The New York Times today on the surprisingly good jobs numbers:
The sudden and unexpected improvement surprised even the most optimistic forecasters. Instead of yet another six-figure job loss, only 11,000 jobs disappeared last month and instead of another rise in the unemployment rate, it went down, to 10 percent from 10.2 percent in October. “This is an emphatic demonstration that the economy is moving in the direction of a self-sustaining recovery,” said Robert Barbera, chief economist at ITT Investment Technology Group, who joined many other forecasters in predicting that the work force would be growing again by early spring. The Obama administration was quick to take credit for the improvement, asserting that the $787 billion stimulus package had thus far either saved or created a total of 1.6 million jobs.
Yesterday, I was looking at this chart here and thought to myself, “Republicans are in trouble. Obama is about to preside over a Reagan-length (or Clinton-length) period of economic growth and job creation.” All the bloviating of the far right cannot make up for the larger seismic shifts in the demographic and economic pictures. Short of a huge terrorist attack on U.S. soil, the Republicans are going to be in the wilderness for a very long time. Obama has played his first year cards near perfectly (no major foul-ups), and his presidency is synchronizing with a period of economic growth. If you’re an American, this is the beginning of a period of progress and prosperity that may last at least six years, and perhaps ten. Sell your miserly dark gold hoard—its clearly peaked, anyway—and enjoy the new ride.