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Um... lifting... 1st Aug 2016 01:15


There's a certain freedom in not buying into either party's rubbish. You should try it.

Unfortunately, to maintain the same labor force participation rate that existed in January 2009, there should be about 17.6M new jobs, and there aren't. And that 10M is a 'net' figure, now isn't it? Of course it is. So there are actually more 'new' jobs than that, while rather a lot of 'old' jobs went away. And it would be nice if the new jobs were not part-time low wage positions and were equivalent to many of the technical, high-skill positions that have evaporated. But that's what the bulk of them are, generally without health benefits. Feel free to read in full any jobs report from the BLS over the last five years or so which would spell that out, but read all 40-odd pages, not just the feel-good header the press secretary tacks on the top. By any objective and comprehensive labor measure, the economy is no better (and likely worse) than it was in January, 2009. If you're at the upper third of the middle class or above, the economy probably looks better to you, and if you have the leisure time to blather away on PPRuNe and monitor your stock portfolio, very likely you fall into that category. But for those people who fall below that socioeconomic level, their lives have not improved since 2009, they have often lost jobs, or taken pay cuts, or given up searching for new work or some combination of the preceding. U3 is a bogus measure of unemployment, but politicians like it because the number is invariably the lowest of the commonly used statistics. Try U6, and you'll see that none of those graphs look anywhere near as optimistic.

Short of big federally funded public works projects, politicians don't create jobs. Never have, though they love to claim they do, and they can usually get a tame economist like Reich or Krugman to talk in a soothing yet condescending tone while scribbling on a white board or dash off a quick NYT op-ed to back them up on that. Politicians can sometimes create conditions through which job creation is facilitated or inhibited. Obama gets about a 'C' on this. Not a failing grade, but definitely not head of the class.

Using 'public debt' as a measure of anything but the public's awareness of the scam they're laboring under is an improper use of the statistic. Total debt is what matters. A reduction in public debt generally indicates a loss of confidence in the economy by the public and / or low interest rates. If you use total debt, you'll find it increased under Clinton as well. Manipulation of statistics is a sub specialty of political science.

Both conventions were abysmal, though for different reasons. The candidates are appalling, their backers are completely in the tank for them (plenty of evidence supporting this right here on these pages), and the election is bound to be a festival of fraud, waste, and abuse from soup to nuts. While Scott Baio's opinion isn't of any value, I fail to see how that of any more highly-paid or more famous actor or celebrity is. These sorts of people live cocooned existences where they are sheltered from any consequences of their own decisions or those of these con artists who run for national office.

If you think the opinion of a pro athlete on what razor you ought to buy is important or if you think the opinion of an actor on what candidate you ought to vote for is important, you're in error and making less than optimal use of your thinking machinery. It's only the magnitude of the error that varies.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Data

galaxy flyer 1st Aug 2016 01:22

Nice bit of Obama Administration blather. The labor participation rate is the lowest in decades, homeownership lowest in 50 years.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Data


barit1 1st Aug 2016 01:24

Jobs vs. population growth
SASless has the right idea:

Ten Million new jobs....without getting into the Weeds arguing about how we define New and Jobs.....lets compare job growth to Population Growth including Illegal Aliens entering the Country and obtaining Jobs shall we?

How do we measure Population Growth when we include Illegals into the mix as they don't exactly register with the government do they?

Let's call it Seventeen Million Population growth.....and only Ten Million Jobs.

Of course we have to remember how the Federal Government defines "New Job".
Census Bureau shows a long-term average population growth of 2.5 to 3.0 million per year, so I'll agree to 17 million (perhaps a bit more) in the cited period. No matter how you turn your back to it, jobs growth IS NOT keeping pace with population

vapilot2004 1st Aug 2016 01:30

Whatever. Generally speaking the US economy is one hell of a lot better off than it was when Bush Junior left office. Obama took the reins of a country in a state of the worst economic ruin since the Great Depression and managed to turn it around towards recovery with the help and wisdom of Treasury, Democrats, and some wise and moderate Republicans on the Hill.

No amount of whinging or misdirection or misappropriation of factual data and statistics can take away from that simple fact of reality. Period.

vapilot2004 1st Aug 2016 01:33

Do any of you know what a Gold Star Mother is? I do. My family knows more than a few and we would never, ever even think about doing anything that would cause them grief or take away their dignity. Trumpet on the other hand...What an incredible piece of crap Trumpet is. I cannot believe a reasonable person of good conscience would support such a low and unworthy person for President of this great country of ours.
Trumpet is such a low life jackass, but don't take my word for it. This is not 'liberals or Democrats' speaking out, by the way. Have a gander at what top Republican members of the party are saying about the Republican nominee for President's idiotic, disrespectful comments:

"This is going to a place where we've never gone before, to push back against the families of the fallen. There used to be some things that were sacred in American politics, that you don't do, like criticizing the parents of a fallen soldier even if they criticize you."
-Senator Lindsey Graham (R)

"This is so incredibly disrespectful of a family that endured the ultimate sacrifice for our country"
-Former Republican Governor Jeb Bush

"There's only one way to talk about Gold Star parents: with honor and respect. Capt. Khan is a hero. Together, we should pray for his family."
-Ohio Governor John Kasich (R)

"America's greatness is built on the principles of liberty and preserved by the men and women who wear the uniform to defend it. As I have said on numerous occasions, a religious test for entering our country is not reflective of these fundamental values. I reject it. Many Muslim Americans have served valiantly in our military, and made the ultimate sacrifice. Captain Khan was one such brave example. His sacrifice -- and that of Khizr and Ghazala Khan -- should always be honored. Period."
-Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House (R)

Captain Khan was an American hero, and like all Americans I'm grateful for the sacrifices that selfless young men like Captain Khan and their families have made in the war on terror. All Americans should value the patriotic service of the patriots who volunteer to selflessly defend us in the armed services.And as I have long made clear, I agree with the (Khans) and families across the country that a travel ban on all members of a religion is simply contrary to American values."
-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R)

How in the world of what should be clearly right and wrong could anyone possibly support Trumpet for President?

obgraham 1st Aug 2016 01:38

How in the world of what should be clearly right and wrong could anyone possibly support Trumpet for President?
Very easily:

The alternative is a chronic liar and grifter.

vapilot2004 1st Aug 2016 01:46

Trump is a chronic liar and silver-spoon-mouthed grifter.
I agree. :ok:

Um... lifting... 1st Aug 2016 02:08

No amount of whinging or misdirection or misappropriation of factual data and statistics can take away from that simple fact of reality. Period.
Excellent point. So why then do you engage in these things?

Most of your own statistics point to the fact that most of the numbers posted during the Bush years are better than those of the Obama years. And that is fact. Political science isn't science. It's about tugging at heartstrings and hoping somebody doesn't know how to tunnel down into your statistics.

When you make up infantile names for candidates (regardless of which side you're on) you only degrade your argument and call every other thing you say into question.

For me, personally, the economy is better, but that has little to do with who is in office.

Your four charts don't say what you seem to think they say.

First chart: Clinton steadily decreased the percentage of deficit spending. Good on him. Bush increased it for 4 years running before pulling out a bit for 3 years and then dropping off again. Overall, not good. Obama fell off a cliff like Wile E. Coyote and has continued to spend at a cumulative rate that is unprecedented. Not good. This rate of deficit spending is unsustainable. Something will have to give.

Second chart: Public debt increased precipitously under Reagan, but yet his rate of deficit spending as a % of GDP wasn't historically all that bad for the post WWII era. I take no position on whether Reaganomics was good or bad here, I merely use it as an example that public debt doesn't mean what most people think it means. That's why you can't look at a single stat in isolation, which you have been doing. Again, public debt is often correlated to public confidence in the economy, whether misplaced or not. HW Bush, public confidence decreased a bit and deficit spending increased a bit, a normal correlation. Decrease in public debt under Clinton was probably due to lower interest rates and a reduction in the rate of deficit spending, as people tended to feel good about the economy. Clinton wasn't amazing, but things were reasonably OK under his presidency. I could continue, but I think I make my point.

Third chart: U3. Useless, no matter who's in office. Paints an unrealistic picture. Labor force participation rate hasn't been this low since the Carter Administration, and it was rising then. It continues to fall now. It is a common tendency among partisans to believe their guy is better than they actually are. I haven't checked in a couple months, but real unemployment is around 11%, and far higher in pockets.

Fourth chart: Little correlation in today's world with the state of the labor-based economy. If there is a correlation, it's probably weak and negative. In Mother & Father's day, as went General Motors & US Steel, so went the S&P. Doesn't quite work that way anymore. For those among us who are invested in the stock markets, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but for those who labor, there is no positive correlation, it just increases their perception that the rich get richer while they get broker.

I'm sure you're an earnest and honest fellow, but if anybody's manipulating or misunderstanding statistics to support a strongly held position for or agin' a particular candidate, it ain't me. You'll note I haven't stated a preference for a candidate nor a party. There's a reason for that.

galaxy flyer 1st Aug 2016 02:34


Please stop the annoying and disrespectful habit of quoting another post and rewriting it to suit you. If you want to say Trump is a grifter, fine, but don't change someone's post to make if look like the OP said it.


West Coast 1st Aug 2016 02:59

Don't use talking points, Westie. I'm with Her and as a recently added supporter of the Democratic nominee, I am more likely to have an educated brain and use it wisely. Unlike supporters of your guy, Trump. Trump has the white, non-college vote locked up. Meanwhile, Hillary is gathering white educated voters to her cause.
I note you in no way even a deflecting shot attempted to counter my point that the bulk of jobs Obama has "generated" are menial in nature. You tout those jobs in one sentence, yet you deride those who hold them as simplistic Trump voters. Just an observation.

Speaking of your guy
Can you show me where I've said I was voting for Trump? It's a rhetorical question, as I've never said I was. I'm voting Libertarian and have said so here on numerous occasions. Making assumptions comes with risk.

Do any of you know what a Gold Star Mother is? I do.
I raised my right hand and served, in GW1 and Somalia, making my family quite eligible to join the club. And you?
Tone is hard to tell, you came across as holier than thou which is why I ask. If wrong about the tone, then my apologies.

Is your level civility that far gone that you can't even call him by his name?

mary meagher 1st Aug 2016 05:29

Sorry, I find it difficult to wade through some of the longer arguments here. ( Keep falling asleep)

West Coast, pray inform me, what is the Libertarian party? and does it actually elect anybody?

Trouble with politics is the system of government in the United States. 50 states! all different, and the electoral college to make the decision...but better than the election which was settled regarding the Florida Chads, when we had a republican president chosen for us by the Supreme Court! Another Bush....what could possibly be more comical than that?

I can think of one small detail of the Trump character that may amuse even those of you that excuse all his shortcomings and bang on about how much you hate Hillary.....

In Trumps fancy castle in Florida, there is a portrait of the orange haired gent, fit and muscular, brandishing a tennis racquet, hung over the oversize fireplace....

And in another mansion, only a few blocks away, a portrait of the owner, fit and muscular, brandishing a tennis racquet, identical to the Trump painting in every way. Except in this case the egotist portrayed has a different face. I love it! Long may that unsung artist continue to bamboozle the egos of those with more money than sense.

ORAC 1st Aug 2016 06:02

The Khan's as parents deserve sympathy in their private grief. However, in allowing themselves to be put front and centre on the stage of the DNC to attack the Republican candidate they voluntarily, and partisanly, entered the political arena. When you climb into the cage, you can't complain when you get mauled by the lion.

Toadstool 1st Aug 2016 07:09


Is your level civility that far gone that you can't even call him by his name?
I note with amusement that when those on your side of the political spectrum call the First Lady Wookie, or Hillary Cankles or Nurse Ratchet, your problem with civility seems to vanish.

pattern_is_full 1st Aug 2016 09:01

Hmm - has Hillary ever lied - a priori - to influence policy? As did GHW Bush "Read my lips - no new taxes!" and George the 2nd "Iraq has weapons of mass destruction"?

4500 Americans died in Iraq due to Bush's policy based on lies. How many have actually died because of HRC's lies?

Has HRC ever enriched herself with unearned taxpayer money? Who has she "grifted" from? Serious factual arguments, please - not "2+2=17" tin-foil-hat imaginings.

The real "crimes" of the Clintons, which make certain types so mad they see orange, were:

1. Vandalizing the GOP's carefully-plotted "Southern Strategy" by regaining LA, AR, TN and KY (and in 1992, GA) for the Democratic Party, by running as a centrist Southern Governor in 1992 and a successful president in 1996.

2. Stealing the GOPs "fiscal conservative" thunder, by producing the first budget surpluses since the Nixon era (1998-2001). So much for "Reaganomics."

How dare they be so successful!! Especially playing "our" game!

2a - Of course, this year, thanks to Trumpo, Hillary has now stolen the GOP's "national security" thunder as well.

mary meagher 1st Aug 2016 10:00

Forgot to mention one particular question.

When is Donald Trump planning to share with us his income tax statements?

Honest politicians have done it long ago. What is he afraid of?

Orange future 1st Aug 2016 13:57

Newt Gingrich lets the cat out of the bag

Several truely scary comments made by gingrich in this interview.

The bottom line is the republican strategy now is that when facts dont work in your favour then ignore the facts and play to the voters feelings instead. Violent crime is down so lets ignore those facts and instead reinforce that the voters should "feel" scared by constantly scaring them.

pathetic that people fall for this

SASless 1st Aug 2016 14:38

ORAC, very well said!

Some here need to heed that advice when they post here.


When will Hillary provide full, complete , and truthful responses to questions at any inquiry, investigation, or hearing?

Honest politicians have done that you might recall.

Trump is being audited by the IRS and I am sure his Legal Counsel and Accounting Firm is advising to hold off doing so until the Audit is complete.

Perhaps in a show of good faith the Clinton Foundation will release their Accounting Records.

Would you be as interested in how all those Tens of Millions of Dollars for charity get spent?

Originally Posted by mary meagher (Post 9458076)
Forgot to mention one particular question.

When is Donald Trump planning to share with us his income tax statements?

Honest politicians have done it long ago. What is he afraid of?

Sallyann1234 1st Aug 2016 16:14

Are the US having an election? They're keeping that quiet! :E

MarcK 1st Aug 2016 16:18

Trump is being audited by the IRS and I am sure his Legal Counsel and Accounting Firm is advising to hold off doing so until the Audit is complete.
First of all, the IRS doesn't tell who it is auditing, so the claim that Trump is being audited is his to make, without any proof.

Forbes says:

Donald Trump has said that the reason that he has not released his tax returns is that his returns are being audited. The fact that his tax returns are under audit in no way prevents him from disclosing them. He has not stated which years’ tax returns are under audit. Normally tax returns are selected for audit between one and two years after they are filed. Trump tweeted a photo of him signing his 2014 form 1040 on October 15, 2015. This means that the 2014 tax return would not normally have been selected for audit until at least October of this year. However, when a taxpayer is under examination for a prior year, the auditor may request to see the current year form 1040 and add that to the list of returns being examined.

Tax practitioners disagree whether there is a risk of additional tax being imposed on Mr. Trump due to public disclosure of the information contained in his tax returns under audit. Some experts say that this would expose his tax return to greater scrutiny by allowing every tax professional in the country to suggest ways that Trump’s returns could be attacked. Others say the IRS already knows what they want to audit and are unlikely to be swayed by suggestions from the public. One may argue that if you want to run for president, you should not be concerned with how the disclosure of your tax return might affect your tax audit. That is the price you must pay to be transparent to the voting public. President Nixon disclosed his tax returns while under IRS audit. There was no suggestion that his disclosure had an impact on the audit.

ORAC 1st Aug 2016 16:26

The trouble with the DNC is they are talking to their own constituency, not appealing to those who voted for Trump and Sanders. The following is the response to the Khan issue being played up at the moment from an influential ex-USMC blogg*r, SNAFU!

This Khizer Khan controversy annoys the hell outta me and shows that the US military has become a pawn in the political process.

Ignore the competing Generals...one a Marine no less....Generals are political and if they've decided to show there real colors then so be it.

This stuff with Khan though annoys because a man did the hard thing for the country and instead of everyone being able to celebrate his life, honor his sacrifice and try and comfort his parents we're instead locked into a political fight.

That pisses me off.

Make no mistake about it. Khan insulted Trump 12 different ways on the stage and Republicans, Democrats and the elite in general are all piling on.

Everyone sees it but those people think this attack is working.

They're wrong.

What it will do is to further drag the US military into the same gutter the rest of the govt is in and any support will soon wane. Want to see something nasty? Watch what happens when military service become political instead of neutral.

Consider this another example of our great democracy slipping away. Worse? The establishment is so desperate to hold onto power that they're willing to smear any institution to do so. My question is this though. Trump and Sanders supporters all represent people in America that ARE NOT happy with the status quo. Even if the establishment/neo-cons get Hillary elected what happens next? What happens on the day after she's elected? What is the plan to fix things? If there is no relief for the millions of Americans that say the country is headed in the wrong direction then what's next? They tried elections and the DNC rigged the Democrat process and the Republicans sabotaged there nominee.

So what do the people do since the normal machinery of democracy no longer work?

PS. SACRIFICE IS NOT TRANSFERABLE! His son made the sacrifice. His son made the choice to run to danger to protect his troops. The father did not. He can be lauded for producing such a fine man but he cannot be praised for his "sacrifice". He can be sympathized with because of his loss BUT HE DID NOT SACRIFICE! We need to get our language right on these issues!

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