Friday, February 12, 2016

Lying With Statistics...



From my buddy's blog: The Intellectual Conservative


*  *  *

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released the national employment situation showing the unemployment rate to be 4.9% as of January 2016, a drop of .1% from December 2015. For the same one-month period, non-farm payroll employment increased by 151,000.

* U6 IS CURRENTLY RUNNING 9.9% - AND THAT'S UNDERSTATED - NOT TRULY REFLECTIVE OF WHAT THE REALITY REALLY MEANS TO FAR TOO MANY OF OUR FELLOW CITIZENS.

After six years of sluggish recovery from the severe recession of 2007-09, Obama immediately trumpeted the latest BLS release and spoke of the causal success of his policies.

On the surface those statistics seem laudable. But how do those statistics square with reality and, in contrast, how do they compare to the recovery after the last severe recession; that of 1980-82?

* WELL... FIRST OF ALL... ALMOST ALL OF THE "GROWTH" IN EMPLOYMENT WENT TO LEGAL/ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS/INVADERS.

(*SMIRK*)

Ronald Reagan became president in 1981 and faced a bad recession early in his presidency. Barack Obama became president in 2009 during a bad recession which continued through the early part of his presidency (even though many feel that the 2007-09 recession continued to linger for years after it was officially declared over).

* IT NEVER ENDED! (THANK GOD FOR THE CURRENT RELATIVELY LOW FUEL PRICES!)

Reagan’s approach to countering economic recessions and helping create an environment for job growth was very different from that of Barack Obama.

Reagan re-initiated basic capitalist principles by cutting taxes and easing regulations; while Obama advanced progressive doctrines and instigated stealthy taxes (like the twenty new or higher taxes imbedded in the healthcare legislation, aka ObamaCare), and continued adding hundreds of thousands of pages in new regulations.

We are now at a time roughly six years after the 2007-09 recession officially ended. Let’s take the job growth data during the past six years and that of the same six-year period following the 1980-82 recession and see how they compare:

Reagan’s job growth for the 73 months after the 1980-82 recession showed an increase in absolute numbers of 18.4 million. That was very near 5 million more jobs than Obama in terms of absolute numbers.

However, it is important to acknowledge that the Reagan cumulative number occurred during a time when the total work force was much smaller – some 25% smaller than now. That means... Reagan’s job growth was much more significant than even the greater 5 million raw number would indicate!

* YEP!

After "normalizing" for the size of the work force, the Reagan 73 month recovery, then, shows a whopping increase of 23 million equivalent jobs.

The Obama "job recovery" barely kept up with the number of new entrants into the work force, and was below it for the first three years after the recession.

Contrast Obama’s line to that of Reagan’s. Reagan’s job recovery was strong almost immediately. In fact, just a few months after the recession ended, 1.1 million jobs (absolute number) were added for a single month in September 1983. That eclipsed anything Obama could claim during the comparable recovery period even with Obama’s much larger total population and available labor force with which to work.

Subsequent to any economic recession it’s no stretch to expect that job growth should exceed the bare minimum needed to keep pace with new entrants. In fact, we might define ‘real’ growth as anything greater than that minimum. Obama’s six year cumulative growth resulted in a relatively small number of jobs created beyond that needed to satisfy the number of new entrants.

In contrast, the Reagan job recovery was a huge 550% stronger than the Obama job recovery in terms of numbers greater than the minimum needed to keep pace with new entrants. We can call that the ‘real’ job growth story; Obama’s growth barely kept pace, while Reagan’s growth blew away the numbers.

As mentioned above, the BLS reported the much heralded 4.9% unemployment rate (known as U-3) in its latest release. That is the ‘official’ rate and the rate repeated by Obama and the media, even though the BLS also tallies another number known as U-6 that many regard as a truer picture of unemployment. The U-6 percentage, which began being kept in 1994, includes ‘marginally attached’ and those persons working part time because a full time job is not available. More than double the official unemployment percentage, the U-6 percentage was reported at 9.9% in January 2016.

* YEP. JUST AS I NOTED ABOVE INITIALLY.

That’s a large number of people still unemployed or underemployed.

(Also... that percentage was based on ‘seasonal adjustments’ while the unmassaged or raw percentage for January 2016 was 10.5%.)

Other than the U-6 being at times a politically pesky, yet more accurate, job statistic, there is another statistic that frustrates the singular unemployment number touted by Obama (and politicians generally). That statistic is the labor participation rate. That rate captures the number of persons employed and unemployed (the labor force) relative to the total population (civilian non-institutional, 16 years of age and older). A rising percentage indicates a larger labor force relative to the population; a declining percentage indicates a smaller labor force.

Following an economic recession, a declining unemployment rate with a simultaneously increasing participation rate would indicate a stronger job-growth recovery. So, let’s consider and contrast the two recoveries we’re reviewing:

During Obama’s job recovery, the labor participation rate had a declining trend: about 66% immediately before the 2007-09 recession, to about 62.7% about six years after the recession officially ended. That occurred while the unemployment rate was also dropping.

(While some suggest that the declining participation rate is attributable to larger numbers of retirees dropping out of the labor market, the actual statistical impact of that age group is minute as it affects the participation rate overall as reported by Forbes.)

The declining participation rate was more indicative of large numbers of people not entering the labor market and/or leaving the labor market altogether (both likely due to lackluster job prospects overall). The combination of the decreasing labor participation rate and the simultaneously decreasing unemployment rate is not what is identified above as being a strong job-growth recovery. In fact, it could indicate a nullification of any job growth at all; while, at best, it indicates a very lethargic job recovery.

* YEP...

During Reagan’s job recovery the labor participation rate had an upward trend: about 64% right before the 1980-82 recession, to about 66.5% about six years after the recession ended.

(*STANDING OVATION*)

That upward trending participation rate occurred while the unemployment rate was declining.

(That is exactly the right combination indicative of a strong job recovery!)

Job growth after the recent recession is a testament to the strength and resilience of American businessmen and businesswomen, and to the capitalistic will of the American people in general, not to Obama’s policies as he would have us believe.

Those businesspersons managed to overcome the Obama excesses of big government, high taxes and mountains of regulations to add sufficient jobs to keep pace with the growth in population (new entrants into the job market) and eke out small additional growth, according to the government’s monthly data for non-farm payroll employment.

* AGAIN... FOLKS... JOBS GOING NOT TO AMERICAN CITIZENS BUT TO LEGAL AND ILLEGAL ALIENS...

(*SIGH*)

...AIN'T NOTHING TO BRAG ABOUT.

(*PURSED LIPS*)

What we term real growth during that recovery period, however, was held to extremely mediocre gains because of Obama’s progressive, oppressive policies. In doing the math, Obama’s six-year cumulative job growth greater than what kept pace with new entrants was a puny .27% average annual rate.

* AND THAT'S THE "HAPPY VIEW."

Why should Americans settle for the new paradigm of such trivial growth that the policies of Obama and his progressive/Keynesian economists will continue to induce?

Reagan proved that the capitalistic combination of lower taxes and modest regulations is the spark needed to generate an environment for robust job growth. We need that Reagan-capitalist spark now.


Bill and the Great Coup Attempt of 1979


I'm sitting here blogging and listening to Rush, and Rush is talking about how the Democrats don't care about immigrants... what they care about is immigrant votes going to Democrats once the immigrants are granted citizenship. (And often before...)

Rush is right of course...

Listening reminds me of my (aborted) coup attempt to take over the presidency of our high school debate club back in my junior year...

(*GUFFAW*)

 What I did was...

(*STILL LAUGHING*)

I tried to pack the voter pool.

There were no bylaws actually defining who a "member" of the club was; no actual "acceptance" or "rejection" policy for membership...

(*STILL FRIGGIN' LAUGHING*)

So I just grabbed a few "general" friends and asked them to show up for the vote and vote for me!

I won...

(*PREENING*)

But the club adviser nullified (illegally!) (*GRIN*) the vote and so a senior was elected... by one vote.

(*GNASHING MY TEETH AT THE MEMORY*)

(*NOW GRINNING*)

Anyway... I got to be president the next year... my senior year... so all's well that ended well.

Just... sharing a typical "Bill" story.

(*WINK*)

 

Rush on Ted Cruz... Me on Rush



And heeeere's... RUSH!

*  *  *

Maybe I'm wrong about this, but Cruz doesn't seem to need the help.

He's so competent on his own.

It almost seems like maybe really what's happening is you don't need to do anything for him. He stands on his own. You know what he stands for. We have video.

You go to YouTube and listen to him speak. Though there's a few things he did that I disagreed with, that I don't consider conservative - a few decisions he made - [but] in the end, you know, he's the closest to Reagan I've ever seen. 

* YEP. THAT'S IT!

I've never seen anybody like him before, you know, in our time. It seems like everybody else is like McCain. I mean, in the last two cycles I had to vote... I had to hold my nose when I voted.

* I HEAR YA, RUSH! I WOULDN'T VOTE FOR MCCAIN - I WROTE IN BOB BARR; AND WHILE I DID VOTE FOR ROMNEY... OUT OF DESPERATION... (LIKE YOU) I HAD TO HOLD MY NOSE. (AND TAKE A SHOWER AFTER RETURNING HOME FROM VOTING!)

When I saw what Jeb and Kasich were doing in New Hampshire at the last minute in order to get votes...

* YEP...

(*SIGH*)

They were going left as fast as Deion Sanders can backpedal. 

They were moving left faster than anybody I've ever seen go left. 

* YEP...

(*NODDING*)

And I opened the program yesterday saying, "You will never, ever have to worry about that with Ted Cruz." 

And then I expanded on it. Let me say one thing: If conservatism is your bag, if conservatism is the dominating factor in how you vote, there is no other choice for you in this campaign than Ted Cruz, because you are exactly right - this is the closest in our lifetimes we have ever been to Ronald Reagan.

(*NOD*)

In terms of doctrinaire, understandable, articulated, implementable conservatism, there's nobody closer. But I think the electorate at this point in time... If you look at Trump's coalition, there's a lot of assumptions being made about it, because he's running as a Republican and in the Republican primary, and it's assumed the Republican base is who's voting here. Therefore, it's assumed the majority of Trump's coalition's conservatives. And there are a lot! But he's broad. He's all over the spectrum. 

Look, I'm sounding like a broken record, but it's important to point out Trump has put together - whether by accident or by design - the coalition, group of people, demographics, ethnics, however you want to divide it and add it up... he's put together a group of people the Republican Party has been claiming for years that they have to get in order to win!

And... [many Republicans now say they] don't want to any part of it. 

(*SNORTING WHILE NODDING*)

* YEP! COGNITIVE DISSONANCE!

So it obviously isn't about that. [It's not about expanding the base.] This is a club. This is about self-preservation. This is the ruling class trying to hold on!

* YEP...!!!

This is the ruling class practicing their exclusionary policies of not letting outsiders in. That's appealing to a lot of people about Trump. 

* MEANING THE MORE THE "RULING CLASS" RAILS AGAINST TRUMP, THE MORE REGULAR FOLKS SAY "GO! TRUMP! GO!"

But if you wanna talk conservatism, let me mention something that happened in the last debate. Rubio...

* THAT P.O.S.

...was asked a question: "Can you define conservatism, what is it?" 

And he defined it and ... he gave a superb answer when asked to explain or define conservatism. Cruz did not get the question. They didn't let the question last long enough for all of the candidates to get it, but Trump did. And Trump's definition of conservatism was not an ideological definition of conservatism. My point all along, one of my theories was demonstrated. Trump is not an ideological candidate.

Trump's not a Republican; he's not a Democrat. 

Trump's running as a Republican, but he's way beyond any of this. His definition of conservatism was we're gonna conserve. We're gonna conserve our money. We're gonna conserve our whatever. In his world conservatism meant we're gonna save our good stuff, we're gonna save our assets, we're not gonna waste, we're not gonna throw things away, so forth and so on.

Donald Trump - and I've never said otherwise - Donald Trump is not an ideological candidate. He doesn't look, for example, at Chuck Schumer and see a screaming liberal. And, by the same token, he doesn't look at Ted Cruz and see a screaming conservative. He sees people in entirely different ways. He looks at them in different ways. From his way of doing business, he looks at Schumer - and I'd have to guess, I don't know, but he knows Schumer's a Democrat, but that doesn't matter. Is there something Schumer's good for as far as Trump's concerned? If there is, fine. "Hi, Chuck.  How you doing?" If there's not, "Chuck, don't bug me." The fact that Chuck may be a screaming leftist, none of that matters. But he's that way with everybody. That's why Trump's circle of friends and associates are all over the place.

He's not the only one. I mean, most people are not ideological in the way they look at things. This has been one of my major complaints, actually, in politics. I think it'd help if more people did understand liberalism and did understand what that means and were able to understand why it is liberalism that explains all this misery now.

* MY ONLY QUIBBLE WITH RUSH HERE: IT'S NOT TRUE "LIBERALISM." IT'S "PROGRESSIVE" - i.e. "LEFT."

But in Trump's world it's not liberalism, although it is. In Trump's world, it's they're just a bunch of incompetent failures. They're a bunch of time-wasting lumps of humanity that have no business doing what they're doing because they're losers.

(*NOD*)

Most people live their lives that way. Most people do not run around and go to church and look over in the pews, "Yeah, yeah, there's the so-and-so family, a bunch of commie bastard liberals," they don't say that.

Now, it could be that the same people will go to church and see the so-and-so family, "Yeah, those people are so right wing," and that's a branding thing, which we've also discussed here on this program; things that conservatism, i.e. Republican Party needs to overcome... problems.

* I BELIEVE WHAT RUSH IS GETTING AT HERE IS THAT THE GOP HAS TARNISHED TRUE CONSERVATISM VIA BEING MORE "CRONY CAPITALST" THAN TRUE CAPITALIST... BY BEING MORE "MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX" THAN "AMERICA FIRST"... BY BEING MORE "WALL STREET" THAN "MAIN STREET."

But for those of you that conservatism's the answer and conservatism is the way, you have no choice here. Ted Cruz has got to be your guy. There's nobody even close. Nobody!

Now, look, Rubio people, don't get mad at me. He's a conservative. I said it earlier. I'm not taking it back.

* BUT YOU SHOULD; TAKE IT BACK, THAT IS!

* RUBIO IS AN OPPORTUNIST. HE'S A "RUBIOIST." (AND THAT AIN'T GOOD!)

* CLEARLY, FOLKS... ON RUBIO... RUSH AND I DISAGREE. (THOUGH I'D BE CURIOUS TO SEE HOW A ONE-ON-ONE DISCUSSION ON THE TOPIC WOULD EVOLVE IF RUSH AND I WERE TO TALK IT OVER MAN TO MAN.)

(*WINK*)

If Rubio had done well, the establishment's gonna try to glom on and claim credit and get behind Rubio, it's gonna be a problem for some conservatives, and... Cruz does not have the baggage of having the establishment behind him. That's all I meant by that.

* SEE WHAT I MEAN, FOLKS? IN ONE BREATH RUSH SAYS HE BELIEVES RUBIO IS A CONSERVATIVE... YET IN THE NEXT... HE THROWS IN THAT HE ALSO BELIEVES RUBIO IS THE ESTABLISHMENT'S IDEA OF A "CONSERVATIVE." (WHILE NOTING CRUZ ISN'T.)

* FOLKS... AREN'T THE GOP "CONSERVATIVE" ESTABLISHMENT TYPES THE ONES WHO HAVE DESTROYED THE GOP FROM WITHIN AS A PARTY OF PRINCIPLE? (RHETORICAL QUESTION - CLEARLY THE ANSWER IS "YES!")

The reason why many conservatives think it's got to be Ted Cruz and we've got to be conservative, is because liberalism is the reason we're in this mess. We're not in this mess because of incompetence. We're in this mess because of liberalism. And there is an antidote to liberalism, there is a cure, there is a vaccine...

It's called conservatism.

(*NODDING*)

Conservatism is what's gonna have to be implemented here to reverse the direction we're headed. That's why people who are supporting Cruz are supporting Cruz. That's why conservatives get worried when other conservatives do not support a conservative, because the problems we have are directly traceable to liberalism, and the antidote, the cure, the vaccine, the nuclear device to wipe it out... is conservatism.