There’s a popular notion in Keynesian economic theory known as “The Paradox of Thrift (or Saving).” Since Keynesian economics focuses on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — which is, frankly, a measurement of spending — saving money is paradoxical because it lowers GDP due to consumers not spending it.
The reason why economists care so much about GDP is because it’s an important indicator of where the economy is in a business cycle (boom or bust). When GDP constantly drops for a period of time, this is known as a recession. How exactly does saving money help shorten a recession?
Now that President Barack Obama is just a couple of weeks away from transferring power to President-elect Donald Trump, news reports are coming out in praise for who will soon be a former president. Recently, I published an article that shows what the employment situation really looks like when we look outside of the confines of the unemployment rate. Let’s apply this concept to the entire tenure of Barack Obama and see exactly how things look comprehensively compared to when he took office.
I don’t mind it when people support President Obama if they believe in the things that he’s doing. However, I do have a problem with people quoting economic indicators to people who might not understand them. For example, why would they quote GDP growth when that doesn’t necessarily mean that the economy is doing good? Why show the unemployment rate, but not the rate of those not in the labor force and the labor force participation rate?
The answer is simple: Either the creator of biased infographics like this don’t understand much about economic indicators or they know enough to know better, but they think you don’t. It’s not fair for people like this to mislead the country into support like this. I’m going to show how to analyze data for yourself so that you don’t get misled.