! I suppose that because there is a good chance most of us will be reliving that wondrous decade in the coming years, those poll numbers might change.

None of this is to say we don't have many genuine problems to deal with. Yet with all our tribulations, during the past 60 or so years (including the past 10) we have seen, in a historical context, unrivaled prosperity. Moreover, it's prosperity that's real.

As always, the state of the union will be just fine—if only our so-called leaders in Washington would let it be.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his Web site at www.DavidHarsanyi.com.

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  • Old Mexican||

    But as David Harsanyi notes, Obama’s idea of “expansion” includes high-speed rail systems no one wants and government-subsidized "clean energy" nobody uses.

    Not to mention all the other government "services" nobody requested or desired, like driver's licenses or any other sort of hindrances for which the government extorts money from victims, just for being alive or for exercising their careers or freedoms.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Not to mention all the other government "services" nobody requested or desired, like driver's licenses or any other sort of hindrances for which the government extorts money from victims, just for being alive or for exercising their careers or freedoms.


    The licensing of drivers on public roads is a legitimate function of government, and is something that should be done.

  • Suki||

    Statist!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Michael Ejercito,

    The licensing of drivers on public roads is a legitimate function of government, and is something that should be done.

    You're begging the question. You're pretty much saying the state licenses because it has to license.

    If a road is PUBLIC, then the State has NO right to license you to allow you to use it, since that violates the principle of equality under the law - either the road is PUBLIC (i.e. owned by everyone alive) or it is not. If the State simply said that the road is the State's and not really public, then that would make their licensing racket more legitimate (or at least consistent). It would certainly not sit well with the citizens, but at least it would be closer to the truth. In that case the question becomes - what gives the State the right to possess property?

  • Suki||

    OM,

    Name calling with the right name is way shorter ;)

  • The Gobbler||

    "If a road is PUBLIC, then the State has NO right to license you to allow you to use it, since that violates the principle of equality under the law - either the road is PUBLIC (i.e. owned by everyone alive) or it is not."

    No. You can walk down a public road. Nothing stopping ya.

  • Tony S||

    Your not allowed to walk or ride your bike on many interstates, and the ones you can they still make you wear pants which is bullshit.

  • Chicago S. Zombie||

    That's just 'cause you don't look like Lobster Girl.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Dam Squirrell All To HELL! Two Lobster Girl links in a row (!!!) intercepted as SPAM?

    Reason is in the pocket of pay-for-big-side-boob.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Trying this again, attached to this comment. Lobster Girl link below, maybe.

  • John Tagliaferro||

  • cmace||

    "If a road is PUBLIC, then the State has NO right to license you to allow you to use it..."

    The owners of the property have the right to regulate its use. In this case its the state. This is why state ownership of propery must be limited.

  • ||

    Just as the licensing of workers in public automobile factories and licensing the workers on public farms is a legitimate function.

  • ||

    The state governments handle driver licensing, not the federal government. You don't have a right to operate a motor vehicle on a public road if you lack at least the most basic necessary knowledge and skills to not be a danger to others. Whereas you may claim you have as much right to drive as anybody else, regardless of licensing, everyone else can also claim they have the right to not be put at additional risk by inexperienced, potentially hazardous drivers.

    If you can convince enough people in your state that they can feel safe driving around without any assurance that the other drivers have, at least at one point in time, demonstrated they do have the necessary knowledge and skills to not be a danger to others then I'm sure you'll have no problem starting a petition to repeal your state government's licensing laws.

    But do you really think the majority of your fellow citizens would agree its in their own best interest to repeal driver license laws? I highly doubt it.

  • ||

    All I knows is that there was a girl named Faith that I went to High School with and she was dumber than a box of rocks. When she turned 16 she was in the same Drivers Ed class and me. Every time it was her turn to drive I thought I was going to die. I don't know how she so consistently kept the car out of control, but she managed. After finishing the class she took her driver's test at the BMV three times, she failed every time and as far as I know never got her license.

  • joeschmo||

    Good day ladies.

    What are the libertarians foaming at the mouth over this fine afternoon.

    OHH, it's our so-called leader Obama.

    Obama bad.....Rhyme with Osama......Not a citizen even.....What's our constitution say about this negro?.......What would our founding fathers say?......Let's get wiji board and find out.....

  • Mike Laursen||

    Jesus, it's like we're going to have to start a trolling training program or something just to get trolls halfway worth responding to.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    High speed trolls, that is what our country needs.

    We can't let other countries like Japan or Europe develop high speed trolls while we lag behind.

    Invest in them right now.

  • Zenmaster||

    I'm sure the gov't has subsidies for that.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Joeschmo,

    What's our constitution say about this negro?

    I recall that it was a woefully UNlibertarian senator who used the word negro to describe the current president.

  • Suki||

    If he had a D behind his name he is licensed to use those terms freely.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    +1

  • Thorbie||

    Haven't you heard the spin...i mean rational analysis of his comments. Harry Reid clearly was using racism in favor of Obama becoming President. That makes it ok. Al Sharpton said so.

  • RichN||

    Harry Reid is a maroon and President Obama is a mulatto.

  • SP(?)||

    I'm guessing you meant *ouiga* board, perhaps?

  • ||

  • ||

    No he was right, the "wiji" board conjures spirits using a wireless remote that responds to the player's movements...I think Nintendo makes it...

  • Chicago S. Zombie||

    That would be wiiji.

    Spelling is important.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Not on this board.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Not on this board bored.

    Better.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Win.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Unfortunately, joe, Obama is a citizen.

  • Soonerliberty||

    When the sheeple baa, they baa in unison. Perhaps you're onto something. Maybe the government uses a ouija board to come up with its tax codes and regulations. There really is no other way to explain the absolute idiocy that comes from the people Joeschmoes vote for, well except that Joeschmoes actually believe that. What was that? Is Joeschmo baaing? He must be, because the great sheep is baaing him onward towards hope and change . . .

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And joe goes for the race card. Not surprising.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    That's like the Wild Joker for the Leftists.

  • ||

    I'd like to put this myth to an end, once and for all. Obama is not the first black president. George W. Bush was. That's right, he was a black man.

  • Suki||

    No PL, Bill Clinton was. Did you forget to take the red pill today?

  • ||

    No, no, no. That was a metaphor. I'm talking reality.

  • Suki||

    PL,

    Just because he didn't know what an automatic checkout machine was does NOT make him Black!

    His car was really shiny though. Might be something there.

  • Dr. Gonzo||

    As your attorney, I advise you to take a hit out of the little brown bottle in my shaving kit. You won't need much, just a tiny taste.

  • ||

    I think Bill Clinton was in many ways much more "black" than Obama. Bill Clinton grew up in the rural south. I think he understood and appreciated African American culture. That is why he connected so well with black voters.

    Obama in contrast is half black but he is half African not half African American. There is a huge cultural difference between African expats and native black people. Obama grew up with a white family from Kansas in lilly white and Asian Hawaii. He then went to mostly white high end colleges. He really isn't that culturally "black".

  • The Gobbler||

    Except when he wants to be.

  • ||

    Why is everyone in denial about Bush?

  • ||

    i thought TJ was the first?

  • John Tagliaferro||

    You must be young. Either LBJ or FDR was the first Black president. They were recorder saying nigger more than all the rest combined.

  • Suki||

    But he was oppressed. So oppressed that he threw grandma under the bus when he needed an example of white racism in his life.

  • ||

    I think our last three Presidents have all been a bit loopy because tehy all have a daddy didn't love me I have something to prove complex. Clinton's dad was a drunken bum. Bush grew up as the screw up son of a demanding and incredibly successful father. You know Jeb was a little suck up dudley do right growing up while George was out partying.

    But Obama is the worst of the three. His dad was a American hating communist deadbeat. Here is this African communist who marries a white girl from Kansas in the early 60s. Needless to say that created some tension in the house. Then hits the road and leaves his son to be raised by his white grand parents. I can't imagine what it must have been growing up as the half black result of the household dingbat marrying a black communist. I think Obama reacted by embracing his father and his "dreams" and that has pretty much driven ever since and much to the country's detriment.

  • Maxwell||

    Hawaii is "lilly white"? Ever been there?

  • ||

    I didn't say it was "lilly white" I said it was "lilly white and asian (and native for that matter). Not everyone is white but damn few people are black.

  • Maxwell||

    Except for Schofield Barracks. I get your point; Hawaii is not the south side of Chicago, and I find it hard to believe he ever really fit in among mainland blacks. But I feel it's my duty to defend my homeland against anyone who makes it sound like Iowa or Connecticut.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Fitting in among mainland Blacks would have denied Him His destany.

  • ||

    I think Bill Clinton was in many ways much more "black" than Obama.

    That strikes me as a rather nasty swipe at black people.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Yes, there is a huge myth that racial issues (such as they are) in this country having very much to do at all with race. Race is a convenient red herring that serves the agenda of certain folks.

  • ||

    Please ignore the halfassedness of the sentence at the start. it should be "have" and not "having".

  • Yo' Mama!||

    No, Bush was the first Jewish President. I offer the following evidence:

    1. The anti-semitic nutjobs over at LewRockwell.com all hate his guts because he supports Israel.

    2. Every leftist nutjob hates his guts for supporting Israel too.

    3. Moreover, his enemies were always comparing him to Hitler and his administration to the Holocaust, just as they always compare a Jewish state to a Nazi regime.

    4. Enemies on both ends of the spectrum are always accusing Bush of being part of some shady "bankers' conspiracy" just as they always do to the Jews.

    5. The aforementioned accusations notwithstanding, many of Bush's most rabid haters are also Holocaust deniers.

    6. Like many Jews, Bush hardly ever fought back against this constant demonization, preferring to go it alone against all the hate-filled fools in the world when necessary.

    7. He let all his evil enemies hate him so long as they feared him, just as Israel does to all the evil regimes that hate it.

    8. His enemies always cried racism against everything he did, just as they always do to the Jews.

    9. The rabidly anti-semitic dictators Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Amadinejad, and Manuel Zelaya all hate his guts.

    10. He has virtually every one of his enemies--both individual and collective--in common with the Jews, in fact.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you George W. Bush: America's first Jewish President.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    +2

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    Ben Stein, is that you?

  • OMG||

    Neocon!

  • Thorbie||

    Also everyone knows that Bush caused 9/11 and also that the Joos caused 9/11. So therefore the only way those two completely rational theories can make sense is if Bush was jooish.

  • Suki||

    But as David Harsanyi notes, Obama’s idea of “expansion” includes high-speed rail systems no one wants and government-subsidized "clean energy" nobody uses.

    If all you stupid ignorant people fine citizens would just start demanding more of what the government gives you then it will become viable! Can't you see? If more people want it it will be in demand.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    The single biggest factor that might make high speed trains economically feasible? The TSA ruining air travel.

    The TSA has added so much aggravation at the airport, that a high speed train between Minneapolis and Chicago has a chance of being competitive time-wise.

    Think of that, a 1-hour flight tops vs. a 5 1/2 hour train ride end up being about the same when you consider security at the airports.

  • The Gobbler||

    You think their gonna let you on these trains any easier than they do a jet?

  • Ska||

    They do at Amtrak, so yeah. Until somebody sets their pecker on fire in the quiet car.

  • The Gobbler||

    It's called mission creep. Soon, trains will be no different.

  • ||

    My electric company is actually trying this. You can get standard power generation rates (only 5% wind power) or pay 30% more for the 90% wind power plan. Works a lot like a government initiative, except that they can make you pay for it...

  • ||

    Obama’s idea of “expansion” includes high-speed rail systems no one wants

    A statewide survey of 800 registered voters shows that 67 percent of Bay Area residents plan to vote “yes” on a $9.9 billion high-speed rail bond in November, an approval rating higher than any other California region.

    Statewide, 58 percent of voters approved of the bond measure, and 61 percent said “yes” in the Los Angeles and San Joaquin areas, the study said.

  • LarryA||

    Did a survey like that in San Antonio, back in the day. Everyone wanted a public bus system. So it got built.

    No one rode it.

    SA went back and redid the survey. Turns out everyone wanted buses so other folks would ride them and the streets would be easier to drive on.

  • ||

    That's why I want more hybrids, so liberals can keep gas prices low and I can drive around by myself in my SUV, wantonly spewing carbon by the ton as I cruise along...

  • EJ||

    Theres a difference between someone voting for the government to spend someone elses money on something (no personal cost... only personal benifit) and that person actually spending their own money on a ticket and actually using the thing (add in personal cost). Let's see if this thing gets built if enoug people are willing to pay a highe nough proce for the thing to be sustainable. I doubt it. Personally, the notion of a high speed train is great... but am I willing to spend $150 to ride it when i can drive or take a $20 bus ticket? Nope.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Statewide, 58 percent of voters approved of the bond measure, and 61 percent said “yes” in the Los Angeles and San Joaquin areas, the study said.


    How many of them will actually ride the train, as opposed to flying or even just using a bus or a car.

    Will a train ticket be cheaper than a bus ticket? Or even an airline ticket?

  • ||

    Obama, the more cowbell President. There is nothing that can't be solved if we just add more Obama to it.

  • ||

    Heh.

  • ||

    Fair enough, Davebo

    Obama’s idea of “expansion” includes high-speed rail systems no everyone wants someone else, and future generations, to pay for

  • ||

    Legal marijuana is not a "green jobs initiative".

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Oddly enough your right. But only cause weed is, well, a weed. It's so easy to grow that few people will be able to make a profit growing it commercially. Think boutique varieties, not quarter section fields and combine harvesters.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Punctuation. Correct usage. Who needs 'em?

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Sure it is! All of those organic hippy freeks will be out there trying to grow it without hydro or any of the other modern techniques but they will be getting stimulus checks for dicking up their weed farms.

  • Kroneborge||

    The 2000's sucked because all that "growth" was really just consumption based on borrowed money that was based on growth(inflation) in home prices.

    How we know (although many people warned before) that the Emporer had no clothes.

    You can't consume your way to prosperity. Which is what we tried to do.

    So yes despite some other improvements the 2000's were a waste.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Growth is the pat of the price increase minus the inflation.

    Otherwise, you are an oracle.

  • OMG||

    We can't consume our way to growth … but the government will "invest" our way into it.

    I see

  • ||

    "with 40 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 24 enrolled in college. "

    Thanks to state intervention, no? One would expect people writing for a libertarian magazine to know better.

  • J||

    Yes, like David praising the environment in the 2000s, while I guess forgetting that most of it was enforced by the EPA and other public and private environmental organizations upholding government legislation. It must slip his mind that he vehemently opposes environmental policy and then tells us about it on a weekly basis. Then he praises the results of the efforts of others which, no doubt, he opposed. His target audience can resume eating crayons now.

  • Peter Pan J||

    Crediting the EPA for the clean air,
    that had always been there.

    Crediting the EPA for the drinking water,
    Check the funding,
    That too is a non starter.

  • Kroneborge||

    umm, the clean air and water might have been there long ago, but people have done a pretty good job of fucking that up.

    It's only reasonable that we take some responsbility for our actions and try and clean up for ourselves.

  • ||

    I didn't get the impression so much that he was praising it, but rather using these things as examples of indicators by which society would normally measure its success. More people in higher education, for example, looks like a positive indicator on a spreadsheet. How it is achieved and the consequences thereof, however, are deeper issues that reveal the truth behind the indicator and whether or not it is actually praiseworthy.

    This article would have to have been a lot longer and quite unfocused to bring up all the "buts" that would go along with the indicators.

  • J||

    "Yet the 2000s, like previous decades, were, by nearly any measure—be it health, standard of living, the environment, or technology—a success."

    Yes, our health care system rocked, our economy was healthy, our foreign policies were successful. Bush was the best president ever!!! David is brilliant!

  • ||

    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage. – Alexander Tyler

  • ||

    Of course, option B is to vote for people that allow for actual prosperity, thereby creating a whole lot of "haves" who suddenly find themselves unwilling to part with the fruits of their labor. There used to be a country like that....

  • Beelzebud||

    Maybe we can all get jobs writing for non-profit groups.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    I have an intern position open for indexing my book series, but I can tell by your handle you do not qualify.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Did a survey like that in San Antonio, back in the day. Everyone wanted a public bus system. So it got built.

    No one rode it.

    Once or twice, when personal transportation was going to be hard to arrange, I tried to make the VIA timetable work out for me. It didn't go near anywhere I wanted to go, and if you expanded the meaning of "near" beyond all reason, it still didn't leave or arrive at helpful times and took roughly five times as long as driving.

    No one uses a system like that by choice.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Two spam filterings in a row for trying to link to Lobster Girl!

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Of course. Pingback can post. Spambot can post. But Lobester Girl links are spam.

  • Almanian||

    Are the troll shields broken or something? It's more-irritating than normal at Reason tonight.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Trolls? I lost them in the noise of the regulars.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Fuck this shit.

  • ||

    See ya fool!

  • Patriot Henry||

    "Moreover, it's prosperity that's real."

    No it's not. Debt has paid for an awful lot of this prosperity, which actually means it is still being paid off - and the vast majority of the goods acquired is crap quality at best. Meanwhile taxes + governments have grown and now the consequences of the mess the governments have created is going to kill (in time) our economy, aided by the further expansion and additions to the mess.

    So long as one ignores the quality and debt aspects then it might not be such a bad picture. Examine the health of a great many businesses and it's not so rosy. The service industry does suck - far too many owners insist on screwing their employees, their customers, and ultimately themselves in order to enjoy their small minded short sighted power trip. Initiative is ignored, competence is feared, and personal preferences are substituted for customer service.

    If the prosperity is real - then it won't dissipate leaving a broken nation filled with confused desperate people living in poverty amongst enormous piles of broken "Made in China" plastic crap wondering what the hell happened.

    "higher education enrollment has exploded, with 40 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 24 enrolled in college. Our "so-called" prosperity saw the gross domestic product rise from $9.7 trillion to $14 trillion last decade."

    Yes, if you lower the standards for "higher education", and then lower them some more, and then again and again before getting rid of all but the most superficial of standards and ignore those in many cases, then you can have increased "higher education", in which the masses of morons and average folks spend huge sums of money and go even further into debt in order to get pieces of paper which certify them as having no useful skills. And if you inflate the currency and grow the government and federal debt you can grow the GDP. These are two fine ways to build the facade of prosperity, long cherished and oft used by the State. My question is why the hell is Reason so proudly Statist?

  • ||

    Mr. Harsanyi does not reside in reality. In 2008 alone the US lost 10.2 trillion dollars of wealth, 1/5 of the entire world's GDP, over 3.3 billion dollars in home values alone. Of course the wealth built in the 2000's was an illusion.
    As for the "faux recovery", if not for the bailout and stimulus package the US unemployment rate would be greater than 25%. And not to burst Mr. Harsanyi's delusional ballon, the GDP grew by 5.7% 4th qtr '09. Thank God people like Mr. Harsanyi are not making the decisions like they were the last 10 years or we'd be in some real big trouble.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    And Obamasiah saved or created 23 BILLION jobs!

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    And when He sends forth the edict raising taxes and energy prices, He will save or create 1.7 trillion new jobs.

  • ||

    And Bush lost millions upon millions of jobs in less than one year's time. Glad to see the nuts come out of hiding as soon as there is a Democrat in the White House, where we're you from 2001-2007. Great to have you back.

  • Chris||

    "...if not for the bailout and stimulus package the US unemployment rate would be greater than 25%."

    Citation or explanation please.

  • ||

    Goldman Sach's. They also reported the overall revenues to be down 25% for 08-10. Henry Paulson didn't pull that number out of his ass, it came from his boys at Goldman

  • ||

    Did you pull that 25% out of thin air or were you citing the one Paulson pulled it out of thin air?

  • Thorbie||

    Why would the treasury secretary pull a number out of thin air? Next thing you're going to tell me they pulled that $800 billion bailout number out of thin air too. lol.

  • RM||

    Which is why we were doing fine for the first 7 years of Bush's reign, right?

  • OMG||

    GDP in the 3rd Quarter grew by 3.5% … until it grew by 2.5% and then finally 2.2%. There has been a disturbing trend lately of statistics that overestimate in the initial release and then, 9 out of 10, are revised downward. I don't necessarily think this is nefarious, 2008 was SO screwed up that it skews results when you pop the data into a normal ARIMA seasonality model.

    Just saying that I would reserve judgment for the final numbers. Also, a large percentage of the growth was a slow down in reduction of inventories. While this is "growth", in terms of quality and sustainability, it is no better than the faux growth of the 00's that resulted from spending borrowed money.

  • OMG||

    I take part of the comment back, the numbers were year over year, so they wouldn't be deseasonalized. However, celebrating that you are x% higher than the worst quarter of economic contraction since the great depression is like celebrating that, although your house burned down, you managed to save your hat.

  • Money Reasons||

    Well, I won't worry to much about Obama and the rest of the very liberal democrats (blue dog democrates are okay in my book)... We, common sense american have finally waken up!

    No more slick willy 2 for us...

  • ||

    Hey all you Progressives and/or liberals. How about signing this petition and show us your intelligence. The Obama administration is doing it to us right now and you are supporting him so I guess you can support this petition.

    http://therealrevo.com/blog/?p=19737

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    This ankle boot is made from classic black suede on the upper; and so as to make it look even wilder, the leopard-print on the fold-over cuff comes in pony skin.Wear this Christian Louboutin 100 Suede Ankle Boots with your body-con dress for an instant wild and chic sophisticated look all night.

  • minimalist||

    I'm no fan of Obama's policies, nor of George Bush. I personally do not have good memories of the 2000s. It was the decade in which I lost most of the savings/investment I'd built up. It was the decade the economy pushed me out of a decent job. Real prosperity? Bah! All the gains I made turned to nothing.

  • OMG||

    Well, I don't love the 00's, but it was a damn good decade if you could see the nonsense through the fog and take appropriate actions.

  • OMG||

    when your new next door neighbor has paid double for the condo that you bought 2 years earlier, drives a Lincoln Navigator and is a janitor (who prided himself on getting a zero down loan) - well, I'd say that is a red flag that there was a huge credit induced boom. That's when my wife and I decided to sell our condo and put our money in cash.

  • tm_reasonable||

  • Todd||

    The 2000's were horrendous to me personally. The tech sector dried up to the point I had to return to school in the hopes of finding a new career. Lost virtually every penny I've ever had.

    I've finally got most of my bills paid (aside from back taxes on stock options that were worthless than the taxes on them) and have finished college (still need my teaching credentials though) so things are looking moderately better. However with government spending like it is, I suspect the next ten years will be just as brutal, regardless of career choice.

    I keep hearing from people how great the 2000's were to them and the common thread appears to be that they did well in the stock market or some other inflated bubble like housing. I knew someone that bought a house for 500k and sold it 3 months later for 800k in 2001 with no modifications to the house at all. If that isn't inflated I don't know what is and it's by no means unusual. There are reality TV shows all about doing exactly this (Flip This House for example).

    I'm sorry but no one will convince me the last decade was anything but horrible. I've known countless retirees who've had to return to work after losing everything they own. I've seen the unemployment rate and underemployment rate for people fresh out of high school and college sky-rocket.

    There has been no upside unless you were already rich and subject to crony capitalist favors fromt he gubberment.

  • ||

    I read a great article about President Obama's State of the Union speech on a new blog. www.DavidBellavia.com (Bellavia is nominated for the Medal of Honor for his herosim in Iraq and wrote the book "House to House: An Epic Memoir of War") I highly recommend his new site.

  • ||

    I agree. Blackfive had a link to his site. Bellavia is intelligent and at times, funny. His book is also one of the best about the conflict in Iraq.

  • Thorbie||

    My honest guess is that so many look at the 2000s with scorn is Bush derangement syndrome. If you assume approximately 50% of the electorate hated Bush no matter what he did, along with the growing number of voters who hated him for a war that increasingly seemed to have no end along with a faltering economy toward the end, it's not that surprising that so people would look at it negatively. Many Republicans looked at the Clinton in the 90s negatively until recently. That's my theory anyway. Also with a lot of time, things get romanticized, but right after, not so much.

  • Tyler Robinson||

    I totally agree, we always manage to look through rose tinted glasses sometime after the event. There are serious failings in any administration, depends what you want for yourself as to which you pick out to criticize.

  • ||

    The problem with the state of the Union address was Obama himself. We do not trust him anymore and no matter what he says or states, it is a lie. Anyone backing his Progressive agenda will not be re-elected either.

  • ||

    Recruitment for indoctrination:

    http://www.exposeobama.com/201.....h-schools/

  • abercrombie milano||

    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won't get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there's more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I'm not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It's just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight...the Bible's books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on...the Bible's books were written by people with very different mindsets...in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it's literally a labyrinth, that's no joke.

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