New jobs report –
Although the headline number for job creation was below expectations, this was still a decent report. Some positives include more wage growth (see below), fewer part-time workers for economic reasons, fewer long-term unemployed, and a decline in U-6 (an alternative measure of underemployment).
Earlier: April Employment Report: 160,000 Jobs, 5.0% Unemployment Rate
A few numbers: Total employment is now 5.5 million above the pre-recession peak. Total employment is up 14.2 million from the employment recession’s low.
Private payroll employment increased 171,000 in April, while government employment declined 11,000 in April, mostly at the Federal level. Private employment is now 5.8 million above the pre-recession peak. Private employment is up 14.6 million from the recession low.
Continue reading News Roundup – Jobs, Bin Laden, Trump, Airplane Engines
I have been looking for a different take on gun control for a while. Most of the arguments on both sides are old and stale. Australian comedian Jim Jefferies has a different take. I kind of love it.
Australian comedian Jim Jefferies was the victim of a home invasion once. He was tied up and beaten, and his girlfriend was threatened with rape. So you might think he’d sympathize with the idea that Americans want guns to protect their families. Quite the opposite — he does an excellent job of summing up why so many foreigners are baffled by America’s gun culture:
In Australia, we had the biggest massacre on earth, and the Australian government went: “That’s it! NO MORE GUNS.” And we all went, “Yeah, all right then, that seems fair enough, really.”
Now in America, you had the Sandy Hook massacre, where little tiny children died. And your government went, “Maybe … we’ll get rid of the big guns?” And 50 percent of you went, “FUCK YOU, DON’T TAKE MY GUNS.”
He continues with a blistering smackdown of the idea that Americans seek guns to keep their families safe:
You have guns because you like guns! That’s why you go to gun conventions; that’s why you read gun magazines! None of you give a shit about home security. None of you go to home security conventions. None of you read Padlock Monthly. None of you have a Facebook picture of you behind a secure door.
Wednesday Evening News Roundup
Yesterday, I mentioned that last year was the second warmest year on record. Australia is simply baking this year.
I would like to spend a little time talking about an idea that was floated over at Pragmatic Capitalism over a year ago. As you recall, about a year ago we had the showdown at the OK Corral (well, it was really Congress) over the debt ceiling. The Republicans were determined to cut spending at all costs. If it meant taking the economy, so be it. If it meant taking the world economy, that was a price that many Republicans thought was worth paying. So, another debt ceiling is looming on the horizon. We have the treasury secretary telling us when we’re going to run out of money (basically within weeks if Congress does not act). Now, comes this idea, which has been talked about on several blogs (here and here). Why doesn’t the treasury print a $1 trillion coin and then march that coin over to the Federal Reserve and deposit the coin? The treasury doesn’t need Congress’s permission to print the coin. Since our money is not tethered to something tangible like gold, there’s no reason we can’t do this. The idea sounded half-baked until Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said it wasn’t a bad idea. In my opinion, we need to avoid the constant threat of government shutdown and default. We need for all members of Congress to begin to act like adults instead of spoiled brats. Governing is about compromise. Governing is not about jumping up and down and stomping your feet like a four-year-old in the middle of a massive tantrum. I am for any solution that avoids economic uncertainty and promotes job growth here in the United States. If that solution means we need to print a $1 trillion coin then I’m all for it. (Oh, don’t get distracted by some of the craziness that I’ve heard from conservatives over the last 24 hours. Someone has decided to confuse the American public by saying we have to print a coin that is actually worth $1 trillion and would therefore have to be the size of an ocean liner. The logic is stupid. Currently we print coins and money that are clearly not worth their face value. A $100 bill is not made up of a hundred dollars’ worth of paper. A $1000 bill is clearly not made up worth of a thousand dollars’ worth of paper and ink. Ignore this bit of stupidity.) Continue reading Wednesday Evening News Roundup