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Good news for 308,000 American citizens and one President.
April 2, 2004 11:45 AM   Subscribe

U.S. job growth strongest in 4 years in March. Non-farm payrolls climbed 308,000 in March, the Labor Department said, the biggest gain since April 2000. However, the unemployment rate actually ticked upward from 5.6%, the two-year low seen in January and February, to 5.7% in March. Note in passing that this took place during the Bush administration!
posted by msacheson (67 comments total)

 
Note in passing that this took place during the Bush administration!

Well, then it is obviously a lie !!!

The article fails to paint a rosy picture, regardless of the title.
posted by a3matrix at 11:56 AM on April 2, 2004


Can anyone explain why unemployment went up too? Are the newly unemployed taking their time filing for unemployment or something?
posted by whatnot at 12:03 PM on April 2, 2004


I find little happiness that the jobs added have just reached the yearly average. This just means that the amount of unemployed Americans grew, as well as the number of jobs created. Different sectors of the market can be growing/shrinking at different rates. For example, the housing industry [Architects, engineers, contractors] is the first sector to go downhill and the last to recover. While the Defense sector pretty much stays the same [or grows].
posted by plemeljr at 12:10 PM on April 2, 2004


The unemployment rate is the percentage of people who are WILLING, ABLE and LOOKING. The rate climbed to 6.2%, then people stopped looking. (Or, like me, they started their own company after a year of unemployment.) People that stop looking are not included in the surveys.

So, there were 308k new jobs added, but unemplyment went up. That means at least 309k are newly looking for work (either just-fired, suffered a lay off, or were encouraged enough to enter the looking-for-work population.

Remember: The Bush Administration promised 320,000 new jobs EACH MONTH for 2004, because Bush's tax cuts would finally have kicked in. They haven't reached that yet and to get that average by the end of the year they'll need closer to 400k each month now.

PS: My first post, ever. I've been waiting nearly 3 years to sign up. Does that make me persistant or desperate? =)
posted by andreaazure at 12:15 PM on April 2, 2004


One possible explanation: unemployment rates don't count people who are so discouraged, they've stopped looking for work. The new numbers might indicate that some of these people have started looking again. Generally good news.

In related (bad) news, this Washington Monthly article makes the case that the housing bubble will burst, counteracting the recovery. Uh oh. Keep those fixed rate mortgages.

That article also makes an interesting case that Alan Greenspan kept the housing bubble inflated to spur this recovery.
posted by jeffmshaw at 12:16 PM on April 2, 2004


Wait until post-election when the "revised" numbers come out.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:20 PM on April 2, 2004


Yeah, the only way this could have happened is if some previously unemployed and not actively searching for work people decided to stop watching Springer and get a job again.

Is there another explanation? Fudged numbers?

I've always wondered about that Non-farm payroll thing, are those numbers left out because of the seasonal nature of farming?
posted by fenriq at 12:20 PM on April 2, 2004


You know, we've been hearing that the housing bubble is going to burst for a long long time. Eventually, I suppose it will happen, but the timing and the size of the "burst" are purely speculative.

Unemployment, however, is here and now and very real. And very bad.
posted by Outlawyr at 12:22 PM on April 2, 2004


PS: My first post, ever. I've been waiting nearly 3 years to sign up. Does that make me persistant or desperate? =)

It means you missed the sign-up in the summer of '02 when I finally got in ;)
posted by The God Complex at 12:23 PM on April 2, 2004


That's certainly good news, considering there was zero job growth in Feb.
posted by mathowie at 12:27 PM on April 2, 2004


It seems the glass is half full or half empty depending on one's political affilliation.

I was pondering earlier today why it is we are silly enough to believe that one man can be held responsible for a nation's economy. Small businesses, large businesses, local and state governments, and individuals all make decisions and take actions large and small that have an effect. Add to that natural disasters and world events (okay, in the latter George W. does have some imput) and frankly, only God Almighty Himself can discern where cause and effect happen.

And I haven't even brought up the fact that there are no instant fixes. Even if a President does exactly what he should do in terms of economic policy-and who on earth really could know what that is at any given moment-things take time. In the political realm only instant visible results get rewarded. If something looks good short term but is a long term disaster, it is likely that the implementer gets credit and the successor gets the blame.

But I do understand you haters of Dubya. Now you know how I felt during the previous administration.
posted by konolia at 12:35 PM on April 2, 2004


first of all - is it ok to be a little bit skeptical about job numbers produced by the whitehouse when they lied to the american people and their own congress about how much their little medicare splurge was going to cost?

second:

bush record: 2.2 million net jobs lost
posted by specialk420 at 12:38 PM on April 2, 2004


part of the non-farm thing comes from the 80s when lots of farmers were still farming, but looking for and getting jobs to make ends meet and then claiming unemployment if they couldn't get jobs or lost them. This really screws with things as even though these people are in/out of the workforce, they are also still farming.
posted by jmgorman at 12:43 PM on April 2, 2004


But I do understand you haters of Dubya. Now you know how I felt during the previous administration.

You were an unemployed person watching social services shrink while we spent $100 billion on a bogus war during the previous administration?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:51 PM on April 2, 2004


and dont forget, they count burger biulding as manufacturing too, even then I see little manufacturing growth, But I hold out for brtter news.
posted by Elim at 12:56 PM on April 2, 2004


Note in passing that this took place during the Bush administration!

I'm glad to see that it didn't derail the discussion, but I really hope this little meme ends here.
posted by me3dia at 1:09 PM on April 2, 2004


This is good news, and if it keeps up at this pace, then we have a genuine recovrey.

I have to say though, the years of no-growth in jobs has been quite an education for me... Overall unemployment is not as significant a metric as the size of the job market. For example, just to keep up with population growth, the economy needs to add 140,000 jobs per month. If that doesn't happen, more people go without work or don't bother looking in the first place. In one month, people might enter the job market, looking for work, causing unemployment to spike. In the next month, there might be no jobs out there, but the unemployment rate falls because people realize that the job market is so bad, so they give up and stop looking.

After watching the jobs data over the past year, people exhorting those without work to "get a job" sound so empty to me, now. In periods where the job growth halts or goes negative, those jobs simply don't exist. The best one can hope for is that you happen to be looking for a job in which job growth occurs. Otherwise, it's just a zero-sum game, and you're replacing someone who quit and/or retired, while in the meantime you have to compete with the 140,000 new people in the job market.
posted by deanc at 1:10 PM on April 2, 2004


Wait until post-election when the "revised" numbers come out.
Not even...about a week or two after they release these numbers each month, they've been re-releasing revised numbers (downwards.) Watch and see.

And welcome, andrea! : >
posted by amberglow at 1:21 PM on April 2, 2004


Let's look at other facts:

Over 150,000 of these jobs are people collecting a paycheck after being on strike

371,000 of these jobs are new government employees.

There was actually a 3000 decrease in civilian jobs, which means the tax cuts haven't promoted the private sector to hire.

Check out the full report and then go to this website click on government and look at the 371k increase.

I wonder if they count sending a reservist to Iraq as a hire?
posted by AaRdVarK at 1:25 PM on April 2, 2004


Well, inasmuch as the reservist's stateside job has to be done by somebody (probably a temp), yes. Calling up reservists does positively impact the non-farm payroll and unemployment numbers.

I am also noticing that AaRdVarK's link includes the fact that the "average workweek" dropped slightly to 33.7 hours. You'll find this figure right before the links at the bottom. That means there's a lot of part timers out there. No word on how many of them would really rather be working full time. Average weekly earnings were $523.70.* That's before payroll taxes. Go ahead and raise a family on that. I double dog dare you. And that's "average." A lot of people made more than that, and a lot of people made less.




* I'll save you the math. If you assume this represents 40 hours a week, 4 weeks a month (160 hours per month), it works out to $3.27 per hour. If you assume they make $6 per hour, they worked about 87 hours per month. Previous statements about "average" apply here too. Remember, most of the time part timers don't get benefits.
posted by ilsa at 1:50 PM on April 2, 2004


The reason job growth can rise and also the unemployment rate rises at the same time is simple: the numbers come from two different surveys of different populations.

1) the job growth data comes from surveying establishments and asking them them if they've added or reduced their payroll over the survey period. This is represented as a estimate of the number of jobs added to the economy. (this is the Current Employment Statistics.)

2) the unemployment rate data comes from a survey of households where they are asking if the people in the house have a job, lost a job, etc. This number is represented as a % the population that doesn't have a job [but are willing and able to do so.... :)] (this is the Current Population Survey)

Fun with su-tistics!
posted by birdherder at 2:03 PM on April 2, 2004


You were an unemployed person watching social services shrink while we spent $100 billion on a bogus war during the previous administration?

Actually, yes. But I don't think Kuwait thought it was bogus.
posted by konolia at 2:27 PM on April 2, 2004


That was during the Bush I administration, not Clinton.
posted by InfidelZombie at 2:39 PM on April 2, 2004


first of all - is it ok to be a little bit skeptical about job numbers produced by the whitehouse when they lied to the american people and their own congress about how much their little medicare splurge was going to cost?

Yo, I'm as big of a Bush-hater as anyone, but I know lots of people who work at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, quite a few who actually did the trench work on this, and I can say with conviction that politics doesn't influence their numbers.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:41 PM on April 2, 2004


it will all be good for a few months until all of a sudden it will not be good anymore. everyone will have bought into the recovery and the second phase of the bear market will begin.
posted by muppetboy at 2:52 PM on April 2, 2004


Re:

bush record: 2.2 million net jobs lost

and

Note in passing that this took place during the Bush administration!

While saying "I have a degree in economics (with a minor in economic history)" isn't exactly a line to use if one wants to get laid, still, I didn't forget everything my professors taught me ... and have got to say that I think both of the sentiments above are relatively irrelevant.

Bush is not responsible for "losing" 2.2 million jobs, nor is he responsible for the recovery. Economies are cyclic. And for as far back in history as it is possible to get anything remotely resembling data, economies have always been cyclic. Even looking only at modern times, and at relatively matured economies (with the ability to get fairly rich monthly data, and make micro-adjustments to monetary supplies), all the Fed's monetary policy, or a President's fiscal policy, can do is to somewhat mitigate the extremes of the cycles. It cannot do away with them (anymore than the Agriculture Department could do away with the cycle of summer-fall-winter-spring).

The economy was already tanking when Bush took office. I do believe the combination of Greenspan's activities, and the Bush tax cuts, made this recession slightly shallower than it would have been, and brought us out of it slightly quicker than otherwise would have been the case ... but all in all, it is a relatively normal cycle, and most rational observers would probably say that Bush neither caused it, nor fixed it.

Certainly this is an election year, and as such Bush detractors will bust a nut blaming Bush for job loss, and Bush supporters will bust the other nut prasing Bush for job growth ... but neither perspective is very accurate, except at the margins.

Job growth is always a lagging variable in recoveries emerging out of recessions. This is simply basic business behavior. When economies first emerge from recessions (during which operational efficiencies are privileged over growth - hence layoffs), they are nervous. Demand starts picking up, but at first businesses will tend to simply try to supply it without increasing staff. They generally want to see at least two or three quarters of positive numbers before they start hiring again.

Here's the thing, though. Neither Bush (who claims credit for the current job numbers) nor Kerry (who, absurdly enough, came out today saying he'd add 10 million new jobs in four years ... good grief) can actually create jobs. Businessmen and businesswomen create jobs ... all the government can do is inhibit, or facilitate, their activities ...

Neither Bush (who will take credit for the emergence from the recession) nor Kerry (who will try to blame Bush for the recession) can stop economic cycles. Much of this election will be based on pure hyperbole and "framing".

The weird thing is, this election will probably be won - or lost - on what is really a coincidental linkage. If the economy, in November, has seen a number of months of strong job growth, Bush is likely to be re-elected. If not, Kerry is likely to be elected.

Lesson one in Econometrics 101, however, is that (if one wants the truth) one should not confuse statistical correlation with causation. The fact that the job loss that is normal during a recession happened while Bush was in office does not mean Bush caused the job loss. And if the job growth that can be expected several quarters after the bottom of the recession (any recession) happens under Bush, it does not mean Bush caused the job growth (though the tax cuts probably sped it up a bit).

Sorry to get all rational. Please resume the partisan bickering (hee hee).
posted by MidasMulligan at 2:55 PM on April 2, 2004


Wait until post-election when the "revised" numbers come out.

Or wait until after the election when Bush starts dropping nukes on North Korea and Iran (and then they drop them on us) and America becomes a Christian theocracy.
posted by Bag Man at 3:06 PM on April 2, 2004


Unemployment, however, is here and now and very real. And very bad.

Very bad? Not sure where you get that 5.6 umemployment is bad but if you look at the stats and other countries you'll find it's not.

1994 6.1%

1993 6.9%

1992 7.5%

1987 6.2%

1991 6.8%

1986 7.0%

1985 7.2%

1984 7.5%

1983 9.6%

1982 9.7%

1981 7.6%

1980 7.1%

1978 6.1%

1977 7.1%

1976 7.7%

1975 8.5%

1961 6.7%

1941 9.9%

1940 14.6%

I'm amazed how everyone is trying to paint the numbers in the worse light possible, even calling them outright lies.

wait until after the election when Bush starts dropping nukes on North Korea and Iran (and then they drop them on us) and America becomes a Christian theocracy.

Or hell, let's just ignore the news altogether and talk about something that has NOTHING to do with what was posted. Maybe if we bring topics from other threads into this one people won't notice the numbers.

Why can't people, even bush haters, simply say "hey, more jobs this month, that's good news", and slam bush on other issues.
posted by justgary at 3:19 PM on April 2, 2004


That's a very selective list there, justgary--where's the complete one? (I remember years of 4% or less very recently)

Here's a good thing on the differing sets of statistics--from Slate in Oct., when the Repubs were trashing the methodology.
posted by amberglow at 3:26 PM on April 2, 2004


Sorry to get all rational. Please resume the partisan bickering (hee hee).

Midas, this is the part that really chaps my ass. You present a logical and rational expose showing precisely that Bush is not to blame for job growth or shrink (agreed) and then punch in a snark like that to spotlight the concern we should have over what you've shown is an illusion. For the most part, except konolia, most people have ignored the Bush-hate bickering. But you come along with great wisdom (*snort*) and accuse to create. If you're not part of the partisan crap-throwing match, quit trying to draw others into it.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:36 PM on April 2, 2004


Amberglow, stats can be manipulated, I realize that. Everyone does it, both parties.

That's a very selective list there, justgary--where's the complete one? (I remember years of 4% or less very recently)

I wasn't trying to be selective. It's all I could find. I'm sure someone else could find the complete stats. Mine came from here.

I know the unemployment rate has been lower. But in no way is 5.7 "very bad".
posted by justgary at 3:37 PM on April 2, 2004


Midas, this is the part that really chaps my ass.

Thanks for the feedback. It is very important to me.
posted by MidasMulligan at 3:48 PM on April 2, 2004


Why can't people, even bush haters, simply say "hey, more jobs this month, that's good news", and slam bush on other issues.

Because the man and his administration are duplicity personified such that everything he says is immediately suspect. EVen when there's no reason to lie -err, spin, the do it anyhow, reflexively. They don't trust the people to understand the truth and prefer to fall back on tried and true PR manipulation, time and time again.

Is it any wonder?
posted by Fupped Duck at 3:57 PM on April 2, 2004


The economy was already tanking when Bush took office.

Not true. The NBER which is universally regarded as the official tracker of economic cycles puts the last economic peak at March 2001.

All the Fed's monetary policy, or a President's fiscal policy, can do is to somewhat mitigate the extremes of the cycles.

Ah, there's the rub. Bush did not do the things that could have mitigated the recession. From the beginning, regardless of the economic cycle, he had a single-minded goal, tax breaks for his wealthy constituency. Early in his campaign when it looked like there would be surpluses forever, his solution was tax cuts for the wealthy. Later, when it looked like we were headed into recession, his solution was tax cuts for the wealthy. When 911 occurred and the economy stalled, guess what, more tax cuts. When his phoney war on Iraq again put on the brakes on recovery -- dividend tax cuts for the wealthy.

His plan was to do nothing that would really mitigate the recession. It was to lie to middle Americans and make them think that his tax cuts would help them, and then just hope that the normal business cycle would bring things around. When interest rates are at the lowest level in history, more capital for the wealthy is not the solution. Obviously there is excess supply and insufficient demand and every reputable economist knows that the best way to stimulate demand is tax cuts for the lower and middle classes, not the top 1%.
posted by JackFlash at 4:01 PM on April 2, 2004


found it (now someone good at math: do the stats--is 5.7 average, or below, or above, etc.)
posted by amberglow at 4:03 PM on April 2, 2004


everything he says is immediately suspect.

You might have a point if bush had anything at all to do with coming up with the numbers. He doesn't. It comes from the U.S. Department of Labor.

now someone good at math: do the stats--is 5.7 average, or below, or above, etc.


I'm not good at math, but the average taken from 1970 - 2004, or the last 34 years, is 6.3 (rounding up).

Again, I'm not talking politics, giving credit or throwing blame. and I'd like to see the number at 0, but 5.7 isn't "very bad", and I doubt you'll see the dems running on it unless it continues to go up.
posted by justgary at 4:48 PM on April 2, 2004


Unemployment averages

Past 10 years: 5.12
Past 20 years: 5.84
Past 30 years: 6.38
Past 40 years: 5.93
Past 50 years: 5.82
All dates (1948-2003): 5.63
posted by shoos at 5:13 PM on April 2, 2004


Thanks, justgary and shoos...so we're middling (but bad compared to the past 10 years).
posted by amberglow at 5:17 PM on April 2, 2004


JackFlash, you forgot to mention Bush's almost fanatical hatred of the estate tax. It follows the "reward the rich" pattern nicely.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:49 PM on April 2, 2004


Businessmen and businesswomen create jobs ... all the government can do is inhibit, or facilitate, their activities ...

Really? I know it isn't in the Randian script, but a bit of old-fashioned Keynesian public works pump-priming would have been more stimulative than lining the pockets of the wealthy -- in spite of the insinuation that we all rely on those specially blessed Businesspeople to create jobs, so they deserve big tax cuts.
posted by riviera at 5:55 PM on April 2, 2004


Konolia, can you come up with anything you weren't taught by the proxies of the Fatass Pillhead earlier today?
posted by trondant at 6:04 PM on April 2, 2004


But I do understand you haters of Dubya. Now you know how I felt during the previous administration.

For all the jobs promised but undelivered then, you mean?
posted by y2karl at 6:15 PM on April 2, 2004


Option time!

The major difference between unemployment THEN and unemployment NOW is that we utterly ignore people who are worse off than we are. Generally, as a society.

Free healthcare? Heh. How about welfare? Oh yeah, that gets cut out now. General feeling of a physical community that takes care of its own? Long, long gone.

The effects of unemployment have drastically increased over time such that even if the unemployment percentage is similar to 40 years ago the net effect on society is much, much worse.
posted by andreaazure at 8:58 PM on April 2, 2004


what andrea said (my new fav newbie): Watch the bankruptcy and foreclosure rates and see all the people falling out of the middle class.
posted by amberglow at 9:15 PM on April 2, 2004


The major difference between unemployment THEN and unemployment NOW is that we utterly ignore people who are worse off than we are. Generally, as a society.

No we don't. We may not take care of them to the level that YOU desire, but to say that they are ignored is incorrect. It paints such a pretty picture to talk about health care for everyone, but we both know its more complicated than that.

Free healthcare? Heh. How about welfare? Oh yeah, that gets cut out now. General feeling of a physical community that takes care of its own? Long, long gone.

General feeling of an individual who takes care of himself? Long, long gone. Depend on the community.

The effects of unemployment have drastically increased over time such that even if the unemployment percentage is similar to 40 years ago the net effect on society is much, much worse.

Do you have anything to back that up? Or were you unemployed 40 years ago? Its easy to just throw that out. I doubt being unemployed 40 years ago or today is much fun.

Regardless, you can spin it any way you like with rhetoric, comparing unemployment rates shows that unemployment is not a problem at this point. Would it be great to be 0? Yep. Will it happen? Nope. If kerry is elected will it be much lower if lower at all? Probably not.

Watch the bankruptcy and foreclosure rates and see all the people falling out of the middle class.

Yes, and then start sorting out who is filing for bankruptcy because of economy woes and who is filing due to their own detrimental decisions.
posted by justgary at 9:54 PM on April 2, 2004


Midas, wouldn't a good economist look at the numbers a little deeper? Wouldn't a good economist look to see where this cycle is taking the economy?

Wouldn't a good economist look at the current job situation and see that the over investment in business infrastructure during the 90's is allowing business to produce enough goods to meet demand without having to increase employment? And business can deal with small spurts in demand with temp employment, which helps us understand why out of the little over 750,000 jobs that were created 219,000 were temp jobs.

Wouldn't a good economist ask did we really need to give tax cuts to the top 1 percent of wage earners while the civil services in the states were cut?

The Bush administration could have handled the economy in a better way, running up debts during a recession is expected, but we really didn't get much bang for our buck if you ask me, but I don't have a degree in economics, so what do I know?
posted by jbou at 10:56 PM on April 2, 2004


U.S. employment rose last month at the fastest pace in nearly four years,

nearly four years...hasn't bush been in office for nearly four years? sort of puts things into perspective. as many have already said, we still have net job loss to overcome.

easily outstripping expectations

um...
posted by mcsweetie at 4:29 AM on April 3, 2004


justgary: Well, I did preface it with Option Time. I'm 29 so I wasn't unemployed 40 years ago.

However, when I was a kid ('80s) our family was homeless for about three months. Mom was on welfare too -- and this had very little to do with her "decisions" and "their own detrimental decisions."

She did an amazing job with us: her handicapped little daughter and also me and my brother. She worked as a bus driver for my school system until the rules changed. She is dyslexic and the state mandated that all bus drivers pass a new, tougher, written test. Even though she was one of the best in the school system (awards and everything), she was out of a job.

Well, she should pull herself up then, right? Well, sometimes life doesn't really work that way. Without the government programs in place then, I would certainly be much worse off. (And, living in the poorest parts of Boston for a time, I might even be dead.) Instead, I went to college, started the first Internet online gaming magazine, the first only multiplayer gameshow, made lots of people millions of dollars (not me, of course), and so on.

A pretty good investment, I'd say.
posted by andreaazure at 5:15 AM on April 3, 2004


and this had very little to do with her "decisions" and "their own detrimental decisions."...........Well, she should pull herself up then, right? Well, sometimes life doesn't really work that way.

And that's a great story. Every story is different. No where did I make a blanket statement that finincial difficulties are always the individuals fault.

But you compared government programs/unemployment today to 40 years ago. No doubt they're different. No doubt the average americans spending habits are different also. Living on credit and spending more than they can afford. Not everyone mind you, but you have to take it into consideration. You can't just compare selective differences between today and 40 years ago.

Many people I know use the government programs you say no longer exists. I know people who are in school, having children, and basically living through government programs. Some, as you say, are great investments. Some are not.

I'm all for a compassionate government that helps its community in tough times. I just don't think the decisions are as simple or obvious as you make them out to be.
posted by justgary at 12:32 PM on April 3, 2004


from the SD Trib:
Despite the boost in hiring, employers still seem skittish about taking on full-time, permanent workers. Part-time workers rose from 4.4 million to 4.7 million last month, accounting for the vast majority of the increase in employment.
So 300,000 of the 308,000 jobs are all part-time? with no benefits?
posted by amberglow at 1:14 PM on April 3, 2004


So 300,000 of the 308,000 jobs are all part-time? with no benefits?

No surprise there. Rehiring has to start somewhere, and most companies are cautious at first.

Katz added that if the economic recovery is ongoing, many of those jobs will become permanent. "In a typical recovery, 40 percent of workers find permanent jobs," he said.
posted by justgary at 3:14 PM on April 3, 2004


But hasn't already said that this recovery isn't typical of previous ones? (I've heard it on tv a lot) What if they don't?
posted by amberglow at 3:53 PM on April 3, 2004


In a typical recovery, the economy would have added up to 8 million jobs by now, according to an estimate by economists at Morgan Stanley. ... At this point, 36 months after the economy tipped into recession, previous recoveries have produced substantial job growth long before that time. A range of reasons — from outsourcing to productivity — has been suggested to explain the lingering disconnect between growth and jobs.-- from the AJC
posted by amberglow at 4:05 PM on April 3, 2004


easily outstripping expectations
um...

McSweetie ... Are you kidding us with that link?

For those of you who didn't catch it mcsweetie's "evidence" came from This site.

I'm pretty sure that site is an unbiased source.

Yikes.
posted by jlachapell at 8:41 PM on April 3, 2004


I have no idea why you would think that link was biased jlachapell.

;)
posted by justgary at 8:44 PM on April 3, 2004


well, when bartcop does stats, he doesn't cook the books, jlachapell. It's easily confirmed from tons of other sources (and the source for that chart is the Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicated right on it).
posted by amberglow at 8:45 PM on April 3, 2004


you know, I sort of anticipated someone taking issue with the chart coming from bartcop.com and was gonna put a disclaimer but I decided against it. I don't regularly visit the site and I'm pretty sure whoever bart is didn't make the chart. I only caught it because someone had posted it on another site.

at any rate, like amberglow said, a source is provided although I'm also pretty sure that you won't check it.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:08 PM on April 3, 2004


We can discuss (and argue) the subject to death. Bottom line is another month or two of growth similar to march and you can throw out the graphs, biased or not. Kerry's plan to run on the economy takes a major hit. No, it won't change the minds of anyone in this thread, but the general voting public is a different matter.

And if the jobs slide back to previous levels, then bush remains in trouble and kerry is jumping for joy.
posted by justgary at 9:38 PM on April 3, 2004


But I do understand you haters of Dubya. Now you know how I felt during the previous administration.

How could you hate 8 years of peace and prosperity? I find it easy to not like 3 and 1/2 years of war and depression; how could you not?
posted by Bag Man at 1:40 PM on April 4, 2004


depression

Depression? Ha. Either you have no idea what an economic "depression" is or you're joking to make a point. I'm hoping for the latter
posted by justgary at 1:54 PM on April 4, 2004


More opinion time!

No, not a financial depression. I've been a bit emotionally depressed at most of the things Bush (and his administration) has done.

(Fact time: Make no mistake though, we are in the longest true recession since the '30s, and it happened and was maintained on Bush's watch.)

All his fault? No. But at least a large part...
posted by andreaazure at 2:14 PM on April 4, 2004


justgary,

I dare say that you have 1/2 a sense of humor...Bush depresses me all the time, a large part of that is the state of job market and his tax cuts.

All his fault? No. But at least a large part...

being "a large part..." of a economic turn down should be enough to vote anyone out of office. As the president, the buck stops at his desk whether or not Fox News says so.
posted by Bag Man at 2:33 PM on April 4, 2004


I dare say that you have 1/2 a sense of humor...Bush depresses me all the time,

When it comes to political opinions (especially on mefi) I'm never sure if the poster believes what he says or is trying to make a point with hyperbole.

People often repeat what they hear, regardless of the facts, on both sides. So we end up with terrible unemployment numbers, when, in fact, they're not. I'm now waiting to hear about the great depression of the early 2000s.
posted by justgary at 3:54 PM on April 4, 2004


No doubt the average americans spending habits are different also. Living on credit and spending more than they can afford.

That's the American Way now, didn't you hear? I shudder to think what our economy would look like if the average American *didn't* spend themselves into debt up to their eyeballs. It's how we keep feeding the great machine, after all.
posted by beth at 3:58 PM on April 4, 2004


justgary,

Sometimes I wonder if posters take themselves too seriously or just like to be pricks. I guess my point that the Clinton age was much better than the Bush II age is lost on justgary and many other Americans.

And no justgary, I'm not just repeating what I hear. I suppose justgary might shutter to think I don't just watch Fox News, but I really do gather info from may sources, do my homework and then form an opinion.
posted by Bag Man at 10:15 AM on April 5, 2004


Bagman. I was just curious as to your use of the word "depression", which you answered before.

Not sure what your ramblings about fox news has to do with anything. Take care.
posted by justgary at 10:20 AM on April 5, 2004


Bagman. I was just curious as to your use of the word "depression", which you answered before.

Well then, your posts ripping on me were quite gratuitous. I would be happy to have a substantive debate on Bush's economic policy if you would like.
posted by Bag Man at 1:23 PM on April 5, 2004


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