Posts Tagged ‘1983’

Misery Index HIGHEST EVER, Hiring Only 70% Of 2006 Levels, And Boy Do We Ever Need A New President

May 16, 2011

Economics statistics are well on their way to becoming a Department in the 1984-style “Ministry of Truth.”

We start with misery, and the real apples-to-apples misery index that we can compare to the misrule of Jimmy Carter.  From Economic Policy Journal:

John Williams, over at Shadow Stats, compiles economic data for inflation and unemployment the way it used to be calculated pre-1990. Based on that data, the CPI inflation rate is over 10%, and the unemployment rate is over 15% (see charts). The Misery Index is the sum of the current inflation rate and the unemployment rate.  If it were to be calculated using the older methods, the Index would now be over 25, a record high. It surpasses the old index high of 21.98, which occurred in June 1980, when Jimmy Carter was president. Most believe the height of the Index along with the Iranian hostage crisis is what caused Carter to lose his re-election bid.

 

 

Using current calculation methods, April unemployment came in at 9.0% and the annualized April CPI number came in at 4.8%, for a Misery Index reading of 13.8.

The last time the Index came in with a higher reading with this index reading was in March 1983, with a reading of 13.90.

Ronald Reagan, of course, was president in 1983.  Reagan had a monster that Jimmy Carter largely created called out-of-control inflation.

As I previously explained:

The numbers told the sad story of the Jimmy Carter presidency: interest rates of 21%; inflation at 13.5%, and an unemployment rate of 7%.  And a relatively new economic device called “the misery index” – the combination of the unemployment and inflation rates which Carter had himself used to great effect in his 1976 campaign to win election – was at a shocking 20.5%.

And those who went through those dark and difficult times may soon be looking back to that period as “the good old days.”

Welcome back, Carter.

When Ronald Reagan took office from Jimmy Carter, inflation was at a meteoric 13.3% and the country was in the throes of a fierce recession. There was a real question as to whether workers’ wages would keep up with the costs of living, which made people afraid to either spend or save. And nobody knew how to control inflation – which had risen from 1.4% in 1960 to the aforementioned 13.3% in 1980 – causing a real erosion of confidence in the future. Jimmy Carter answered a reporter’s question as to what he would do about the problem of inflation by answering, “It would be misleading for me to tell any of you that there is a solution to it.”

But Ronald Reagan had a solution.  And by the time he left office, he had solved the problem of creeping inflation increases and had actually reversed the trend: he left behind a healthy inflation rate of 4.1%.

Reagan’s policies set the trajectory for growth that would last for 20 years.

Jimmy Carter didn’t have an answer for the economy, so he just made it worse and worse and WORSE.  Reagan had an answer.  He not only made it better; he established a trajectory of economic success.

And of course, we’re heading right back to that time of shocking inflation.  The cost of EVERYTHING is going up.  And there is absolutely no indication whatsoever that Barack Obama has an answer that is working.  Which is only going to make the pain last longer and the solution more difficult.  Presuming there is another Reagan waiting in the wings for that time when the American people overwhelmingly abandon Democrats and revile them for the failures that they are and basically always have been.

So what does the mainstream media do with that?

They create the propaganda that somehow Obama is a new Reagan, despite the fact that Obama reviles everything Reagan stood for, just as Reagan would have reviled everything Obama stands for.

Then there’s the enemployment beast.  How’s THAT hope and change working out for you?

Here’s some new news about hopey changey from the Wall Street Journal:

 MAY 16, 2011
Why the Job Market Feels So Dismal
The number of hires is the same today as it was when we were shedding jobs at record rates.
By EDWARD P. LAZEAR

Why don’t American workers feel that the labor market is on the mend? After all, the May 6 jobs report could suggest that the labor market is improving. Nonfarm employment rose by 244,000 and employment growth over the last three months is averaging over 200,000 per month. With unemployment at 9%, employment is still down many millions from where it should be, but up from its recession lows.

The fact is the jobs numbers that create so much anticipation from the business press and so many pundit pronouncements do not give a clear picture of the labor market’s health.  A better understanding requires an examination of hires and separations, or what the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data. Here are some surprising facts:

First, the increase in job growth that occurred over the past two years results from a decline in the number of layoffs, not from increased hiring. In February 2009, a month during which the labor market lost more than 700,000 jobs, employers hired four million workers. In March 2011, employers hired four million workers. The number of hires is the same today as it was when we were shedding jobs at record rates.

We added jobs because hires exceeded separations, not because hiring increased. There were 4.7 million separations in February 2009. In March 2011 that number had fallen to 3.8 million. The fall in separations reflects a decline in layoffs, which went from 2.5 million per month in February 2009 to 1.6 million per month in March 2011. One small piece of good news is that the just-released April data showed hires up about 2% over last year’s average and 12% above the low reached in January 2010.

The decline in layoffs is not unexpected and does not necessarily reflect labor-market health. Layoffs tend to occur early in a recession. When an economy has reached bottom and has already shed much of its labor, layoffs slow. But that doesn’t mean that the labor force is recovering. We could have high unemployment and a stagnant labor force even when layoffs are low. Isn’t the fact that hires exceed separations indicative of a healthy labor market? Unfortunately, no.

At any point in the business cycle, even during a recession, American firms still hire a huge number of workers. That’s because most of the action in the labor market reflects “churn,” the continual process of replacing workers, not net expansion or contraction of employment. The lowest number hired in any month of the current recession was 3.6 million workers. Even during the dismal year of 2009 there were more than 45 million hires.

Bear in mind that the U.S. labor force has more than 150 million workers or job seekers. In a typical year, about one-third or more of the work force turns over, leaving their old jobs to take new ones. When the labor market creates 200,000 jobs, it is because five million are hired and 4.8 million are separated, not because there were 200,000 hires and no job losses. When we’re talking about numbers as large as five million, the net of 200,000 is small and may reflect minor, month-to-month variations in the number of hires or separations.

The third fact puts this in perspective. In a healthy labor market like the one that prevailed in 2006 and early 2007, American firms hire about 5.5 million workers per month. Recall that the current number of hires is four million and it has not moved much from where it was two years ago. The labor market does not feel like it is expanding if hiring is not occurring at a recovery-level pace—and that means at least a half million more hires per month than we are seeing now.

The combination of low hiring and a large stock of unemployed workers, now 13.7 million, means that the competition for jobs is fierce. Because there are now many more unemployed workers, and because hiring is only about 70% of 2006 levels, a worker is about one-third as likely to find a job today as he or she was in 2006. It is no wonder that workers do not feel that the labor market has recovered.

One final fact is worth noting. Healthy labor markets are characterized not only by high levels of hiring, but also by high levels of separations. Although it is true that the importance of quits relative to layoffs rises during good times, even the number of layoffs was greater in the strong labor market of 2006-07 than it is now. No one would suggest that layoffs are good for workers, but what is good is a fluid labor market, where workers and firms constantly seek to produce better products and to find more efficient ways to produce them. High labor market churn is a characteristic of a strong economy. It generally means that workers are moving to better jobs in growing sectors that pay higher wages and away from declining sectors that pay lower wages.

Allowing maximum flexibility encourages fluidity and means that employers are willing to hire workers who lose their jobs elsewhere. Many European countries have restricted mobility by imposing severance pay penalties on employers that lay workers off. More than reducing layoffs, these rigidities make employers reluctant to hire because of the penalties that they will later incur if a layoff is necessary. Such restrictions are in large part responsible for the chronically high rates of unemployment that have been prevalent in many European countries.

The prescription for the American labor market is simple: low taxes on capital investment, avoidance of excessively burdensome regulation, and open markets here and abroad. We must create a climate in which investment is profitable, productivity is rising, and employers find it profitable to increase their hiring rate. These are the mantras that economists have chanted in the past. But they are our best bet for ensuring a dynamic and growing labor market.

Mr. Lazear, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2006-2009, is a professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and a Hoover Institution fellow

Wait a minute.  What was that one sentence again?

Because there are now many more unemployed workers, and because hiring is only about 70% of 2006 levels, a worker is about one-third as likely to find a job today as he or she was in 2006.

Yeah, but George Bush was bad by mainstream media propagandist definition, and Obama is good by the same standard.

If you want welfare, vote for Obama.  You’ll get it until United States of America implodes into a failed banana republic.  And then you’ll get the Marxist-fascist hybrid the left has been dreaming of for the last fifty years.  You want a job?  Vote for a conservative Republican.

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Rush Limbaugh Discusses Ronald Reagan And Demonstrates Why Liberals Must Be Defeated Rather Than Reasoned With

February 8, 2011

I thought this was a very interesting discussion.  Here’s the transcript of it, with the response that I found most significant in bold font:

CALLER:  Hi, Rush.  I, um… I’m calling because… Well, first of all, I’m a liberal, and I seriously don’t understand this, uh, Reagan idolatry on behalf of conservatives.  I’ll get… I’ll give you my reasons.  Instead of privatizing Social Security, he raised taxes. We’re all paying higher taxes today out of our paychecks every single week because he decided to save Social Security.  He —

RUSH:  Wait, wait.  Hold it.  I need to go…

CALLER: (speaking rapidly)
 
 
RUSH: Wait. Jeez.

CALLER:  The Greenspan Commission.  He signed it into law, and it raised taxes on Social Security.

RUSH:  What…? Wait, you’re talking about Reagan or Clinton?

CALLER:  I’m talking about Reagan.  Reagan did that.  He raised taxes on Social Security.  He negotiated with terrorists, sending — over and over again — arms to Iran in exchange for hostages; by contrast Jimmy Carter didn’t give an inch to the Iranians.

RUSH:  What in the world…?

CALLER:  Not an inch.  Instead Reagan (crosstalk)

RUSH:  Testing the true depth of my politeness here on this call, folks.

CALLER:  Say that again?

RUSH:  Let me ask you a question.  What do you think, given all this that you believe, when you hear Obama and the Democrats cite Reagan as they have been doing since about a week before the State of the Union?

CALLER:  It’s funny you ask that.  Because as a liberal I think Obama owes his presidency to Reagan.  They’re both kinda stuffed suits that say one thing and then do another.  Obama hasn’t been anywhere near liberal enough for me.  He said he’d close Guantamano (sic), he hasn’t done that.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: He said he’d help people out with foreclosures, he hasn’t done that.

RUSH:  I feel for you on that.

CALLER:  But Reagan, I mean, amnesty to people who are breaking the law and living in the country illegally. He said, “Forget about it. Stay here forever.” He cut and ran from Lebanon. How many hundreds of Marines were killed —

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: — and he just decided, “Well, you know, instead of the fighting the bad guys I’m gonna run away”?

RUSH:  Yeah.

CALLER:  Why is Reagan a hero to conservatives?

RUSH:  “Why is Reagan a hero to conservatives?”  I don’t think you… Given what you’ve said, and I’m not trying to avoid the question, I don’t think you’d ever understand it.

CALLER:  Well, he’s a tax raiser, an amnesty giver, a cut-and-runner, and he negotiated with terrorists.  Why is he a hero to conservatives?  I don’t think you understand it.

RUSH:  No, I do. Most assuredly I do.  I just don’t think that you would understand it.  Where did you get this silly notion that Reagan raised taxes on Social Security?  What websites do you read?  Where did you pick that up?

CALLER:  Look up the Greenspan Commission.  It’s not too hard to find.  I mean, it’s a matter of history.

RUSH:  Where did you get it?  I mean, you’re asking me questions.  I’m just reversing one on you here.

CALLER:  I’m sorry.  It’s just general knowledge.  It’s something I’ve known for a long time. I can’t remember where I got it from.

RUSH: You can’t remember? You’ve never heard of a website called Media Matters which highlighted it yesterday?

CALLER: (static) Oh, no. I know Media Matters very well but that’s not where I got it.

RUSH: Oh, not where you got it. It’s an amazing coincidence.

CALLER: (static) I mean, I’m a liberal.  Of course I know Media Matters.

RUSH:  Amazing coincidence out there.

CALLER: (static blaring) They’re a fantastic website.  But why are you dodging the question?  I want to know why a tax-raising, amnesty-giving, cut-and-running, negotiating-with-terrorists guy is a hero to the conservative movement.

RUSH:  Well, because you understand Reagan in a way that is flawed. You —

CALLER: (static)

RUSH: Your call is actually kinda interesting because you represent the impossibility of “bridging the gap.”  Somebody like you just has to be defeated.  There’s no crossing the aisle and finding common ground with you.  You’re free to be who you are, don’t misunderstand.  I’m not trying to be insulting. I’m just saying, you are unreachable. You don’t want to be reached.  This picture of Reagan, you’ve just described somebody you should love, and you hate him! You just described somebody you should absolutely love, all these things. He’s an anti-conservative, as you say, but you don’t love him. You’re having trouble understanding why he’s viewed as heroic to a lot of people. 

I could talk to you about anti-communism. I could. You want to talk about amnesty? Yeah, that was Simpson-Mazzoli, and that was one-and-a-half, two million illegals; and he was told, “Okay, if we’re gonna do this, this is it, then. We’re gonna secure the borders and that’s it.”  It’s the same thing with every tax increase he signed. It was also accompanied by promises to cut spending, and it never happened.  Reagan’s not perfect.  Nobody is.  But I think the proof of Reagan is the fact that when your guys get in trouble, who do they seek to associate themselves with?  Remember, Obama and these people are all about getting votes. 

The fact that he’s trying to surround himself with Reagan, the fact that he’s trying to position himself with Reagan is the best indication anybody could have of what this country really thinks of Ronaldus Magnus.  I think if you want to focus in on hypocrisy, you’ve got far more of it on your side of the aisle to explain and dig through than we do.  Reagan was forced to raise payroll taxes by a crisis in Social Security in 1983. He endorsed that rescue plan that was written by Alan Greenspan. It was reluctant.  He was not a big supporter of that.  Remember, Reagan did not have a congressional majority with him.

Everything he got, the tax cuts, he had Democrats outnumbering him in the House and Senate everywhere.  There were certain realities that he faced.  But the biggest tax increase on Social Security was authored by none other than Bill Clinton.  But did you understand the notion? Ronald Reagan fought for America.  He loved America.  He feared where the left, based on history, wanted to take the country.  Ronald Reagan set the stage for the end of the Cold War.  Ronald Reagan defeated Soviet communism without firing a shot.  I don’t know… But none of that would matter.  So you, sir, a nice individual, I’m sure you’re a fine guy (probably not too much fun at a ball game, unlike Bill Clinton), but still, you illustrate that people like you just have to be defeated, not met halfway and gotten along with.  I mean politically.

Rush is entirely correct here.  You can’t have a rational or meaningful discussion with people like this liberal caller.  You can only defeat them and render them powerless politically.

You can’t have an honest conversation with a dishonest person. There is simply no point.  They won’t tell you what’s really on their heart and mind; they merely constantly employ rhetorical games that mean nothing and go nowhere.  In the case of Rush’s caller, you had a man who simply spoke lies about Ronald Reagan.  If he had actually believed any of his own crap, he would have LOVED Reagan, as Rush pointed out.

I remember a discussion I had with a liberal on an article I wrote about the tax cuts.  An individual who called himself “michael” wrote and said:

I am at work right now but i just read this article and it is the funniest thing i have ever read. no hate intended but it looks like it was written by someone who read someone elses work and is trying to claim their opinion as his or her own

Well, this individual dismisses my work as having been plagerized.  That certainly wasn’t true.  I wrote every word that I didn’t directly cite as a quote and legitimately sourced every citation as having been quoted.  But after a little dicussion this same liberal writes another comment that supposedly puts me in m place.  Among other huge problems with this comment was the fact that my former professor’s nose smelled a rat.  Basically, the tone of the two writers didn’t match one another.  I googled part of the diatribe, and sure enough, discovered that the selfsame liberal who falsely accused me of plagerizing had actually completely plagerized his rebuttal to me.

After exposing his dishonesty, I said:

You are not an honest person, Michael. And there is no point having a discussion with a liar. Because the truth and the facts don’t matter to a liar. And someone like you can and will say anything and claim lies as fact.

And I’m not going to waste my time with you.

And that’s where we’re at.  There’s no “bridging the gap” with liberals.  There’s no rational dialogue.  They have a warped and depraved worldview, which means they cannot even possibly understand the world as it really is (i.e., from the “God’s-eye view”), and then, to make it even worse, far too few of them are personally honest enough to have a meaningful discussion involving facts and truth because dishonest people will simply invent “facts” and surround themselves in lies.

Rush ultimately informs the audience that Reagan basically NEVER had Republican control of Congress throughout his entire presidency.  The House of Representatives, which controls spending, was under complete Democrat control for every single year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency (with first Tip O’Neil and then Jim Wright serving as Democrat Speakers of the House).  As for the Senate, it was also under Democrat control for part of Reagan’s presidency; and Reagan NEVER had a strong majority there.  So the caller was not depicting events honestly: it wasn’t like Reagan realized his policies were failing and raised taxes.  Rather, Reagan had to constantly negotiate and compromise with Democrats in control of the Congress – particularly the House – and was forced to make concessions to get other things he wanted.

Furthermore, this caller who plagued Rush was little different from the blogger who plagued me.  He passed off liberal talking points as his own thoughts.  It turns out that this caller was merely regurgitating crap that was flying out of the mouths of the vomitous left.  You can see a conservative response to these slime attacks on Reagan here.

So let me quote that article’s response to the liberal’s charge that Reagan gave illegal’s amnesty:

The Democrat leadership in Congress promised to enact strict enforcement measures as a trade for a one-time amnesty deal. In an effort to control the border, Reagan went along with the deal.  At the time (1986), the measures were marketed by Democrats as as being able to stop illegal immigration. Ted Kennedy himself sold the enforcement clauses of the law as strong enough to ensure that only a one-time amnesty would be needed. But, as is their standard practice, Democrats lied about sealing the border.

Which not only shows that Reagan most certainly did NOT say, “Forget about it. Stay here forever,” as the caller deceitfully claims, but in fact goes back to the now documented proof that liberals are liars who cannot be trusted and cannot be bargained with or reasoned with.

The caller describes Reagan as running from Lebanon with his tail between his legs.  Which is actually funny, given the fact that Democrats at the time demanded that Reagan immediately pull out of Lebanon after the Beirut bombing that killed 241 Marines.  Nobody on the left was demanding we attack Lebanon.

I have my own perspective on that.

Reagan’s pullout from Lebanon bothered me greatly at the time.  But I realize the Reagan’s wisdom now.  He was already in the process of fighting and defeating the Soviet Union – the largest military power on earth – and he saw the folly of getting America into another war against a different ideology and another limitless enemy at the same time.  If you were in the infantry in the 1980s, you knew that we were preparing for some potentially imminent conflagration; and we would be pouring in to Western Europe to fight a defensive war against a Soviet invasion.  Ronald Reagan wisely chose to stay the course in facing and defeating the Soviet Union, and allow the Islamic threat to remain for another day when the Russian threat was gone.  Just imagine how much the Russians would have loved it to be able to supply millions of death-happy Muslims and watch us bleed from the sidelines in an endless proxy war?  Which is to say that the caller not only misrepresents what in actual fact happened – making him a liar – but also argues that Reagan should have fought two civilizational wars simultaneously, making him a complete fool.

When Democrats routinely pursue such deceit, it becomes pointless to argue with them.  It boils down to the Mark Twain wisdom of, “Never argue with a fool.  People won’t be able to tell the difference.”  Try to reason with those independents who are capable of “bridging the gap,” as Rush Limbaugh put it.  Argue with people who might change their minds.  Argue with people who won’t play a neverending tune of rhetorical garbage.  Argue with people who won’t constantly rely on lies.

And just defeat liberals.  Because defeat is the only reality that they are capable of understanding.