We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Economists Dig Obama

We're still having a kerfuffle in the comments over whether 95% of Americans will get a tax cut, won't see a tax increase, or will end up flat busted by all the tax increases the Bush economic collapse and retiring baby boomers will necessitate. Any economic promises made by either candidate this year may be moot in the face of whatever happens with the mortgage bailout.

But as it stands right now, economists give Obama the edge—a big edge—on ability to deal with whatever excitement the economy may throw at us in the next four years. The Economist, that venerable and conservative (in a good way) publication from the U.K., finds 80% of economists they surveyed believe Obama has a better grasp of economics and would pick a better economic team than McCain.

I know, those darn eggheads probably skew liberal, right? Indeed, the economists surveyed skew Dem: 46% in this survey run with the Donkeys, while only 10% fly the Elephant flag. But given a choice of which Administration to work for, even a third of those Republicans responding said they'd still rather work for Obama or were undecided. Not one of the Dems said they'd rather work for McCain; the unaffiliateds would prefer calling Obama boss rather than McCain 58%–14%.

You may be thinking, 'Who needs a bunch of eggheads telling us how to vote, anyway?" Well, put that anti-intellectualism aside for just a moment and think about the economic news this year. How many times have you listened to the reports on the collapses and bailouts and had to ask yourself, "How's that bailout going to work? How does a liquidity crisis affect my paycheck? What the heck are credit default swaps?" We and our next President face complicated problems; we could probably use some smart people to solve them.

And as The Economist reports, the smart people on economics tend to say Barack Obama is the better choice to deal with economic problems.


  1. Cory,

    After a week of technical issues, DAKOTA 21 is up and running again on the blogosphere. It's great to be back and sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.



  2. By all means, let's take the advice of economists from the UK. Have you bothered to check the state of their checkbook? Not very good. Oh, and guess what the biggest drain on the UK economy is? You guessed it, The National Health System. Originally it was supposed to cost around 2 billion, it now costs around 20-30 billion and is growing steadily. Do you think I could get a phone number from you so that some of these financial wizards can help me pay MY bills?

  3. Anon 6:19: The Economist is published in the UK. However, the economists they surveyed for the article cited here are research associates of the National Bureau of Economic Research, "America's premier association of applied academic economists."

    Would you care to rephrase your argument?

  4. I'm glad that you pointed that out to me, I usually don't refer to your sources because they are pointless. So I did read the article and you are correct, they did cite US economists. In fact, if you had bothered to cite the entire article we would all have a better idea of the importance of the survey. See, they sent surveys to all 683 members, only 142 responded (the data that you provided), and what about the rest? 560 of them have signed an endorsement of McCain's plan. So, here is what you should have said: "the minority of economists who don't agree with McCain, support Obama". That's like asking registered dems "how many of you are voting for McCain?",but then again ABC does that about once a week.

  5. No, Anon, "560 of them" (the NBER) have not endorsed McCain's plan. You misread the article.

    The article says "530 economists have signed a statement endorsing his plan." Are they members of NBER? other orgs? the GOP? The article doesn't say. The article does not cite a source for that 530 figure, so I've been trying to track it down. (Here's one article that says 300+ economists have endorsed McCain... well, sort of.) To make the numbers game even, we should also find some count of all the economists who may have endorsed Obama so far... like Paul Volcker, Larry Hunter, maybe some of the 230 who agreed with Obama this spring on saying no to a gas tax holiday, plus these folks.

    ...and "pointless" sources? I beg to differ. Every source I cite has a point. You need a different adjective (unreliable? unpleasant?).

    I even thought you might appreciate my citing The Economist, a source somewhat removed from American partisan politics. Oh well. I'll keep trying. But feel free to provide your own more "pointful" (?) sources... just be sure you say what they actually say, not what you wish they said. ;-)

  6. Maybe someone should poll the opinions hard-bitten small business owners and self-employed people.

  7. That could be an ugly poll, Stan!


Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.