Recently a friend said whichever party held the presidency makes no difference and saying otherwise is just an attempt to foment divisiveness. Being curious I checked that out.
Since 1960 Republicans and Democrats both held the Presidency for 28 years each. I searched official historical records to see if there was a difference between how the economy fared when Presidents from each party inhabited the Oval Office. I looked at Gross Domestic Product per capita, Gross Domestic Product growth and Unemployment.
Gross Domestic Product per capita is all the money in a country divided by the number of people to arrive at an average annual dollar amount per person. Gross Domestic Product growth is how much the economy grew or fell. Unemployment is the percentage of people without a job who are looking for a job. Doing this took a day. Email me at johnlbradley@ yahoo.com for a copy of the Excel spreadsheet if you want to check my math and sources.
Gross Domestic Product per capita increased $15,309 when Democratic Presidents held Office; increased $11,577 when Republican Presidents held office.
Gross Domestic Product Growth increased 4% when Democratic Presidents held office; decreased 2% when Republican Presidents held office.
Unemployment increased 2% when Republican Presidents were in office; decreased 2% when Democratic Presidents held office.
Since 1960 the economy always did better when the President was a Democrat which was a surprise. Republicans represent wealthy Americans which would seem to indicate they're best qualified to steward the economy. Apparently not.
Another thing I discovered is usually we elect a President from the party opposite from whichever party is incumbent. Apparently there's more to who gets elected President than health of the American economy.
I suspect economic success is not always a motivator because quite a few people are always left behind. Even though the economy thrived these past six years almost all the increase went to this nation's wealthiest families. Multiple scientific studies prove Income inequality is always a disruptor.
The fact that inflation is stabilized at 2% per year, which is ideal and deflation is defeated, are small consolidation for people whose house was valued at $200,000 in 2008 but now is only worth half that.
And not everyone is employable. Many of the low-skilled jobs that provided a middle class living wage a few years back have gone overseas and are unlikely to return. To make matters worse new skill requirements make it difficult for anyone with less than a university degree, or currently in demand technical skills, to benefit from the increased rate of employment in living wage jobs.
American economic recovery from The Great Recession works against incumbents. Anger motivates.Winners are less motivated than losers.
Fear and anger are powerful motivators and Republicans are very good at instilling fear and anger in people afraid for their safety, who equate abortion with murder, want to promote their personal brand of Christianity, fear competition from hungry and talented immigrants, want unlimited access to guns, dislike equal access to health care and benefits for persons they consider undeserving, abhor LBGT equality, want to control female sexuality, are having a hard time landing a job as good as one they once had, just generally hate government programs that don't benefit persons like themselves or are super-wealthy and want more.
Lots of things can happen in the next few months but this will be a Republican year if history repeats itself.
So far American elections haven't turned violent and we haven't elected a tyrant who turned himself into emperor. So far once a President was elected reality always set in, he learned power is more limited than expected, the job is so hard it prematurely ages and soon realizes he was responsible for all Americans, not just donators and members of party that sponsored his election. At least that's worked for most of 200 years or so.
On the other hand for at least the past sixty years the economy has almost always fared better when led by Democratic presidents than it did when led by Republican presidents.