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February 10, 2014



first TCFAB!


TomM-- I think the bigger part of this is the demand side for labor. There is no classical or even Keynesian macro explanation for what's going on. What's going on is that an externality has queered (I can say that can't I?) the labor market; that externality is of course government regulationn. Government at all levels, but particulary the federal level has increased the cost--financial and regulatory- to hiring employees. Employers have 'gone Galt' and won't hire, except as a last resort.

I'l leave that thought to more knowledgeable people to analyze like cathyf, and jimmyk.... AND of course you too Tom.


Rod Blagojevich continues to insult the people of Illinois

Danube on iPad

No wonder they call it the dismal science.

Miss Marple

Krugman never fails to amaze. Thanks for the analysis, TM.

I know my evidence is anecdotal, but there sure do seem to be a lot of people around here struggling with unemployment, reduced hours, etc. while also dealing with high prices. Lots of shuttered stores in strip malls around here.

Seems to me the biggest expansion is in tattoo parlors, of which there are FIVE in the suburban strip malls by me.


DoT-- hey hey, that relates to MACROeconomics... you know Krugman's stuff. My wife has a PhD in 'economics', but her thesis was applied maths and stats. She swore to forget everything she ever read about 'Macro' after she passed that subject comp. She describes that stuff as BS.

Account Deleted

It's not dismal, it's actually very amusing to watch the pros trot out their best SWAGs and hope reality doesn't interfere with their projections before the ink drys.

The "causes" for the repeal of Okun's Law might be more easily understood by reflection upon the "loss" of illusional value in the house which represented many families vault (which they tapped at will via HELOCs).

None of the trillions Uncle Sugar has dumped in the wrong places since reality impinged upon homeowner's fantasy has restored the confidence lost when the vault burned. The continuing drop in the TFR strongly suggests we haven't even approached the end of the continuing loss.


Speaking of the Trillions BenB has helicoptered into the wrong places, the reports are that tomorrow JanetY will tell Congress.... OMG.... the labor market isn't healing and maybe we should go full-speed with T-Bond buying? OF COURSE she will, she's a BigLIBDem, she'll do what she can to save them in November. Dollar tanks, gas and food prices rise again. Why do BenB and JanetY hate American families.

Dave (in MA)

Last night the good news was reading that Soros got punched in the face.

Today it's a report out of Baghdad of a Splodeydope 101 instructor using a live explosive vest for show & tell.


tattoo parlors are America's only growth industry at the moment. What happens when they run out of square footage? The market must be pretty saturated at this point.


So Andy Cuomo and the NYS Senate repubs make a deal for no NYC income tax hike. Who knows what's in that dirty deal, to make the Repubs be the 'bad guys'. Whatever, here's what the NYC Communist in Chief Warren Wilhelm says in response:

'Raising taxes on the rich makes our commitment to our kids more than just words,” the mayor said in the text of his speech. “It makes that commitment real. It makes that commitment fair. And it offers a promise to our kids that they can count on.”

Last week two NYC libs business acquaintances said they 'hated' this communist. Who says Libs can't learn?


Soros gets slapped-- here's a link. Alas, he still makes supertanker loads of $$$$:

Beasts of England

What about me, NK? I know all that micro and macro crap, too! ;)


Note from other thread: Kay Hymowitz is no lefty. She's a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and has written many books about these issues. The only surprise is that the Times gave her a platform; she usually appears in the WSJ.


NK, My liberal SIL who lives in the city cannot stand deBlasio likewise our daughter who used to be a lib but seems to be "coming around."

Mickey Spillane

Ever laugh at a scary thought?

Well here's one - Morning Joe contemplating a 2016 POTUS run

Bill Kristol calls it "filling in the Jon Huntsman lane".


Warren Wilhelm may dis-indoctrinate more NYC Libs than anyone in history. Much more than Dinkins. Dinkins was a nice man, and certainly a publicly polite man. Wilhelm is so classless, he oozes hatefullness.


BoE-- alas, you have to carry around all that macros 'knowledge.' Micro is useful of course.

Miss Marple

Business plan: cut-rate laser tattoo removal for when the fashion industry suddenly proclaims them dreary and tacky.

I predict about another 5 years, when today's children are entering adulthood and think tattoos are "stuff the old man did."

Then the elders will be scrambling to have them removed.

Feel free to steal this idea.

Sandy Mondaze

henry, narc, glaster (anyone else I missed), thanks for the responses on the previous thread.
Clearly, it is personal attacks and individual destruction ...all the way down... as we cover the next nine and 33 months.

Given that all R candidates will be reduced to the lowest common denominator by the left-prog-dem agitprop media, is it now possible to say that if everyone is "taken out" then "nobody is taken out."

Meaning, of course, is the idea of being "Palinized" once considered to mean that one was no longer suitably eligible for running for office because of the burnt earth-sowed with salt tactics employed, is now, Good To Go?

If so....

I most strongly support

Palin--Walker 2016 or a Walker--Palin 2016.

Either is fine with me.

Can the Sarah now return from Churchillian exile?

Beasts of England

I have broad shoulders, NK!


the question, of course, is does anyone take Scarborough seriously, besides the programming department at MSNBC.

Yes, Sandy, the pattern is very similar to what the Huntress went through in her last few months of office,


With Christie, Wildstein seems to be an overconfident drone like Frank Bailey, as with Walker,

Sandy Mondaze


I tell my daughters (22 and 19) that in an age of near-universal tattoo-ing,

not getting a tattoo is a sign of rebellion.
With regard to tattoo removal, MM, the market is already dominated by

Turlington's (patented) Tattoo Remover


What was the Scarborough gossip concerning a dead intern found in his office?


You take the confy chair, Mickey, I've given up dealing with Otto.



cut-rate laser tattoo removal

In fact I have a way in my head to remove tattoos that should be inexpensive, painless, effective and not require lasers.

The only downside that I can tell is that it won't work on black. The rest should come right out.

Jane-Rebel Alliance1

Well here's one - Morning Joe contemplating a 2016 POTUS run

As a media whore or a democrat?

Walker--Palin 2016.

It's gonna be Walker--Martinez.

Captain Hate

Bill Kristol calls it "filling in the Jon Huntsman lane".

If nothing else, Kristol's ridiculing of Jon "can you say Team Player in Mandarin" Huntsman is worth his appearances on the Intern Killer's show.


What is Gov Martinez's story? Obviously she fills the fundemental requirement she's a woman.

Beasts of England

I'm not a coffee drinker, but I would be if I ever encountered a Dumb Starbucks shop...



Miss Marple--Sylvester McMonkey McBean was way ahead of you.

jimmyk on iPad

A better way to phrase Paul's question is this:

[I]f unemployment is high because people are unwilling to work, reducing the supply of labor, why aren’t wages going up isn't it getting more costly to hire?

The wage is just a small part of the cost of hiring someone, and getting relatively smaller. And I strongly suspect the answer is that it IS getting more costly.


Just wanted to echo Tonto's post above. Kay Hymnowitz is one of the good guys, not some dumbass NYT reporter who stumbled onto the truth for a minute.

Of course because it's the NYT, she has to write about the single-motherhood-is-not-good-for-society topic as if none of her readers have ever stumbled onto the truth before and they need her to walk them through the concept slowly.


I KNOW in my heart that I'm worth a bilion $ an hur and will accept nothing less. What about you guys? Let no one dare call me a slacker.


jimmyk-- do you agree with my 11:43?


Yeah, even at flat wages the cost of employing someone is going up. When it comes to hiring, add in the inflation on costs of firing someone (part govt & regulatory, part too many lawyers). polly provided one example of this cost set a few threads back.


NK: Partly. It seems like a perfectly "classical" explanation to say that regulations have mucked up the demand side.


Henry/jimmyk-- that's what I see. Gov't has made the nonwage costs of hiring (healthcare mandates, regulation, firing expenses) so high, that employers won't hire even if there is a need.They work existing staff harder and/or 'outsource'. The jobs disaster is a government created problem.


What is relevant for employment is not "wages" but the aggregate cost of labor to employers, including payroll taxes, HR/OSHA/EPA compliance costs, healthcare mandates, etc. - as well as the degree of uncertainty regarding what these costs will be in the future. We could reach the point where the money actually paid to the employee is the lesser small part of the cost of hiring someone. Whether you are for or against these other things, they are a dead-weight burden on job growth.


A professional economist such as Krugman probably assumes that these cumulative compliance costs do not affect the shape of their labor supply-demand curves, so they can be ignored.


Governor Martinez is a three-fer in my book--woman, Hispanic, and by far the most important--a GOVERNOR.
A person with administrative experience!
Have no idea where she is on the Tea Party-RINO continuum.

I honestly don't think Sarah Palin can be on the ticket, after the character assassination she's endured. I do hope she campaigns as if the future of rule of law depends on her, and she gets whatever job she wants--Secretary of Interior, Ambassador to the UN, Secretary of Defense.

What fun this is!

Old Lurker

I'm a fan of those "ultimate factory" shows on the History Channel etc. One sure does see a lot of hardworking robots overseen by a few humans.


"....and there is a large drop in the demand for labor (we assume a conventional downward sloping demand curve - all else equal, employers will hire more if wages are lower..."

True, but even in the case where wages are perfectly flexible, this will dampen the decline in employment, it won't eliminate it.


If anybody has info on Martinez on the TP-RINO continuum, inquiring minds want to know. Thanks.


OL, you see that in "normal" factories as well. A smart pack on an 80 yo machine tool runs as well as a modern robot, and on person can keep an eye on a bunch of robots.


I'll be honest, Martinez seems like kind of a lightweight to me, and NM is a very small state populationwise. I am sure they will find a way to Palin her. I'd rather have a heavy hitter in the VP slot (the Cheney mold).


'Lightweight' doesn't bother me as long as she has conventioanl 'credentials' and can't easily be pigeonholed by the media scum.

Jane-curling is on!

The nation's first Latina governor looks awfully like the future of her party. Demographically, she neutralizes key Democratic advantages. She is regarded as a canny and "wonkish" (The Economist) operator, a self-possessed pragmatist coasting in a sea of wild-eyed ideologues. Conservatives credit her with trimming the state budget, lowering taxes, and implementing school-reform measures; liberals like that she expanded Medicaid and allowed a state-based health insurance exchange. She has a 60-plus percent approval rating and the inside track to a second term next year. A typical profile headline, this one from Newsweek last May, proposed, "What New Mexico's Governor Can Teach the GOP." Republicans regularly mention her as a future vice presidential candidate, if not something loftier. Martinez was on Mitt Romney's veep short list last year, and she delivered a widely praised prime-time speech at the Republican convention in Tampa about the importance of political courage.

Not that much of a lightweight.

The rest of the article is interesting - and not all that flattering.


I guess, NK. I watched her speech at the convention and wasn't that impressed.


Jane-- thanks for the link. The Nat Journal harps on a woman politician with national ticket aspirations being involved in big money influence?.... HARDY HAR HAR!!!!

Porch-- Scott Walker doesn't light it with speeches either. But he's got a coherent message to sell-- AVOID NATIONAL BANKRUTCY, treat the taxpayers right, and expand economic growth to generate the wealth needed to help the poor. Unlike Romney, he can explain why he persoanlly wants to be POTUS and how his way is different and much better for workers.


I'd like to see a Walker - Cruz ticket.

Jane-curling is on!

I think we have to nominate a woman or the left will spend the entire election calling us "sexist".

Sandy Mondaze

Appears everyone likes WALKER...

that is a good start


Then it's lose-lose, because last time we nominated a woman, they spent the entire election calling her a stupid bimbo.

I think Walker is fantastic.


oh Newsweek singing her praises. that settles it.

isn't Ocare a huge price control on a big part of the nonmonetary component of wages?


mcCain didn't lose because of Palin. Palin was a net help to mccain. The financial panic and mass layoffs starting killed MCain, although he would have probably lost a close election due to Axelrod datamining for votes anyway.

If the nominee is a solid man (which walker certainly is) the VP must be a woman. Big help, for obvious voter pattern reasons.


Happy Birthday to Sarah Palin (and, I think, Glenn Beck, too).

I like Walker and a lot of "folks" on our side who are potential candidates.


rich@4:29-- don't know yet. We'll know when employer group plans re-up starting in August-sept. Safe to assume, that the ObummerCare mandates will close down millions of noncomplying plans, and those employers will just drop health insurance, and leave employees to the tender mercies of ExchangeCare.



"medium employers" got another extension through 2016?

I almost got weepy eyed reading this...almost.


I agree about Palin, NK (happy birthday to that great lady). I just think we sometimes think "X is an asset because of Y factor" and then Y turns out not to be a factor. Having a woman on the ticket only *maybe* neutralizes the war on women stupidity. But it may turn out that the war on women isn't all that meaningful in the 2016 cycle and another candidate could have helped more.

Or, as with Palin, the left goes scorched earth and no credit for Y is given by the people who were supposed to be attracted by it. This may also happen if Rubio is on the ticket. The Dems cry "tokenism" and their major constituencies respond as they always do - by voting Dem.

jimmyk on iPhone

Rich, an odd sort of price control that makes it more expensive.


Well I second the sentiment;


Sandy Mondaze


I like


There. I said it.

I cannot think of anything she's said as a politician with which I disagree. (Some mention her support for JSM, but we know why she did that.)
In any case, I'll rephrase:
If the other side's intent to to "Palinize" anyone who is a threat, and I think many here agree that that is the left's modus operandi going into 2014 and 2016, then if everyone is Palinized then nobody is Palinized.

I want Palin, she'll be no more radioactive than anyone else, and having taken the best they've got and still standing means that she is strengthened and tempered by the fire she's endured.

Those yet to face such fire (and WALKER, Wisconsin Ranger, has faced a fair amount of local heat), remain unknown in terms of their ability to stand up.

We need, MUST HAVE a NOMEX Warrior (not a Mexican slur--heh--but a fire retardant)

I'm not again Martinez or say, Gov Nikki Haley of South Carolina, per se, but we have little idea how they will hold up under the napalm which will surely be dumped in copious amounts.


Repubs can't win by nominating a woman because she's a woman. As others have said, she'll be pummeled worse than a man would (conservative women are traitors just like conservative blacks), and Rs will be accused of tokenism, with some justification (not that Dems aren't guilty of it, but they get an exemption). Just pick the strongest team without regard to race, etc.

Sandy Mondaze


I don't support Palin because she is a woman, I support the Huntress because she has spoken the most forcefully, most consistently and with great vigor on the issues that matter the most to me.

In fact, there is no other living politician who's views are more closely aligned with mine, than the Sarah's.

Miss Marple

Let me interject here some of my own experience, as someone who advance for a while in what was predominantly a man's field back in the 70's.

The men I dealt with were fine, treated me with courtesy and respect. The backbiting I got from WOMEN, particularly secretaries and keypunch operators (tells you how old I am) was the biggest problem.

For some reason a lot of women do not like to work under a woman supervisor, plus there is jealousy that you are making more money as a professional than they are as a secretary or what-not.

So you have to deal with the "it's not fair" or "she got that job by sleeping with someone" or "who does she think she is?"

I noticed this with Palin, particularly in women over 50. She is viewed as a "show-off" or "only there because she is pretty."

It's very disheartening and I am at a loss as to how to combat it. Clinton gets the sympathy vote because of cheating Bill, and then you hear all this stuff like "all men act like that" and "good for her she got something for putting up with him."

There are days when I would gladly give up female voting rights if these dim bulbs wouldn't be able to vote. I worked with an older woman in the 80's who told me she voted for Clinton because he "talked so well and had wonderful hair." I hope God credits me with not throttling her on the spot.


As I understand it the R's are going to truncate the primary season and will have a candidate pretty much lined up before the D's haul out Hillary.

I'm not sure these tactics are going to work against any D candidate. And I'm unconvinced Hillary will be that person.


Just pick the strongest team without regard to race, etc.

I agree, jimmyk. And I don't see Martinez as qualifying for the strongest team.


I totally get what you're saying. I haven't really ever said this out loud but I wouldn't be a tiny bit surprised if Palin didn't need those glasses at all and only wears them to tone down her good looks.


Happy birthday, Sarah Palin!
"In fact, there is no other living politician who's views are more closely aligned with mine, than the Sarah's."

My thoughts exactly!

Gov Walker is currently in a strong second place.


Palin didn't need those glasses at all and only wears them to tone down her good looks.

If so it kind of backfired, as they produced that 'sexy librarian' look that can be particularly, um, provocative.

Miss M, I've heard enough stories like that from other women that there's got to be some truth to it.


Well she doesn't appear to be squinting here;



Define 'strongest team' of POTUS candidates.


My point is only that the case for 'strongest' should not include the person's race, sex, ethnicity, etc. It should include values, principles, executive experience, voting record, etc.

Walker-Cruz looks good to me, but it's too early. We need to see a campaign. glasater's comment about a truncated primary seasons is a bit scary, though it should be shorter than it was in 2012. But if it's to have a coronation while avoiding any real battle, that's a mistake.


Definition of strongest = most likely to win. Can't do anything unless you win.

Cruz VP is like Deathwish, except, it's not a 1970s movie with Charles Bronson.


I saw 'Cruz for President' signs in a few places in our small community when he was filibustering.

My reason for liking Cruz for VP is he's articulate as can be and can fire up those voters who sat on their hands in 2012.

If we keep thinking like conservatives who live in the NE (ex., NK) of the country we will never win the WH.

miss Marple

I know this will be unpopular, but I feel compelled to tell you guys that while I agree with a great many of his opinions, I do not like Ted Cruz very much.

I find him to be a bit too consumed with his own intelligence and speaking skills. Also he needs a new haircut.

This is simply a visceral reaction, but I offer it here to caution people about putting their eggs in his basket.


I think he's already changing his speaking voice, MM. Not so much 'nasal' to my ears :-)

miss Marple

glasatar, that is a sign he is running and a sign he is smart. I always thought Palin should have had a voice coach.

It will take more than that, though. He is going to have to switch his obvious contempt of the democrats into earnest disagreement. He will have to avoid sounding snarky to opponents, particularly women.

People who are skilled in debating sometimes get too full of themselves, which I think he is. He needs some humility.


>>>Rich, an odd sort of price control that makes it more expensive.<<<

aren't there min and max price controls? it would be better stated as a price fixing scheme.

in re: the cbo report was thinking that it was just restating Say's Law (production is the source of demand).


Miss M, I don't necessarily disagree with what you say about Cruz, or at least I recognize that he has that effect on people. That's one of many reasons I have him as VP, not leading the ticket. VP candidates don't need to be so polished or polite. In fact they really don't matter that much, except perhaps to elevate someone to national prominence and a potential future presidency.

Account Deleted


I believe Say's Law gets to sit next to Okun's Law (and most other macro fantasies) pending restoration of confidence and diminution of uncertainty. The last time deflation clobbered the economy it took about twelve years, a world war and a baby boom to stagger back to something to which the term equilibrium could be applied.

Watching the Fed balance a $4T OPM balloon on its nose just isn't enough, even with the TBTFs performing magic market levitation tricks in the other rings.


Sen. Ted Cruz is the real thing and anyone who thinks he is too full of himself simply needs to find out a little more about him before jumping to those type of conclusions. He's truly a brilliant man who simply may have a little more bravado then some people like. And I say that with all due respect to those who differ with me.


Doesn't seem Barry or BillyJeff were too hurt by their certain lack of humility.


To paraphrase Rumsfeld, they think they know what they don't know,



The Ross Douthat piece struck me in in more than a couple of ways.

First, it had the feel of the Star Trek: Next Generation episode when the crew defrosted a bunch of folks from the 21st century, only to inform them that the persuit of money had no value any more. I noticed that this theme was never again used in any Star Trek episode across all of the franchises.
It must have raised more questions than could be answered, like .. why would anybody be a "serf" in such an enlightened age ? Who would want a dangerous task ? Why wouldn't they all want to be Captain of a Star Fleet vessel ?

On the conservative side, things are somewhat clearer. There are libertarians who like the basic income idea, but only as a substitute for the existing welfare state, not as a new expansion. Both “rugged individualist” right-wingers and more communitarian conservatives tend to see work as essential to dignity, mobility and social equality, and see its decline as something to be fiercely resisted.

... this brings me to the second point, on the conservative side, things are somewhat clearer. Who would be able to survive a Zombie Apocalypse ?
In the such an event, the Progressive bastions, the cities, who look like "World War Z." None of them would survive.

Lastly, Douthat thinks we live in a 'post-scarcity society.' Isn't the whole underlying political point of AGW that oil is scare ? .. notice that in the AGW mindset of politicians, it isn't that carbon is completely bad, it's that fossil fuels aren't renewable.
'Post-scarcity society' fits in the Obama-esque world that is also post-partisan and post-racial ... these fit so well in the world with unicorns.
Which world that is ? .. I have no idea.


the deus ex machina, they came up, with First Contact, Neo, was that the Vulcans imposed this society, upon the earth, since they had gone through a similar nuclear exchange, which in the original series was somehere in the 2020s,
they moved to around 2060, in the new standard chronologies

Tom Bowler

If memory serves, when supply drops it is represented on the graph as a leftward shift of the entire supply curve. If demand remains constant than the leftward shift of the upward sloping supply curve moves the intersection point (equilibrium price) upward on the downward sloping demand curve. That's the theory, anyway.

If demand falls, as you say TM, then both supply and demand curves move leftward together with the equilibrium point staying roughly the same relative to the price axis, but moving lower on the quantity demanded axis. Fewer jobs offered, fewer people working.

And as we all know, that's what moving left always does for us.


Damned straight on the Palin eye glass thing JimmyK

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