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Presidents and Economic Growth

Does prior business experience help Presidents with job creation and economic growth? A look at recent history.

My Uncle Bob is a funny guy.  He seldom reads, preferring to get his information from talk radio and Fox News.  Despite often times irrefutable evidence to the contrary, he’s hell-bent on believing what he wants to believe.  For example, Uncle Bob thinks President Obama is not a United States citizen.  Oh, and our President is a Muslim!

Call me a masochist, but I rather enjoy discussing, OK arguing, politics with Uncle Bob.  A few days ago, we were on the topic of who would be a better president over the next four years.  Uncle Bob, voice raised, says, “Of course Romney would be better.  Any moron should know that!  He’s got lots of business experience.  That Obama guy never owned a business.”

I guess Uncle Bob believes, that because Romney himself has touted his business experience a zillion times since he began running for president eight years ago, it must be true.  It’s beyond me how anyone could consider “dismembering acquired companies and throwing folks out of work” business experience, but apparently some people do.  Uncle Bob sure does.   

Well, l had to admit that the economy was still in the doldrums from the worst crash since the Great Depression.  I knew it would do little good for me to explain how President Obama inherited an economic mess, and things were slowly getting better.  Been there, done that, FAILED.  Anyway, Uncle Bob got me wondering whether prior business experience really gives a president a “one up” when it comes to guiding our nation’s economy?  So, I did some research and what I found was rather interesting.

I couldn’t wait to share my results with Uncle Bob.  So, I go over to his house, and even before we went through the usual perfunctory greeting, I say to him, “Do you know we’ve had ten presidents since 1960?  Of those, only three had any business experience prior to taking office: Jimmy Carter (peanut farm owner), George H. W. Bush (oil business), and George W. Bush (oil business and co-owner of the Texas Rangers).  Since 1960, the GDP grew the most under the three administrations of President Kennedy (5.66%), President Johnson (4.24%) and President Clinton (3.64%).  The slowest growth occurred during the administrations of President Carter (2.72%), President George H.W. Bush (1.96%) and George W. Bush (1.42%).  Hum, so much for business experience!  Even Mitt Romney’s tenure as governor of Massachusetts belies your ‘a businessman is best theory.’  During that time, Massachusetts’ job growth was 47th in the nation, it had the 2nd largest labor force decline in the nation, and it lost 14% of its manufacturing jobs.”

I was pretty proud of myself and thought I had Uncle Bob just where I wanted him.   He looks at me dumbfounded and utters, “Governor Romney should be president because he’s got business experience!”  Uncle Bob’s a funny guy!

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M.Legison November 02, 2012 at 11:05 PM
This is what happens when the Democrats work to keep an underclass down and dependent upon their party, simply to keep them on the plantation and voting for government domination and subsistence. They become incapable of thinking for and helping themselves when government fails. Of course, that is the plan, cruel as it may be. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video/#!/news/local/Stranded-New-Yorker--People-Are-Defecating-in-the-Hallways/177007621
John Q November 03, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Speaking of keeping a class down, how are you conservatives doing with the gender gap just before the election? Got your vaginal probes all lubed up and ready to go? Anxiously waiting for the chance to stack the supreme court with 18th century legal wizards who will toss Roe v. Wade? Licking your chops in anticipation of bringing thousands of unwanted children into the world so you can direct them to their boot straps and demand they start pulling them while at the same time you tell their mothers 'no birth control for you?'
Franklin November 03, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I didn't read all the comments (26 is a lot of comments). But I did want to compliment you on your blog. You made it humorous and interesting (the fact that I think I agree with you notwithstanding). Good blog post.
M.Legison November 03, 2012 at 03:59 PM
John you are a funny lad. Where in the world do you get these things? There is no war on women. There are no plans to "overthrow" Roe v Wade. There are no plans to restrict anyone from paying $9 per month for birth control. There may be a plan to provide it free to Democrats, however.
John Q November 03, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Gosh M., I knew there were low information voters about, but I had no idea some, like you, were that clueless about their world. You might want to check out from Faux News at least now and then, just to re-acclimate yourself with reality.

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