Firms Hiring 14% MORE New Grads & Paying Better. Can We Blame George Bush?

The foul economic news keeps piling up. On top of anemic growth of 5.3% and a 4.7% unemployment rate we can add THIS from NPR: the National Association of Colleges and Employers reports that companies are hiring 14% more new college grads than last year - and they’re paying more, with benefits.

BTW - even those grads who cannot read can listen to this one.

This is terrible news. I know lots of grads were looking forward to the unemployment that the liberal media promised was available. They craved those McJobs that the Dems said were the only things out there. Now they may have to take well paying jobs as engineers of business people. Who can you blame for that?

Eventually even liberals will notice that things are good. I know. I know. The future sucks. In the long run we are all dead. But even if the economy goes south today, things will seem better. Jobs lags the general economy and the perception that the job market is good lags even that. Bad news for Dems. By November everybody will be way too happy. Americans are optimistic even when things are bad. How much more optimistic will they be when they have something to be optimistic about?

Two things are clearly true:

You should never bet against the U.S. economy and jobs machine and ...
kids today have it too good. In my day we had a REAL unemployment level and we were happy to get it.

Posted by Jack at June 1, 2006 11:34 PM
Comments
Comment #153622

And for an alternate viewpoint:


http://counterpunch.com/gould05252006.html

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 2, 2006 2:18 AM
Comment #153626

Tim,
The article linked by Jack starts with this lead:

“This year’s graduates enter what’s being described as one of the hottest job markets in years.”

As long as we only compare this year to previous Bush years, it is marginally better. Maybe even hot! hot! hot! by Bush standards. You are being totally unfair by comparing Bush to Clinton or anyone else prior to 2001. Keep the bar very, very low, please. Compared to the previous four years of Bush, this year sucks slightly less. Maybe. It is debatable. Let us see the morning numbers.

Posted by: phx8 at June 2, 2006 2:37 AM
Comment #153627

phx8:

“You are being totally unfair by comparing Bush to Clinton or anyone else prior to 2001.”

Thank you.

“Let us see the morning numbers.”

It’s morning in America now and the facts are stubborn. Statistics are more pliable.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 2, 2006 2:46 AM
Comment #153634

Facts are stubborn boys. Maybe you should read your own sources carefully. They are trying hard to make good news look bad. The general idea is that this is not the best time we ever saw, so it is not good.

They comparison year they choose is 2001. You recall, 2001 was the year the dot com bubble was bursting employment was still high.

Yes this year is not the best ever. It is in the top 5% of the last 50 years.

And you know you cannot get better than ever forever. If you listened to NPR (NOT Fox. NPR is generally considered liberal) you found that we are at nearly full umemployment. It doesn’t get very much better.

The operative analogy is an athlete who on steroids. He gets sick and recovers full health. You complain that he is not at the steroid level. He is already running the mile at 3:44, but since it is not a world record, you pretend it is horrible

Let me tell you guys, it does not get much better. You are in the strange postition of hating prosperity for your country because you hate your president. YOu cannot take joy in sunshine, flowers or good news because you hate the man so much and you fear good news will make others hate him less.

Do some research of your own in real sources, not partisan ones. See how many times our economy has grown at 5.3%. See how many years unemployement was below 4.7%. See how many times productivity has increased so fast. This has been improving since 2003. that is going on three years.

I am sorry that the world is not as bad as you think.

I graduated from college when unemployement was about 10%. Unemployment was considered normal and good when it was under 6%. Economists thought anything less than 5% was full employement and maybe not possible for more than a very short time. We have achieved a lot.

If you cannot see it, you are blind on purpose.

Posted by: Jack at June 2, 2006 6:46 AM
Comment #153635

PHx8

As I said many times, presidents get too much credit for a good economy. But you have to stop BLAMING Bush for the economy when there is nothing to be blamed about.

I also explained many times about lag times. The economy started to decline in 2000 (March) and recovered in 2003. Bush’s policies COULD NOT HAVE CAUSED THE DOWNTURN since it began before he took office.

And this year, these numbers, this economy compares favorably with most of the last 50 years. It is a lot like 1998, which was a good year. Unemployment will probably drop further this year (since it lags the economy). It is already very low.

Posted by: Jack at June 2, 2006 6:51 AM
Comment #153640

Jack:

For some reason—don’t even stop to consider why—I was watching the National Spelling Bee finalists last nigbt on television. One of the final words was ‘weldschmerz’, a Germanic word.

The young lady asked for the definition, which is “a hopelessness in the face of even good news; sympathetic pessimism”.

Almost rolled off my chair when I heard that. I now know how to describe the general mood of the lefties who write on Watchblog, which ironically makes me even more happy. :)

Tim:

How do you respond to Jack’s claim that the growth this year, while not the best ever, is “in the top 5% of the last 50 years.” That negates any ability to look in the short term, but rather forces a longer term viewpoint. I’d be interested in what negatives that evokes in you, if any.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 2, 2006 7:42 AM
Comment #153641

Jack-
All this positive economic news still has him digging himself out of the hole he started everything with, if it’s him digging us out at all. When he starts topping the numbers he started out with in 2001, when he had the chance to more assertively combat corporate corruption and avoid deficit, then we’ll talk.

You folks always bring up the tax cuts, but there again, you’re having to dig yourself out of a hole, one that tops 300 billion every year. This one, you haven’t successfully removed yourself from at all.

Increases in the national debt like our current one (Reagan/Bush 41’s Cold War Spending, LBJ’s Vietnam Spending) have generally been followed with difficult economic recessions.

The burden from our debt will come back to haunt us a few years from now. We can only hope it’s not too disastrous. it will be painful, though.

There are also doubts as to whether tax cuts in such a low tax regime actually make much of any difference. If you’re charging people what they did in the 70s, maybe it helps, but that with things as low as they are now, the market likely needs better reporting (so that people can easily trust what they hear) more than it needs tax cuts.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 2, 2006 7:48 AM
Comment #153643

Jack
It may be hopeless to convince the left Jack…but we must continue to try…..compasionate conservation…remember…patience …one step at a time…..

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 2, 2006 8:05 AM
Comment #153644

Jack,

I like how cite NPR for a positive economic story, then bash the liberal media for supposedly telling people the economy is bad.

Bad news for Dems. By November everybody will be way too happy.

Wishful thinking, my friend. First of all, we went through this before in 2000. Gore didn’t benefit very much from any economy-related happiness explosion.

Secondly, people are most concerned about terrorism, Iraq, and gas prices, according to this poll.

http://www.pollingreport.com/prioriti.htm

Terrorism, of course, should be favorable for the GOP because we haven’t been attacked again. But that’s been true for almost five years. People aren’t going suddenly realize this now. Iraq is looking more and more like a quagmire. Gas prices, well, who knows but the summer driving season is just starting now so they will probably go up.

The other hot issue now (6th in the poll) is immigration. I don’t see the GOP making anyone happy with this one.

So if you want to good news for the GOP (you are glass full kind of guy, so why call it bad news for the Dems?), pray for something good to happen in Iraq.

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 2, 2006 8:07 AM
Comment #153656

Jack,

As a prime example of your post (1 year out of college, good paying job, good career, etc), i can’t say much against your post.

What i have seen in my experience is that the new grad market is fairly focused. My engineering, accounting, finance (which i was),physical therapy, biological sciences, and education friends are turning down offers left and right. A year ago, i had three, all well paying. The specialized majors with practical applications (the ones i just mentioned)are in high demand and companies can’t recruit enough. The job market is HOT for these types.

The flip side of that are the grads with the “liberal arts” majors (read: communications, history, psycology, etc) who are having a hard time finding meaningful work. In my hometown, recent grads with degrees in these fields are still working “summer jobs”. Nobody wants to hire them because they don’t have a specialized skill. The new grad market is two-faced in this regard. A college grad NEEDS a skill to be competitive in this marketplace or they will be left behind.

Posted by: Greg at June 2, 2006 9:05 AM
Comment #153661

Every time we say the economy is well, we need to also think about the debt. I think that’s only fair, and the debt is so massive that no one should say we have a great economy. If you agree with Cheney that “debts don’t matter” Jack, then I would like to hear that.

My second question is, if students are getting lots of jobs, what about all the people that lost their jobs before? Is this the kind of world we live in, that companies ditch their older workers for an assembly line replacement of new, younger ones, rather than bothering to train the employees they already have?

I’m not trying to be negative. More jobs for students, that’s great. But it doesn’t mean the economy as a whole is great. Also, it doesn’t tell the whole story. I really don’t like what’s going on in this country in terms of our new reliance on overseas expertise and the new unquestioning acceptance of fire at will policies.

Posted by: Max at June 2, 2006 9:59 AM
Comment #153667

Jsck

Is it good news that jobs for college grads are improving..Absolutely. But does it mean the economy is getting better, maybe, maybe not.

The economy is complex with lots of numbers, components and facts. Economic indicators go up and down monthly. These numbers can be sliced and diced to paint any picture you want. To jump for joy with one set of good news is pre-mature. It can change next month or next quarter.

Overall I give the economy a B-. High level/Summary indicators are good (unemployment down, inflation in check, Productivity the best in the world and GDP is up), But when you get to the details that make up the numbers and how we got there, there are reasons to be concerned (large trade deficit, large budget deficit and increased government spending, economy financed by Arab countries and China, Increased Poverty, more uninsured, American workers over-worked, stressed and in constant fear of being layed-off, what impact will increased oil prices have?).

Posted by: Steve at June 2, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #153677

Jack,

There are net less jobs being created. How far do you need to slice and dice the data to find your “the economy is great” information? I mean seriously, the lack of new jobs right now is an indicator of how poorly the economy is doing. To point to student jobs as “the” indicator of our great economy without mentioning that jobs overall are really weak is to completely mislead.

The time and effort Republicans put into manufacturing fake good news is astounding.

This from the New York Times (sorry I don’t read FOX news, because studies have shown its viewers are less informed than most):

The American economy added a surprisingly weak number of jobs in May, a sign that nervousness over a cooling economy may be spreading among the nation’s employers.

The net increase in nonfarm payrolls in May — 75,000 — is a significant falloff from April, when the Labor Department estimates that 126,000 jobs were added, a figure it revised downward today from the 138,000 it initially reported.

Anything below about 150,000 net new jobs a month is regarded as too slow to keep up with population growth, so in effect, workers are losing ground.

Using figures from a different statistical survey, the Labor Department reported today that the unemployment rate edged slightly lower in May to 4.6 percent, from 4.7 percent in April. Only people who are actively seeking work are counted, not those who have given up trying, so it is not unusual for the rate to fall in months of weak job growth. While by some measures the economy roared along during the first three months of the year, many economists expect it to slow in the second half. Few expect a recession, but there is little agreement over just how much it will cool off.

“This is one more piece of confirmation that the economy is in a distinct slowdown phase,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight, an economic research firm. “The implication of this is that the rest of the year is most likely going to be quite weak.”

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before the announcement expected employers to have added 170,000 jobs in May, so the weak report took many by surprise, despite steady declines in each of the previous three months.

Initial reaction in the stock and bond markets was mixed. A jump in bond prices signaled that investors are hoping the new figures will give the Federal Reserve a reason to stop raising benchmark interest rates. The Dow industrials fluctuated in and out of positive territory in early trading.

There are signs on all fronts that the economy is softening. The once-booming housing market appears by some measures to have peaked, inflation is running at the high end of the Federal Reserve’s target range and many economists think it is just a matter of time before high fuel prices begin to crimp consumer spending generally, as they already seem to have with automobile sales.

Coupled with Thursday’s report of strong productivity growth in the first quarter, today’s jobs report may indicate that companies are bracing for a slower economy by cutting back hiring and making do with fewer employees.

“I’m guessing that employers are starting to get a little more risk-averse,” Mr. Behravesh said. “There’s a little bit of actual slowing, and a little bit of anticipated slowing.”

The looming question for investors now is whether the Fed will pause in its tightening of monetary policy, and forego a 17th consecutive interest rate increase, when its policy-setting committee meets at the end of the month.

Posted by: Max at June 2, 2006 11:02 AM
Comment #153680

4.6%

That’s the new unemployment rate. That’s a good job market regardless of who’s in office. Wake up! Economy is great. Keep in mind that with oil prices as high as they are, we should be in a recession. It just goes to show how strong the economy really is.

Go ahead…keep bashing President Bush. Just leave the economy out of it.

Posted by: Dr Politico at June 2, 2006 11:17 AM
Comment #153681

President Clinton paid off huge amounts of the National Debt! He did not have to take Social Security monies into the General Fund, And replace them with Government backed Securities!
New Flash! Engineers,Computer Programmers,
Doctors,have always been in short supply. It is the height of arrogance to point to these employments as an example of Bush policy making the world a better place.
What good is trumpeting these jobs,when we are outsourcing the bread and butter middle managment and unionized blue collar position?
George Bush’s ecomomic team seems to think that Americans can compete in the Global Market by taking in each others laundry!
It’s time to stop kowtowing to the multinational corporations and demand that at least some of our money stays here!

Posted by: jblym at June 2, 2006 11:19 AM
Comment #153687

I don’t know the answer to this question but I am curious to know how much federal government employment and contracting accounts for the improved job market?

Posted by: Tom L at June 2, 2006 11:31 AM
Comment #153689

jblym,

“What good is trumpeting these jobs,when we are outsourcing the bread and butter middle managment and unionized blue collar position?”

Thanks for the clarification. I was wondering who was behind this whole globalization scam. I guess President Bush is the culprit.

Posted by: Dr Politico at June 2, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #153697

Jack, they are rehiring folks to fill positions lost during the downsizing period form 1999 to 2003. It is good news, but, we are also importing huge numbers of graduates from overseas because our own educational system is failing to produce the brain power for many positions in demand. In addition, imported degrees work for less than domestic degrees.

Still, it is good news and yes the world economy is rebounding from the world wide recession. This is also good news. Bush et al, did more than was necessary to facilitate our rebound, and to the extent they did what was necessary, the credit is rightfully the administration’s.

Our future economic picture however, is still in the toilet with a host of issues which should have been resolved by now, but, keep being delayed until emergency and vastly increased costs are the mandate and incentive. This is no way to manage a nation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 2, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #153698
You should never bet against the U.S. economy and jobs machine and …

I won’t bet against it. But I won’t bet on it either.


kids today have it too good. In my day we had a REAL unemployment level and we were happy to get it.

Now your sounding like my daddy.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 2, 2006 11:51 AM
Comment #153703

Damn that Bush, who the hell does he think he is to have success with the economy! He’s supposed to do nothing (like the current democratic party), for the rest of his administration, so the dems can save us in 2008. He! He!

Posted by: rahdigly at June 2, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #153704

“You should never bet against the U.S. economy and jobs machine”

Warren Buffett is betting against the dollar, and we all know his track record over the years…

Makes me wonder…..

Posted by: Greg at June 2, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #153708
I was wondering who was behind this whole globalization scam. I guess President Bush is the culprit.

Why not? He seems to think it’s great. Remember Kerry wanted to give businesses tax breaks as long as they kept jobs in this country?

Please, anyone who is going “Yipee Bush did it”, please read my post above that shows that because of the slowdown in new job creation analysts are predicting a coming recession.

Isn’t a little hypocritical for Republicans to claim Democrats can’t acknowledge anything positive when they won’t acknowledge anything negative? Yes, More jobs for students, but, unfortunately, Less jobs for everybody else. Economy ok? Maybe. Economy in serious danger? Definitely.

Posted by: Max at June 2, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #153709

Just keep telling yourself.

“I do believe Bush is doing a great job.
I do, I do, I do believe Bush is doing a great job”

Maybe your wish will come true.

The President’s actions speak a lot louder than the Watchblog writers manipulations and delusions can overcome. Keep trying, it might work one day.

Posted by: Mem Beth at June 2, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #153714

Our future economic picture however, is still in the toilet with a host of issues which should have been resolved by now, but, keep being delayed until emergency and vastly increased costs are the mandate and incentive. This is no way to manage a nation.


Posted by: David R. Remer at June 2, 2006 11:47 AM

And the credit for that goes to our bought and paid for politicians.


Posted by: Ron Brown at June 2, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #153715

Dr.Politico,

I am not an economist, but am wondering why you suggest keeping the economy out of the picture when grading our President? Yes, the ecomony is a complex, many-headed beast…and yes, most of you here probably know much more about the machinations of siad beast than I do – but I still regard the economy as one of the valid lunch pins for assessing the merits of any President, including this one.

Jack and others here have given us some facts that appear to be very good on the surface: 5.3% growth and a low 4.7% unemployment rate. But while having lunch today, I heard CNN report that this robust economy created only 75,000 jobs last month — less than half of what economists predicted. In fact (if I heard the CNN anchor correctly), May was the third straight month of the economy coming up very short on job creations that were expected to be much better. Add our staggering national debt, the continued outsourcing of jobs, the cost of Iraq, gasoline prices, etc., and I’m wondering…who is actually benefiiting from this “robust” economy?

I’m not trying to point fingers or assess blame. I’m just trying to understand, as someone who is not an economist, how the numbers Jack and others have posted here show a strong economy when we keep adding month after month of lackluster numbers for new jobs. What’s going on?

Posted by: Mister Magoo at June 2, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #153716

“lunch pins!”

sorry for the typos, folks.

Posted by: Mister Magoo at June 2, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #153718

Jack

Another example of conflicting economic news:

Today’s NY Times: Jobs Report Signals Cooling Economy


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/02/business/02cnd-jobs.html?hp&ex=1149307200&en=e6846974a241a5f6&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Posted by: Steve at June 2, 2006 12:25 PM
Comment #153719

Jack,
The employment numbers come out the first Friday every month. They are arguably the most important economic numbers. For those of you who care, the numbers to watch are non-farm payroll hourly wages.

Posting a boutique economic number on employment the night before a critical number is due to come out shows poor judgment. The non-farm payroll number is highly volatile, and can make anyone look foolish.

Non-farm payroll is 75,000. That is a bad number. To simply add enough jobs to keep up with population growth, non-farm payroll should average 150,000 to 175,000.

Non-farm payroll is about job creation. The unemployment number is positive, but relatively unimportant. It measures the number of people who lost their jobs within the past six months, and are actively seeking. Labor Pool Participation remains unusually low. I do not know what that means. Purely a guess on my part, but I believe a lot of people are working off the radar, black market, that kind of thing.

The other number that matters involves wages.

Growth seems to be good. Why does everyone feel so negative? (By the way, I think a better word than Weltschmerz is Schadenfreude. If you ever notice my tendency to capitalize when I should not, or spell words wrong again and again, chalk it up to the German language).

The negativity is due to the lack of non-supervisory wage growth. When adjusted for inflation, people are not making more, they are only staying even. Worse yet, health costs have skyrocketed, and oil has increased.

Inflation has boomed this year, mostly due to oil prices working their way through the economy.

The stock market- the equity markets- remain stalled, with barely any increase since Bush took office in January 2001. Why the negativity?
After all, stock markets are non-partisan.

Treasury bonds exhibit an inverted yield curve. The bet is that interest will stay the same or go higher, and that the Federal Reserve will not allow the Federal government to escape the overwhelming debt burden through inflation.

The Federal Reserve can and must make the decisions which will cause recession.

The kind of recession we are heading towards is worse than the last one. We entered the First Bush Recession with surpluses. This time, we will enter with debts, horrendous job creation numbers from the recovery period, and a drop in real estate markets.

This kind of recession lasts longer…

Posted by: phx8 at June 2, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #153725

Another alternate view:

http://money.cnn.com/2006/06/02/news/economy/jobs_may/index.htm?cnn=yes

Posted by: Vihar Sheth at June 2, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #153728

Nice. Interesting how you found a negative article on the economy; even more interesting is that it was from cnn. I thought they were nonpartisan?!


It’s still a good economy even though some look at “declining numbers from a year ago” as the depression in the 1930’s.

Posted by: rahdigly at June 2, 2006 12:55 PM
Comment #153730

phx8 — well done. Max, you too.
I think it seems more than obvious that recession is where we are headed.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 2, 2006 12:57 PM
Comment #153732

Wow you people are weldschmerz.

Posted by: Craig at June 2, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #153741

The reason we are headed to recession is because the last “recovery” was built on very shakey ground. It’s like a man who can’t afford his mortgage, so he makes the payments on his credit card, hoping things will turn around later. Things have shown signs of improvement, but not as much sustainable growth as was needed. As the housing market cools, interest rates rise and inflation outpaces wage growth the possibility of disaster is real. Americans have been living beyond their means for years, as evidenced by the 0% personal savings rate. As rates have risen, the cost of servicing our massive personal debt ahs increased, and some people aren’t able to keep their head above water. The credit card companies saw this coming, and pushed for the new, tougher BK laws. Many of those who are staying ahead of their debt have been doing so by tapping into the rapidly increasing equity in their homes that was made available due to a completely out of control real estate market. That safety net is no longer available to most, and they will soon find themselves amongst those with ever shrinking disposable incomes. The main thing Repubs seem to be missing, and it is one of the same things that let the Dems get a foot in the door with Clinton, is that the middle class doesn’t care about GDP, unemployment, inflation, deficits, or any of that. They care about whther or not, at the end of the week, they have enough cash left in their pocket to take the kids to a movie and the wife out to dinner. They gauge the economy by their own wallets, and as long as Repubs are happy to sacrifice those wallets for meaningless economic data, the Dems have a chance.

Posted by: David S at June 2, 2006 1:34 PM
Comment #153743

If the world was the NFL, we would have traded away all our draft choices to make the playoffs this year. George Allen will be the ideal candidate as that is exactly what his dad to the Redskins and exactly what Bush did to this country.

Posted by: Schwamp at June 2, 2006 1:50 PM
Comment #153747

And then we don’t even make the Super Bowl!

Posted by: David S at June 2, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #153748

Most folks that I talk to say that they’re doing OK. They feel that their finances are under control and they’re making progress.
But these same folks think that the economy in general is down the tubes. They seem to think that most others aren’t aren’t doing as well as they are. And they feel that with prices going up and wages stagant that it’s only going to get worse. While most have had their income go up they think that everyone else has had their’s stay the same or go down.
It seems that there’s mixed signals out there.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 2, 2006 1:58 PM
Comment #153749

That sums it up right there, Ron. Your friends are doing well, just not thinking it’s good. Most of that is b/c of the bias, media coverage always portraying the economy as “doom and gloom” and the “bubble is about to burst”.

Anybody could be well and think they’re not well; it’s all psychological. It’s better that “reality” is doing well; rather than, “psychologically”.

Posted by: rahdigly at June 2, 2006 2:11 PM
Comment #153750

If you can’t get a job in america you are pathetic. I know that most of you are talking about getting high paying jobs where you sit at an office and wear a tie. But there is help wanted ads everyday. Everyone is looking for workers.
If you want some koosh jobs then move to china and get citizenship. They will provide you with a street sweeping job np. You can make 500 rmb a day to meander around and sweep up garbage. No responsiblity or goals, just sweeping endless trash into dustbins.
The sad fact is that most americans arent even willing to do that.
So for you posh snobs out there, get a loan and go back to school for 3 years and be a manager. You might enjoy a 50% better chance of being employed while you work yourself to the grave.

My point is that it has nothing to do with unemployement. It is the quality of jobs that we provide in America that is important. Scientists in every field are springing up in high numbers in other parts of the world. Menial jobs are more consistantly moving to other parts of the world. We are churning out high numbers of advertisers managers and accountants. You guys wonder why you cant find a job? Those are competetive fields!! You dont think everyone can do that! Some people are better than others but any dipshit can get that degree. I know i am a sociology major! What a joke.

Does bush have a long range plan for america to compete in the coming age? Are we maintaining our position with force? Can you seriously say capitalism free market and wah! unemployement in the same sentence?
There will be unemployment in a competitive society it seems. What does that mean. You who are unemployed are at the bottom of a system that should reward successfuly intelligent people. If many successful and intelligent people cannot find work is it the governments lack of long range planning?

Posted by: stopculture at June 2, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #153752

Glaring Errors
Does Our President George W. Bush have a long range plan for america to compete in the coming age?

Posted by: stopculture at June 2, 2006 2:15 PM
Comment #153764

Someone stated that Clinton paid off a ton of debt. that is actaully not true he added over a trillion dollars in debt during his term. Remember just because he had a balanced budget and surplus (which was caused by reagonomics) does not mean he lowered the debt he did not. Now that I inflamed a few of you I will be balanced and say that obviously Bush has added way more debt then Clinton did.

The economic numbers are good very good actually. Near the best this country has seen in many decades.

The real estate market has stopped its massive growth not because of anything other then it was over inflated. You will (and should) see a small decline but also a flattening of the real estate market. If you are savvy i would suggest being ready to buy and sit on some real estate you will be able to get some nice property at a steal. it will most likely be in about 3 years or so.

The feds need to raise the rates (now that i have mine locked in at a way to low price) they are artifically low to make a boom in the economy it is time to let that settle for a bit. I think we will see what we saw with the stock market a good correction that is very much needed. There has been to much exuberance for my taste.

There is always good and always bad in the economy to look at. If someone says that bad is coming they are correct if someone says good is coming they are also correct. In the future somewhere it is coming. Currently in our nation we have a good economy. Soon that may change or it may not. There are indicators in both directions. In the long term correct it will change it will get bad and it may even be due to Bushes policies of spending to much.

I think there is some misunderstanding about the job growth situation when there is this low of unemployement there will be slower job growth because there are less people looking for work. When there is larger unemployment then there is more opportunity for job growth.

that being said I still lay much of our debt not at the foot of the President alone but at the whole of our congress and the President.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 2, 2006 3:18 PM
Comment #153765

Dr. Politico
shame on you! Repetition is the key to memorization. Democrats good. Bush and Republican congress,bad. repeat as needed.
Randall -if we had followed Clintons economic plan we would have had the national debt paid down by 2015.

Posted by: jblym at June 2, 2006 3:25 PM
Comment #153768

jblym,

Just to set facts straight on Clinton’s record.
The federel debt increased EVERY single year and even in the years of “surplus” we were borrowing from Soc Sec. Here is the end of fiscal years numbers straight from the Bureau of Public Dept:

09/30/2001 $5,807,463,412,200.06
09/30/2000 $5,674,178,209,886.86
09/30/1999 5,656,270,901,615.43
09/30/1998 5,526,193,008,897.62
09/30/1997 5,413,146,011,397.34
09/30/1996 5,224,810,939,135.73
09/29/1995 4,973,982,900,709.39
09/30/1994 4,692,749,910,013.32
09/30/1993 4,411,488,883,139.38

Clinton’s first fiscal year budget began on 10/01/2003 and his final fiscal budget on 09/30/2001. As you can see the debt increased every year.

Bureau of Public Dept — Historical Debt Outstanding

Posted by: Ben at June 2, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #153779

Something isn’t right. Borrowing from SS still counts as borrowing. This can’t be.

Posted by: Schwamp at June 2, 2006 3:46 PM
Comment #153787

I said if we had followed Clintons economic plan,we
would have had the debt paid down by 2015.
And yes,some of the surplus would have been the so called “peace dividend” that the Republicans have spent away and then some.

Posted by: jblym at June 2, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #153801

I looked up and down my block and all through my office building and everyone said their finances were fine, so I think Jack is right and the economy is great. Of course, I am a white middle class guy, so maybe there are a few people not represented by my admittedly unscientific sample. But I do know that in spite of Jack’s happy talk (and just why does he want to paste a smiley face on everything?) household incomes have been plummeting over the last 5 years. Not once has Jack pointed this out, nor has he tried to cope with what it means. He burbled something about income inequities last time I brought it up and he deigned to respond, but of course income DECLINES are not the same or even related to income inequities. We are seeing, for the first time since WWII, a decline in the middle class. To Jack and his ilk, this is no big deal. But to most of us, this is a big deal and a symptom of something every rotten in the state of the nation.

Cherry-picking statistics is all the Bushies and pseudo-conservatives have left. Their cherished beliefs have been shattered by this great experiment and nothing they predicted would work has worked. Tax cuts to the rich provide temporary stimulus through luxury spending and some small increase in investment, most of it going to buy the bonds supporting the tax breaks and resulting deficit spending. Happened with Reagan, happening now. So, I can only hope that the Repubs don’t have such a strangle hold on the election machinery that it will be impossible for the majority to impose its will through the ballot box. Otherwise, heaven help us all.

Posted by: mental wimp at June 2, 2006 4:27 PM
Comment #153805

Schwamp,

SS is considered on off-budget item. SS has been running a surplus (albeit a shrinking one as the Baby boomers start retiring). This surplus is the so called SS trust fund, but it is being used to by government securities. However, the reported deficit/surplus number doesn’t consider this borrowing. So say, for example, that the federal budget ran a 100B deficit but SS had a 150B surplus, this would be reported as a 50B “surplus” for the year. This will increase the effort required to actually balance the budget because the SS surplus is shrinking and over the next 10 or so years it will begin to run a deficit and will need to start cashing out those government securities to pay its bills.

jbylm,

Maybe you can explain how Clinton’s economic plan pays of the debt by 2015, because he still had ever increasing debt and the downturn had already begun while he was President. I can’t make that connection.

Disclaimer: I agree that government spedning is out of control, it has been ever since the New Deal. I don’t see how either the D’s or the R’s can claim they are serious on fixing the issue.

Posted by: Ben at June 2, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #153808

mental wimp

You are scourging Jack for using statistics biasly please provide some of your own (use only unbiased statistics please) to back up your claim. You are making statements without facts to back it up.

I also want to thank you. You just showed the way the democrats are going to say this election is fraudulent. The dems and liberals are going to say we manipulted the ballot box. Oh wait that is what they have always said when they lose. :) just had to put that snip in there.

Reagonomics turned out very well. It is what Clinton enjoyed so much of as he ran our deficit another 1 trillion dollars in debt.

That being said i think you are defending your self rather well Jack.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 2, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #153823

Come on, finish the sentence.

“This is a very, very good economy _________”
1) for large multinational corporations
2) for corporate CEOs and other officers
3) for the wealthiest 1% of the population
4) for the energy industry

Come on, conservative Republicans, embrace it! This is what you wanted. This is what you fought for- tax cuts, job outsourcing, corporate welfare, spending on the military. Enjoy it! A conservative Republican President, Senate, House, and a conservative Supreme Court have spent five years enacting this agenda. Their every move has been intended to bring us where we are today.

Posted by: phx8 at June 2, 2006 5:12 PM
Comment #153846

Wow, somebody (certainly) needs to take a “chill” pill…

Posted by: rahdigly at June 2, 2006 5:58 PM
Comment #153847

“I am sorry that the world is not as bad as you think…If you cannot see it, you are blind on purpose. “


Uh-huh.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 2, 2006 5:58 PM
Comment #153852

Thanks, liberals!

You have convinced me that job GAINS, student job GAINS, and almost record un-unemployment is HORRIBLE and must be stopped now! Please tell me where I can find the nearest civil defense shelter. Just tell me when the bomb is coming so I’ll get there on time.

Posted by: Don at June 2, 2006 6:23 PM
Comment #153889

Bravo, Don! Well said. I want to thank the liberals, too. I want to thank them for villifying the Marines in that Hiditha incident w/out any proof of what really happened. They don’t give our own troops (the ones that they “claim” to support) the benefit of the doubt in something that hasn’t even gone to trial. Also, I thank them for proving that you (truly) can’t be against the war and support the troops.


So, thanks Murtha, Wolfblitzer, and Chris Matthews; you f*@#ing idiots!!! Way to be like communists and presume our troops as guilty until proven innocent. That goes for all the liberals that spout off of the mouth about “Nation of Laws”; you idiots don’t mean one word of it and you can’t even back that up on our own people. Nice. Yet, we know who you are so, please, keep it up…

Posted by: rahdigly at June 2, 2006 9:36 PM
Comment #153912

Stephen
How silly!

He missed his chance to fight corporate corruption in 2001. You mean that corporate corruption (like ENRON) that Democrats failed to fight in the previous 8 year? You have two options here. Either it is harder to do than you think or Dems are even more corrupt since they had more time and did nothing.

We do need to cut Federal spending. I agree on that. Otherwise the economy is great. Productivity if great. Crime is lower than any time in the last 50 years. Pollution is lower. There just is not very much bad news for you to feed on.


Woody

I only put in that line to make you guys mad. I just like to show how good things are. Ever since 2003, the news has been good. What you Dems might says is “Things are good now, we could make them better.” That would be honest (although probably mistaken in the second part.)

Max

Debt matters. I think Federal spending is way too high and should be cut. BUT debt matters as a percentage. As individuals or firms, we measure net worth (assets minus liabilities). Individual net worth is at an all time high in the U.S. In government we measure debt as a % of GDP. In that case our record debt is not as bad.

RE net jobs the 4.6% is the way we have measured unemployment for many, many years. For most of my adult life, about 5% was considered full employment. Partisans want to redefine the figures. You an do that if you want, but you have to redefine ALL the others too. If we do that and take the 4.6%, we have had only about three GOOD years in the last 50 years.

Steve

This economy is not the best ever. But those kinds of problems are not new. They are part of the total mix. The economy might be a B- in the system we originally where C was actually the average. With grade inflation, it would have to be an A-.

Jblym
SS is always been put into the general budget. Clinton did it too. There has been no change. You also need to credit Newt Gingrich for some of that surplus, BTW.

Greg

The dollar is not the jobs machine. The dollar will decline. That will probably create MORE U.S. jobs.

Mem

I know people get mad about this, but I just use all the same stats we always used. If you want to change the rules now, you have to also call almost every year in the last 50 years bad.

Magoo

They revise these employment numbers up and down. Bottom line is the unemployment rate, which is low and dropping. The rest is commentary.

Steve
The economy probably will cool after growing so fast since 2003. You have to slow after a sprint. All I say is that it is good now. Unemployment is low now (and will drop more). Productivity is high now. Predicting the future is hard.

This is the bottom line. The economy now is very good and it has been very good since 2003.

Phx8

See above. How many times have experts predicted big downturns and how often have they been right? Of course, EVENTUALLY they are, but not usually in a reasonable prediction time.

Mental

You use your comparison year of 2001, which was the end of a bubble AND we had the down turn that started in March of 2000. Median income is a lagging measure. Our economy picked up in 2003 and we will do all right this year.

A better system is to use a rolling average. These census figures give a more realistic and less partisan picture.

Posted by: Jack at June 2, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #153923
You mean that corporate corruption (like ENRON) that Democrats failed to fight in the previous 8 year?

How could they? Their President was too busy playing hide the cigar with the interns.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 2, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #153924

There ain’t nothing to worry about with the economy. A Democrat President will get elected eventually and the economy will automatically turn from the worst in 100 years to the best ever just as soon as he takes office.
Proof is the 1992 elections. Clinton kept harping about the economy being the worst in 50 years. And the liberal press added him. He got elected and magically the economy went from the worst in 50 years to the best ever.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 2, 2006 11:58 PM
Comment #153925

Homelessness also magically disappeared too.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 2, 2006 11:59 PM
Comment #153929

Ron

It is very interesting. The decade of greed was not the 1980s; it was more properly the 1990s. After the great times of Ronald Reagan, the press called the recession that ended in 1991 a hangover. They didn’t use that term at all for the downturn that started in 2000.

I am certain that if all the same things were happening except Kerry was president, it would be hailed as a great achievement.

Republicans are more realistic. During Clinton Dems said the economy was good. Republicans did too at about the same level. After the downturns, Democrats said the economy was bad, and so did Republicans. When the economy got better, Republicans saw it; Dems did not.

Posted by: Jack at June 3, 2006 12:17 AM
Comment #153937

Jack,
“How many times have experts predicted big downturns and how often have they been right?”

I am not an expert. However, I am moderately well informed, enough to have predicted a recession 18 months ago for the summer of this year. I predicted a Fed Funds rate of 4.5% to 5%, and we are now at 5%. I predicted the first harbinger would be an inverted yield curve, and sure enough, it happened during the winter just past, and is inverted even as I write this. And if you will pardon the excessive use of the first person pronoun, I have been specific about causes and timing.

Eventually a recession will happen, of course. The point of bringing this up in a political discussion is that conservative Republican policies have resulted in a trajectory which will make the duration of recovery unusually brief, job creation poor, and next recession harder than the previous one.

Also, I think the next downturn will happen fast, and may be event driven, which would be very unusual for bringing about a following stage of an economic cycle.

With some real leadership from Bush, we could escape the coming storm. Conciliation with Iran & withdrawal from Iraq would drop oil prices dramatically. The drop would result in lowered concern about inflation, a drop in interest rates, and a real chance to set a boom in motion.

I hope this new Treasury Secretary Paulson can pull our collective bacon out of the fire. Call it optimism.

Posted by: phx8 at June 3, 2006 1:22 AM
Comment #154008

Saw a great bumper sticker today:

“Go for broke: vote Repubican.”

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 3, 2006 12:36 PM
Comment #154023

Phx8, the feds have beem raising rates for two years, we know that is no surprise.now that job growth has slowed in may, is now about time for the fed evaluate the effects the rates raising has had on our economy and back off. a lot of experts say the rate raising has little to do with job creation, i slightly disagree, the higher interest rates effect everyone, a $500,000 house with a 1.5 increase in interest rates are making people back away. also car buying. and business tend to hold back on borrowing money.a ripple has been created. i know in the retail business may has always been a slower month at least in my case. and june normally is one of our better months,(fingers crossed) what is your take, and jack if you have any input also. thanks.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 3, 2006 1:35 PM
Comment #154029

Phx8

You will almost certainly be mistaken about a recession this summer. Unless you define slowing growth from the amazing 5.3% to something closer to a good rate as a recession. In the short term, predictions are easier. I predict unemployment will be down to 5.5% by th end of summer. Hard times come again no more?

Tim

Stick with the bumper stickers. Dems are good at that.

Posted by: Jack at June 3, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #154033

How about this bumper sticker?
Republican = War It’s good for the economy!
or
Vote Republican-I’ll tell you what your rights are!
finally
Republicans ‘08 there is still some phones we haven’t tapped!

Posted by: jblym at June 3, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #154042

jblym

Right. As I said, Dems are good at that sort of thing. They seem to have a little trouble with complexity and nuance, however.

Posted by: Jack at June 3, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #154043

Jack:

“Stick with the bumper stickers. Dems are good at that. “


And you stick with dissembling and muddled thinking—Republicans are even better at that.


Posted by: Tim Crow at June 3, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #154049

Jack-for you
Republicans ‘08 there R still some phones we haven’nt tapped!
RU happy?

Posted by: jblym at June 3, 2006 3:23 PM
Comment #154053

Jack,
Last winter, I pushed my prediction of a recession from this summer to this fall. There are ways to avoid it; the nomination of Paulson is a good one. Columnist Paul Krugman said Bush surpised everyone by “scraping the top of the barrel.” Let us hope Paulson fares better than ONeill.

The best way to avoid recession would be to cut through the economic Gordian knot caused by oil prices.

Over the past 12 months, inflation has been a little over 5%, while non-supervisory wages have been about 3.7%. Combine the loss of buying power with increases in health care costs & gas prices, and people are hurting.

The usual causes of a recession- inventory build-ups and wage increases- are not likely to cause inflation increases anytime soon. Instead, inflation is too high because of oil (as well as other commodity prices).

The clock is ticking. If we cannot take actions to take the fear element out of oil prices, we will merely be waiting for the shoe to fall. An event driven recession, starting with an oil shock, is too plausible to be worth risking.

Posted by: phx8 at June 3, 2006 3:30 PM
Comment #154064

Phx8

And this summer you will push it back to winter. Eventually you will be right. If you predict rain every day, eventually you will be right, even in the desert.

If you have a way to cut energy prices, you should tell others. Yes, you could control the price, but you recall what happened when we did that in the 1970s.

The price of oil will come down as market forces affect demand and use of alternatives. You remember that oil was at a high in 1980 and then a low in 1998. It also comes down.

Anyway, the economy is currently very good. People are always “hurting”. They are hurting less now than they were in when unemployement was 6% and will be hurting even less when wages rise in real terms, as they are beginning to do. People are hurting about as much as they were in 1998. They are hurting more than they were 1999-2001. They are hurting less than all the other of the last fifty years.

Posted by: Jack at June 3, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #154077

Jack,
For the third time, last winter I pushed it back from this summer to this fall.

Estimates are that $20 of the current oil price consists of fear; fear about Iraq, fear about Iran, fear about hurricanes, fear about Venezuela, fear about Nigeria, fear about terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia, and so on; fear is, after all, the calling card of the Bush administration.

Withdraw from Iraq. Coordinate the withdrawal with Iran, and create a respectful relationship. Nothing more. Withdraw support for Israel. Strike a deal with environmentalists: drill ANWR in exchange for CAFE standards.

It is so easy Jack. All it takes is competent leadership. Just imagine what this country could be with decent, imaginative leadership.

This is a great country, Jack. We just need to put the implementation of the conservative agenda where it belongs, on the ashheap of history.

Posted by: phx8 at June 3, 2006 4:37 PM
Comment #154083

phx8:

“Just imagine what this country could be with decent, imaginative leadership.”

What kind of radical-a@@ thinking is that?!! Besides, haven’t you noticed? I think the people are leading the leaders, at least when it comes to Iraq and the perceptions of the economy.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 3, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #154090

This country’s leadership has a propensity toward patting themselves on the back and, heaven forbid, padding the statistics. How much propoganda has been purchased during this administration? How much did you say? Lots would be the correct answer. Reality does not lend itself so neatly into percentages.

Of the 14% increase, how many of those are foreign students with work visas? How many of those 14% are returning overseas where $10.00 there is equivalent to $30 or more here? How often have we heard engineers, computer programmers, and other skilled professionals relate that they are the only ones left in the business who is 100% American.

This administration is too prone to shading the truth to achieve its own glorious rainbow effect. Show me where those 14% went with a little more detail, such as employers, disciplines, location of jobs, and American dollars being earned with American benefits annotated. Provide these substantiating facts, and this Bush naysayer will personally call the gentleman and apologize for my skepticism. Absent factual info to substantiate percentages, they’re all just numbers with little meaning in real life.

Posted by: KDTEXAS at June 3, 2006 5:30 PM
Comment #154097

Stopculture:

Yuck!!! Why would anyone want to be a street sweper in China? They pee and poop in the streets. I don’t even have a dog because I refuse to pick up poop, no matter whose it is.

Haven’t you heard that China is trying to encourage their citizens not to piddle in the streets because foreign tourists are not going to understand when they host the Olympics. So far, the battle is still uphill. How do you potty train billions of people. Now that is a job that most Americans will not do.

Posted by: KDTEXAS at June 3, 2006 5:48 PM
Comment #154101

Tim,
I laughed out loud when I saw the “Go for broke: Vote Republican” slogan.

The Bush administration is about politics, not governance. As a result, we see an administration in 24/7 365 campaign trail mode. Every issue is used as a wedge. Any problems result in an immediate attack on the messenger. Take Haditha. What is the conservative Republican strategy? Attack Murtha! You would think we would debate the wisdom of overextending troops, stop/losses, multiple tours. You would think we would debate the wisdom of a draft, or withdrawal. But no. Attack Murtha.

Conservative Republicans want to find good news in the economy- or anywhere for that matter- but the economy does not provide any traction as an issue. There is no hiding the fact that inflation is outpacing income, while gas & health care costs soar.

So Bush will push for an amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as something that can only be between a man and a woman.

Wow. That is our leadership. That is the imagination which, for once, will anticipate possible problems & plan contingencies, rather than be completely gobsmacked everytime the unexpected happens.

Posted by: phx8 at June 3, 2006 6:08 PM
Comment #154116

Phx8

It depends on what you mean by the conservative agenda. To a very remarkable degree we have already succeeded. When I was in college, there were some people who still believed central planning was a good idea. Now even socialists understand that the decentralized method of the market is how things work. And speaking of socialism, hardly anyone still believes government ownership is preferable to private ownership. What about bipartisan welfare reform? It would not have been possible before the 1980s and even when it passed liberals like Kennedy literally screamed. Now we see that it wsa the best thing to happen to the poor in the last 50 years. My first adult ideological battles were with AMERICANS who thought the Soviet Union might be a decent alternative to the free market. You cannot find anybody who thinks that anymore.

Our agenda is so completely accepted that now we can talk about variations. You know that we WILL have private SS accounts sometime soon. We have already privatized much of retirement. Most of us have IRAs or 401K accounts. Most American households hold stock directly or through a mutual fund. This is amazing.

In my lifetime we have deregulated, pushed stock ownership to big part of the population, reformed welfare, passed NAFTA and pretty much neutered the unions. Our agenda IS.

As for your other concerns, some are real, such as the growth of debt and what to do about Iraq. Some are not. We cannot “fix” the economy because it is not broken. It requires maintenance, but big time changes would probably cause more harm than good. And right now things are good.


Posted by: Jack at June 3, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #154134

Jack,
If you define the opposition as communism or perhaps socialism, then the conservative agenda is succeeding. I could suggest that the liberal, not the conservative agenda, is the one that triumphed; or suggest that the conservative agenda is really the corporatist, fascist agenda; but I am about to go out to a very nice Italian restaurant, and would rather not wonder if the specter of Mussolini is peering at me from the shadows.

“… We have deregulated, pushed stock ownership to big part of the population, reformed welfare, passed NAFTA and pretty much neutered the unions.”

That is true, to some extent. Certainly the unions have been eviscerated. Stock owndership through mutual funds is not really the same as conservativsm, and I would not that it means little for someone without the funds to invest in the first place. Welfare reform? Yes, that was a good move. NAFTA? I used to think it was a good idea. Now I am not so sure, not at all.

This might be a good topic for a thread on a slow news day.

Posted by: phx8 at June 3, 2006 8:27 PM
Comment #154445

Jack wrote:

Yes this year is not the best ever. It is in the top 5% of the last 50 years.

Do some research of your own in real sources, not partisan ones. See how many times our economy has grown at 5.3%. See how many years unemployement was below 4.7%. See how many times productivity has increased so fast.

I took your advice and looked it up. The following is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Comparing the GDP growth rate for the first quarter of 2006 to the growth rate for all quarters since the first quarter of 1949 this quarter ranks 65th out of 229 quarters.

It would probably be more accurate to compare only those quarters that were not included in a recession. In that case the last quarter would rank 65th out of 186 quarters. You could say that it ranks in the top 35% but definitely not in the top 5%.

On the unemployment rate I assume you meant the monthly rate rather than the yearly rate, as the yearly rate has not been less than 4.7% since Bush took office.

Comparing the monthly rate of 4.6% against all the other unemployment rates of those months that were not included in a recession since 1949 this last month ranks 169th out of 587. You could say that it ranks in the top 29% but definitely not in the top 5%.

Using the same criteria the most recent quarterly productivity growth of 3.7% ranks 66th out of 186 quarters. You could say that it ranks in the top 36% but definitely not in the top 5%.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at June 5, 2006 11:12 AM
Comment #154516

From Harper’s Index………….

Amount by which Americans’ total spending last year exceeded their earnings: $41,600,000,000[U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis]

Last year in which spending outstripped earnings: 1933[U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis]

Posted by: Terry......... at June 5, 2006 3:44 PM
Comment #154561

Arm

Why do you leave out quarters where there was a recession. That makes no particular sense to leave out the worst years. If we could all leave out our losses, we would all be rich. And 50 years would take you back to 1956 not 1949.

In any case I think mostly of years I was an adult. This is a good year. I will check the figures. Maybe I will have to say the best years in our adult lifetimes (which for me is since 1973.) It still is very hard to call it bad and it doesn’t get much better.

Posted by: Jack at June 5, 2006 5:45 PM
Comment #154580

Jack

Nice try (again). You cited 4-person households and CURRENT dollars, whereas inflation-adjusted figures that I have cited in the past (so I know you aren’t ignorant of them) clearly show the decease in REAL income in all quintiles of income, except of course your bracket.

This really pisses me off, Jack, because a) you’re smart enough that I know you’re intentionally lying, b) you are smart enough to know that the weak-minded will be fooled by your citing of unadjusted figures, and 3) you are in an income bracket (the only one) that hasn’t seen this decrease in their real standard of living. No wonder you defend this economy and your heroes in the administration. You’re making out like a bandit. Until now, I was loath to engage in ad hominem, but now I can see that you are scurrilous in your use of phony statistics, EVEN AFTER BEING SHOWN THE RIGHT ONES! Who are you, Bill O’Reilly in literate format? Jeez!

Posted by: mental wimp at June 5, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #154614
Why do you leave out quarters where there was a recession. That makes no particular sense to leave out the worst years. If we could all leave out our losses, we would all be rich.

If the economy is supposedly in the top 5% right now why would you want to compare it to an economy that was on the bottom?

And 50 years would take you back to 1956 not 1949.

Nothing magical about 50 years and the more data the better. By 1949 the world had pretty well recovered from WWI, WWII and the Depression. Besides it would include the most fiscally responsible Republican President we have had in my lifetime.

In any case I think mostly of years I was an adult. This is a good year. I will check the figures. Maybe I will have to say the best years in our adult lifetimes (which for me is since 1973.)

There is a difference of perception here. I was selling newspapers on the street corner during the Truman administration and have been working ever since. In 1973 my oldest child started high school and the youngest started grade school.

It still is very hard to call it bad and it doesn’t get much better.

Statistically better than the median in most respects.


Here are the stats for time-frames beginning in 1949 and 1956 (both include recessions).

1949
Comparing the GDP growth rate for the first quarter of 2006 to the growth rate for all quarters since the first quarter of 1949 this quarter ranks 65th out of 229 quarters. That puts it in the top 29 percent.

Comparing the current monthly unemployment rate of 4.6% against the unemployment rates of all those months since 1949 the last month ranks 168th out of 689. That puts it in the top 25 percent.

Comparing the current quarterly increase in productivity of 3.7% against the increase in productivity of all those quarters since 1949 the last month ranks 76th out of 229. That puts it in the top 34 percent.


1956
Comparing the GDP growth rate for the first quarter of 2006 to the growth rate for all quarters since the first quarter of 1956 this quarter ranks 53th out of 201 quarters. That puts it in the top 27 percent.

Comparing the current monthly unemployment rate of 4.6% against the unemployment rates of all those months since 1956 the last month ranks 118th out of 605. That puts it in the top 20 percent.

Comparing the current quarterly increase in productivity of 3.7% against the increase in productivity of all those quarters since 1956 the last month ranks 66th out of 201. That puts it in the top 33 percent.

None of these numbers are any way near to being in the top 5%.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at June 5, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #154635

Mental

It doesn’t make a lot of difference. It just shows the trend. My point was that 2001 was an unusual year and not an appropriate starting point.

Your adjusted figures tell a similar story. This year, incomes are about what they were in 1998. We had a the run up of the economy after that. You cannot compare to what was essentially an unsustainable sprint at the end of a long race. It is true that I am most interested in the median incomes. Inequality per se does not trouble me much. The wages were I work increase roughly with inflation. I make more money now in real dollars because I got promoted a couple of times and I invest wisely. I won’t apologize for working hard and saving money and being smart. It is easy to fail. I prefer to succeed. It is harder but worth it.

Arm

I would compare it will all the years. If you leave out the recession years, why not leave out all the below average years? We could reduce this to the worst year ever, if we compare it only to the better years.

You remember better years than I do. In the 1970s, things were bad. When I graduated got my first “real” job in 1982 unemployment was horrible. This year seems good to me. 4.6% is a good level no matter what and 5.3% is good no matter what. I don’t really understand why you guys insist on seeing this as bad.

Question - how low does unemployment have to go before you consider it a good rate? How high does economic growth or productivity have to go? Please tell me so that I can see if ANY of the years of my working life were good.

Posted by: Jack at June 5, 2006 11:08 PM
Comment #154645

Jack,
Please let the Chairman of the Federal Rerserve know that 4.6% unemployment, that firms are hiring more new grads, and that 75,000 non-farm payroll jobs are really of no concern, and that the economy is just great.

It would appear the new Chairman echoed the opinions I put forth earlier in this thread. His statements sent the DJIA down @200 points today, as the realization permeates through the markets. Commodity driven inflation must be addressed (along with a falling dollar, which I never addressed), even if it means raising interest rates high enough to drive the economy south. We will enter this Second Bush Recession with hugh debts & deficits, and little job creation from the interim recovery.

Because so much of this recovery was fueled by debt, (resulting in actual negative savings rates the last two reports), especially debt incurred through refinanced mortgages; and because non-supervisory wages never went anywhere, we will be looking at a very nasty situation. High interest rates will collapse the excesses of the real estate market, resulting in foreclosures galore.

It will be a long, hard ending for the Bush administration and its disastrous economic policies. But if it is any consolation, we will all be suffering together.

Posted by: phx8 at June 5, 2006 11:52 PM
Comment #154689
I would compare it will all the years. If you leave out the recession years, why not leave out all the below average years? We could reduce this to the worst year ever, if we compare it only to the better years.

In my last post I did compare all the years for two different time frames.

You remember better years than I do. In the 1970s, things were bad. When I graduated got my first “real” job in 1982 unemployment was horrible. This year seems good to me. 4.6% is a good level no matter what and 5.3% is good no matter what. I don’t really understand why you guys insist on seeing this as bad.

The graduating class of 82 were greeted with a year of the worst unemployment rates since 1948 (that is the extent of the web published figures). Starting from that point all other years would be better.

Question - how low does unemployment have to go before you consider it a good rate? How high does economic growth or productivity have to go? Please tell me so that I can see if ANY of the years of my working life were good.

You are asking for an opinion and everyone has their own and can argue them endlessly. The numbers tell the story if we can agree on which set of numbers to use.

I took issue with the statement that the GDP, Unemployment Rate and the Productivity were in the top 5% of the last 50 years when they clearly are not.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at June 6, 2006 7:43 AM
Comment #154753

Jack

You’re referring to the unadjusted numbers; you didn’t look at the second set of numbers on the link, the ones adjusted for inflation. You gotta scroll down. Incomes have been falling for the last five years, except for the highest bracket. Your snarky implication that the lower 4/5 of the population aren’t working as hard as you (or your forest land) was low. This is the only time that’s happened as long as numbers have been kept.

So, I would appreciate it if you would address that issue, rather than verbally stepping around it like a Fox news anchor. Please. Thanks.

Posted by: mental wimp at June 6, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #154846

Remer:

we are also importing huge numbers of graduates from overseas because our own educational system is failing to produce the brain power for many positions in demand.
Not true. Upper management is merely bemoaning a lack of cheap skilled engineers. The so-called lack of skilled engineers is simply a pretense used to try to justify offshoring of engineering work and the importation of H1-B visa labor. See The San Jose Mercury News, this article from the Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. A study conducted by Duke University also refutes the so-called shortfall of U.S. engineering grads vs. India and China.

Posted by: Screaming Centrist at June 6, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #154991

Wimp

Yes incomes have been falling for the last five years becasue the base year was unusually good and the end of a long boom. In any case, since incomes have been dropping for the past 5 years, you cannot blame Bush. Economic policy takes a while to set in. We are dealing with a normal cycle.

Re my personal income, you started it. Besides, I imagine most people have done a little better. I am not the only one who got promoted. New entrants to the job market probably are bringing down the aggregate numbers. That is not a good thing, but it is not the same as sayiing that people have actually lost money.

There is no reason for you to welcome bad news, since Bush could not have started it and you cannot get partisan advantage. Give Bush credit or blame for the post 2003 time period if you must. Overall these are good years. But as I have written on many occasions, presidents get too much credit or blame for the economy.

Arm

Simple - How low do you think employment can go (and be sustained)? Is 4.6% an unacceptabley high unemployement and 5.3% growth an unacceptably low level? If so, I (and most Americans and almost all Europeans) have never experienced a really “good” time.

We can argue endlessly only if you want to be silly. I remember when unemployement dipped below 5%. Everybody hailed that as a remarkable achievment. It cannot go down to zero, so what is a good amount? (Hint: if Kerry had one the election, 4.6% would have been great).

Posted by: Jack at June 6, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #155079

Jack

If you insist knowing my opinion here are two:

(1)The only one being silly here is the one trying to change the point of my posts.

(2)When you express your opinion as fact, using statistics that are incorrect, you can expect to be challenged.

When you wrote: “Yes this year is not the best ever. It is in the top 5% of the last 50 years” it was presented as fact when it was really just your opinion.

All were invited to verify your “facts” using real sources, not partisan ones. I did just that and presented the figures in several different ways. It turns out that this year is clearly not in the top 5% of the last 50 years.

That is not just an opinion, that is fact.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at June 7, 2006 9:27 AM
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