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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

October 10, 2007


Bush's Economy

If anyone wanted proof that the increase in jobs created doesn't keep up with the actual number of jobs required to keep up with population increases, look no further than the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics website and its Employment Situation Summary (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm)

In the month of September, according to the government's own, already spun numbers, an additional 110,000 jobs have been created nationwide. How they got to this number is a miracle of modern number-spinning or a feat of magic. During this time, the Civilian Labor Force increased by 573,000 workers, including an additional 463,000 workers who found employment and 110,000 who joined the roles of the unemployed.

Sounds great, so far, doesn't it?

On the surface, it actually looks as if 353,000 jobs have been created. (After all, 110,000 from 463,000 is 353,000, is it not?) And according to those very same numbers, an additional 322,000 people who used to be considered "Not in the Labor Force" have now joined the labor force.

And, somehow, as all of this is going on, the unemployment rate rose another point to 4.7 percent. One may ask, "How can this be?"

All one has to do is look at the skewered September numbers to find out the real truth (not the Bushie version of the truth). August's numbers actually showed a decrease of some 340,000 people from the workforce (those employed plus those considered by the government to be unemployed, excluding those no longer in the market for a job). And during August, somehow, an additional 592,000 people decided that they no longer wished to work (that "Not in Labor force" number). And while the roles of the employed fell by some 316,000 jobs (the total number of jobs lost), only 24,000 of us "officially" joined the ranks of the unemployed.

In other words, as President Bush likes to say, it appears to even the most casual observer with a calculator and some extra time on their hands, that our government, in anticipation of really poor employment numbers going forward, decided to take the big hit in August to make the September numbers appear not-so-bad.

And it makes sense - after all, who pays attention to any government numbers just after Labor Day?

But, in the end, numbers don't lie. All one has to do to find out the actual employment statistics is to take a look at the stats from the second quarter of 2007 to the third quarter of 2007. Look at how many able-bodied adults of working age (those who are "non-institutionalized") are living in our nation; then look at how many of those same adults are actively employed; then figure out what the difference is.

The period shows us things being worse that one has been led to believe. While those able to work (the non-institutionalized population over 16 years of age) has increased by 728,000 people in just three months. (388,000 in the workforce plus 340,000 not in the workforce). At that very same time, the total number of employed people has decreased - yes, I said decreased - by some 98,000 of our fellow nation-dwellers with 291,000 "officially" being considered "unemployed".

So at a time when our possible working population increased by almost three-quarters of a million people, we LOST almost 100,000 jobs!


Bush's Jobs , August 2007   Clinton's Jobs, August 2000
Civilian Labor Force 152,891,000   Civilian Labor Force 140,742,000
Employment 145,794,000   Employment 134,912,000
Unemployed 7,097,000   Unemployed 5,826,000
Not in Labor Force 79,319,000   Not in Labor Force 69,193,000
Total Able to Work (a+b) 232,210,000   Total Able to Work (a+b) 209,935,000
Total without work (c+d) 86,416,000   Total without work (c+d) 75,019,000
Actual unemployed (percentage - f/e) 37.21%   Actual unemployed (percentage - f/e) 35.73%
Actual employed (percentage - b/e) 62.79%   Actual employed (percentage - b/e) 64.26%
How many more jobs would there be today if President Bush could have just kept the status quo?   3,424,146

During the Clinton years we saw an increase in jobs across the boards and nobody was claiming that there are jobs Americans won't do. In August of 2000, 64.26 percent of all able-bodied Americans had jobs (approximately 210 million Americans able to work and about 135 million working). Today, that number has regressed to only 62.79 percent of Americans with jobs (232.2 able-bodied Americans meeting the "non-institutionalized" criteria and 145.8 million actually working). If the Clinton numbers were held onto by the Bush administration, there would be a additional 3.4 million Americans working today. They'd be buying cars; taking trips; and spending money in an economy which relies on the middle class to do so.

And those same numbers show us another distressing trend that has happened during the Bush years: While our population has grown by some 23 million people, the jobs created for them have lagged. less than 11 million new jobs have been created for these new Americans. That's 47.3 percent, or less than one job for every two new Americans.

So the next time you hear someone in the Bush administration tell you how well the economy is performing, as this one simple question: "For whom?"

-Noah Greenberg

Intimidating Kids
Submitted by Bill Scher on October 9, 2007 - 12:51pm.(http://commonsense.ourfuture.org/intimidating_kids?tx=3)

Last month, I noted that the coordinated attack against SCHIP had failed miserably, leaving conservatives desperate.

Who knew how desperate they would get?

Conservative bloggers have begun an intimidation and harassment campaign against 12-year old Graeme Frost and his family, who were in a major car accident severely injuring Graeme and his younger sister Gemma, and have been held up by Democrats as examples of SCHIP's value in protecting the lives of working class kids.
ABC News reports: "According to Senate Democratic aides, some bloggers have made repeated phone calls to the home of 12-year-old Graeme Frost, demanding information about his family's private life." These bloggers have then proceeded to mischaracterize the family's financial situation and attack the parents as irresponsible.
Proper outrage has been expressed by several liberal bloggers, including ThinkProgress, Attytood, Firedoglake, Matt Ortega, All Spin Zone, Whiskey Fire, AmericaBlog, our own Big Con blogger Digby, Eschaton, Petunias, Left in Lowell, Buckeye State Blog, Blogging Out Loud, and Liberty Street.
But beyond the sickening nature of the intimidation campaign, I'm struck by how their attempt to shine a spotlight on the Frosts completely undermines the point they're trying to make.
Michelle Malkin (full disclosure: an old college friend of mine) has been running point for conservative bloggers in attacking the Frosts.

She highlights this post from the conservative Free Republic:

[Graeme's father] has owned his own company "Frostworks", since this marriage announcement in the NY Times in 1992 so he chooses to not give himself insurance. He also employed his wife as "bookkeeper and operations management" prior to her recent 2007 hire at the "medical publishing firm".
As her employer, he apparently denied her health insurance as well.

His company, Frostworks, is located at 3701 E BALTIMORE ST. A building that was purchased for $160,000 in 1999...

...maybe Dad should drop his woodworking hobby and get a real job that offers health insurance rather than making people like me ... pay for it in my taxes.

-Forwarded by Robert Scardapane

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-Noah Greenberg