NY Times' Brooks Urges Romney To Peddle Economic Myth In Presidential Debate


New York Times columnist David Brooks claimed that the "economy in 2012 is worse than the economy in 2011." In fact, measures of economic health indicate the economy is better off now than it was one year ago.

Brooks Claimed The Economy Was Better In 2011 Than It Is Now

NYT's Brooks: "The Economy In 2012 Is Worse Than The Economy In 2011." In a October 1 New York Times op-ed, columnist David Brooks advised Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to say that the economy is worse now than it was in 2011. From the op-ed:

The Obama administration, which is either hostile to or aloof from business, has made a thousand tax, regulatory and spending decisions that are biased away from growth and biased toward other priorities. American competitiveness has fallen in each of the past four years, according to the World Economic Forum. Medical device makers, for example, are being chased overseas. The economy in 2012 is worse than the economy in 2011. That's inexcusable. [New York Times,10/1/12]

In Fact, Economic Data Indicates That The Economy Is Better Off Now Than It Was One Year Ago

St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank: Since 2011, GDP Has Grown To $15.586 Trillion. According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve's Bureau of Labor Statistics data, gross domestic product -- the broadest measure of the economy -- has grown every quarter since the beginning of 2011. GDP grew by over $500 billion between the second quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2012:

[St. Louis Fed, accessed 10/2/12]

St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank: Since 2011, The Private Sector Has Added Over 3 Million Jobs. St. Louis Fed data indicates that since the beginning of 2011, the private sector has added 3.193 million new private sector jobs. Since last October, the private sector has grown by over 1.619 million jobs:

[St. Louis Fed, accessed 10/2/12]

CNN Money: The Stock Market Has Increased In Value By Nearly 24 Percent. According to CNN Money, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has increased in value by 16.46 percent since the beginning of 2011 and by 23.84 percent since October 2011:

[CNN Money, accessed 10/2/12]

WSJ: "The Value Of Americans' Real-Estate Holdings Jumped About $400 billion, Or 2.1 percent, To $19.1 Trillion" A September 20 Wall Street Journal article reported that in the second quarter of 2012, home values hit their highest value since 2008. From the article:

A strengthened housing market is lifting property values and helping Americans repair their balance sheets, a trend that could spur the economy by making households more willing to spend.

The value of Americans' real-estate holdings jumped about $400 billion, or 2.1%, to $19.1 trillion, in the second quarter, the Federal Reserve said Thursday, the highest level since the final three months of 2008. The increase follows a similar leap in the first quarter and raises the amount of equity that owners have in their homes to a high since the third quarter of 2008.

Since the recession, sliding property prices have made Americans feel less wealthy and less willing to spend on everything from home renovations and appliances to restaurant meals. That weighs on the recovery, because consumer spending fuels two-thirds of the nation's economic activity. With real-estate values now rising--and housing chalking up more gains recently in sales and construction--Americans are seeing their critical assets rise in value as their disposable incomes also climb. That helps in rebuilding wealth and makes even heavier debts more manageable. [The Wall Street Journal, 9/20/12]

Posted In
The New York Times
David Brooks
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.