From the “Words Mean Things” File

The following is not a comment on the wisdom or value of current economic policy, nor is it to suggestive a simplistic correlation between the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the occupant of the White House.  However, anyone who thinks we are in the least bit “anti-capitalistic,” or that the current policies of the federal government are “communistic” need to go read a book (or three).

Via CNN:  Dow closes above 15,000.

Here’s the DJIA over the last five years:



Whatever one might wish to say, the investor class is doing quite well (even with the dreaded PPACA destroying the economy, not to mention an increase in top marginal tax rates).

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. stonetools says:

    Well, are you going to believe the Republicans or your own lying eyes?

  2. Franklin says:

    Steven, Steven, Steven – clearly you’ve overlooked the possibility that it would have hit 20,000 if not for PPACA and increased top marginal tax rates!!!

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Steven, Steven, Steven…. Don’t you know Obama’s lackeys have infiltrated Wall Street and are rigging the DJ 500? I have it on good authority that the actual DJ 500 has actually continued to drop to 5000. Just try and cash in your 401K and see what you get.

  4. mantis says:

    However, anyone who thinks we are in the least bit “anti-capitalistic,” or that the current policies of the federal government are “communistic” need to go read a book (or three).

    That’s just what the Kenyan anti-colonialists want you to think!

  5. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Unskew the Dow!

  6. matt bernius says:


    What you don’t understand is that the Dow is rising *despite* the action of Obama.

    If Romney had won it would have passed, like, 50,000 today and unemployment would have been at like -15% thanks to the binders full of pro-business-capitalism-and-freedom policies he would have passed by now.

  7. john personna says:

    Actually, if you want to really hearken back, President Obama advised the public to buy stocks, when the market was at its bottom in 2009. Some socialist.

    If I recall correctly, OTB criticized this as unpresidential AND thought it was bad advice.

    (I thought it was good advice, but yes, that the President should not have been giving it. Of course, we all should have gone all-in at that point. And perhaps the President was just communicating to us what the Treasury Secretary was telling him, about the effect of a low (to zero) interest rate policy.)

  8. john personna says:


    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4, 2009, 3:24 AM

    What you’re now seeing is profit-and-earning ratios are starting to get to the point where buying stocks is a potentially good deal if you’ve got a long-term perspective on it,” Obama said Tuesday.

  9. edmondo says:

    I suppose stonetools will be on here in a little bit to tell us how Obama really is a fighter for the poor and afflicted.

    I must be getting old. I remember when the Democratic party used to disdain trickle down economics not facilitate it.

  10. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @john personna: Actually, the only time I’ve really timed the market correctly was in March, 2009, when my wife and I put $ 20K into stocks. Obama’s advice had less to do with it than the fact that the Fed had just announced a number of major banks that passed its stress test.

  11. Rob in CT says:


    Me too, except it was only $10k. I think we got in juuuuuust before or juuuuust after the actual bottom (Dow at 666, which is amusing).

    Unfortunately, my timing has been poor with other decisions (putting money in in 2007, pulling some out in 2011 – right where you see the dip on the graph).

  12. Rob in CT says:

    @john personna:

    Hah. Over-cautious, as it turns out! That was basically right at the bottom.

  13. john personna says:

    @SC_Birdflyte, @Rob in CT:

    I guess we three are a set. I too nibbled in March 09, but did not go all-in.

  14. Barry says:

    @Franklin: “Steven, Steven, Steven – clearly you’ve overlooked the possibility that it would have hit 20,000 if not for PPACA and increased top marginal tax rates!!! ”

    It would have been Dow 36,000 if not for the Evul Gore administration[1], which destroyed the US economy.

    [1] It couldn’t have been a Republican administration, so the liberal MSM must be lying to us, and this ‘Bush’ they talk of is just liberal propaganda.

  15. mantis says:

    You’ll like this, Steven:

    On Day Stock Market Sets New Record, Conservative Group Floats Impeaching Obama For ‘Wrecking The Stock Market’

    Words, and reality for that matter, mean nothing to these people.

  16. Rob in CT says:

    @john personna:

    I do regret not being a little more aggressive. My wife and I maintain a rather large cash cushion, because we’re both uber cautious. At that point, it was not entirely clear that both of our jobs were 100% safe, so we maintained that large cushion (~$20k, IIRC) rather than pouring it into the market. I was certain we were at or very near the bottom (DOW bottom was below 7k, I think we bought in around 7200). But the thing was our jobs were pretty safe, and it was clear even then. So we coulda/shoulda put in 20-25 instead of 10. Ah, well.

    My other unfortunately timed decision in 2011 had to do with fear of Eurotrash. As in fear that Europe could really implode, and cause more havoc on Wall St. I decided to hedge a bit. But Europe has avoided full meltdown, the Fed has the pedal to the medal, and so that hedge now looks bad. The DAY AFTER my trade went through, the DOW jumped 500 points, and has continued to rise (now up ~3500 points since my hedge move). I’ve promised a couple of people at the office to let them know when I make my next brilliant move, so they can do the opposite 😉