Obama, Afghanistan, and unemployment

Obama’s expected to tell America tonight he’s committing 30,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan and deploying them within six months.

I haven’t seen anyone mention the obvious – shipping out 30,000 workers means 30k less who are unemployed.

Graph: Bureau of Labor Statistics

War cures unemployment. Historically, it always has. War also works a number on the deficit, though. Tonight Barack Obama will secure his place as a war-time president. Not what you expected, huh? Well, as I wrote earlier, not what MoveOn.org expected anyway.

Earlier today the Ol’ Broad offered this graph from The American Thinker.

Oh yes, that red and blue means something.

And I’ll argue until I’m red it the face Obama earned this economic collapse through the Democratic rhetoric that won him the election. He promised we were going to hell in a hand basket – and darn if he didn’t get his way.


  1. J. Strupp says:

    So you argue that it’s the President’s rhetoric that caused this nightmare but you post a chart indicating that it’s Congress’ fault? Sorry that doesn’t make sense.

    Shouldn’t you be using this chart if you think that incoming Presidents have that kind of immediate impact on employment and the economy in general?


    Oh yes, and the blue and red mean something.

  2. J. Strupp says:

    “shipping out 30,000 workers means 30k less who are unemployed.”

    Unless the administration is drafting these people off the street, I don’t see how this is true.

  3. JS – well obviously this post got your attention.

    Last things first – if these currently employed troops are leaving their employment to go to Afghanistan, their jobs will likely be filled while they are gone. It makes sense to me.

    And I argued the president was the recipient of a position argued by Democratic rhetoric. He was in on that. We’ve had this argument before. Won’t be changing my mind anytime soon.

    BTW, I looked at the link you gave but couldn’t quite interpret it.

    Also, sorry the top graph link blew. Must be a timed-out thing from the BLS.

  4. Not if most of them are full-time soldiers already.

    The chart is the change in unemployment during each President since Truman. It’s used primarily by Democrats to, supposedly, prove that employment has almost always been better under Democratic Presidents than Republican Presidents. In my opinion, it’s as useless as Ol’ Broad’s chart because it doesn’t take into account real wage growth, inflation or consumer/government debt levels during each interval. It’s just another way to make a political point without looking at the big picture.

    For example, the time period from about 2000 to 2008 looked pretty average in terms of unemployment levels, yet there was hardly a hint of middle class real wage growth coupled with dangerously low interest rates which helped to create one of the largest debt bubbles in modern history, collapsing into what we’re enjoying today.

    Another example would be the first couple years of Reagan’s first term when unemployment spiked to over 11%. Would it have been accurate to blame Reagan’s rhetoric for the worst unemployment rate in 50 years if we were writing this back in late 1983? Of course not. I think we would agree that there was a bit more going on at the time to simply say that Reagan was scaring the hell out of the market.

  5. P.S. You can always count on me to chime in on this subject Cindy (whether you like it or not!).

    BTW, I haven’t seen your chart of the S&P 500 since Obama was nominated for Pres. for some time now.

    Does the updated chart run consistant with the idea that the market is scared to death of Obama’s rhetoric? 🙂

  6. J. Strupp,

    Many, many of those being deployed are not full-time soldiers, but reservists who have full/part-time jobs that will be filled while they are gone.

    We found out at Thanksgiving that my cousin (who is in the reserves) will be deployed for the second time after the holidays. Thankfully, his employer will hold his job for him until he returns (which should be 7-8 months)…but in the meantime it will, of course, be filled.

  7. Thanks Libby. I was about to type that, but since you have already done it, I’m spared. Godspeed to your cousin.

    It was a DOW chart, JS, and I’ll try to get to it later today.