Say It Again With Gusto: Democrats Are Better For the Economy Than Republicans

The Wall Street Journal offers some sage advice today:

For investors worried about how the stock market will fare in the event of a divided government or a sweep by either party in next month’s elections, history offers an important lesson. Stocks tend to go up regardless of which party controls Washington.

This is true. But it’s incomplete, since you might wonder how much the stock market goes up under Democratic and Republican presidents. I’ve got you covered, with the two-term presidencies labeled:

This, of course, is just one of many mysteries of the business community: In general they support Republicans even though Democrats tend to turn in better economic performance. It’s true, however, that Democrats also tend to favor stronger corporate regulation than Republicans, and this produces an interesting exercise in revealed preference: Corporate CEOs are apparently more concerned about regulation than they are about their shareholders.

There’s no question that regulations are annoying, and they can produce a lot of tedious, blood-pressure-raising meetings for CEOs and the rest of the executive suite. They’re also highly salient, whereas economic growth is diffuse and long-term—sort of like climate change. Besides, if CEOs read the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page regularly—and they probably do—they’re most likely convinced that Democrats are routinely disastrous for the economy.

So which is it? Are corporate CEOs shafting their shareholders in order to make their own lives more pleasant? Or do they imbibe too much conservative muck that falsely tells them Democrats are terrible for growth? Or both?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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