Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jimmie supports McCain!

Oh, hell! It doesn't hurt as bad as it might in another year when I was passionately into politics. Since I'm taking a hands-off attitude during this presidential election, it shouldn't matter to me that Jimmie Johnson, my favorite NASCAR driver, is a McCain-supporting Republican but still....and I tell myself that I love other Republicans, namely, Tim Roberts my former boss and sheriff so I can overlook this one little character flaw in Jimmie.

I don't really know the details. I just saw the title of a YouTube video but I couldn't bring myself to watch it so I don't know what Jimmie bases his support on. Maybe the fact that he got a $7,000,000 pay off for winning the Sprint Cup championship last year and the one before that and has a good chance for another big check in 2008 and he doesn't like the idea of giving over a big stack of it to taxes should Obama win and raise taxes on the rich.

Of course, it could just be that NASCAR itself is weighted heavily toward Republicans, be they rich or be they poor, so that to be a Democrat would be rather unthinkable in that environment.
What always amazes me though is that people develop their perceptions and then that's it. "I'm a Republican and Republicans are better for the economy." But if you left emotion out of it and just flat-out looked at cold, dry statistics, you'd discover it simply isn't true. Consistently, the stock market performs better and is less volatile under the Democrats. On average, stock market returns are about 5 percent higher when a Democratic president lives in the White House. Between 1927 and 1999, the stock index returned about 11 percent more a year on average under a Dem president versus three-month T-bills. The index returned 2 percent more under Republicans.

And speaking of volatility, what about the times we are living in right now? The stock market has plunged in the last two days as I write this....under George W Bush....and it is a little too late to blame a) 911 or b) Bill Clinton.

The fact is the economy performs better when Democrats run the show. From 1948 to 2007 (Republicans in the White house 34 of those years, Democrats for 26 of them), Republicans managed only an average growth in national product of 1.64 percent. For Democrats, it was 2.78 percent. Over eight years, that amounts to 9.33 per cent more income per person. For Jimmie Johnson, that's about a gazillion dollars, so why is he a Republican?

Statistics show that even rich people, like Jimmie, do slightly better under Democrats over time but poor and middle income families do significantly better (presumably, the average NASCAR fan is in one of the latter two income classifications - if they are fans who attend races, they're more likely to be in the middle - it is expensive to go to a NASCAR race).

Take another important issue - job creation, possibly the most important statistic for people in the lower income brackets. Here are the job creation rates for all of our presidents since before World War II.

Franklin Roosevelt 8.8% prior to WWII, 2.6% during WWII
Harry Truman 2.4%
Dwight Eisenhower .5%
John Kennedy 2.1%
Lyndon Johnson 3.5%
Richard Nixon 2.1 %
Gerald Ford .8%
Jimmy Carter 3.3%
Ronald Reagan 2.3%
Clinton 2.6%
George Bush I .4%
George Bush II .4%

Looks to me like whether you have lots of investments and depend on the stock market for growth of your portfolio, like Jimmie Johnson probably does, or whether you're a working stiff counting on the weekly paycheck from your job, either way you'd be better off under the Democrats.

Not that I expect that to ever happen because most people don't analyze why they are what they are, they simply lead with their emotions and carry on.