The April jobs report shows continued slow growth, bought at great cost

Summary:  The news media focuses on the month-to-month changes in the jobs report, which consist mostly of noise. Strong months confirm the optimists; weak months confirm the pessimists. In fact the trend of growth remains the real story, with the US economy near stall speed -- supported only (like the other developed nations) by massive multi-year fiscal and … Continue reading The April jobs report shows continued slow growth, bought at great cost

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The March jobs report shows continued slow growth, bought at great cost

Summary:  The news media focuses on the month-to-month changes in the jobs report, which consist mostly of noise. Strong months confirm the optimists; weak months confirm the pessimists. The trend of growth remains the real story, with the US economy near stall speed -- supported only (like the other developed nations) by massive multi-year fiscal and monetary stimulus. … Continue reading The March jobs report shows continued slow growth, bought at great cost

Cacophony about Social Security shows our real political dysfunctionality

Summary: Here we have a wonderful example of the cacophony that takes the place of political debate in the New America, in this case about Social Security. It's one of the simpler issues facing us: a moderately predictable and fully controllable stream of benefits vs. government revenue -- mostly income taxes; some graduated ("income taxes") … Continue reading Cacophony about Social Security shows our real political dysfunctionality

Portraits of a nation in decline. An unnecessary and easily fixed decline.

Summary:  Many important stories can be told simply, sometimes even in pictures. So it is with one aspect of America's decline. Our decisions and the results are easily shown in this post. Fortunately we hold elections every two years, should we wish to organize and change the direction of America's public policy -- and put … Continue reading Portraits of a nation in decline. An unnecessary and easily fixed decline.

Another way to look at the national debt. More comforting, less scary.

Summary:   Today we have one example from the flow of comforting words about the government's deficits. While pleasant reading, written by a knowledgeable expert, it does not withstand close scrutiny. One of the great oddities of history is why nations adopt policies that were so obviously doomed to failure, or even disaster. It's a long … Continue reading Another way to look at the national debt. More comforting, less scary.

Let’s watch a great nation’s wealth burn away

Summary:   Part of our year-end national festivities should be looking at the deterioration of the Federal government's finances. Especially since the resolution of the fiscal cliff follies shows that neither party in fact cares.  There are few deficit fighters, mostly arsonists.  As for spending our money, it's burnt for political profit and private gain. Here … Continue reading Let’s watch a great nation’s wealth burn away

About the October jobs report: new jobs, bought at great cost

Summary:  Most people focus on the month-to-month changes in the jobs report, which consists mostly of noise (recently unpleasant noise).  The year-to-date and 12-month changes are more reliable, but miss the current trends.  Here we look at the change during the past two months. We remain in a slow recovery, somewhat faster than in 2010.  Enjoy this progress, as … Continue reading About the October jobs report: new jobs, bought at great cost