Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Democratic Convention

As before, I have made no plans to watch the Democratic National Convention, so if there are any empty chairs I will have to find out later. It also means I see what was said after the fact checkers get to work.

And there was a significant claim made by several folks in their speeches about 4.5 million jobs added under Obama. CNN did a check, and it is only true in a rather strict sense. That many jobs have been added in the private sector since the low point of the recession, but overall it's only an addition of 300,000 since when Obama was sworn into office. On the other hand, public sector jobs are down. Added together, the number of jobs since his election is down, not up. The pay levels are also inferior.

There are confounding things, namely a major recession that started before the current President came into office, so it would be fair to count the number from when that boondoggle ended to see how effective growth is when the economy ended its free-fall. As for the public sector losses, a lot of that has been a state level where they refuse to increase taxes and so cut jobs; this isn't avoided at the federal level either.

Nonetheless, the 4.5 million jobs number is only true without deep analysis. But this is something that is complicated and arguable. Very much unlike Paul Ryan's speech which was clearly wrong in fact. One speech has spin, another is false. I can tolerate some spin ("it's not too cold, it's perfect for a snowball fight"), but not factual negligence. Will the Dems continue to straddle the lines of fact and fantasy? Well, they are politicians. But will they go all the way as the Republicans have at their convention?

But there has also seems to be a more positive atmosphere at the Dem convention. And this speech by First Lady Michelle Obama should be memorable:

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