More lucky duckies:
The country got some more disappointing news about jobs on Thursday.
Initial claims for unemployment rose last week to a seasonally adjusted half a million, the first time since November that they have reached that level.
The Department of Labor said in its weekly report that the seasonally adjusted jobless claims climbed by 12,000 to 500,000 from the previous week’s revised 488,000.
Wall Street analysts had expected the seasonally adjusted claims to drop.
“The whole lack of improvement and further rise in claims coincides with the concerns about production and growth in the economy,” Steven C. Wieting, the economist for Citi, said.
Too b ad, folks. Gotta worry ’bout the deficit and the spending doncha know…
Since I belong to the bottom-feeding class, I am often amazed at the surprise among the chattering class about the depth of economic troubles.
So the unemployment rate went up? Duh!
And those numbers don’t even include a lot of people for a number of technical reasons. The real unemployment rate is at least 1.5 times the official number, maybe 2.0 times that number.
And I suppose they will be surprised when consumer confidence is down, too.
I know it is tempting to rend garments over what-might-have-beens or mock foolish Republican talking points, but I really am interested in what this community suggests should be done that can be done.
Memeorandum says it all this morning…….most important news 1. Obama’s a Muslim……2. MOSQUE! 3. Economy Sucks……..oh, and the last combat troops pulled out of Iraq but so fucking what! Obama is a big FAIL…..couldn’t even make the majority of front pages in Amuricu today. Sad.
Because the best way to create jobs is to roll back spending. If there’s one thing Business 101 has taught me well – Less Spending = More Jobs.
Conservative Economics at its’ finest.
Davis X. Machina
The wealthy get to live in an economy, in the land of profit-and-loss. The rest of us live in a morality play, in the land of moral deserts.
The present crisis represents a golden opportunity to turn age-old sensibilities about debt, and responsibility, and prudence, that the rest of us took in with our mothers’ milk into further riches for the few who manage to be, and stay, rich.
When there’s a flood the tall guy gets to picks the pockets of the corpses of the short guy, and even if the flood covers him, too, the tall guy drowns last.
Don’t know if you seen it yet, but mention of the lucky duckies reminded me of this comic I saw the other day. Seems on point.
Tom Friedman says what we have to do is “innovate”. Then you have lots of jobs that won’t be outsourced (provided you innovate in just the right way), and that pay well.
“Innovate”. It’s the simple solution to our problems.
Can someone flatten Friedman’s face? Fucking asshole, he can take his global economic pop psychology and shove it up his ass.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@Quiddity: Did you see the post on TPM about the tea party exchange? It was set up supposedly so that tea partiers would spend their money at companies that were supporting the tea party. But the founder outsourced the web site development to India. That didn’t go over too well with the rest of the TPers.
I went to WSJ and read the comments to their reporting of the unemployment numbers. WSJ is REALLY getting dogged out about the “unexpected” nonsense.
This is from The Wonk Room. No worries now folks.
We’ll all be shittin’ in high cotton soon. Good thing no one listens to loonies like Bill Gross. Help the middleclass, indeed. Preposterous.
If these kind of numbers continue to drop the next few months, the democrats would have to start praying in the Park51 mosque with the Muslims for deliverance.
What you said.
Here’s my version of should be done:
Go way beyond expiration of the Bush tax cuts to make the tax system much more progressive and an engine for downward wealth redistribution by adding additional income tiers at 1 million, 4 million and 10 million, with the top marginal rate at 70 percent. Don’t like it? Too bad – we are at war, this is a national emergency, etc. Then pass a massive domestic infrastructure spending bill, in the range of 3 trillion (i.e. the cost of a major war) over the next 6 years focused mostly on green energy, to give us the foundation for dealing with Peak Oil, and to revive our domestic manufacturing and construction industries.
Oh wait…you asked for what can be done.
[looks at US Senate]
Sorry, I got nuthin.
According to Ezra the majority of job losses are coming from businesses with <50 employees.
I question our profit-driven view of the economy. Most businesses are not primarily profit-driven – they're cashflow driven. They're FAR more worried about making payroll next year than they are about turning a bigger profit this month. That requires access to capital that small business doesn't have – dealing with giant banks is a PITA, and why the fuck would BofA lend a small business money to expand at current rates when they have a million more profitable places to earn their quarterly profit? My friends with small businesses have that common complaint – it's difficult to borrow money to get through seasonal revenue swings, both in terms of getting approved and dealing with the administrative hassle (and we wonder why so many small business owners resorted to borrowing against their house, which is cheap and easy).
I think bank consolidation has been a serious mistake in more ways than people realize. Big banks simply don't give a fuck about the economy of a town, nor do they understand it, and if they don't understand it, they're going to steer their resources into things they do understand. Those regional banks helped anchor communities and small businesses. When I was in college (small private college back east) at the end of the registration line that everyone snaked through to get their parking, classes, pay tuition, etc. was a table for the bank in town. Sitting at the table was the president of the bank. He was a trustee of the college. If you got to the end of the line and couldn't make tuition, he'd write you a loan on the spot. If you paid it within a month, there was no interest. If you needed longer it was the same rate as Pell loan. He didn't need to write a lot of them, but they sure saved a lot of people (myself included). A lot of businesses in town relied on the bank to get them through minor disasters and such, and it worked well. Today there's a Citibank branch in town and that's it. You think someone from Citibank is there helping the students stay in college? You think the general store (yes, there's still a general store) in town can go to them if they need short-term capital to cover an order?
No, we've got an efficient, highly profitable, big corporation national economy. There's pretty much no stability to local economies any more, and it's local economies that are labor-heavy and focused on jobs. We need to find a way to get that balance back.
Excellent comment otherwise. I agree about the disconnect between local business and globalized banks. The top tiers of the FIRE economy have become parasitical to a degree which can no longer be tolerated – the benefits of whatever efficiencies they provide are not flowing to anyone except a small group of highly compensated folks at the top of the corp. org chart who have figured out how to loot their own companies by way of strip-mining the broader economy – what Yves Smith calls Looting 2.0.
Gen. Jrod and his Howling Army
@Martin: It’s not in the interest of any of the large economic players for the poor to go to college, or for the Mom an’ Pop general store to stay open.
It’s long past time to accept that, for most of the wealthiest organizations and individuals, the proper economic system is feudalism. For many, our current economy’s rapid destruction of the middle class is not a problem, but long overdue. Frankly, since the people have spent the last 40 years cheering this process along, it’s hard to say we don’t have this coming.
@ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I wrote it that way because if you’re struggling to make payroll this month, hiring is the least of your worries. But if you’re worried about payroll next year, one solution to that might be to expand your business into new products, new areas, new services and add employees today. The question becomes where does that initial capital come from, and my sense is that there are very few places to go to get it now. Higher interest rates might actually help encourage banks to loan money rather than shoving it into securities, etc.
It’s the ‘big government’ argument that I think a lot of conservatives get half right – federalizing things sometimes makes things much worse. We need big national banks, but nothing but big national banks is a disaster. We need a national education policy, but no local education control and influence would also be a disaster. Conservatives would do well with a ‘control appropriate to the effort’ government and economic message. If you want to encourage small business, you need to give local economies the means to control their destiny – they need to have a reasonable amount of their own tax control, their own regulation/permitting control, their own ability to inject money into the economy (either from local government or from private companies like banks that have primary focus in the region), and so on. That would shift the debate away from ‘government is good/evil’ to ‘how do we ensure that this region (federal/state/local) has the ability to look after their own interests’. Inherent in that is a revisit of the idea of a ‘free market’. A free market is not freedom from government influence, but a market which is dynamic. A region with one bank isn’t a free market, even if there is no regulation on that bank as it just substitutes the bank’s ability to control the market for the government’s ability to control the market. If you’re opposed to the latter, you should be even more opposed to the former since there is no voter input on the bank decisions, where at least voters participate in local government.
A local economy/government movement, as a Democratic/populist movement from the left would be a very interesting twist, and I think would garner a lot of support from voters.
Sometimes I wonder if the ‘Black Jimmy Carter’ tag fails in its use as snark.
I sure am glad that both political parties couldn’t manage a coherent economic discussion if their lives depended on it. Because in times of massive destabilizing recession, let’s continue our ways of deciding all matters of economic policy on politics, politics, politics.
Because allowing Presidents Snowe, Collins, Brown and Nelson with Supreme Potentate Geithner to work all alone in the shadows appears to be paying off such wonderful dividends.
I feel like I should be listening to late ’20s music…
Why can’t more of our departments be as innovative about receiving funding as our police departments?
This article, for example, explains that policemen are getting to avoid staff cuts by getting around civil asset forfeiture laws (especially by contracting the case to private attorneys). Civil asset forfeiture laws essentially state that money seized have to go towards public departments other than police departments; typically, that would be schools. One state which requires such laws, Indiana, has five of its ninety-two counties paying in to the school system via forfeiture scenarios, and the total amount of money received by the schools is far below the amount of money seized.
The police departments, long cheated out of its labor, are finally being able to skirt around the law. Further innovations are needed by our other industries to bring back funds; for example, construction companies should be obligated to build 1000-room schools if they are contracted to build 100, for example. Using these tactics, the money earned can created more jobs.
(I learned of the story via Ed Brayton.)
@Objective Scrutator: You don’t want asset forfeitures to support the police – that creates a dangerous incentive feedback that should be strongly avoided. Basically you’d be legalizing kickbacks that isn’t voluntary for the giving party.
I hadn’t thought of it that way, but you’re absolutely right. The way things are set up, jobs and money are draining away from the country as a whole and pooling in a finite number of places.
I remember during the big tech bubble that places like Starbucks started having major problems finding employees because they literally could not afford to live within an hour of the store. I think that’s happening quite a bit, just under the radar.
Don’t worry, I was just spoofing. It was intended as a link for John, since he tends to get particularly riled up at the police.
As a small business owner what I need is customers with money and the willingness to spend some of it. How can they do that without a job or a least a job that provides a living wage?
Fuck the banks. And any more small local banks can’t compete with the big banks so they don’t do a much better job today. Everything it this country is biased towards bigger is better. What’s the government idea of a small business? 500 or less employees or 7 million in sales. And it’s the businesses of less than 50 that are suffering the most. No one in government, or the wall st casino gives a crap about actual small business. You learn fast that you are on your own when you own one.