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Tilting at Windmills

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April 7, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

BEING JOHN SNOW....Daniel Gross explains why White House insiders are unhappy with Treasury Secretary John Snow:

The dissatisfaction with Snow stems from the fact that he doesn't seem to convince enough Americans that it's raining when they're getting pissed on. Sure, the headline figures on gross domestic product, inflation, and the unemployment rate look fine. But median income hasn't budged in several years, and the tax cuts aren't trickling down....As people who rely on wage income are subject to the slow-motion wage and benefits cram down, Snow and the Bush administration have had nothing to offer except health savings accounts, income inequality, and capital gains tax cuts.

Yep. You can only con the rubes for just so long. Read the rest to learn why the odds are against finding a decent replacement or possibly any replacement at all for Snow.

Kevin Drum 9:41 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (116)

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The current record holder for scraping the bottom of the barrel in the "Bush Economy Sucks! Really!" media marathon can be found here.

Reuters, naturally.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 7, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

But median income hasn't budged in several years,

Supply and demand in the labor market, especially at the bottom of the ladder, is a likely culprit here. With the Democrats pandering to the illegal immigration lobby, how do you think that the situation would be different under a Democratic Administration or Congress?

Posted by: TangoMan on April 7, 2006 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

So they feel snow is a Judas? My how timely.

Posted by: Keith G on April 7, 2006 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

I'll be checking out that "Hamilton Project" off and on. Hope it doesn't turn out to be the typical load of verbal gas ("We believe that everyone having a good job will create economic progress.") Clue one, guys. Don't put your PDF documents online two pages wide.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 7, 2006 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

***Unemployment is 4.7%. 211,000 jobs added to the economy during March, 2006.

Put that in your pipe and smoke, it, Pelosi/Reid/Kennedy/Dean.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on April 7, 2006 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, TangoMan, I'm sure many native born American workers earning median wage are really feeling the pinch created by migrant farm workers.

Posted by: dunno on April 7, 2006 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

Wasn't there talk of Andy Card replacing Snow at various points. I love the whole "but what would the Dems do different?" method of trying to turn the discussion away from issue. A) it doesn't matter at this point what they would do, they are not in a position to change policy B) their economic plans could not be much worse for the average American than the current administration & Congress and C) if you take the time to look at the economy for the past 50 years or so, Democrats do a better job of handling it....so what does the average American have to lose?

Posted by: Nathan on April 7, 2006 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure many native born American workers earning median wage are really feeling the pinch created by migrant farm workers.

Migrant farm workers? Take a look at this table and then revise your argument.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 7, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Could you imagine if John McCain became the next President and found out what Bush left him in all the departments. He will either have to fix all of the problems and not do anything else or just continue the policy and piss on our legs.

Posted by: Carl on April 7, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Yep. You can only con the rubes for just so long."

Wow... a true believer.

That's refreshing to see.

Posted by: koreyel on April 7, 2006 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

As tbrosz continues his assault on the very concept of rational thought, I'd like to give a nod to this, which occupies the summit on the mountain of stupidity he's been building lo these many years:

Just wondering:

What are the "checks" on the "cherry-picking" the news media does with classified information illegally obtained from "anonymous intelligence officials" or "sources who decline to be identified since they are not authorized to release this information?"

The New York Times doesn't post these "obtained" documents for anyone else to see. They don't send copies to other newspapers to see what their take would be. I doubt they even spread them around to see if other writers in their own organization might see things differently.

Basically, the only other ones who know if the newspapers are lying or not, are the people who are actually privy to the classified data. What are they supposed to do about it if the newspaper is slanting this information, or outright lying about it?

Posted by: tbrosz on April 7, 2006 at 1:45 PM

Truly, if idiocy were beauty, tbrosz would be Aphrodite.

Posted by: grh on April 7, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

tbroz: " Clue one, guys. Don't put your PDF documents online two pages wide."

The committee is impressed. Have you received our proposal?

Posted by: Pretentius on April 7, 2006 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Truly, if idiocy were beauty, tbrosz would be Aphrodite.

Oh bravo sir - bravo!

Posted by: trex on April 7, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

The economy is humming along nicely. It was what, 2 or 3 years ago, that the Dems were whining about 'the jobless recovery' ??

In the past 3 years, the economy has added an average of 161,000 jobs PER MONTH. Today, 140 million Americans are working.

Posted by: Afro Thunder on April 7, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

About a year ago, BusinessWeek had an article about the economy--that none of the growing corporate profits were reaching the bottom 50% of the population. Given that folks in the top .1% have had income growth over 400% over the past five years, and people in the bottom 90% have seen income declines, what can any Treasury Secretary do or say to persuade most citizens that Bush economic policies have been good for them?

TangoMan references the recent reports by economists (Krugman had an article in a recent NYTimes) that the influx of low-skill, low-wage labor into the US has depressed incomes by about ~10%. The evidence also suggests some large social costs to the indigenous population and no particular off-setting social gains, except to the immigrants themselves. Drum had these figures up recently.

As for job growth figures...the estimate is that the US needs 250,000 a month to keep up with labor force growth. It is fantastic that Bush economic policies are at least producing some jobs five years into the recovery instead of continuing to lose jobs. Just because the gain in jobs is greater than zero, it doesn't mean it is anything to brag about. The appropriate analogy would be this--your team is behind 21 to 0 in the fourth quarter. You manage to score two touchdowns before the end of the game. Woo-hoo! We should celebrate?

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 7, 2006 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

It appears that Bush's troubles may not be over. If there are any Americans left who think they're able to maintain a small piece of privacy in their lives, they're going to be disabused of that notion very soon. Wired.com has a story about a retired AT&T whistleblower who's confirming that the company allowed NSA data-mining equipment to be installed in its San Francisco switching center:

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/1,70619-0.html

I'm not surprised by this since I've long assumed that the Feds had routine access to all my phone calls, e-mails, etc. There, however, may still be an American or two around who believes this is unwarranted intrusion and must be stopped. If so, Bush's approval ratings could sink further.

Posted by: Taobhan on April 7, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

I've been surprised that none of our blogger friends have mentioned this (drum, black, marshall, hamsher, et al.)

It's not like it isn't the most disgusting thing to come down the pike in the entire history of the Bush administration.

Where the fuck are you people?

Posted by: JoJo on April 7, 2006 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

You know it takes real balls to defend bush's economic record at this point. You gotta be deaf and blind to keep defending trickle down.

I don't know how they gigger the unemployment statistics to come up with the 4.7% number but the raw job growth numbers over the last five years don't show much job growth in comparison to the population increase. I know they don't show any wage growth.

For all you bright people out there, in the normal economic cycle (the one that has existed at least since the beginning of the industrial revolution) actual growth produces labor shortages. Labor shortages lead directly to increased wages as employers compete for a scarce resource--you. That hasn't happened in years and years. Unless the administration has changed the laws of economics, America's real unemployment number has to be much higher than 4.7% otherwise you would be in demand and your paychecks would be growing.

Making more money this year? I didn't think so. I haven't been making more money either.

Keep spending the equity from your second mortgage, when it runs out, we are totally screwed.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 7, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Who wants a job with the primary duty limited to persuading Congress to increase the debt ceiling? If O"Neill had not been fired, he most certainly would have resigned before now.

Posted by: bakho on April 7, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

In the past 3 years, the economy has added an average of 161,000 jobs PER MONTH. Today, 140 million Americans are working.

And in the last FIVE YEARS, the average goes down to 33 thousand per month.

It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

Posted by: Bob M on April 7, 2006 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

Yo! ATT routing internet through NSA. Hello! Hello! Wake up! Bloggers, hello! Wake Up! Bloggers. Hello! Hello!

We're fucked. Goodbye USA. Last chance down the drain. I'm just going to kill myself now. Bye.

Posted by: JoJo on April 7, 2006 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

Rebuttal to tbrosz:

Paul Craig Roberts, a former Reaganite, does as good a job as anyone in deconstructing the myth of the Bush economic recovery. Im sure the local trolls will gainsay this, but this economy sucks, and sucks big time, for anyone making under $200,000 per year. The biggest gains in employment have been in areas that cant be outsourced, like bartending and waiting tables. Meanwhile, any good-paying job that can be outsourced to India, is being outsourced. Any idiot who thinks that losing 17% of the manufacturing base of this country in five years and running a $700 billion+ trade deficit, deserves to live in a shithole and that is what this great country is becoming under George W. Bush!!!

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on April 7, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

Paul Craig Roberts is not exactly a flaming liberal is he. Pretty much supports what I said above, with numbers. Take that tbrosz.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 7, 2006 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

You can only con the rubes for just so long.

You have no idea how many blue collar workers out there actually believe George Bush cut taxes for them. This con job can go on indefinitely.

Posted by: E. Nonee Moose on April 7, 2006 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

One of the few bright spots of the Bush years has been being able to listen to honest paleoconservatives like Paul Craig Roberts just savage the whole ludicrous enterprise.

Read the rest to learn why the odds are against finding a decent replacement or possibly any replacement at all for Snow.

Snow's presence in the position in the first place should have been a giant red warning sign. The job of Treasury Secretary is demanding and complex, and requires a keen understanding of the practical intricacies of finance. Especially in the modern era of massive international currency exchange and capital flows. What work experience did Snow bring to the table? That of a former railroad CEO.

I suppose it could be said snarkily that since most Bush policies involve railroading people in various ways, that it might actually be an adaptive skillset.

In all seriousness, though, my understanding is that when Snow was first selected, the White House beat down doors of top Republicans in Wall Street finance, and not a single one of them was prepared to take the position. Which should tell you something.

Posted by: marquer on April 7, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

E. Nonee Moose:"You have no idea how many blue collar workers out there actually believe George Bush cut taxes for them. This con job can go on indefinitely."

*sigh* You are probably right. The conventional response to the disaster-that-is-Bushco is, "But the Democrats will raise our taxes!" But they get all huffy when we point out that they are idiots.

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 7, 2006 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: SOLIS JACK on April 7, 2006 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

If average Americans felt they were living in a terrific economy, Bush would have a better popularity rating than 36%.

People know how their incomes have changed over the last five years. They know how much things cost. They know how much they owe, and how much they have saved. They know how college costs have gone up while funding to help with them has gone down. They know what jobs their recent high school or college graduate kids have gotten, if any. They know whether those kids are still living at home or if they've been able to move to their own places. They know if they've had to take wage cuts, increases in health insurance costs or lost pension benefits.

You can't negate this knowledge by spinning overall economic numbers. It's still the economy, intellectually challenged! If Americans felt good about it they'd be showing some love for Bush in the polls, no matter that he lies and breaks the law. They wouldn't even care if he was having it off with an intern in the Oval Office. Iraq, well, there still might be some feeling about that, but it wouldn't drag Bush down that far.

Posted by: cowalker on April 7, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

TWITS.

The real wage stagnation is so silly and proof of how inane you Regressive-Democrats are. That real wages are stagnant is IRRELEVANT if people are moving through those real wages quickly as they aggregate a job history in the marketplace. They are. Statistics show that over the last 20 years without interruption, 60% of people who start in the bottom 20% of the real income ranks make it to the top 40% of the real income ranks and 40% make it to the top 20%.

To rely on this fake statistic is to PRESUME that some one working at Starbucks at an entry level position is still there. It also PRESUMES that all jobs have a limited promotion record.

The economy is booming and anyone reasonably sober, reasonably sexually responsible, reasonably diligent, reasonably ethical, and reasonably frugal is rising like a rocket. It may be that the hipster-doofis drug doers and sellers and serial fornicators that you R-Ds "hang out" with are having trouble finding a way to be compensated economically for all that debauchery and criminality (the market can only sustain so many Tommy Lee's - presuming he is a user of illegal drugs, of course), but the dedicated Americans are living the American dream, moreso now under Bush 43 than ever before.

IT IS TOO HILARIOUS, YOUR ONE LIFE-RAFT OF AN ECONOMIC STATISTIC, REAL WAGE STAGNATION, AND YOU DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND IT; IF YOU DID YOU'D UNDERSTAND THAT IS UTTERLY MEANINGLESS IN A LOW UNEMPLOYMENT ENVIRONMENT. QUALITY OF CHARACTER AND DEGREE OF DILIGENCE IS MAKING MONEY DOLLAR-UPON-DOLLAR IN THIS A+ ECONOMY.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on April 7, 2006 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

From Powerline:

Recent news on the economic front is about as good as it gets:

Unemployment down to 4.7%.
211,000 new payroll jobs added in March.
Economic growth has now continued for 17 consecutive quarters.
Consumer confidence is at its highest level in 4 1/2 years.
Since January 2001, real after-tax income per person has risen 8.3 percent.
Construction spending is at a record high.

SINCE JANUARY OF 2001, REAL AFTER-TAX INCOME PER PERSON HAS RISEN 8.3 PERCENT. EVEN YOUR WARPED-INTERPRETATION STAGNANT REAL WAGES STATISTIC IS VITIATED WHEN REAL AFTER-TAX WAGES ARE CONSIDERED. HAH.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on April 8, 2006 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

the objective historian,
Wow. Now there is an ignorant mother***. What part of average eludes you? Dpes per person mean something different on your planet.

Claiming some meaningless bullshit based on no cites or evidence of any kind is exactly the mindless shit that wingnut econoidiots are known for. Peddle that shit back at LGF, for the morons who cheer while their lunches are eaten by Wall Street Journal types.

Posted by: CK Dexter Haven on April 8, 2006 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

John Snow is a civil servant, regulated railroad mid level executive, a dumb as a turd and highly unqualified to do much. Just another member of the government gravy train.

I have yet to hear the guy say anything intelligent, and I have not heard much from him for years.

I mean, these big government conservatives, they cannot even act do a good socialist imitation.

Posted by: Matt on April 8, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

'Frequency Kenneth' posted:

"Unemployment is 4.7%. 211,000 jobs added to the economy during March, 2006."

Subtract the 135,000 IMAGINARY jobs, and you're left with 76,000, which is less than half of what's required just to keep up with population growth. That means Unemployment actually went UP, AGAIN.

http://stats.bls.gov/web/cesbd.htm
.

Posted by: VJ on April 8, 2006 at 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

Is Alice off her meds again? I mean, really, if you're going to keep switching handles, you might want to lose the all caps thing. It's a dead giveaway. Although, I do give bonus points for citing the powertools with what I can only assume is a straight face.

Anyway, I gotta go with my homey Solis Jack on this one. China, dude. That's the answer right there. I hear ya, brotha.

Posted by: Vladi G on April 8, 2006 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

'TOH' posted:

"Statistics show that over the last 20 years without interruption, 60% of people who start in the bottom 20% of the real income ranks make it to the top 40% of the real income ranks and 40% make it to the top 20%."

False.

.

"Unemployment down to 4.7%."

Up to 9%.

.

"211,000 new payroll jobs added in March."

76,000. Which is negative.

.

"Economic growth has now continued for 17 consecutive quarters."

Nope.

.

"Consumer confidence is at its highest level in 4 1/2 years."

And still WAY below where it was in 2000.

.

"Since January 2001, real after-tax income per person has risen 8.3 percent."

Real wages have declined each and every year of the past five years.

.

"Construction spending is at a record high."

Both home foreclosures and bankruptcies are at a record historic highs.
.

Posted by: VJ on April 8, 2006 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

Objective Historian,

You don't have to take the word of us liberals. Read the Paul Craig Roberts article posted above. He doesn't have pictures, but his arguments ring true. He has numbers to back him up.

Oh, his background. "Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review."

For the record an after taxes increase of 8.3% in after tax income in 5 years isn't anything to be proud of. It reflects a pretty piss poor performing economy. Since there has been a big increase in the upper income after tax increase, the number is even less significant.

And we repeat again, it takes 250,000 new jobs each month to absorb the natural growth in the labor force. You are bragging about 211,000 new jobs last month. Well that is a 39,000 job short fall. That is one of your best months in 5 years.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that we have far more underemployed and unemployed people in the market than we need for healthy growth.

Oh, you claim that consumer confidence is higher than it has been in 4 1/2 years, well what happened 4 1/2 years ago. September 11, 2001 ring a bell. It has taken 4 1/2 years to recover from 9/11. Jesus, that is about the length of a normal business cycle and we are still in the "recovery."

If America wasn't running a hopelessly expensive war in a middle eastern country, and wasn't rebuilding a gulf coast city, both on the national credit card, our economy would be in a major recession (depression.) Those things and the early retirement of a lot of boomers are the only things that are keeping our economy afloat at all. As soon as the Iraq war ends there will be a real economic downturn.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 8, 2006 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

grh:

As tbrosz continues his assault on the very concept of rational thought, I'd like to give a nod to this, which occupies the summit on the mountain of stupidity he's been building lo these many years:

....

Truly, if idiocy were beauty, tbrosz would be Aphrodite.

***

trex:

Oh bravo sir - bravo!

Think how impressed you'd be if he'd actually said something.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

Stephen Kriz:

That manufacturing jobs in America are decreasing is no big secret. Statistics on that and other sectors can be found here.

I'm open for suggestions. Import restrictions? Trade wars? Increasing the wages of our manufacturing employees to make the products even less competitive around the world?

After WWII, the U.S. stood practically alone with an industrial base on a planet of ruined nations. For years we enjoyed the luxury of being able to pay high wages and benefits to workers who turned bolts on an assembly line, and a good case can be made that this was the root of a prosperous middle class. Back then, someone with a limited education could get a menial job that still paid enough to buy a house, allow the spouse to stay home with the kids, and send the kids to college to become professionals. Didn't suck.

Who was going to compete with us back then?

It's not the same, now. The planet is full of people who will happily turn that bolt on the assembly line for much less money, and turn out a less expensive product. If American companies refuse to go this route, companies from other nations will, and the world will buy cheaper products from them. Anybody old enough to remember when "made in Japan" was a joke?

I don't have an easy answer. Jerry Pournelle thinks maybe tariffs are the answer. Maybe he's right. Market forces always work. That doesn't mean they always make everybody happy.

What would the Democrats do about this?

Posted by: tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

'tbrosz' posted:

"What would the Democrats do about this?"

Simple.

Implement the same policies that were utilized during the Clinton administration, which created the conditions for the greatest prosperity in American history.
.

Posted by: VJ on April 8, 2006 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

Tbrosz-We faced economic competition from the 18th century on and did pretty well all through the 19th and 20th centuries. We had tariffs through almost all of that time.

Alexander Hamiliton was a big proponent of tariffs. I wonder if those DLCers at the "Hamiliton Project" know that.

Posted by: la on April 8, 2006 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers; permission to cut and paste your 10:35 to my universe ?

Posted by: Tim on April 8, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and 'TOH':

About that "Statistics show that over the last 20 years without interruption, 60% of people who start in the bottom 20% of the real income ranks make it to the top 40% of the real income ranks and 40% make it to the top 20%" crap you posted.

From a recent whitepaper done by Bhashkar Mazumder, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago:

http://www.chicagofed.org/publications/workingpapers/wp2005_12.pdf

The paper reveals that income mobility between generations has been falling since the radical change in our tax system in the early 1980s, whereas in prior decades to that it had been rising. Now, most children of rich parents stay rich, and most children of the poor stay poor. This is in stark contrast to such nations as Canada, Finland, France, and Germany, as well as to our nation's own history prior to the shift to failed RightWing economics in 1981.

Now, smack yourself upside the head.
.

Posted by: VJ on April 8, 2006 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz -

That's all true enough. But talking about turning bolts is dishonest. I know lots of people, professional people, who make in the low 6 figures. None of them has managed to increase his/her income in the last 5 years, and given what's happened with healthcare, the truth is that everyone has taken pay cuts.

Added to that is the knowledge - or fear, take your pick - that all of a sudden, this may be the last job they'll ever have. The idea of going across the street for a 10% increase is long gone - most people just hope they can keep the job they've got.

That's why this economy feels anemic to most people. People aren't stupid - they know how much they make, how much health care costs, and how hard it is to find work. Cheerleading for "market forces uber alles" doesn't cut much ice in those circumstances.

Posted by: craigie on April 8, 2006 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

Cheerleading for "market forces uber alles" doesn't cut much ice in those circumstances.

It isn't about "cheerleading" market forces. It's about realizing they're unavoidable, like gravity. We've lived in an economic bubble for decades, and it's breaking down. There are billions of people out there, and they want to work, and they're just as smart as we are. They used to spend most of their time subsistence farming, having a dozen kids (some who lived) and dying young. Now they're starting to move into cities, learn, and build things. And some of them come from cultures that don't believe the world owes them a living, like too many Americans do.

What do you suggest?

Market forces will, eventually, level things out. This is not going to be painless, any more than the original Industrial Revolution was.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

To The Objective Historian: Please, please take a day to come down before you post. I know it's not booze. What is it? Crack? Or some really good weed?

Tbrosz: You should read the Roberts article. You're endangered, too. What will you say when you lose your sweet deal as a computer geek who, instead of actually providing value to the taxpayers, instead posts inanities on the Internet? Bozo.

Posted by: Nixon Did It on April 8, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

Market forces will, eventually, level things out. This is not going to be painless, any more than the original Industrial Revolution was.

If we are to leave everything to market forces why do we need a government, military, school system etc. Do we not have a say in anything anymore. Why does it have to be this way?

Posted by: Neo the commissar on April 8, 2006 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

Nixon Did It:

Do you have any idea how many different jobs I've held over the years? That's life.

And it isn't like I'm the only one posting here during the workday, is it? What's their excuse? They can't all be retirees, college students, or living in their mom's basement.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

Neo:

You have to understand, that when I say "market forces will, eventually, level things out," I'm not talking about a benign process, or something that will automatically make everyone's life instantly better. I'm talking about a natural force, like a hurricane. Pretending you can ignore these forces, or fake them out, is like pretending a city below sea level will stay dry forever.

The task ahead for the American private sector and government is to try and channel and modulate these forces to make the future transitions as painless as possible. I wish I had a magic answer. I do know that pretending these issues don't exist isn't going to work, and there are too many in our government (both parties) that make a career out of telling us they can give us something for nothing.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at 1:52 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

Think how impressed you'd be if he'd actually said something.

And tbrosz's Mount Everest of Idiocy rises another two feet.

Posted by: grh on April 8, 2006 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: I recommend fentanyl.

If I was world dictator I'd institute a global tariff based solely on weight x distance. This would encourage the local production of manufactured items and food, maintain diverse regional economies, result in less fossil fuel consumption, and better prepare us for spikes in fuel costs and the possibility of peak oil.

I'd also burn all orthodox christian books and distribute copies of the soon to be discovered Gospel of Thaddeus in which several of Jesus' lost parables are found. I'm still working on writing them -- put the parable of the seed sower and the latex rubber condom and the parable of the ten virgins and the freedom of choice are almost finished.

Posted by: B on April 8, 2006 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

Think how impressed you'd be if he'd actually said something.

Think how impressed we'd be if you actually said something, T-bone.

grh: And tbrosz's Mount Everest of Idiocy rises another two feet.

And still the air is so thin even at that elevation that his brain is oxygen-starved.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 8, 2006 at 2:42 AM | PERMALINK

"We've lived in an economic bubble for decades, and it's breaking down. There are billions of people out there, and they want to work, and they're just as smart as we are. They used to spend most of their time subsistence farming, having a dozen kids (some who lived) and dying young. Now they're starting to move into cities, learn, and build things. And some of them come from cultures that don't believe the world owes them a living, like too many Americans do.

"What do you suggest?"
tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at 1:33 AM

I find much of what you said to have real meaning. I don't know exactly what I would suggest, but I would start with a government that gave a rats ass about the regular men and women in our country. We have to have policies that protect Americans. Other wise there is no reason to have an America. You and all your UN black chopper buddies might think you can steer us to your One World Order but I for one want politicians who remember they are Americans. The Chinese leaders remember they are Chinese. The Indian leaders remember they are Indian. Hell, even French leaders remember they are French. They arrange their relationships with the world accordingly. You can't say that about our current Republican Administration and Republican Congress.

One thing is for sure, I don't believe in the "magic" of the market place any more than I believe in the tooth fairy. Markets can be understood. They can be manipulated for good or ill. All too often lately they are manipulated for ill. There is no free market magic. There is simply a set of economic tools. I get sick and tired of otherwise rational human beings, like you, worshipping at the idol of some free market god. That is probably my greatest disagreement with you tbrosz, old buddy.

People can be atheists about religion, but not about economics. What gives?

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 8, 2006 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

"Sure, the headline figures on gross domestic product, inflation, and the unemployment rate look fine. But median income hasn't budged in several years" - Kevin

Well, if you allow migration, median income staying the same still means the average person who was present in the US a year ago still takes home more than he did last year.

Ignoring "headline figures on gross domestic product, inflation, and the unemployment rate"
is really a joke.

Posted by: McA on April 8, 2006 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK

It's not the same, now. The planet is full of people who will happily turn that bolt on the assembly line for much less money...

What would the Democrats do about this?

Posted by: tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at

I dunno, maybe just for the sake of symmetry, do the same thing for labor that we've done for capital - globalize it?

A strong labor sector played a huge part in the economic prosperity of the 50s. Since the labor pool is now global, as you point out, the solution is to make labor organizations and worker protections global as well.

Posted by: moderleft on April 8, 2006 at 3:39 AM | PERMALINK

'That real wages are stagnant is IRRELEVANT if people are moving through those real wages quickly as they aggregate a job history in the marketplace. They are.
--TOH

What a bunch of nonsensical crap. You don't know what you are talking about do you? 211,000 jobs added in a month is paltry by historical standards. During the Clinton years, we AVERAGED 300,000 per month. The neocon tax cuts and misnamed "free trade" policies represent a massive redistribution of wealth upwards. The middle class and poor are experiencing declining or stagnant wages, while the very wealthy are getting showered with goodies. Further, why should we or why would we want to "compete" with countries like Malaysia, where they get paid $1 a day? In China, prison labor is used to make some goods - know how much they make? $0! Until we refuse to trade with countries that have no environmental regulations and that don't pay a living wage, the American standard of living will continue to decline. Should we put up tariffs? Damn right! It's the American thing to do. It was the first act of Congress in fact - look it up.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on April 8, 2006 at 7:05 AM | PERMALINK

***Unemployment is 4.7%. 211,000 jobs added to the economy during March, 2006.

Put that in your pipe and smoke, it, Pelosi/Reid/Kennedy/Dean.

a) actually closer to 10%
b) ordinary month during the Clinton years.

in saecula saeculorum.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 8, 2006 at 7:15 AM | PERMALINK

Well, if you allow migration, median income staying the same still means the average person who was present in the US a year ago still takes home more than he did last year.

And if a butterfly would wear a holster, it could carry a gun.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 8, 2006 at 7:23 AM | PERMALINK

"I'm talking about a natural force, like a hurricane."

All anyone needs to know about Tbore's economic illiteracy, general dishonesty and nitwittery is contained in that one sentence. When fools confuse economics with religion (much as Tbores confuses Dubya with God) there is less than a zero chance that they are capable of an intelligent conversation.

"The market is a mighty hurricane that blows only on poor people!"

Posted by: solar on April 8, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Somewhere up above tbrosz, throwing up his hands, asked what do we want to do to improve the economy.

Well boys and girls, historically America has enjoyed its greatest growth when it is building something or installing new and needed technology. Most of us only remember the tech boom of the 1990s but there have been others.

What does America need right now. A few years ago about 1/2 of the Eastern part of the country suffered a serious blackout. Remember that blackout. Well at the time people in the industry pointed out that our electricty grid is old and inadequate. How about spending time and money rebuilding our power grid. A lot better use of our time and money than rebuilding Iraq.

Gasoline prices are now $2.50 per gallon, up from $2.25 in February. The Chinese and Indians are demanding more and more oil. Demand isn't going to diminish. How about making a serious attempt at reorganizing and rebuilding our aging gasoline based transportation system. Our goal needs to be energy independence. We need to start an energy independence Manhattan style project. We have 200,000 engineers who can't get jobs as Wal-Mart greeters. Wonder if they might want to help.

One good place to start would be to replace all those oil heaters in the Northeast in a year or two.

We can either wait around for the "magic market" to suck all the life out of our economy and drop us into depression or we can use our brains and put people to useful work now. Being fully human means thinking out in future. Being a monkey means waiting for nature to take its course.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 8, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Please, but, but the Clinton years...
Like no one realises that the dot-com boom is over?

Posted by: McA on April 8, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

"Like no one realises that the dot-com boom is over?"

Like all the jobs and prosperity of the Clinton years is completely explained by dot-coms?

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on April 8, 2006 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

VJ,

I read your study; it shows that rank mobility is what it was from 1940 to 1970, lower than it was in the 1970s. I'll note that the "Great Society" measures would have created the 20 year olds of the 80s, 90s, and 00s so if anything the Welfare State, subsidizing dereliction and debauchery as it did, totally tanked the trend toward higher income mobility created by the sobriety hard working diligence and ethic of the 40s and 50s and early 60s.

But it does not change the central points:

AFTER-TAX REAL WAGES HAVE RISEN 8.3% UNDER BUSH 43. THAT IS GREAT!

REAL WAGE LEVELS - LEVELS! - DON'T REFLECT IN ANY WAY THE REAL WAGES OF INDIVIDUALS OVER THE COURSE OF THEIR LIVES. WAGES OF INDIVIDUALS RISING LIKE ROCKETS DURING THEIR LIFETIME IN THIS ECONOMY; AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN, 60% OF THOSE WHO STARTED IN THE BOTTOM QUINTILE OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY MAKE IT TO THE TOP TWO QUINTILES OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY DURING A 20 YEAR CAREER. 40% MAKE IT TO THE TOP QUINTILE. AMERICA TODAY MORE THAN EVER IS A WORKER'S PARADISE. OF COURSE, PEOPLE WHO FORNICATE LIKE CHIMPANZEES, WAKE-AND-BAKE BEFORE THEIR WORK OR SCHOOL DAY, HUFF GLUE DURING LUNCH, SPEND THEIR EVENINGS SMACKED UP OR CRACKED UP, AND SHOW UP FOR WORK JUST LONG ENOUGH TO STEAL FROM THE REGISTER ARE GOING TO FIND THEIR WAGES ON AVERAGE ARE, UH, STAGNANT. BUT, THEY ARE NOT VICTIMS OF AMERICAN CAPITALISM . . . THEY ARE VICTIMS OF REALITY; AND VICTIMS OF THEIR OWN CIVIL LIBERTIES AND THE SELFISH PURSUIT OF INSTANT GRATIFICATION THEY EMBRACE CONSEQUENT TO HAVING THOSE CIVIL LIBERTIES.

IN FACT, PEOPLE WHO STUDY, WORK, AND REMAIN REASONABLY SOBER AND RESPONSIBLE IN THEIR PERSONAL CONDUCT ARE MAKING A MINT IN AMERICA TODAY; IF YOU DENY THAT, YOU ARE A IGNORANT TWIT.

IF YOU WANT TO FIGHT POVERTY, GET POOR PEOPLE TO BEHAVE THUSLY.

DO YOU WANT TO HELP THE POOR? PROTEST CRACK HOUSES AND POOR CHILD-PRODUCING PROMISCUITY, NOT THE LOW INFLATION, LOW UNEMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION ABUNDANT ECONOMY MANAGED SUPERBLY BY BUSH 43.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on April 8, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers: "Being fully human means thinking out in future. Being a monkey means waiting for nature to take its course.

You have been making fantastic points on this thread--I want to commend you! This is another. I agree completely.

The operant word is "sustainable". The US would benefit longterm, economically, socially and politically, if we threw our energy and creativity into developing and implementing sustainable energy sources. I would add environmental degradation and global climate change to the "Big Problems that we really need to work on" category as well.

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 8, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

If the liberals are now saying job growth and GDP growth don't mean anything, why were you guys making this argument before?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 8, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter, dear, you really do have trouble with anything but black-and-white arguments, don't you? Nobody has claimed that such measures don't mean anything. We're simply pointing out that there are quite a few other measurements that must be taken into account, as well. Do try to keep up, won't you?

Posted by: PaulB on April 8, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

For more on why Snow doesn't have a story to tell, see:
"Bush League Economy."

Posted by: AvengingAngel on April 8, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

"AFTER-TAX REAL WAGES HAVE RISEN 8.3% UNDER BUSH 43. THAT IS GREAT!"

That depends from which direction you are looking at this. Many liberals secretly wish for things to go wrong, so this is actually terrible news.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 8, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Some doofus named "Jeffrey Davis" said unemployment now is 10%, then said that is the average rate during the Clinton years.

Where do the Dems get all these idiots?!?!?

(Check this moron out, 7:23 above.)

Posted by: Paddy Whack on April 8, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

"Some doofus named "Jeffrey Davis" said unemployment now is 10%"

I think he is talking about France or one of those EU nations, who's economic policies we should model after.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 8, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

jolts data

try this paddy whack the unemployment rate is a wild seasonly adjusted guess. For a better picture look through the data. I know you have to think for yourself and it's hard work but give it a whirl.

Posted by: Neo the commissar on April 8, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Gasoline prices are now $2.50 per gallon, up from $2.25 in February.

They are 2.75 per gallon in my area of Michigan this week for regular unleaded.

Didn't Congress used to investigate when gas prices went up .15 or so in a month in the good old days? Here they fluctuate .50/gallon inside of two months and no one bats an eye.

Posted by: Windhorse on April 8, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

more job hype
job spin

Posted by: Neo the commissar on April 8, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats have 2 knee-jerk answers when anybody points out the unemployment rate is positive.

They either say, "Actually it is more like 10%." Or they say, "It was under 5% under Clinton, too."

Sometimes I wonder if they even realize how goofy they sound.


Posted by: BigRiver on April 8, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

why we sound goofy

ok I'm done

Posted by: Neo the commissar on April 8, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

really the last one

Posted by: Neo the commissar on April 8, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Neo the commisar:

Thanks for the links. Bush's tax cuts are an abject failure, even by his own standards. When are these numbskull conservatives going to get it through their thick heads that trickle-down economics is a discredited, failed theory???

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on April 8, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the links, Neo.

Too bad the trolls here can't read, or they would slink away in shame now

Posted by: Joel on April 8, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

"AFTER-TAX REAL WAGES HAVE RISEN 8.3% UNDER BUSH 43. THAT IS GREAT!"

I call bullshit.

I wandered over to the BLS. (When in doubt, check the data.) I checked table b_2 (Average hours and earnings of production or nonsupervisory workers(1) on private nonfarm payrolls by major industry sector,
1964 to date) at ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/suppl/empsit.ceseeb2.txt

Total private weekly earnings in 2001 was 493.20. In March 2006, it was 553.09.
Plugging 553.09 into the BLS inflation calculator (upper left hand corner of the main BLS site), it turns out that 553.09 in 2006 was worth 492.97 in 2001. So real incomes (before taxes) actually fell during the GW administration so far.

Of course, anyone who is stupid enough to believe anything they read on Powerline wouldn't know that.

Posted by: cactus on April 8, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

I don't suppose the IRS publishes useful statistics on earnings.

The number unemployed is fuzzy and somewhat debateable. The number of people seeing a year over year decrease in earnings would be a hard number.

Posted by: toast on April 8, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

(Average hours and earnings of production or nonsupervisory workers(1) on private nonfarm payrolls by major industry sector,

Posted by: cactus on April 8, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Cherry picking are you? Picking the employment class most impacted by the immigration reform that the Democrats won't even have votes on!

Posted by: McA on April 8, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Like all the jobs and prosperity of the Clinton years is completely explained by dot-coms?

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on April 8, 2006 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Almost all of it. That and the pre-asian currency crisis growth there.

Moron.

Posted by: McA on April 8, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Total private weekly earnings in 2001 was 493.20. In March 2006, it was 553.09.
Plugging 553.09 into the BLS inflation calculator (upper left hand corner of the main BLS site), it turns out that 553.09 in 2006 was worth 492.97 in 2001. So real incomes (before taxes) actually fell during the GW administration so far.

Posted by: cactus on April 8, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

OOh! Bush stole 23 cents a week from the Americans earning about US$2,000 per month. I'm sure the rest of them which would be more than 60% are going to be so miffed and ignore their wealth growth.

Name one initiative by John Kerry or Dean or Reid or Pelosi that even looks like it will bring back a dot com boom. How stupid do you think people are?

Posted by: McA on April 8, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Thank God for the internet - it's easy to bust the propaganda spouted by the Bush-haters.

The Bush-haters ignore the reality of the leading economic indicators like the unemployment rate, the number of jobs added to the economy, the DOW. The Bush-haters then cherry-pick other data to claim things are really really bad.

Sorry, Dems, your lies don't work any more.

Posted by: MountainDan on April 8, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ron:

People can be atheists about religion, but not about economics. What gives?

I really don't see why recognition that market forces exist is any more of a "religion" than the recognition that evolution exists. I'm not talking about some dry theory. I'm talking about the way human beings behave when they interact with each other. It's built into the system.

History is full of examples of what happens when governments and others try to put a penny in the fuse box of supply and demand. The communist nations are an extreme example, but instructive. You set the price of bread by law to be two cents a loaf, and whaddaya know--there's no bread on the shelves to buy.

Our entire illegal immigration problem is supply and demand. You can put a "tariff" on it by controlling the border, or you can let wages and demographics equalize. One or the other WILL happen.

Roberts was right...manufacturing seriously hit the skids in 2000/2001. Go to the BLS site, and check the box labeled "manufacturing employment, seasonally adjusted" When you get the table, check the graph box. Look at THAT.

Now, mess with the dates. Go back to like 1955. In approximately February of 1961, manufacturing took a huge leap upward. It jerked up and down for the next few decades, but nothing like the dive it took at the beginning of 2001.

The level dropped a bit after 1990, started growing again about 1992, leveled, grew a bit more until 1998, then started slanting downwards, but not seriously. The real drop started at the end of 2000 and beginning of 2001. You can use the formatting options to get rates of change. The dive started too soon for it to be about Bush or tax cuts, even if you could figure out a way to connect tax cuts and a drop in manufacturing employment. It started way too soon for it to be about 9/11, and other recessions didn't cause a dive like this. I can't think of one thing Clinton did that would have done this, either. NAFTA was passed way back in 1994, and manufacturing jobs were still stable for years afterward.

So what was it? Was something changed in the laws toward the end of the 90s that made outsourcing much easier? Anybody know?

Posted by: tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

The adjustments made to unemployment rates are interesting, and many of them may be valid, but unless you go back ten or twenty years and apply exactly the same math to all the previous unemployment rates, I don't know if we can get the perspective we need.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

This is unbelievable. If Clinton were still in office, this would be touted as the greatest economy in recent history. And you know what, it is. Unlike Clinton's economy which was mainly led by technology and propped up a lot by false earning reports of Enron and Worldcom, this economy is expanding across all sectors and reaching everyone.

Leave it to the left to continue to find the negative and ignore reality. See you in '08.

Posted by: Jay on April 8, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Toast,

The IRS website's Statistics of Income latest reported data is from 2003.

I would imagine that data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics - the BLS is the agency that keeps track of employment data after all - is at least as at least as reliable as data from Powerline or wherever else.

But there are other sources of data... the Beurea of Economic Analysis keeps what are called the National Income and Product Accounts (http://www.bea.gov/bea/dn/nipaweb/SelectTable.asp?Selected=N#S2). Table 2.1 contains personal income....

Line 40 gives of table 2.1 gives us the yearly percentage changes in real disposable income per capita. From 1993 to 2000, these figures were:
1.0 2.7 2.8 3.0 3.5 5.8 3.0 4.8 1.9

From 2001 to 2005, these figures were:
1.9 3.1 2.4 3.4 1.4

Anyway you look at it, if you think the average American is doing well now, you have to admit the average American was doing much better under the previous administration.

Posted by: cactus on April 8, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Cherry picking are you? Picking the employment class most impacted by the immigration reform that the Democrats won't even have votes on!"

McA - that's the broadest measure I was able to find. (Just like the broadest measure of unemployment commonly reported is non-farm.) If you find a broader measure on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website (or any other reputable source), post it. I'll be happy to stand corrected.

Posted by: cactus on April 8, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

cactus:

It's easier than that to check out real earnings. Go to the BLS site I linked to earlier, and check the box labeled "Total Private Average Hourly Earnings, 1982 Dollars - Seasonally Adjusted." When the table comes up, check the graph box again.

Earnings in constant 1982 dollars have, in fact, gone down a bit. Now for some real fun, go up to the dates and change the first one to 1964 (as far back as it goes.) Look at the graph now. Some food for thought there.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

TOH -

Your feeble mindedness is on display for all to see.

Let's grant that your assertion is true: that 40% of low end workers eventually wind up in the top 20% of the wage pool.

Do you understand that stagnating median real incomes means that your average person starting out in the job force can expect to receive lower pay raises over his lifetime than his father or grandfather would have received during periods of briskly rising median wages? No one is saying individuals are going to start working at McDonalds at 16 and remain their for the rest of their lives (although that's probably true of the lowest levels.) They're saying for almost every wage level, except for the very top, incomes are stagnant or falling.

Please try to understand this so you stop wasting server space with your tripe.

Posted by: ctm on April 8, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

McA-

I gotta sign off for a while, but I wandered over to the Census site and historical data on median household income (all races, all regions - so this is pretty broad).

Maybe its me, but it seems that the real income (in 2003 dollars) tends to go up, though in every presidential administration, it has periods of ups and downs. In the Clinton administration, it went down once - from 1999 to 2000 it dipped by about $75. But it has dropped every single year of the GW administration.

http://www.census.gov/hhes/income/histinc/h06ar.html

Now, you've accused me of cherrypicking. My response - put up or shut up. And make it data. Real data from reputable sources. So far I've cited the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Census. Have the decency to show me the same courtesy.

Posted by: cactus on April 8, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

cactus doesn't want for food for thought, he/she only wants statistics that support their contention of a horrible economy. BTW, their post of 1:36p is a laughable almost non-existen change in real disposable income over the years trying to support their contention of a bad economy. Also keeping in mind the technology driven, false earning repots economy of the 90's.

Isn't it interesting how most of the corporate corruption happened on Clinton's watch and is being prosecuted on Bush's watch? Hmmmmm.....

Posted by: Jay on April 8, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Tbrosz,

Thanks for the cite... I had been looking for that table earlier.

Posted by: cactus on April 8, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Has cactus, or the others desperately trying to shed negative light on a growing economy ever thought about the effects 9/11 and Katrina had? Those two events displaced tens of thousands of workers in a days notice. How many times did that happen in the 90's?

Posted by: Jay on April 8, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Isn't it interesting how most of the corporate corruption happened on Clinton's watch and is being prosecuted on Bush's watch? Hmmmmm....."

So you believe the Clinton Administration controlled Enron and Worldcom?

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on April 8, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, and a lot of others on both sides:

There's something going on here that's systemic in nature, and goes way past the knee-jerk "our guys rule, your guys drool." To do this properly would require going through the statistics for all the different job categories (none of the others of which automatically provide inflation-adjusted results), and an analysis of legislation, technological changes, and all the rest. I'm not going to do it. I don't get paid for this.

Many of our electronics, cars, and consumer products have been coming from overseas for a lot longer than the past six years. Where did the manufacturing jobs go at the end of 2000? And why?

Posted by: tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Well another day locked up on a Saturday for me, when all my peers have lives and families you can find me here pounding my keys in the name of freedom for the great Dear Leader. Not like I have anything better to do with my life, because I don't.

Posted by: Jay on April 8, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

The age old question "are you better off now than you were four years ago?" is fundamentally an individual one. The IRS could answer this one definitively but average statistics paint a broad brush picture that's hard to interpret. Individualized data could also answer questions like -- what are unemployed autoworkers doing now? or how does the loss of manufacturing jobs effect state to state migration?

Posted by: toast on April 8, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Some doofus named "Jeffrey Davis" said unemployment now is 10%, then said that is the average rate during the Clinton years.

Where do the Dems get all these idiots?!?!?

(Check this moron out, 7:23 above.)
Posted by: Paddy Whack

a) Unemployment is around 10%. It is quite different than the published rate.

b) The average Clinton rate referred to was for job creation.

c) By all means. Check things out.

d) Please make your epithets interesting.

e) Anonymous, annoying posting on the internet is now illegal. Use your own name when insulting someone else.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 8, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

During the past 5-years private business has added only 958,000 net new jobs to the economy, while the government sector added 1.1 million jobs. - Manufacturing & Technology News 1/16/06


The fraction of Americans living below the official poverty line -- $19,307 for a family of four last year -- rose for the fourth consecutive year to 12.7% in 2004. - CENSUS BUREAU


The share of income going to the richest slice of Americans - the top tenth of 1 percent - grew significantly in 2003 while the share going to 99 percent of Americans fell. IRS 10/5/05


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on April 8, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz

I don't know the answer to your question, but here is an article from the Economist that hints as to what has been going on. Alan Greenspan's efforts in support of globalization might be at the heart of it. http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=5385434

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 8, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

I posted: "Like all the jobs and prosperity of the Clinton years is completely explained by dot-coms?"

To which McA replies: "Almost all of it."

According to the Beureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 10 million jobs were created during Clinton's second term.

So McIgnorant believes 9 million+ Americans went to work for dot-coms in the last four years of the '90s.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on April 8, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: "Where did the manufacturing jobs go at the end of 2000?"

Somewhere recently--BusinessWeek? The Economist?--I read an economist who proposed that increased productivity is the culprit behind the jobless recovery. Due to increased productivity, one worker can do the work of two, or three, or four.

This doesn't explain "why" 2000, however.

Posted by: PTate in Mn on April 8, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

'TOH' posted:

"I read your study"

It's NOT my "study". It's a whitepaper from the Federal Reserve.

.

"it shows that rank mobility is what it was from 1940 to 1970, lower than it was in the 1970s."

Wrong.

.

"I'll note that the 'Great Society' measures would have created the 20 year olds of the 80s, 90s, and 00s so if anything the Welfare State, subsidizing dereliction and debauchery as it did, totally tanked the trend toward higher income mobility created by the sobriety hard working diligence and ethic of the 40s and 50s and early 60s."

WHAT ?

.

"REAL WAGE LEVELS - LEVELS! - DON'T REFLECT IN ANY WAY THE REAL WAGES OF INDIVIDUALS OVER THE COURSE OF THEIR LIVES."

Of course they do.

.

"WAGES OF INDIVIDUALS RISING LIKE ROCKETS DURING THEIR LIFETIME IN THIS ECONOMY"

False.

They DECLINED every year of the last five years.

.

"AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN, 60% OF THOSE WHO STARTED IN THE BOTTOM QUINTILE OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY MAKE IT TO THE TOP TWO QUINTILES OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY DURING A 20 YEAR CAREER. 40% MAKE IT TO THE TOP QUINTILE."

Again, FALSE.

.

"AMERICA TODAY MORE THAN EVER IS A WORKER'S PARADISE."

How can a declining Standard of Living be a "paradise" ?

.

"OF COURSE, PEOPLE WHO FORNICATE LIKE CHIMPANZEES, WAKE-AND-BAKE BEFORE THEIR WORK OR SCHOOL DAY, HUFF GLUE DURING LUNCH, SPEND THEIR EVENINGS SMACKED UP OR CRACKED UP, AND SHOW UP FOR WORK JUST LONG ENOUGH TO STEAL FROM THE REGISTER ARE GOING TO FIND THEIR WAGES ON AVERAGE ARE, UH, STAGNANT."

But the VAST OVERWHELMING number of Americans have had their real wages go BACKWARDS every year of the last five years.

.

"IN FACT, PEOPLE WHO STUDY, WORK, AND REMAIN REASONABLY SOBER AND RESPONSIBLE IN THEIR PERSONAL CONDUCT ARE MAKING A MINT IN AMERICA TODAY"

False.

The already rich got richer, the working Poor and the Middle-class got poorer.

.

"IF YOU DENY THAT, YOU ARE A IGNORANT TWIT."

I'll allow others to decide who is the "ignorant twit", but you may want to try a mirror.
.

Posted by: VJ on April 8, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

'McA' posted:

"Please, but, but the Clinton years... Like no one realises that the dot-com boom is over?"

The "dot-com boom" was a VERY TINY segment of the national economy, and the "dot-com bubble" was a tiny part of the stock market.
.

Posted by: VJ on April 8, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

'Jay' posted:

"This is unbelievable. If Clinton were still in office, this would be touted as the greatest economy in recent history."

Gibberish.

The RightWing was bad-mouthing the economy during President Clinton’s term, even though it was the best economy in the history of the nation.

.

"Unlike Clinton's economy which was mainly led by technology and propped up a lot by false earning reports of Enron and Worldcom"

Nope.

The false reporting only went back five quarters from when they filed bankruptcy. That was on the Boy Emeperor Clown Criminal's watch.

.

"this economy is expanding across all sectors and reaching everyone."

Wrong on both counts.

Why are there fewer workers in the national economy now, than there were in 2000 ? Why are there record high home foreclosures and record high bankruptcies ? Why have wages gone backwards every year of the last five years ? Why has Poverty INCREASED every year of the last five years (after decreasing every year of the previous eight years) ? Why has the national savings rate gone negative for the first time since the Great Depression of the 1930s ? Why are there record federal deficits and federal debt ?
.

Posted by: VJ on April 8, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Ron:

Thanks for the article, but it seems to explain more about how the economy can sustain itself despite the impact of these disruptions. It doesn't explain that dramatic dropoff.

PTate:

Increased productivity would be a factor, but the effect on manufacturing jobs should have been a steady reduction, not a dropoff. Productivity didn't go up THAT much at the end of the 90s.

Delayed reaction from offshoring in the 90s?

Somebody must have studied this.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 8, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

It isn't about "cheerleading" market forces. It's about realizing they're unavoidable, like gravity.

This is of course, rank nonsense. If the government were to ever stop interfering with the market the tbrosz's of the world would be crying like babies over their worthless scraps of paper. See, in the real world, the market isn't a natural force like gravity. If it were economists would only have one hand.

While it is true that there is some predictive ability in economics, the predictions aren't the kind that make it possible to say Market forces will, eventually, level things out. In fact, just the opposite. Market forces, left to their own devices, will instead destroy stability and plunge us back into a boom and bust cycle like a grass, rabbit and fox predation model (the long term may be steady state, but that's no comfort to the individuals involved).

Governments, particularly governments that have a modicum of sense, attempt to moderate the malicious effects of market forces. Those that do not eventually find themselves on the wrong side of revolution.

Posted by: heavy on April 8, 2006 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

heavy:

You don't get it, any more than a 19th century farmer would understand why a rain forest is more stable than a cornfield. But that isn't the issue I'm concerned with right now.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 9, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

I like Mr. Gross' articles. I read most of them.

Posted by: Hostile on April 9, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, that's what I like from tbrosz, the baseless attack. I guess when you have nothing, and you know it, that's all you are left with. Come back when you know what chaos theory is, the difference between a closed system and an open one, and what purpose governments must serve in a market. You ignorant twit.

Posted by: heavy on April 9, 2006 at 5:40 AM | PERMALINK

Snow is a complete loser, of course, but blaming him for the combination of tax cuts and runaway spending that have lead to these enormous deficits is not really right. He's just a lightning rod for decisions made higher up.

Posted by: bob h on April 9, 2006 at 6:45 AM | PERMALINK

heavy:

If you actually had any idea what chaos theory really was, you would have understood the rain forest post.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 9, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK


You're deep in the forest, and lost.
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Posted by: VJ on April 9, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Tell the class, tbrosz, what using the rainforest as an example clarifies in terms of economic theory. In your answer you should remember extinction still occurs in the confines of the rainforest. Why? What does this mean for the corresponding individuals in your economic theory? How does this comport with the silly notion of "leveling out?" Finally, explain why the overall health of a system not a metric for the health of any specific element of that system nor is the health of any specific element an indicator of the health of the system and why a government of the people, by the people, and for the people would, of necessity, care about the health (in the broad sense) of individuals as well as the system as a whole.

Your inability to understand why your example reinforces my argument, rather than undermine it, is rather pathetic. So too your inability to tell the difference between chaos and diversity. Chaos explains why even trivial seeming systems may react in unpredictable ways, diversity explains why the overall system may appear healthy even as individual elements crash.

Thus endeth today's lesson for tbrosz. He will, as usual, learn nothing from it.

Posted by: heavy on April 9, 2006 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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