After prohibiting them for 116 years, McSorley’s Old Ale House was ordered by Mayor John Lindsay to open its doors to women in 1970. The article from that August describes the first co-ed bar brawl in McSorley’s history, when Lucy Komisar, a vice-president of the National Organization for Women and pictured at right, was heckled and antagonized by patrons. Photo: Barton Silverman/The New York Times
What do Republican presidents Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II have in common that Obama doesn’t? Total government grew under those presidents after they faced recessions. By contrast, federal, state, and local government has declined by more than half a million workers in the last three years. Big government ain’t what it used to be.
The graph above comes courtesy of the Economic Policy Institute. Since the recession officially ended in January 2009, the economy has bid goodbye to 584,000 government jobs (private sector employment is up by 2.8 million). That’s a roughly a 2 percent drop. Though the federal workforce actually grew between 2009 and 2011, it’s now shrinking at the fastest rate since the 1950s, as my colleague Derek Thompson has written. By comparison, government payrolls increased by at least a full percentage point during the thirty months after each of the last major recessions, while Republican presidents presided over the economy.