Video: “It’s a permanent unemployed level”

posted at 12:01 pm on April 5, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Via Daniel Halper at The Weekly Standard, CNBC’s Jim Cramer dimly sees that today’s jobs report isn’t about the sequester or the end of the payroll tax cut.

“Look, I’m struggling here,” said Cramer. “I’m struggling to find anything good about it. I’m trying to figure out exactly how worried we were three, four weeks ago. The president was on TV pretty regularly saying that look, there’s going to paralysis in the country. We did believe that sequester could shut down this country. Maybe it’s under that guise that we got this terrible number. But it is a terrible number. It’s really kind of amazing that–frankly, it looks like it’s a permanent unemployed level.”

This is what I was arguing in my column this week for The Fiscal Times as well.  We are not building an economy that will put America back to work; we are building an economy that will send more Americans into poverty, and already have.  Over a four year period, we have created one job for every 100 Americans that fell into poverty:

Besides the aforementioned stagnation at the 32-year low in civilian workforce participation, an enormous expansion of aid has now doubled food-stamp and disability rolls in twelve years to 59 million people, nearly one in every five Americans, Stockman points out.  Food stamp rolls alone have increased 70 percent since the end of 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported separately last week.  It now stands at a record high of 47.8 million Americans.

The WSJ blames easing of access rules for part of that expansion, but that doesn’t entirely explain the increase.  Neither does fraud, although that’s growing faster than the food-stamp rolls themselves.  The main driver for expansion of food stamp recipients is the reason for the program’s existence in the first place – poverty.

Over 50 million people now live in poverty, according to a recent release by the US Census Bureau. At the end of 2010, after the passage of the $800 billion stimulus bill and eighteen months of technical recovery, that number was 46 million according to Census Bureau statistics. At the end of 2008, at the depth of the Great Recession and as President Obama first took office, that number was below 40 million.

We have added 10 million people into poverty since Obama took office, most of whom fell into poverty after the stimulus and the technical recovery began. In comparison, we have only added 123,000 jobs over the same period, according to the BLS Current Population Survey, which showed a seasonally-adjusted employment level in December 2008 of 143.369 million, compared to 143.392 million in February.  (The BLS’ Current Employment Survey data looks almost as bad, with a gain of just 621,000 jobs in the same period.) The civilian participation rate in the workforce has dropped from 65.8 percent to 63.5 percent during that time, equaling August 2012 for the worst since September 1981.

Even if you grant the White House its most friendly calculation of jobs growth, one that starts thirteen months after he took office, the American economy has only added 4.66 million jobs while sending 10 million into poverty under his economic policies. Using the original calculation of December 2008, the month before Obama took office, we have now lost 83,000 jobs on Obama’s watch overall while sending 10 million into poverty.  In just the past 15 months, we have added only 2.39 million jobs (averaging 160,000 a month, barely exceeding population-growth requirements) while adding more than 3.7 million to the poverty rolls.  We aren’t recovering from the Great Recession — and in fact, we’re losing ground.

Michael Ramirez similarly sees the essence of Obamanomics, and depicts it brilliantly in a single panel for Investors Business Daily:

ramirez-hopenchange

Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history.  Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here.  And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.


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Worst President Ever. Period.

brewcrew67 on April 5, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Jim Cramer is a tool. But it’s good to see that even the lefties can’t hide what a disaster Obama’s policies have been for the country.

Sickening that our country has become such a country of “takers” that he was re-elected. We’re in serious trouble folks.

Outlander on April 5, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Sickening that our country has become such a country of “takers” that he was re-elected. We’re in serious trouble folks.

Outlander on April 5, 2013 at 12:05 PM

True, but once we get our SSM, gun controls and amnesty laws in place everything else will be great!
*do I need to?

VegasRick on April 5, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Sickening that our country has become such a country of “takers” that he was re-elected. We’re in serious trouble folks.

Outlander on April 5, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Yep. It will get much worse. We are still a bit of way from 70′s levels of employment-population ratio where we ought to be.

happytobehere on April 5, 2013 at 12:10 PM

These are all the convulsions of a dying country.
There will be many, over many years, but I fear the trajectory is fixed.
Breaks my heart.

aquaviva on April 5, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Only 1 in 6 living below the poverty line? Clearly the full effects of Obamanomics has yet to be achieved. Once we see a ratio of 4 in 6 then we’ve seen real progress.

hawkeye54 on April 5, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Jim Cramer is a tool. But it’s good to see that even the lefties can’t hide what a disaster Obama’s policies have been for the country.

Sounds like he is just trying to put the turd that is the Obamaconomy in a “sequesters fault” wrapper to me.

Gatsu on April 5, 2013 at 12:16 PM

True, but once we get our SSM, gun controls, legalized pot, and amnesty laws in place everything else will be great!

FIFY. Now we’re talking great!!!

hawkeye54 on April 5, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Anybody about 50 years old remember the “Misery Index” the MSM would always beat Reagan with during the first two years of his first term? I believe it was inflation + unemployment. I realize the Fed has done everything it can to keep inflation low so it won’t apply but perhaps it’s time for a new Misery Index. Despite the Dow, many people are in misery.

Any ideas?

Agent of the Cross on April 5, 2013 at 12:18 PM

These horrible numbers of American’s working and paying taxes will not stop bho/team from spending billions upon billions on failed policies/giving to countries that hate our guts/and seeing to it more and more are getting funds from big bro for everything in their lives!

My beloved country is fast going to he!! and this is just what bho had planned from day one!
L

letget on April 5, 2013 at 12:20 PM

I retired from the Army 2 years ago.It wasn’t long after I received an application for food stamps that had a time period.Since I don’t qualify I didn’t send it back and got a letter extending my time.They want you on food stamps.It has to be some kind of political payback to someone.

docflash on April 5, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Despite the Dow, many people are in misery.

Any ideas?

Agent of the Cross on April 5, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Define “misery”. Why not just go on disability like everyone else?

happytobehere on April 5, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Any ideas?

Agent of the Cross on April 5, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Yeah, calculate inflation based on the increased cost of goods and services (and the devaluation of the dollar), and calculate unemployment the way they used to calculate it. That’s all you have to do to get the misery index.

The Rogue Tomato on April 5, 2013 at 12:23 PM

CNBC’s Jim Cramer dimly sees …

Cramer hasn’t always been the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

Ed, did you mean that Cramer was dim or that he saw the report as dim?

Both are true and work. lol

Resist We Much on April 5, 2013 at 12:25 PM

This is what I was arguing in my column this week for The Fiscal Times as well. We are not building an economy that will put America back to work; we are building an economy that will send more Americans into poverty, and already have. Over a four year period, we have created one job for every 100 Americans that fell into poverty:

Since this man became president I have lost just about everything I worked for my entire life. But I will not succumb, I will not submit, I will not become a burden on society. I literally loathe this man and the entire lot of Congress… they can all GTH as far as I’m concerned. They are in it for themselves and could care less about what happens here on the ground.

/Spit

Key West Reader on April 5, 2013 at 12:25 PM

These are all the convulsions of a dying country.
There will be many, over many years, but I fear the trajectory is fixed.
Breaks my heart.

aquaviva on April 5, 2013 at 12:13 PM

You’re not alone.

dogsoldier on April 5, 2013 at 12:25 PM

We are in serious trouble.
I am watching it unfold. In a nice neighborhood two 30 somethings unemployed. One can’t hold a job the other refuses to work. They have spent the last 5 days applying for assistance programs that will allow them to continue their lifestyle. The kids are fed at school, there is 2 years of unemployment, healthcare and utility assistance. There is even a program that pays your mortgage.
This is a beginning a lifetime of life on the government. It absolutely is the destruction of our country from the youngest generations up. There are not only fewer jobs, there are no incentives for the able bodied young to work.

ORconservative on April 5, 2013 at 12:26 PM

I recall the misery index was coined during Carter’s term. It was the sum of Unemployment + Inflation + Interest Rates. I remember moving into a house in 1987 and paying 8% for the loan. My next door neighbor, who happened to be a die hard jewish liberal was paying either 14% or 17% from his 1979 home loan.

DanMan on April 5, 2013 at 12:26 PM

For those of you who still think it’s all the retiring baby boomers that’s driving down the labor force participation rate (and thus the unemployment rate), here’s the seasonally-unadjusted labor force participation rate by age group for March:

16-24 years old – 52.8% (worst March since 1966)

25-34 years old – 81.1% (worst March since 1983)

35-44 years old – 82.3% (worst March since 1984)

45-54 years old – 79.6% (worst March since 1988)

55-59 years old – 73.4% (3th-best March since records began in 1977, behind only 2009 and 2010)

60-64 years old – 55.0% (4th-best March since records began in 1977, behind only 2009, 2010 and 2012)

65-69 years old – 32.4% (2nd-best March since records began in 1982, behind only 2011)

70-74 years old – 18.3% (tied for 2nd-best March since records began in 1987, behind only 2011)

75 years old and older – 8.4% (best March since records began in 1987)

Steve Eggleston on April 5, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Thank you for that. Do you have a link to the numbers? I’ve had more than a few people tell me that it is retiring Baby Boomers who are keeping the E-P ratio low. But your data shows that seniors are employed at near-record levels, while 16-24 years olds are seing the worst employment environment since 1966!

Even with the overall numbers, Obama is officially worse than Carter.

Take the Employment-Population ratio data from 1977 to present, use Microsoft Excel to average the monthly numbers for each Presidency, and then sort them.

For the last six Presidents, here is the ranking of average Employment-Population ratio by Presidency:

63.4% Clinton Presidency (January 1993 – December 2000)
62.7% G.W.Bush Presidency (January 2001 – December 2008)
62.2% G.H.W.Bush Presidency (January 1989 – December 1992)
59.9% Reagan Presidency (January 1981 – December 1988)
59.1% Carter Presidency (January 1977- December 1980)
58.7% Obama Presidency (January 2009 – March 2013)

Obama is officially worse than Carter.

And the March 2013 number, at 58.5, was yet another below-average month, even for Obama’s sub-par average. He hasn’t been above his average since August 2009. Obama’s best months were those he “inherited” at the start of his term.

Each and every month of the Obama Presidency has “featured” an Employment-Population ratio that was lower than it ever was under President George W. Bush.

The worst month under Bush was better than the best month under Obama.

And once again, Obama is officially worse than Carter.

ITguy on April 5, 2013 at 12:29 PM

The last full month that Republicans controlled the House, Senate, and Presidency, December 2006, the Employment-Population ratio was 63.4%.

In March 2013, after the Democrats holding 2+ of the House, Senate, and Presidency for six and a quarter years, was 58.5%.

The difference (63.4% – 58.5%) is 4.9% of our civilian noninstitutional population.

If we had the same Employment-Population ratio now as we had in December 2006 (after 12 continuous years of the Republicans holding 2+ of the House, Senate, and Presidency), over 12 Million more people would be employed right now!

According to table A-1, the civilian noninstitutional population in March 2013 was 244,995,000.

4.9% * 244,995,000 = 12,004,755

Over 12 Million people who are not employed now, but would be if we had the same Employment-Population ratio now as we had in December 2006 when Republicans last controlled the House, Senate, and Presidency.

Then-Senators Obama, Biden, and Clinton, along with new Speaker Nancy Pelosi and new Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid inherited a GOOD economy from the Republicans on January 3, 2007.

It is the Democrats who tanked the economy and made 58.5% employment the “new normal”, and it’s likely to go even lower as more of Obamacare kicks in.

The best months of Obama’s pResidency were those at the very start of his term. There has been NO RECOVERY in the Employment-Population ratio. It has not been above 58.7% since August 2009.

ITguy on April 5, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Sounds like he is just trying to put the turd that is the Obamaconomy in a “sequesters fault” wrapper to me.

[Gatsu on April 5, 2013 at 12:16 PM]

Yup.

Dusty on April 5, 2013 at 12:31 PM

In 1933 at the height of the “Great Depression” the official unemployment rate was 24.76 percent and the labor participation rate was 55%. But I’m willing to bet that Ed isn’t ready to admit we have achieved “Great Depression” status yet. Just because we are currently at a “Official” unemployment rate of 7.6% and 58.7% labor participation. Perhaps Ed can apply his sooper math skills and explain how a 3.7% difference in labor participation equals 17.16% difference in the unemployment rate.

SWalker on April 5, 2013 at 12:33 PM

ITguy on April 5, 2013 at 12:31 PM

guess we’re moving over here…

Or the “economic boom” from the early 60′s till 98 was just a bubble, one paid for by massive government debt and concurrent vastly overpriced housing. There’s a pretty nice mildly increasing line from the early 60s till now in the employment-population ratio.

happytobehere on April 5, 2013 at 12:33 PM

This is a beginning a lifetime of life on the government. It absolutely is the destruction of our country from the youngest generations up. There are not only fewer jobs, there are no incentives for the able bodied young to work.

And the dems have them hooked as loyal voters for politicians who will work to continue to support government provided incentives for people to remain unemployed in trade for votes.

Once the Left has no need to buy votes with government handouts, or when the Left runs out of other people’s money to redistribute, look out.

hawkeye54 on April 5, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Over 12 Million people who should be employed right now, but aren’t, thanks to Democrats’ policies.

And we have added 10 million people into poverty since Obama took office.

“Fundamentally transforming the United States of America”

ITguy on April 5, 2013 at 12:35 PM

The new normal. Condition young people to a life and future blasted of ambition and dream — simply voided out of their consciousness — where the best you can do is remain barely above water, just sustained. Be grateful to your Statist lords and benefactors for what you have. Beg only to keep it. Long for a bureaucratic sinecure — to become a member of the nomenklatura. Hate and envy those doing better by their own lights, call for their economic and social beheading.

rrpjr on April 5, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Sounds like he is just trying to put the turd that is the Obamaconomy in a “sequesters fault” wrapper to me.

[Gatsu on April 5, 2013 at 12:16 PM]

Yup.

Dusty on April 5, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Cramer is a nutball Obama booster.

slickwillie2001 on April 5, 2013 at 12:36 PM

wow! I checked with Wikipedia just for fun to see if a I remembered right on the misery index. Talk about a useless source. Obama is fourth worse since Truman, behing Nixon, Eisenhauer and Carter in that order. Updated 2 weeks ago so they saw this coming.

DanMan on April 5, 2013 at 12:36 PM

“Fundamentally transforming the United States of America”

ITguy on April 5, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Marxism seeks to create blind equality, what it actually achieves is to make everyone equally miserable.

SWalker on April 5, 2013 at 12:37 PM

I recall the misery index was coined during Carter’s term. It was the sum of Unemployment + Inflation + Interest Rates. I remember moving into a house in 1987 and paying 8% for the loan. My next door neighbor, who happened to be a die hard jewish liberal was paying either 14% or 17% from his 1979 home loan.

DanMan on April 5, 2013 at 12:26 PM

I think you’re correct. They may have used it during the Carter years. The MSM is so in the tank for Obama there’s no way they would ever use something like this against him.

Agent of the Cross on April 5, 2013 at 12:39 PM

hawkeye54 on April 5, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Agreed. It is going to get uglier than I can imagine. The tipping point has to be soon.
The family I’m talking about has a 2500 sq ft house and is perfectly happy to live on other people’s money. It can not continue forever, there are not enough people working to support this kind of society. Nor should there be this type of society.
UGH.

ORconservative on April 5, 2013 at 12:40 PM

We have not had the worker participation rate this low since 1979, when Jimmy Carter was president. Coincidence I think not.

Dasher on April 5, 2013 at 12:41 PM

There’s a pretty nice mildly increasing line from the early 60s till now in the employment-population ratio.

happytobehere on April 5, 2013 at 12:33 PM

How much of that increase is due to an increasing percentage of women actively looking to be employed outside of the home?

What percentage of women actively looked for employment outside of the home in the early 60′s versus today?

I don’t have data for that, but I think that there is little doubt that from the early 60s to the present there has been a higher percentage of women looking for employment each decade. But I think we’ve maxed out on that, so the only opportunity for a recovery in the E-P ratio is a real economic recovery… which won’t happen under a Democratic majority in D.C.

ITguy on April 5, 2013 at 12:41 PM

CNBC’s Jim Cramer dimly sees …

Cramer hasn’t always been the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

Ed, did you mean that Cramer was dim or that he saw the report as dim?

Both are true and work. lol

Resist We Much on April 5, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Well said RWM (as usual)

All of the CNBC crew this morning were making me ill watching. Watching Lisman attempt to make Goolsbee remarks more palatable to him, really made me toss my handy nerf ball at the TV.

CoffeeLover on April 5, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Another proposal likely to draw attention would block individuals from accumulating more than $3 million in tax-preferred retirement accounts such as IRAs. Administration officials believe amounts above this threshold enable people to take advantage of tax rules.

Oil Can on April 5, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Thank you for that. Do you have a link to the numbers? I’ve had more than a few people tell me that it is retiring Baby Boomers who are keeping the E-P ratio low. But your data shows that seniors are employed at near-record levels, while 16-24 years olds are seing the worst employment environment since 1966!

ITguy on April 5, 2013 at 12:29 PM

The BLS database doesn’t save individual searches, but the CPS database search page is here, with the main BLS databases search page here (you’ll need to enable Java to use it). For most of the under-55 crowd, the BLS does offer both seasonally-unadjusted and seasonally-adjusted data from the CPS, but for the over-55 crowd, it only offers unadjusted data.

It could be argued that the youth are going to school on student loans and thus aren’t active in the job market, but that ignores the societal shift from 1-worker/2-adult households.

Steve Eggleston on April 5, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Whoa; I forgot to close a tag. Sorry about that.

Steve Eggleston on April 5, 2013 at 12:44 PM

What? A president whose policies have increased regulations that throttle growth and innovation, created uncertainty regarding health care mandates, and threaten to increase taxes on the productive has an economy that is stagnant and/or going backwards? Whoever would have thought that such policies could cause such stagnation?

/Oh, yeah. Those of us in the real world.

AZfederalist on April 5, 2013 at 12:44 PM

which won’t happen under a Democratic majority in D.C. until the Marxist Politicians of both parties become lamppost decorations.

ITguy on April 5, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Fix’t to reflect reality…

SWalker on April 5, 2013 at 12:45 PM

we have only added 123,000 jobs over the same period, according to the BLS Current Population Survey, which showed a seasonally-adjusted employment level in December 2008 of 143.369 million, compared to 143.392 million in February.

Do the math ED. I pointed this out yesterday 143.392 – 143.369 (in millions) = 23,000 jobs not 123,000. One of the three numbers is wrong.

chemman on April 5, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Anybody about 50 years old remember the “Misery Index” the MSM would always beat Reagan with during the first two years of his first term? I believe it was inflation + unemployment. I realize the Fed has done everything it can to keep inflation low so it won’t apply but perhaps it’s time for a new Misery Index. Despite the Dow, many people are in misery.

Any ideas?

Agent of the Cross on April 5, 2013 at 12:18 PM

I’m a bit younger than that and I remember the Misery Index. I also remember it being coined in the latter half of the Peanut Farmer’s term.

Steve Eggleston on April 5, 2013 at 12:46 PM

After the crash, one can only hope liberals will wake up. But I doubt it.

GarandFan on April 5, 2013 at 12:47 PM

But I think we’ve maxed out on that, so the only opportunity for a recovery in the E-P ratio is a real economic recovery… which won’t happen under a Democratic majority in D.C.

ITguy on April 5, 2013 at 12:41 PM

I don’t see any possibility of a “real economic recovery” because you can’t recover a bubble. We’re trying our best to artificially inflate home prices again. Our entire “economic growth” and increase in GDP from 98-08 was due to overpriced houses. Slice off the “gains” from easy capital due to vastly overpriced housing and we’ve been flat since 98.

The enormous government deficit spending from the early 60s explains our “boom” of nearly 40 years. Sadly, our government spending is permanently depending on an unsustainable GDP growth.

That being said, lack of GDP growth is not a “bad thing” for anything except government spending. Most of our technological innovations at this point will paradoxically reduce GDP while improving quality of life.

But yeah, we can’t convince the electorate that government must reduce spending, so it’s a real problem.

happytobehere on April 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM

In 1933 at the height of the “Great Depression” the official unemployment rate was 24.76 percent and the labor participation rate was 55%. But I’m willing to bet that Ed isn’t ready to admit we have achieved “Great Depression” status yet. Just because we are currently at a “Official” unemployment rate of 7.6% and 58.7% labor participation. Perhaps Ed can apply his sooper math skills and explain how a 3.7% difference in labor participation equals 17.16% difference in the unemployment rate.

SWalker on April 5, 2013 at 12:33 PM

The two statistics measure different things. Labor force participation rate (LFPR) represents the percentage of adults in the labor pool (either employed or unemployed, looking for work). Unemployment rate represents the percentage of the labor pool that is unemployed.

What I wonder is whether the calculation method was different in 1933. This website seems to suggest that the method WAS different and that if we measured unemployment today like we did in the 30s, we would have a 22% unemployment rate and would officially be in a depression.

Outlander on April 5, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Like Limbaugh just said.

……..we’re living in a DYING country.

but who on the gop side has the stones to say this, in an effective manner to cut through all the crap of the media?

PappyD61 on April 5, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Just wait until 40 million illegals are given amnesty…

… Paradise!

Seven Percent Solution on April 5, 2013 at 12:55 PM

That being said, lack of GDP growth is not a “bad thing” for anything except government spending. Most of our technological innovations at this point will paradoxically reduce GDP while improving quality of life.

But yeah, we can’t convince the electorate that government must reduce spending, so it’s a real problem.

happytobehere on April 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Taxes and government regulation are strangling our economy. Our current crop of bureaucrats and elected officials believe that all money belong to the government. Taxes are not just those levied against wages, they are also on virtually everything you purchase. They are hidden in things like licensing fee’s, registration fee’s, user fee’s.

And the regulatory fee’s and burdens placed on any and every conceivable aspect of business both direct and indirect are unbelievable.

SWalker on April 5, 2013 at 12:59 PM

we’re living in a DYING country.

but who on the gop side has the stones to say this, in an effective manner to cut through all the crap of the media?

PappyD61 on April 5, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Speaking the truth doesn’t get you elected. The GOP could say this but it wouldn’t help them win elections. You have to tell the electorate what they want to hear.

happytobehere on April 5, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Outlander on April 5, 2013 at 12:52 PM

How unemployment is calculated in different now than in the 30′s. It is why we have a better unemployment rate now than then. Politicians don’t want to have to answer for 20% + rate. Furthermore, inflation is calculated differently now than when Carter was in office for the same reason. Politicians are worse than statisticians in selling lies.

chemman on April 5, 2013 at 1:02 PM

MSM news… Sequestration (aka “The Sequester”) is killing jobs.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Fallon on April 5, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Taxes and government regulation are strangling our economy. Our current crop of bureaucrats and elected officials believe that all money belong to the government. Taxes are not just those levied against wages, they are also on virtually everything you purchase. They are hidden in things like licensing fee’s, registration fee’s, user fee’s.

And the regulatory fee’s and burdens placed on any and every conceivable aspect of business both direct and indirect are unbelievable.

SWalker on April 5, 2013 at 12:59 PM

I agree. But you can’t maintain our levels of government borrowing without showing investors in that debt a revenue capability.

It is politically unfeasible to drastically reduce spending; the electorate simply will not vote for it. And even if we did manage to reduce spending dramatically the fallout from lack of borrowed spending would be tremendous. The electorate would quickly put back in charge whoever promised to spend more again.

We are are most assuredly screwed.

happytobehere on April 5, 2013 at 1:08 PM

What I wonder is whether the calculation method was different in 1933. This website seems to suggest that the method WAS different and that if we measured unemployment today like we did in the 30s, we would have a 22% unemployment rate and would officially be in a depression.

Outlander on April 5, 2013 at 12:52 PM

That my friend, was precisely my point. The only reason we are not “Officially” in a depression is that the Government and the Fifth Column Treasonous Media are lying to the American people. Just like the old Soviet Government used to lie to the Russian people. If you believed the Soviet governments lies the Russian economy was absolutely booming right up until the day they went bankrupt.

Barky O’Dogeater is a damned Marxist, and he is following the Marxist economic model, right to the exact same crash that the Marxist economic model has produced for every singe nation that has attempted to follow it in the past.

To quote Ron White,

Ever have one of those days? “Hit somethin’ hard, I don’t wanna limp away from this piece of shit.” The guy sitting next to me is losing his mind; apparently, he had a lot to live for. He turns to me, he says “Hey man! [gasps for air] Hey, man! Hey, man! [gasps for air] If one of these engines fails, [gasps for air] how far will the other one take us?” [As himself]“All the way to the scene of the crash! Which is pretty handy, ’cause that’s where we’re headed. I bet we beat the paramedics there by a half-hour! We’re haulin’ ass!”

How far can the Obamanation economy take us? All the way to the scene of the crash, Which is pretty handy, ’cause that’s where we’re headed.

SWalker on April 5, 2013 at 1:09 PM

That being said, lack of GDP growth is not a “bad thing” for anything except government spending. Most of our technological innovations at this point will paradoxically reduce GDP while improving quality of life.

But yeah, we can’t convince the electorate that government must reduce spending, so it’s a real problem.

happytobehere on April 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM

The problem is that technology and globalization are eliminating millions of lower-skill jobs and are accelerating the pace at which skills held by high-skilled workers become obsolete.

To give you an idea: I work in a professional services firm that first set up its office space in the mid-80s. There were secretary cubicles lining every single hallway, because secretaries did so much work that they had one secretary for every professional. Now all those cubicles are used for file storage and we have 1 secretary for every 4 professionals. Why? Everything is done by computer. Don’t need a million secretaries.

So where do all those lower skilled workers go? They can’t all work at Starbucks.

Outlander on April 5, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Michael Ramirez similarly sees the essence of Obamanomics, and depicts it brilliantly…

To paraphrase Pop (Burgess Meredith) in Grumpy Old Men, You can hope in one hand and crap in the other, and see which gets filled first.

petefrt on April 5, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Yesterday’s Reuters headline “Jobs up, good sign for economy”.

Today’s, no kidding “Weak job gains cast shadow on U.S. economic outlook

I hope they all spontaneously combust in the news, for dereliction of duty.

Schadenfreude on April 5, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Ramirez, like Drudge, will be droned.

Schadenfreude on April 5, 2013 at 1:15 PM

That being said, lack of GDP growth is not a “bad thing” for anything except government spending

It’s a bad thing in that GDP growth affects the unemployment rate.

Wall Street economists expected the sequester to impact both GDP and the unemployment rate long before the sequester became fait accompli. The GDP forecasted reduction ranged from .5 to 1 percent.

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-gdp-impact-of-cuts-in-full-sequester-2013-1

bayam on April 5, 2013 at 1:21 PM

So where do all those lower skilled workers go? They can’t all work at Starbucks.

Outlander on April 5, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Well, that’s the thing. Most important for us is to reduce hurdles for people that drive innovation.

As for the permanent underclass? I dunno, maybe have them do some kind of menial labor in exchange for government assistance.

happytobehere on April 5, 2013 at 1:22 PM

happytobehere on April 5, 2013 at 1:22 PM
Outlander on April 5, 2013 at 1:09 PM

They are going to be the NEW Navigators!! Hundreds of thousands of them at 40+ an hr!!

Scrumpy on April 5, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Michael Ramirez similarly sees the essence of Obamanomics, and depicts it brilliantly in a single panel for Investors Business Daily:

I wonder when Mr. Ramirez will be labeled a racist since both hands are clearly “of color.” Where’s whitey’s place in the world being created by a rat-eared commie that happens to look just like the devil?

Happy Nomad on April 5, 2013 at 1:26 PM

The new normal. Condition young people to a life and future blasted of ambition and dream — simply voided out of their consciousness — where the best you can do is remain barely above water, just sustained. Be grateful to your Statist lords and benefactors for what you have. Beg only to keep it. Long for a bureaucratic sinecure — to become a member of the nomenklatura. Hate and envy those doing better by their own lights, call for their economic and social beheading.

rrpjr on April 5, 2013 at 12:35 PM

The horrible truth.

jimver on April 5, 2013 at 1:27 PM

POX on ‘em all, I have had it with this gov’t…

Scrumpy on April 5, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I wonder when Mr. Ramirez will be labeled a racist since both hands are clearly “of color.” Where’s whitey’s place in the world being created by a rat-eared commie that happens to look just like the devil?

Happy Nomad on April 5, 2013 at 1:26 PM

That depends, is he a white Hispanic?

jimver on April 5, 2013 at 1:28 PM

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-gdp-impact-of-cuts-in-full-sequester-2013-1

bayam on April 5, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Wow, I’m impressed! An article written well before the sequester kicked in, and it’s full of…speculation.

Société Générale economists use a much lower fiscal multiplier – 0.5. when they apply that to the prospect of full sequestration, they get a much lower estimate

-snip-

Credit Suisse economists believe

-snip-

Wall Street economists seem to think

Doesn’t sound like Settled Science to me. Has the author, who looks young enough to be Paul Krugman’s great-grandson, written a followup piece to this shameless piece of Democrat Fear Mongering?

Del Dolemonte on April 5, 2013 at 1:37 PM

I’m a bit younger than that and I remember the Misery Index. I also remember it being coined in the latter half of the Peanut Farmer’s term.

Steve Eggleston on April 5, 2013 at 12:46 PM

“Misery Indexes” only work when there is a cultural memory of prosperity along with a communal moral value attached to it. We are losing our relationship to the shared memory and meaning of prosperity.

rrpjr on April 5, 2013 at 1:38 PM

In 1933 at the height of the “Great Depression” the official unemployment rate was 24.76 percent and the labor participation rate was 55%. But I’m willing to bet that Ed isn’t ready to admit we have achieved “Great Depression” status yet. Just because we are currently at a “Official” unemployment rate of 7.6% and 58.7% labor participation. Perhaps Ed can apply his sooper math skills and explain how a 3.7% difference in labor participation equals 17.16% difference in the unemployment rate.

SWalker on April 5, 2013 at 12:33 PM

A couple points of order:

- Could you provide the source for the 1933 labor force participation rate? The BLS database only goes back to 1948.
- The current labor force participation rate is 63.3%, not 58.7%. Indeed, I don’t know where you got 58.7% from; the current employment-population rate is 58.5%.

I’ll wager the statisticians, whether they used the Lebergott method or the Darby method, counted far more people out of work but who wanted to work than the BLS does today. Using the most-expansive definition of unemployed possible today (no, not the U-5 definition which cuts off those who last looked for work more than a year ago, and no, not counting the underemployed), the unemployment rate is 11.4%. Adding in the underemployed brings that up to the 16%-17% range.

Steve Eggleston on April 5, 2013 at 1:42 PM

“Misery Indexes” only work when there is a cultural memory of prosperity along with a communal moral value attached to it. We are losing our relationship to the shared memory and meaning of prosperity.

rrpjr on April 5, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Or maybe when the “miserable” and “impoverished” weren’t also morbidly obese.

happytobehere on April 5, 2013 at 1:43 PM

“Misery Indexes” only work when there is a cultural memory of prosperity along with a communal moral value attached to it. We are losing our relationship to the shared memory and meaning of prosperity.

rrpjr on April 5, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Thanks to the marvels of modern “education”. Ironically, the generation that grew up during the original Misery Index Era was the first to be indoctrinated (not entirely successfully, but enough that it doomed future generations) into believing misery was the new normal.

Steve Eggleston on April 5, 2013 at 1:44 PM

What I wonder is whether the calculation method was different in 1933. This website seems to suggest that the method WAS different and that if we measured unemployment today like we did in the 30s, we would have a 22% unemployment rate and would officially be in a depression.

Outlander on April 5, 2013 at 12:52 PM

I trust ShadowStats about as far as I can throw them. I’ve tried to duplicate their secret sauce and haven’t been able to come up with an unemployment+underemployment rate of over 20%.

Steve Eggleston on April 5, 2013 at 1:47 PM

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

Winston Churchill

Always has been, always will be.

jukin3 on April 5, 2013 at 1:48 PM

“It’s a permanent unemployed level”

“Yeah, but those permanently unemployed can get food stamps, Obamaphones, and mortgages they can’t possibly pay for. So it’s all good.”
/The left

Bitter Clinger on April 5, 2013 at 1:50 PM

There’s a pretty nice mildly increasing line from the early 60s till now in the employment-population ratio.

happytobehere on April 5, 2013 at 12:33 PM

How much of that increase is due to an increasing percentage of women actively looking to be employed outside of the home?

What percentage of women actively looked for employment outside of the home in the early 60′s versus today?

I don’t have data for that, but I think that there is little doubt that from the early 60s to the present there has been a higher percentage of women looking for employment each decade. But I think we’ve maxed out on that, so the only opportunity for a recovery in the E-P ratio is a real economic recovery… which won’t happen under a Democratic majority in D.C.

ITguy on April 5, 2013 at 12:41 PM

The March 1963 women labor force participation rate (seasonally adjusted) was 38.2%. It climbed steadily from there, crossing the 50% mark in June 1978 and the current 57.1% mark in November 1988. It peaked at 60.2% in November 1999 before sliding back to the low-to-mid-59% range before between 2001 and the official end of the Great Recession and steadily declining since to a fresh post-womens-lib low of 57.1% in March 2013.

On the male side, it’s been a steady decline from 81.4% in March 1963 to 73.1% in December 2007, and a slightly-faster decline since the Great Recession started to a new low of 69.9% in March 2013.

Steve Eggleston on April 5, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Any ideas?
Agent of the Cross on April 5, 2013 at 12:18 PM

U-6 unemployment, times avg price of gasoline, divided by the labor-force participation rate.

That should generate an interesting number for a New Misery Index.

Another Drew on April 5, 2013 at 2:03 PM

but who on the gop side has the stones to say this, in an effective manner to cut through all the crap of the media?

PappyD61

The GOP has become the Torys of the swamp. They don’t want to lead anything except the congo line at the Four Seasons seafood brunch.

chimney sweep on April 5, 2013 at 2:11 PM

I am John Galt.

desertdweller on April 5, 2013 at 2:41 PM

I am John Galt.

…and use no government handouts

desertdweller on April 5, 2013 at 2:42 PM

“Yeah, but those permanently unemployed can get food stamps, Obamaphones, and mortgages they can’t possibly pay for. So it’s all good.”
/The left

Does that also include government provided medicinal marijuana for the stress and anxiety of which the permanently unemployed suffer, which leads to chronic and lingering disability?

If so, I may have to rethink my employment. I feel job-stress related disability coming on.

hawkeye54 on April 5, 2013 at 3:13 PM

bayam on April 5, 2013

…once in a while…get your head away from your lap……..and take a break… from your self-gratification!

KOOLAID2 on April 5, 2013 at 3:13 PM

If they really wanted to stimulate my economy, they’d forgive my student loan debt.

Oh, I don’t deny it’s a problem of my own making, but people get in a lot deeper on their houses and the government lets them stay in pre-foreclosure without eviction for God knows how long, and they don’t even own the debt like they do with my loan; they just guarantee the mortgages.

I have a couple small collections, but other than that, if I hadn’t that student loan debt, my credit would be in perfectly fine shape and I could buy one of those foreclosed houses, instead of trying to find an apartment big enough for my family, cheap enough for my budget, in a district where I’m not afraid to send my kids to school.

The Schaef on April 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Importing millions more mexican nationals will solve all these economic and employment problems.

You’ll see.

tom daschle concerned on April 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM

It all comes down the to the Asian Americans. At what point do these hard working people, who raise their kids right, realize that the modern day Democrats are working as hard as they can to undermine all the reasons that they came to this country in the first place?

They didn’t come here for handouts. They didn’t come here to reclaim Texas and California for La Raza. They could have stayed in China, Korea, India, etc, and still had a decent standard of living. They came here for something better, and they want that for their kids.

How much longer are they going to put up with Left wing college professors mocking their kids as being “White” because their grades are too good and they don’t get into trouble? How much longer are they going to put with being called Chinks and Dotheads by resentful Blacks, who think they have carte blanche to hate everybody who isn’t Black? How much longer are they going to work 80 hours a week running grocery stores where people on the dole shop with EBT cards?

And at what point, does the brillant RNC try to reach out to these Asians and get them to wake up and smell the coffee? Oh, that’s right, they’re too busy figuring out how to cave on illegal immigration.

ardenenoch on April 5, 2013 at 6:36 PM

I remember when the ‘new’ permanent unemployment level was 6% under Carter.

Then I remember a couple of decades with it at 4%.

Now it is magically declared to be much, much higher than under Carter.

Amazing how these things work when such pundits who get every direction things go wrong then tell us what the new permanent is… they are being beaten by a stopped clock.

ajacksonian on April 5, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Everything is acceptably higher under demon-crat authority … pot is legal too.
You’d have to be stoned to vote for them!

kregg on April 6, 2013 at 6:59 AM

Permanently… How’s this…

A 50ish year old trucker I know flipped his truck 5 years ago. Very publicly in center city Philly. Lost his career over it.

He fought his way onto unemployment and was there for all the extensions… 99 weeks plus tax I think. He even told me at one point that he was paying income tax while collecting… Paying taxes on the money the gov was giving him? Riiight.

Eventually unemployment ended… Next up welfare (what, no job after 3 years?) Eventually that became disability… (I have never heard him in these past few years mention LOOKING FOR A JOB… but I hear about the gov checks occasionally). There is nothing physically wrong with him… but he is willfully unable to work.

The last time I saw him he stated that he has resigned himself to not having anything but to receiving a check that only covers his rent and food… (his car is gone, cell phone too… etc)

Oh, did I mention that he use to actually seem to have goals in life? He did… They are all gone now. This is how the liberal “Hope and Change” free ride give-away programs kill the spirit.

He’s not the only one I know who has been suckered like this, but he is the one who has exposed the stages so clearly.

And he will defend Obama and the free stuff at every turn.. because it has become his life blood now.

Thank you Obama dupes and lazy non-voting mods/Repubs…

RalphyBoy on April 6, 2013 at 6:26 PM