Colorado job outlook – awful

The fundamental political issue in this state for state & federal elections will be jobs. Yes lots of other things will matter, but jobs is going to be the primary issue for most voters.

Update from Newsweek:

John Sides, of George Washington University, helped me run the numbers more directly: we made one graph comparing the share of the vote the incumbent party got and the change in the deficit that it had presided over. It looked like we’d spilled out a bag of dots onto a piece of paper. The next graph we made plotted vote share against change in real disposable income. The line fit perfectly – more perfectly, in fact, than I’d anticipated.

And now from The Brookings Institution we have awful news:

June’s employment numbers highlight that our economic recovery is not yet on solid footing. An analysis by The Hamilton Project digs into the regional distribution of these unemployment trends and finds that, by one measure, the five hardest hit states are Alabama, Delaware, Colorado, Georgia, and Utah.

The critical issue for people is closing the job gap, returning us to full employment. Where do we sit on that?

How long will it take to erase this gap? If future job growth continues at a rate of roughly 208,000 jobs per month, the average monthly job creation for the best year for job creation in the 2000s, it would take 136 months (more than 11 years).

I think this is going to be really rough for incumbents. At the state level they can deflect it some saying only the federal government can address this. But at the state level there are numerous things the state can do to encourage job growth and challengers who run on making those changes will do well.

On the federal level this is going to be deadly for incumbents – of both parties. Because there is no real effort in Washington to reduce the unemployment level. Congress definitely comes across as accepting 17% true unemployment/underemployment as the new normal. And that is not going to play well with the voters.

We can all explain in detail why Democrats (or Republicans) will best address this and the other party won’t. But the voters in the middle understand a key fundamental, expecting the same people to do something different is a form of insanity. And so they’ll be more likely to vote in the challenger.

And those newly elected members better put both eyes on the rear view mirror, because the same thing will happen in 2 years if we’re still stuck with horrible unemployment rates and no real effort to address it from the government.

It’s going to suck to be an incumbent for some time…

What should the government do to address jobs

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125 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bjwilson83 says:

    It’s not so much that we need to lower taxes (certainly don’t raise them right now), but that the President needs to stop bashing business, and we need to stop passing anti-business legislation.

    • Pam Bennett says:

      A very long time ago, public infrastructure jobs took many men (women need not apply) to do the work. With modern equipment and materials that is no longer true.

      We need jobs that create hiring patterns for U.S. 2010, not 1932.  

      • DavidThi808 says:

        A 2010 solution to a 2010 problem.

          • DavidThi808 says:

            If you’ve been unemployed for 6+ months, then you can get a full scholarship at any state college including the cost of room & board plus your unemployment continues while you are in school.

            In return, for each semester in school, you pay an additional income tax of X% for the next 10 years back to the state.

            You structure it to pull about 5% of the job force into college (and another 2% gets jobs teaching them, etc.) That brings the unemployment rate down to merely high and adds a lot of additional people spending. So that should fix the economy.

            Next you get a giant boost over the next 20 years as those people re-enter the job market with much more valuable skills. By some measures the GI Bill did more to boost our economy than any other investment of the same amount.

            Finally, the state gets paid back over the next 14 years so it’s affordable.

            • dwyer says:

              David,  Where is the study showing that people are unemployed because they lack a college education?

              What about unemployed people with college degrees…BA/BS and higher?

              Where are the jobs which go unfulfilled because there are no people with skills to fill them???

              What about people with high level college degrees who have had to take lower level jobs (Walmart greeters, McMac, data entry, temporary etc.) and then are taxed to support people who will be educated by the state to take jobs for which these people are already qualified, if they could only find the jobs?

              What about those people who do not possess the intelligence to go to college, but are perfectly capable of doing other less skilled  jobs …..many of which are now held by college graduates who cannot find other jobs….

              This is called a vicious circle.

              • DavidThi808 says:

                First pulling 5% out of the job market alone would be a good thing. That is why they did the GI Bill, not as a thank you but to keep them out of the job market for awhile.

                Second, increased education leads to better jobs. Not in every instance, but for most. And at the macro level that means the country sees better jobs on average.

                Third, increased educational levels leads to a permanent economic stimulus. By many measures the GI Bill was the best investment this country ever made to boost the productivity of the economy.

                • dwyer says:

                  1)  There was tremendous pent up consumer demand after WWII….women left jobs to open them up for returning vets.

                  2) Companies in the US are outsourcing jobs overseas not because the US workers are not educated, but because overseas labor is cheaper.  Demand leads to more jobs. Better jobs are created when labor supply is scarce and workers can demand better pay and benefits.  What do you mean by better jobs, anyway?

                  increased education leads to better jobs

                  3)

                  Third, increased educational levels leads to a permanent economic stimulus

                  If this were true, why did not the plans to educate welfare mothers, which mirror exactly what you are proposing plus mediaid and childcare, create a permanent economic stimulus?

                  • RedGreen says:

                    on his vision of American, and that’s based on his experience with a small software company and around the kitchen table at one particular Boulder household. He cites these sources all the time.

      • Steve Harvey says:

        We don’t need to make inefficient (labor intensive when capital intensive works better) public investments, just public investments that reverberate through the economy. Those are investments that, yes, employ a significant number of people directly, but, more importantly, activate sectors of the market economy in order to stimulate more robust private sector job creation. Capital intensive projects can do this more effectively than labor intensive projects, by creating demand throughout a production chain (with lots of “backward and forward linkages”).

        For instance, you can hire lots of people with shovels to drain wetlands (one of the more environmentally dubious of New Deal programs), or you can hire fewer to use backhoes manufactured by American workers, using American steel and American parts… (and, yes, public investment to stimulate the economy may be one of the exceptional circumstances in which protectionism is warranted). While fewer are directly employed using capital intensive methods, the multiplier effect is generally greater, and that is the true measure of economic stimulation.

      • butterfly says:

        How many times in the last year has Denver had a broken water pipe?

        The infrastructure projects should include new water and sewer installations in thousands of US cities.  Puts people to work.  Prevents flooding of businesses or homes when pipes break.  Saves money in the long run because money doesn’t have to be spent on emergency repairs which generally leave most of the old system that is falling apart still in service and vulnerable to more breaks in the near future.

        Electrical systems that will withstand snowstorms and hurricanes.  This could mean burying most of the wires.  It is silly that a snowstorm can cause so much disruption and sometimes weeks before all homes and businesses are back online.  This is a very negative economic situation for everyone.

        We should get the water, sewer and electrical systems upgraded so that they will not need much attention for another 60 years, if it is done right!

        That is the kind of infrastructure projects that will save money for many decades to come.

        Smart grid:

        http://energy.gov/recovery/sma

        Smart grid is great also but it won’t keep buildings from flooding when the water line breaks.

    • Ralphie says:

      We tried public infrastructure

      • BlueCat says:

        Nothing to see in the BJ’s posts.

      • bjwilson83 says:

        Ever see those signs on the side of the road?

        • Steve Harvey says:

          the economic downturn turned out to be far less severe than all economic predictions projected at the time the stimulus package passed? Or is it that it stopped the acceleration in the rate of job-loss, and began an unbroken deceleration of that rate?

          Or are you drawing on the direct and traceable historical correlations between public investment stimulating the economy during recessions and depressions, and between deficit-reduction during economic downturns tanking the economy? Do you know what happened in 1937 which caused a resumption of the Great Depression? Do you know what formed the basis of the spectacular post WWII economic boom? Do you know what policies have successfully softened (almost obliterated) the historical 50 year boom-and-bust cycles?

          Of course not.

          • bjwilson83 says:

            Steve, the projection was that with the stimulus unemployment wouldn’t go over 8%. And look where we are today. A “jobless” recovery isn’t a recovery at all to the unemployed. The stimulus did not create jobs, and it certainly didn’t “slow the rate of job-loss”. No matter how you spin it, it killed jobs. The massive government spending prolonged the Great Depression, and only WWII brought us out.

            • Steve Harvey says:

              Obama’s overly ambitious political reassurance (which comes with the job of trying to raise confidence levels, which itself has an economic impact) was not the same as, nor simultaneous to, the professional economic projections to which I was referring. Furthermore, the graph has repeatedly been posted here (and elsewhere) showing that the passage of the stimulus package immediately preceded the precise moment when the increase in unemployment switched from an accelerating to a decelerating curve. In other words, the growth in the rate of job loss went from increasing to decreasing immediately following the passage of the stimulus bill. What a coinkidink.

              As for your economically illiterate revision and conveinently inconsistent interpretation of history, you’re wrong on two counts: 1) Economic growth was robust under New Deal policies, until 1937, when deficit hawks convinced FDR to reign in spending, sending the economy back into a tailspin, and 2) WWII brought us out of that tailspin precisely because it required massive government spending (of expensive but quickly destroyed heavy industrial goods), something no one ever refutes, but a few absurdly inconsistent ideologues manage to oh-so-conveniently disregard.

              In other words, the one thing everyone agrees on (that WWII ended the great depression) is definitive proof that massive government spending can have an extraordinarily powerful economic stimulative effect.

              Beyond that, economic analyses indicate that New Deal spending had created the social institutional and physical infrastructure upon which the post WWII economic boom was based.

              You’re not only wrong and clueless, but spectacularly so, and even, in one critical instance, are proven so by your own unexamined acknowledgement of the role of massive public spending in post WWII  economic growth.

              While I understand your desperation to rely on vague, decontextualized, and often outright false factoids, presented as unsupported empty assertions, precise and reliable data recorded over time, indicating trends and pivotal changes, tell the real story, both historically and currently. It also helps explain why you rail against “academic elites,” seeing as how “academic elites” tend to frown upon just making shit up, which is the only tool in your kit.

              • bjwilson83 says:

                into fixing the Great Depression.

                • Steve Harvey says:

                  Wrong, first, in that that’s not what I said, and wrong, second, in that what I said is precisely correct.

                  Roosevelt’s policies created very robust growth in GNP from 1934-37, when his ill-advised attempt to reduce the deficit caused a resumed economic downturn.

                  In 1933, when FDR took office, the freefall in GDP was brought to an almost complete halt, dipping only 2.1% (after falling 31% over the previous 3 years). In 1934, GNP rose 7.7%, and unemployment dropped about 3%. In 1935, GNP rose another 8.1%, and unemployment went down another 1.6%. In 1936, GNP rose another 14.1$ (a record growth rate), and unemployment dropped another 3.2%. In 1937, GNP rose another 5%, and unemployment fell another 2.6%. Roosevelt, seduced by these years of phenomenal success in his program of economic recovery, was persuaded to reduce spending and focus on balancing the budget in 1937, driving the nation back into recession. In 1938, GNP fell 4.5% and unemployment rose nearly 5%. And so on.

                  These are irrefutable facts. So, the choice is either to learn from history, or be like BJ, and insist on ideologically motivated factual falsehoods at the expense of the welfare of the American people.

                  • jpsandscl says:

                    and timely because Obama is now facing the EXACT same pressure FDR did to fix the budget deficit when we haven’t gotten out of the woods on the jobs and growth front yet. We have been warned by history, but it seems few are listening.

                    • DavidThi808 says:

                      The only people who care about the deficit right now are the self-appointed assholes in Washington that are supposedly so brilliant, yet get everything wrong.

                      Unless we get the economy turned around and people working, we’re fucked. Including all debt holders who want to be paid back and are screaming for deficit reduction.

                      Once it is turned around, then paying down the debt goes from impossible to relatively easy.

                    • jpsandscl says:

                      but the assholes are all over the globe. There is an intense pressure in the EU to “fix” the debt problem, and it is exacerbating their and our economic problems right now. When the far right holds so many media outlets in their control, their message seems to get inordinate publicity and the inherent apparent legitimacy that provides.

                      The truth often whispers against the roar of the lie…

                    • Gilpin Guy says:

                      is that this isn’t the 1930’s and the fundamentals of an agrarian economy and culture are not the dominant characteristics of our time.  The old paradigms might not fit our solution.

                    • jpsandscl says:

                      this is more basic than that even. We are in a severe monetary contraction. We face the prospect of imminent deflation. If that should happen, we will find ourselves in an extreme crisis that will be very hard to solve, a deflationary death spiral.

                      It will be hard to convince people to spend a dollar today for something that will cost less tomorrow, and even less that day after. People will begin to hoard cash (many already are) and the downward pressures on our economy will continue to exert pressure.

                      The only thing currently stopping this is the positive impact the stimulus and the federal current account deficit. It is a classic Keynsian situation.

                      We’d be foolish indeed to start to worry about the deficit today in these economic times. As David correctly states, what would hurt us so much today, will be easy to solve when our economy is stronger. The last Democratic President got us there in better times. This one will too when we turn the corner.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      I think the stronger argument is that now is not the right time to become deficit hawks. GG is right that it is a mistake to apply lessons of history to directly, without considering how the context may have changed in decisive ways. We do need to get serious about our national debt, as soon as we get the economy back on its feet. Unfortunately, the political habit is to get drunk on economic success, and sober during economic downturns. Despite the rightwing bullshit, public spending is never more in need of being robust than during economic downturns, and never more in need of being reigned in than during economic expansions.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      Democrats spend in bad times, and spend some more in good times. In the first case, well it’s needed to get the economy going (which is the dumbest argument I’ve ever heard, and I don’t know why so many otherwise smart people believe it), and in the latter, well the economy is good so who cares about a deficit. In the end, it will ruin us.

                    • jpsandscl says:

                      you’ve been drinking your own Cool-Aid too much. The previous Democratic President left office with a huge budget surplus. It was Bush and a Republican Congress who killed Pay-Go and enacted truly massive unfunded tax-cuts for the wealthy while simultaneously starting two wars and expanding Medicare with a huge new prescription drug program. None of it paid for.

                      Republicans like to talk a good game about fiscal discipline, but when it comes down to it they are obscenely more profligate than Democrats could ever dream of being.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      How did you miss the recent explosion in government spending? You know, that whole thing where Obama got elected?

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      “the dumbest argument ever” is the one supported by both historical evidence and economic theory (I already posted for you the phenomenal growth in GNP due to New Deal spending; you yourself admit that WWII, a massive public spending project, ended the Great Depression). And, while the debt has in fact been driven up most dramatically under Republican (not Democratic) presidents in recent decades, the fact is that porkbarrel spending is pretty much a bipartisan endemic problem with Congress.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      which is most responsible for the size of our national debt, is almost entirely a Republican foible.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      Wrong again. Dems unanimously voted to go to war after 9/11. Only when it became a convenient way to attack the President did they use it for political gain.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      which is not refuted by any single exception or small sample of exceptions. Second, no one said that all military spending was wrong, just that Republicans are almost entirely responsible for excessive military spending. (So, two seperate words in my phrase exempt your example from relevance). Third, 9/11 was an unusual historical moment, and, right or wrong, good or bad, everyone in office recognized that it was political suicide not to be a militant patriot in that moment. Fourth,  “wrong again,” Polly? Are you kidding? No one can really be that pathetic.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      I guess we should just strip our troops of all equipment and supplies so they can’t defend themselves, in your opinion. Great way to win a war.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      Here’s a good place to start: Don’t unnecessarily invade a large and well-militarized sovereign nation simmering with sectarian animosities, completely unconnected to the 9/11 terrorist attack, exploiting the public outrage over that attack, and using a combination of manufactured misinformation, and intentionally seeded and cultivated public conflation of that country with responsibility for the attack it had nothing to do with, to make the case for pre-emptive war, against the advice of your Secretary of State who was also a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and despite the evidence percolating throughout the intelligence community (that the Republican administration systematically suppressed) that demonstrated that all justifications for the invasion, other than that the dictator of the country was one of the world’s many “bad guys” (one which had long benefitted from our support), were manufactured or erroneous.

                      That would have saved us over $734 billion and about 4500 American lives (not to mention about 100,000 Iraqi civilians). Imagine that.  

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      Tell the Dems in the Senate that approved it.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      right after losing the point you were defending, trying to redefine the debate into something that you would undoubtedly lose again if I chose to pursue it.

                      Your challenge was to me to point to an example of excessive military spending, which I did. And it is an example of a military invasion conceived, advocated for (through a fraud perpetrated on both the American people and the Congress), and insisted upon by a Republican administration.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      excessive military spending was the fault of Republicans alone. I’m debunking that argument. It’s so hypocritical of Dems to whine about military spending when they voted for it in the first place.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      The original point was not that excessive military spending was the fault of Republicans alone. Look back up the thread and observe how important the “subtle” error you made really is.

                      Furthermore, arguments are made of successions of points, and if you avoid addressing them in the particular by always insisting that you can refute the argument as a whole, you’ve successfully avoided addressing the argument at all, because it is comprised of its individual points.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      Money is for people who work.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      from a descriptive argument to a normative one; having been disproved in your assertion that public spending doesn’t stimulate the economy (the historical record overwhelmingly refuting that arbitrary assertion), you have to claim some moral reason for your position, that only those who work deserve to earn money….

                      But then why do you decry unemployment? If they’re unemployed, that don’t deserve to earn money, and so there’s no problem, right? Or is it that you will grasp at any straw you can to attack your ideological enemies, those people who, unlike you, actually have thoughtful and well-informed opinions, and are more committed to human welfare than to abstract and discredited bits of dogma? Hmmm. I wonder….

                      And do you really understand what “money” is? And what “work” is? If money is only for people who work, then are you opposed to returns on investment (in which people get money, not for working, but simply for “loaning” out their money)? Oh! You mean that there are certain kinds of people who don’t work who don’t deserve to partake of our shared wealth.

                      And what should the relationship between money and work be? Should it be the harder you work, the more you make? So the person who works in the fields twelve hours a day, seven days a week, should make more than the professional who works maybe 50 hours a week, right? But that would require some departure from free-market capitalism, just as denying investors a return on their investment would….

                      So, which is it? Are you a free market capitalist (as you so proudly proclaimed), or are you a person who thinks that money is for people who work?

                      You see, Beej, your blind and shallow reliance on platitudes just doesn’t work. You have to actually use your brain, which you may or may not be capable of doing (so far, the evidence is overwhelming supportive of the latter conclusion).

                      As for “stupid Keynesians,” the only thing more obnoxious than calling those who actually know what they’re talking about “stupid,” is doing so while relentlessly demonstrating how extreme your own ignorance is.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      Yes, money is for people who work. And if they put their money to work earning interest, it is only because they originally worked to earn some money. Giving out money to people who do not work is no way to run an economy. I know you’re not a mathematician, but even a high school graduate should be able to see that this doesn’t work.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      I take it you’ve never heard of inheritence?

                      Let me be perfectly clear (as one must be with a small child): I am implying nothing by pointing out the errors in your statements, other than your casual and highly attenuated relationship with accuracy and detail.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      Yes, the parents of an hier worked and earned the money, and, since it is their property, in our system of property rights, have the right to dispose of it as they please. But the hier did not earn that money through his or her own labor.

                      Since you erroneously claim that return on investment isn’t an example of earning money through some means other than work (on the basis of the specious argument that the money invested had been earned by the investor’s earlier work, which doesn’t change the fact that the money earned via investment is not money earned via work), I am demonstrating that even within the assumptions of your specious argument, you are wrong: Even the principal invested frequently had not been earned by one’s own work.

                      This is so incredibly tedious, BJ. Those who still respond to you do so with universal contempt. Those who don’t, refrain with universal contempt. That universal contempt is based less on the fact that you want to express your arbitrarily derived personal opinions, than that you choose to do so with an obnoxious and clownish pretense of a superiority that you are absolutely unequipped even to feign. By all means, continue to express your arbitrarily derived opinions, but stop the boasting and posturing and antagonizing already. It’s really not working for you.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      then someone in your ancestry worked for it at one point. There is nothing wrong with giving the fruits of your labor to whoever you choose, including your progeny.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      I already addressed that attempt at misdirection, before you made it. Your claim is that only people who work should get money. Inheritance is money one receives by virtue of no labor of their own. Period. Your statement wasn’t “only people who work, or otherwise are in a position that I define as deserving, should get money.” If it were, then your current response would be relevant. Since it wasn’t, your response is irrelevant to the statement you made and to my refutations of it. Come on, Beej, you can only play (or be?) so dumb before it just gets too absurd….

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      or respond to my argument:

                      If you get an inheritance

                      then someone in your ancestry worked for it at one point. There is nothing wrong with giving the fruits of your labor to whoever you choose, including your progeny.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      Now you are admitting that people who don’t work, but are the progeny of people who work, should get money. There is a difference between the two statements, regardless of how true or false either one of them is on its own.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      for whom the statement “talking to him is like talking to a rock” is literally true. Unless you force me to debunk some misinformation of direct relevance to me, I’m done with you. Congratulations; you’re just too flaming stupid to bother with.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      without plunging the nation into crisis? We have vastly overextended our unfunded liabilities, and sooner or later that will come back to bite us.

                    • jpsandscl says:

                      Historically, nations have seen their debt go to much higher then 1X GDP in times of crisis, like the economic crisis we are now in. Then, when the crisis passes, they pay down their debt.

                      If not for GWB and his recklessness, our nation was on track to be entirely debt free within a decade of his taking office. Of the many, many things he screwed up while in office, wasting that legacy surely must rank among the top.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      Still, the debt is way too high for my liking. I think that if you average out the debt, every citizen owes the government the equivalent of a brand new car.

                      And you should say, if not for 9/11 and the unanimous consent of Democrats in going to war, our nation was on track to reduce the deficit. Debt free? That’s a stretch. George W. Bush was a good president until he bowed to pressure from Dems in the last two years of office.

                    • jpsandscl says:

                      Clinton left office with greater than $300 million dollar and growing annual surpluses, surpluses which would have eliminated our national debt within a decade.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      I’ve never even heard the claim made before, but I suspect it’s derived from the fact another poster pointed out elsewhere that the Bush administration kept the enormous amount of money spent on the wars in Afghanistn and Iraq off the books for purposes of budget calculations. With typical Beej-ility, you figured if someone else can point out an inconvenient fact about a Republican president, you can invent the same inconvenient fact about a Democratic president!

                      I’m going to help you out here, because this is just too painful: The correct conservative counterargument is that Clinton’s budget surplus was due to the Republican take-over of Congress and the fiscal discipline that the Republican Congress then imposed on the Clinton administration. From now on, whenver you make really arbitrary and ridiculous comments like the one above, I’ll just go ahead and supply a more viable conservative argument on your behalf. Someone has to do it.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      I’m glad you admit that the surplus was due to Republicans. I would add that it had a lot to do with Reagan as well.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      but I live in the real world, in which there are arguments and counterarguments about complex and subtle matters. Even you, I would imagine, understand how unethical it is to make false attributions to others. I never said what you just attributed to me.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      “Clinton’s budget surplus was due to the Republican take-over of Congress and the fiscal discipline that the Republican Congress then imposed on the Clinton administration.”

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      “The correct conservative counterargument is that…” which proceeded the clause you took out of context. That’s like quoting someone who says “I deplore people who say ‘I sincerely think that all progressives should be just be shot on sight!'” as having said “I sincerely think that all progressives should be just shot on sight!”

                      Beej, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: You can’t really be this stupid?! Tell me that this is all just some game you’re playing, pretending to be completely incapable of rational thought. It’s just not possible that this is for real….

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      which was incorrect? Wow. Talk about stupidity.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      referred to the correct argument to have made, the one that is made by those who know a little and make the best argument available, not to its dispositive value relative to counterarguments. Sorry, I forget how carefully things have to be spelled out for you. (Being accustomed to explaining things to a 6 year old has left me ill-equipped to simplify to the level you require).

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      Everybody else just smiles and asks if you’re looking for your mommy.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      arbitrary ideological assertions are not arguments. Yes, our national debt is a burden, and one which must be addressed. And, yes, massive public spending does stimulate the economy. And, yes, we are still in the midst of an economic downturn. You latch onto only those factoids that are convenient for your ideologically-based conclusions, invent facts when needed to shore them up, argue strictly and blindly partisan positions (often just ignoring the historical record to do so), and really don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      “massive public spending does stimulate the economy… we are still in the midst of an economic downturn” How do you not see your own contradictions?

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      Do you understand multivariate analysis? Do you understand operationally isolating the effects of one variable in a system in which, in reality, those effects are not isolated? The stimulative effects of public spending do not occur in a vacuum, but rather in a context in which other variables have other effects. The best standard (though admittedly not a great one) against which we could measure the stimulative effects of recent public spending would be some amalgam of economic projections in the absence of the stimulus spending. Measured against that standard (which isolates the variable by including all other variables except the one being measured), the stimulus spending has been remarkably successful.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      Stimulus = epic fail

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      There was a phenomenal, sustained economic boom following WWII, when our national debt was by far the highest it’s ever been, and leading to a long, sustained, drop in that debt (until two successive Republican administrations caused a sharp renewed rise, while patenting the false meme that Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility).

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      Wrong. Factual accuracy and you really do not intersect in any way, even when provided in the link of the post to which you were responding. Amazing. (In fact, Reagan was responsible for the biggest increase in the national debt since World War II).

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      /snark Propaganda doesn’t count as fact.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      Then please correct their error with a graph or chart of the “real” numbers.

                      Raw statistics aren’t propaganda, idiot. They just are what they are.

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      when did that happen? put down the pipe and check yourself in

      • butterfly says:

        And they are always right, aren’t they?  Also the Business Roundtable and Mort Zuckerman.

        I know, they are making it up but they are getting people to believe them.

      • bjwilson83 says:

        You haven’t heard him railing against Wall Street?

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          and their destructive business practices that put the American economy on the ropes.  You are the only person I know who loves the greedy Wall Street bankers.  You can’t kiss the behinds of these greedy, incompetent enough can you?  Obama was correct to the max to criticize their culture of greed and anything goes business practices.  He was on the mark while you miss it entirely.

          • bjwilson83 says:

            Didn’t say that. I said that if Obama continues to bash businesses, we will never get out of this hole. I never thought I’d say these words, but you may be more ignorant than Steve Harvey. Get your facts straight before you comment.

            • Gilpin Guy says:

              fatty acids I feel honored to be considered in the same league with Mr. Harvey although I do agree with you that I know less of the economic/financial underpinnings of our capitalistic system then he did when he was a sophomore in college.  The dude kicks facts in your face every time you try to scam us with one of your “Republicans are so good for the economy” frauds.

              It is so funny how you conservatives try to paint Obama as an enemy of business and a servant to business depending on the day.  When Obama was working with BP on the oil spill he was a wimp who wasn’t throwing any angry enough fit.  Now you are saying that Obama is a terrible person because he is promoting sensible regulations for business.  You guys are quick to complain about anything that Obama does so your opinions are pretty useless because you change your positions depending on the day.

              • Steve Harvey says:

                Among BJ’s many cognitive failures is the inability to understand that just saying things that are pretty thoroughly contradicted by available evidence, to people who are looking at the evidence at the same time he is making statements refuted by it, only makes him look more ridiculous. But he’s a floater; we can keep flushing from now til doomsday, and that insubstantial little turd will just bob right back up again. But I, for one, enjoy a certain guilty pleasure to have his tonterias ever-available to dismantle on a regular basis.

                • bjwilson83 says:

                  there’s no way I can flush Steve Harvey’s annoying little outbursts being attached to each of my comments. But Steve, seriously, are you a capitalist?

                  • Steve Harvey says:

                    how strange that you’re back to complaining about my “annoying little outbursts,” when I’ve offered on several occasions to leave you alone, and you’ve boasted that you don’t want me to. (posture emptily, complain, posture emptily, complain, do the Beejie-Beejie, that’s what it’s all about…).

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      Please by all means, leave me alone, unless you have something substantial to say. I don’t believe that I’ve ever said I don’t want you to leave me alone.  

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      then I’m happy it’s keeping you from campaigning. You don’t have much of a shot against Jim Kerr anyway though, so I suppose it doesn’t matter a whole lot.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      just stop challenging me to a duel. That’s all you’ve ever had to do.

                      You keep picking a fight way out of your weight class, feigning a smugness that you are completely incapable of backing up with either knowledge or ability, and alternating between striving to be as obnoxious as possible, and complaining about the consequences. And as long as you feel compelled to do that, I feel compelled to accommodate your empty bravado.

                      I’m going to respond to all of your shallow, arbitrary bullshit with precise, documented facts, and well-reasoned arguments, and, yes, the occasional disdainful acknowledgement of your astronomical absurdity, as often and as long as the urge moves me, and you’re welcome to simultaneously strut and whine about it for as long as you like. Or, you can discover some much needed humility, and in the process, stop humiliating yourself. Your call.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      In fact, I don’t really remember starting one, at least not with you in particular. As for humility, what do I care? It’s a blog.

                      (Taking bets on the number of people who use that as their sig line tomorrow…)

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      posting “Are you a socialist?” and “Are you a capitalist?” and all sorts of other impotent attempts to one-up me. The only reason I don’t ignore you in disdain as most here do, and as all eventually will, is because of how loudly, stupidly, and persistently you’ve chosen to crow.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      is a simply way to reclaim lost blog space by posing a useful question.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      Or was that sarcastic?

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      Learn how language works.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      two different ways in the same sentence. When I say something it’s “shallow, arbitrary b.s.” but when you say it it’s “occasional disdainful acknowledgment of your astronomical absurdity”. Personally, I just have to sit back and laugh at you. It’s the only response that makes any sense. Maybe you need to learn to control your “urges” – nobody enjoys watching you vomit drunken bile onto page after page of clean white blogspace.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      Your world, in every way, is comprised of arbitrary and self-gratifying assertsions, insulated from both facts and feedback. You speak for others who have already spoken for themselves, who have clearly, loudly, and nearly universally stated the opposite of what you are so desperately trying to shove into their mouths. It’s just one more example of the disconnect between your delusional fantasy, and the reality against which you have fortified yourself.

                    • ardy39 says:

                      And yes, that’s a rhetorical question.

                      And now, having responded to a post from The Beej, I will take a much needed shower.

        • Steve Harvey says:

          that you’re bashing consumers by prosecuting thieves. Or, more precisely, it’s like saying that you’re bashing business by opposing organized crime (which is big business).

          The trick of laws is to prohibit those activities which involve the pursuit of personal interests at the public expense, while facilitating those activites which involve the pursuit of personal interests to the public benefit.

          Wall Street has developed a culture of self-enrichment through high risk investments of other people’s money, increasingly exploiting information asymmetries to do so. It’s been an emerging predatory activity for the past couple of decades, to which the law is just now catching up.

  2. GOPwarrior says:

    You are absolutely right. Despite attempts by the left to turn the election into a carnival side show, voters are going to go to the polls caring about one thing: their economic prosperity.

    And there is one Party who is consistently on the side of economic growth and financial freedom. That is the Republican Party. We have not always been perfect, and at times in our time in power we too lost sight of what matters most: maximizing economic opportunity for all Americans.

    But in 2010, with the stakes so high, and the very greatness of America at stake, Republicans once again know what the country needs most. It needs freedom. It needs the government out of our pockets so we can spend this economy back to life. And it needs to STOP placing new burdens on the marketplace.

    That is our message of hope in these bleak times you explain so well, Dave.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      If you track stock market performance vs party in the white house – we Dems are much better for business. Clinton vs Bush is the most extreme example but it’s consistent from the time of FDR.

      The problem is that Republican administrations are like the parents who tell their teenager – go ahead and skip school, do drugs, get drunk, have sex. And here’s an allowance to fund all of that. That makes for a very popular parent (and administration).

      We Democrats are the parents who say you have to study, be moderate in your partying, and if you get out of line – you’re grounded. That makes for an unpopular parent (and administration).

      So yes, business loves a republican administration. And yes, a democratic administration is much better for them. The problem is not that we have a democratic administration, it’s that the “moderate democratic” position has become identical to the mainstream republican position.

      What we need to fix this economy and create jobs is not a republican solution, but the type of solutions we democrats used to implement.

  3. GOPwarrior says:

    Is why McInnis is staying.

    I’m so glad the Pols gave you a chance, Dave!

  4. parsingreality says:

    Sarasota County, 11.8%, just released data.

    Interpretation: About 20% in reality.  

  5. allyncooper says:

    “It’s the economy stupid”

    So far a weak “jobless” recovery. Housing continues to drag down the economy with well over one million foreclosures this year and well over 20% of homeowners “underwater” with their mortgages. The Obama housing assistance programs have fallen far short of expectations, and neither the administration or Congress found the moxie to pass “cram down” legislation in the face of bank opposition.

    If housing fails to improve by 2012 (a likely scenario) and the employment picture fails to improve much, Obama will be a one term president.  

  6. richardmyers says:

    Here’s an organization/website for unemployed workers to take political action.

    http://unemployedworkers.org

    “Unemployedworkers.org is a project of the National Employment Law Project, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for working families.”  

  7. jpsandscl says:

    I think there may just be a lag in this data. I have a couple of friends who have been unemployed for a good while who just got jobs. Another friend just told me about a significant hiring spree going on with a fairly major Denver employer right now. My wife found a job within a month after being off the market for a year.

    Could things be turning around and we just don’t know it yet? If so, this would show up in time for the fall election. That would be a VERY good thing indeed!

    And the NYT has had several articles this week about corporate earnings being very strong this quarter, and you don’t get earnings unless someone is buying your product or service. And those purchase drive a demand for labor.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07

    http://www.nytimes.com/pages/b

    (great set of data tables in top-right section of page showing year-over-year economic data, nearly all of which show a remarkable up-trend in 2010)

    I’ve got my fingers crossed…

    • DavidThi808 says:

      The problem is we need something like 120K new jobs/month just to stay even. So slow growth in jobs can also mean no decrease in unemployment.

      The other big problem is the unemployment is not spread evenly. Things are pretty good in the high-tech industry. But they’re going to be awful in construction and manufacturing forever.

      • jpsandscl says:

        We need a Manhattan Project to redirect our energy and industry to work on green energy solutions. The massive employment boost and nurturing of a domestic industry this would create would reap rewards for decades to come.

  8. DavidThi808 says:

    I think in D.C. with all their jockeying for what they will do, if anything, to address unemployment, that they lose sight of the fact that behind those numbers there are 10 million stories like this.

  9. Gilpin Guy says:

    Where is private business in all this?  Where are the corporations?  Where is the Chamber of Republicans?

    After all the hand wringing and debate about the role of government in the economy there is not a word about the dismal performance of American business.

    You notice that the GOP weenies never demand that American business get their act together and start innovating again.  The usual reply to businesses suck is that it is hamstrung by government but that doesn’t explain the decline in our economy when Republicans did everything possible to dismantle regulations and green light every shady business practice possible.

  10. butterfly says:

    There may be some bright spots for Colorado, although labor is more of a problem.

    http://denver.bizjournals.com/

    Colorado business leaders are expecting “solid expansion” in the state’s economy for the first time in three years

    Read more: CU Boulder survey: Colorado business leaders expect growth – Denver Business Journal

    The index, released Thursday, rose to 54.8 for the third quarter, up from 51.7 in the second quarter.

    “Investment and employment are two important components that will help bring us out of the recession,” said Wobbekind, who oversees the survey. “Now that business leaders are expecting these to increase, we think that things are looking up in Colorado.”

    So maybe things are looking up, just a little?  Not everything is doom and gloom!

    • jpsandscl says:

      that above 50 equals growth and below 50 equals contraction? If so, 54.8 is a very solidly positive growth indicator. I again state that we may be seeing the turn-around in the economy and it would be at the perfect time electorally.  

  11. DavidThi808 says:

    1. Actually follow the guidelines of considering Colorado companies and purchasing from them if they are as good or better for state purchases. Some departments like OIT at present refuse to even look at local companies.

    2. Eliminate the high overhead low income taxes like the business property tax and the use tax. Some businesses spend more determining what is owed than the tax itself. (Or at least offer an option that a company can just pay X% of their gross instead.)

    3. Give companies clear answers to what taxes, fees, etc. are owed when they ask for specific cases. Telling companies to guess what the rules mean, then going after them if the state doesn’t agree both creates an antagonistic relationship and wastes company time & money.

    4. Create “goals” for local small business lending, with emphasis on the number of businesses lent to, and only put state money in banks that meet the goals.

    5. Put a measure on this November’s ballot for capital expenditures for every state level project that is both necessary and past due. Sell it as both a job engine and a chance to get caught up when prices are low.

    6. Offer free online classes, for credit, from CU or CSU and one of the community colleges. Drop the look for 5 jobs/week for anyone taking 15+ credits and pulling a C or better in all classes.

  12. reubenesp says:

    The U.S. economy has severely slowed due to the massive, MOSTLY PRIVATE, debt overhang.

    It has not stalled completely nor is it contracting, yet.  But it could stall (no growth) and even contract again (double-dip recession) unless stimulative measures are taken quickly.  

    Government monetary policy doesn’t work anymore for obvious reasons, and fiscal stimulus spending is politically unpopular.  

    It is obvious that increasing the number of jobs will help create more demand. But easier said than done. The private sector, with the help of government, needs to do more.

    Congress can start by approving the stalled free-trade agreements to help on the revenue side and create jobs.

    And the President needs to get off his soon-to-be-dead ass and start pushing hard for domestic natural gas-powered cars.  It could reduce our balance of payments deficit by hundreds of billions of petrodollars a year to the very countries whose wealthy families fund terrorism around the world, thus helping to reduce our military budget.

    As previously noted by DavidThi808 from a Newsweek article, real disposable income is seen as a bellweather of the incumbent party’s chance for electoral success.  Anything to bring in new revenues and reduce debt will help.

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