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 Paul Krugman on "Job Truthers"

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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Paul Krugman on "Job Truthers"   10/7/2012, 11:49 pm

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Truth About Jobs
By PAUL KRUGMAN

If anyone had doubts about the madness that has spread through a large part of the American political spectrum, the reaction to Friday’s better-than expected report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics should have settled the issue. For the immediate response of many on the right — and we’re not just talking fringe figures — was to cry conspiracy.

Leading the charge of what were quickly dubbed the “B.L.S. truthers” was none other than Jack Welch, the former chairman of General Electric, who posted an assertion on Twitter that the books had been cooked to help President Obama’s re-election campaign. His claim was quickly picked up by right-wing pundits and media personalities.

It was nonsense, of course. Job numbers are prepared by professional civil servants, at an agency that currently has no political appointees. But then maybe Mr. Welch — under whose leadership G.E. reported remarkably smooth earnings growth, with none of the short-term fluctuations you might have expected (fluctuations that reappeared under his successor) — doesn’t know how hard it would be to cook the jobs data.

Furthermore, the methods the bureau uses are public — and anyone familiar with the data understands that they are “noisy,” that especially good (or bad) months will be reported now and then as a simple consequence of statistical randomness. And that in turn means that you shouldn’t put much weight on any one month’s report.

In that case, however, what is the somewhat longer-term trend? Is the U.S. employment picture getting better? Yes, it is.

Some background: the monthly employment report is based on two surveys. One asks a random sample of employers how many people are on their payroll. The other asks a random sample of households whether their members are working or looking for work. And if you look at the trend over the past year or so, both surveys suggest a labor market that is gradually on the mend, with job creation consistently exceeding growth in the working-age population.

On the employer side, the current numbers say that over the past year the economy added 150,000 jobs a month, and revisions will probably push that number up significantly. That’s well above the 90,000 or so added jobs per month that we need to keep up with population. (This number used to be higher, but underlying work force growth has dropped off sharply now that many baby boomers are reaching retirement age.)

Meanwhile, the household survey produces estimates of both the number of Americans employed and the number unemployed, defined as people who are seeking work but don’t currently have a job. The eye-popping number from Friday’s report was a sudden drop in the unemployment rate to 7.8 percent from 8.1 percent, but as I said, you shouldn’t put too much emphasis on one month’s number. The more important point is that unemployment has been on a sustained downward trend.

But isn’t that just because people have given up looking for work, and hence no longer count as unemployed? Actually, no. It’s true that the employment-population ratio — the percentage of adults with jobs — has been more or less flat for the past year. But remember those aging baby boomers: the fraction of American adults who are in their prime working years is falling fast. Once you take the effects of an aging population into account, the numbers show a substantial improvement in the employment picture since the summer of 2011.

None of this should be taken to imply that the situation is good, or to deny that we should be doing better — a shortfall largely due to the scorched-earth tactics of Republicans, who have blocked any and all efforts to accelerate the pace of recovery. (If the American Jobs Act, proposed by the Obama administration last year, had been passed, the unemployment rate would probably be below 7 percent.) The U.S. economy is still far short of where it should be, and the job market has a long way to go before it makes up the ground lost in the Great Recession. But the employment data do suggest an economy that is slowly healing, an economy in which declining consumer debt burdens and a housing revival have finally put us on the road back to full employment.

And that’s the truth that the right can’t handle. The furor over Friday’s report revealed a political movement that is rooting for American failure, so obsessed with taking down Mr. Obama that good news for the nation’s long-suffering workers drives its members into a blind rage. It also revealed a movement that lives in an intellectual bubble, dealing with uncomfortable reality — whether that reality involves polls or economic data — not just by denying the facts, but by spinning wild conspiracy theories.

It is, quite simply, frightening to think that a movement this deranged wields so much political power.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/08/opinion/krugman-truth-about-jobs.html?ref=politics
It's beyond pathetic that there are so many idiots on the right that believe this stuff.

Last week it was that all the polls were cooked,so the brainstems on the right created their own alternative polling data site. Whether it's "Conservapedia",building a Creation museum,or birthers that insist that Obama was born in Kenya and it covered up by a giant conspiracy that would have had to start over 50 years ago,it's an absolute disgrace that so many people live in an alternate universe totally divorced from reality. Evil or Very Mad
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Paul Krugman on "Job Truthers"   10/8/2012, 7:41 am

Michelle Malkin was right. This is definitely a tin foil hat nation, comprised of mostly Republicans. The laughable list of conspiracies is endless.

The jobs numbers truther movement

Quote :
A cadre of conservatives from Jack Welch to Allen West are crying conspiracy over Friday’s good economic news, accusing the White House of cooking the books to boost President Barack Obama’s prospects for reelection.

The word from Republicans who have worked with the jobs numbers before? Bunk.

“The numbers are put together by trained professionals and in a process that keeps politicians from interfering,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and a chief economic adviser to former President George W. Bush. “Any sort of suggestion to the contrary is wrong.”

Former Bush administration spokesman Tony Fratto took to Twitter to say: “Stop with the dumb conspiracy theories. Good grief.”

At least there's a few that don't have their heads buried in their asses.
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Paul Krugman on "Job Truthers"   10/8/2012, 12:46 pm

Heretic wrote:
Michelle Malkin was right. This is definitely a tin foil hat nation, comprised of mostly Republicans. The laughable list of conspiracies is endless.
Coming Soon:"Unskewed Election Results & Vote Totals...How Obama Stole the Election!" if Obama wins re-election.
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Paul Krugman on "Job Truthers"   10/9/2012, 5:31 pm



Thin-Skinned CEO Superstar Jack Welch Quits Fortune, Reuters After His Demented BLS Tweet Gets Criticized
Quote :
Jack Welch, the strongest and most capable CEO in the history of the world, made news last week when he took to his Twitter account (history shall record the phrase "took to his Twitter account" as the five words that immediately precede all news of social media disasters) to accuse the Bureau of Labor Statistics of intentionally cooking its latest jobs report to favor President Barack Obama's chances for reelection in November, writing "Unbelievable jobs numbers...these Chicago guys will do anything...can't debate so change numbers."

While Welch won some support from the right-wing fever swamp, most rational observers saw the remarks as listing toward a certain dementia, and before long, he was doing a semi-backtrack in line with the precepts of Lean Six Sigma. On Sunday, Welch returned to Twitter (in for a penny, I guess!) to say, "Have never commented on White House in any tweets I can recall." Which, I guess exposes the fact that Welch is now having a problem with object permanence.

Well, all of the criticism has apparently gotten to Welch, and now he will, in a fit of pique, take his leave from Fortune magazine and Reuters, where he had previously been a contributor. As Fortune's own Stephen Gandel reports:

Quote :
Welch said he will no longer contribute to Fortune following critical coverage of the former CEO of General Electric, saying he would get better "traction" elsewhere. On Friday, Welch suggested that the Obama administration, calling them "these Chicago guys," had manipulated the monthly jobs report in order to make the economy look better than it actually is just weeks before the election. Welch has been battered by criticism since making the suggestion on Twitter.
Welch apparently ended up at odds with various journalistic institutions that placed a higher premium on providing readers with objectively rational information about the economy, as opposed to flattering an old executive who sows derangement on the Internet. According to Gandel, Welch did not take kindly to a CNN Money piece that criticized Welch's original tweet, and was further angered by a Fortune piece, "detailing Welch's record as a job destroyer."

Gandel goes on to report that after these stories were published, "Welch sent an e-mail to Reuters' Steve Adler and [Fortune managing editor Andy] Serwer saying that he and his wife Suzy, who have jointly written for Reuters and Fortune in the past, were 'terminating our contract' and will no longer be sending our 'material to Fortune.'"

This was probably the first many of you had heard that Welch and his wife were contributing articles to Reuters and Fortune, but there you go.
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Paul Krugman on "Job Truthers"   10/10/2012, 9:30 pm

Heads explode on Planet Wingnuttia!!
Gallup Daily: U.S. Unemployment at 7.3%
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Good news for President Obama
Gallup Tracking now shows that US unemployment has declined to 7.3%, which the right wing will take as more evidence of high-level liberal conspiracies.
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