Saturday, February 4, 2012

SAR #12035

There is always an "it depends.”

Winter Advisory: In case you've been concentrating on the absence of winter in the US, take a look at Eastern Europe where a deep cold spell has left 220 dead so far – some frozen on city streets. Ukraine has set up over 3,000 emergency heat and food shelters. It even snowed in Rome.

Trivial Errors & Omissions: Romney's tax data shows he neglected to disclose some required information about some 23 investments to the Office of Government Ethics last year. Specifically including a $3 million account at a Swiss bank that was purportedly a diversification of investments which earned him $1.71. Good investment. Even T-Bills would have been a better, albeit taxable, investment.

Feeding the Flames: A Harvard/Yale study concludes that "food aid promotes civil conflict. An increase in U.S. food aid increases the incidence, onset and duration of armed civil conflicts in recipient countries."

Breaking Even: While men are more likely to accurately remember unpleasant emotional experiences, they are also more likely to have the false belief that decisions are best taken alone even when collaboration is obviously required.

Yawn: “A small number of American Jewish billionaires are promoting a hawkish, aggressively pro-Israel stance “

Irony: A restored copy of the Magna Carta, one of four bearing the seal of King Edward I in 1297, will be put on display in Washington, D.C.

Quoted: "The combination of tax and spending policies that the nation has been accustomed to cannot be sustained over the long term. That is because the aging of the population and rising costs for health care will, in the absence of other changes, steadily push spending up." Douglas Elmendorf, CBO Director.

Getting Paid: Real hourly pay in the US, adjusted for changes in consumer prices, fell 1.2% in 2001, continuing the impoverishment of the American worker.

We Are Not Alone: In a move US Homeland Security would be proud of, their Canadian counterparts arrested a Moroccan-born Muslim businessman on terrorism charges after they intercepted a text message in which he instructed his co-conspirators salespeople to “blow away” the competition. The only held him three days.

Curious: Renovating old buildings saves more energy than building new, energy-efficient ones. What about a newly-designed energy-efficient one built from recycled materials?

Porn O'Graph: Rhyme or echo?

<< -- Separate but Equal – >>

Doing A Job On The Numbers: BLS statisticians are now using the 2010 Census data instead of the much adjusted 2000 set. This increased the 'civilian non-institutional population' by 1.7 million. (Go see the graph. ) Apply the long-term average labor force participation rate of 65.8% to this number and you get 159.4 million - that is what the labor force number should be, and the unemployment rate would then be 11.5%. The BLS says that most of the population increase was retired or else-wise escaped the labor force and that the population adjustment did not affect the unemployment data.

But their data shows there are 7.4 million fewer people working full time now than there were in 2008 (111.9 million now, 119.3 million then), with the number of full-time jobs declining by 677,000 in January. All-round and apart from the population number adjustment – which should result in recompiling the unemployment rate for the previous couple of years, just to make them apples and apples – the claimed increase of 243,000 jobs was based on the actual loss of 1.1 million jobs.

January's real-time withholding tax data shows employment plunged at the end of the month after a surge in late December. The actual survey number showed a decrease of 2.7 million jobs in the last two months. Full time jobs declined by 1.2 million in January. So, what is the real unemployment rate? Ha, what makes you think anyone knows?


Anonymous said...

Re: Romney's wife's Swiss account - actually it earned .06%, 1,700, rather than 1.7M. The idea being that the account was a hoard of secret cash to spend on whatever opportunity arose.

Anonymous said...

Whoops, misread your entry. Sorry! Need more coffee before typing