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February 09, 2004

PAGING MAX....As Max Sawicky has kindly informed us, last year the White House told us that if we passed all their tax cuts the economy would create 1.8 million new jobs in 2003 and 3.7 million in 2004.

Well, even though the tax cut got passed 2003 didn't quite live up to expectations, and today the White House backed down yet again, projecting growth for 2004 of only 2.6 million jobs. That's pretty anemic. I guess tax cuts aren't quite the magic bullet they thought.

Over to you, Max.

UPDATE: Actually, it turns out this isn't really right. More here.

Posted by Kevin Drum at February 9, 2004 10:02 AM | TrackBack


Comments

They still have 2.5 million to go, or about 225,000 per month ahead. I would not put money on them making even that target.

Posted by: BobNJ at February 9, 2004 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Another important missed opportunity for Russert.
Russert was fawning, ass-kissing lapdog, and yet Bush STILL looked bad.

Posted by: marky at February 9, 2004 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

It all depends on your perspective.

The online WSJ is reporting: "The president submitted to a TV grilling and said Hussein was too dangerous to leave in place after Sept. 11."

And as for the unemployment figures...well there was this the other day:

"Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, said January same-store sales, or sales at U.S. stores open at least a year, rose 5.7 percent, ahead of its forecast for 3 percent to 5 percent."

That's good news right?

Unless of course you've got a sneaky suspicion that Wal-mart's success reflects bush's job creating failure (with less $ in pocket the people have only one choice for shopping: wally's world).

Now that might be an interesting investment correlation to search out.

Posted by: -pea- at February 9, 2004 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

The reality is that Bush has pursued a fiscal course that's done little to boost employment in the short term in favor of a much larger boost to the after-tax incomes of the most wealthy. A second Bush administration would only give us more of the same, while ignoring growing long-term federal budget problems. It's time for a change in leadership in the White House.

Posted by: David W. at February 9, 2004 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=^DJI&t=5y&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=

'Nuff said.

You're going to lose.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 9, 2004 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

On Wal-Mart:

I wouldn't be surprised if it was retailers told us they were looking for -- redemption of gift cards and other post-holiday sales into january finishing up the gap in expectations with the holiday sales. I've heard similar figures from higher-end retailers as well, like, IIRC, Sharper Image.

Posted by: cmdicely at February 9, 2004 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Congrats Kevin--you were twice mentioned today in Dan Froomkin's blog-esque White House Briefing column

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/politics/administration/whbriefing/

Now, if only they'd mention your excellent work on the Bush military records angle...

Posted by: Toluca Jim/Visible Hand at February 9, 2004 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

rwv -- yeah, if you cut dividend taxes and LTCG taxes you should see a rise in the stock market.

How this translates to improved hiring outlooks in OH, PA, WV, AZ, MO is beyond me though.

Posted by: Troy at February 9, 2004 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Employment is a lagging indicator, not a leading one.

And 5.6% isn't a bad unemployment rate either. Germany is 11%

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 9, 2004 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Three million unemployed Germans and three million unemployed Americans have one major thing in common: neither of them gives a damn how well the stock market's doing.

Posted by: August J. Pollak at February 9, 2004 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Right-wing vegetarian:

5.9% unemployment isn't bad compared to Germany's unemployment rate? That's just stupid talk. I'm assuming you aren't aware that a number of people have just given up looking for work and the unemployment number does not reflect that. I'm also assuming that in the U.S. (I'm not aware of Germany's policy) the way to calculate unemployment keeps getting rigged in order to make the number look good. You can't historically compare unemployment figures. Or between countries either.

Drink some more Kook-aid.

Posted by: chris at February 9, 2004 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

oops typo: 5.6%

Posted by: chris at February 9, 2004 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Vegetable, employment has never lagged 40 months after the end of a recession---NEVER.
And 5.6% unemployment isn't an accurate stat.

Posted by: marky at February 9, 2004 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Germany also takes a lot better care of the unemployed than is done here.

Posted by: ____league at February 9, 2004 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

And 5.6% isn't a bad unemployment rate either.

If you drop the assumption that many former wage earners are now self-employed, the actual unemployement rate is more like 7.6%, IIRC. And keep in mind that those who are described as being self-employed (like many of my friends in IT who are now doing contract work, for example) do not have the income or benefits they formerly had.

Posted by: David W. at February 9, 2004 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

I've been concerned about the lack of job growth but the following paragraphs in the AP article about the employment numbers in January has me encouraged. The household employment survey cited a huge increase in jobs created in January. Read below and give me your take.

"Some economists think hiring really is occurring in the economy, but it is not being reflected in the Labor Department's monthly survey of business payrolls. In the separate survey of households, employment jumped by 496,000 last month.


The household survey counts self-employed workers and contract workers, which are increasing. The survey of businesses does not.


"They're not recording the outside contractors — they're not reflecting something that is tremendously fundamental now to the American corporate scene, and that's outsourcing to outside contractors," Mayland said."

Posted by: Brad at February 9, 2004 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Vegetable,

IIRC, the 5.6% is in dispute - doesn't take into account longterm unemployed who are no longer on the rolls. Also doesn't take into accout those who've just stopped looking for jobs. The true level of unemployment may be as high as 9%.

As for lagging indicator - another red herring. When does "lagging" become "just not happening"? So again, disputable.

As for 11% unemployment in Germany: That sucks for Germans, but it's not what we're discussing here. Or are you saying that I should just count my blessings? Unemployment is way over 50% in Iraq, where your boy and his minions have complete control, or so they tell us. I'd say that's a more relevant number, as long as we're throwing in irrelevancies.

Posted by: Jeff Boatright at February 9, 2004 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Stocks are up, the dollar is down. Jobs are gone, the deficit is huge, and with the interest rate as low as it can go, a lot of people refinanced their homes. Some of those people are now among the jobless. Now, the only real question is, "When does the inflation kick in?"

Posted by: Yoda at February 9, 2004 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Geez, once upon a time, conservatives like Sebastian Holdsclaw and Joe Schmoe used to be active here at CalPundit, people who actually thought about things, sometimes hysterically, but still....

Now we get the likes of Al and Right-Wing vegetarian, who are complete know-nothings who live to spout the latest rhetoric of the right-wing media parallel universe.

RWV, let's take it from the top: not only, as Troy pointed out, have the bush tax cuts helped the market modestly, far more important, profitability is way up. And why is profitability way up? Because, with limited (until recently, in fact, zilch) top-line growth, businesses have reduced costs, including their biggest cost: labor.

They have reduced those costs in various ways: through not hiring (hence the nice productivity gains), through reducing fringe benefits, and through minimal pay increases.

As soon as there's any sign of businesses starting to add employees in a substantive way, the stock market will recognize it for what it is: a cost add.

And drop.

As for the "lagging indicator," marky has already told you the facts: this is a historically unprecedented lack of job growth, not merely a lagging indicator.

Now, for what it's worth, Q4 productivity gains dropped off, which suggests that employers have squeezed about as much as they can from the existing workforcer, which suggests that we will see some job gains this year. But 2.7M? No chance.

Brad, if you're going to cite the household survey, you need to do your homework: 1.) the BLS will tell you - indeed, did tell you in the current jobs report - that the payroll survey is more accurate than the household survey (which is both a smaller sample and requires no objective benchmark, merely an answer over the telephone); 2.) there is always an adjustment in January, because the household survey, being so small, is then extrapolated onto the american population. It does not mean that half a million jobs were created; 3.) the self-employed dog doesn't hunt. Brad DeLong has featured some excellent charts that will show you that you can't explain the delta between the household survey and the payroll survey by the army of the self-employed, because the household survey doesn't pick up an army of self-employed.

It's a reasonable thing to say that the household survey may be a leading indicator, and may reflect some better job news in the pipeline, but it's nothing to base your optimism on.

Posted by: howard at February 9, 2004 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Most economists believe that there will never be an unemployment rate below 3.5%

5.6% isn't bad. The doom n' gloom around here is amazing. Are all you of guys sitting around at home in stained wife beater shirts or something? Go out and get a friggin' job and quit your kvetching.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 9, 2004 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Let's see. By my (or actually his) calculation Bush has lost about 5.2M jobs.

2.3 million actual jobs lost, 2001-2003
1.8 million jobs not created in 2003 (failed to meet his own projections)
1.1 reduction in the projection of jobs created in 2004 (3,7M -2.6M)
= 5.2M

--Dan

Posted by: Dan at February 9, 2004 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

RWV, grow up.

People point out facts to you - like that the unemployment rate is understating the reality of joblessness in america due to the discourage worker factor - and you ignore them and accuse us of doom and gloom thinking.

In addition, George Bush cost-shifted paying for current government spending into the future through his tax cuts, including his '03 so-called stimulus tax cut, on the claim that 5.5M jobs would be created between July 1, 2003 and December 31, 2004. We aren't going to come close, and Bush, as is true of all of his actions, isn't ever going to say, oops, i was wrong.

Meanwhile, an increasing amount of the hugely increasing federal deficit, which was shockingly useless as stimulus, is held by Japanese and Chinese bankers, who therefore hold US interest rates and the dollar their mercy. Isn't that just a grand state of affairs?

So some of us - me, for instance - are angry about the reality of Bush claims about jobs, Bush's stripping away of resources from the government, Bush's deficit, and the millions of Americans whose lives are harder because the economic picture isn't what it could be.

Is that really so hard to understand, even in your right-wing bubble?

Posted by: howard at February 9, 2004 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

I am delighted with the president's tax cuts. I work for a living, so they come in handy.

Nothing steams me more than talking to "small business" owners who demand that taxes be raised while simultaneously bragging about how they just deducted their new plasma TV as a "business expense".

I digress. I think the economy is recovering the best that can be expected in light of the dotcom bubble collapse and September 11th and its aftermath.

At this point in 1984, the economy was only beginning to kick into high gear.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 9, 2004 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Howard,

Save your breath. Right wing vegetarian is channeling Charlie.

I have a five-year-old niece with just about the same economic sophistication. Give her a shiny new dime and she's happy. And she'll believe anything you tell her.

I guess it's nice to grow to adulthood and still live in that world but geeesh, these people are allowed to vote. Scary.

Posted by: chris at February 9, 2004 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Howard,

Don't you think with all the independent contractors and self-employed in America that you should give some credence to this household survey? The household survey may be less accurate, but it it's off by 20% you've still got almost $400K job created. Additionally, it could could be underestimating as much as it could be overestimating. What if the real number is $600K instead?

I know many people that went from the tech industry to become independent contractors. In fact, most of them are doing a lot better now than they were in the boom.

I can understand that discounting the household survey number supports your agenda, but I hope you're wrong.

-Brad

Posted by: Brad at February 9, 2004 11:24 AM | PERMALINK
5.6% isn't bad.

This, actually, is somewhat true. A 5.6% unemployment rate by itself isn't all that bad. What is bad is that most of what is keeping it that low is, apparently, a very high number of people who stop being counted as "unemployed" because they become discouraged workers rather than because they find a job.

Posted by: cmdicely at February 9, 2004 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Don't ask me why I put dollar signs in front of my job figures. It was a mistake.

-Brad

Posted by: Brad at February 9, 2004 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Brad--

The household survey looks at job catagories, and it shows little change in self-employed.

Posted by: Rob at February 9, 2004 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

These tax cuts are not going to do shit for "the economy". Of course, I don't think that they're really going to harm "the economy", either, at least not in the usual aggregate sense of unemployment statistics and so forth. The normal cyclical business cycle will take its course, and Bush will take credit for the upswing while disowning any blame for the downswing. But in fact, he will go further than that, claiming that the upswing would not have occured at all without his masterful tax cuts and that the "onerous" tax rates of the previous administration were the primary reason for the downswing.
And, as usual, people will eat this bullshit right out of his hands, because the opposition will be so focused on figures like the unemployment rate and so forth, which do tend to follow cyclical patterns. I think this is a losing strategy for Democrats. Instead of pinning vampire-like "hopes" on a continuing high unemployment rate which they can then "blame" on Bush (fetishizing "slower than expected" growth, etc.), they should be focusing instead on how Bush's tax policies per se have little to do with the (inevitable) growth that we will be seeing over the next few months. I admit, this will be a more complicated message to send many voters, who have been so accustomed to fetishizing aggregate indicators themselves. It will also take away a powerful (but dishonest) rhetorical weapon, which is the whole cry of "Bush lost your job!" But Bush's policies are bad enough on their own terms; we don't need to paint demons where flesh-and-blood ones already roam. The two key points to harp on are the ineffectualness of the tax "cuts" and their vicious unfairness.

Posted by: kokblok at February 9, 2004 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not going to claim that I'm thrilled with Bush as a fiscal conservative, but I did find this the other day.
Meanwhile, the more stable four-week moving average of [jobless] claims, which smooths out week-to-week fluctuations, dropped by 3,250 last week to 344,500. That was the lowest level since the week ending Jan. 27, 2001

And howard, my commenting has dropped off because most of what's going on here these days is irrational Bush bashing.

Posted by: Ron at February 9, 2004 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Brad, i told you exactly the credence i give the household survey (which is nothing special to me, but in fact is mainstream opinion): that it may well be a leading indicator, but as a source of hard data on the number employed, it is demonstrably less accurate than the payroll survey.

For some hard data about the self-employed, here's the prof delong link:

http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/2004_archives/000185.html

RWV, the idea that the dot-com boom and bust cycle makes this a different type of recession was untrue the first time you posted it, it remains untrue today, and it will be untrue every time you post it. (Sorry, Chris, i couldn't help myself!)

Ron, i see some irrational bush-bashers, but i see nothing irrational about bush-bashing per se, but yes, you're another of the sensible conservatives who have been replaced by the right-wing ravings of the als, rwvs, and charlies....

Posted by: howard at February 9, 2004 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, the more stable four-week moving average of [jobless] claims, which smooths out week-to-week fluctuations, dropped by 3,250 last week to 344,500. That was the lowest level since the week ending Jan. 27, 2001

Ron, consider the fact that a long term unemployed person cannot keep applying for unemployment compensation. There is a time limit. Congress has extended this sometimes but not the last time it was up for extension. So how many unemployed can no longer make claims thus reducing the claims number?

Posted by: karog at February 9, 2004 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

karog, i'm sure that's a factor, but just to be fair, i don't completely disagree with brad and ron: the employment situation today is marginally better than it was 6 months ago, and the odds are that it will be better in 6 months and in 12 months.

It just won't be 2.7M jobs better....

Posted by: howard at February 9, 2004 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

It's not 2.6 million: it's 5.3 million. the 132.7 million number is a year-average number. To make that the year average, we have to hit 135.3 million by December 2004...

Posted by: Brad DeLong at February 9, 2004 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Funny, i just looked over at prof delong's site, discovered what he posted at 11:48 a.m., and hustled back here to bring the news!

Score another one for the prof. Not having read the document in question, i'd guess that not one reader in 10,000 picks up on the "average" issue.

Posted by: howard at February 9, 2004 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

...and we've entered troll-feeding mode.

Man, I'd LOVE it if the conservatives went back to the old-20-years-ago rhetoric of "get a job you lazy bum." I'm sure the swing states will love being told they're all not working hard enough.

Posted by: August J. Pollak at February 9, 2004 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

howard says
but i see nothing irrational about bush-bashing per se
All things in moderation :-)

karog says
So how many unemployed can no longer make claims thus reducing the claims number?
Good question, I didn't mean to imply that the job market was booming. I used that link on another blog thread that included the factoid that no incumbent president had been re-elected when employment declined during his first term.

Unemployment is dropping, and as far as the exchange here earlier about how far employment lags behind recovery: I think each recession is probably different (we are now worried about outsourcing and mfg jobs have been declining for years) so I don't think we really know how we're doing. We'll know for sure when the next recession starts.

Combine those 2 things, and I just find it fun to watch.

Posted by: Ron at February 9, 2004 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Try and concentrate and obtain some historical perspective. Why did the economy grow and grow after what the conservatives claimed was the largest tax increase in history during the first Clinton term and at best grows slowly or shrinks after the Bush huge tax decrease? Look and think about it: the Clinton tax increase put money in the hands of the lower and middle class and the Bush tax decrease predominantly went to the upper class (I'm middle class without children and got no tax decrease in Bush's plan). As far as bang for the buck a lot more stimulus of the economy occurs when you decrease taxes for the spending classes. Now looking back over the last 40 years with an open mind what else can be considered about these tax changes? If one wants to decrease taxes for the wealthy or upper income classes (above $200,000/year) then do so but don't try and convince someone that it's the best way to create economic growth. It'll be a long, slow wait-kind of like right now.

Posted by: MRB at February 9, 2004 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Well, as a German I don´t know how American unemployment figures are calculated.

After searching for some articles about the German law...
According to some newspapers the German government wants to adopt "international rules" for counting unemployment.
Following the rules of the ILO
( http://www.ilo.org/ ) in future.
That - in one second - would reduce the German unemployment numbers from 4.6 millions to
around 4 millions.

According to those articles:
"Today you are counted as unemployed in Germany as soon as you notify the "job office".
Say, you just got the notice that you´ll be fired in three months for example. You notify the job office that you´ll be looking for a new job in three months from now. You´ll be counted as unemployed NOW even though you still got a job for the next three months.
Or in Germany today ONCE you are officially unemployed you´ll still be counted as unemployed even if you find a part time job with up to 15 hours work per week."
(AFAIK with unemployment benefits somewhat reduced because of your income.)

And as an aside unemployment benefits in Germany are AFAIK a bit more generous that in the USA. So people "tend" to notify the job office just to get those benefits. :)
(Unemployment money, health care insurance , job qualification courses etc.)
So we probably see less people just "drop out" of the statistic.
("Dropping out" was difficult to understand for me at first. I mean I´m an orderly German :).
How can you drop out and why do it?
Sure, unemployment benefits in Germany drop with time but they never reach zero.
And you still retain your health care insurance.
Unlike 30 million Americans?)

Add to that the fact that Germany has to deal with the problem of former communist East Germany and an almost totally destroyed economy there.
I mean, think about it.
A sudden 25% increase in population and territory, unfortunately with 50 years of communist rule. Meaning a pretty bad infrastructure and even worse economic situation.
Any country would have problems dealing with that.
(Money transfer from West Germany to East Germany is around $60 billions per year.)

Unemployment rates in former West Germany are around 8.9%, former East Germany 19.1% in January 2004.

I´d think that ,without reunification and using those ILO rules, unemployment rates in former West Germany would be around 6-7% max.

Detlef

Posted by: Detlef at February 9, 2004 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

yoda,

"Stocks are up, the dollar is down. Jobs are gone, the deficit is huge, and with the interest rate as low as it can go, a lot of people refinanced their homes. Some of those people are now among the jobless. Now, the only real question is, "When does the inflation kick in?"

It won't kick in unless two things happen: 1) consumer spending remains strong, thus increasing the pressure on the demand side of the equation, and 2) the Fed maintains a loose monetary policy--i.e. low interest rates. given our Fed leadership, I think they'd raise interest rates post haste if we saw a consistent rise in the consumer price index.

Posted by: Dan at February 9, 2004 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

The number of jobs that must be created per month
just to keep up with the growing workforce is 150,000

For a year, that's 1800000.

In other words, Bush is trying to create all of 800,000
jobs.

Thanks, that oughta do it.

Posted by: mecki at February 9, 2004 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

No president personally hires anyone into jobs in the private sector, whatever it may be, retail, factory, whatever, and there is no mention in the oath of office or in his constitutional duties which requires a president to monitor every single business, big or small, in the country, to insure they are hiring and placing the proper proportion of this or that group at the proper wages and benefits. Also if people are not working or looking for work, there is nothing in his constitutional duties that requires a president to guide every single individual into a job. The complaints being made about this president are by critics and naysayers who adored the hyprocrite who last held the office, Clinton and Gore's making government smaller program reduced numbers in the military, mostly among the young people who must now settle for fast food outlets and WalMart/KMart for their start in the the workforce, all the while wearing nose rings, tattoos and rap style clothing and carrying their skateboard to the interview.

Posted by: Vernon Clayson at February 9, 2004 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Meanwhile, the more stable four-week moving average of [jobless] claims, which smooths out week-to-week fluctuations, dropped by 3,250 last week to 344,500. That was the lowest level since the week ending Jan. 27, 2001"

You are aware, are you not, that this number represents FIRST-TIME claims for unemployment. That is, folks who are claiming unemployument for the firast time, who had a job before this. Or, in other words, 344,500 more people filed for unemployment last week. That number is NOT the number of folks collecting unemployment, just those applying to collect for the first time. Just those who recently lost their jobs.

When this rate goes down, it's saying only that things are going to hell at a slower rate.

Posted by: Chuck Nolan at February 9, 2004 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Chuck says
it's saying only that things are going to hell at a slower rate.
I would think that is better than things going to hell at a faster rate.

Posted by: Ron at February 9, 2004 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP so needs to hire the Right Wing Vegetarian. S/he'd be boffo on the campaign trail:

Bush '04: Get a job you friggin' bum.

Bush '04: It's not as bad as you think.

Bush '04: At least you aren't German.

Act now, RWV, a glorious future awaits you.

Posted by: Paul at February 9, 2004 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

No president personally hires anyone into jobs in the private sector, whatever it may be, retail, factory, whatever, and there is no mention in the oath of office or in his constitutional duties which requires a president to monitor every single businessblah blah blah

Duh.

I guess the point is, Bush shouldn't be lying about how many jobs he's going to create then, should he?

Posted by: chris at February 9, 2004 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

"it's saying only that things are going to hell at a slower rate.
I would think that is better than things going to hell at a faster rate."

Bush in '04: With me things only go slowly to hell.

Posted by: ____league at February 9, 2004 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

The 2002 OECD stats [damn pdf] for unemployment (standardized) are:

8.9% - Germany
7.9% - EU15 avg.
6.6% - major 7 EU
7.5% - Canada
9.1% - France
5.5% - Japan
4.9% - UK
6.0% - United States
5.0% - Sweden (2001)

Never believe a rightie when they give statistics. Unemployment in certain European countries did break 10% in the nineties, but has fallen back below since 2000. Talk of how the socialist countries of Europe strangle their economic growth with generous welfare programs and the dreaded labor market rigidities, is not as clear cut as the right likes to make it. For obvious reasons.

But overall, I don't really blame Bush for the job loss, I think it's more structural. And the unemployment rate in the US is at a historically low level (depending on your time frame)...Sure he could have done different things with his fiscal policies to try and stimulate demand, and he sold his programs with a level of dishonesty that was unique. Personally, I despise him for other reasons. But I do think lefties should pummell him with whatever sticks, that's how it works apparently.

Posted by: andrew at February 9, 2004 01:09 PM | PERMALINK

Vernon Clayson: No president personally hires anyone into jobs in the private sector ... there is nothing in his constitutional duties that requires a president to guide every single individual into a job.

Tim Russert: Mr. President, 2.2 million jobs have been lost since you entered office which is the worst job creation record since the Great Depression. How do you respond to that?

GWB: Check the Constution. Not my problem.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I would love to see that.

Posted by: karog at February 9, 2004 01:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Never believe a rightie when they give statistics. Unemployment in certain European countries did break 10% in the nineties, but has fallen back below since 2000."


German Unemployment Rate Rises to 11 Pct.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP)--Germany's unemployment rate rose to 11 percent in January from 10.4 percent the previous month as the number of jobless rose by 282,300, the state labor office said Thursday.

Some 4.6 million people were out of work, which was 26,400 fewer than the same month a year ago.

The office attributed the rise in jobless to seasonal factors; unemployment usually rises in the winter due to a drop in seasonal jobs such as construction.
http://www.ajc.com/business/content/business/ap/ap_story.html/Financial/AP.V9827.AP-Germany-Jobless.html

Owned.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 9, 2004 01:58 PM | PERMALINK

Vernon, it's a shame the young folks don't behave the way you wish they did, but oddly enough, that's neither here nor there (tattoos and nose rings were pretty popular when employment reached its peak).

As for the president's job, as chris noted, nobody made george bush claim that his 2003 tax cuts, in conjunction with his earlier tax cuts, would produce 5.5M new jobs between July 1, 2003 and December 30, 2004. I guess you ought to discuss his failure to understand his job with him.

Meanwhile, it is the president's job to oversee economic policy-making, and, as many of us pointed out at the time, there were definitely more stimulative approaches (like any one you could name!) to job creation than the one he selected.

RWV, i should listen to Chris, so i'll just suggest that you stop pretending that every country figures its unemployment the same way (or treats its unemployed the same way). YOu could, for instance, stir yourself to look at andrew's 1:09 posting, although, admittedly, that would require your allowing facts into your hermetically sealed world view.

Andrew, i agree that structural changes are occurring in the US economy that are beyond Bush's control, but what was in his control was the policy mix, and he (as i'm sure you realize) made (unsurprisingly) the wrong choice.

Posted by: howard at February 9, 2004 02:06 PM | PERMALINK

What we're seeing taking place now is no different than when the buggy whip factories were shutdown 100 years ago. Sucks if you're one of the displaced, no doubt about it.

I seem to recall Mr. Perot talking about that "giant sucking sound" back in '92. These trends have been underway for a long time. The dotcom bubble was just a temporary respite.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 9, 2004 02:09 PM | PERMALINK

Goodness, gracious, right-wing vegetarian, there is just no limit to your know-nothingism.

Just how many jobs do you think the dot-com bubble created?

As i've said several times, you are simply wrong - just plain flat out wrong - when you think the dot-com bubble had much of anything to do with either the strong economy of the '90s or the recession and slow-growth of the '00s.

Change happens all the time: the virtue of market systems is that they are better suited to evolve with structural changes than centralized systems. But it helps when the person in charge of the rules for the market economy has an actual interest in doing the right thing in terms of policy.

George Bush didn't, doesn't, and most likely never will. That's why he keeps lying about jobs.

Posted by: howard at February 9, 2004 02:55 PM | PERMALINK

Both surveys show bad labor market performance. This is documented in Friday's EPI jobs report here.

A 5.6 unemployment rate is awful, if you've been spoiled to expect that 4.0 is possible. Now we know that it is. In the 2000 it got as low as 3.9. Employing that last few million helped wages to rise across the board.

It's true that Euro unemployment rates are calculated differently. This was documented in "Beware the U.S. Model," another EPI publication. With comparable measures, the Euro rates are closer to the U.S., though still somewhat higher.

It's true the financial markets are back up to bubble-era proportions. Heads up.

Posted by: Max B. Sawicky at February 9, 2004 04:25 PM | PERMALINK

Bush '04: Sucks that you're one of the displaced!

Bush '04: Frontin' prosperity!

Posted by: Paul at February 9, 2004 05:21 PM | PERMALINK
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