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Barack Hussein Obama entered the record books last week by completing the longest string of months with unemployment above 8% since the Great Depression - 43 consecutive months. It became official when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the September 2012 figure - 7.8%.
The 7.8% number - a three tenths of one percent drop from the August number (which is considered huge) - left every serious observer on Planet Earth scratching his or her head. The other survey everyone always references - the weekly report of "jobs added or lost" has been weak, on a generally downward trajectory throughout 2012, and a steep downward trajectory for the entire previous quarter.
How to reconcile the two contradictory reports? How is it "unemployment" can drop, when weekly jobs added is stuck in the low 100 thousands, and declining, when everybody knows you need a sustained rate of 200 thousand a month just to keep up with new entrants to the labor pool? (Recent college graduates worth their sheepskin should now be starting to grasp why they have no job offers)
Some fingered statistical survey anomalies. "Fox All-Star" Stephen Hayes was among them. He warned the administration to be wary of a swing in the opposite direction next month - right before the election - as the coming statistical correction.
This explanation for the September number could be on target - but the warning for the October number is dead wrong. My Google machine tells me Mr. Hayes graduated from the Columbia school of Journalism. I'm guessing he didn't darken the hallways of the math department much. Let me tell you how probability and statistics works, Mr. Hayes. Each roll of the dice is completely independent. Roll of the dice N has no impact whatsoever on roll of the dice N+1. If your line of reasoning were accurate, you would have never heard from me on this blog. I would be living in Vegas making money hand over fist with a simple system of extrapolation.
Some harbor conspiracy theories explaining the 7.8% number was cooked. On the same Fox panel, Charles Krauthammer poo-pooed such as crazy talk. It's not as if they have a daily conference call, or anything. Yeah, sure, maybe they used to, but they've learned their lesson, you know.
Krauthammer is half-right. They couldn't get away with a massive conspiracy. Too big a surface for leaks and betrayals. But they don't need a massive conspiracy. The BLS reports to Secretary of Labor Hilda I. Solis. She's as big a Leftie activist and agitator as Obama himself, as prone as they all are to doing what it takes to stay in power, without reference to conventional ethics, and gives me no reason to give her the benefit of the doubt on the anything as simple as even the time of day. Solis and Obama don't need a daily conference call. They've been independently on the same page from the time each independently entered Team Leftie's ideological zombie army.
That said, I'm not with the conspiracy theory crowd. The gub'ment produces numbers, these numbers have varying degrees of accuracy, and armies of ideological zombies work day and night to spin them for your consumption. That's it.
So, how do we reconcile these numbers - the 7.8% and the 114,000? Simple. Basically, we're looking at a division problem with a numerator and denominator. The numerator is the number of people without a job who are actively looking for one, the denominator is those people plus those who have a job (the labor pool). This division yields a ratio that can be expressed as a percentage. Those who have become discouraged and have stopped looking for work are not counted as part of the "labor pool." While they are still people with economic needs, they are essentially invisible to gub'ment accounting.
So, what would be the statistical indicators of growth in this invisible population? Answer: no growth or even declines in the percentage of the population participating in the "labor pool" (blue line, next chart).
No wonder he's the Food Stamp President.
A vote to for Obama is a vote to be thrown into those old grainy black and white photos, from the old Soviet Union, of people standing in line all day for a loaf of bread.
Yesterday, Hack Wilson posted six charts making the obvious case Obama-Biden has been one big three letter word: F-A-I-L. My favorite insight is the inverse correlation between food prices and median household income. Still got white guilt?
LibertyAtStake is the alter ego of a vaguely accomplished self-employed Northern Virginia based Project Manager who maintains his professional profile at "http://www.linkedin.com/pub/joe-figliola/1/bb6/19a". He is known to have a somewhat unsettling obsession with the music of the Kinks ... but as far as anyone knows, has never dated a "composite".