Decent Job Report Adds To Six Months of Decent Growth
The BLS report today showed better than consensus job growth at 165,000. Upward revision to the previous two months brings the six month average to 208,000 jobs added per month. Unemployment ticked down just a hair to 7.5%.
The good news beyond the headline numbers is that long term unemployment declined by 2.2%, or 258,000. Compare that to a drop of 687,000 total over the last 12 months and this month's change seems like good news. But this number is still incredibly high at 4.4 million people and is probably the source of greatest pain in an economy that is otherwise doing fair and headed in the right direction at the very least.
There's been a lot of concern about the effects of the sequester. If the sequester is having an effect already it's not that clear yet as far as jobs go. From what I'm seeing economic data is mostly in line with what we'd expect right now though just a tad bit disappointing overall for the month. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Weekly Unemployment Claims declined again this week though. This is a number that when it spikes upward one week critics of the President like to roll out and use as a gotcha. Of course when it declines several weeks in a row following it's overall trend, I don't see as many people talking about it for some reason.
There's a lot of economic pessimists on this site and others. The way a few folks have said each month that a crash is right around the corner is strangely similar to some Christians who say Jesus' return is nigh and these are the end of days. In religion that's the sort of thing I always think comes with an agenda and I think it may be the same in politics. But for now we have another decent month and the end of our economy and our way of life is on hold for now.
Posted by Adam Ducker at May 3, 2013 9:46 AM
Thanks, as always, for the article.
It’s a great report. This one sent the stock market booming, and for good reason. The growth is taking place entirely in the private sector, with a small loss in government jobs. A continuing strong recovery in the housing sector will keep this recovery going for as far as the eye can see, more than offsetting sequestration cuts. The biggest effect of the sequestration cuts will hit later this year, as cuts in defense spending result in cut contracts and large lay-offs. It will hurt, but it’s a good thing. Defense spending needs to be dramatically cut, and this is probably the only way that will ever be accomplished. It’s foolish that that would ever be necessary in the first place, but there’s so much foolishness already surrounding the issue, so many attempts to claim credit and simultaneously evade responsibility, this will merely pile it on deeper.
With this report, the bears have taken yet another pounding. They’ve been wrong for so long, it’s hard to know where to even start. I’m not much interested in debating them, to tell the truth. Reality is once again exhibiting a liberal bias, and I think I’ll let reality speak for itself.
Yea Obama and company are doing a bang up job with jobs and the economy.
Get used to it KAP.
This stagnant reality with a liberal bias is the new normal.
Bias. That little word. You know, the problem with using bias as grounds for criticism is simple: Just because a person tends to want to pick facts that line up with his or her belief doesn’t mean those facts are wrong. What might make somebody wrong is if their wrong about some of the facts on account of that Prejudice.
So what’s this I see, with Republicans talking about Obama cooking the books, with no proof of any real conspiracy to do so?
There are things Republicans and conservatives don’t want to believe, and this boutique set of media operations they’re addicted to make it even harder for them to admit things.
Democrats are not immune to it, but Conservatives seem to be drowning in it, to the point where people like me wonder if their sources are literally insane.
I mean, point blank, do you really believe that there’s a conspiracy from the UN to take over our country?
It was said that “reality is once again exhibiting a liberal bias.” Since sluggish job growth and a crawling economy is todays reality, it is the reality that liberal bias is exhibiting.
You guys seem quite content with these results so it is no stretch to say this is the new normal that you would have us all become accustomed to.
“I mean, point blank, do you really believe that there’s a conspiracy from the UN to take over our country?”
Nope. Didn’t say I did though, did I?
How about you? Do you really believe that there’s a conspiracy from the rich to take over the country? To steal all of your money and no longer provide for you?
Then again Adam many Christians like myself and all of my friends stay out of the prediction business so how about you balance your statements a little better?
BZA: “…so how about you balance your statements a little better?”
In what sense?
A continuing strong recovery in the housing sector will keep this recovery going for as far as the eye can see
I remember seeing Republicans saying the same thing about the recovery in 2003-2007 after the Clinton/9/11 Recession.
The problem I see is that the recovery is helping those who know how to manipulate a tight market like this (people who are already rich), while the people who would normally be starting small businesses or keeping them going are being forced out of them and going into the workforce instead. Small business growth for the past 4 years has been flat. This is what leads to greater wealth disparity, and it is directly attributable to the exponential increases in overregulations that we have seen from the federal government since 2001…
Some needed regulation is good. Overregulation and bad regulation are killers.
You are correct in your blanket statement about Facts vs. Prejudices.
facts from the report.
The new reality is that the mainstream left controls the media and most of the country sits and sways like children for the pied piper as the Hollywood President does what he wants, and to whom. The new reality is that the 4th pillar (the media) is largely ignoring EVERYTHING that is going wrong. The 4th pillar has become the 5th column.
But keep cheerleading. I love it when self-loathing, spoiled American jackasses talk about how much we need to cut our military. These are the same people that would piss their pants and hide behind a child if an armed criminal came knocking on their door. I for one, see nothing but good sense in having a military might that is so out of proportion to the rest of the world, that traditional conflict with the US is considered laughably stupid.
The left only sees it as good when a socialist sits on the throne of the USSA. Where are the cries of drone killings now? Where is the outrage over Gitmo? Where is the outrage of collateral damage? Virtually all gone, because those fools are happy that Obama has us full throttle on the road to socialist if-it-feels-good-do-it hell.
Why am I not surprised that Yukon Jake, one of the biggest economic pessimists on this site reads and cites Zero Hedge, one of the biggest economic pessimists on the web? Zero Hedge isn’t always wrong but most often bubbles the most negative aspects of any economic report to the top of the pile as if there is no good news ever anymore.
How’s that gold price workin’ out for ya?
You could learn a lot on the Hedge. Don’t read the comments, they will just make you mad, but the articles are almost universally based on verifiable data. They (as Stephen implied is human) take those facts and draw conclusions, but largely the numbers are the numbers.
Why am I not surprised you have nothing to say about the data?
The data reads like this everywhere. The media takes one thing that can be lauded, and ignores the mountain of crap in the room. 165,000 new jobs is great. Not good, but certainly better than a loss or NO jobs. What you are doing is standing before a tenacious tree in a dying forest and saying “LOOK! It is ACTUALLY sprouting a few leaves… what GREAT News!!!!” I am simply taking a few steps back and shaking my head at the forest, thanks to ZH.
Interesting indictment of ZH by the way. Fairly accurate. People routinely make small fortunes with the advice and numbers that reposit that blog. They then post their trades to back up their statements in the comments section.
There’s a lot more than financial news on that site though. When liberties are destroyed, they let people know. When the LIBOR is manipulated, ZH breaks the story. All of the information that you and I have no time to dig up, they dig up and present the facts THEN their spin on them.
This site is nothing but rhetoric about the current events. Which is useful, but more for the sake of catharsis than for anyone from the blue side ever considering the other side may have an extremely valid point. When GWB was in office it was similar, though I was one of his strongest “Red Column Critics” and many conservatives on WB did the same. The blue column however, at least on WB, has no such ability -> as demonstrated thousands and thousands of times.
You can keep fiddling. Just remember that you fiddled all this time when you feel your feet getting wet.
It’s a matter of simple statistics:
Record low interest rates, low inflation (1%), thirty-some months of consecutive growht and job gains, an average job gain of 200,000 non-farm payroll jobs/month, March non-farm payroll revised UP to 322,000, unemployment rate dropping, housing prices rebounding. Dow Jones closing at an all-time high of 15,000. S&P closing at an all-time record, too. Deficits have dropped every year of the Obama administration. Government growth has remained flat which the private sector grows.
Sure, the country and the economy are works in progress. We can always strive to improve. But you gotta really work at it to find negatives in what is happening right now.
The current recovery is fundamentally different from the years between the first and second Bush recession. We’re currently recovering from an asset deflation, an economic downturn unlike any other since the Great Depression. We made a lot of good choices in order to recover. Other countries like Japan are now emulating our model, both in terms of quantitative easing and of deficit spending by government in order to stimulate the private economy out of its deflation. Cutting spending during a downturn in order to address deficits has been categorically proven to be the wrong thing to do.
We made the right choice. Be happy.
Unlike the stock markets, housing prices will take literally years to recover to their highs of 2006. They’ll get there. But it will take time, and right now it’s hard to see how another real estate bubble could develop.
Most of the stuff you wrote about phx8 I attribute to the private sector doing more with less, not anything Obama and company have done because the only thing Obama knows is TAX and SPEND.
Inflation is 1%!?!?
BWAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA - You gotta stop that, I almost lost bladder control when I read that nonsense.
You actually take the CPI as an accurate measure of inflation.
The CPI (which is constantly manipulated and suppressed because many expensive social programs are linked to it - like Social Security) doesn’t take the money supply into account.
Inflation was once resmelting coins with cheaper metals, to make coins that looked the same - but were worth-less - or inflated in value. When we switched to fiat paper, and then disconnected the Gold standard, inflation is now based on a country’s money supply. The CPI is a target adjusted, manipulated metric designed to track expense changes in a “decreasing standard of living.” It is not a measure of inflation.
Try comparing Debt to GDP.
Real Inflation was about 8% for 2012.
If your house was worth $200,000 last year, and stays the same this year, but inflation was 8%. Guess what? You basically took a $16,000 bath courtesy of the Fed. Conservatives will look back on this time and mark it in History as the single greatest fraud ever committed on planet earth.
But it’s all roses and happiness. [cue deliverance music]
Yukon Jake: “I am simply taking a few steps back and shaking my head at the forest, thanks to ZH.”
You’re saying I’m looking at a few sprouting leaves. It’s more like the opposite. ZH looks at a few dead leaves and and says the forest is doomed. ZH gets people in the mindset that things are terrible and the only idea that things are good comes from the government refusing to admit it’s weakness or measure things correctly. That’s a pretty dark hole you live in if you believe that.
We face some big challenges ahead but it would take a great derailing event to change us from heading steady upward to instead the total collapse of our economy and our way of life. I think a good term for people like ZH and yourself is permabears and the name says it all.
You mean like 2014 when Obama care really kicks in, Adam?
The current recovery is fundamentally different from the years between the first and second Bush recession.
When you say stupid things like this, I can tell you aren’t really even serious about the issue and are just making making partisan jabs…
So, the ‘first’ Bush recession started before he was elected, tell me exactly how he managed that?
We’re currently recovering from an asset deflation, an economic downturn unlike any other since the Great Depression.
Or the Great Depression itself. This economic downturn was not just different than the Great Depression, in both cause and scope, it was caused directly by the inaction of the Bush White House and the Democratic Controlled House and Senate. I’ve detailed out the reasons several times to you, but you still continue to make the factually inaccurate soundbites. Of course we are still having issues because people like you are more interested in politics than in economic policy, freedoms and liberties.
We made a lot of good choices in order to recover.
Other countries like Japan are now emulating our model, both in terms of quantitative easing and of deficit spending by government in order to stimulate the private economy out of its deflation.
How is that working out for them? About as good as we are doing. Now, Canada, who took the path the US *SHOULD* have taken is growing faster than just about anyone else. They decentralized much of their government, did austerity the way it should be done and are now reaping the rewards. Yet we continue to ignore the realities of that because of partisan nannery like this.
Cutting spending during a downturn in order to address deficits has been categorically proven to be the wrong thing to do.
Except when it has been proven to be the right thing to do… Oh well.
We made the right choice. Be happy.
We haven’t made a single right choice yet…
Unlike the stock markets, housing prices will take literally years to recover to their highs of 2006.
Their *highs* of 2006 were due to overinflation that led to the bubble in the first place. Now you want them to get there again? We’re doing the exact same things we did during Bush and expecting different results, I wonder how that will play out?
right now it’s hard to see how another real estate bubble could develop.
The exact same way it did before. Very few people saw the real estate bubble during Bush either. Artificially low interest rates were the primary driver of that and we are doing the same thing now, trying to spur on a recovery through economic monkeying instead of fixing the things that are wrong, causing people to do other things that are going to cause more issues down the line in order to make the profit they need to survive during the current economy.
The reality is that we are doing ok now because we have doubled the amount of money in the ‘off the books’ market from 1 trillion dollars to 2 trillion. That is the only thing really keeping our economy going now and it is causing more money to be kept from the government coffers because of overzealous regulation that are hurting much more than they are helping.
Just an example:
As the new millennium dawned, a slimmed-down Canadian government under the Liberals enjoyed large budget surpluses and pursued an array of tax cuts. The Conservatives continued cutting after they assumed power in 2006. During the 2000s the top capital gains tax rate was cut to 14.5 percent, special “capital taxes” on businesses were mainly abolished, income taxes were trimmed, and income tax brackets were fully indexed for inflation. Another reform was the creation of Tax-Free Savings Accounts, which are like Roth IRAs in the United States, except more flexible. The most dramatic cuts were to corporate taxes. The federal corporate tax rate was cut from 29 percent in 2000 to 15 percent in 2012. Most provinces also trimmed their corporate taxes, so that the overall average rate in Canada is just 27 percent today. By contrast, the average U.S. federalstate rate is 40 percent.
U.S. policymakers are currently considering a corporate tax cut, but they are concerned that the government may lose revenues. But Canadian experience shows that governments don’t lose money when they cut high corporate tax rates. That’s because rate cuts induce an expansion in the tax base as economic activity increases and tax avoidance decreases. Canada’s federal corporate tax rate has been cut from 38 percent in the early 1980s to just 15 percent today. Despite the much lower rate, tax revenues have not declined. Indeed, corporate tax revenues averaged 2.1 percent of GDP during the 1980s and a slightly higher 2.3 percent during the 2000s.
Now compare Canada with the United States. In 2012, Canada is expecting to collect 1.9 percent of GDP in federal corporate income taxes with a 15 percent corporate tax rate. The United States is expecting to collect 1.6 percent of GDP at a 35 percent corporate tax rate. Thus, the high U.S. rate is not only bad for the economy, but it also doesn’t help the government collect any added revenue.
Good info, major flaw. Part of the left’s ideology is based upon hating people who work hard for their money and feel entitled to keep it.
If you cut taxes, you aren’t punishing the wealthy as badly, and punishing the wealthy feels good to the naive children of the left. Nevermind the FACT that cutting taxes increases revenues. What matters is how leftists feel about what they are doing.
Everything on the left is feelings based. From the never-ending cries of racism, to political correctness, to gun control - it’s all about making you feel like you’re doing the right thing. Nevermind facts or history. If it feels good, it must be good for you - is a hippie core value.
That is, unless you are a married white male, then what feels good is to insult and disparage - to avenge all the things that have been done by white people throughout history.
Feelings, feelings, feelings… and always stage 1 thinking.
KAP: “You mean like 2014 when Obama care really kicks in, Adam?”
So you’re saying the new healthcare laws kicking fully in will derail us? Doubtful I’m thinking more like the long term stability of Social Security as far as baby boomers go. If we can find a way to preserve Social Security just a couple more decades than we have now then we should be in pretty good shape. Call me crazy, I just feel pretty confident even with the DC gridlock that America will solve the big problems over the long term both in the economy and in our spending.
What rubbish this healthcare law has turned out to be. Even Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid are both warning it will result in an INCREASE in healthcare insurance premiums.
The CBO has estimated that the CHEAPEST plan for a family of four (which you will be required to pay or face a $2500 tax) will cost $22,000 per year. That’s more than my mortgage by a substantial margin.
Tell me again how a family of four who can’t afford another mortgage is going to benefit by spending $2,000 a year for the privelege of saying “I can’t afford this insurance.”
Even people in your own party that once upon a time thought as you do Adam are calling it a train wreck waiting to happen.
Thus, the high U.S. rate is not only bad for the economy, but it also doesn’t help the government collect any added revenue.
Rhinehold the rest of the story is the effective tax rate for US corporations is lower than what Canadian companies pay. Wonder what the real reason is for the
If you cut taxes, you aren’t punishing the wealthy as badly, and punishing the wealthy feels good to the naive children of the left. Nevermind the FACT that cutting taxes increases revenues. What matters is how leftists feel about what they are doing.
Well you are consistent Yukon, just consistently wrong. If tax cuts did in fact increase revenues and create jobs we wouldn’t be having a discussion on the number of jobs created this month. The rest of your gibberish is just as off base as your “FACT”.
Rich, you might want to find some more current information:
If Canada’s latest economic growth data are any indication, the central bank may have been too hasty in marking down its first-quarter forecast.
Gross domestic product, or the sum total of goods and services produced in the economy, grew a stronger-than-expected 0.3% in February. Combined with a revised gain of the same magnitude in January, it marks the strongest back-to-back monthly growth since July to August of 2011.
That puts first-quarter growth on track to beat the 1.5% the Bank of Canada predicted in its latest monetary policy report, economists say.
In fact, according to Mark Chandler of RBC Capital Markets, even if growth stalled in March, overall first-quarter growth could come in at 2.3% – the figure originally forecast by the central bank.
The Canadian dollar firmed noticeably in the wake of the Tuesday morning data, with the U.S. dollar trading recently at C$1.0097 from C$1.0113 before the release, according to data provider CQG.
But don’t cheer too loudly just yet. The next few months are going to be “challenging,” Mr. Chandler warns, because a slowing U.S. economy will spill over to Canada, dragging on demand for exports up north.
j2t2, you do realize that corporate taxes are paid for by the poor, not the corporations themselves, right? I am not a big fan on taxing the poor personally, but if you think we need to do that then by all means, keep pushing for higher corporate tax rates…
And again, try using some current information, the link you provided talks about 2009 rates…
Effective January 1, 2011 the corporate income tax rate falls to 16.5% from 18% of 2010 corporate income tax rate. Yearly tax reductions will see the corporate income tax rate fall to 15% as of January 1, 2012. These corporate income tax reductions, says the Department of Finance Canada, will give Canadian corporations the lowest tax rate on new business investment in the Group of Seven (G7) by 2011 and the lowest statutory tax rate in the G7 by 2012.
I wonder how many of those jobs created are part time work? Since companies are cutting working hours to less than 30, and since companies still need employees; it would stand to reason that companies would hire more people. However, the new employees would only be part time. Which is the result of Obamacare.
This continues to cause the obliteration of the middle-class.
Actually, U6 unemployments fallen faster and further than U3, the standard measure. We’re about where we were when we started the Obama Administration.
Another way to put it: U6 includes those who are part-time, but wish to be full time, so if all the new jobs were party time, according to your Obamacare-panic-inducing theory, then U6 would lag in its reduction behind U3, as people would be finding part-time work when they wanted more.
We find a whole bunch of gold buggery here, not to be too crass about it. What people don’t realize is that during the years of the Gold Standard, we repeatedly saw big, big Depression-size events, as we ended up sending too much of our gold overseas with our currency, taking money supply with it.
Inflation is not altogether a bad thing, until it gets out of control. Our basic problem is that we are reliant on a rather unforgiving, limited fuel source, and some of that fuel is being produced in ways that are making our basic feedstock for much of our food products more expensive.
That’s what’s excluded in CPI, and for the general reason that food and energy have a tendency to fluctuate in cost from season to season. It’s not a conspiracy to defraud, but an attempt to make sure that the noise in the Agricultural and energy sectors don’t overwhelm the price signal. As it is the job of the federal reserve to respond to such things, if they inappropriately diagnose an inflationary trend, and treat it with anti-inflationary measures, they could end up triggering a deflationary episode, which tend to be worse than runaway inflation.
As for this notion that tax cuts fuel growth? You know, it’s a problematic thing, because this is one of those topics on which Republicans and Conservatives just won’t listen to anybody else.
Our problem is not that Corporations are taxed too much to create jobs. Our problem is, people continue to be out of work, and the Sequester isn’t helping that much.
Despite years of despondent, sobbing predictions of doom, the economy has grown continually under Obama, whether the Republicans were in charge or not.
But try getting Republicans to admit that a limited Keynesian stimulus is a good thing. Every liberal policy is imagined as the opposite of a conservative policy, rather than being somewhere more in the middle between the extreme they portray and their policy.
They need to do this for a single, overwhelming reason: they got little innovation, little difference from the agenda they were elected on to sell themselves on. Democrats have to be every bit the radicals they are, if they are to argue themselves as an antidote to the more actively creative Democrats.
The price of food and fuel has remained high for the past 3 years. There has been no seasonal fluctuation.
If we are where we were at when Obama took office; does that take into account the increased population eligible for employment, or the increase of illegals in the country? Or are you basing your numbers on the 2008 work force?
Caspar, BZA, Rhinehold, Yukon Jake, kctim, KAP,
For the past four or five years, there have been predictions the Obama administration’s economic agenda would bring about disaster. Too much debt would bring down the economy. The Fed was printing money, and that meant runaway inflation was just around the corner. Too much government, too many regulations, and too much taxation would spell certain doom.
When doomsday never arrived, it met with disbelief. Surely the numbers are fixed! It must be a conspiracy!
Why hasn’t the economy tanked? Why does the economy keep growing? Where is that runaway inflation? Why have there been so many consecutive months of job growth? Why is the stock market setting records? Why are interest rates so low?
That is the missing link. That is the concept you’re missing. You cannot understand what happened these past four or five years without understanding that concept.
Why didn’t austerity programs work abroad? Why did efforts to address debt by cutting spending make everything worse?
“A situation in which prevailing interest rates are low and savings rates are high, making monetary policy ineffective.”
It’s a consequence of the asset deflation that cratered the housing market, which in turn cratered the financial sector. Since then, we’ve been in a liquidity trap, and as a result, gone through a period of deleveraging among consumers. Because of expectations, consumers have chosen to pay off debt rather than borrow at low rates. It’s a very difficult problem to overcome, probably the most difficult economic challenge of all.
The good news is that I believe we are coming out of it, slowly but surely. The most important sign of this is in the rebound of the housing markets, and we’re seeing it reflected in other parts of the economy.
Use this framework for understanding the situation, and you might just find your predictions and assessments will start being right, which is important, because it will help in making personal financial decisions.
The price of food has been all over the place.
So has the price of oil.
However, more recently, the prices have stayed near a certain level, in each case. In the case of Brent, the price actually has never returned to it’s high in July 2008 of 130 dollars a barrel. It’s averaged around 110.
And there have been significant fluctuations in price, averaging over 4% in either direction in the same direction. I suspect gas prices have done likewise.
Look at the prices for Oranges. There are all kinds of different things at work, including stock market speculation on derivatives and futures. you should realize that nearly every market, including the gasoline market, experienced a huge spike in the run up to 2008, and then tumbled through the floor after that, as the Banks and investment houses basically sold off everything they could. Steeply declined demand didn’t help things.
As the economy has recovered, so have the prices. But even at this point, they don’t seem to be skyrocketing in such a way as to justify the notion of a surge in inflation.
SD, I don’t very often have a need to buy a barrel of Brent crude, but I do buy diesel fuel. And it has been right at $4 a gal for the past 3 years. 4 years ago, diesel was $4.75 a gal. Regarding food; evidently you do not go to the grocery store very often or have the need to shop. Because real food is up and continues to go up. I don’t are what your little graphs say.
I’m going to be very blunt about this, so don’t misunderstand my intent here: if we’re going to have a discussion about what things cost, the standard prices for things like Oil, Diesel, and other Commodities are at least going to have to be the beginning of our conversation.
If they’re not, then what exactly are we basing your argument or my argument on? Anecdotal evidence? Feelings?
I post the commodity prices because whatever gets added on in your neck of the woods (Let me take a wild guess…) it starts with what a barrel of oil costs on the market. Brent, West Texas Intermediate, and other blends all show the same pattern, as do gas prices.
As far as I can tell, the general pattern is this: You have a build up in price, heading towards 2007, a spike about that year, then, afterwards, a huge fall as the recession and then the crash hit in late 2008. After that, you have a rebound of prices once the recovery begins, and since then, prices have tended to orbit an average, rather than continue to climb. They go up, they go down, but they go up about as much as they go down, and vice versa.
That’s what we can see, looking at these benchmarks.
My situation has meant quite a bit of observation about how much things like Groceries and gas cost. And while they cost quite a bit more than they used to, you need to ask yourself why. Ethanol is one reason why. Commodities traders playing games with the costs of things like oil is another. The fact that we’re no longer the only country going car crazy is another. The supply is no longer kept so much to ourselves.
It’s not Obama’s fault. It’s not regulation’s fault. It’s not tax’s fault. It’s a finite product that is only produced at such and such a rate, which is being manipulated by Wall Street hedge funds, and which is increasingly extracted by more and more expensive methods, compared to the old soda-straw at sea-level approach. When you bring fracking, resource extraction like at the Athabasca Tar Sands, and extreme deep sea drilling into the game, prices of oil are going to have to stay at a certain level for it to be even feasible to have that supply.
Prices get too low, supply cannot be extracted, supply goes down, prices come up.
If you find the price of oil problematic, then it’s time to agree with me about shifting our energy focus away from fossil fuels. Short of miracles, you’re not getting out of this cycle by doing more drilling.
CasperWY, your in the discussion with the wrong person. Stephen Daugherty still lives with his parents, drives a Jap made battery car, spends his days playing computer games and watching sy-fy movies, and has no concept of what it means to buy food each week. I doubt he ever drives more than 10 or 15 miles from his parents house. The only social skills or interaction he has with other people is when he posts his life story on the internet. He is a legend in his own mind; but when it comes to the cost of living; he has no concept. I doubt that Stephen has ever bought a gallon of diesel fuel in his life.
The obvious negative about this economy is that it has been pretty much stagnant. By embracing this stagnation, you accept it as the new “normal.”
I haven’t made any predictions or claim any conspiracy.
And you are the last person who should be talking about the “personal financial decisions” of others. Because of the way I was raised with my values and beliefs, I do not put money before rights and freedoms, so I am well prepared for my future.
That is the benefit of not wishing to be dependent on government to provide everything. That is the benefit of not living in fear.
Amazing how many of your facts about me are not only wrong, but irrelevant to the subject at hand.
Except that Honda Insight Hybrid I got. You want to know why I got it? Because I expected oil prices to rise again. Because of inflation? No, because I got the sense that after the economy recovered, prices would go back up. If I got a gas guzzler, I would suffer for my mistake.
You want to paint me as a lazy man, but I’ve been employed since 2005. I’ve also been helping my family out at considerable expense to myself, which is why I live at home. I’d love to get an apartment of my own, and they’d love to see me in one.
One of the things I did for my grandparents was shop for them. And, of course, as the family’s breadwinner, I went shopping an AWFUL LOT. I buy my own food out of my own money. Much of it is Bread, Produce, Fruit, Cereal, and lunchmeat, so I have a weekly encounter with my “kit” of how much basic commodities actually cost.
Additionally, I’ve driven places like Louisiana and Oklahoma, not to mention driven to Conroe, and into work at Houston, so on one of your principle doubts, you’re on the dark side of the moon you’re so far from right.
You really have no idea who I am. You’ve got this concept of me as this homebound liberal nerd who just watches Star Wars at home all day.
I’m much more complicated than that. As for social skills, yes, I find it easier to relate to people on the internet. I do have something of an issue with that, but I have friends I’ve made from many places, and I can deal with people pleasantly.
That’s a skill you seem to have not exercised here, if you possess it.
I have a clear idea of cost of living. I have a clear idea of what can happen when an unscrupulous mortgage servicer violates the spirit of a deal to reduce house payments. I have a clear idea of the tensions it can cause in a household when the money gets shorter on account of that.
You think I’m angry about such things because I’m this comfortable kid who vegetates at home, and feels all full of self-righteousness in the abstract. The reality is, I’m angry because I’m the rubber that meets the road in terms of the middle class getting squeezed. The last several years have been an endless set of reminders of the cost of living.
You’ve pieced together fragments and glued them together with your own maliciously stereotypical thoughts of who am and where my sense of things comes from. The truth is, you’re wrong, and you deserve to be called out for being wrong. You also deserve to be called out on using one of the worst examples of ad hominem argumentation I’ve seen in a while.
I mean, it’s a near-literal case of “what does my life have to do with the price of tea in China?”
He made an argument that prices have gone up continuously, and I present evidence, hard as it gets, that prices have actually not done so, that after rising to a certain point, the fluctuations have gone back and forth around an average price. The logic is simple: I tested his claim.
In general, prices for oil and for diesel have behaved similarly, and as I’ve said: rising then spiking in the latter part of Bush’s second term, falling after the Financial crisis started, and demand sunk and financial companies dumped their oil holdings, and rising after the recovery started to a plateau where they currently remain.
If you have a RELEVANT reason why my claim should be disregarded, have at it. But if your main reason boils down to the fact that you think I’m a stereotypical nerd, then you haven’t really won any argument, or made any valid response to my very valid, very sound claim that prices have not behaved as he said they did.
There’s nothing hidden or mysterious about the fact that business owners, corporate bigwigs and others have bought into a political sensibility that says that the best thing for them, and for prosperity in general is low taxes, low regulations, less checks and balances on their own behavior.
I’ve been at the receiving end of that in the way they haven’t, so I stand up for my own interests. It’s that simple. And I don’t think what they’re doing in general is inhuman. It’s perfectly human. They’re looking out for their bottom line. Unfortunately, as they’ve won, other people’s bottom lines have suffered for the sake of their own.
Now do I need them to go down in utter defeat? Not really. The better way to put it is, I need them to make the compromise with us that is best for both sides. It may not be the best that they could manage if they were in charge and could get everything they wanted, but I think if they work better with us, they will find people much, much less concerned about their making themselves wealthier.
So long as the average person experiences economic stability, mobility, and the rewards of hard work, folks will be much less likely to feel they have to take from those above them.
But if things are stacked agaisnt people, you will see a much more contentious battle over their self interests, mutual and otherwise.
Too much of right wing policy nowadays is about power fantasies. The notion that they can win some final victory, and everybody else will just learn to live with it. Well, they didn’t learn to live with Democrats being in charge, or populist economic policies being in place, so why do they think that people like me and liberals would just learn to live with their situation?
Part of what I think happened in the last decade is that Liberals got tired of being the ones to have to sacrifice what they believed in, for no other benefit than being kicked in the head for being traitors, economy-destroyers, or whatever else Republicans chose to call them. As Bush Policies started yielding disastrous results, the time came to stop accepting the status quo. And the defeat of John Kerry? That didn’t ultimately help things for the Republicans. Rather than have a Democrat win, with a Republican Congress, they ended up having a Democrat win four years later, and with a Democratic Congress.
Republicans essentially motivated their rivals towards greater political activism, even as their failures started dropping their support. And now what are they doing?
Same thing. Only they’re now hanging on by their fingernails. Rather than force Democrats to the bargaining table, they force themselves away from it, reducing any benefit they could get from the mixed government. Instead, the fact that they don’t have a full government all to themselves, as they did ten years ago, makes them positively impotent when it comes to passing actual law.
It’s a stalemate, and a temporary one at that. I don’t imagine they’ll stay strong for too many more years. It just won’t work. People, sooner or later, will want results. Even if they’re happy with nothing being done now, there will come a point where folks want the full force of government behind something, and Republicans will have the choice of risking support by taking care of business, or risking it by not doing so.
While most pundits have focused on the BLS Establishment Survey, which reported that 165,000 payroll jobs had been created during April, the Household Survey* numbers told a much different story.
Total employment rose by 293,000 during April, but part-time jobs increased by 441,000. As a result, full-time jobs declined by 148,000.
The number of “full-time-equivalent” (FTE) jobs** only increased by 73,000. This was not enough to keep pace with the growth of our working-age population, so the “FTE jobs ratio” (the number of FTE jobs per 100 working-age Americans), fell.
While the “headline” (U-3) unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage points to 7.5% during April, the broader U-6 rate increased by 0.1 percentage points (to 13.9%). The even-more-comprehensive “SGS Alternative” unemployment rate also rose by 0.1 percentage points, equaling its record high of 23.0%, a level it first attained in December.
The April jobs numbers describe a mass replacement of full-time workers with part-time employees, coupled with a fall in the length of the average workweek. This happens to be precisely what you would expect, given the perverse incentives baked into Obamacare, which took effect on January 1.
Stephen; I was better than 50% correct. With only your word that you were a breadwinner. I would still venture to say, I am 1005 correct. Liberals are easy to figure out; they are so in love with themselves and elite, they believe they are right and everyone else is wrong. This is you Stephen; you tell us what you are. Let me be blunt (in your terms) you are full of yourself. Your political persuasions, religious beliefs, and belief in GW, evolution, and disdain for the Constitution are also easy to figure out. All I have to do is listen to the radical speech of Obama and the left, and voila, that’s Stephen Daugherty.
Well, stop the presses. Someone thinks that unemployment report was actually bad because… because… OBAMACARE! You should contact the NYSE, AMEX, and NASDAQ immediately and tell them the market should have gone DOWN, and not boomed. Wow. Over 6 billion shares traded in error. Those fools. Those poor, ignorant fools. In their irgnorance, they looked at non-farm payroll, upward revisions, and significantly lower unemployment claims, while completely failing to take OBAMACARE into account.
You know, Rhinehold, you can always find someone who will be negative. Every equity and bond market in the country just told you the author of that article was dead 100% wrong in his assessment, and practically everyone who covers the economy. It really takes effort to find something negative like that. You might get your jollies from standing outside the fray and being negative, but it won’t work out very well in reality, because in this case reality is actually looking pretty good- and being positive is not only its own reward, but in this case, being positive is actually right, and pays rather nicely.
phx8, it’s a shame you didn’t actually read the article and just zero’d in on ‘Obamacare’, you might have learned something. And no, I’m not posting the entire article here, I posted enough to give people who wanted to learn more a place to go. It’s obvious you don’t want to do that.
Like was stated : “Total employment rose by 293,000 during April, but part-time jobs increased by 441,000. As a result, full-time jobs declined by 148,000.”
Of course, when the stock market was booming after such information about 8 years ago, I’m going to surmise that you weren’t being the same positive than as you are now. But I’m sure it has nothing to do with your ideology at all…
in this case reality is actually looking pretty good
If you consider stagnation pretty good, it’s little wonder you are happy with how the US is performing and has been performing for decades…
I’ll give a little historical context.
These are the changes in GDP during the years following the ‘Great Depresssion’:
We are now seeing GDP changes in the 1-3% range. Are you saying that we are doing ‘pretty good’ when we can’t come anywhere close to matching the increased GDP following the Great Depression?
In fact, here is just one comment from phx8 in 2006 concerning the economy despite increases in the DOW:
Good point, except that the Labor Pool Participation Rate is about where it was 15 years ago, a little under 70%. The population of the US has increased @ 13 million since Bush took office, yet only 3 million non-farm payroll jobs have been added. Something is seriously out of whack.
The problem is that the unemployment rate only measures people laid off within the last six months who are actively looking. Too many unemployed do not meet this criteria. In addition, I suspect a lot of people are under the radar, off the charts, part of a black market. Unfortunately, it is hard to get a read on that.
Of course, during the last couple of years the black market has increased from $1 trillion to $2 trillion (effectively doubled).
Or when unemployment was 4.4%
A lot of people are uncertain about these numbers, not as a matter of partisanship, but because the employment numbers- which are volatile- have initially been reported as very weak; earlier numbers have been revised substantially higher twice in a row. Is something wrong with the way initial non-farm payroll numbers are being calculated? As you noted, the Labor Pool Participation Rate remains steady, albeit at a relatively low rate. This is not a number that normally receives a great deal of attention, so perhaps it is not worthy of too much attention. Still, uncertainty abounds.
Oh, and I love this one from Stephen in that same comments section…
The main Republican talking point seems to be that all good is his responsibility, and everything bad is either not his fault, or the result of incomplete or unenthusiastic support of his agenda. There’s no falsifiability, nor way of telling whether his economics are right, given that view. The real question is why nobody’s feeling their boat being floated if there’s such a rising tide.
You see above that phx8 is concerned in 2006 about the labor participation rate, while being stable, was around 70% which was disturbing and a sign that things were not very good.
This is a chart of the labor participation rate now:
You can see that the labor participation rate is now below 64% and has been falling steadily…
But things are good!
Those pesky archives. Thanks Rhinehold for putting phx8 in his place. I had a good laugh. It simply shows how asinine the left really is.
You’re like a monkey throwing its own feces around its cage. The monkey thinks it is clever, but it is so lacking in self-awareness, it doesn’t realize the only sure thing that comes from throwing poo is that the crap gets all over its own hands, and the monkey is the one who ends up smelling like shit.
Because that’s what your comments smell like, monkey-boy. Just so many personal attacks that reflect badly on you. I don’t think you know the first thing about the economy. But feel free to prove me wrong. Nothing would make me happier. See if you can contribute something positive to the discussion.
Pardon the digression. I was going to let Stephen address the personal crap spewing from “George,” but it seemed like a good time to be a little more direct.
Is GDP growth in the 1 - 3% range good? Absolutely. We’re coming out of a liquidity trap, remember? That rate of growth is great.
You write: “… the Dow isn’t, nor ever should be, an valid indicator of how the economy is doing. Here is a snapshot of the DOW between 5/6/2003 and 5/6/2007…”
The stock market is a leading indicator. It’s far from perfect in predicting the future, but it’s pretty good. The bond market is even better.
I thought Bush was president from 2001 to 2009. Why wouldn’t we look at the stock market over the entire term?
I’m not sure what your point is re the Labor Participation rate. It seems safe to say the economic record during the Bush administration was… um… not good. It ended in an economic collapse. The Labor Participation rate fell dramatically during that collapse, and like the housing market, it is still recovering. The trends are positive, and often, the trend is crucial in determining future prospects.
My point is that you need to be able to synthesize. Take the information, weigh the good against the bad, and make a realistic assessment. When it comes to the economy, you’ll always be able to find a bear. Same goes for bulls.
The final arbiter is reality.
It’s not accurate to refer to the economy as “stagnant.” The economy is not remaining flat, or flutuating around zero, back and forth between positive and negative numbers. The economy has consistently grown, both in terms of GDP and non-farm payroll, for over 2-and-a-half years. Consistent growth and improvement is NOT stagnation. The bond market reflects an expectation that this improvement will continue without inflation. The stock markets are setting all-time highs. The unemployment rate has fallen and federal deficits have declined every year.
What makes this even more remarkable is that we came out of an economic collapse. The housing market collapsed, the investment banks collapsed, and the result was a credit crunch and liquidity trap. It was the worst economic situation most of us have ever experienced.
There was no road map for recovering from this type of economic disaster. The closest analogues were the failures to recover after the Great Depression and the Lost Decade suffered by Japan. We learned some valuable lessons; instead of taking a decade or more to recover, we’re already escaping the liquidity trap. I don’t think most people appreciate just how remarkable that is.
First, you can blame Obamacare (does he provide any direct evidence?), but maybe you can also blame a more direct loss of economic activity.
As for part time job increases? Not necessarily a bad sign, as businesses often hire back part time and then shift those workers to full time jobs. As for Shadowstats? Give me a break. The BLS does actual surveys for the jobs report. Shadow stats is a mere spitballing
He doesn’t really present evidence that one causes the other. He doesn’t weed out the retirements, he doesn’t weed out the new hires unrelated to other kinds of work, and he certainly doesn’t mention the forced reduction in government spending of hundreds of billions of dollars. Gee, could that send a bunch of private jobs part time, or even eliminate them as contractors cut back?
Nah, we’re just getting that austerity for free!
If you get much of your facts and most of your conclusions wrong, you don’t get to play percentages.
With only your word that you were a breadwinner. I would still venture to say, I am 1005 correct.
With only my word? I’m not mailing you, or posting, my W-2 forms. I’m not asking you for a birth certificate to make sure you’re not a Soviet Plant.
Your picture of me is starkly different from the reality. You picture me as a shut-in, but the reality is, though I’m not the most social person, I go to work, and my fellow employees know me, and many like me. I’m not completely crippled as far as social skills go.
As I’ve said before, my Dad got hit by a stroke, and that left him unable to work. I’ve helped support the family since then. I’ve done plenty of budgeting, even taken to doing it on excel spreadsheets. Nowadays, the burden’s been relieved somewhat, how being none of your business, but the long and the short of it is, even now, I manage my own finances, and keep my accounts in the positive. I do work for other family members, keeping watch on my late grandparent’s house, and helping out my Aunt as I did with my Grandparents groceries.
I’ve faced my share of challenges, even before then. I went to college, got my degree, kept myself dressed and fed all by my lonesome with my family hundreds of miles away.
And where did I go? UT? Some community college? No, this liberal, who at the time was agnostic at best, decided to go to one of the most conservative universities in the country, where the rivalry with on-campus political parties was between those on the right, and those even further right!
It might surprise you to learn, though, that the basic religious position of Baylor University is not fundamentalist. They’re contextualists. They didn’t push creationalism there, they even rejected an attempt at creating an intelligent design-based institute on campus. The evangelicals on campus, nonetheless, were pretty evangelical.
I actually LIKED the fact that the campus was non-alcoholic! Would that surprise you?
I’m not as simple as your pre-packaged narrative would let you believe. The real trouble is, I have no real good faith partners to negotiate with, these days. If meeting you halfway means I have to agree to everything you want, no matter how much I disagree with it, I’m not interested. I’ll take my chances pushing something more liberal that might get worn down to something more centrist, rather than accept something I find too extreme.
You think you have things figured out. In reality, you’ve only written the story for yourself, an other see and know things quite differently.
The Labor Participation rate fell dramatically during that collapse, and like the housing market, it is still recovering. The trends are positive, and often, the trend is crucial in determining future prospects.
Take a look at the Labor Participation rate again, it isn’t trending positive…
The unemployment rate has fallen and federal deficits have declined every year.
You are like the going out of business furniture store that marks their inventory at 50% off (after marking it up 150%) and calling it a huge savings…
The deficit jumped up by an order of magnitude to pay for TARP, GM Bailout, stimulus, etc. These were one time payments that increased the deficit and the deficit SHOULD have gone down afterwards. BUT the deficits compared to previous ones (when the Dems took over congress we were within 150 billion of a balanced budget) it is not decreasing, and is projected to increase again starting next year.
Of course, when I say ‘one time payments’, it wasn’t exactly ‘one time’, which is why the deficit has decreased a little each year. So we are at the trough now, as we just finished spending the last of the stimulus money that was authorized in 2009. That is why the numbers are projected to start their increase again…
Companies have been substituting part-time jobs for full-time jobs for years. They do this in order to avoid paying benefits, including medical costs. During the Bush administration, private health care costs skyrocketed. One year, the company I was at changed its health care provider to one that was increasing only 17%, because the current one at the time was going up 31%. Thanks to Obamacare, health care costs have stopped skyrocketing for the first time. Why? So-called ‘administrative costs’ at private health care companies have been restriced to about 20% of costs.
The fundamental fallacy here is that Obamacare imposes health care costs for the first time. That’s false. Health care costs existed prior to Obamacare. Due to the greed and inefficiency of the private sector, those costs grew out of control. Obamacare reigns them in.
Thanks to Obamacare, health care costs have stopped skyrocketing for the first time.
LOL. Those ‘administrative costs’ are almost 100% due to governmental regulations…
The fundamental fallacy here is that Obamacare imposes health care costs for the first time.
I’m not sure where you pull this straw man from, but no one I know of has ever suggested any such thing. Government has been increasing the costs of healthcare for decades. Obamacare just INCREASES those costs above what they were.
I’m sure you still believe that Obamacare ‘reigns in healthcare costs’ but nothing of the sort is going on or will go on. In fact, even the people who WROTE Obamacare concede that health insurance rates will increases because of Obamacare, as will health care costs. Because while we cap things with Medicare, we also write laws allowing those caps to be ignored. As we do with Medicare and the Doc Fix problem.
The inefficiency has NOT been because of the private sector, it has been because of the government putting their noses under the tent of private health care. This can be documented and tracked, as more and more regulations on health care were added, the costs increased and increased. Businesses cannot just raise prices too much above costs because their competitors will kill them in the marketplace and they will lose money in the long run. HOwever, when you use government power to foster and protect monopolies and add costs to the health care industry through governmental regulation, it is quite laughable to suggest that the fix to the problem is MORE government regulation and oversight.
Health care SPENDING has flattened off, but that is not because of Obamacare but because of the increased cost that employees have to pay through increased deductibles coupled with the recession. I know it is the progressive dream that these lower health care spending will stay in place after the recession is ‘over’, it is only going to stay in place if people are given an incentive to watch their spending. Increasing the deductibles does this to an extent. But any chance of doing that by making insurance available outside of the business setting are offset by limiting the types of policies that people can purchase. For example, my wife and I are unable to have children, but we are forced to, by Obamacare, purchase a policy that covers those things we will not use. Men are required to purchase policies that have OB/GYN coverage, Women are required to purchase policies that cover prostate exams/cancer, etc.
It’s the ‘one size fits all’ mentality of the progressive mindset that keeps people from effectively managing their own healthcare and finances.
The irony is that while we move to a government system where an unelected bureaucrat determines what type of insurance we can and can’t buy, England and Canada are moving back to a more market based healthcare system…
Article in today’s Oregonian. The state-run exchange will drive prices dramaticlly lower by introducing direct competition between insurers. Obamacare is not only going to work- it’s going to be better than anyone imagined. And those opposing Obama today are going to be proven wrong, in practice, in fact, on a scale that’s stunning. Remember how Ronny Reagan said Medicare would destroy our freedom? Think wrong on that scale. Really, get used to it. Conservatives and libertarians are already used to being that wrong, but the rest of us need to adjust.
“Remember how Ronny Reagan said Medicare would destroy our freedom? Think wrong on that scale. Really, get used to it.”
I think most Americans know that having no choice and that government forced mandatory participation somehow now means “freedom” in todays US.
But hey, as long as projections say some people will save a buck or two, it’s worth it.
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