Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Obama and the Econoomy: Obama Loses If Economy Does Not Improve

The Olympics sort of derailed my usual analysis of economic daa such as the monthly employoment data, the GDP data, and the weekly number of new unemployment claims.

As you know, the unemployment RATE went UP to 8.3%.  What you may or may not realize is that this is the SAME RATE as January.  Thus, this rate has NOT IMPROVED this entire year.  But it is worse than that.  The numbers suded in the calucualtion of these "bottom line' employment numbers were CHANGED in January, based on the Census, to the pont that the Labor Department said that you could NOT really compare January with Decempber (or, necessarily, with any ohter previus numbers).  Thus, there ws a supposed "job creatioin" n January that was mainly FICTIONAL  (above 200,000).  Notice that the number of jobs added (a "seasonally adjusted" number, in additin to this change in calculation) has NOT reached the level of January or February in any subsequent month.  In July, the "seasonal adjustments" seemed especially "iffy" (July 4 holiday changes in corporate plant closings and the like)that the supposed "jobs added" of 153,000 is hardly good news.  Even if it were a real number--and variations in the "seasonal adjustement" accuracy make any individual month not mean much, the "rule of thumb" is that you need AT LEAST 200,000 jobs added month after month to (slowly) reduce the unemployment rate.  You need 250,000 to 300,000 to start making any significant inroads. The AVERAGE number since February i considerably under 150,000: showing NO IMPROVEMENT in the labor market this year.  This is to be expected, since the initial GDP "growth" estimate for the second quarter was 1.5%, down from about 2% for the first quarter, and essentaily STAGNANT.  You might remember that th GDP gREW during the first two quarters of 2008, when we were LATER "offficially" found to have been in a rECESSION (and the media and Democrats were saying that we were in a erecession as early as 2007).   With a trillion dollar deficit, things like that fraudulent "payroll tax cut" (a s useless 'stimulus" which merely undermined funding for Social Security), along with the Federal Reserve still pumping TRILLIONS into the economy in what amounts to electronically printed dollars, it is pathetic for the GDP to grow ony 1.5%. 

This blog seems to have had an effect on the way the Labor Department is figuring the weekly number of new unemplyment claims, and the way the media is reporting them.  The number is now CONSISTENTLY understated by 2,000, insted of by the previious consistent understatement of 3,000--fairly often being significantly mroe than that.  Thus, two Thursdays ago the previus week's reported number ws revised only 1,000 (I think), to 357,000 from 356,000. This last Te number of new employment claims that Thursday was initially reported as 365,000, or a rise of 8,000.  That, as usual, was FALSE.  The number was revised this last Thursday to 367,000, meaning that the number had actually risen 10,000 the previous week, instead of 8,0000.  This last Thursday, the number of new unemployment claims was initially reported as 361,000, which means that it was probably 363,000 (or higher, if we were to go back to the previus magnitude of falsehood over about the previus two years). The interesting fact here is that I actually looked up the number on the CNN website devoted to these numbers, and the website ACCURATELY noted that on an "apples-toapples" basis the number of new unemployment claims did NOT fall 6,000 (the revised 356,000 to 361,000), but fell 4,000 (comaring the INTIALLY reported number from the previous week with the intially reported number this last Thursday).  Maybe this is why the Labor Department has done SOMETING to reduce this OBVIUS FALSITY in the intial number reported each Thursday.  Notice that the Labor Deaprtment still could NOT bring itself to avoid the CONSISTENT UNDERSTATEMENT of new unemplyment claims that hey expect to go into HEADLINES, but that seem to have reduced that understatement to a consisstent 2,000 (this last revision, and the revision for at least three weeks prior to that one revision of only 1,000).  I DO say this consistent understatement is DISHHONEST on the part of SOMEONE, when the error is so consistent in one direction.  I am convinced the error would NOT remain consistent if it OVERSTATED the number of new uemployment claims each week.  Sure, this is a relatively minor deception, but it is CONSISTENT.  Notice that the CNN website that really goes into these numbers acckurately highlighted the FALSITY of comparting revised numbers with unrevised numbers (when the number is ALWAYS revised in one direction). But did CNN "journalist" HEADLINES, and other media HEADLINES, eflect this detailed analysis?  Nope.  Certainly not usually. Thus, the DECETION still works, to a degree, and this explains why the Labor Department mat is making no effort to totally ennd it (even as they seem to have done something to reduce the consistent upward revision slightly). 

But what about the numbers on new unemployment claims?  Are they not "improved"?  Nope.  Remember, in February, the number of new unemployment calims eahed 351,000, and had a CONSISTENT range (for almost three months, going back into January) of 350,000 to 365,000.  Then the weekly number JUMPED (suddenly) to an average of 390,000 for three weeks.  Then the number briefly feel back , but again only to the TOP of the previous range, and really a little higher.  Then, for almost ALL of June, the number of weekly new unemplyment claims reached an aVERAGE of 390,000 again.  At the end of June, the number suddenly dropped back to the 375,000 level, but then SUDDENLY dropoped back to around 352,000 for ONE WEEK (seasonal adjustment problem, as plant closings did not match 'seasonal adjustment" model).  Then the number JUMPED  right back toward 390,000 for ONE WEEK.  The next week i again fell to that 357,000 level.  Now we are AGAIN back at the TOP of the OLD RANGE (averaging about 365,000 for previious two weeks).  In the meantime, the GDP number ("growth" of only 1.5%) How do you "explain" the number of weekly new unemplyment claims "jumping around" like this?  Ea, really.  GLITCHES in the "seasonal adjutment'.  The economy has NOT "jumped around".  It has CONSISTNETLY STAGNATED--even weakened slightly.  And we have no TREND in the weekly number of new unemployment cllaims.  Since the beginning of the year, they have "jumped around' in a range of 351,000 to 390,0000.  We have now gone back to taht two week average of aorund 365,000, but that has happened a number of times this year.  All you can really say is that there is NO IMPROVEMENT since the beginning of the year, which is the SAME message lyhou get from the unemplment rate AND the low number of "jobs added".  Once the economy started "adding jobs" (way back near the beginning of 010), the number has AVERAGED somewhere between 140,000 and 150,000. Obama calls this "progress".  I call it STAGNATIN in a BAD PLACE.  And it hs not been that high an average since February. 

What peole forget--mainly media people and Obama supporters--is that the BEST MONTHS of the "recovery" were the last half of 2009.  The This was th e natural BOUNCE BACK in the eocnomy, which Obama policies SHORT CIRCUITED.  The growth has not been that high since.  That healthy growth could NOT have been the result of Obama lpolicies, since they had not had time to take effect.  New unemplyment claims went down CONSISTNENTLY week after week after week, with onl a little bouncing around.  That would NOT be true of 2010, 2011 and 2012, when new unemplyment claims generally showed the SAME seasonal pattern (weakness in the spring and summer, and then some seasonal strength in the fall/winter, with no TREND of improvement, although there has been a minor year-to-year improvement). We are STUCK in an economy that is NOT IMPROVING, and haS NOT really "improved" since the end of 2009.  That last half of 2009 was when the strongest growth occurred, before Obama's policies derailed it.  As this bog has said repeatedly, what Obama and Bernanke have done is make a rEAL "recovery" IMOSSILBE.  Every time the economy 'tries", it cant' gain any tractino. 

That is where we are:  STUCK. This blog has predicted that OBAMA LOSES if the eocnomy does not (perceptibly adn significantly) improve by electin day.  No . It does not HAVE to be actually GOOD.  But it MUST be iimproving significantly, or at least lpercieved to be doing so, or OBAMA LOSES/

No. Polls don't matter.  Even the performance of Rmeny and Ryan only matters at the GROSS MISTAKE level.  If Romney and Ryan make BIG MISTAKES (not this media hogwash or Democrat falsehoods abut Ryyan on Medicare), then they can turn victgory into defeat.  But it will take some doing on their part, ASSUMING no "improvement' in tghe economy . And how can the ecomy improve?  You not only have Europe (trying the same Bernanke games we have tried) and you have ObamaCare (a sword of Damocles hanging over the economy).  And, yes, you have the "fiscal cliff" of uncertianty haning over taxes as this year ends.  WE KNOW that NO "progress" will be made on giving us tax crertainly before the electin, and it is cerrtain NOTHING will be done about the looming threat of ObamaCare.  And Obama REGULATINS on things like the cola industry (and many other areas) are having a CUMULATIVE effect.  I see no way the economy can really show "progress" (not stagnation) before the election.  But I leave open the possibility that somehow Obama and the media might make it SEEM like the economy is improving.  They have certaihly tried to do that at the end of each year, and beginning of the nextg year, only to see it made OBVIUS (in 2010,2011 AND 2012) that th eAPPARENT "improvement" ni the beginnng of the year had DISAPPEARED (or never eally was true in the first place) .

As previusly stated, the main value that Ryan's choice has had for Romney is to REFOCUS his campaign back on the economy, where it needs to be.  That is worth the risk of media and Democrat demagogues on the budget (especially Medicare).  I would still have chosen Rubio, but--as previusly stated--there may have been facotrs there of which I am not aware.  And it is not like Rubio is a present heoro of mine.  This blog has made clear that I am MASSIVELY disappointed in Rubio.   Ryan is no hereo to me either, with his "promise' to balance the budget by 2040 (moan), not to metnin things like the "debt ceiling deal". spending, and the payroll 'tax cut".  But Ryan brings an ENERGY and positive ARTICULATENESS to the campaing that Romney just seems unable to generate himself.  It is all about the ecoomy, for Romney/Ryan, but the Rayn chice helps Romney kiij kuje a nab wgi cab di something other than bob and weave, and be all things to all peole.  Most peole, including myself, believe that Romney would make a better MANAGER than Obama.  But that idea left me totally cold (still does) . Ryan takes the focus off of that rather uninspiring "message", and makes it APPEAR that Romney has something gong for him other than mere management skill.  If peole ar comfortable with the ida of Romney as a better management, and see Ryan bringing some excitement and ability to communicate to the ticket, then the EcoNOMY is going to control--absent, again, that BIG MISTAKE (or mistakes), which the media is desperately trying to CREATE. 

P.S. No proofreading or spell checking (bad eyesight). 

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