What Does It Profit A Man

by Jonathan Chait | October 29, 2010

Let's sum up the economic situation. Unemployment is high, and average Americans are in a desperate, fearful situation. Meanwhile, corporate profits are at record levels:

Profits have surged 62 percent from the start of 2009 to mid-2010, according to the Commerce Department. That is faster than any other year and a half in the Fabulous ’50s, the Go-Go ’60s or the booms under Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

Meanwhile, the most popular analysis of our economic troubles -- not just among furious, self-interested business tycoons but more moderate elements of the political elite as well -- holds that the primary problem is that the Obama administration is too hostile to business. It's quite remarkable.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have the worst of both worlds. A top-heavy economy is causing them massive grief among suffering voters, and the only people who are actually doing well are lambasting them as socialists.

Here's Republican economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, head of the conservative message shop The American Message Forum, explaining away the surge in corporate profits:

The better question is whether he wants the credit,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who was an economic adviser to Republican Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “Obama sounds a lot like he wants corporations to be less profitable.”

Right. And where exactly has Obama said he wants corporations to be less profitable? That would be nowhere.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-chait/78767/what-does-it-profit-man