Thursday, April 8, 2010

Obama's negatives continue to outweigh his positives



In my view, this data from Rasmussen paints a picture of a deeply unpopular president. More than half of the people consistently have disapproved of his job performance for most of the past 4-5 months. The bounce in his "approval index" that occurred in the wake of the passage of the healthcare reform bill was most likely due to moderates in his party cheering his apparent Congressional success. But his negatives have remained consistently high for many months and have not wavered. If I'm right, we should see his "approval index" soon return to its previous lows, as independents and liberals despair over his leftward overreach on ever-more issues. His efforts to appease Russia with today's nuclear arms reduction treaty, and his utter disregard for Israel and the U.K., traditionally among our staunchest allies, are not going to play well with the majority of the people. At the rate things are going, I would expect to see this index plumb new lows before too long.

I will be very surprised if the November elections do not result in huge losses for the Democrats. More importantly, I think the elections will mark a key "tipping point" in U.S. politics, in which the political spectrum begins to be divided not on social issues (abortion, gay rights, etc.), but on the proper role and size of the government. Obama and the liberals have made it clear they want more government, but I am convinced that the great majority of the people want less government.

I plan to attend my local Tea Party rally next week (April 15), and I encourage every freedom-loving and big-government-hating citizen to do the same.

10 comments:

brodero said...

Again relying solely on Rasmussen
gives a limited view but I know it supports your viewpoint so it is understandable...i prefer the RealClearPolitics averages...

brodero said...

If we do get a serious discussion of the role of government how do we reconcile those states that get
an excess of federal funding????
That will be when the rubber hits the road....

W.E. Heasley said...

Its an economic fact that input costs, and tax is an input cost, is always reflected in the final price of the producer. Hence the consumer of a product or service ultimately pays any tax placed on the producer.

Now consider this economic phenomena as described by William Graham Sumner is his 1883 essay The Forgotten Man:


"Sometimes people go on to notice the effects of trades-unionism on the employers, but although employers are constantly vexed by it, it is seen that they soon count it into the risks of their business and settle down to it philosophically. Sometimes people go further then and see that, if the employer adds the trades union and strike risk to the other risks, he submits to it because he has passed it along upon the public and that the public wealth is diminished by trades-unionism, which is undoubtedly the case. "

What Sumner is explaining that just like taxes being assessed to a producer and ultimately transferred to the consumer, the cost of unionized labor is transferred from the producer to the consumer.

Now think about the difference between the private sector producer negotiating with unionized labor and the public sector negotiating with unionized labor. What incentive exists for the private sector producer to negotiate with unions vs. the incentive that exists for the public sector to negotiate with unions?

William Graham Sumner and Milton Friedman

If we take Sumner's theory that the cost of unions to the producer is consequently a cost passed onto the consumer, then the cost of unions in the public sector is passed onto the tax payer. Then is there a difference in the magnitude of the "transfer of cost" of union labor in the private and public sectors?

The magnitude of the transfer of cost of union labor in the private and public sectors is related to Milton Friedman's four categories of spending. In other words, incentive exists in the private sector to negotiate for the best price for union labor. In the public sector there is less incentive to negotiate for the best price therefore causing a greater transfer of cost. The less the incentive to negotiate with union demands surely affects the magnitude of the transfer cost of union labor. Why is there less incentive in the public sector?

The incentive level between private and public sector negotiations with union labor costs lies within Milton Friedman's four ways that money is spent:


The fourth way is when people spend other people's money on other people. In this case, the buyer has no rational interest in either value or quality. Government always and necessarily spends money in this fourth way. This guarantees inefficient public spending because the spenders have no vested interest in efficiently allocating those funds.

Public sector money falls in the fourth way of spending. Bureaucrats spend your tax money when negotiating with federal workers that are almost all unionized. In other words, other people are spending other people's money on other people. Since no rational interest exists in either value or quality, we find that the union employees within government have negotiated large salary, benefit, and pension packages.

Hence Sumner and Friedman are correct. Much of their correctness can be verified in the fact that today public sector employees total compensation far exceeds that of private sector employees. That is, over time the fourth category of spending has benefited public sector unions and the enormous cost has been passed onto the consumer which is the tax payer.

Therefore within size and scope of government unions representing these public sector employees will push as hard as ever for compensation enhancements. The compensation enhancements will be approved just as they have in the past due in part to Friedman's fourth category of spending. And as Sumner explained those compensation enhancements will be passed onto the consumer (taxpayer). Hence a dynamic exponential cost driver exists with increasing size of government unionized labor.

Paul said...

Rasmussen polls registered voters vs. Gallup, which polls all adults. Rasmussen is obviously a better indicator for election.

Benjamin said...

See you there at the Tea Party. I'll be the guy in the tin-foil hat. Wait--there will a lot of guys like that. Maybe we can devise a secret hand signal.

Paul said...

I see Benji The True Economic Conservative is still ingesting the prevailing media narrative that convinced him to vote for Barack Obama.

brodero said...

Rasmussen uses a likely voter methdology which does have merit
But there are two problems with that one is likely voter methodology has biases which are hard to clear out and two ( and this is the biggest one) using likely voter methodology a year or two ahead is like predicting when it is going to rain a month or two from now...way too early....

Paul said...

Brodero,

Likely voters are really the only ones who count.

Also, when you include people who aren't even going to bother voting, the candidate and party most likely to be approved by MTV and People Magazine are going to have the advantage. Hence higher approval numbers for Obama in the other polls.

brodero said...

Fine...rely on likely voter methodology....I guess it gives a
general indication of the weather for the week....

brodero said...

I didn't know the unlikely voters watched MTV and read People magazine....