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Report on layoffs killed
January 4, 2003 4:41 PM   Subscribe

Shooting the messenger. "The Bush administration, under fire for its handling of the economy, has quietly killed off a Labor Department program that tracked mass layoffs by U.S. companies." (via madamjujujive)
posted by four panels (38 comments total)

 
Let's outsource the fundraising required to keep it alive to a faith based initiative.
posted by machaus at 4:53 PM on January 4, 2003


Thinking Bush has any plan to help the econmy except "tax breaks for th rich" is an act of faith.

If it turns out I'm wrong, it will be a miracle and I will "convert" on the spot.
posted by hipnerd at 5:21 PM on January 4, 2003


"Increasingly desperate liberal-slanted media, worried that the damn public seems to actually be starting to like Republicans better than Democrats, tries to put a bizarre spin on the disappearance of a statistic it was accustomed to using to smear Bush."

Apparently believes that in a time of falling tax receipts, when all state and federal agencies are dealing with a recession (that started during the Clinton years) $6.6 million dollars of spending to produce a single monthly number is a proper use of public tax dollars.

Which may itself contain a hint as to why the public seems to be preferring Republicans.
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:34 PM on January 4, 2003


How is it possible to be smeared by the truth? Or is it that the Labor Department was putting out false information?

These stories get "legs" not because of some "liberal media," which is about in the league of "the Jews stabbed Germany in the back" in terms of accuracy, but because they match up with a coherent story line, which in this White House happens to be getting control of information. If you can't change the reality, change the perception . . .
posted by palancik at 5:49 PM on January 4, 2003


MidasMulligan:
$6.6 million is but a drop in bucket of $44 billioni in spending at the labour department, and with dubya doing all he can to reduce tax revenues by helping his rich friends avoid taxes, it is hardly fair to call the canceling of this program a sign of welcome fiscal discipline.
posted by kickingtheground at 5:52 PM on January 4, 2003


Perhaps f*ckedcompany.com can be used as an alternate source for this info.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:05 PM on January 4, 2003


These stories get "legs" not because of some "liberal media," which is about in the league of "the Jews stabbed Germany in the back" in terms of accuracy, but because they match up with a coherent story line, which in this White House happens to be getting control of information.

The story is from SFGate. And is exactly what you'd expect from SFGate. It starts with the assertion that the Bush administration is "under fire for its handling of the economy". Under fire by whom? Well, by SFGate and those of it's ilk. (Cute tactic, fire at Bush for his handling of the economy, then report, as a fact, that he is "under fire for his handling of the economy" - which is a standard and well-worn tactic for giving such stories "legs", and is very much the effects of "liberal media").

And guess what, it is not a "story" that the White House is "getting control" of information. The White House has control of the Executive Branch of government. It had it when Clinton was in office (and believe me, conservatives and libertarians were not happy about the way he used his control). Now Bush has it. Tough noogies.

What this piece contains is a bunch of assertions, that, as usual, are accepted as facts. It implies that the statistic was quietly and delibrately killed to save Bush from some sort of embarrassment (right - the US President is worried about a single number). It does bother mention that the deparment itself gives a different reason - bureaucratic accounting glitches funneled money to a different place, that place took the money, and the department couldn't get any other department to fund it. Guess what, that sounds like perfectly normal inter-agency behavior during times of shrinking budgets. The group producing the statistic (who of course themselves think that it is "valuable") lost a turf battle.

It is the SFGate that decided to produce a story saying that it was not just normal Federal bureaucrats fighting for scarcer dollars, but was in fact a delibrate deep plot to stop the public from knowing the "truth". Of course it has no evidence to make such an assertion, but when has the lack of evidence stopped a crusader for "the people"?
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:22 PM on January 4, 2003


Alternative news reports for those dissatisfied with the SF Gate story:
Here's a story from the Baltimore Business Journal that says economists are also concerned that this report won't be available.

Here's a story from the Charlotte Observer (via the Miami Herald) quoting other officials who say the data is important.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:36 PM on January 4, 2003


MidasMulligan: It's factually incorrect to say that the recession started during the Clinton Administration. If you really want to blame Clinton for the economy, you should point out that the stock market bubble started during the Clinton administration

It's a little silly to cry poverty, though. The Bush administration has made it very clear that it has unlimited resources to fund its own priorities. The whole "times are tough, so we're gonna have to cut back on all the stuff I thought we shouldn't be doing to begin with"-routine gets old really fast.
posted by electro at 6:46 PM on January 4, 2003


And is exactly what you'd expect from SFGate. It starts with the assertion that the Bush administration is "under fire for its handling of the economy". Under fire by whom? Well, by SFGate and those of it's ilk. (Cute tactic, fire at Bush for his handling of the economy, then report, as a fact, that he is "under fire for his handling of the economy" - which is a standard and well-worn tactic for giving such stories "legs", and is very much the effects of "liberal media").

So are you saying that because bastions of conservative thought aren't howling bloody murder (yet) about the way that the Bush regime is handling the economy means that other critiques are somehow invalid? Please. That's circular reasoning in the worst way.

I would say that the low consumer confidence numbers indicate that its not just SFGate that has a problem with the way that Bush is running the economy.

If you scroll down to Table 1 here you can see a layout of the US GDP quarter by quarter for the last few years.
posted by bshort at 6:55 PM on January 4, 2003


all state and federal agencies are dealing with a recession (that started during the Clinton years)

Factually untrue.
"One definition of recession is two consecutive quarters with a declining gross domestic product. By this measure, the economy was explicitly not in recession when Bush took the oath of office on Jan. 20.

According to the Commerce Department, the economy grew (albeit slowly) in both the third quarter and the fourth quarter of 2000, by 0.6 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. GDP did decline in the first three quarters of 2001....

That definition of recession is a pretty blunt instrument. It doesn't indicate exactly when a recession begins, which is why economists rely on the more precise measurements of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of recessions and expansions ... NBER has been run since 1977 by Harvard economist Martin Feldstein, an architect of the Bush tax cut and an intellectual mentor to many prominent Republican policy-makers, including Glenn Hubbard, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

According to NBER's definition, the recession did not begin until after President Clinton left office. NBER's most recent "recession dating procedure" says, "A recession begins just after the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends as the economy reaches its trough." In other words, a recession begins as soon as the economy starts shrinking. And according to NBER, the economy peaked and started shrinking in March 2001, two months after the Bush presidency began. "The determination of a peak date in March is thus a determination that the expansion that began in March 1991 ended in March 2001 and a recession began in March." So according to NBER, the most recent recession did not start during the Clinton administration. (Nor did the expansion begin under Clinton; rather, it launched during President Bush the Father's term.)" ::source::
It is possible - perhaps even probable - that the economy would have tanked anyway, regardless of who was elected. However I do think its fair to say that Bush's handling of economic matters - especially his misguided tax cut and the subsequent re-emergence of massive Federal deficits - have not helped matters one little bit.
posted by anastasiav at 9:20 PM on January 4, 2003


Hope your touch is still workin' for ya there Midas...the rest of us seem to be struggling out here.

I'm happy to see we'll have even less information about the shiznit heap our economy has become lately. I enjoy being kept in the dark about the job my government is doing by the illegitimate, non-elected head of state. Saves me the trouble and expense of moving to Iraq or North Korea.
posted by zaack at 9:35 PM on January 4, 2003


So are you saying that because bastions of conservative thought aren't howling bloody murder (yet) about the way that the Bush regime is handling the economy means that other critiques are somehow invalid?

Oh goodness no. In fact I very much invite the left leaning press to keep on as it is doing. Continue with the tired old 60's rhetoric of "Republicans are only for the rich, they hate the poor". Keep up the dramatic assertions that most of America is composed of "oppresed" working classes just struggling to get by. That stopped resonating very well around the mid ninties. Hardly worked at all in 2000. Actually became virtually counterproductive in the 2002 elections. But jus' keep playin' that 'ol time music ... in fact, I hope Al Sharpton wins the Democratic nomination!

Hope your touch is still workin' for ya there Midas...the rest of us seem to be struggling out here.


An unemployment rate of 6.5% in the midst of a recession hardly sounds like "the rest of us" struggling. I certainly hope that the vocal people on this discussion board aren't considered some sort of representative sample set of Americans (as if it were true, the Democrats would control 3/4's of Congress, and own the White House). Most of "the rest of us" are still employed, using the recession's low interest rates to buy or re-finance houses, and in fact are doing pretty well.
posted by MidasMulligan at 11:36 PM on January 4, 2003


Double Post


Which may itself contain a hint as to why the public seems to be preferring Republicans

Well, Thank God: after losing the last three presidential elections, the Republicans are finally looking pretty good

I very much invite the left leaning press

Yeah, they're so left-leaning that they screamed until a very liberal Democrat independent counsel to investigate the Bush/Cheney embarrassing corporate connections and horrible 9-11 screw-up. They also cheered the Bush impeachment, right? Fuckin' commies, those media people...

I hope Al Sharpton wins the Democratic nomination!
Well, me too: the Republican Extreme Right Wing has already won the next Presidential nomination, so it's only fitting if the Democratic Extreme Left Wing wins the nomination too (unless of course you consider the Reverend to be less extreme than the beloved Attorney General)

Most of "the rest of us" are still employed, using the recession's low interest rates to buy or re-finance houses, and in fact are doing pretty well.
In plain English: "I'm doing good. Fuck you". A truly Compassionate Conservative
posted by matteo at 6:01 AM on January 5, 2003


I hope Al Sharpton wins the Democratic nomination!

Well, me too: the Republican Extreme Right Wing has already won the next Presidential nomination, so it's only fitting if the Democratic Extreme Left Wing wins the nomination too (unless of course you consider the Reverend to be less extreme than the beloved Attorney General)


See, that's the curious thing. On MeFi, The Bush Administration is the "Extreme Right Wing". In the rest of America, a majority apparently believes the Republicans represent their interests fairly well.


Most of "the rest of us" are still employed, using the recession's low interest rates to buy or re-finance houses, and in fact are doing pretty well.

In plain English: "I'm doing good. Fuck you". A truly Compassionate Conservative


No, in "plain English", most Americans are doing pretty well. I realize you'd very much like American lives to suck really badly, so Bush could be balmed for something ... but they don't.
posted by MidasMulligan at 8:16 AM on January 5, 2003


In the rest of America, a majority apparently believes the Republicans represent their interests fairly well.

what majority?

actually, let me just skip to the point. with such dismal voter turn-outs, it's impossible to say whose agenda the america people are craziest about. but that doesn't really prove anything. "well the majority ain't complainin' so it must be good!" is a pretty weak argument to have to fall back on.

No, in "plain English", most Americans are doing pretty well.

impressive indeed, despite the alleged thrashing you maintain clinton made on the economy. also, if you aren't busy later, could you tell my father and some of the women I work with that the thousands they've lost from their retirement funds in the past year are because they are actually doing pretty well?

and is very much the effects of "liberal media"

anyone else ever notice that when something doesn't something doesn't confirm their biases, conservatives will decry it as liberal controlled?
posted by mcsweetie at 8:52 AM on January 5, 2003


I realize you'd very much like American lives to suck really badly, so Bush could be balmed for something

I'd "very much like it"? Really? And why do you think that?
It's sad that you have reach such lows, Midas. "Not a Bush supporter" equals "anti-American"? That's slander, buddy. Aren't you ashamed to discuss politics this way?
You use pure McCarthyite tactics -- but you'll probably take it as a compliment anyway.
posted by matteo at 9:13 AM on January 5, 2003


MidasMulligan - 'in "plain English", most Americans are doing pretty well.'
on what do you base this statement? the poverty gap is widening in the us. less people are doing well. in contradiction to your randian world view:
'the working poor are our "involuntary philanthropists," performing the hardest work for the least money.' - Barabara Ehrenreich - Nickel and Dimed

MidasMulligan - 'See, that's the curious thing. On MeFi, The Bush Administration is the "Extreme Right Wing". In the rest of America, a majority apparently believes the Republicans represent their interests fairly well.'
which may stand as testament to the fear gripping the hearts and heads of america. fear instilled, for the majority, by those who seek to turn it into dollars and power, as that nice mr marilyn manson likes to say.
the majority of the bush government would be seen as extreme right wing via any lens other than that of an extreme right winger.

mental note: ignore MidasMulligan posts in general, unless backed up with linked references.
posted by asok at 10:17 AM on January 5, 2003


It's sad that you have reach such lows, Midas. "Not a Bush supporter" equals "anti-American"? That's slander, buddy. Aren't you ashamed to discuss politics this way?

Ah yes ... but it was in response to your "low blows". This continualk "Bush=evil" tripe, the perpetual allegations that Republicans are cruel and selfish, and only care about some elite segment of America (despite the fact that the majority of the American eletorate seems to leaning more and more towards their position) ... well, aren't you ashamed to "discuss politics this way" - in cheap sound bites and worn-out caricatures?

You think "I'm doing good. Fuck you". A truly Compassionate Conservative" is not a cheap, low, "McCarthyite" tactic?

How about if I respond by paraphrasing you as saying "in plain English, I'm not doing good, it must be the fault of the rich, so it is my right to take as much as I can get from them - and if they compalin, I'll say they are selfish. A truly compassionate Democrat."

Will that be you being perfectly reasonable, but me hitting a new "low"? Right on!
posted by MidasMulligan at 10:17 AM on January 5, 2003


the perpetual allegations that Republicans are cruel and selfish, and only care about some elite segment of America

If the glove fits.
posted by owillis at 10:19 AM on January 5, 2003


No, in "plain English", most Americans are doing pretty well. I realize you'd very much like American lives to suck really badly, so Bush could be balmed for something ... but they don't.

If you're basing this idea on "6.5% unemployment", you're missing a few things.

- Unemployment figures are often based on use of unemployment benefits. When your benefits run out, you are no longer listed as unemployed. The recession has been going for close to two years now and there are plenty of people whose benefits have run out with no job in sight.

- Unemployment figures don't count people who have taken massive pay cuts and gone back to shabby entry-level jobs in order to stay afloat. They may be employed, but I wouldn't call that "doing pretty well".

- Most working adults have mates and possibly children, all of whom have to tighten their belts if one source of income dries up. My wife's been out of work for over a year, and her benefits are long gone; we're in no danger of starvation, but we are sure as hell not "doing pretty well".

- Many of the people who lost their jobs were well-paid tech workers, who tend to pump their money back into the local economy. I don't know where you live, but up here in Seattle *everyone* feels the pinch. Some people probably are "doing pretty well", but they certainly don't appear to be the majority.

In any case, at minimum 6.7% of the country is flat out of work. You're telling me this economy offers EIGHTEEN MILLION people no way to support themselves, and that's okay with you?
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:24 AM on January 5, 2003


Something about that last number made me suspicious. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that 8 million is closer to the correct figure. Still - that is a lot of people out of work for most people to be "doing pretty well".
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:45 AM on January 5, 2003


It starts with the assertion that the Bush administration is "under fire for its handling of the economy". Under fire by whom?

Well, these people at least: Bush Economy Plan Sparks Democrat Attacks.
posted by ahughey at 10:56 AM on January 5, 2003


Darn it Midas, you've got it all figured out. We've all had a good scam going, collecting that $230 a week and not having to work.
That's way cooler than earning $80,000+ a year as an engineer at some crappy telecom.
And those who run out of unemployment benefits may even be able to collect food stamps soon! Wow, that would be great!
I'll be eating steak, driving a cadillac and pumping out more illegitimate children while some hard working conservative like you pays for it!
Is this a great country or what?
posted by 2sheets at 10:59 AM on January 5, 2003


Aren't you ashamed to discuss politics this way?

MeFi is not exactly a place where politics get discussed in a reasonable way. To give it a shot, however ...

Yes. I am doing fine. My touch does still work. I left a comfortable job and started a business last year. Risked a lot of my own money, and spent months of 18 hours days, and sleep deprived travel getting it off the ground. But it is succeeding ... in fact, the businesses I market to seem to be starting to invest again in new capabilities. In fact, I am hiring right now - I've added a dozen people in the last couple of months (i.e., I've created employment for people, with good salaries and benefits for their families), and will probably need to triple that in 1Q 2003.

Now here's the thing. Bush is talking about tax breaks. I hope they benefit me - as at both the business and personal level, I pay a lot of damn taxes. But should I get tax breaks that leave me personally, and my business, with more money, guess what I'll do with that money? Expand my business. Build out a new division that will employ more people.

Now Democrats are going to skewer Bush - and carry on with the worn-out "it will only benefit the rich" garbage. And they will (as they are even in this thread) try to simultaneously blame Bush for high unemployment. The Republicans are going to attempt to assert that leaving more money in the private sector is likely to create many more jobs, much faster, than that same money in the hands of the government (which in the case of myself, and most of the other businesspeople in the circles I travel in, is absolutely true).

It remains to be seen which perspective will be adopted by the American eletorate 2 years from now. I should note, however, that every class - from the poorest to the richest, contains equal amounts of "compassionate" and "selfish" people.

At any rate, the voting trend lately seems to indicate that American electorate is leaning towards the position that the best way to create jobs is to leave resources in the hands of the people that create jobs. If you want to somehow portray this as "selfish", fine. And I'll freely admit that I do, selfishly, want as many breaks as I can get - to expand my business.

My "selfishness", in other words, is likely to be providing jobs for upwards of 50 people by mid-year ... and if I (being one of those hated "rich", get a big tax break, that number may be considerably higher). Tell me, how many people will your "compassion" be employing?

Or would you prefer not to delve into reality? Maybe stay at the level of the one-liner? Figure out some way to show how what I've just said is going to hurt "the poor"? Toss off a couple of snide little pithy responses that imply you are deeply compassionate, and I am horribly selfish?
posted by MidasMulligan at 11:01 AM on January 5, 2003


I'll agree with Midas on one thing - political debates on MeFi tend to spin out of control pretty quickly. That said, he's done a lot of the spinning himself here - the above post is primarily concerned with vituperative jabs at liberal strawmen and a lengthy explanation of his own career as of late. What that has to do with the original post, I'm not sure (oh, I know, Midas has to defend himself because of all these lefty Mefi'ers attacking him, but that doesn't justify veering from the post).

To bring it back, though - Midas, as a small-business owner, doesn't it bother you at all that you now have less access to economic data than before? Now, granted, the SFGate article is pretty quick to attack Bush for what is likely just a falling-through-the-cracks; that should be expected from a liberal publication. But attacking SFGate as liberal doesn't get to the heart of the matter - the administration is letting a lot of data sources (economic and otherwise) close, in some cases closing them itself, at a time when those data are of increased importance to businesses, states, individuals, etc. The administration should probably reinstate the program; if it doesn't, is it completely unfair to wonder if maybe Bush likes it better when the public is in the dark?
posted by risenc at 11:59 AM on January 5, 2003


When your benefits run out, you are no longer listed as unemployed

As a non-Amercian, can I ask why benefits run out?
posted by Summer at 12:19 PM on January 5, 2003


i can't wait to hear the prose flowing out of his mouth when his business slumps and MidasMulligan "has to" let go a score of people in order to preserve his own status quo.
posted by quonsar at 12:22 PM on January 5, 2003


At any rate, the voting trend lately seems to indicate that American electorate is leaning towards the position that the best way to create jobs is to leave resources in the hands of the people that create jobs.

This just in: Americans against tax cuts by margin of 2 to 1

Results of AP Poll on Economy, Terrorism - December 30, 2002
1. Looking ahead to a year from now, do you expect your family's financial situation to be ...

* Better than it is now, 44 percent

* Worse than it is now, 10 percent

* About the same as it is now, 44 percent

* Don't know-refused, 2 percent

2. Has recent financial news made you more cautious about spending money, less cautious about spending money or has it not changed your spending habits?

* More cautious, 44 percent

* Less cautious, 4 percent

* Have not changed spending habits, 51 percent

* Don't know-refused, 1 percent

3. Do you think it is more important to pass additional tax cuts to stimulate the economy now or do you think it is better to hold off on tax cuts to make sure that the budget does not go into a deeper deficit?

* Better to wait on tax cuts, 64 percent

* Pass tax cuts to stimulate the economy, 28 percent

* Don't know-refused, 8 percent

4. Thinking about a possible war with Iraq, how worried are you that this might increase the chances of a terrorist attack within the United States?

* A great deal, 33 percent

* A fair amount, 32 percent

* Not much, 32 percent

* Don't know-refused, 3 percent

5. If you had to choose, which do you think poses the greater threat to the United States -- Iraq and Saddam Hussein or the al-Qaida terrorist network and Osama bin Laden?

* al-Qaida/Osama bin Laden, 59 percent

* Iraq/Saddam Hussein, 29 percent

* Don't know-refused, 12 percent

Analysis:

After a brief period of quiescence, the supply-side brigade is again in full battle cry, draping itself with the current worries about the U.S. economy to advance its belief that tax cuts somehow generate more revenue than they cost, as if the human body could be genetically engineered to regrow a severed limb.

Who's Buying It?
Big Shakeup! Fresh Faces! Political Capital! Too bad all the hoopla doesn't come with any real change in economic policy.

Steven Rattner is managing principal of Quadrangle Group LLC, a private investment firm.
posted by y2karl at 12:43 PM on January 5, 2003


Mida$Mulligan is buying it by the case.
posted by quonsar at 12:52 PM on January 5, 2003


Has Dubya done anything to help the economy? Anything at all? The right wing apologistas come swinging in to defend Bush's economic policy but Bush doesn't have an economic policy - he has an economic ideology.
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:57 PM on January 5, 2003


That said, he's done a lot of the spinning himself here - the above post is primarily concerned with vituperative jabs at liberal strawmen and a lengthy explanation of his own career as of late.

It was in response to "vituperative jabs at conservative strawmen". And "my own career" was used as a case in point.

What that has to do with the original post, I'm not sure.

I was responding to the discussion as it had developed. One poster had apparently wanted to step above one-liners, and have a discussion. I tried to start one - explaining why not only me, but my employees might feel as though the tired old "Bush=evil, only cares about the rich" rhetoric doesn't resonate anymore. Even my personal secretary, an hourly-wage single mother (that should be a huge consumer of the "Bush hates the poor" line) will likely vote Republican - because she doesn't see me as the enemy in the class war the Dems are trying to recruit her into, but understands that the benefits she now gets for her children, her possible bonuses and raises next year, and her chance for advancement have all aligned her interests with mine. Simply put, if my business gets a tax break, she'll get some of it. Her self-interest is better served, in practical terms, by my "selfishness" than by the Democrat's "compassion". But enough of that.

Sorry to intrude upon the normal back-and-forth of one-liners. However, since you do want to bring it back to the FPP:

Midas, as a small-business owner, doesn't it bother you at all that you now have less access to economic data than before?

Goodness no. In the last decade or so there has been an immense increase in the amount of economic data freely available - from both the public and private sectors - as an effect of the information age. I do certainly consume a lot of it, but the difficulty I face, at a practical level, is not finding data, it is filtering through the vast quantities of it that are now available.

A few federal bureaucrats, and a few state bureaucrats, will likely complain about this statistic or that one being discontinued (in fact, a few people will complain about any federal progam of any kind that is ever discontinued), but in practical terms, anyone that currently complains that they are somehow not able to get the information they need to do their job ... probably just needs to be introduced to the concept of the "modem".
posted by MidasMulligan at 1:20 PM on January 5, 2003


Thanks, MidasMulligan. It's refreshing - and surprising - to see postings in this playpen from an actual adult with real-world experience. I appreciate it.
posted by mojohand at 1:23 PM on January 5, 2003


Midas - Fair enough. Clearly this isn't data that you rely on, and I can see why it doesn't therefore concern you that it's not available. But as you say, there are clearly business owners who did use it -- and, if the ridiculously biased SFGate is to believed -- some economists considered it very useful as well. What if the economic data you rely on was suddenly made unavailable? Would this sort of benign neglect on the administration's part bother you then?
posted by risenc at 1:47 PM on January 5, 2003


Midas: Despite having a similar size and stage company in the UK, I can't say that I agree with either your politics or economics. However, I do agree with you on the posting - a glib, single figure like that published is of little or no use.

I wish you all the best with your endeavours and hope you are successful with your business - subject to usual leftist leaning provisos regarding the exploitation of disabled lesbians, etc. ;<)
posted by daveg at 1:59 PM on January 5, 2003


Here is a pdf file of the final layoff report covering "events" through November. This is the only national, standardized tracking of its kind. This state-by-state and industry-by-industry comparative data is not information that reporters or the general public can readily gain via modem, as has been suggested. Many regional economists tried to prevent the program cut since they find the information valuable. Among the many reasons they cite in the news links above - the information is a "tool for operational decisions on service delivery and funding allocations for dislocated-worker programs." And it's a common business mantra: what gets measured gets managed.

I am disturbed because it is just another example of this administration controlling the information flow to the general public. To those who say that all administrations do this, please offer supporting links about reports that prior administrations quashed or removed from websites. Yet whether it's layoff reports, prior Surgeon General Reports on AIDS prevention tactics or current EPA reports on asbestos peril affecting millions, when it comes to public information access, this administration seems to hold a "less is more" philosophy.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:03 PM on January 5, 2003


Thanks, madamjujujive. What's amazing is that clearly the SFGate folks didn't read this latest report - it shows that mass layoffs are down significantly from a year ago, evidence, if anything, that Bush would want to tout. So, lacking any other facts, it's hard to assert that Bush "quietly killed off" the program to cut back on fodder for Democrat attacks.

That said, it's nevertheless disturbing that the administration would let it be discontinued. As madamjujujive said, it's the latest in a string of such moves - whether out of benign neglect or national security or the protection of presidential prerogative - that have undermined the public's access to useful, if not vital, information.
posted by risenc at 6:09 PM on January 5, 2003


Just spoke to a friend of mine at the BLS. They've all seen the article, and my friend agrees that cutting the program was a big deal for them. However, he says the buzz there is that it was not a political decision, but an economic one; since the program was funded in a rather backdoor manner, it was easier for the Employment and Training Administration to cut it than to cut any of its own programs. The BLS is a historically non-political group, so it'd be rare if it were subject to political shenanigans. I'd love to blame this on the Bush administration, but it looks like that can't accurately be done here.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:03 AM on January 6, 2003


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