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Unemployment Numbers are Bogus

Discussion in 'Political Issues' started by DonGlock26, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. jeanderson

    jeanderson Toga!... Toga! Platinum Member

    Apr 11, 2012
    Easy there big fella... Just injecting a little sarcasm. GWSHARK didn't get it either apparently. Of course these numbers are cooked!

    Nothing is beyond this president. He's pulling all the strings.
  2. IvanVic


    Apr 19, 2012
    I am posting a hypothetical question, yes. However, that hypothetical is not that unlikely when you look at the BLS' chart. The number has decreased, and then increased the following month on numerous occasions. You seem to be specifically avoiding the history of the rate under Obama, and also avoiding my hypothetical question, because both blow a gigantic hole right in the middle of this conspiracy theory.

    And if it turns out that this has not happened before, I would agree that it is suspicious.

    You are making a claim, that Obama has direct control over the unemployment rate. I am not assuming anything. I am examining past data and pointing out to you that your theory makes no sense when reviewing that past data. You only have a leg to stand on if you're claiming that Obama has suddenly, in the last 2 weeks, taken over the BLS and has direct control of their reporting. Well, this isn't the first time the unemployment numbers have been questioned here, so that's not what the posters here have been saying.

    It says below your avatar that you have been a member since the year 2000. Can you point me to a single post of yours that questions the rate when it does not suit your agenda? Those examples would be either an instance of you claiming the rate was bogus when it goes down under a Republican president, or claiming it's bogus when it goes up under a Democrat president. Either will do.

    This analogy is so ridiculous I can't believe you went with it. I'll make it even easier for you, can you show me a post from ANY ONE of the conspiracy theorists in these unemployment threads that have made posts equivalent to what I have suggested above in bold font?

    Of course that is a weakness, but it's setup that way because it's the only possible method that would achieve some type of consistency across both good and bad economies. If you included people who are not actively seeking work in the unemployment rate, the number would be artificially high, especially during good economies, because lazy people who don't want a job would be artificially raising the rate.

    Yes, you are correct when you assume that the number might be a bit artificially low when discouraged workers drop out of the labor force in a bad economy because they can't find a job, but the number of lazy people will far outweigh the number of discouraged job seekers in any economy.

    Expanding on that, I'd like to bold this because I think it's an essential point: I'd argue that if you give up looking for work because you can't find a job, you either have no education, have a criminal record, are lazy, don't have any marketable skills, have very poor social skills, or a combination of the above. Then there's that tiny sliver of people who do have an education, no serious criminal record, have interviewing skills, are not lazy, yet still somehow decide to stop looking for work. In all my years, I've yet to meet a single one of these educated, non-lazy, sociable people with interviewing skills who choose to sit on the couch instead of look for a job.


  3. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    As long as it's under 8% it's a plus for Obama. Plus keep in mind early/absentee voting is going to be over long before the final report comes out. So this 7.8% figure from this week is the big one in terms of impact on the election. You are going to hear about it over and over again in these last three debates. It's bogus as hell though and will be "adjusted" in November, just you watch.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  4. series1811

    series1811 Enforcerator. CLM

    Oh, then in that case, ................... never mind. :supergrin:
  5. ModGlock17


    Dec 18, 2010
    Here's my prediction for Jay Carney lines in tomorrow's WH Press briefing:

    "No, We did not mislead and had no intention to mislead with the employment numbers."

    "We had never said that these employment figures are complete figures, and it really depends on how you would define 'unemployment'. "

    "The President of the United States did state the facts correctly."

    BHO did say nearly four years ago that these are the redefining moments for America. Sure enough, his administration is redefining the definitions of:
    -economic recovery

    and more. It is "transparently" clear!

    I have to wonder when he's on the golf course, he'd redefined how golf scores are kept, or introduce another concept called ObamaMath and ObamaEnglish.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  6. GAFinch


    Feb 23, 2009
  7. Goaltender66

    Goaltender66 NRA GoldenEagle

    No, what you are doing is demanding comment on a hypothetical. It's kind of creaky logic to say that because I won't cast an opinion on a number that hasn't been released yet that it's some kind of evidence that the September unemployment rate is correct.

    And I've already directly addressed your history argument. Your faulty assumptions rebut your questions.

    So has it?

    Where did I claim that?
    No, what you're doing is making an assumption. The basis of your argument is that if you can't find chicanery (or, I'll be generous, incompetence) in past numbers then it cannot exist in the present. That's very weak tea.

    And again, I've never said Obama is directly responsible for it, just as I've never said Obama is directly responsible for breaking the law inre the WARN Act. Perhaps its some lower level apparatchik trying to "help."

    But hey, as I said earlier, if there's another reason why the BLS released a report that omitted data from an entire state without calling attention to it and at a very advantageous time (namely, after Obama's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad debate), I'm interested.

    No more ridiculous than suggesting that if I haven't written posts on Glock Talk 25 years ago supporting an opinion that said opinion isn't valid. I suppose I could point you to a few of my professors to whom I've complained about the calculation of the unemployment rate....

    Simply put, it's another logic fail to try and say if one hasn't written about something on the board in the past that the opinion in the present is somehow invalid or questionable. I think there's a lot of stuff you haven't written about here either, but that doesn't mean your opinions in the present are invalid because of that, nor does that lack of writing imply some kind of rebuttal evidence to the opinion.

    Seriously, your line of argument here is fatally flawed.

    The weakness is looking at the rate in a vacuum, as you are doing. A falling rate means nothing if people have stopped looking for work in greater numbers (or, as a sidebar, that government employment is increasing), as is the case in September...and indeed, throughout the past three and a half years.

    As for the "lazy" argument, well....

    That is so...condescending that it is hard to figure out where to start. So today's unemployment rate is a factor of people being lazy?! Again, this is why yesterday I posted a description of how the rate is calculated and the complementary data that goes with it. If the payroll survey showed a bunch of empty jobs then there's be an argument there, but the payroll survey isn't showing a bunch of empty jobs just waiting to be filled.

    So what's holding the economy back are lazy people with bad social skills? Really? The structural drags that this President implemented into the economy have nothing to do with it? The higher taxes and overall demonization of job creators don't create barriers for good people trying to find jobs? You bolded it which I suppose is great for demonstrating how you buoy your self esteem at the expense of others. However, it also demonstrates your facile, Obama-level understanding of the macro issues at play here.

    To your last sentence...the plural of "anecdote" is not "data."
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  8. IvanVic


    Apr 19, 2012
    Then why not comment on the historical pattern? Your only explanation thus far has been "just because it wasn't happening then, doesn't mean it's not happening now." In order to prop up the conspiracy theory, you just rule out all data points along the trend line that conflict with your theory. How convenient.

    This isn't the first time people have called BS on the numbers. I'm not sure why you're pretending that it is. There has been accusations in the past, and the historical data does not support those accusations.

    If I was truly suspicious of the rate's credibility, I would certainly be complaining about it whether or not it helped or hurt my party. The fact that you can't show me a single post from you, or ANY one of these conspiracy theorists that shows this harping is something more than just a partisan attack is very telling. I don't believe for a second that you're gullible enough to not understand that 99% of people are just complaining because they think it makes Obama look good, and that's bad for the Republican party. Although one would think that common sense would prevail and understand that an unemployment rate of 7.8% is not good, and the overall declining trend line has nothing to do with Obama's policies. You see, those who lack the ability to think beyond "all bad things are Obama's fault and therefore anything good that happens must be of Obama's doing" are inclined to either deny the existence of good things (a falling unemployment rate), or claim conspiracy, or both. They do not understand that a falling rate does not mean that Obama's policies have worked - just as the president is not always to credit/blame for a declining or rising DJIA/fuel prices. Despite what these people think, the world is not so simple.

    That is a grossly oversimplified summary of my argument, and not at all what I was saying. Before we even breakdown people who are socially skilled, driven, etc., the unemployment rate for college grads is about 4.5%, and has been for some time now.

    No, and I never claimed such a thing. I stated a simple position: I have never met an educated, driven person who has social skills that suddenly chooses to sit on their ass instead of looking for a job. I mentioned this in the context of explaining that the number of slackers outweighs the number of valuable, skilled laborers in the workforce who drop out and therefore lower the unemployment rate. There is no possible way you could include workers who are not actively seeking work into the unemployment rate. It makes absolutely no statistical sense whatsoever.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  9. GAFinch


    Feb 23, 2009
    I know a good number of guys, mainly in the construction/renovation industry, who have been unable to find work in their field, spent a couple years applying to entry level and mid-level jobs in other fields and were turned away due to lack of direct experience and/or large competition from other job seekers, and are now barely surviving by piecing together some part-time work that's frequently cash-based.
  10. IvanVic


    Apr 19, 2012
    That is unfortunate, and I wish them the best of luck -- but "I know some guys" is not a credible sample for statistical analysis. What level of education have they completed? The problem for these workers in down economies is that college has become the new high school. When things fall apart, those with very specified skills that are not applicable to a wide range of careers, coupled with a lack of formal education, are hit the hardest.
  11. GAFinch


    Feb 23, 2009
    Official unemployment in the construction industry has been around 20% nationwide and higher than that in some areas. Having specific skills doesn't make someone a slacker.
  12. IvanVic


    Apr 19, 2012
    I agree, unless you're implying that I said this, which I did not. I simply stated a fact: people with specific skills are hit hard, especially when they have no formal education.
  13. Goaltender66

    Goaltender66 NRA GoldenEagle

    Because that's the only explanation that's needed to rebut you. You're leaning on some theory that says "well, the rate has fluctuated in the past so therefore there cannot be any chicanery in the present." That's logically unsound.

    So wait..first you're giving me grief because I won't forward you my college work from 25 years ago where I talked about the weaknesses in the unemployment calculations, and now you're leaning on unnamed people...complaining about the weaknesses in the unemployment calculations.

    Where am I pretenting this is the first time people are calling BS on the numbers? The centerpiece of your posts are that fluctuations existed in the past and therefore the September numbers aren't BS. Make up your mind.

    Yes, what it's telling is that you believe if someone doesn't post about something on an internet site that hadn't even been invented yet, you think that's evidence of intellectual dishonesty.

    I'll be kind though...since it's your argument, show me where I've ever celebrated the way unemployment is calculated when the end number has benefitted a GOP President. Prove me the dishonest hack you are trying to insinuate me to be.

    Well, first you're demanding comment from me about a number that doesn't even exist yet. :)

    But then here we are back to your refusal (or inability) to understand that an unemployment rate trend line is just as meaningless in and of itself as the rate. The rate calculation has to be taken in concert and context with the labor force participation rate and, to a certain extent, GDP growth. Trying to celebrate a declining trend line in the rate is dumb when a) labor force participation is trending down along with it and b) GDP "growth" is wildly down as compared to other periods with similar isolated trend lines changes. This is not a 1983 economy.

    So, as I pointed out, one has to wonder exactly what is going on at the BLS. By itself one can excuse the household survey as an odd kind of outlier. But at the end of a very bad week to somehow skip counting a state in the jobless claims number and not blare a giant asterisk next to the announcement...with this Administration it is enough to make you wonder. Because while you're quick to heap scorn on Obama's critics, the reverse is also true...Obama was certainly quick to latch onto the meme that his policies were finally working because of the decline in the September unemployment rate, wasn't he?

    But hey, let's trust the guy who said he was born in Kenya, right?

    To close this section, I find it incredible that you seem to believe unemployment is independent of the President's policies. Even more troubling...that's apparently a sincere belief and not a rhetorical one.

    Well, you said (and you bolded it, no less):

    "In all my years, I've yet to meet a single one of these educated, non-lazy, sociable people with interviewing skills who choose to sit on the couch instead of look for a job."

    You said exactly that you never met a non-lazy person who "chose" to sit on a couch instead of looking for a job. As if "choice" were all there was to it.

    Again with the "choice." Problem is, the Obamaconomy tends to take the "choice" out of the equation. And the problem with your statement is that it was overbroad and anecdotal.

    As for the last, I have been firm in saying my issues are with lazy interpretations of the rate. I don't believe I've ever said to recalculate as a percentage of the base population, so why you're bringing that up is mystifying to me. In fact, I said quite clearly:

    So looking at the rate by itself, noting that it fell a few tenths of a percent, and complaining that conservatives aren't all agog at the decline is really deceptive. The reality is there's nothing at all to celebrate in the decline of that number, even assuming the decline is genuine - which is a very weak assumption indeed.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  14. walt cowan

    walt cowan

    Feb 18, 2005
    never believe any of the governments numbers, the books have been cooked.
  15. michael_b

    michael_b BRC #1492

    Sep 3, 2011
    +1 go read Shadowstats. Very interesting look at unemployment numbers.

    -On mobile
  16. IvanVic


    Apr 19, 2012
    No, that's not what I am saying. There have been claims of conspiracy in the past during this administration & unemployment, those claims do not make any sense when you look at the trend line. As I said before, the only leg you have to stand on is if, suddenly, the Obama admin has just taken over the BLS for the newest release, and had no prior control over the figures. This would alleviate the inconvenience of having to match up a history of corruption with a history of data that does not support that conclusion.

    Are you saying that the Obama admin has been clean in the past and has just begun altering the number during this last release? That certainly doesn't seem to be what your position is, being that you have adamantly stated you have questioned the numbers for decades. You seem to be playing both sides of the fence. When historical data is brought up, you lean on the "I'm not saying it was necessarily happening before." When the idea of consistency across both Republican and Democrat admins is brought up, you shift to "I've been questioning the numbers since college."

    Surely you're aware of this shape shifting in your position in order to dodge bits of data and simultaneously conform to several conflicting positions - all conspiracy theorists do it.

    I am not making a claim, you are. You are making an extraodinary claim that there's a massive conspiracy surrounding the rate, and you're preaching that it has nothing to do with politics. Well then, surely someone so concerned about this issue would have discussed it in the past in a non-partisan way. I'm merely asking you if that's true. You say that it is - which of course is what anyone in your position would say. I am asking for evidence of that in your posts. If you have it, great. If not, then just say so.

    Nobody send the unemployment rate was the singular way to judge the economy, nor did I say that a president cannot affect that rate. I am simply saying that the economy has too many moving parts to make such simple judgements and claim that any given president is automatically responsible for, or not responsible for, the unemployment rate.

    That is correct, I have never met an educated, motivated person who has social skills that sits on the couch instead of looking for a job, no matter how hard it may be to find one.

    I've been the one promoting the idea that 7.8% unemployment is abysmal. Nice touch with the Kenya comment, though. Let me take a wild guess, you're also a birther? (This is where you retort by shape shifting again in order to avoid calling yourself a birther, but still questioning his place of birth by saying "I don't know what you consider to be a birther, I'm just taking Obama at his word")
  17. engineer151515


    Nov 3, 2003
    Looks like the BLS is fast approaching the reputation level of the Nobel Committee
  18. Goaltender66

    Goaltender66 NRA GoldenEagle

    Shape shifting? I've been nothing but consistent. But then I'm not the guy blaming the unemployment rate on lazy people.

    And once again you're falling back on the illogical idea that if a rate has shown fluctuations in the past that means there is no goofiness going on in the present (and, incidentally, the BLS is part of the Obama administration, so they aren't the separate entities you're trying to cast them as....). That you're deliberately ignoring your rather obvious illogic is about as telling as, oh, trying to invent an issue about past postings. But more importantly, you seem very incurious about why the unemployment rate has fluctuated the way it did, and why the September number is different. More on that in a minute.

    So again, here you are conflating two issues and, I think, doing so intentionally. I pointed out a few days ago that you need to be careful which number you're talking about.

    My first post was talking about the new jobless claim number where the BLS somehow didn't add a state before issuing the number. This was issued shortly after a very bad week for Obama. In that post I said I could only think of one reason why the number was rushed out in such a fashion.

    Now here you are talking about the unemployment rate, which has its own set of problems (namely the mismatch between the household and the payroll surveys). In fact, I said flat out (in this very thread, since you seem unusually interested in literary archaeology...) that the household surveys tended to be volatile. Further, I think the volatility of those surveys and the incompetence (at best reading) of the BLS to deal with it is a weakness against the calculation of the unemployment rate. True, we've had household outliers before, but those outliers have never been as out of the ballpark as September's was.

    Really? "massive conspiracy?"

    Where, exactly, did I make an extraordinary claim that there's a massive conspiracy surrounding the rate?

    Besides, it's your accusation that I'm lying and being partisan. I don't have to disprove your need to support your accusation with facts.

    So do so.

    You want to accuse me of being a dishonest hack, then the burden is on you to support the accusation. That you are trying to get me to prove a negative speaks volumes about *your* intellectual honesty, despite your attempts to shift the burden off on the person you're accusing.

    So now you're saying I should have, what, witnesses from school log in here and support the discussions I've had with them?

    News flash...there is lots of life that doesn't happen online. If you're trapped in the thinking that if something I write now doesn't have an online trail in this (or another) website that it's somehow invalid, then you're being...oh, what's the word...a dummy.

    In a nutshell, here's what you're reduced to:

    1) Making up a strawman and ascribing it to me;
    2) Criticizing me for not being vocal on this board about your strawman.

    From you:

    1) "...and are not just complaining whenever they don't go your way (despite the fact that every American should be happy about a falling unemployment rate)..."

    2) "Although one would think that common sense would prevail and understand that an unemployment rate of 7.8% is not good, and the overall declining trend line has nothing to do with Obama's policies."

    See, here's the part where I can ask "so point me to a post here in December 2008 where you defend President Bush?" as a way to pretend to rebut you, but that would be dishonest. :)

    The plain reality is that the jobs picture was beginning a rebound in December 2008 before Obama's policies strangled a recovery before it ever began.

    So contra your backpedal, you did actually blame the lazy people. Thanks.

    And yet you were saying all Americans should be celebrating that this faulty number is lower than the previous month's number, with no regard to context whatsoever.
    Oh, geez, now you're either really reaching (in which case you're dishonest) or you're genuinely ignorant. Here, let me school you a little.

    Back in college, Obama's literary agent put out a blurb on Obama's behalf saying the man was born in Kenya. This despite the fact that Obama was actually born into the mean streets of Honolulu, Hawaii. Why? Because being born in Kenya gave Obama a certain exotic, multicultural flair in the Oxy/Harvard circles that a Hawaiian pedigree couldn't give him (it also helped, I think, with his initial college applications but whatever).

    Now if you know anything about such things, you know that a literary agent doesn't just make up crap about his clients. Obama was fine portraying a fraud when it suited him, and just as fine abandoning it when it was no longer useful.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  19. walt cowan

    walt cowan

    Feb 18, 2005
  20. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009