On Friday, we noted that the difference between terrible numbers and Friday’s merely awful numbers were the government census hiring.

The Nonfarm payroll employment decline in April was -539,000. Private-sector employment fell by 611,000; the differential between NFP and private sector employment was primarily new hires for the 2010 Census;

Since we all can’t work for the Census Bureau, let’s look at the following charts (from Ron Griess of The Chart Store). These show the real economy — private sector hiring without the government stimulus.

Note the annual changes (middle chart, Private Payroll). It is approaching 6 million job losses per year. This is uncharted territory, an annual rate of change unprecedented for as long as the data has been tracked, going back to 1939:

>

Total Changes in Private Payrolls

5-8-09-employment-2

>

Monthly Changes Private Payrolls

5-8-09-employment-5

Category: Data Analysis, Employment

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

79 Responses to “Private Sector Payroll Changes”

  1. WaveCatcher says:

    It’s bad, really bad to see 6 million job losses. But not a valid comparison with the 30′s since the labor base is at least twice bigger now than then.

    The chart showing Annual Rate of Change is the most meaningful of the three IMO.

  2. call me ahab says:

    Barry- with all the play money that has been created to salvage the TBTF banks- why does not the USG create additional $ to buy the bad debts of ordinary citizens- the USG could send the freshly printed $ to indebted Americans in exchange for their bad debt- why stop with the banks- I mean if we’re going to do QE- let’s do it right- also-

    MRegan posted this excerpt from Grantham last night- thought it worth of re-posting- it is what I have been saying all along- with the demise of the TBTF banks- we were not talking about the fire bombing of Dresden- life goes no- contrary to what naive souls such as Franklin have posted on this site- people would have persevered- it was not the end of the world- it was not the siege of Stalingrad nor the bombing of Nagasaki-

    “Let me end this section by emphasizing once again the
    difference between real wealth and the real economy on
    one hand, and illusionary wealth and debt on the other. If
    we had let all the reckless bankers go out of business, we
    would not have blown up our houses or our factories, or
    carted off our machine tools to Russia, nor would we have
    machine gunned any of our educated workforce, even our
    bankers! When the smoke had cleared, those with money
    would have bought up the bankrupt assets at cents on the
    dollar and we would have had a sharp recovery in the
    economy.”

  3. jc says:

    Agreed annual rate of change is most meaningful, people overreact to weekly & monthly blips. What is meaningful is the cumulative job losses, thats lost consumer spending, magnified by rising saving rates.

  4. deanscamaro says:

    Just a little sidelight to this, Barry. I am retired and am one of those hired for the 2010 census. I was hired, spent one week in class with 23 other new people and 2 weeks doing census database verification activity, before being terminated along with almost everyone else. It looked to us like someone did a poor job of planning of how many people were needed and when and had hired too many, too soon. A friend doing census work in the upper Mid-West ran into the same problem. After reading your blog this morning, a theory could exist that they may have done a lot of hiring to “pump” the numbers when something good was needed in the employment figures.

  5. Marcus Aurelius says:

    If we can’t all work for Census, we can work against them (in a free market sense, of course). I charge $2,500 per question for answering questions any damn way I please. $5,000 per for the truth.

  6. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    Today’s numbing numbers, fresh off the presses:

    http://www.rttnews.com/CorpInfo/EconomicCalendar.aspx

    Month to Month:

    Industrial production:

    Italy -4.6%
    France -1.8%

    Year to Year:

    Greece -5.3%
    Slovakia -18%
    France -15.5%

    CPI China -1.5%

    All these numbers are coming in worse than predicted….

    I listened to an NPR program this morning coming in about unemployment in Spain. Since only 3 other people in the US listen to NPR…I will summerize.

    Wonder why the unemployment is so horrendous in Spain? The socialist government has a law that for every year worked for employees with contracts, at least 20 days pay is due. This is a national law. Turns out, many companies in this downturn are not hiring, mainly because the meter starts running on the national law as soon as you hire the individual. Many dads are now at home, being homedads, and not looking for work. All of us here can see some good points and some bad points to this (except maybe Franklin) but it appears that Spain will be the last country in Europe to have a hiring surge whenever this is over due to this contractural fact.

    People without a contract who have been laid off are not due this parachute, and are much worse off. Also, many companies, in order to circumvent this clause, did a lot of temporary hiring the last few years, so there are many in that boat. Most union employees, however, work with a contract.

    The socialist leader of Spain says there will be no dickering with current law. Period.

  7. H.T. says:

    QUESTION to the BP mob: It’s repeated ad nauseam that jobs lag, and indeed when you look at past recession “gray bars” the bottom has occurred a smidge later then when the “gray bar” [recession] ends.

    So, how reliable is the gray bar when we are in a recession? I realize that US BLS “calls” the recession [and won't call the end until months after it's over], but its hard to believe they would in six months be saying the recession is NOW over. Hence, when i look at the data on the St Louis Fed [or the charts on this post], it makes me think things haven’t turned the corner, as the “lagging indicators” sill are plummeting. They only way this could change is if the BLS changes the end of recession to a time when we are still in negative GDP growth.

    Thoughts?

    ~~~

    BR: Overall NFP lags — but hours worked, and Temp help lead.

    That’s why we usually mention it each month — the link takes you to Friday’s comment, at the bottom of which is a chart of Temp help.

    See this for more . . .

  8. aitrader says:

    Looks more like brown roots than green shoots. My bet is this will be seen as the mother of all suckers’ rallies.

  9. Kyle says:

    Anyone else notice the “Annual rate of change” chart looks like the EKG of someone losing blood pressure?

  10. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    HT:

    Looks to me like the area under the curve (the integral of the monthly changes in private payrolls) is already significantly greater than past recessions…I would think that suggests longevity…and severity.

  11. Transor Z says:

    Population growth is always and everywhere a reproductive phenomenon.

    Current working pop. is 3x 1959, 4x 1939.

    Also, in the mid-50s unions were at their peak and there were some major (temporary) industrial sector upheavals so note the big upward swings following those troughs.

    ~~~

    BR: The population size or growth should not impact the percentage rate of change (bottom graph, chart 1) — its at the worst levels since August 1958.

  12. apikoros says:

    I don’t understand your statements about the Census hirings. Are you saying that jobs with the government are not “real?” Is it only the Census Bureau hires or is it all government hires (17.6% of all employees) that you find to be not “real?” If your position is that 17.6% of employed Americans are not “really” working, then you are going to have to revamp your entire economic model to account for the fake money they are pumping into the actual economy.

    Are you saying that this is a new stimulus-related program and should not, for some reason count toward employment? The decennial census has been taken every ten years since 1790 and hiring of enumerators and support staff for it is hardly new.

    And in reply to Marcus Aurelius: If you live outside Virgina, please persist! Avoid the enumerators! Talk your neighbors into following your example! I’d love it if your state had a significant undercount… that way, we in Virginia get more of your tax dollars spent here in Virginia, we get more contracts, we get more military bases, we get more of everything… especially representation in Congress! Thank you for not being counted! Now if you live in Virginia, I’d like to take you aside and have a pretty stiff word with you.

    ~~~

    BR: Well, it depends upon the question you are trying to answer, and the time frame you are considering. Here are 3 answers:

    1) They are real in terms of actual employees receiving income now and spending it;
    2) They are temporary employees that end once the census is over;
    3) They are not evidence that the economy has improved to the point where Hiring is improving.

    The charts focus on #3, as we want to know when the economy is in a self-sustaining, healthy state without the need for government propping it up or bailing it out . . .

  13. Cursive says:

    @ Deanscamero 8:23

    I have a friend who is also working the census here in Louisiana. He makes $11.50 an hour. He is also doing database verification drive-bys house-to-house and was told it would be temporary and then there would be re-hiring later for the actual count. Yesterday he told me that his assignment may be extended beyond the end of May.

    A question for Barry – will laid-off census workers be counted in the unemployement numbers?

  14. cvienne says:

    Off subject but I was watching them talking about the share offering for Capital One this morning…

    They were talking about the recent “run-up” in the stock based on the fact that according to the “stress test”, their capital was sufficient…

    So here’s an idea to PROVE what an idiotic exercise the “stress tests” were in the first place…

    Everyone – go get a Capital One credit card and MAX IT OUT by writing yourself a check…Take the money and “short” Capital One shares…Then, never pay back your credit card balance which would send them into crisis…

    If you think THAT is unethical, what do you think the entire banking industry has done to the public which got us here in the first place…

  15. Chief Tomahawk says:

    “Since we all can’t work for the Census Bureau” Not if we all stand outside at the same time and count each other. 100% employment via the Census Bureau is possible…

    By the way, I wasn’t able to find anything about Fed assets going to $0 if the 10-year interest rate breaks 5%. Don’t know where I got that from. Sorry folks.

  16. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    Industrial production in Europe today:

    http://www.rttnews.com/CorpInfo/EconomicCalendar.aspx

    (payrolls…….)

  17. AmenRa says:

    Looks like they are trying to lure more shorts into the market for the final squeeze before the market tanks.

  18. Onlooker from Troy says:

    deanscamaro Says: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/05/private-sector-payroll-changes/#comment-170354

    Re: census hiring. I would think there’s probably a bit of both typical inefficient govt at work here as well as a little erring on the side of too much hiring.

    What the heck, the Keynsian thinking would say that “hiring” a bunch of folks to sit in a classroom (or whatever they do) for census training is “stimulative”, ala ditch digging or digging holes and filling them up again, repeat over and over. It points out the absurdity of such arguments IMO.

  19. batmando says:

    @ ahab
    “why does not the USG create additional $ to buy the bad debts of ordinary citizens- the USG could send the freshly printed $ to indebted Americans in exchange for their bad debt- why stop with the banks-”
    Why stop with indebted Americans?
    Why penalize savers/investors?
    Send me as much cash as anyone with debt gets and I’ll save/invest AND spend!

  20. dead hobo says:

    H.T. Says:
    May 11th, 2009 at 8:51 am

    QUESTION to the BP mob: It’s repeated ad nauseam that jobs lag, and indeed when you look at past recession “gray bars” the bottom has occurred a smidge later then when the “gray bar” [recession] ends.

    So, how reliable is the gray bar when we are in a recession?

    reply:
    —————-
    I’ll take a stab at this. Please keep in mind I’m not an expert or even an enthusiast regarding economic statistics, especially when pundits or others use them as a basis for their lecture, message, or sales pitch.

    First, you have to distinguish between the stock market and the economy. They are completely different animals although the uninformed, gullible, and predatory would like to mix the two up in your perception. The stock market is a place where securities are bought and sold. People make money from this activity. The smartest ones make it from fees. Occasionally, someone does win buy buying low and selling high and the sales folk want you to think that you will be next big winner, but you can’t win if you don’t play. Just give them your money and win.

    The sales folk have a large assortment of pithy sayings to draw you in into their game. Today’s best are “less bad is good, time to buy or you’ll lose out”, “Green shoots, time to buy”, and the ever popular, “Employment is a lagging indicator. Less bad is the new good, Time To Buy.”

    If you look around, others will become apparent. “Time To Buy,” explicit or implied, is a constant part of the message. (Note, these people and pundits are not your friends, they are just salesmen who want to sell you something. Always. Ditto with a significant percentage of the people who get paid to be business newscasters. A few appear to be honestish, still.)

    Now, about Employment and the Economy. Just apply a little common sense to the problem. Assume you own a business that is seeing a pickup but was hit hard recently. You had to fire some people not long ago and some of them cried when you did it. The others will hate you forever. How badly do you want to sit though that again? Especially if it costs you money on top of that? If you’re normal, you will hire people back slowly. You will start with overtime. Then hire temps or part timers. Then, when things look safe, you will take another chance and add full timers. This is why employment is a lagging indicator for the economy.

    Some aspects of the statistics will provide insight into the economy. Is the work week increasing substantially and regularly? Are temps being hired. Are wages up? Is consume spending up? Is capital spending up? These will all start trending upwards, NOT DOWN AT A SLOWER RATE, when the economy improves. This is when astute stock buyers will start loading up for a real rally, not a sucker rally.

  21. Mannwich says:

    “Quick, Rahm, what’s the next bailout/manipulation on the checklist? What’s that? We’re almost to the end of the list? Get me Lloyd on the phone!!”

  22. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    To quote Stevie Wonder,

    We’re all amazed but not amused
    by all the things you say that you’ll do
    Though much concerned but not involved
    with decisions that are made by you
    But we are sick and tired of hearing your song
    Telling us how you are gonna change right from wrong
    ‘Cause if you really want to hear our views
    You haven’t done nothin’

    This from Dr. Hussman this morning….I would say he is still not convinced Timaaaayyyy is on the right track…

  23. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    By the way…Hussman has done pretty well over the last 12 months when compared with the market…of course he actually has to manage funds…it isn’t just theory with him…

    ….Imagine that…

  24. Cursive says:

    @ DH 9:45

    “(Note, these people and pundits are not your friends, they are just salesmen who want to sell you something. Always. Ditto with a significant percentage of the people who get paid to be business newscasters. A few appear to be honestish, still.)”

    Excellent advice. If CNBC/Bloomberg/FBS were genuine at all, this disclaimer would be flashed at the bottom of the screen at least hourly as a PSA to all prospective rubes. And can we dispense with the idea of “investing”. There is very little “investing” going on; lots of speculation, very little “investing.”

  25. DeDude says:

    So I guess the stimulus is working. A great way of looking at it, how totally sc***ed we would be without the stimulus, and if we were to depend on private enterprise to take us out of this hole.

  26. I like the way that very few ever equate the Growth of the absolute #s in the top Chart with/to the effects of Inflation/Costs of the Welfare/Warfare State..

    past that, BnT’s point about the integral should be telling..

    also, for as many “Census” anecdotes that circulating, I’ve yet to see one mention this:
    http://clusty.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&query=Census+2010+GPS

  27. cvienne says:

    If the government said it “hired” 60k+ workers to spruce up the NFP # to look “better than expected”…Then we find out that after two weeks of training a bunch of those workers were “let go”…

    I wonder if next months those numbers are going to count in the NFP as “lob losses”

    Doubt it…

  28. like this: “With $600 million poured into the Field Data Collection Automation (FDCA) project, half a million (500,000) field enumerators will be getting hooked up with a HTC Census smartphone. Armed with an EVDO data-only Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC, and integrated GPS, the enumerator’s job of collecting absentee census information will get nice and streamlined. As a high-tech plus, the built-in GPS unit also keeps the enumerator honest.

    Back in 2000, I was actually a census enumerator. My job consisted of driving to households to gather the census information that they forgot or neglected to mail back. In my day, enumerators used paper forms to write in the information, and we often lied about mis-reported the number of hours we worked and the mileage that we racked up. I remember thinking that there had to be a better way to do this.

    And here it is! The HTC Census just earned FCC approval and is planned to go live on Sprint (NYSE: S)’s CDMA network with EV-DO data. The Census runs an Intel Bulverde 416MHz CPU with a Sirf Star III GSC3LTi GPS chipset, and integrated fingerprint reader. The specs are pretty impressive, but without voice capability this thing is really just a glorified PDA, not a smartphone.

    With the HTC Census’ GPS chip, Big Brother is gonna be putting the kibosh on mis-reporting and inaccurate data for the 2010 U.S. Census. It’s too bad that this batch of enumerators won’t be getting paid for any ‘extra’ hours or mileage.”
    http://www.intomobile.com/2007/04/04/2010-census-goes-high-tech-with-data-only-htc-census-gps-smartphone.html

    or, IOW, your next ‘new job’, now with 168. Track n’ Trace~! We allow this to keep going, we’ll pine for the Freedoms that 18thC. Indentured Servants ‘enjoyed’..

  29. dead hobo says:

    Elaboration:

    Occasionally, a token talking head will appear on TV. This head will attempt to impart actual information without any ulterior motive (example Roubini on CBS this morning.) So I was in error when I said “Always”. However, for those who still believe in heroes because “you like this person” and don’t have the cognitive ability or education to listen critically, just assume the worst. It’s much safer. The vast majority are exactly as I described.

  30. call me ahab says:

    batmondo @ 9:44

    couldn’t agree more- savers have really been “bent over”- from the USG perspective- you need to spend that (your savings) and borrow more-

    now, now that’s a good American- run along now- thanks for spending all you got- or all your ever going to have

  31. franklin411 says:

    @ apikoros
    Completely agree with you. The fact that census would be hiring was known and predictable, so it’s silly to pretend that people were ignorant of the fact that some jobs came from the census.

    Government jobs are still jobs. Government workers still do needed work. They still get paid in real money. They still spend that money on real products and services. That money still echoes through the economy and creates new value. And every person on the government payroll is one less person competing for private sector jobs. The whole point of Keynesianism is that when the private sector fails, the government must step in, which exactly what we’re seeing put into practice.

    The private sector caused the market to fail. The private sector *cannot* lead us out. Only the American people, working together in a thing called government, can do that.

    @Ahab:
    Life actually does go on. Go to the scene of any disaster–wildfire, volcanic eruption, tornado, flood, earthquake, extreme heat or cold–and you will find new life. Optimism has been the cause of every single human achievement in our history, and we would do well to remember that.

  32. dead hobo says:

    franklin411 Says:
    May 11th, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Life actually does go on.

    reply:
    ————–
    You’re sooo right. I know how to make everything better. C’mon kids. Lets Put On A Show!!!.

  33. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    Tyro 411:

    Actually the private sector didn’t cause anything…This is the business cycle, ‘come round again, and if anything was distorted by government (easy money)…there will be other crashes in your lifetime, and this is the time to absorb every lesson you can about this particular distorted cycle.

  34. leftback says:

    Happiness this morning for LB, having made a bet on a weekend rally in the $ and JPY and a fall in oil and equities. Right now I am tempted to just take what the market gives and not worry about having a long-term thesis. Of course I still like SRS longer term.

    Today feels closer to a reversal of the long squeeze. As I pointed out last week, and so did the Bespoke guys, yields on the 10-yr are now relatively attractive and have surpassed those for the SPX. Many people feel the Fed will have to buy Tsys to keep the mortgage rates low, and David Rosenberg has been suggesting buying Treasuries.

  35. bman says:

    Strange to look at those curves and see portions of ones life’s formative years, and wonder what effect such wild swings had on the people in your neighborhood, and in circle on ones formative years.
    The cuves between 63 and 71 seem so calm and sedate, and I remember those years as idyllic.

  36. Mannwich says:

    Not sure how this piece of news was “allowed” to filter into the mainstream……

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/11/business/11credit.html?hp

  37. cvienne says:

    Well, if the administration REALLY wanted to make an impact (and if census jobs are REAL jobs that pay REAL wages that go into the REAL economy)…Why then didn’t the government just go out and hire 6 million census takers (to account for all the jobs lost in this recession)?

    Or better yet, let’s start doing the census on an ANNUAL basis…

    We could ‘grow’ ourselves out of this economic problem simply by running around counting ourselves (then “re-checking” those figures to see if they were accurate)…

    I’m still interested to see if the “surplus” of HIRED workers (as mentioned above), get counted as job LOSSES next month.

  38. Cursive says:

    @franklin 10:18

    I don’t remember anyone saying that the census jobs weren’t real. I am saying that there our plenty of people in those jobs, my firend included, who are underemployed and can’t otherwise find work in their chossen profession. I’d rather make $11.50 an hour than $0.00, but $11.50 ain’t all that grand. Moreover, as deanscamero pointed out, this phase of the census will be over shortly. We’re just trying to bring a little perspective to the reported census jobs. It seems to be a blip and, after this phase is over, the unemployment numbers could get ugly if these folks begin filing for unemployment.

  39. MRegan says:

    I’ve decided that one of the inefficiencies plaguing our economy is that there are too many contingencies. Such as the whole hiring process. Me doing census work is contingent on the Gummint hiring me. Clearly a significant drag on my economic agency so I decided to just freelance it and start counting people myself. I am sure that I will be able to get a non-bid contract later and sell my data. I came up with my own criteria for counting as well (KISS applies here): Ok and Not Ok. You all cannot believe the number of Not Oks in this country- my data reveals a stunning number of N-Os. Truly frightening. I am sure the Gummint will be begging me for my database. A few more days counting and little statistical modelling and boom I’m richer than Mr. Cassano.

  40. batmando says:

    Bruce -
    Dr. Hussman so absolutely nails this in “Ethics, Distribution and Incentives”
    The suggestion “that the bailouts aren’t so bad because “we owe this money to ourselves,” and that in terms of present value, they are neutral for society as a whole. What’s fascinating about these arguments is that they entirely miss the ethical and distributional effects of the bailouts. This isn’t something that would be missed if the Treasury was to borrow a trillion dollars and then hand it over to a fur-coated pimp standing on a street corner in lower Manhattan, but it somehow escapes concern when the recipients are in the offices above the ground floor. It’s amazing how quickly capitalists turn into socialists when they stand to lose money.”

    The good doctor concludes
    “The bailout is not something “neutral” that cancels itself out, but instead amounts to a transfer of trillions of dollars of purchasing power directly and indirectly from those who didn’t finance reckless mortgage loans to those who did. Farewell to the projects, innovation, research, investment, and growth that might have been financed by the savings and retained earnings of good stewards of capital. Those funds are being diverted to the careless stewards who now stand to be made whole”

    One’s gorge rises.

  41. cvienne says:

    @Mannwich

    I’ve had my eye on those potential losses for some time now…As stated in the article, I think we’ll end up “blowing through” the worst case scenario (just as “subprime” was originally thought to be contained)…

    And think about it…

    In the last business cycle, many people could simply rely on doing a HELOC, or otherwise drawing equity from their homes if they got too deep into credit card debt…In the end, they financed their shortfall at a lower rate and still had spending power…

    This time, there is either ZERO or NEGATIVE home equity (so there is nowhere to turn as far as re-financing is concerned)…They’ll most likely ending up DEFAULTING…Which brings up yet another problem…THIS TIME either a default or a bankruptcy WILL severly impact their credit score (unlike the past)…They will NOT be able to get credit in the future (or at least for several years)…

    The loss of this LEVERAGE in the economy will severly impact an economy that relies 70% on consumer spending (not to mention eventual tax receipts for the US Treasury)…

    So if the government thinks it can make up the shortfall in the face of this, it’s kidding itself…The only way it will ever be able to garner revenue is through higher taxes…Of course they’ll try to “softpedal” that as much as possible by simply getting on the horn and telling everyone about some small area that they CUT taxes…But with the Bush tax cuts expiring, we’re already going to get an AUTOMATIC tax hike…We’ll se what gets added to that…

    This might go on for a decade or so…

  42. Jeff,

    to your Q: , see this: “And Meredith A. Whitney, a prominent banking analyst, expects credit card lenders to cut the lines of credit they extend to borrowers by a total of $2.7 trillion through 2010.”

    one, she’s correct, and two, it can’t happen ‘out-of-the-blue’

    also, much of that ‘info’ was dumped into the Prospectii these Firms printed when they did their recent ‘capital raise’..

    The NYT has to do ‘something’ to animate its pretense of relevence, after all..

  43. Transor Z says:

    Census jobs-as-real-jobs makes me think of an old SCTV road movie parody sketch:

    “There’s lawyerin’ jobs for me and doctorin’ jobs for you!”
    -John Candy in the SCTV sketch Garth and Gord and Fiona and Alice

    Dating myself but not nearly as bad as Dead Hobo breaking out the Andy Hardy. :)

  44. leftback says:

    franklin: People in minimum wage census jobs don’t buy I-Pods and eat at Chipotle Mexican Grill. If that’s the future of our employment picture you’d better go long MCD and WMT. The 2000s growth stories are over. Grad school applications are way up because it’s either grad school or unemployment or the census. Grow that.

  45. Mannwich says:

    It looks like using credit to pay off other debt may be coming to a close, well, that it is unless Uncle Ben & Co are successful at keeping the game going on a bit longer. So many people have been using credit cards for not only discretionary purchases, but for their everyday needs as well (in lieu of salary increases) and then jumping from card to card (and mortgage equity withdrawals) to pay their monthly payment due (hhhmm, sounds like a familiar strategy, can’t seem to remember where I’ve heard that one before……..). Far too many aren’t going to have chairs when the music stops. Don’t worry though – Chuck Prince has one somewhere in Fraudfield County, no doubt.

  46. Marcus Aurelius says:

    apikoros:

    Yes, I live in Virginia (the Texas wannabe), and have for most of my life. Virginia is a net recipient of tax money, yet they claim to be conservative,”stand on your own two feet” manly-men types (my fellow citizens frequently express open hatred of the Federal Government — I think it’s a hold-over from the civil war, or something). Without the welfare they receive from the Fed Gov, they’d revert to being nothing but poor, backwards-assed, rednecks.

    Virginia should stop sucking on the Federal teat, grow up, and get a real job. I have never worked for the FedGov, but did, for a short while, subcontract for a major Defense contractor. Never again — the waste and incompetence made me sick. Virginia needs to man-up and take responsibility for itself. Prior to Virginia, I lived in Maryland, and for a few years in Florida. Maryland should also stop leeching off of other states.

  47. dead hobo says:

    Transor Z Says:
    May 11th, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Dating myself but not nearly as bad as Dead Hobo breaking out the Andy Hardy.

    reply:
    ————–
    On the other hand F411 writes like someone from who still a holds a 1950s and before belief in the way things should be. Mayberry was really the 1930s in a 1950 setting. F411 as Barny or Floyd? Call me Otis.

  48. Marcus Aurelius says:

    F411: Opie.

  49. lb,

    this: “The 2000s growth stories are over” may be a brush too broad.

    the 168.Track n’ Trace ‘boomtown’ is, still, in effect..

    see:
    “MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin police can attach GPS to cars to secretly track anybody’s movements without obtaining search warrants, an appeals court ruled Thursday.
    However, the District 4 Court of Appeals said it was “more than a little troubled” by that conclusion and asked Wisconsin lawmakers to regulate GPS use to protect against abuse by police and private individuals.
    As the law currently stands, the court said police can mount GPS on cars to track people without violating their constitutional rights — even if the drivers aren’t suspects.
    Officers do not need to get warrants beforehand because GPS tracking does not involve a search or a seizure, Judge Paul Lundsten wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel based in Madison.”
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/technology/chi-ap-wi-gps-police,0,5867383.story

    also, w/this: “People in minimum wage census jobs…better go long MCD and WMT”

    peep in min.wage Serfdom tend to shop at ‘Soup Kitchens/Food Banks, and Goodwill’
    remember, in the ’90s, “Grunge” was popular for a real reason..

    but, nonetheless, “Grow that.” is spot-on.

  50. cvienne says:

    What Franklin hasn’t figured out yet is the following:

    In the 90′s, the “Clinton economic miracle” was fueled by the following fortunate storm of events:

    1. VC in the internet
    2. The end of the cold war (and subsequent downsizing of military expenditures)
    3. Balance of power (Gingrich & Co. coming in in ’94 and keeping things relatively level)
    4. Failure of healthcare (which would have been a drain if it had been passed)

    Even so, Clinton’s “so called” budget surplus didn’t actually come until 2000 (just barely tipping positive), and came on the heels of a flood of $$ pouring into the Treasury on capital gains tax revenues from a stock market that was in the largest bubble anyone had ever seen since 1929 (and even exceeded THAT one on an order of magnitude)…

    Of course now Larry Summers is back now thinking he can do it all over again but unfortunately too many things are different this time…While the stock market “could” rally a little here, recent setbacks are still too fresh in the minds of people to TRUST anything anymore…I’ll point out several other obstacles…

    1. More people facing retirement (meaning: less willing to TAKE RISKS in the stock market with the damaged capital they have)
    2. Coming inflation
    3. Higher taxes
    4. Two wars to fight
    5. Less is more mentality
    6. Coming fear (as time draws near) that 2012 might be some kind of “doomsday” (kind of kooky, but worth considering)
    7. Continued terrorist activity
    8. Epidemics & Pandemics
    9. Less credit leverage in system
    10. TOO MUCH information (leading to moody swings in positive & negative sentiment)

    Clinton was about the “luckiest” SOB to ever waltz into the White House (based on a fortunate timing of external events)…Obama could just be the “unluckiest” SOB to ever take office (I always questioned his sanity for wanting the job in the first place)…In any case, he is making his own situation EVEN WORSE by trying to mimic the Clinton years…

    We need a Volcker around in these times not a Larry Summers…

  51. leftback says:

    Manny, I think you are spot on there – with credit cards maxed out and and banks reducing lines of credit in order to limit losses. Sooner or later the well runs dry, and that’s when we will see an “unexpected” decrease in retail sales. Stay on the LONG MCD and WMT:SHORT CMG and M theme, and I reckon you wouldn’t go far wrong.

    In Fraudfield County, the middle class Zombie family are in Denial. They are now getting by on $60K/yr and “loans” from family, where they used to have $150K/yr, but they have two cars, a mortgage, a HELOC and credit card bills approaching annual income. The Zombies are getting to the point of Peak Credit, from here there is no return and another wave of F/C and BK is looming.

    At the next level, Mike and Muffy Manager have more resources – they are down to $200K/yr from $500K/yr after the Wall Street layoffs and they can probably sell some stocks and cut back a bit and keep going for a year. This is why we’re not seeing the local housing market and secondary economy collapse yet – everything is two years behind California. Eventually it’s going to be back to basics in a big way out in Hedge Country.

  52. wunsacon says:

    >> Barry- with all the play money that has been created to salvage the TBTF banks- why does not the USG create additional $ to buy the bad debts of ordinary citizens- the USG could send the freshly printed $ to indebted Americans in exchange for their bad debt- why stop with the banks- I mean if we’re going to do QE- let’s do it right- also

    The writers of SOUTH PARK prefer this approach, as evidenced by an episode about 2 months ago.

    Geez, put the comedians in charge already!

  53. lb,

    “Stay on the LONG MCD and WMT:SHORT CMG and M theme” yon’ olde-fashioned Paire Trade, those things still work well..
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/PAIR

    “In Fraudfield County, the middle class Zombie family are in Denial. They are now getting by on $60K/yr and “loans” from family, where they used to have $150K/yr, but they have two cars, a mortgage, a HELOC and credit card bills approaching annual income. The Zombies are getting to the point of Peak Credit, from here there is no return and another wave of F/C and BK is looming.

    At the next level, Mike and Muffy Manager have more resources – they are down to $200K/yr from $500K/yr after the Wall Street layoffs and they can probably sell some stocks and cut back a bit and keep going for a year. This is why we’re not seeing the local housing market and secondary economy collapse yet”

    I know that’s spun as a local anecdote, but that’s what I’m seeing/hearing, as well.
    Peep should pay heed, and wise-up, if they haven’t, already.

    These ‘current events’ are modulated to break down all of those who don’t have sufficient ‘filters’ already on-line..

  54. Transor Z says:

    @Wunsacon:

    Because one of the things “they don’t teach you in social studies” is that the dreaded “tyranny of the majority” that is checked by our republican form of government and constitutional structure is to protect the creditor class from the debtor class.

    “Tyranny of the majority” is usually trotted out in connection with race, mob mentality, danger of the crowd following fads, etc. But the truth is that a fear embodied in founding first principles is that the majority, who tend to be indebted to a minority, would occasionally act to just cancel existing debts.

    Put that original bias in favor of Owners together with crazy levels of influence and you get things like a democratic-controlled Senate that “mysteriously” voting down mortgage cram-downs.

  55. deanscamaro says:

    Reply to Mark E. Hoffer:

    The HHC’s, as the hand-helds are called, ARE nothing more than a glorified PDA. The problem with them was limited memory and very few assignments could be loaded, because they would start locking up. They constantly caused problems

    By the way, we were paid mileage, but it was verbotin to charge overtime.

  56. batmando says:

    @MEH
    “Officers do not need to get warrants beforehand because GPS tracking does not involve a search or a seizure,” Judge Paul Lundsten wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel based in Madison.

    Seems to me a GPS plant is pretty much analogous to a phone tap requiring a judicial authorization based on probable cause.

  57. deanscamaro says:

    Sorry to come back again, but I forgot something. We were told these jobs would only last until June. They ceased by the end of April. I’m glad someone is still working on census jobs.

  58. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    cvienne @ 11:09….

    Yep.

  59. leftback says:

    @ Mark: That’s about the size of it as I see it. The Zombies have 3-6 months, the Managers 12-18 months.

    As you might expect, in CT it’s all about keeping up appearances, so you won’t see the F/C and personal BK as quickly as in the Wild West. But it’s coming. In addition, the builders, construction guys, car dealers are all on their last legs so there are more job cuts coming. Once the hedge fund implosion starts, the high-end layoffs will follow and luxury retail trade in Fraudfield County is going to be toast. At Schadenfreude, we do look forward to getting a good table in Greenrich restaurants, however.

    Luckily, the traditional local economy remains strong – peep can still look for oysters at low tide….

  60. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Transor Z:

    Your analysis of our Republican form of government is correct. However, I don’t think that the Founders were thinking of mob rule over debt issues when they chose the Republican form of government, although that consideration may have had some bearing on their deliberations. More likely, they saw pure democracy as being a threat to individual liberties of every/any kind.

    cvienne:

    It takes more than luck, good or bad, to make an effective President. For every reason you cite that Clinton simply got lucky, there are legitimate reasons that could be put forth that he was simply a very good President.

  61. DeDude says:

    Mark E @ 10:10

    It’s all Reagan’s fault, he invented trust but verify :-)

    Bruce @ 10:25

    No the easy money was created by private sector investment banks as they went from 1:12 leverage up to as much as 1:40. The only government responsibility for that was that they did not stop that recklessness, because they believed that the private sector should not be prevented from inventing new money. Now absorb that lesson and demand that “we the people” and our government get right in the face of those private enterprise bastards and stop them from ever again doing that to our economy and our retirement accounts.

    Cevienne

    It is a lot more productive and less destructive for the environment to count people than it is to build private 4000 + sq ft. houses for people who could and should easily live in one half as big. There are a lot more to an economy than wasting resources on the selfindulgence of spoiled little brads.

  62. wunsacon says:

    >> onder why the unemployment is so horrendous in Spain? The socialist government has a law that for every year worked for employees with contracts, at least 20 days pay is due. This is a national law.

    That’s socialism done wrong. The state should provide the social safety net directly. Since they probably already have one, they should beef that up. (Or, if it’s already high, they should acknowledge that.) You’re right that this hybrid approach creates.

    >> What the heck, the Keynsian thinking would say that “hiring” a bunch of folks to sit in a classroom (or whatever they do) for census training is “stimulative”, ala ditch digging or digging holes and filling them up again, repeat over and over. It points out the absurdity of such arguments IMO.

    “Keynsian thinking” need not mean “be wasteful”. Such arguments are not absurd if you invest in things that have an ROI. Then: Hoover dam. Now (I hope): Pickens Plan.

  63. Transor Z says:

    @MEH:

    Just read the Wisconsin opinion. The Wisconsin court was NOT happy to reach this conclusion.

    The Wisconsin court hinted that Sveum’s attorney may have fallen down on the job by failing to distinguish his client’s case from the facts of a federal circuit court decision in Garcia. The police here entered on Sveum’s property (his driveway) to place the device on the outside of his car. In the Garcia case, the police placed a device while the defendant’s car was parked in a public place.

    Interestingly, the device here was a logging device, not a tracking device in the sense of permitting police to track location in real time.

    This from Judge Posner (yes — THAT Judge Posner of the Chicago School) in his 2007 Garcia opinion:

    . . . [T]he police learned that the defendant was driving a borrowed Ford Tempo. They went looking for it and found it parked on a public street near where the defendant was staying. The police placed a GPS (global positioning system) “memory tracking unit” underneath the rear bumper of the Ford. Such a device, pocket-sized, battery-operated, commercially available for a couple of hundred dollars . . . receives and stores satellite signals that indicate the device’s location. So when the police later retrieved the device (presumably when the car was parked on a public street, as the defendant does not argue that the retrieval involved a trespass),[my bold] they were able to learn the car’s travel history since the installation of the device. One thing they learned was that the car had been traveling to a large tract of land. The officers obtained the consent of the tract’s owner to search it and they did so and discovered equipment and materials used in the manufacture of meth.

    Posner went on to say the following:

    One can imagine the police affixing GPS tracking devices to thousands of cars at random, recovering the devices, and using digital search techniques to identify suspicious driving patterns. One can even imagine a law requiring all new cars to come equipped with the device so that the government can keep track of all vehicular movement in the United States. It would be premature to rule that such a program of mass surveillance could not possibly raise a question under the Fourth Amendment – that it could not be a search because it would merely be an efficient alternative to hiring another 10 million police officers to tail every vehicle on the nation’s roads.

    Technological progress poses a threat to privacy by enabling an extent of surveillance that in earlier times would have been prohibitively expensive. Whether and what kind of restrictions should, in the name of the Constitution, be placed on such surveillance when used in routine criminal enforcement are momentous issues that fortunately we need not try to resolve in this case. So far as appears, the police of Polk County (a rural county in northwestern Wisconsin), where the events of this case unfolded, are not engaged in mass surveillance. They do GPS tracking only when they have a suspect in their sights.

    So (1) Sveum’s attorney sucked for not picking up on the police trespass issue, and (2) Courts are on the lookout to draw a line at “persistent surveillance” but law enforcement so far has been nibbling around the edges and hasn’t presented an opportunity for a “bright line” to be drawn.

  64. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    DeDude:

    I submit if Greeny hadn’t lowered rates to 1%, most of the truly awful mess would have been avoided…yes, the banksters behaved badly, but idiots who borrowed 105% of the value of their house will not be any smarter when this is all over…and when peeps bought all those tulips, some made out fine, some got their fingers singed…it is a boom and bust cycle..

    And give me a balanced budget amendment, please Ms. Pelosi…

  65. Cursive says:

    @ Transor Z

    Great, now our liberty is threatened because of sucky lawyers? This is a case of blaming the person who left his door unlocked, not the criminal who stole something out of the house. Maybe the lawyer sucked, but our robed masters, by and large, are far too devious to even let common sense or good lawyers win the day.

  66. Transor Z says:

    @Cursive:

    No, not really. Mr. Sveum’s liberty is possibly compromised because of it, though. . . The judges in both cases have “left a trail of breadcrumbs” for future defense attorneys to follow if the police attach devices by trespassing. Looks like if the police put devices on a car while it’s parked on the street, though, and then retrieve it while it’s parked on the street, you’re SOL.

    Strange things appear in these cases, like Scalia’s famous opinion against using thermal imaging to track movement inside a house. This issue is one where the ACLU and far right-wing wrap around and join hands, believe it or not.

    But this is a thread about Unemployment so I’ll save this topic for one of Barry’s open threads one of these days. ;)

  67. deans,

    HHC= hand-held computer, and those things are locking up, primarily, b/c of the MSFT-derivative OS–it’s like trying to swim a Pig in a Goldfish bowl..

    the beauty of this ‘gov’t action’, is that it serves to entrench–as always–those that are, already established, no matter how wasteful they are..

    as opposed to going w/ http://clusty.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&query=Mobile+Linux and creating jobs/and learning, at the same time/ by recycling HHCs that are a generation, or two, off the current release..

    new Programmers, new Electronics Techs, Landfill diversion, lower Costs, et al., etc.

    batmando,

    one would think so, right?

    lb,

    these peep: “it’s all about keeping up appearances” are going to be sorely mistaken, after, of course, they ignite their Family’s remaining Financial Assets–watch for an increase in on-line Gaming, and growing push for the legalization of Tele-Wagering..
    **see this tout-sheet http://www.lotteryinsider.com/vol43/no6.htm
    as an aside, get a load of this: “…The receipts are the second phase of the Iowa Lottery’s enhanced player security program. The lottery began implementing new security initiatives in March. At that time, the lottery’s “Sign it. It’s yours” campaign began, requiring players to sign the backs of their tickets before they can be checked or cashed by an Iowa Lottery retailer. The lottery also began a public awareness campaign at that time to inform the public about the new procedures and players’ rights and responsibilities when it comes to checking and cashing lottery tickets.
    On Monday, another initiative will begin. Receipts will be available for every instant-scratch or lotto ticket that is checked or cashed. Two receipts will be printed – one for the retailer and one for the lottery player – that will show the results of a particular ticket and whether it has won a prize.”

    Receipts for Lottery Players, but Not for Voters.. Suite~!
    ~~
    DeD,

    “Just Say No!”, it’s, sadly, a lot like that. The “War on Drugs” was Always a War on Individual Liberty.
    the “Police State” started its parabolic growth under #40..

  68. cvienne says:

    @DeD

    While I’m in agreement with you that one of the main causes of the problem was allowing balance sheets to be “levered up”…Explain to me how the solution is for the FED to “lever up” its own balance sheet (27-1 to 43-1 just in the past year)…and the US Treasury “levering up” its debt (4x just since Obama took oath)…

    Problem is, the Administration doesn’t have the GUTS to let asset prices decline because they’re afraid it would spark civil unrest…Obama would be in danger of losing his popularity so he’s rolling the dice with America’s future…

    @MA

    I didn’t say Clinton was a bad President…I said he was a lucky SOB…The “smartest” thing Clinton ever did was to sit back and basically do nothing for 8 years and ride the wave of the building the infrastructure of the internet and the windfall taxes that poured into the Treasury…

  69. DeDude says:

    Bruce;

    I submit that there were many a wall that could have stopped the Banksters from luring people into houses and consumption patterns that they could not afford. One of those walls (or should we call it speed bumps) was the feds interest rate. But when you look at the correlation between the feds rate and the mortgage loans rates you realize that the fed only have a marginal power to affect the mortgage rates. Furthermore, the “easy money” that made the biggest difference was subprime loans and they were the result of the banksters financial innovation (legalized fraud), and their ability to sell the sh*t as gold nuggets after other private entities (rating agencies) had given them a bucket of golden paint. That had everything to do with lack of government intervention, and nothing to do with what the fed (government ??) actively did.

    cvienne;

    The problem is that the right thing has to happen slowly enough that the collateral damage can be absorbed. We cannot ban the emission of all CO2 tomorrow because it would completely destroy the economy. However, we can slowly reduce the emissions and save the planet from an ecological and economical disaster. Similarly, we cannot remove all leverage at once without destroying the economy, but we can let the fed “absorb” the leverage (from private sector deleveraging) and slowly delevarage themselves later at a pace where it does not cause major damage. Similarly, when aggregate demand falls by 2 trillion, government may have to let a 0.8 trillion stimulus package soften the blow to avoid a complete collapse into a depression. Because it is indeed the job of government to save the country from destruction by military or economic or any other kind of forces. And it is a heck of a lot better to use 0.8 trillion of deficit spending on saving our economy, than it is to use over a trillion in deficit spending on trying to give Irak democracy (sure wish that unlucky SOB would have just sat back and done nothing).

  70. Transor,

    thanks for fleshing that out..

    though, w/this: “Interestingly, the device here was a logging device, not a tracking device in the sense of permitting police to track location in real time.”

    remember, anything, especially w/ a battery, has a pulse. those dataloggers may be weatherproof, but it’s doubtful that they’re EMR-shielded–with that, the ‘police’ may not have the appropriate antenna to ‘hone-in’ on it–but, someone does/can.
    see, this thing http://www.microbus.com/ and, remember, it’s ability to lock-on/locate a different frequency is a download away/chip swap at most..

    and, this: “One can imagine the police affixing GPS tracking devices to thousands of cars at random, recovering the devices, and using digital search techniques to identify suspicious driving patterns..”
    from Posner, is spurious. that s**** was, already, happening through On*Star, at the very minimum.

    and, see: FISA, for starters, don’t believe this: “and (2) Courts are on the lookout to draw a line at “persistent surveillance” “

  71. DeD,

    this: “We cannot ban the emission of all CO2 tomorrow because it would completely destroy the economy. However, we can slowly reduce the emissions and save the planet from an ecological and economical disaster.”

    is utter Bullsh*T.

    tell me, when do propose to Cork the Volcanoes?

  72. Transor Z says:

    @MEH:

    The FISA cases have been an abomination IMO.

    I think we strongly agree that Posner is FOS in the following passage from his 2006 WSJ opinion:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113996743590074183-search.html

    National security intelligence is a search for the needle in a haystack. The intelligence services must cast a wide net with a fine mesh to catch the clues that may enable the next attack to be prevented. The initial trolling for clues is done by computer search programs, which do not invade privacy because search programs are not sentient beings. The programs pick out a tiny percentage of communications to be read by (human) intelligence officers, and a small subset of these will turn out to have intelligence value and spur an investigation.

  73. Transor,

    that s**** from Posner stretches credulity to its aymptotes, maybe, even past them..

    it’s, all, more of the same that Antifederalist No. 2 “WE HAVE BEEN TOLD OF PHANTOMS”" was telling us of..but that Author didn’t have an (sp)iPhone so he Must be wrong..
    http://www.wepin.com/articles/afp/afp02.html

    see these cats for starters: http://lingwarehouse.com/

    the idea that ‘trolled clues’ need to be read by ‘humans’ is, sadisticly, untrue..

    the same thing can be done with Voice and Video — data mining

    truly, a-F-mazing..Posner should be disbarred for lying, or incompetence, or Both..

  74. Pat G. says:

    The Census jobs are real but temporary through June of 2010. If someone who was working for the Census files for unemployment than they “should” show up in the data. From what I’ve heard from the field, they are experiencing all kinds of problems with the HHCs. Remember, the lowest bidder got the contract. It doesn’t effect me because in my position, I don’t use one. I file a paper payroll report just like I did in 2000. I’ve been paid overtime. Like anything, overtime pay is dependent on what you are doing and how important it is to your employer to get it done.

  75. DeDude says:

    Mark E.

    We cannot Cork the Volcanoes (or the Cows); therefore, the more important that we do something about the pollution and greenhouse gases that we CAN affect.

  76. DeD,

    see: http://www.globalwarminghoax.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?452.last

    you may begin to understand the other side of this ‘settled’ non-debate..

  77. DeDude says:

    Mark E;

    I have seen those types of sites and arguments from pleanty of global warming deniers before. So far I have seen lots of strawmen, tinfoil hats and refusal of facts. The more serious people will follow patterns of “your explanation is only backed by facts to a 95% certainty level so this alternative explanation that I just pulled out of my a$$ (backed by nothing) can be just as likely an explanation”. It’s the standard right wing “hanging on to what we want to believe in spite of the facts” deal – and I don’t swollow that kind of stuff. We are way beyond the point where we can afford to ignore warnings from the 99%+ of the experts who work with this every day; just so we can continue endulging ourself with more cars, houses, juvelry and other idiotic useless sh•t that didn’t make us happy after all.

  78. [...] Payroll figures don’t look good once you actually analyze them (the birth/death component is particularly egregious right now) (The Big Picture) [...]

  79. DeD,

    this: “…We are way beyond the point where we can afford to ignore warnings from the 99%+ of the experts who work with this every day..” seems to be a gross mischaracterization.

    though, believe me, I’m a major proponent of Efficiency. And, for sure, this ‘Economy’ is predicated on Waste. But, this CO2 nonsense–Natural Sources, of which, far outstrip our Production of them, to begin with–is truly from the Poli-Sci pages of the Texts..

    w/this: “So far I have seen lots of strawmen, tinfoil hats and refusal of facts.”

    if you would, use an example from that Site, should be easy, to illustrate your point..

    also, Lest we forget, the Biggest proponent of this Scheme, Al Gore, stands to make additional 10′s of Millions via Cap ‘n Trade/”Carbon Trading”..