jump to navigation

The Unmysterious Unemployment Rate May 19, 2009

Posted by geoff in News.

An earlier post, which contained a plot of actual unemployment vs. what was predicted by Obama’s economic team, caused quite a stir in the blogosphere. But apologists and doubters had one universal reaction:

“How do you know that it wouldn’t have been worse without the stimulus?”

The answer is very simple: because the stimulus hasn’t happened yet. And everybody knows that. But I don’t think people understand how true it is. It is this true:

We’ve barely spent anything so far, and everything we have spent (inset graph) has been devoted to minimizing suffering via social services, not stimulating the economy. So the fact that the unemployment numbers have increased far beyond the administration’s predictions are unsurprising.

Nobody would claim that a $787 billion stimulus package would never create any jobs – eventually I’m sure that it will. But as a package meant to stave off the increase of unemployment in the near term, the stimulus has been a failure.

[Note: This post does not address the effects of the tax relief provisions of the ARRA.]


1. Edward Von Bear - May 19, 2009

IIRC, most of the Porkulus isn’t suppose to be released until sometime next year. What good is that going to do for current unemployment?

Also, I have noticed the hosannas that the decline may have stopped/slowed down/bottomed out, as if that is something to be happy about.

I guess “flat is the new up”.

2. Edward Von Bear - May 19, 2009
3. geoff - May 19, 2009

I don’t think that’s correct: I found weekly reports online for every agency that had spent stimulus money (DHHS, DoEd, DoL, and USDA).

4. Edward Von Bear - May 19, 2009

^D’oh. Oh well.

5. daveintexas - May 19, 2009

DinTX hasn’t spent any yet.


6. The April Numbers Are In – It’s Official « Innocent Bystanders - May 19, 2009

[…] The Unmysterious Unemployment Rate « Innocent Bystanders – May 19, […]

7. Michael - May 19, 2009


Eventually, Geoff, you are going to have to accept the fact that the links to that chart will stop. You can’t just keep linking yourself.

8. geoff - May 19, 2009

You can’t just keep linking yourself.

Recursion doesn’t work here?

9. nicedeb - May 19, 2009

Did Geoff mention that we met for popcorn and slurpies last weekend?

10. nicedeb - May 19, 2009

He’s got a lovely family, btw. Very sweet and well behaved kids.

11. Michael - May 19, 2009

No, he did not. I got him to buy me booze, Deb. Sounds like you weren’t really on your game.

12. Michael - May 19, 2009

I have a gift. My bladder is a finely tuned organ. I always have to pee just before the check arrives.

13. nicedeb - May 19, 2009

Well, dayum. We visited the the chocolate shop, too. You mean I could have gotten out of there with him footing the bill?

14. Lipstick - May 19, 2009

Michael bought a bunch of us dinner at the sports bar. Best bacon cheeseburger I’ve ever had.

15. Edward Von Bear - May 19, 2009

A Nice Deb Sighting! Yay!

16. geoff - May 19, 2009

Did Geoff mention that we met for popcorn and slurpies last weekend?

NiceDeb and her euphemisms. It’s so cute.

17. geoff - May 19, 2009

Sounds like you weren’t really on your game.

I wasn’t on my game. I was a zombie the entire weekend – too much driving and no sleep. NiceDeb and the third of her spawn she brought with were a bright spot amid a never-ending list of places to be.

18. nicedeb - May 19, 2009

Aw, thanks, Geoff. We’ll have to do it again next time you’re in town. Our nine year olds certainly clicked.

19. Joey Buzz - May 19, 2009

Dang G, there you go getting all graphic again…I read some self righteous bean counters trying to bust your (indirectly) chops over at Outside the Beltway which btw were very late linkers.
Its too bad Steve_hb cant go over and pay them a wit visit. Nice thing yall have here. The re-linked sex toy party neighbor post slayed my wife and I…well the comments.

20. Edward Von Bear - May 19, 2009


21. Sobek - May 19, 2009

Too many recent comments. Go with 10.

22. Sobek - May 19, 2009

Now go with 7.

23. geoff - May 19, 2009

Yeesh, short attention span or sumpin? No less than 10.

24. MCPO Airdale - May 19, 2009

Not to worry. When the hyperinflation kicks in around November of 2010, unemployment will be the least of our worries!

25. Sobek - May 19, 2009

I just like to order people around, geoff.

Now change the font to Courier.

26. geoff - May 19, 2009

12’s my final offer.

27. Michael - May 19, 2009


28. Michael - May 19, 2009

Actually, I’m seriously embarrassed that I just today figured out that the widget could be adjusted. The default of 5 was never enough. People could comment on an older thread, and it would scroll off Recent Comments before anyone would notice and get ignored.

29. Michael - May 19, 2009

The only reason I noticed that these widgets have options is because I have had to temporarily retire the Top Clicks widget. It had an incredibly obscene link on it (thanks Eddiebear for the emailed tip) that was originally contributed by Feisty in that old RWS/Steve thread that we were recently rereading. It worried me that someone might hit that link at work.

I’ll bring Top Clicks back when that link doesn’t show up anymore (and I deleted it from the original thread, so don’t go looking for it Brewfan.)


Site Administration is a thankless task.

Our Flag Counter is stuck on 128 countries. I blame the fucking standoffish Bhutanese. Did I not personally invite them on the main page to show up? Those pricks must have a computer somewhere.

30. Michael - May 19, 2009

I know, I can make myself feel better by going to The Hostages and looking at their Flag Counter.


One interesting thing about the Flag Counter is that as the days go by, the percentage of U.S. traffic is actually gradually declining. I think that’s because Geoff’s chart skewed the mix because that chart drew in a huge amount of U.S. traffic. As time goes by, the ongoing foreign hits on stuff like the Hello Kitty pic start to change the mix. Our Hello Kitty pic, btw, is currently undergoing a revival. It’s currently on the first page of Google Images search results.

But the fucking Bhutanese are too snooty to show an interest in Hello Kitty.

31. Mrs. Peel - May 19, 2009

Awww, but I like to visit my own site through here so that I’m a Top Click.

(Just kidding; I don’t actually do that.)

32. Vmaximus - May 19, 2009

I have wondered about H2 Michael. While we may get 3k hits a day, I have come to the conclusion it is only 12 of us morons hitting refresh 250 times a day.

It is interesting.

33. Retired Geezer - May 19, 2009

Mrs. Geezer and I met another online friend today in Reno. She is a delightful lady who plays Guild Wars with me.

We met at this place.


I always thought a Labyrinth was like a maze.
Not so.

34. Retired Geezer - May 19, 2009

Tomorrow we’re going to meet a couple of guy who I play Rainbow Six Vegas 2 online in Xbox Live.

If you’re in Fresno, California and you see a Bald, 400 pound, Black Lesbian guy in a Hawaiian shirt, with incredibly white legs, wearing the ONLY orange Boise State Broncos cap in the state…. that would be me.

35. Michael - May 19, 2009

While we may get 3k hits a day, I have come to the conclusion it is only 12 of us morons hitting refresh 250 times a day.

I remember years ago when Ace was relatively new, and he was wondering aloud in a comment thread if his site was just twelve of us (he named about 12 of us, including me) compulsively hitting F5 all day long.

It probably was.

36. Michael - May 19, 2009

By the way, Vmax, if you install something like the SiteMeter you can distinguish between simple hits and visits, and more easily see where traffic comes from. WordPress does not do this. It’s useful information about the reach of the site.

IB’s traffic stats don’t really mean all that much anymore. Just depends on whether we have hot pics in the archives that Google Images has picked up. Those pics wear out after awhile. Our shark pic was huge for a long time, but it’s dead now. Same with Jessica Alba. Amsterdam Hookers is not that productive any more.

Other than that, it’s just us commenters and our cadre of lurkers, and the occasional big post like Geoff’s chart.

37. Pupster - May 20, 2009

(thanks Eddiebear for the emailed tip)

*looks down*

I fail to see Orange Crocks, Batman.


Next time I’ll just advertise the gay porn link over at H2.

That should be good for some laughs.

38. Michael - May 20, 2009


Tip came from Pupster, not Eddie. Sorry.

39. Edward Von Bear - May 20, 2009

What did I miss?

40. Pupster - May 20, 2009

Gay Porn, Eddie. Gay Porn.

Though you probably already had it saved to your ‘special’ thumb-drive.

41. It’s Tough Making Predictions… « Political Math - May 21, 2009

[…] The author of this graph explains why he thinks there has been little effect … we’ve spent almost none of the stimulus […]

42. Unemployment predictions for May « Innocent Bystanders - June 1, 2009

[…] The stimulus has still had absolutely no effect on the economy. That, of course, is no surprise […]

43. Wheels within Wheels » Blog Archive » Mucho miscellany - June 8, 2009

[…] effective has the stimulus been? Not at all. Why? Because there’s been no stimulation yet. Looking at the graph at the first link, it’s obvious that we have two […]

44. Unemployement Worse if We’d Had No Stimulus « Rantings of mine - June 8, 2009

[…] look at the stimulus package spending – how late it is, and how little thus far has been devoted to job creation (it’s basically gone […]

45. Unemployment: June Projection and a Dire Warning of Posts to Come « Innocent Bystanders - June 30, 2009

[…] (”the Bush economy was worse than we thought”). As has been pointed out many times before, from the time of the bill’s passage until early June, they claimed that they fully […]

46. July Unemployment « Innocent Bystanders - August 7, 2009

[…] look at the stimulus package spending – how late it is, and how little thus far has been devoted to job creation (it’s […]

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: