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The Month of Ouch

Looks like we’re in for another Recovery Summer:

The latest jobs report is a total disaster. We got 69,000 new jobs in May which is well below already tepid expectations and is below the labor force trend growth rate. Terrible.

But it gets worse!

“The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised from +154,000 to +143,000, and the change for April was revised from +115,000 to +77,000.” In other words, we gained 69,000 new jobs in May (estimated) but lost 49,000 in revisions. That leaves us with a net increase in employment of just 20,000. Disaster disaster disaster.

Yglesias is overstating the case, I think. What we were going through three years ago, when we hemorrhaging jobs by the millions, was a disaster. This is just bad.

To be honest, I’m kind of surprised it isn’t worse, given what the economy is enduring right now:

  • Europe.
  • Slowdowns in the boom economics of South America, India and China.
  • Europe.
  • The debt standoff and subsequent downgrade of US debt.
  • Europe.
  • I’m sure the Left will start jumping up and down that we need more stimulus (since this has worked so well so far) and the Right will start jumping up and down that we need more tax cuts (ditto). Rumor has it that Paul Krugman had to be hauled away in a strait jacket this morning. But even if these were wise policies — and I don’t think they are — we simply can’t afford them right now. The only possible thing we could afford is more quantitative easement (i.e, inflation) from the Fed. But they’re already taking fire for following the economic ideas of Milton Friedman. Streamlining regulation, overhauling the tax system and suspending the more onerous bits of Dodd-Franks/SOX would also help, but I don’t see the will in Washington.

    Five years ago, I said this was going to be a long haul. We were in debt up to our eyeballs, leveraged in the wrong way and turned around. Five years later, I still think the same thing. We’re slightly better off — consumer and personal debt is way down; unemployment is at 8.2% and the economy isn’t falling like a brick. But real recovery is still some distance in the future, closer but not here yet.

    The interesting thing is to see what will happen as unemployment benefits run out. This is going to test yet another economic theory: that unemployment benefits create more unemployment. If the job numbers start to come up, there may be something to this. But I’m not optimistic. Work just doesn’t appear because you want it to.

    Update: I want to quote Yglesias again, because this is important:

    A lot of this is already getting fed through an election-year-politics lens, but it’s important to remember that this is first and foremost a human tragedy for unemployed and underemployed people, and for employed workers who’ve been stripped of bargaining power due to persistent labor market weakness. If growth stays dismal and Barack Obama loses the election, he and Michelle and Jack Lew and Tim Geithner and all the rest will go on to have happy, healthy, prosperous lives. Other people’s careers are much more in the balance.

    I don’t care who the hell is in office if the economy improves. If we got a huge surge in jobs and that pushed Obama to re-election, I would not shed a tear. Frankly, I think we are best off with a divided Washington. For all the problems the ridiculous showdowns have produced and their inability to come to a budget agreement, we have seen a modicum of spending and regulatory restraint over the last two years — far better than we ever got when Republicans controlled both the Capitol and the White House. The GOP is half-crazy but, on the budget, they have held Obama’s feet … well, not to the fire, exactly, but at least in the general vicinity of it. At least they’ve admitted that there is a fire … somewhere.

    In the end, this is about people who have been out of work for, in some cases, Five. Fucking. Years. There are solutions both sides can agree on — see Tom Coburn’s recent interview with Ezra Klein. But they won’t do them because it a fucking election year.

    Screw that. Stick ‘em all in Washington and don’t let them out until they’ve done something that does not involve exploding the debt even more. Either that, or we can create 460 brand spanking new jobs this fall.

    33 comments

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    1. georgebalella says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    2. swassociates says:

      Filibusters, are you fucking kidding me? He has a veto proof congress for two years, spend the USA into bankruptcy, and the problem is that he didn’t get enough through? Yeah dude, it’s his fault.

      BTW — How many yes votes has his budget received the past two years?

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    3. Dave D says:

      The senate has not submitted, debated or passed a budget for the last 2+ years. Yeah, it’s all on those nasty obsructionist Rebulicans in the senate…….. Too funny!

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    4. Mississippi Yankee says:

      Five years ago, I said this was going to be a long haul. We were in debt up to our eyeballs, leveraged in the wrong way and turned around. Five years later, I still think the same thing. We’re slightly better off — consumer and personal debt is way down;

      Really? Tell the OWSs that, tell just about any person graduating this year. Or anyone that has been unemployed more than a couple of months.

      unemployment is at 8.2% and the economy isn’t falling like a brick.

      Reported unemployment might be at 8.2%, tho I might question the scource, but the % of people that have stopped looking or no longer collecting benefits would raise that figure several % points.

      I don’t care who the hell is in office if the economy improves. If we got a huge surge in jobs and that pushed Obama to re-election, I would not shed a tear.

      I see you’re not even pretending to be a libertarian anymore.

      Where the fuck is Alex and what have you done to him????

      They killed Alex. “YOU BASTARDS”

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    5. Hal_10000 says:

      I see you’re not even pretending to be a libertarian anymore.

      As a libertarian, I have zero allegiance to either party.

      The U6 index is high, but it’s been rising for something like 30 years.

      And george, you can absolutely place blame for this on Obama. Between a misbegotten stimulus plan, Dodd-Frank, Obamacare, etc. Yes, he deserves blame.

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    6. Dave D says:

      Psssst…….Hal! Libertarians are a LOT like true conservatives, without all that religious stuff. The other side has been spending at like 1.5 trillion dollars a year more than we take in. Both the C’s and L’s think that is REALLY bad. The other side wants MORE of that shit!

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    7. Hal_10000 says:

      Exactly, Dave. For employment to surge, Obama would have to start engaging in very different policies.

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    8. Mississippi Yankee says:

      As a libertarian, I have zero allegiance to either party.

      Or allegiance to personal freedom, less regulation, smaller government or less socialism in general.
      But then again you knew exactly what I meant.

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    9. Hal_10000 says:

      Or allegiance to personal freedom, less regulation, smaller government or less socialism in general.But then again you knew exactly what I meant.

      I’m not convinced these purposes are served by voting for the Republican Party anymore. They may be best served by a divided government with Republicans in control of Congress. I have not ruled out supporting Romney or hoping he wins; but the early returns are troubling.

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    10. Hal_10000 says:

      Really? Tell the OWSs that, tell just about any person graduating this year. Or anyone that has been unemployed more than a couple of months.

      Student loan debt is up. But credit card debt is down by an almost equal amount. And mortgage debt has plunged. This is, in one way, hurting the economy, because banks lose assets when debts are paid off. But, in the long run, it’s a good thing because we’re not as heavily leveraged.

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    11. Dave D says:

      I’m wondering if they count parent student Plus loan debt, because I’m pretty sure that has went up way more than credit card debt has went down in families with college kids. Me included…….

      Also, Hal:

      You stated above that you have zero allegiance to either party. I noted that true conservatives are way more like your party of choice, the Libertarians. You agreed. Doesn’t this seem like an inconsistent position to take?

      In a two party system, shouldn’t you try to make one of the two parties more like your own beliefs by voting in the primaries and supporting proper candidates? Stating that both parties suck and voting for a third party is essentially giving a vote to the liberals in this case, since a libertarian candidate would detract mainly Republican votes, right?

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    12. georgebalella says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    13. georgebalella says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    14. Mississippi Yankee says:

      And mortgage debt has plunged. This is, in one way, hurting the economy, because banks lose assets when debts are paid off.

      The people who’s mortgage debt has plunged, for the most part, are the people that have lost their home to foreclosure.
      Your Ivory Tower existence is so far removed from Reality that I wonder what color the clouds are there.

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    15. Hal_10000 says:

      The people who’s mortgage debt has plunged, for the most part, are the people that have lost their home to foreclosure.

      That’s part of it, yes. But another part is that banks have tightened up lending standards and aren’t acting as stupidly.

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    16. georgebalella says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    17. Biggie G says:

      I like how there are 3 dislikes to my post providing the factual evidence of record filibusters during Obama’s first two years.

      First of all, you linked to a blog that linked the graphic to another blog. Anyone can make an image and cite senate.gov as the source. No primary source, no factual evidence.

      Second, give some examples of important legislation that has been blocked by filibuster. There must be some, however, by my count, President Obama got: PPACA, Dodd/Frank, Race to the Top, a stimulus bill, and both of his choices for SCOTUS. There’s probably more, but I am feeling lazy today.

      So, give a few examples and we can talk like adults. But, we already know how this is going to end.

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    18. Dave D says:

      Democrat logic:

      Democrat CONTROLLED senate: No budget passed. Not our fault.

      Filibusterproof Senate for the first half of your term: Nothing other than a bloated, unread health care bill passed. No other major legistlation. Resulting in two years of crying by the left when the Senate becomes more balanced. Not our fault.

      This is the same shit the libtards did the entire time they controlled the house and the senate all through most of the 60′s-90′s, and useful idiot georgie boy follows right in line……

      And totally ditto what Biggie G says above.

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    19. Miguelito says:

      To add to what Biggie G said… the link to the “record filibusters” doesn’t actually claim that anyway. It shows record numbers of clotures to block filibusters, which would obviously rise when one party has the super majority they had from 2007 onwards.

      Also, the links to “record profits” have a lot of missing data (including nothing for 2012 yet) and ignore things like companies laying people off, holding onto hoards of cash (due to uncertainty in taxes and regulations) and not hiring people. Most of the “Scorecard” is pretty useless since they only show data from 2008 so of course some only slightly horrible years don’t look as bad compared to much better years in the past, vs only compared to the few really bad years starting in 2008 when the economy collapsed.

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    20. georgebalella says:

      Biggie/ Miguelito,

      I’m not real interested in debating reality with you all but here are the hard statistics of

      cloture votes and

      corporate profits. The fact that you are debating the facts is telling enough.

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    21. georgebalella says:

      Dave D,

      When the democratic party controlled the house and senate from 1933 to 1997 we had shared prosperity. Coincidently just before we gained control was the Republican lead Great Depression and 10 years after we lost control to Newt and the ganging 1997 was 2007-2008 and THAT Republican lead crash. The economy does much better with democratic policy compared to that which republicans push. It’s historical fact.

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    22. balthazar says:

      The economy does much better with democratic policy compared to that which republicans push. It’s historical fact.

      I do not think that word means, what you think it means…

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    23. georgebalella says:

      Balthazar… that’s what’s so funny about the current economy. YOU have had to change your definition of better to fit the facts while I do not have to do so. That’s why when I point out that corporate profits are at a record level it causes the cognitive dissonance to start flowing. For me better with regards to the economy means full employment, GDP rising faster then population growth and wages rising consistent with production increases. There is an economic disconnect and those tied to an ideology will not be able to figure it out or explain it. The professional economic profession has hoisted a huge fraud onto the world and the record burning fires from the climate change they like to ignore to hep preserve their ideology is symbolic of how out of touch with reality they have become.

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    24. Dave D says:

      OMG: Is Muirgoo back? Too funny!

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    25. CM says:

      There is an economic disconnect and those tied to an ideology will not be able to figure it out or explain it.

      I certainly can’t get anyone to explain it.

      For employment to surge, Obama would have to start engaging in very different policies.

      Such as?

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    26. Biggie G says:

      The fact that you are debating the facts is telling enough.

      I am not debating any facts. Ready…there have been more cloture motions under President Obama than under any other president. See, I admit that. So, BFD. I asked you what important legislation has not been passed because of a filibuster. President Obama got some really big stuff passed. Any “Blue Dogs” that threatened filibusters got paid off and they voted with the rest of the democrats. All I want to know is what wonderful legislation has been permanently blocked by intransigent Republicans.

      I will now wait for your non-response at which point I will stop commenting and immediately stop reading any thread that you comment on like I do every time that you come back here.

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    27. Kimpost says:

      Hey, JimK. Would you consider removing the whole “Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.”-thingie? It’s annoying. I’m kinda hoping others think it is too…

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    28. Xetrov says:

      All I want to know is what wonderful legislation has been permanently blocked by intransigent Republicans.

      Obama’s wonderful budget.

      Oh, wait. Not a single Democrat voted for it in the House? Oops. The same thing happened in the Senate in 2012. Those damn dirty Republicans.

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    29. georgebalella says:

      Hidden due to … uncomfortable references to reality based facts. Click here to see.

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    30. Biggie G says:

      I love when I’m right. Beat it stupid.

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    31. georgebalella says:

      Biggie G said, …. All I want to know is what wonderful legislation has been permanently blocked by intransigent Republicans.

      Jobs bill kfilibustered

      Stimulus bill filibustered

      H.R. 1875 — End the Trade Deficit Act –

      Other jobs bills were filibustered and many filibusters including against Banking reform, Health Care reform and the stimulus resulted in bills that were watered down.

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    32. georgebalella says:

      So just to recap and clarify… The republicans totally screwed up the economy but the democratic party is taking way to long to fix it so we should therefore put the republicans back in charge because they are better for the economy. Did I get that right?

      This doesn’t even include the recent data and the pre-depression data.

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    33. CM says:

      This doesn’t even include the recent data and the pre-depression data.

      Is there a pattern of Dems being elected during booms (because the voters are more relaxed about spending)? That sort of thing might play some part.

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