The Pardu

Unemployment Has Gone UP Under Obama? Some Believe The Hype

In http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, Jobs, Rachel Maddow BLOG, Steve Benen, US economy. economy on May 15, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Take a moment to review a chart published by Steven Benen for the Rachel Maddow blog. The chart was delivered from the results of a recent Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey. The survey results show major differences in respondent perceptions of a critical aspect of the US Economy: unemployment and jobs. 

The PPP survey delineates the sad state of conservative information dissemination or conservative manipulation of large swaths of the US population.  

The-persistence-the-reality-gap-matters

PUBLIC POLICY POLLING (excerpts)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 11, 2016 INTERVIEWS: Tom Jensen 919-744-6312

There continues to be a lot of misinformation about what has happened during Obama’s time in office. 43% of voters think the unemployment rate has increased while Obama has been President, to only 49% who correctly recognize that it has decreased. And 32% of voters think the stock market has gone down during the Obama administration, to only 52% who correctly recognize that it has gone up. In both cases Democrats and independents are correct in their understanding of how things have changed since Obama became President, but Republicans claim by a 64/27 spread that unemployment has increased and by a 57/27 spread that the stock market has gone down. “It’s a fact that unemployment has gone down and the stock market has gone up during the Obama administration,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But GOP voters treat these things more as issues of opinion than issues of fact.”


Q2 Do you think the unemployment rate has increased or decreased since Barack Obama became President? 

43% The unemployment rate has increased since Barack Obama became President
49% The unemployment rate has decreased since Barack Obama became President
 9% Not sure




How is it possible so may have no idea the full measure and scope of an economy that has added 15 million (rounded) jobs? Are so busy seeking television giggles and following reality TV shows or singing contest shows, we live oblivious to that which is critical to our lives?  Are survey respondents who declared as republican getting their news from outlets such as Fox News and Am radio? 

Conservative media and conservative politicians have performed as masters of deceit in salting the minds of millions with the dire state of the US. It seems, however, either more non-conservatives are paying attention to conservative media (and the GOP) or millions upon millions are busying themselves with superfluous lifestyles, we can not sit for a moment to absorb tidbits of current events and news. As bad as US media has become, there are moments of factual information dissemination if you are a non-Fox News viewer. Yet the current political season shows overwhelming evidence of nitty hammer like behavior across the political spectrum.

The PPP poll also reports survey respondent  demographics which are troubling, to put it mildly. (see survey methodology and demographic data below). 

-78% of voters nationally support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, and 49% support going to at least $12 an hour. Only 10% think the current minimum wage
is fine, and another 10% think there should be no minimum wage at all. 95% of Democrats, 69% of independents, and 61% of Republicans support a hike at least to $10 an hour.

Q3 Do you think the stock market has gone up or down since Barack Obama became President? 

52% The stock market has gone up since Barack Obama became President
32% The stock market has gone down since Barack Obama became President
16% Not sure


 -83% of voters nationally support background checks on all gun sales, to just 12% who are opposed. There’s very broad bipartisan support for that with Democrats (89/9), Republicans (79/14), and independents (78/14) all overwhelmingly in favor of it, -68% of voters support the EPA Clean Power Plan to 26% who are opposed. That includes 65/29 support from pivotal independent voters.

Q9 Do you support or oppose requiring a criminal background check of every person who wants to buy a firearm?

83% Support a criminal background check for everyone who wants to buy a firearm
12% Oppose a criminal background check for everyone who wants to buy a firearm
 5%  
 Not sure

Survey methodology and demographic questions.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 1,222 registered voters from May 6th to 9th. The margin of error is +/-3.2%. 80% of participants, selected through a list based sample, responded via the phone, while 20% of respondents who did not have landlines conducted the survey over the internet through an opt-in internet panel. 

Q15 Would you describe yourself as very liberal, somewhat liberal, moderate, somewhat conservative, or very conservative?  

Very liberal……………………………………….  14%  

Somewhat liberal …………………………………….. 21%  

Moderate  …………………………………………………………29%  

Somewhat conservative  ……………………………21% 

Very conservative  ……………………………….15%


The bell-shaped distribution of the sociopolitical makeup of the sampling is representative of a fair application of the survey tool. 

Q16 If you are a woman, press 1. If a man, press 2. Woman 53% Man 47% . 

Again a representative sample which fairly portrays national gender demographics.  

Q17 If you are a Democrat, press 1. If a Republican, press 2. If you are an independent or identify with another party, press 3. 
Democrat 43% ………………………………………………..  

Republican 36% ………………………………………………   

21% Independent / Other………………………………….  

Herein lies what I refer to as troubling. Only just over a third of the sampling indicates Republican. Even if we consider the prospect of a few “crafty” respondents who would declare themselves IND. knowing full-well they are Republicans, we may still find approximately one-third of the pool offering the PPP findings.

Q18 If you are Hispanic, press 1. If white, press 2. . If African-American, press 3. If other, press 4.  

Hispanic 10% ………………………………………………….  

White 70% ……………………………………………………..  

African American 12% ………………………………………  

Other 8% 


Another fair distribution considering current US population racial breakdowns.

How is it possible so many supposed progressive or independents have a little knowledge of the state of US employment?  The answer may lie in the same cesspool that has Trump atop the GOP presidential race. Basically, people are self-dumbing themselves into a dangerous state.



While the US economy is not rolling along like a pending tsunami wave, it is a far better economy than we experienced prior to President Obama. While republicans surely have a greater information void and false beliefs regarding the unemployment figures, overall the PPL survey is disturbing. The survey may show the failings of US cable media in failing to deliver accurate and relevant information vs entertainment segments which dominate with each and every cable news show.

Even more tragic is the prospect many of the 1200 plus respondents may not follow any form of news or currents events or they are influenced by conservative media even in the case of non-conservative respondents. 

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