|:: Card Stacking ::|
MythBuster III: Rational or Ridiculous?
- By: Larry Walker, Jr. -
Card stacking, or selective omission, is one of the seven propaganda techniques identified by the Institute for Propaganda Analysis. It involves only presenting information that is positive to an idea or proposal and omitting information contrary to it. Card stacking is used in almost all forms of propaganda, and is extremely effective in convincing the public. Although the majority of information presented by the card stacking approach is true, it is dangerous because it omits important information. The best way to deal with card stacking is to get more information.
Back in October of 2010, the left-wing media and White House tried to spin the myth that, "Obama created more jobs in 2010 than Bush did in eight years.” However, this delusion was busted in the first MythBuster series (here), simply by proving that at the time, not one single solitary job had been created during the Obama Administration. In fact at the time Mr. Obama was proudly presiding over a 2,991,000 loss in private sector jobs. So where are we today, 2 years later and 44 months into Mr. Obama’s agenda? Has Obama created more jobs than Bush?
Current Employment Statistics: No Shot
Let’s turn to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, focusing first on the Current Employment Statistics (CES). The CES is a monthly survey of about 141,000 businesses and government agencies, representing approximately 486,000 individual worksites, in order to provide detailed industry data on employment, hours, and earnings of workers on nonfarm payrolls, also known as Table B.
When we add up the total number of nonfarm jobs created during Mr. Obama's 44-month tenure (February 1, 2009 to September 30, 2012), we find that a total of 61,000 jobs have been lost (133,561,000 – 133,500,000). Thus, Mr. Obama’s job loss average is 1,386 jobs per month. Oops!
And when we add up the total number of nonfarm jobs created during Mr. Bush’s 96-month tenure (February 1, 2001 to January 31, 2009), we find that a total of 1,095,000 jobs were created (133,561,000 – 132,466,000). So Mr. Bush’s job creation average was 11,406 jobs per month.
Therefore, in terms of the CES, Mr. Bush’s job creation record was 922.9% greater than Mr. Obama’s [(11,406 + 1,386) / 1,386]. Oops!
Current Population Survey: Fair Shot
Just to be fair, we’ll return to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this time focusing on the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is a monthly survey of households conducted by the Bureau of Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, also known as Table A. The CPS is a broader survey, which includes those who are self-employed or who work for smaller companies. It’s also the data set used to calculate the official unemployment rate.
When we add up the total increase in the employment level during Mr. Obama's 44-month tenure (February 1, 2009 to September 30, 2012), we find that a total of 787,000 jobs have been created (142,974,000 – 142,187,000). That’s an average of 17,886 jobs per month, which is at least positive, although far short of the four or five million he esteems.
Yet, when we add up the total increase in the employment level during Mr. Bush’s 96-month tenure (February 1, 2001 to January 31, 2009), we find that a total of 4,409,000 jobs were created (142,187,000 – 137,778,000). That’s an average of 45,927 jobs per month.
Thus, in terms of the CPS, Mr. Bush’s job creation record was 256.7% greater than Mr. Obama’s (45,927 / 17,886). Oops!
The claim, "Obama created more jobs than Bush did in eight years,” is officially busted. Although I could cherry-pick and find a period where nonfarm jobs growth was up by 7 or 8 million during Mr. Bush’s term, for example from 2003 through 2007, and use that to pummel Mr. Obama’s record into the ground, I choose to remain among the rational. I don't want to hear another word about Obama having created four of five million jobs over some arbitrary period.
Most of us would agree that Mr. Bush’s job creation record was pretty dismal, but compared to Mr. Obama’s record, we were far better off during the Bush years. The truth is that the number of nonfarm jobs (CES) grew 922.9% greater during Bush's 96-month term, in spite of the massive losses incurred during two recessions, than during Mr. Obama’s 44-month term. And likewise, the employment level (CPS) grew 256.7% greater during Bush’s term, than during Mr. Obama’s.
We are currently around 4 or 5 million jobs short of where we were before the Great Recession. Frankly, Mr. Obama’s job creation record is ridiculous, pathetic, and unacceptable. He should be ashamed, as should anyone attempting to spin such trifle. It’s time to throw the bums out.