Which party does a better job at managing the economy? My thoughts (long)

This is dumb for a variety of reasons. It totally ignores policy. Top tax rates were cut by a large amount under JFK, welfare was reformed under Clinton. Is that what is generally thought of as Democrat policy? This ignores the Fed, which is what actually controls the economy to the extent it can be controlled. It ignores all the exogenous shocks. Was it Nixon’s fault that OPEC formed, or did Clinton cause the internet bubble? The great recession was caused in part by banking regulations, globalization, Fannie Mae, immigration policy, etc. almost none of which happened under Bush 2.

The economy is incredibly complicated, trying to distill it down into who has president at a given time makes no sense, and is at best superstition. This is like peasants who blame a poor harvest on whether God favors the king.

No, it’s not circular. Democrats were presidents during global economic boom times. There’s no reason to think that who the American president was caused that to happen. It’s much more likely that the correlation runs the other way or that you’ve simply captured enough noise in a very small sample size to overwhelm whatever signal you’re trying to measure.

I mean, you can’t counter the actual numbers with the word “great” in quotation marks. Whatever beliefs conservatives might hold about recapturing the magic of certain decades, there are global economic forces that are much larger than which party holds the American presidency.

You could argue that, but it’s not remotely rigorous.

Again, I’m not saying your claim is wrong. I agree that Democrats are better for the economy. I just don’t think that your analysis of this data really supports that claim at all.

I expect that it is not possible to support any interesting claims about something as complex as the interplay of politics and economics with such a simple model.

All administrations want to create booms, it’s just a matter of which policy levers they choose to pull.

You can start a boom any time you want (if you can get the policy(s) implemented). All booms lead to busts, but the timing of busts might as well be random.