Tag Archives: Election 2012

2012 Election: Who Owns Who – Infographic

President Barack Obama raised far more money via direct contributions, but Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign edged ahead via “outside spending” – including Super PACS largely enabled by the Citizens’ United Supreme Court decision which now allows corporations, unions and issue advocacy organizations unlimited campaign spending.

Source: Visual.ly

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Picture Of The Day: #Mittens180 In Full Action – Mitt Romney’s Love Relationship With Sandy

Source: statigr.am via Vitus on Pinterest

Courtesy: Igboogie

Young Voters Inspired By Facebook – Infographic

As election day approaches, you might be getting sick of the political bickering in your News Feed. You can try to fight it, but political participation on social media is contagious.

Since 2004, politicians like Howard Dean and Ron Paul have been using social and new media to advance their causes and put themselves in front of younger voters who aren’t just tech-savvy, they’re tech-centric. Facebook and Twitter are powerful tools for spreading information and news, as Barack Obama used to his advantage in his 2008 bid for the presidency.

But Facebook can do more than just familiarize voters with a candidate or let them “Like” a campaign page. For the younger demographic of new voters, social media can be a push to the ballot.

SEE ALSO: Social Is the Secret Weapon in Local Politics

A study out of the University of California found that social messages functioned as highly effective reminders to vote. When pictures of friends appeared in the messages, potential voters were more inspired to take action. Altogether, the study directly influenced the 2010 midterm elections by inspiring more than 300,000 voters to hit the polls. In the end, all that political bickering might only increase the chances of higher voter turnout in the long run.

Check out this infographic from Online College Courses to learn more about the way social media and politics are merging in 2012.

Source: Mashable.com

Blame Obama? Judging the recovery time from the Great Recession

Judging the recovery time from the Great Recession – Capitol Report – MarketWatch.

By Russ Britt, MarketWatch

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Getting a handle on how long it’ll take to recover from the Great Recession is more art than science, but a few economists think there are lessons from the past that might prove useful for those seeking a light at the end of the tunnel.

Academics from California to Massachusetts agree this last downturn is unlike any of the nation’s 10 previous recessions, dating back to the Great Depression. The collapse of the nation’s financial system is the main culprit, though there is plenty of blame to spread around: the housing and credit bubbles, to name two other offenders.

What is unclear, however, is whether more could have been done by President Barack Obama to get the economy up to speed faster. That, of course, is the central question in this year’s election, and voters’ answer to that question will go a long way toward determining if Obama gets a second stint in the Oval Office or if Republican challenger Mitt Romney unseats him.

Is the economy really improving?

Orders for long-lasting goods posted the largest gain in more than 21/2 years in September and the number of U.S. workers filing applications for jobless benefits fell last week. Mesirow Financial Chief Economist Diane Swonk discuss the state of the U.S. economy. Photo: Getty Images.

While some economists, not all them conservatives, say more could have been done, others point out past history indicates that given the size and scope of the downturn — virtually a depression in some views — the economy’s recovery is relatively on schedule.

“We’re way below how a normal recession [would behave] . But we’re about even, maybe a little better, than what a financial recession looks like,” said Alan Taylor, an economics professor at the University of Virginia.

Fact-checking recessions

Taylor recently released an article “Fact-checking Financial Recessions,” an update of a 2011 study conducted for the National Bureau of Economic Research. He and two colleagues examined the recovery patterns of 223 recessions in 14 advanced countries over the last 142 years. The study shows that downturns precipitated by a financial system collapse last longer and are much deeper than more “normal” recessions. Read about Taylor’s paper here.

Taylor’s study, conducted with Federal Reserve researcher Oscar Jorda and Moritz Schularick, economics professor at the University of Berlin, is similar to that of a 2007 examination that also was recently updated by Harvard University economics professors Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. The Harvard duo later published their findings in the 2009 book “This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.”

“Rather than the V-shaped recovery that is typical of most post-war recessions, [U.S.] growth has been slow and halting,” Reinhart and Rogoff wrote in their most recent update of their research, an essay released last week. “Based on our research, this disappointing performance should not be surprising.” See the report here.

But some conservative economists take issue with the studies. They also disagree with the premise, articulated by former President Bill Clinton at the Democratic convention in September, that no president could have cured all the nation’s economic woes within four years.

“[Obama] focused exclusively on short-term band-aids,” said Lee Ohanian, a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., and current economics professor at UCLA, of the various stimulus efforts by the president. “These short-term band-aids didn’t do anything to help.”

Faster bouncebacks

Michael Bordo, another Hoover fellow who teaches economics at Rutgers University, conducted his own study with Cleveland Fed Vice President Joseph Haubrich. Bordo contends there have been several recessions with a financial crisis element since World War II, and those have all bounced back faster than the current downturn. See the study here.

Bordo, along with conservative economists Kevin Hassett and Glenn Hubbard, have been feuding in op-ed pages with Reinhart and Rogoff over the pace of the recovery. Advisors to the Romney campaign, Hassett is a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and Hubbard, a visiting scholar at AEI, was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush. Bordo isn’t affiliated with the Romney campaign but says he supports the Republican.

The three insist that correlating the U.S. economy with other nations is a mistake.

“They’re pulling data across a number of countries, all of which have different institutional environments, different policies,” Bordo said of the Harvard study as well as Taylor’s. “There’s a lot of information that’s going in there.”

Bordo, though, says this recession is different since it was compounded by the housing bubble, an element that has never played a significant nationwide role in previous downturns and could be the nagging factor in this crisis.

Asked if Clinton was right about when he insisted this downturn couldn’t have been shortened, Bordo said: “I don’t know. I really don’t know.”

Taylor and the Harvard duo say they have no political motivation when it comes to examining recession patterns, and aren’t questioning government policy. Taylor’s paper first was completed a year ago and Reinhart and Rogoff started looking at the issue in late 2007, 11 months before Obama was elected.

Key metric

Both studies use real per-capita GDP as their barometer for determining when a downturn has run its course. According to their data, the end of a downturn is complete when that gauge, which measures individual productivity, has returned to its pre-recession peak and is starting to grow again.

Taylor says that in most “normal” recessions, real per-capita GDP dips for one year, returns to its pre-recession peak within a year or two, and then starts surging past the old peak. Bureau of Economic Analysis data show this was true in all recessions dating back to World War II.

For the Great Depression, though, it took until 1939 for that gauge to get back to levels reached in 1929, prior to the stock market crash, the BEA says. Stocks generally recover at about the same pace as individual productivity, but that wasn’t true for the Depression. Back then, it took the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI:DJIA)   25 years to get back to its 1929 levels.

“There’s a reason it was called the Great Depression,” Taylor said with a chuckle. “We can have a lot of depressions but they’re not all great. It was the great one for a reason.”

Why global recession may return

The International Monetary Fund warned that the global economy risks skidding toward another recession.

With the current downturn, real per-capita GDP hit a peak in December 2007, Taylor says. BEA figures show that the metric reached $44,005 in the fourth quarter of that year and haven’t revisited that level since.

BEA data show the low point was the second quarter of 2009, when the GDP metric hit $41,389. It has been slowly climbing, for the most part, since then and now stands at $43,152, roughly 98% of where it was at the pre-recession peak. The Dow, meanwhile, stands at about 94% of its pre-recession peak.

Taylor says when it comes to real per-capita GDP, the current slow recovery fits the pattern of other similar, bank-fueled recessions in other mature economies, as well as the pre-Depression bank “panics” in the U.S.

The credit factor

Of 223 recessions Taylor looked at, 50 were initiated by a financial crisis. One key difference between Taylor’s study and that of the Harvard researchers is he examines how an excessive amount of credit issued in the years leading up to a banking downturn will factor into the equation. In the current malaise, he estimates that a medium-to-high level of excess credit circulated throughout the U.S.

Taylor says bank loans alone put the U.S. into the “medium” excess credit level, but there has been what he calls a substantial amount of what he calls “shadow credit” — student and auto loans, credit cards and securitized mortgages. He says there probably was enough of that to catapult the U.S. well into the “high” excess category.

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His data show that even after five years, individual productivity still is slightly below the pre-downturn peak in the average bank-fueled recession. BEA data show the current downturn was steeper during the first year when compared with what Taylor says is the average bank-fueled recession, but recovered faster and is slightly ahead of schedule.

“I think it’s pretty much on par, maybe a little better, if you take into account the shadow system. When you put in the extra bit of credit that was generated, the [GDP] path could have actually been lower,” he said.

In another update to the study released earlier this week, Taylor points out that the U.S. is doing much better than the U.K. While the U.S. is getting close to pre-recession GDP levels, the U.K. appears headed for another downturn in productivity, he notes.

No ax to grind

There are some economists who say they don’t have a political ax to grind and yet remain critical of Obama’s handling of the crisis, or at least don’t think the downturn needed to last as long as it has. But views differ on the best remedy.

Enrique Mendoza, economics professor at the University of Maryland, says Obama diagnosed the problem incorrectly, using Keynesian tactics of government largesse to try and boost demand. Quantitative easing should have been introduced simultaneously with the bank bailout, and a more aggressive addressing of the housing crisis should have been the order of the day, he says.

“The approach of attacking the crisis mainly with massive fiscal and monetary easing completely missed the point that the financial crisis was the culprit, not the Keynesian fairy that made private demand disappear,” he said.

Barry Eichengreen, economics professor at University of California, Berkeley, says even if this is a typical bank-fueled recession, the nation is right to demand quicker solutions because the U.S. is the world’s biggest economy and it has its own currency. But he thinks more stimulus might have been the answer.

“When debt is free and when interest rates are zero and the private sector is deleveraging, that is the right thing to do,” he said.

Source: Marketwatch

Election 2012: The Candidates’ Social Media Profiles – Infographic

Either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is going to be elected as President of the United States of American in a couple weeks. The recent debates have been very entertaining to say the least.

With Facebook hitting one billion users and Twitter registering at about 500 million, we here at Wallaroo Media thought we’d take a dive into the presidential candidates’ social media profiles. We found some very interesting data. Do you think that the information below can be used to predict a winner in this year’s election?

Source: Wallaroomedia

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Who Will Social Media Users Vote For? – Infographic

You’ve probably seen the results of dozens of election polls by now, but what about research specifically concentrating on social media users? How will they be voting in the U.S. presidential election coming up on Nov. 6? To find out, market research firm Lab42 surveyed 500 U.S. social media users.

In the survey, respondents were asked who they planned to vote for, and in an interesting twist, who they’ll be voting against. The survey digs deeper, finding out if spouses agree on presidential candidates, which issues have the most impact on voters’ decisions, and who is just not going to vote at all.

The most significant findings are about the closely watched independents, those who say they aren’t affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties. According to the survey, the race is nowhere near over for denizens of social media, with significant percentages still undecided, especially those who aren’t registered. One statistic that made us laugh: 7% of registered independents have changed their minds four or more times.

And really, 29% of the respondents didn’t even know what “GOP” stands for…? Ouch.

By the way, if you’re having trouble making up your mind, here’s a powerful tool, I Side With, a website that gives you a detailed questionnaire and lets you discover how your political views match up with the candidates.

The survey was conducted Oct. 2-4, 2012 with 500 Facebook and Twitter users responding. A lot has happened since Oct. 4, the day after the first debate in which Obama’s performance was widely panned. However, the next two debates were seen as mostly wins for the Obama campaign, so it’s possible these results could somewhat balance out. And, according to a spokesperson from Lab42, “The majority of respondents took the survey after the first debate, and I think the only stat that may have changed is the undecided vote, which will continue to change up until the election.”

What do you think? Does this survey reflect your impression of the voting landscape in social media?

Source: Mashable.com, Lab42.com

Second Presidential Debate 2012 – Video

Would A Real Good Social Media Campaign Help Any Of The Presidential Candidates – Video

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The Presidential Race On Facebook – Infographic

The U.S. presidential election is heating up, and President Barack Obama is winning by a landslide — on Facebook.

According to a study from social media analytics provider SocialBakers, the Commander in Chief had a dominating lead in May over Republican contender Mitt Romney, in terms of social media fan engagement.

In the left corner of the ring, Obama threw a straight punch with nearly five times as many people “talking about” him as Romney. The president also gained four and a half times as many new fans as his challenger.

Meanwhile, Obama’s viral reach — a metric equal to the total number of “likes” and comments, multiplied by the average number of friends (140) per user — exceeds his opponent’s by almost 25 percent, SocialBakers said.

Obama is a friend of social media, for sure. In the past year, he joined Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram, participated in a live Google+ hangout session, and tweeted a link to his campaign’s Spotify playlist.

“The Obama vs. Romney data raises strong questions about whether Obama’s superior social presence could be an indication of how Americans will vote this fall,” SocialBakers said in a statement…Read More

Source: pcmag,

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If You Make Less Than $500,000 …

If you make less than $500,000 a year, you have no reason to vote Republican!

-A Man On The Street, Name Unknown-

JP Morgan’s $2 Billion Loss Raising More Questions – Better Regulation Needed

JP Morgan’s news about a multi-billion dollar loss has crushed the banking industries revitalization and brought up more questions and the need for regulation. Jamie Dimon revealed a $2 Billion loss in JP Morgan’s Chief Investment Office. Obviously the bank got caught in the highly speculative segment of “synthetic” assets. Dimon explained that the net loss after off-setting other gains will amount somewhere around $800 million with potential to grow over the next couple of quarters.

The news has caused new uncertainty and has fueled new regulation supporter’s case. Indeed, regulation and government oversight are two major topics of this year’s election. The country’s economy has suffered a great deal in the aftermath of the financial crisis and continues to do so. JP Morgan’s blunder has not helped in making things better. It has to be seen what is unfolding in this case and what else is attached to it. Usually when things like this happen, someone else comes out of the bushes admitting the same misery.

Considering the damage such business practices cause for the economy and trust in the banking system, there is no way that the system can continue without serious regulation and oversight. Opponents of new regulations attempts to save the status quo now sound more like crying children complaining they can’t have more candy. This will clearly change the course of political campaigns of both parties in the coming election regarding regulation.

The banking industry has already major reputation problems and can hardly draw a positive opinion from Main Street America. Recent careful attempts of some major players to approach the problem and make things better are facing a complete reset with the newest developments. The immediate question for everyone is now, “what else is luring” and what else have people to endure. If there was any trust left or rebuild, it certainly didn’t get better.

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You’ve got mail from the Republicans – Infographic

Mashable, 03/09/2012