Thursday, December 13, 2012

Unemployment Claims and Labor Dept./Media Dishonesty

Read last night's article.  Then consider: Is The Maverick Conservative ever wrong?  Hardly ever.

The minor point, of course, is the CONSTANT Labor Dept./media dishoensty as to the "revision" ALWAYS made in only one direction-makng a mockery of the absurd clam that the revised data is merely a matter of more "complete" data.  If there is a CONSISTENT error not included in the original "eadline" numbers, then the PROCEDURE shuld be changed to include an "adjustment' for the constant error. Not to do that is DISHOENST, as I have been telling yu. Thus, last wek's reported number of new unemplyment claims was REVISED upward from 370,0000 to 372,0000 (median is a upward revison of 3,000, but--as almost always--my "prediction" of 373,000 was CLOSER than the Labor Dept./media figure).

But where I have really been right over the paset weeks, since Sandy, is my prediction that the media, and Labor Dept. would emPHASIZE the distortins of Sandy for UNFAVORABLE numbers, but ignore the distortins of Sandy for favorable numbers.  As I told you, the weeky number of new unemplyment claims is going to mean NOTHING until probably mid-Janutary, and we will not realy get a pcutre of where 2013 is headed until posssibly April. (as to the labor market).

"But, Skip, once the effet of Sandy has dissapted, the number surely means as much as it ever does, even though it is true that the number bounces around such that one week never means much. We get your pint that the seasonal adjustment alne, especially around holidays, is so unreliable that the weekly numbers only mean anything OVER TIME.  And the media is dishonest for ignoring this, and acting like each weekly number is some sort of concrete, accurate descritpn of the weekly status of the labor market. However, surely the number does not mean less than usual once the dramatic, initial effects of Sansy have passed."

Wrong.  Yep. The media, as usual, LIED when they tired to place actual significance on today's "dramatic" (too dramatic, meaning it is likely PURE FICTIN) "drop" in new unemplyment claims to 346,000. Ok.  Annnounced number was 343,000, but I always take into account that CONSISTENT ERROR (that Labor Dept./media dishoensty).  There was a purported "drop" of 29,000.  Even without Sandy, that kind of a drop would be suspicious, as I previously told you when the Labor Dept. "reported" 339,000 (revised to 342,000), only to find out that the Labor Detpt. had LEFT OUT CALIFORNIA (or a significant portion of California claims). With Sandy, as I told you last night, and previusly, today's number is not even surprising.  Why is that.  It is because Sandy did NTO just DISTORT the numbers one way.  Yes, Sandy caused an immeidate jump in jobless claims because of Sandy shutting down business. But Sandy also DISTORTED the seasonal pattern/seasonal adjustment.  That means that this week's number cannot really be regarded as any more reliable than that 451,000 number right after Sandy. Once the 'bounce back" from Sandy in the weekly number got beynd Sandy causing any more layoffs, it was to be expected that the disruptin in the seasonal pattern would cause the weekly number to go TOO LOW to be representatvive of the real status of the labor markt.  Sure, yuy could AVERAGE the numbers over the past 4 weeks.  But the better way to look at this is that these numbers since Sandy, INCLUDING THIS WEEK'S SUPPOSEDLY "GOOD" NUMBER, just don't mean anything about the "normalized" satus of the labor market, exculsive of the SHORT-TERM effect of Sandy. 

But you won't hear from either the Labor Dept. or (espiecally) our dishoenst/incompetent media that the "good' number today was likelyl DISTORTED by Sandy just as much as the bad numbers right after Sandy. So where are we?  No way to know.  That is the point.  Until we see how this goes, OVER TIME (and outside of holiday influence), we really are not going to have any god idea of where we stand.  Oh, you can say that at least the effects of Sandy on layoffs are proving mainy TEmPORARY, rather than some sort of major body blow to business in the northeast that is causing a downward spiral. As I have stated, it is just absurd to say that Sandy was GOOD for the economy. But if the effects of Sandy are, indeed, temporary, then that can be regarded as somewhat "good" news in a negative sort of way (not as bad as might have been). But you, and the media CANNOT now conclude that this weekly number on new unemplylment claims is now a "true' picture of whre the labor market is.  You canot even do that as to ANY one week, but yu especially cannot do it when it is absurd not to at least SUSPECT that Sandy is still DISTORTING the number--just in the oppposite directin because the "formula" does not take into account the changes in the seasonal pattern caused by Sandy. 

Over the past three eyars, in any event, the WINTER has lproven an espeically misleading time forthese weekly jobless claims numbers. Why?  Well, the Labor Dept. "formula' for "seasonal adjustment" may be FLAEWED (surelyl is flawed, by the way, as it can NEVER be regarded as any more than a fallible ESTIMATE, especially for any one week).  Secondly: WEATHER.  The WEATHER in WINTER has much more effect on things like construction than weather variations at other times of the year.  Sandy showed the effect weather can have.  A winter BLIZZARD can paralyze business over a good part of the country (that is, heavily populated NYC, Boston, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago areas).  What the dishoenst media dos NOT tell you is that the LACK of blizzards and BAD weather can distort the seaonsal adjustment just as much as bad weather--more, in fact, if the "seasonal adjustment" is based on the expectatin of a certain amount of bad weahter in areas subject to cold, bad winter eather). ope. These weekly numbers are FALLIBLE ESTIMATES, whose ONLY meaning is OVER TIME. 

What if the number KEPT going down?  Obviuisly, at some point that would be significant. But the point is that there is NO reason to believe that this week's number emans ANY more than the obvisly distorted 451,000 number of abut 4 weeks ago.  This number is likely to have been DISTORTED by Sandy, just like the 451,000--just in th eopposite directin.  Time will tell. But it will probably not tell until at least mid-January, because of the distortions of the holiday season, as well as lingering distortions of Sandy. 

I expect a SHAM "deal" on the "fiscal cliff", whre the GOP cements my conclustin that it is a party that now deserves to DIE (and be replaced by something else). But I don't think it matters. The real chalenge as 2013 progresses, aside from Bernanke/Obama making a real "recovery" impossible, is ObamaCare.  ObamaCare is gong to loom over the 2013 labor market, and our economy, like the asteroid in "Armageddon".  Even without ObamaCare, I would be pessimistic about the new religion of Wall St. economic fascists that all we need ot do to "save' us is to PRINT MONEY.  With ObamaCare, I see no hope at all. GOP--coward to a man and woman, as far as ai can see--has already shown in 2010 that NO vicotry in 2014 is gong to be enugh to change course.  No courage.  Thus, we are going to be on this path until at least 2016 (when I wonder whether the GOP will be headling toward that 1,000th and final death that cowards suffer, while a brave man dies but once).  Can we make it TO 206, even if there is someone to vote for then who will actually change course?  I doubt it.

P.S. No proofreading or spell checking (bad eyesight).  As I have said on Twitter, by the way, I believe that the bst of the POSSIBLE results to the present "crisis" is to go over this "fiscal cliff", and at least require our politicians to LIVE WITH their previus choices.  Disaster.  But LEAST of the disasters we face, which is a sad comnetary on where we are.  IF we go over the "fiscal cliff", and STAY THERE, we will at least make a stab at BOTH "cuttnig" spending (not enough, even, and partiallly in the wrong places) AND reducing the deficit (even if with the disastrous tax increases that wil occur).  Note that "goning over the fiscal cliff" merely (subjet to certain distortions caused by failure to properly adjust things like th eAMT) would merely return us to the tax rates of the CLINTON YEARS: the very tax rates that our media and opther leftist Democrats say led to PROSPERITY.  It MAY be possible to survive those tax rates, as we did under Clinton.  What I know we cannot survive, and yet the argument the GOP is not even makng, is the idea that 2% of the country shuld SUPPORT the other 98%.  This CLASS WARFARE iddea destoryed the Roman Republic, and it will DESTROY US.  It is absurd for GOP to say that they can "give" on this PRINCIPLE of class warfare, and "concentrate"on SPENDING.  Dems/media will make SPENDING the SAME ISSUE.  Medicaer? Raise Medicare taes on the "rich", AND reduce the benefits/raise the cost ("means tet") Medicare for the "ricxh". Social Secuirty?  Ditto.  Same thing.  If GOP concedes CLASS WARFARE arguemtn, as they--and too many conservaitves already have--then they have LOST the WAR.  There is no recovering from it, because the sAME leftist argument can be made on EVERY tax and SPENDING issue we ever face. Ayn Rand will prove to have been a prophet ahead of her time ("Atlas Shrugged").  Will the "rich" (Alex Rodriguez?  Albert Pujols? Tom Brady?) be content to be SLAVES using their tlaent/money to support the REST OF US?  Not in the end.  My big beef with the GOP, and to omany conservatives, is that they are not even ARGUING against this ultimate diaster. Not acceptable to me.  I will not accept it.  that is why I do NOT expect to support the GOP nominee for President in 2016, OR to support GOP incumbents (ANY of them) in Congress in 2014. 

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