Jobs or Gas Prices: Which will matter more for President Obama?

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The US job market has started to improve.

From The Big Picture comes this graph showing what many people consider one of the key economic indicators of a recovery: job growth. Obama is sure to tout the steady ascent of jobs during his 2012 campaign if this trend continues. The article over at the Big Picture notes points out that the housing market has yet to recover, but I don’t know how much that will matter.

I recently heard an article on NPR discussing other numbers that actually sway who will win the presidency, one of which was gasoline prices. As you can see in the chart after the jump, if this trend continues, President Obama’s in for a harrowing campaign.

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Who Owns The Debt?

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Andrew Sullivan dishes on who owns America’s debt:

  • Seventy-one percent of current U.S. debt was accumulated during Republican presidential terms.
  • Two-thirds of debt-ceiling elevations since 1960 have been signed into law by Republican presidents.
  • In 1961 the percentage of corporate profits paid in taxes was nearly forty-one; now it is less than eleven.
  • Seventy-five percent of the increase in corporate profit margins since 2001 has come from depressed wages.

I have to hand it to Republicans. Over the last 50 years, they have mastered the art of diversion.

Golden Cyberfetters

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Paul Krugman, economist and George Clooney doppelgänger, shows how BitCoin, the virtual currency, should be considered a cautionary tale against adopting a new gold standard:

There has been an incentive to hoard the virtual currency rather than spending it. The actual value of transactions in Bitcoins has fallen rather than rising. In effect, real gross Bitcoin product has fallen sharply.

So to the extent that the experiment tells us anything about monetary regimes, it reinforces the case against anything like a new gold standard – because it shows just how vulnerable such a standard would be to money-hoarding, deflation, and depression.