links for 2008-04-02
The Money Management Industry

The Washington Monthly

Kevin Drum looks at these two graphs from Larry Bartels:

The Washington Monthly

and muses:

The Washington Monthly: The top chart shows income growth during non-election years... under Democrats, income growth is strong overall and the poor do a bit better than the well off. Under Republicans, income growth is weak overall and is tilted heavily in favor of the already prosperous.

But now look at the bottom chart... performance during election years.... Republicans produce better overall performance, and they produce especially stupendous performance for the well off. Democrats... produce poor overall performance... disastrous performance for the well off, who actually have negative income growth....

[V]oters aren't necessarily ignoring economic issues in favor of cultural issues... election years... [are] all that voters remember. They really are voting their pocketbooks.

Bartels doesn't essay an explanation for this. Do Republican presidents deliberately try to time economic growth spurts -- and are Democratic presidents too lame to do the same? Is it just luck? Or is the difference somehow inherent in the different ways that Democrats and Republicans approach the economy (with Democrats typically focusing on employment and Republicans on inflation)? At this point, your guess is as good as anyone's...