Tag Archives: Economy

News Roundup – Flooding, Economy, Remorse

From Maddow Blog:

wv flooding

* West Virginia: “Fourteen people were killed in flooding in West Virginia on Thursday and Friday, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said in a news conference this afternoon, as rescuers and residents continued to feel the effects of Thursday’s torrential rains.”
* Not a good day for investors: “The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 600 points on Friday as markets around the world reacted to a vote by citizens of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.”
* Too late: “[I]t seems many Britons may not even know what they had actually voted for…. Google reported sharp upticks in searches not only related to the ballot measure but also about basic questions concerning the implications of the vote. At about 1 a.m. Eastern time, about eight hours after the polls closed, Google reported that searches for ‘what happens if we leave the EU’ had more than tripled.”
* It almost certainly won’t happen, but I love the online activism: “A petition calling for a second EU referendum has been launched — and is proving so popular the page keeps crashing.”
* A worthy monument: “President Obama on Friday officially designated the Stonewall Inn a national monument, making it the first in the country to honor LGBT equality. Obama made the announcement in a YouTube video, saying ‘our national parks should reflect the full story of our country — the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us.'”
* On a related note: “Ban on transgender service members expected to end in July, defense officials say.”
* And then there were 79: “The Pentagon delivered a Yemeni captive to Montenegro Wednesday after he spent 14 years at Guantanamo as a suspected Osama bin Laden bodyguard, leaving 79 captives at the U.S. Navy base detention center in Cuba.”

* VW: “Volkswagen has agreed to pay $10.2 billion to settle its U.S. emissions scandal case, according to the Associated Press, citing two anonymous people briefed on the matter, in what would be one of the largest payouts by an automaker in history.”

It seems that Bernie Sanders’ has solid econ numbers

bernie sanders

I have heard it over and over again. Bernie Sanders is promising too much. Where is he going to get the money? His numbers just don’t add up. Well, maybe his numbers do add up. I have been following Bernie Sanders for over a decade. He is a serious politician. He isn’t the type of politician that will just throw out stuff.

From Robert Reich:

Not day goes by, it seems, without the mainstream media bashing Bernie Sanders’s economic plan – quoting certain economists as saying his numbers don’t add up. (The New York Times did it again just yesterday.) They’re wrong. You need to know the truth, and spread it.

1. “Well, do the numbers add up?”

Yes, if you assume a 3.8 percent rate of unemployment and a 5.3 percent rate of growth.

2. “But aren’t these assumptions unrealistic?”

They’re not out of the range of what’s possible. After all, we achieved close to 3.8 percent unemployment in the late 1990s, and we had a rate of 5.3 percent growth in the early 1980s.

3. “What is it about Bernie’s economic plan that will generate this kind of economic performance?”

His proposal for a single-payer healthcare system.

4. “But yesterday’s New York Times reported that two of your colleagues at Berkeley found an error in the calculations underlying these estimates. They claim Professor Gerald Friedman mistakenly assumes that a one-time boost in growth will continue onward. They say he confuses levels of output with rates of change.”

My esteemed colleagues see only a temporary effect from moving to a single-payer plan. But that view isn’t shared by economists who find that a major policy change like this can permanently improve economic performance. After all, World War II got America out of the Great Depression – permanently.

5. “So you think Bernie’s plan will generate a permanent improvement in the nation’s economic performance?”

Yes. Given that healthcare expenditures constitute almost 18 percent of the U.S. economy – and that ours is the most expensive healthcare system in the world, based on private for-profit insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies that spend fortunes on advertising, marketing, administrative costs, high executive salaries, and payouts to shareholders – it’s not far-fetched to assume that adoption of a single-payer plan will permanently improve U.S. economic performance.

Public Sector Job Growth

One of the things that conservatives have said was that Obama was growing the government by hiring tons of public sector workers. This was not true and easily proven to be false. The following is from Calculated Risk Blog, who put together the numbers and the graphs. (There is no website that I know of that does a better job at giving us an overall picture of the economy.)

A big difference between the presidencies has been public sector employment.  Note the bumps in public sector employment due to the decennial Census in 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010. 

 

The public sector grew during Mr. Carter’s term (up 1,304,000), during Mr. Reagan’s terms (up 1,414,000), during Mr. G.H.W. Bush’s term (up 1,127,000), during Mr. Clinton’s terms (up 1,934,000), and during Mr. G.W. Bush’s terms (up 1,744,000 jobs).

However the public sector has declined significantly since Mr. Obama took office (down 638,000 jobs). These job losses have mostly been at the state and local level, but more recently at the Federal level.  This has been a significant drag on overall employment.

And a table for public sector jobs. Public sector jobs declined the most during Obama’s first term, and increased the most during Reagan’s 2nd term.

 

Term Public Sector
Jobs Added (000s)
Carter 1,304
Reagan 1 -24
Reagan 2 1,438
GHW Bush 1,127
Clinton 1 692
Clinton 2 1,242
GW Bush 1 900
GW Bush 2 844
Obama 1 -702
Obama 2 641
128 months into 2nd term, 110 pace

Looking forward, I expect the economy to continue to expand through 2016 (at least), so I don’t expect a sharp decline in private employment as happened at the end of Mr. Bush’s 2nd term (In 2005 and 2006 I was warning of a coming recession due to the bursting of the housing bubble).

For the public sector, the cutbacks are clearly over at the state and local levels, and it appears cutbacks at the Federal level might also be over.  Right now I’m expecting some increase in public employment during Obama’s 2nd term, but nothing like what happened during Reagan’s second term.

Here is a table of the top three presidential terms for private job creation (they also happen to be the three best terms for total non-farm job creation).

Clinton’s two terms were the best for both private and total non-farm job creation, followed by Reagan’s 2nd term.

Currently Obama’s 2nd term is on pace to be the 2nd best ever for private job creation.  However, with very few public sector jobs added, Obama’s 2nd term is only on pace to be the third best for total job creation.

Note: Only 64 thousand public sector jobs have been added during the first twenty eight months of Obama’s 2nd term (following a record loss of 702 thousand public sector jobs during Obama’s 1st term).  This is less than 8% of the public sector jobs added during Reagan’s 2nd term!

 

Top Employment Gains per Presidential Terms (000s)
Rank Term Private Public Total Non-Farm
1 Clinton 1 10,885 692 11,577
2 Clinton 2 10,070 1,242 11,312
3 Reagan 2 9,357 1,438 10,795
Obama 21 6,322 64 6,386
Pace2 10,838 110 10,948
128 Months into 2nd Term
2Current Pace for Obama’s 2nd Term

The second table shows the jobs need per month for Obama’s 2nd term to be in the top three presidential terms.

 

Average Jobs needed per month (000s)
for Obama’s 2nd Term
to Rank Private Total
#1 228 260
#2 187 246
#3 152 220

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2015/06/public-and-private-sector-payroll-jobs.html#j5XVy8W01MpQe7Td.99