Skewed Values System

The world as I see it.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Bush's Job Losses 

One of the most tired Democratic talking points is the speculation that Bush will be the first president in a very long time to preside over a net loss in non-farm payrolls. Another is the frequently-made insinuation that Bush is solely responsible for the 966,000 net jobs lost to date during his administration. And yet another is the notion that, for as long as we're running a net loss in non-farm payrolls, the economy is doing poorly.

The first point would, in all likelihood, cease to be speculative should Bush lose the November election to John Kerry. The outcome of that election is still uncertain, however, and should Bush win we would have to wait four more years to tabulate the statistics.

The second point begs further scrutiny -- scrutiny that has been sorely lacking in the mainstream media. The monthly change in non-farm payrolls is a number that is widely available, and I have presented the last forty-four months here:

2001 2002 2003 2004
Jan -53 -165 94 159
Feb 104 -90 -159 83
Mar 15 43 -110 353
Apr -271 -68 -20 324
May 1 2 -28 208
Jun -150 25 -14 96
Jul -115 -111 -45 73
Aug -141 11 -25 144
Sep -267 -47 67
Oct -361 83 88
Nov -332 -37 83
Dec -212 -209 8

Notice that 1.8 million jobs were lost in 2001, immediately after Bush was inaugurated. Now, let's assume that the Democrats are right and Bush really is evil incarnate, bent on "ripping the heart out of the economy" with incompetent policies geared to enrich his closest friends. In order to implement those policies, he first has to get his team settled into office. This was delayed due to the fiasco over the Florida recount, and a reasonable person would conclude that the full compliment of Bush's cabinet and staff were not in place until at least March 2001.

Once his "gang" was in place, he would need to convince congress that his policies were worth implementing and get them passed into laws. A reasonable person would conclude that this could take months, if not years, but for argument's sake, let's assume that all of Bush's evil policies were implemented in the first six months.

Now, the United States economy is not a ship easily turned. Again, a reasonable person would conclude that the effects of these new policies would take time to seep into the financial statements of corporations, small businesses and homes. Usually, it takes one or two quarters for the Fed's interest rate policy decisions to have any effect on the economy.

You can probably tell by now where I am going with this. There is simply no way - NO WAY - that this man could single-handedly enter office and wreak that much havoc in the first nine months of his presidency. I'm thinking that it might have had something to do with the bursting of the dot-com bubble (2000), the implosion of the NASDAQ (2000), the corporate purge of massive overcapacity built up in the Clinton years (remember Worldcom?), the ensuing recession (beginning in 2000), and possibly 9-11. As the president stepped into office, he was greeted with a firestorm.

That was 2001. What about the next three years? In 2002, we saw a loss of 563,000 non-farm payrolls. In 2003, a loss of 61,000. So far in 2004, a gain of 1.4 million. In fact, we've seen twelve consecutive months of job growth, according to the non-farm payroll survey. So, let's recap:

2001: -1,800,000
2002: -563,000
2003: -61,000
2004: +1,400,000

Looks like a reversal of sorts, no? Perhaps even a recovery. You might even call this a nuanced analysis of the data, as opposed to merely black and white. This brings me to the third point. As long as there is a net loss over this period, the Democrats will cite this number over and over again with no mention of the direction of the gains or losses that make up that number. They will use it as a bullet point in the effort to convince Americans that they should not vote for Bush in November. They will ask how the economy could possibly be doing well when we have net job losses.

They have access to these numbers, just like the rest of us. They know that most of the losses were front-end-loaded in the early months of Bush's presidency, but this nuance, this complexity, this cheeky, sexy bit of detail, will never intentionally make it into a Kerry speech.

# posted by Longshanks 

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Forget the President. I'm Voting on First Lady. 

Think about it. Laura or Teresa. Even Democrats can't come up with a defense for that one.

# posted by Longshanks 

Thursday, August 05, 2004

I Would've Done Better... 

Kerry's latest "Everything Bush has ever done was wrong" statement:


Now that he's had years to consider, he pronounces that:

“Had I been reading to children and had my top aide whisper in my ear that America is under attack, I would have told those kids very nicely and politely that the president of the United States has something that he needs to attend to”

Uh, how could you possibly know how you would have reacted on that day? Moran.

Here's another beauty:

Just saying that you’ve turned a corner doesn’t make it so. Just like saying there are weapons of mass destruction (in Iraq) doesn’t make it so. Just like saying you can fight a war on the cheap doesn’t make it so. Just like saying ’mission accomplished’ doesn’t make it so...The last president who used that slogan, who told us that prosperity was just around the corner, was Herbert Hoover during the Great Depression...

Uh, hello? The economy has been screaming, SCREAMING for at least a year now... unemployment levels at or below the magical Clinton years, GDP growth at or above the magical Clinton years... homeownership at record levels, ISM PMI's at record levels, etc., etc. Just saying that we're in a Hoover-type depression doesn't make it so...
# posted by morpheus 

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Kerry Continues to Not Take a Stand 

So John Kerry's position on abortion is that he is against it, but he won't legislate his beliefs on the rest of the country.

This works for Kerry, because it lets him appear to be a good Catholic while at the same time not alienating his liberal base. It's a win-win.

What if the situation were reversed? If abortion were illegal, and Bush announced that he was pro-choice but had no plans to foist his own beliefs on the rest of the country, do you think the left would sit still? They would be calling for him to take a stand.

# posted by Longshanks 

Friday, April 23, 2004

Media Manufactures Controversy over War Dead Photos 

Out of respect to the families of fallen soldiers, and generally keeping in good taste, it has been off-limits to publish photos of deceased soldiers arriving back in the U.S., or being buried.

But the media has decided to throw caution to the wind and publish a whole slew of images capturing metal coffins draped in American flags. The images are accompanied by articles describing -- get this -- how controversial it is to publish the images! Banned by the DOD, etc, etc.

Unfortunately, Drudge was, from what I can see, the one who started this whole thing with a story that ran yesterday afternoon into today.

This is not to say that the photos aren't emotional and, in many respects, inspiring -- a reminder that someone has laid down their life for the safety of their country, and the future of someone else's.

But how about this, guys - don't publish the images, and it won't be a controversy...


The original source of the photos has now realized that MANY of the images are of the astronauts that died in the Columbia disaster. Just goes to show - if it feels wrong, it probably is.

# posted by Longshanks 

Monday, April 19, 2004

Networks Fight for their Right to Indecency 

Via Drudge, an article in Broadcasting & Cable describes the current appeal to the FCC to rescind its recent decisions that impose harsh fines and license revocations for those broadcasters violating indecency guidelines.

Power-blogger Ace-o-Spades HQ would especially appreciate this quote by Bob Corn-Revere, the attorney who drafted the appeal to the FCC.
The commission’s harsh new policy has sent shock waves through the broadcast industry and is forcing licensees to censor speech that unquestionably is protected by the First Amendment...The FCC consciously assumed the role of a national arbiter of good taste, and its decision already is exerting a chilling effect.

He actually accuses them of chilling their right to free speech.

My question is, why do you need to use profanity on T.V. or radio? Why would you fight for it? How does the absence of the f-word encroach on your creative ability to produce entertaining (and lucrative) content? Did they need profanity or nudity on Cheers?
# posted by Longshanks 

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Baked Sale 

From the MoveOn PAC website comes this announcement:
On Sat., April 17, all across the country, thousands of people will organize bake sales to raise money for MoveOn PAC's campaign to Take Back the White House. While George Bush raises money mostly from wealthy donors, we will demonstrate the broad-based grassroots support supporting MoveOn PAC and John Kerry.

That's funny, since Fundrace.org lists John Kerry as #1 in its "Fat Cats" index of campaign contributions from wealthy individuals.

It should be said that President Bush is #2 on the "Fat Cats" index. However, he takes second place on the "Grass Roots" index as well, second only to Howard Dean. Senator Kerry is #5.

Thanks to Tim Graham on The Corner for pointing out the BIQ (Bakesale In Question).
# posted by Longshanks 

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