Even using conservative measures, the Bush economy has underperformed. Mind you, I prefer measures like the real unemployment rates, various measures of economic equality, the median wage, and other Dirty Fucking Hippie statistics. But if you’re the kind of person who thinks the economy is best described by the rise and fall of stock indices, well, it sucks to be you too. The Dark Wraith summarizes the markets’ from January 22, 2001 through March 2, 2007:
The striking results were that real (that is, inflation-adjusted) returns on investment in standard, well-balanced index portfolios had been negative over the course of the Bush Administration. Total real return to a portfolio mirroring the Dow Jones Industrial Average was negative 1.10 percent, that for a portfolio mirroring the Standard & Poor’s 500 was negative 10.79 percent, and that for a portfolio mirroring the NASDAQ Composite was negative 25.85 percent; the associated, respective annualized rates of returns were negative 0.18 percent, negative 1.85 percent, and negative 4.78 percent. The real returns accruing to those index portfolios have not improved since then, but the significance of those stunning, adverse real returns on equity investments in the American economy is deeper in the context of fiscal and monetary policies long pursued by the United States government.
One of the things I’ve noticed in the healthcare debate is that business, which again, is supposed to be so much more rational than us DFHs, is far too often blinded by ideology. Considering that many corporations are willing to externalize everything, why they are unwilling to do so with healthcare never ceases to amaze me (GM is actually an exception here). By the same token, Wall Street really hasn’t appeared to turn against Republicans until very recently (and then only slightly) even though they are getting hammered (which means no end of year bonuses).