Private and Public Employment Under George W. Bush

And now the reverse of the previous post—while George W Bush was in office, public sector employment steadily rose and private sector employment shrank.

I don’t think this fact or the fact that the reverse has happened during the Obama years really tells us very much about either man’s policies. But it’s a powerful reminder that the real world is more complicated than casual stereotypes and that the public policy process has a lot of moving parts to it beyond the White House’s ideological proclivities. The house price boom, in particular, left a lot of state and local government’s flush with tax revenue and this provided an important economic stabilizer during the mid-aughts.