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Breathtaking Fraud September 22, 2019

Posted by Retired Geezer in Economics, Science.

End-of-2018 Employment Report January 4, 2019

Posted by geoff in Economics, News.
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The BLS issued the Employment Situation Report today, together with updates on the seasonal adjustments that went back into last year – I’ve modified the chart to reflect the most recent estimates.

Slight downtick in the IB metric, but not too bad, especially considering the uncertainties in seasonal adjustments and the unhelpful policies of the Fed.


As opposed to 2016, when the needle didn’t move, 2017 and 2018 have shown improvement, with about 0.5 percentage points per year.

Slow, but at least it’s been positive.

Interesting gif for Geoff December 13, 2018

Posted by lauraw in Economics, History, Obama's Legacy.

He’s theeees close to saying “I told you so!”

Hit play and watch China.

Opinion Rhapsody November 13, 2018

Posted by Retired Geezer in Economics, Entertainment.


Net Neutrality Explained September 12, 2018

Posted by Retired Geezer in Crime, Economics.

Rejuvenated Exports Growth June 6, 2018

Posted by geoff in Economics, News.

Is everything coming up roses? Maybe not quite, but at least more things are.

For example, feast your glozzies on the exports data:


Yes, after 6 years in the doldrums under the supervision of the man who declared that exports were vital to the economy so he was going to double them…

… under his replacement they’re finally taking off.

Mission Statement March 16, 2018

Posted by Retired Geezer in Art, Economics.

Weird Al is a genius. This video is chock full of business buzzwords. Dilbert would be proud.

How to Get a Job November 27, 2017

Posted by Retired Geezer in Economics, Entertainment.
1 comment so far

Easy Peasy.

Critical Chicken Update April 18, 2017

Posted by skinbad in Crime, Economics, Food, Nature Shit.

Chicken population has gone from seven to three in the last month. I think we might have stumbled on a clue a few evenings ago.

Obama’s Legacy: Bending the Healthcare Cost Curve January 15, 2017

Posted by geoff in Economics, News, Obama's Legacy.
1 comment so far

Y’all may remember this from the bad old days when President Obama was pitching the Affordable Care Act:

After meeting with Senate Democrats on Dec. 15, President Barack Obama made a number of claims about what the health care bill would achieve if passed.

“We agree on reforms that will finally reduce the costs of health care,” Obama said. “Families will save on their premiums; businesses that will see their costs rise if we do nothing will save money now and in the future.  This plan will strengthen Medicare and extend the life of that program.  And because it gets rid of the waste and inefficiencies in our health care system, this will be the largest deficit reduction plan in over a decade.

“Now, I just want to repeat this because there’s so much misinformation about the cost issue here.  You talk to every health care economist out there and they will tell you that whatever ideas are — whatever ideas exist in terms of bending the cost curve and starting to reduce costs for families, businesses, and government, those elements are in this bill.”

Naturally you’re curious as to whether he did in fact reduce spending on healthcare and bend that cost curve. As usual with this president, it seems that his promises were based on either blind optimism or a desire to deceive the American public (chart from Forbes):

I’ll let you decide whether optimism or deception is at fault here.

Obama’s Failed Legacy: Losing Manufacturing Jobs Like a Boss January 6, 2017

Posted by geoff in Economics, News, Obama's Legacy.
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President Obama claimed that restoring manufacturing jobs was a high priority of his administration. Here’s how he did:

Date Number of Manufacturing Jobs
January 31, 2009 12,561,000
December 31, 2016 12,275,000

Total manufacturing jobs created after 8 years: -286,000. Some legacy.

He also claimed that he’d add a million manufacturing jobs during his second term.* Here’s your chart:


Let it be noted that the manufacturing job peak during the Bush administration (April 2006) was 14,226,000. The peak during Obama’s administration was 12,338,000. Advantage Bush by almost 2 million jobs.

*President Obama made his promise to add 1 million manufacturing jobs during the “next four years” at the Democratic National Convention in September 2012. The chart above therefore assumes that September 2012 was the starting point. If you assume that he really meant “during my second term,” his performance is just as bad, as you can see from the chart.

Obama’s Employment Legacy: Anemic and Insufficient January 6, 2017

Posted by geoff in Economics, News, Obama's Legacy.

Y’all may recall last month, where we noted that while the president has been bragging about his consecutive months of job creation (which has never been an economic metric in the history of man, ever), but it turned out that the vast majority of new jobs (94%!) were part-time.

But that should come as no surprise to long-time readers of this blog, because we’ve been ignoring part-time jobs since we started the new chart in 2010. And when you ignore part-time jobs and account for population growth, the employment picture looks like this:


You can see that after Obama’s eight years, he’s only gotten us halfway back to where we were in 2004 (which I consider more “normal” than the rise just before the crash). Some legacy.

The disturbing part is that we’ve been going nowhere for a year. That combined with the recent announcements of store closures and layoffs by Sears, Kohl’s, and Macy’s, makes me concerned about the jobs picture.

Trump, at least, seems to have given a high priority to jobs retention and creation. And his strategy for employment is completely different than Obama’s: rather than emphasizing education and training programs, he’s emphasizing improving the business environment, and using that as an incentive (cudgel, bribe, whatever) to convince companies to stay and grow in the US.

In R&D we have the concept of technology “push” vs. demand “pull.” Technology push means you develop a technology or product that the market hasn’t yet asked for. It might be a revolutionary, paradigm-changing technology, but most often it’s a dud in the marketplace, because nobody needs it.* A more reliable strategy, by far, is to allow the needs of the market to pull the technology forward. I.e., you develop technologies to meet the demands of the market. Not as innovative or revolutionary, but in the end the consumers are happy and the developers are paid.

Trump’s and Obama’s approaches are similar, I think. Obama is on the “push” side, developing employees in the hope that somebody will “buy” them. Trump is on the “pull” side, increasing demand and assuming that the education & training systems will respond to meet that demand.

The disadvantage is that is can take several years for the education and training systems to respond, but the disadvantage of Obama’s approach is that all that training & education is futile if the demand doesn’t exist or if you don’t correctly predict where that demand will be.

All in all, I think I have far more faith in Trump’s approach.

*True confessions: I’m an inveterate technology pusher. The hell with those customers who don’t know what’s good for them! That’s why I’m a poor, poor technology pusher. But, like the scorpion crossing the river on the back of the frog, it’s just my nature.