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The Demise of the United States is Inevitable

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Fred Sherman, Jul 29, 2011.

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  1. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    Hard to say. You could file a Freedom of Information Act request and see what the response is. I would think that you might be able to get names, but other personally identifiable information might be redacted. I am not sure on this, much depends on how the government views the request and whether they invoke any exemptions to disclosure.

    Realistically, none. You get high wealth individuals moving here who become US taxpayers and they create at least 10 jobs. I really don't see any downside to this program.
    EQnoble likes this.
  2. EQnoble

    EQnoble Well-Known Member

    Would they have to establish a permanent residence here and pay all the other normal taxes that other citizens pay in the meantime until they get citizenship once they have started the program?
  3. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    Yes. "Until" and after they are citizens, they have to pay taxes like anyone else.
  4. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    Looks like some more good news. This might further put off the "demise" of the United States.

    US Jobless Rate Falls to 3 Year Low.

    The United States economy gained momentum in January, adding 243,000 jobs, the second straight month of better-than-expected gains.

    The unemployment rate fell to 8.3percent, giving a cause for optimism as the economy shapes up as the central issue in the presidential election. The Labor Department’s monthly snapshot of the jobs market uses a different survey, of households rather than employers, to calculate the unemployment rate.
    Measured by both the unemployment rate and the number of jobless — which fell to 12,758,000 — it was the strongest signal yet that an economic recovery was spreading to the jobs market. The last time the figures were as good was February 2009, President Obama’s first full month in office.

  5. Fred Sherman

    Fred Sherman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, except that the real unemployment rate is 11.4%. The unemployment rate only counts those who are unemployed and actively looking for work. It doesn't count those who simply give up or those who are underemployed.




    If you factor in underemployment, the "traditional" definition of unemployment, those who have given up and those who were never employed and are looking for work for the first time the true rate of under/unemployed ends up being over 15%.

  6. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member


    Sure, but that definition has been constant over the current and previous administrations. So, when talking about how bad everything is now, if things in the "unemployment" rate are now better, then this is still an absolute improvement. You can't cite underemployment in one context (now, when numbers are looking up) without taking into account that this method of accounting was also true in bad times. Now, if you mean to argue that taking these numbers into account, over time, the underemployment rate now is still bad, taking into account the improvements, then you may have some legs to stand on (though, I am not sure this is true at all). But, I am also not sure by any means that is what you are saying, and, if that is your point, I would still point out that an improvement is an improvement and a net gain in jobs is a vital improvement in order to chip away at the underemployed number.
  7. Fred Sherman

    Fred Sherman Well-Known Member

    No, it hasn't.

  8. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member


    The cited article from the "American Thinker" (I am sorry, based on the content of the article, I have to place the title in quotation marks) suggests that Obama invented and changed the definition of unemployed. This is blatantly false. The definition has historically only counted folks who were actively looking for full time work. The last major revision to the Current Population Survey (CPS) used to count folks was in 1994. So, it is simply not true that "The participation rate had been jiggered to make Obama look good. " (And citation to the USA Today article supports the fact that the definition of unemployment has remain unchanged; though, it seems to be offered for the opposite point- that Obama has changed the way we account for those employed or not. Again, the citation proves the opposite is true: "The change will not affect how the unemployed are counted or the unemployment rate is computednor how long those eligible for unemployment benefits receive them. Analysts call the move a sign of the times." The change discussed to the CPS just expands how long people can report they have not been working. It is a positive thing, designed to give economists a better understanding of long term trends)

    Either the "American Thinker" writer is uninformed or he is intentionally mis-stating the facts. The definition has been constant across administrations. It is particularly offensive that the issue was framed this way, as some sort of action by President Obama to hide the true situation. All that does is place blame (in this case completely undeserved) in an intellectually dishonest way and does nothing to address the issue of employment. It impedes and prevents discussion of the real issues. People can disagree on issues, and that is part of the vitality of our democracy. It is quite another thing to refuse to engage the issues because of made up and ridiculous arguments.

    None of this changes that there was a net gain in people who were seeking work being put to work.
    "The United States economy gained momentum in January, as employers added 243,000 jobs, the second straight month of better-than-expected gains. And in a separate measure, the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent, giving a cause for optimism as the economy shapes up as the central issue in the presidential election."
    Essentially, your posts and the citations seem to suggest that it is not a positive thing that the unemployment rate dipped. If you have followed economic and labor statistics reporting, you would recognize that the reports usually comment on significant shift in the rate based on people either entering or leaving the workforce. There was no such caveat in the reports issued this morning. That aside, the article specifically talks about the unemployment as a separate statistic (which addresses, though obliquely, your concern with definition used) than the 243,000 jobs added.

    I don't really know what to say if you don't get that an additional approximately quarter of a million JOBS being added is both a good thing and an improvement over, say, zero jobs being added. It seems indisputable that it is a good thing.
    kyrgyz and Diana like this.
  9. Fred Sherman

    Fred Sherman Well-Known Member

    Its pretty simple. Add 250,000 jobs. A second 1 million people simply give up. Unemployment rate goes down? You can't get past the fact that government falsifies the U3 number, which is the "officially reported" figure by shifting a greater number of people into the U4 through U6 categories, which have steadily increased with no improvement.

    Its ENRON accounting.
  10. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    That there are different categories is well understood by anyone who follows the reported statistics. I don't know why people would get animated about the discovery that there are both different categories and that the one that is most often reported is not the definition they prefer to discuss. If you follow economics and labor statistics, this is not exciting or new news. The only reason that I can see for being excited about what has always been the case is if the discovery that U3 figures does not account for discouraged workers, marginally attached workers, or underemployed workers is a new realization. However, anyone who follows the issues know that U3, while not encompassing everyone, is the definition that everyone discusses when the news reports the "unemployment rate." If you don't like U3, you are free to discuss other measures. That there are different categories with different definitions does not mean that the government falsifies anything. It might be different if there were not different categories accounting for the different groups. You are pointing to the fact that there are different categories as evidence that the government is lying. Well, first off, since this has always been the way the employment statistics have been calculated, then if your premise were true, it is a problem with every administration, not something unique to the Obama administration. Every administration in recent decades has used the same figures and definitions. The evidence you cite supports the opposite conclusion than what you are arguing- that there is "falsification" going on. There is no falsification.

    So, what to do then with your issue with the use of the different categories. Well, let's take a look at what the categories actually state, U1-U6. Tell me which category you prefer to use.

    (In case it is difficult to read, here is a direct link: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf ).

    If you look at each of the categories U1-U6, they show in every single category a decrease in unemployment. That means, even counting each of your concerns with which definition used, there are less unemployed people. EVERY MEASURE SHOWS IMPROVEMENT. Do you disagree with this? So, while your last post talked about people giving up and that skewing the accounting, that is not what happened. You invented a scenario that did not actually happen and are using that to try to argue that there was not an improvement in the jobs picture. By every single category, no matter how you define how you count laborers, there was decreased unemployment. Thing this month are better. You see that, right? How is that ENRON accounting?
    Diana likes this.
  11. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    I also wonder why someone would really want to consider "discouraged workers" or "marginally attached workers" in any calculation of unemployment rates. These are people who are not looking for work. Kind of hard for them to become employed if they are not looking for employment. As a policy issue, it seems to me that you would want to address why they are not looking for work and see if there are things we could do to make them more apt to seek employment.
  12. Fred Sherman

    Fred Sherman Well-Known Member

  13. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    The hilarity continues!

    Nothing in that link shows that "numbers are fudged." The reporting is the same and the methodologies used are the same. Folks can disagree on the meaning of the numbers, but nothing indicates that the numbers are not the current best estimates calculated using longstanding accepted methodologies.

    No one has ever said anyone was in the GOP's pocket. So, I don't know where that came from. That said, if you want to talk about potential biases, the CNBC report you linked was from Rick Santelli (who is widely credited as one of the catalysts for the formation of the Tea Party). While I am not sure that always makes him a GOP shill, it certainly suggests a potential anti-Democrat position or worldview. However, I am not nearly interested in the biases ; I am interested in the fact that Santelli apparently does not understand what the population adjustment means and how it is accounted for by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Here's what Santelli said in the linked video:

    "What we got looked like a good report. I said, 'Let's get the calculator out,' and I did. And so did a boatload of my sources and big blogs that many people read like Zero Hedge. The labor force participation rate, if you look at non-seasonally adjusted, a fresh low going back to April of '83. If you look at seasonally adjusted, a fresh low participation rate going back to December of '81. What does that mean in English? Shrinkage. Shrinkage. 1.2 million people are now not considered unemployed anymore. They just have left the system. So, we need to concentrate on the internals, and eventually we want to watch the fixed income market to see if some of this sets in as people do their ciphering.

    Listen, when you look at the body counts on the establishment survey, we created jobs. That's a good thing. There's my perk. But I'm sorry, if you look at the other side, you look at the household survey, yes, we had this big seasonal adjustment. You can go to the BLS, you can see their economic release, you can see their situation summary. And we can see that 'not in labor force' moved from about 86.6 million to 87.8. There's your 1.2 million. And we do see the asterisk, there's been an adjustment on population. That's the way it goes. We make an adjustment. The last 12 months needed to be adjusted. It is what it is."

    Wow, pretty damning stuff. Except it is dead wrong. It seems to arise from a failure to understand that the population adjustment comes, as it must, when it is reported. They can't go back and apportion or pro-rate the data, because no one knows when there were increases overtime. The Census is not ongoing, it is an an every ten year event. It also fails to realize that stripping out the supposed source of the "jiggering," this population adjustment, and calculating the numbers would give you a zero change in participation rate. So, Santelli was flat wrong.

    Let's get back to biases for a minute. The American Spectator (if you don't know, a conservative magazine, which should be commended on having the intellectual honesty to debunk Santelli's and ZeroHedge's misstatements) has this to say about the Zero Hedge reporting on this (non)issue:

    "It is all the rage among conservatives, libertarians, and others who, like me, fear and loathe the Obama administration to point out the labor participation rate and suggest that the numbers are being manipulated to the advantage of Barack Obama and that labor statistics are barely-concealed "propaganda."
    One of the leaders of this wave -- and a guy who I think is generally quite a good analyst -- is Tyler Durden who writes over at ZeroHedge.com. A perfect example is here.
    I have some sympathy to this argument, but I think it's getting much more traction than it deserves, as you can see in the comments to Aaron's note and my note about the employment numbers.
    But even someone who digs into the numbers as much and as well as Durden does can sometimes miss something important.
    In particular, Durden says that the civilian non-institutional population rose by 1.7 million month-over-month but doesn't mention that almost all of that increase was due to an adjustment by Bureau of Labor Statistics based on the results of the 2010 census, plus smaller annual adjustments.
    From the BLS report:
    The adjustment increased the estimated size of the civilian noninstitutional population in December by 1,510,000, the civilian labor force by 258,000, employment by 216,000, unemployment by 42,000, and persons not in the labor force by 1,252,000. Although the total unemployment rate was unaffected, the labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio were each reduced by 0.3 percentage point. This was because the population increase was primarily among persons 55 and older and, to a lesser degree, persons 16 to 24 years of age. Both these age groups have lower levels of labor force participation than the general population.
    In other words, the participation rate (employment-population ratio) was reported to have dropped by 0.3%, exactly the amount of participation rate "drop" created by changing the population number used in the calculation (due to updated census data.) Without this once-a-decade adjustment, the change in participation rate would have been reported as...wait for it...zero.
    I don't want to overstate the significance of Durden's oversight, which conservative voices around the media and the web are also making, namely the idea that the participation rate dropped 0.3 percent and the labor force dropped more than 1.2 million in the past month. Those things are simply not true no matter how loudly people scream "conspiracy" and "propaganda." (Having been trading financial markets for about 25 years, I've heard these same accusations about economic data being manipulated to help the incumbent president -- whether Democrat or Republican -- so many times, they just bore me now.)
    And while the actual participation rate might in fact be this new lower number, that would also mean that prior numbers were lower. In other words, the top-line change -- caused almost entirely by using new census population numbers -- is an artifact of the new census data, but few people have read to the end of the BLS report to get that important piece of information.
    Furthermore, there are cyclical reasons that the participation rate shouldn't be as high now as it was a few years ago in a different part of the economic cycle, as economist Brian Wesbury (no liberal, he) explains.
    Look, I don't like writing anything that is likely to benefit Barack Obama or his supporters. But the facts are the facts, and the claims of a big one-month drop in labor force and participation rate are simply wrong. If our side is going to call certain data "propaganda," the least we can do is make sure we understand the data."
    So, to summarize, no numbers were fudged and Santelli was dead wrong about "shrinkage" and the participation rate. No fudging, no propaganda, and a good jobs report. As the man said, facts are facts.
  14. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

  15. Diana

    Diana Active Member

    Well said.
  16. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    We have decided to limit political topics here due to the type of reactions that they tend to draw out. Threads may be closed/removed. (See forum description.)
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