Here’s One Big Reason the Economy Is Still Treading Water


David Leonhardt passes along this chart today, and it’s one of the most important ones you’ll see. It was my candidate for chart of the year in 2013.

What it shows is unprecedented: government employment fell during an economic recovery. This has never happened before in recent history. Employment rose during the Reagan recovery. It rose during the Clinton recovery. It rose during the Bush recovery. And that’s one of the reasons those recoveries were fairly strong.

Only during the Obama recovery did austerity fever force government employment to fall. It’s not the only reason this recovery has been so weak, but it’s certainly one of the leading causes. More here.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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