Patterico's Pontifications

3/8/2013

Phony Unemployment Numbers for a Phony Recovery

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:51 am

Supposedly “unemployment” is down today, which is an utter joke. Only a President and media that calls spending increases “cuts” would pay attention to this number we call “unemployment.” This quote from CNN Money explains why:

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dipped to 7.7%, as 12 million workers were counted as unemployed. The drop was partly because more people said they got jobs, but also because 130,000 people dropped out of the labor force.

This is the same kind of genius logic that causes people like Paul Krugman to declare that World War II got us out of the Great Depression. Take your best, most able-bodied workers, and ship them all overseas — millions of them — and voila! they are no longer unemployed! (Problem is, the same phony GDP numbers they cite to show a “recovery” during the war also show a deep depression during the incredibly prosperous year of 1946.) When you can play with your denominators at will, it doesn’t matter so much what your numerators are, does it?

The number that matters is this: what percentage of the population is working? James Pethokoukis has the chart, along with some incisive analysis, and it’s not pretty:

I have said for a while now: we are going to get a phony “recovery” before the big crash. Today’s numbers help prop up the Phony Recovery Narrative. If you want to get suckered by it, that’s your business.

125 Responses to “Phony Unemployment Numbers for a Phony Recovery”

  1. It’s also true that, in 1946, we had 45% of the world’s industrial capacity, thanks in large part to our industrialized competitors having kindly blown up so much of their own, and that were the world’s largest producer and exporter of steel and petroleum.

    That kind of made a difference.

    The economist Dana (3e4784)

  2. we can’t even make twinkies no more

    cause of we suck

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  3. you can’t find what isn’t out there.

    and who in their right mind would expand their labor force right now, let alone hire anyone for more than ~28 hours/week?

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  4. Nevertheless, regardless of how bad you might think the numbers to be, they demonstrate what a fantastic job President Obama did keeping us out of another Depression, which would have been all George Bush’s fault in the first place.

    The Dana channeling Perry (3e4784)

  5. that graph heads south in a trajectory eerily similar to the proposed keystone pipeline route

    coincidence?

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  6. meanwhile, in other news, Failifornia continues to reward criminals at the expense of citizens.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  7. it is likely just a coincidence: the trajectory is real, but Keystone isn’t likely to ever be more than a pipe dream…

    8-)

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  8. Greetings:

    Another aspect that never seems to draw media attention is what statisticians refer to as “statistical significance”. Any measure includes some degree of inaccuracy or insignificance, so there are any number of mathematical tests which show whether a change in a measure is of any real statistical significance. When a measure of 7% or 8% varies by a tenth of a percent or so, that may very well not be of any mathematical significance or of extremely little.

    Since the Obama administration has figured out how to “game” the unemployment and other economic numbers, as is unburdened by any real sense of personal honor, these reports should be viewed as as good for them as they felt they could get away with. Which, I suppose, is better than nothing, and certainly better than those “rates” of inflation that no longer seem to come up in economic discussions at all.

    Forward !!!

    11B40 (cf59a7)

  9. redc1c4 asked:

    and who in their right mind would expand their labor force right now, let alone hire anyone for more than ~28 hours/week?

    Someone who was running a company which already provided health insurance for its employees, and who saw an increased demand for his company’s products.

    Hillary Clinton famously said, when she was supposed to be putting together a national health insurance program, that she couldn’t be responsible for every undercapitalized business out there. Well, that’s what ObaminableCare has done: it has taken the undercapitalized businesses and prevented them from starting up, but it has far less impact on sizable, currently existing corporations which already provided health insurance. The costs for health insurance will rise, which corporations will both pass along to their customers and increase the premiums their workers have to pay; since their competitors will be facing the same cost increases, they figure that they can pass along the costs.

    A lot of corporations supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, because they saw it as imposing additional costs on their competition.

    The economist Dana (3e4784)

  10. if i were running a company, and the penalty was cheaper than insurance, i’d dump everyone out, pay the fine and put the difference to the bottom line.

    it’s the only sensible financial decision to make. after all, you can only pass along costs to a marketplace than has excess purchasing power to absorb it. as costs for everything rise, consumers have to prioritize their expenditures, thus reducing how much stuff they buy overall.

    the more money we have to spend on essentials: food, shelter, energy, etc, the less there is to spend on anything else, or to save for future needs, such as retirement.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  11. redc1c4 wrote:

    if i were running a company, and the penalty was cheaper than insurance, i’d dump everyone out, pay the fine and put the difference to the bottom line.

    While some companies are supposedly considering just that, I doubt it will happen very much. Health insurance is an expected part of employee benefits for employers of any size, and has been added to keep good employees. A CEO who was taking the position you just expressed would not have been providing health insurance as an employee benefit in the first place; there’d have been an even bigger addition to the bottom line before ObaminableCare was passed: no insurance costs and no fine.

    The Dana running very low on adjectives (3e4784)

  12. U6 is telling the real story.

    Obama’s “improvements” in unemployment invariably involve discouraging people from looking for work. Obama’s “stimulus” solely resides in stimulating gun sales.

    Worst President in modern history.

    SPQR (768505)

  13. This is the same kind of genius logic that causes people like Paul Krugman to declare that World War II got us out of the Great Depression.

    Also, teenagers cause winter. At least, they do if you live near a ski resort. If you look out your window and see snow, go over to the ski resort. I’ll guarantee you you’ll see teenagers.

    And insulin kills diabetics. It’s true! Almost everybody who dies of complications from diabetes was taking insulin.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  14. Now, where’s my Nobel prize for freakanomics?

    Steve57 (60a887)

  15. Steve, all that proves is that teenagers cause snow-making machines.

    The snarky Dana (3e4784)

  16. Banks are still running around looking for daily profits. But retail investors took out another $10 Billion last month. 401Ks are still being cashed. Consumer credit is down from $13 Trillion to $12 Trillion since the trouble of 2008.

    Not because people are paying their debts, they are walking away. Those of us who pay have deleveraged a bit but that does not mean we’re in a position to participate in the recovery.

    We just continue with further economizations. Our house joined Costco last weekend. We buy non-oxygenated premium at twenty cents above unleaded. We eat 3 different menus to minimize waste.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  17. Of course, the whole Obama “stimulus logic” is that infrastructure causes success.

    Which is right up there with going to Beverly Hills and noticing how rich and well dressed everyone is, the beautiful houses, the Jewelry shops, Benz and Bentley dealerships, and the Rolex stores.

    Then concluding that if you want a booming economy where everyone is flush with money, you need jewelry shops, Benz and Bentley dealerships, and Rolex stores.

    And the trying to attract them to Detroit or Compton.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  18. 16. Steve, all that proves is that teenagers cause snow-making machines.

    Comment by The snarky Dana (3e4784) — 3/8/2013 @ 9:10 am

    Excellent point.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  19. And then snow making machines cause winter.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  20. And actually, I’d agree with the point that World War II got us out of the Depression. The war created a huge demand for industrial goods, goods which were rapidly expended and had to be replaced again and again, which created millions of jobs. Further, the war greatly damaged the industrial capacity of our international competitors. The United States was the world’s largest steel producer and world’s largest oil producer. We were feeding both our own industry and raking in money from exports.

    We ran huge deficits, but we were borrowing from ourselves; in 1946, 99% of our national debt was owed internally, so debt repayment simply meant more dollars circulating through our own economy, increasing the velocity of money.

    That is where Dr Krugman’s problems arise. WW2 was very much a huge industrial stimulus, but it was a stimulus that was not only generated within the United States, but brought money in from outside. Today, we are an oil, steel and manufactured goods importer, so stimulating consumer spending sends part of the stimulus dollars overseas, out of our economy. And since we are borrowing much of our money from overseas, interest and redemption payments on Treasury Bills also gets sent overseas, outside of our economy.

    We are literally borrowing money from China to stimulate the Chinese economy; how fornicating brilliant is that?

    The economist Dana (3e4784)

  21. Steve pointed out:

    And then snow making machines cause winter.

    Your logic is unassailable!

    The global warming Dana (3e4784)

  22. Mr Gulrud noted:

    We just continue with further economizations. Our house joined Costco last weekend.

    When we decided to redo our kitchen, I borrowed the money from myself, from my 401(k). This way, I have to repay the money, with interest, but I’m paying it back to myself.

    The Dana who hopes he won't be featured on Disaster DIY (3e4784)

  23. So exactly how will President Rodham-Clinton manage to blame George W for the depression and $24 Trillion debt she inherited in 2017?

    Bonus question: Will the cardboard box encampments on the Mall shantytowns across the nation be called “Obamavilles” or “Rodham-Clintonvilles”?

    BZZZZ! Wrong answer. They will be called “Bushvilles” or “W-villes”. Haven’t you been paying attention for the past 10 years?

    in_awe (7c859a)

  24. I always keep in mind that the official unemployment statistics for Mexico (yes, Mexico—the source of so much immigration to the US for decades), supposedly vetted by the CIA (or the branch of the US government listed as the source of the information), indicate that country has rarely had a jobless rate above 3% to 4%, going back something like 30 years. I was stunned when I first saw that, because such data makes Mexico look like an economic paradise.

    Meanwhile, across the Pacific, I understand that Japan gathers statistics in such a way that a person there is considered fully employed (or not unemployed) if he or she works for some miniscule number of hours per week.

    So if figures can be tweaked upward or downward, and therefore become somewhat misleading (or incomplete), does that suggest the high unemployment rates for the various socialized nations of Europe perhaps are too high, too low, just right?

    BTW, the construction industry in parts of Los Angeles (truly a bog when it comes to business friendliness, but a nirvana when it comes to super-blue politics) admittedly right now is seeing quite a bit of new work, new activity. This is evident by the number of construction cranes visible in certain sections of the city. Then again, there is always a spark of some business energy even in the most dysfunctional countries (along with cities) in the world.

    Mark (3fdd05)

  25. Michael Crichton put it this way, “Wet sidewalks cause rain”.

    Did WW-II end the Depression? Or did WW-II get in the way od FDR’s policies and thereby end the depression?

    That was kind of snarky, but I don’t think mean (unless one worships FDR, which would be a problem).

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  26. We are literally borrowing money from China to stimulate the Chinese economy; how fornicating brilliant is that?

    Comment by The economist Dana (3e4784) — 3/8/2013 @ 9:21 am

    Better still:
    - the interest we pay on our debt to China exceeds their latest spending on military expansion; so we are paying to strengthen and embolden the PRC’s military
    - the US taxpayer foots the bill to borrow money from China in order to provide US foreign aid payments to China

    You have the right to be stupid in America.*” His Eminence, Secretary of State John Kerry

    *Especially if you are a member of the ruling class.

    in_awe (7c859a)

  27. CNS News says the number of Americans not in the labor force increased 296,000 between January and February.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  28. Comment by The Dana who hopes he won’t be featured on Disaster DIY (3e4784) — 3/8/2013 @ 9:25 am

    How much you earning in that 401(k)? Pay off my mortgage and I’ll pay you interest and split the diff between your poor return and my current interest.

    Legal disclaimer-this offer not offered in states where it is not legal or needs an accompanying prospectus, and all of that other mumbo-jumbo.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  29. I think people who know more than me say that China isn’t even lending us much money anymore, that somehow the fed and the govt are passing money back in forth-
    I don’t know, but it would be interesting to find a 1 trillion dollar iridium (or some such) coin.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  30. Indeed China unloaded a lot of US debt. Now Bernanke p hinting press is funding our deficits. 3 trillion so far in funny money.

    SPQR (0d7e07)

  31. “Michael Crichton put it this way, “Wet sidewalks cause rain”.”

    MD in Philly – Although Crichton was right about most things, he was wrong about that. Everybody knows that washing your car causes rain.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  32. The Philadelphia physician wrote:

    How much you earning in that 401(k)? Pay off my mortgage and I’ll pay you interest and split the diff between your poor return and my current interest.

    I took out the loan in December of 2012 . . . which means that I missed the big stock market gains since then on that $16,000. :(

    Legal disclaimer-this offer not offered in states where it is not legal or needs an accompanying prospectus, and all of that other mumbo-jumbo.

    We’re both in the Keystone State, but I’m pretty sure that a prospectus, signed by an CPA, will be necessary.

    The Dana losing money (3e4784)

  33. But daley, when I wash my car the sidewalk gets wet.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  34. “that graph heads south in a trajectory eerily similar to the proposed keystone pipeline route”

    Mr. Feets – I was thinking it looks like somebody used a fleet of domestic drones to attack the percentage of Americans in the workforce since Obama took office.

    coincidence?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  35. Glenn Reynolds points out that the more likely you were to vote for Obama, the more likely you are to be unemployed.

    SPQR (0d7e07)

  36. That was kind of snarky, but I don’t think mean (unless one worships FDR, which would be a problem).

    When it comes to Roosevelt, I think being both snarky and mean about what he truly was all about actually fits plain, unvarnished reality.

    nationalreview.com, Thomas Sowell, November 2010:

    Guess who said the following: “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work.” Was it Sarah Palin? Rush Limbaugh? Karl Rove?

    Not even close. It was Henry Morgenthau, secretary of the Treasury under Franklin D. Roosevelt and one of FDR’s closest advisers. He added, “after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started… And an enormous debt to boot!”

    Franklin D. Roosevelt blamed the country’s woes on the problems he inherited from his predecessor, much as Barack Obama does today. But unemployment was 20 percent in the spring of 1939, six long years after Herbert Hoover had left the White House.

    Whole generations have been “educated” to believe that the Roosevelt administration got this country out of the Great Depression.

    Professors Commager and Morris of Columbia…declared, “The character of the Republican ascendancy of the twenties had been pervasively negative; the character of the New Deal was overwhelmingly positive.” Anyone unfamiliar with the history of that era might never suspect from such statements that the 1920s were a decade of unprecedented prosperity and the 1930s were a decade of the deepest and longest-lasting depression in American history. But facts have taken a back seat to rhetoric.

    Far from pulling the country out of the Great Depression by following Keynesian policies, FDR created policies that prolonged the depression until it was more than twice as long as any other depression in American history.

    President Roosevelt’s strong suit was politics, not economics. He played the political game both cleverly and ruthlessly, including using both the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service to harass and intimidate his critics and opponents.

    It is not a pretty story. But we need to understand it if we want to avoid the ugly consequences of very similar policies today.

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana

    “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” — Edmund Burke

    Mark (3fdd05)

  37. “But daley, when I wash my car the sidewalk gets wet.”

    Steve57 – That’s different. Man caused sidewalk wetness.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  38. most certainly not Mr. daley

    the whole convoluted scheme is unraveling before our eyes like a cheap sweater

    lying on the floor we’ve come undone I think

    happyfeet (4bf7c2)

  39. SPQR wrote:

    Indeed China unloaded a lot of US debt. Now Bernanke p hinting press is funding our deficits. 3 trillion so far in funny money.

    Printing presses are just so last century. All that has to be done is simply declare that thee money you need is in your account, and you are good to go.

    Think about it. If you write a check use your debit card for more money than is in your account, the bank will stop and say, “Oops, sorry, NSF, pay a big fee and make it good.” But there is no one who can say to the Fed, “Oops, sorry, you are overdrawn,” and the Fed’s checks electronic transfers are always good, always honored, because there’s no one with the authority to say that the Fed is overdrawn who would say that. Ben Bernanke truly does have the Midas touch!

    That is really just a variation on how commercial banks create money, except there’s no reserve requirement and no outside supervision. Even President Obama doesn’t have the authority to tell the Fed that it is overdrawn.

    The heavily-taxed for nothing Dana (3e4784)

  40. Mr 57 wrote:

    But daley, when I wash my car the sidewalk gets wet.

    And why are you parking your car on the sidewalk in the first place?

    The Dana who noticed (3e4784)

  41. Dana, because I live in Texas and I was trying to make it rain and get my car clean at the same time.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  42. I don’t always park on the sidewalk. Just when I’m doing the rain-making magic.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  43. And the car is dirty.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  44. Gee, tell me again when the Recovery began?

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  45. How much you earning in that 401(k)? Pay off my mortgage and I’ll pay you interest and split the diff between your poor return and my current interest.

    That’s actually a great idea, if I understand it correctly. Sort of going Galt.

    Patricia (be0117)

  46. The heavily-taxed Dana, and Bernanke even saves the cost of paper and ink!

    SPQR (cde90f)

  47. Speaking of Part-Time work:
    There was a report last week of job-sharing within industries to keep people working “full” time, but with reduced schedules at different employers to stay below the ObamaCare Trigger – a “burger flipper” would work a P/T sked at a McDonalds, and a BurgerKing (or more), and all the Mgr’s are in on it, trying to keep their employees employed.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  48. Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 3/8/2013 @ 8:04 am

    That’s what Jerry’s new tax-increases are paying for.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  49. SPQR wrote:

    Bernanke even saves the cost of paper and ink!

    Win/win!

    The economizing Dana (3e4784)

  50. That’s actually a great idea, if I understand it correctly. Sort of going Galt.
    Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 3/8/2013 @ 11:08 am

    I would do it with my folks and the piddly amount they get for their CD’s, but there is not a big enough buffer in the amounts involved.

    family run credit union.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  51. The President has been safely re-elected, so now NBC can start telling the truth:

    Hiring speeding up? Not so fast, businesses say

    The holiday shopping season was so busy at Balliets, a clothing store in Oklahoma City, that owner Bob Benham had to ask his sales staff to work extra hours to keep up with the pickup in foot traffic.

    But with business now softening again in the new year, he’s not convinced it’s time to start hiring more full time workers yet.

    “Our customers are cautious,” he said. “And that makes me cautious. I’m keeping my inventories just about at year-ago levels. And in term of my fall buying, which we’re in the middle of now, I’m planning flat.”

    That kind of restraint is reflected in the government’s latest employment report data. Employers added some 265,000 workers last month, stronger than forecasters had expected and an encouraging sign that the job market has healed well enough to provide a steady supply of new jobs.

    But the increased pace of hiring is still well below levels normally seen more than three years into an economic recovery.

    With roughly 150,000 new jobs needed every month just to keep up with population growth, last month’s relatively solid gains clipped the unemployment rate by another two tenths of a point. But at 7.7 percent, that’s still painfully high.

    More at the link.

    The Dana checking the MSM (3e4784)

  52. I know the Pegster is foolish but the joke is really on him, isn’t it,

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/03/peggy-noonan-hotel-stimulus-public-works.html

    narciso (3fec35)

  53. #24 in_awe.

    WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE???? We’ll all be broke. WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE WHO CAUSED IT!!!

    Dana in the Lunatic Ward (694db4)

  54. 45 askeptic. The RECOVERY ACT was passed on February 17,2009. We have been recovering for 4 years now.

    Pitzer College recovery Ward (694db4)

  55. 55. 45 askeptic. The RECOVERY ACT was passed on February 17,2009. We have been recovering for 4 years now.

    Comment by Pitzer College recovery Ward (694db4) — 3/8/2013 @ 12:40 pm

    That’s nothing. I was in a Georgetown bar the other night and some drunk at the end of the bar claimed to have been in recovery for 15 years!

    Then some Secret Service guys walked in and said, “Mr. Vice President, we have to go.”

    They helped him up and out to a waiting limo as he mumbled something about “skeet shooting” and “Jill, just shoot through the door.”

    Steve57 (60a887)

  56. Pitzer, if this be recovery, woe unto us if it falters.
    I guess then we’d have the Great, Great Recession.
    Or (from the LAT) Super Funemployment!

    askeptic (2bb434)

  57. Krugman may well be an idiot’s idiot when it comes to his many bizarre economic theories. However, he is partially correct in his wrongness – that WWII was the indeed the turning point in the Great Depression.

    But it certainly was not the massive “government war spending” that stimulated our economy. It was the fact that we had, quite literally, blown away our competition. European manufacturing capabilities were decimated during the height of the fighting, and it took nearly two decades for their recovery.

    From the end of the 40′s until the early 60′s, the US was responsible for manufacturing the world’s toasters, transistor radios, widgets, and pretty much everything else.

    One of the advantages of fighting wars in someone else’s back yard, I suppose.

    Ho Lee Kats (83c29b)

  58. Yeah, MD, it would have to be family. Good way of helping someone out who is credit worthy.

    Patricia (be0117)

  59. The 29 hour workweek — WSJ on the 29ers

    htom (412a17)

  60. I know what’s going on: You folks don’t want our nation to recover because it would happen on Obama’s watch.

    In spite of your wishes, there is improvement, though still painfully slowly.

    And by the way, Patterico, I like your chart: It shows dramatically how deep the Bush recession really was. Now wonder we’re still struggling!

    Perry (329aa5)

  61. i don’t want fascism heralded as the economic model of the future

    I really a LOT don’t want that

    few things would disappoint me more

    happyfeet (4bf7c2)

  62. Historically the deeper the recession the faster the recovery, Perry, not slower. Until Obama.

    And if you think these number are good then that simply means you’re embracing the Obama “recovery” as our new normal. No growth and no jobs.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  63. I know what’s going on: You folks don’t want our nation to recover because it would happen on Obama’s watch.

    You should have stopped at “I know …” because what followed showed that you don’t know. His economic policies stifle growth, not promote it. And it will get worse once your silly ObamaCare fully hits the economy.

    JD (b63a52)

  64. How many more people do you want to leave the job market, Perry?

    JD (b63a52)

  65. Silly old fart thinks its any part of Ogabe’s plan that we recover.

    If you voted for Il Douche, chances are you are unemployed.

    Can’t wait ’til he pulls your plug, fossil.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  66. Perry wrote:

    I know what’s going on: You folks don’t want our nation to recover because it would happen on Obama’s watch.

    Whether we want the economy to recover during President Obama’s term is meaningless; the fact is that, after slightly more than four years it has not recovered. You are arguing what you believe our desires are; we are pointing out cold, hard facts.

    And by the way, Patterico, I like your chart: It shows dramatically how deep the Bush recession really was. Now wonder we’re still struggling!

    Told you so! :)

    The Dana who told you so! (af9ec3)

  67. Hey, CBS News Radio was saying Wednesday morning that Americans have recovered all the wealth that they lost in 2008, mainly due to the rockin’ market and home equity rebounding in a big way. I heard it, so it must be true. It’s ALL good.

    Colonel Haiku (934839)

  68. O/T, more rumors about Rupert Murdoch buying the Times!

    Delicious!

    Patricia (be0117)

  69. The Prez says the economy’s doing well
    And Perry thinks that it’s just swell!
    But smart people know,
    The economy’s slow,
    And for some it’s gone straight to Hell!

    The Limerick Avenger (af9ec3)

  70. The Democrats think that we just have to tax the most productive people more, but MSN Money has an interesting slideshow, noting the top ten highest and lowest tax cities. The correlation isn’t straight, because different cities have different resources and different problems, but, generally speaking, the cities which tax families earning $150,000+ incomes more highly have higher unemployment rates than the cities which have lower tax burdens.

    I put it all together on one chart, here. (Yes, that’s ashameless blog plug.)

    The Dana who spotted it (af9ec3)

  71. The fricken media merely serves as a means to legitimize elite rule without addressing the interests of the country.

    mg (31009b)

  72. Perry wrote:

    I know what’s going on: You folks don’t want our nation to recover because it would happen on Obama’s watch.

    Whether we want the economy to recover during President Obama’s term is meaningless; the fact is that, after slightly more than four years it has not recovered. You are arguing what you believe our desires are; we are pointing out cold, hard facts.

    Comment by The Dana who told you so! (af9ec3) — 3/8/2013 @ 4:37 pm

    Dana, come on. When the man’s right, he’s right. We rethuglicans were wrecking the economy with our freakin’ minds. Because we got tired of bending spoons.

    Perry, you got us. We deliberately killed Obama’s recovery by directing bad vibes at it. It was our collective negative aura that stymied the recovery.

    Which makes about as much sense as all your other economic theories.

    But let me guess; it was Reagan who believed in voo doo economics, right Perry?

    Steve57 (60a887)

  73. Perry, have you figured out who stole the strawberries from the officers’ mess as well?

    Steve57 (60a887)

  74. Perry, you are an idiot. We are still struggling not because of the depth of the recession, which really wasn’t the most severe in my lifetime, but because of the destructive policies of Democrats.

    Only extremists like Democrats would pursue anti-employment policies with such fervor when we need our economy to recover. Obamacare alone is destroying Americans employment prospects due to the 29/49 problem. A problem you are too stupid to even understand Perry.

    SPQR (768505)

  75. This is the same kind of genius logic that causes people like Paul Krugman to declare that World War II got us out of the Great Depression.

    Not really. Krugman saying the above is Krugman, a professional economist, who KNEW about the Broken Window Fallacy as an Econ FRESHMAN, absolutely LYING out his ass.

    The “unemployment” BS is a lie, but it’s an “incompleteness” lie — a lie by omission, not a “That’s so freaking blatantly FALSE it’s not funny” lie.

    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and CRIS Diagnostic Expert (98ae1f)

  76. Mish on that U3 improvement:

    Digging under the surface, much of the drop in the unemployment rate over the past two years is nothing but a statistical mirage. Things are much worse than the reported numbers indicate.

    Second part-time jobs distorted the number added by a factor of two.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  77. Of course the numbers are phony. Government is about avarice and power. The dream of technocracy that science and measurement can improvement government is false and hopeless.

    Were technocracy to work, politicians would have to deny their desire for power, control, and wealth. It is as impossible for a politician to repudiate his desires as it is for the pedophile, homosexual, or bestialist to repudiate theirs. It is in their nature.

    And so technocracy becomes corrupted and “science” no longer serves truth, instead it serves “the people,” the word used when politicians enrich themselves and their cronies.

    ErisGuy (76f8a7)

  78. I know what’s going on: You folks don’t want our nation to recover because it would happen on Obama’s watch.

    In spite of your wishes, there is improvement, though still painfully slowly.

    And by the way, Patterico, I like your chart: It shows dramatically how deep the Bush recession really was. Now wonder we’re still struggling!

    PS: The chart Patterico posted shows just how deep the Bush Recession really was, and how far we have yet to recover re jobs. But our businesses are doing quite well, as judged by the performance of the stock market.

    Perry (dc1eab)

  79. But our businesses are doing quite well, as judged by the performance of the stock market.

    You are well and truly a moron.

    JD (b63a52)

  80. Cooypasta the same nonsense from yesterday just highlights how idiotic it was the first time, Perry.

    JD (b63a52)

  81. 71. The Dana who spotted it

    The Democrats think that we just have to tax the most productive people more, but MSN Money has an interesting slideshow, noting the top ten highest and lowest tax cities. The correlation isn’t straight, because different cities have different resources and different problems, but, generally speaking, the cities which tax families earning $150,000+ incomes more highly have higher unemployment rates than the cities which have lower tax burdens.

    This is classic garbage in/garbage out gibberish. The prosperity of the post-WWII period up to the Reagan tax cuts proves my point. This was a time when tax rates on the wealthy were very high.

    Then what did Reagan’s tax policies give us? For one, the start of massive deficits, which except for the Clinton interlude, have continued to this very day.

    PS: And btw Dana, 70% of our current borrowing, expressed as a percentage of GDP, is from ourselves, 30% is from foreign sources; so you have not been giving the correct picture by your remarks!

    Perry (dc1eab)

  82. Perry, you’re projecting again. Conservatives do not want to see our country fail just to stop Obama from having credit. That’s something vile, self-serving leftists would do. Like closing White House tours to hurt kids because of sequester. We don’t go for that type of petty bull crap.

    And what Patterico’s chart shows is we went into a recession and through the mismanagement of the Obama administration we have been and continue to be in a great recession. We cannot get out of a poor economy by borrowing money, that’s called debt. We need productivity to grow, that’s called progress not debt.

    Since you are not a businessman your observations of how well business is doing is moot. You are considering only Big Business and I submit to you that all of the hundreds of small and medium business owners I associate with say you are dead wrong. And I as a small business owner say you’re wrong. Beside the dramatic increase in taxes and regulations, the threat of anticipated wage rises and compliance costs to Obamacare is killing the little guy. You know, the guy you leftists are supposed to be for.

    If you actually believe the stock market is driven by small and medium business then the market does not reflect our current business environment. If however, you realize the market currently is being driven by the constant printing of money coupled with the banks ( and other cash-rich big businesses ) not being able to earn a reasonable interest rate loaning said money you will understand they are driving the market by investing rather than lending. You should be careful about touting the stock market…ever heard of a bubble? If you give obama credit for the rise you’re setting him up to take credit for the fall. After all, you still manage to stubbornly give Bush credit for a recssion which occured when the entire Congress was in the grip of Democrats. Truth is, who controls spending the pres or the congress?

    Why do you continue to believe a community organizer knows more about business than a businessman?

    Hoagie (3259ab)

  83. Perry, once again chants: “This was a time when tax rates on the wealthy were very high.”

    Once again Perry, I point bout so were deductions and exemptions. Tax rates may have been high, but tax revenue was not. As Laffer proved, lowering tax rates actually increased tax revenue.

    But you continue: “Then what did Reagan’s tax policies give us?” You’re asking the wrong question ( no supprise there ). It was not Reagan’s tax rates, it was Congress’s spending rate that hurt. One can tax 100% but if one spends 120% one is in deep poop.

    Hoagie (3259ab)

  84. Nevertheless, regardless of how bad you might think the numbers to be, they demonstrate what a fantastic job President Obama did keeping us out of another Depression, which would have been all George Bush’s fault in the first place.
    Comment by The Dana channeling Perry (3e4784) — 3/8/2013 @ 8:00 am

    – For the sake of your own sanity you need to block that channel.

    Icy (3693bf)

  85. Comment by Perry (329aa5) — 3/8/2013 @ 2:46 pm
    I know what’s going on: You folks don’t want our nation to recover because it would happen on Obama’s watch.
    – ‘Cuz then we’s a-hafta admit that black peoples is smart!

    In spite of your wishes, there is improvement, though still painfully slowly.
    – 130,000 people LEAVING the workforce is “improvement”?

    And by the way, Patterico, I like your chart: It shows dramatically how deep the Bush recession really was.
    – Either that OR it shows depressingly how totally ineffective Obama’s recovery measures have been. Hmm, I wonder which one of those things it is . . .

    [ No] wonder we’re still struggling!
    – In your case, nobody wonders.

    Icy (3693bf)

  86. How many more people do you want to leave the job market, Perry?
    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 3/8/2013 @ 3:11 pm

    – Just enough so that all of those that remain can find jobs.
    Full employment!

    Icy (3693bf)

  87. our businesses are doing quite well, as judged by the performance of the stock market.
    Comment by Perry (dc1eab) — 3/9/2013 @ 6:28 am

    – Oh. Well then, I guess that everybody actually has a job, and gas & food prices are not way up, and everyone is buying cars & houses, and interest rates on savings are about to bound back up at any minute.
    Thank God!

    Icy (3693bf)

  88. Comment by Perry (dc1eab) — 3/9/2013 @ 6:41 am
    This is classic garbage in/garbage out gibberish.
    – And we all know how fond you are of the classics.

    The prosperity of the post-WWII period up to the Reagan tax cuts proves my point. This was a time when tax rates on the wealthy were very high.
    – You’re just gonna keep singing this song forever, aren’t you.
    Study history much?

    Then what did Reagan’s tax policies give us? For one, the start of massive deficits, which except for the Clinton interlude, have continued to this very day.
    – Reagan’s tax policies brought us out of the economic malaise of the Ford/Carter years. His deficits (nowhere near as ‘massive’ as Obama’s) were due to the spending that ended the Cold War; or, as some would call it, WORTHWHILE spending.

    Icy (3693bf)

  89. Perry’s on a roll
    downhill but it’s still a roll
    Hellbent for leather

    Colonel Haiku (64fbab)

  90. RIP Perry

    Colonel Haiku (64fbab)

  91. 89. Icy

    Study history much?

    You need to read your own “history” cite, which concluded:

    Congress took up Johnson’s suggestion and passed what became the Revenue Act of 1964, which the President signed on February 26, 1964. The bill dropped the top marginal tax rate from 91% to 70% (and also reduced the corporate tax rate from 52% to 48%). In the wake of this reduction on high-earner households, federal revenue actually increased, rising from $94 billion in 1961 to $153 billion in 1968, an increase of 33 percent in real terms.

    Brilliant! Citing the 1964 tax cut, then comparing the revenue increase from 1961 to 1968, tells us nothing. Thus, Icy, your credibility becomes an issue!

    Perry (dc1eab)

  92. Perry, it’s so cute of you to expound on someone else’s credibility.

    Adorable, really. Like when a small toy dog acts tough.

    Have you figured out who stole the strawberries?

    Steve57 (60a887)

  93. Perry, its still hilarious how ignorant you are about tax policy. Haven’t you been banned yet BTW?

    SPQR (768505)

  94. 84. Hoagie

    Perry, once again chants: “This was a time when tax rates on the wealthy were very high.”

    Once again Perry, I point bout so were deductions and exemptions. Tax rates may have been high, but tax revenue was not. As Laffer proved, lowering tax rates actually increased tax revenue.

    You need to furnish a citation on your comment about deductions and exemptions being high, because I believe you are mistaken.

    Once again Perry, I point bout so were deductions and exemptions. Tax rates may have been high, but tax revenue was not. As Laffer proved, lowering tax rates actually increased tax revenue.

    That’s not necessarily true. It depends on your reference point on the Laffer Curve. At the current reference point, reducing taxes reduces revenue.

    The truth is, there are more variables to consider than just tax rates in order to explain revenue levels.

    Perry (dc1eab)

  95. Why is it that Democrats lie about tax rates so brazenly?

    SPQR (768505)

  96. re: 96… because when they’re in their natural habitat, there is no there there.

    Colonel Haiku (628ee8)

  97. 79. I know what’s going on: You folks don’t want our nation to recover because it would happen on Obama’s watch.

    Comment by Perry (dc1eab) — 3/9/2013 @ 6:28 am

    Perry, if you sacrifice a couple of virgins to me I’ll take the hex off the economy.

    The one all us right wing fascists learned back in macro econ which would prevent a recovery from happening whenever we didn’t want it to happen.

    Or if you prefer a couple of Hooter’s girls but they gotta bring boneless wings. And no Ranch; Blue Cheese, or the deal’s off.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  98. Citing the 1964 tax cut, then comparing the revenue increase from 1961 to 1968, tells us nothing. Thus, Icy, your credibility becomes an issue!

    here’s the data Mr. Perry

    you can say revenue went from 112.6B in 1964 to 153.0 in 1968, a difference of +36% in absolute terms. In real terms you can use the FY2005 chain to say revenue rose +23% from 1964 to 1968.

    I do not think Mr. Icy’s credibility is an issue here you’re just lazy.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  99. 96. Why is it that Democrats lie about tax rates so brazenly?

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 3/9/2013 @ 9:33 am

    It’s the same reason the Obama admin can lie so brazenly about sequestration. They don’t think anyone will actually check.

    Generally they’re right, when dealing with the press.

    That, and certain things are just a matter of faith amongst the Cult of Big Government. Gun control, high taxes, abortion, socialized medicine, the minimum wage, the national labor relations board, etc.

    The Cult of Big Government preaches good people believe in those things. If you don’t, you aren’t good people. It’s self-reinforcing.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  100. 95. You need to furnish a citation on your comment about deductions and exemptions being high, because I believe you are mistaken.

    Comment by Perry (dc1eab) — 3/9/2013 @ 9:32 am

    Now, I ask you, is it or is it not a hoot that Perry demands someone else provide evidence to back up their statements?

    Steve57 (60a887)

  101. The prosperity of the post-WWII period up to the Reagan tax cuts proves my point. This was a time when tax rates on the wealthy were very high.

    Then what did Reagan’s tax policies give us? For one, the start of massive deficits, which except for the Clinton interlude, have continued to this very day.

    Oh, yeah. No need to back up those statements, eh Perry? It’s just so freakin’ obvious.

    But Hoagie & Icy’s credibility is shot to hell. By you. Thanks for pointing out how unbelievable certain people are when their comments aren’t properly footnoted. It’s a genuine service you’ve provided. Really.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  102. The Cult of Big Government preaches good people believe in those things. If you don’t, you aren’t good people. It’s self-reinforcing.

    I have a theory that one major reason societies of the left tend to become quite corrupt — in various ways — is the tendency of many people in such places to excuse the transgressions of any politician or public figure (eg, celebrities, sports heroes, tycoons) as long as he or she is supposedly (supposedly) a do-gooder, supposedly (supposedly) looking out for the common man, supposedly (supposedly) compassionate and generous. That very easily leads to the reactions evident among X percentage of people (eg, weeping over Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, or, when dialed down, “Clinton may have diddled office interns and even raped a woman, but he was nicely liberal enough and did keep the economy booming!”) towards “benevolent dictators” or “benevolent dictatorships.”

    I’ve become increasingly aware through the years why the cliche of “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” really does ring true.

    Mark (3fdd05)

  103. I can’t tell if Perry is really so ignorant of the reasons why pre 1986 tax reform (attributed to Reagan by sponsored by Democrats) tax “rates” were far from the actual effective rates or if Perry is just lying.

    SPQR (768505)

  104. Perry is ignorant AND dishonest, SPQR.

    JD (b63a52)

  105. JD, probably. No other way to explain how Perry keeps repeating the same easily debunked lies.

    SPQR (768505)

  106. JD, I also suspect Perry is lying about age. Because I recall many differences about my tax returns before 1986 reform (e.g., back then, income averaging, removed in reform, helped me a lot as my income popped up and down through the higher bracket w/o it).

    SPQR (768505)

  107. blue cheese is my favorite but ranch is also tasty

    a lot of the ranch what we trade our food stamps for here in america is manufactured by the clorox co

    a lot of people don’t know that

    but you do

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  108. When faced with information he can’t handle Perry’s standard go-to dodge is an automatic request citations.

    Don’t fall for his disingenuous tricks, he’s not interested in your information, his intent is to undermine facts which contradict his left-wing dogma.

    ropelight (51ed16)

  109. it’s a whole lot harder to shine than undermine is what kacey musgraves says Mr. ropelight and I believe her

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  110. perry’s many things
    udderly ridiculous
    is top of Teh List

    Colonel Haiku (628ee8)

  111. He’s moved up from mere troll, to urukhai, but you can’t debate away the U-6, the labor participation rate, or anything else,

    narciso (3fec35)

  112. narciso, I’m still in awe of Democrat trolls ability to believe that in the ’60′s, the “rich” actually paid out effectively 90% of their income …

    SPQR (768505)

  113. SPQR – Mahalia pushes the same nonsense, 70-90% taxation encourages job creation. Lol

    JD (b63a52)

  114. “JD, I also suspect Perry is lying about age. Because I recall many differences about my tax returns before 1986 reform”

    SPQR – Interest on loans other than mortgages (e.g. student loans), sales taxes, business related expenses could all be deducted or were easier to deduct pre-1986 reform. TEFRA also eliminated a lot of popular tax shelter vehicles.

    Perry is basically clueless.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  115. 114. narciso, I’m still in awe of Democrat trolls ability to believe that in the ’60′s, the “rich” actually paid out effectively 90% of their income …

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 3/9/2013 @ 12:20 pm

    I’m in awe of their ability to believe in something they unironically call the “Arab-Israeli peace process.”

    But then I could never read a sentence in the NYT like, “Will Israel break the ceasefire after Hamas rockets hit school bus in Sderot” without smirking.

    Actually, I could never read a sentence at all in the NYT without smirking.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  116. Well that is the ‘beauty’ of double think,to hold too contradictory thoughts at the sane time, and then discard one,

    narciso (3fec35)

  117. at the sane time

    You get a mulligan.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  118. same with too two.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  119. Actually the malapropisms reinforce the point. Never mind.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  120. Back in ’80 things were worse than 2008. The analogy isn’t perfect, global finances were not nearly as incestuous or undercollateralized by orders of magnitude.

    Moreover, US automakers had more market share, if crappy wares, US manufacturing still had know how. We bounced back from 11% U3 and 21% prime in ’83.

    The model of failure this time is the one chosen by Japan in the ’90′s, plump banks, cover their losses and reflate the bubble.

    So asset deflation persists for decades as prices of necessities inflate. Growth and interest on savings flatline.

    All because we don’t allow banks to fail or at least force them to take their losses. Despite the Fed’s purchase of $2 Trillion in toxic MBS–both US and EU bad buys–3 million homes in the foreclosure pipeline overhang the market, depressing prices.

    No one I’ve seen even hazards a guess on the commercial property vaporized. Here in central MN commercial occupancy is running like 70% and we’re way ahead of the national average.

    Refusing to let the economy crash means it can’t restart. We keep tying up more capital in losing concerns rather than taking an 80% loss and retooling with the remaining 20% and starting over.

    Pretty simple really. Where’s Perry?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  121. SPQR wrote:

    JD, I also suspect Perry is lying about age. Because I recall many differences about my tax returns before 1986 reform (e.g., back then, income averaging, removed in reform, helped me a lot as my income popped up and down through the higher bracket w/o it).

    If he is, it can’t be by more than a couple of years. Both Hoagie and I have met him.

    The Dana who met Perry (af9ec3)

  122. Really, Dana … hard to credit.

    Meanwhile, here’s the bottom line in graphs Worst President in modern history.

    SPQR (768505)

  123. Perry lies all the time. The problem is that Perry also believes every lie he tells.

    A word of caution:
    Do not give Perry any personal information. He is the type who will use that information in threats to get you fired from your job due to what you write here. He has made that very sort of threat multiple times before.

    John Hitchcock (d1b9fb)


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