Talk About A Snow Job

Presidential adviser Larry Summers is saying that we need to look past the next set of job numbers because unemployment will be affected by the blizzards we had in February. He said the construction industry would be hit particularly hard. Right.

It seems to me that the snowstorms would not cause unemployment. It just does not sound correct that the number of jobless would go up. Workers might have been told to stay home (like they did all week in DC) but I can’t imagine that bosses said “Well, blizzard, you are all laid off. No, it is more likely that they stayed home without pay or were allowed to use vacation time to get a paycheck.

This is a snow job and it is designed to soften the blow if the jobs numbers are worse than expected. And keep in mind, with this administration everything is not what they expected. Every bit of news is reported as [some statistic] not what expected. Jobless claims not what expected, GDP rises more than expected. They are always caught off guard.

In any event, if the numbers are bad the snow will be blamed and if they turn out to be better Summers will claim they are actually pretty good because people lost jobs because of the blizzards.

So here is the deal. I want Larry Summers to tell us all right now that we need to dismiss the increases in jobs that will happen starting now and working through at least March and April.

During this time the government will be bringing on several hundred thousand people to annoy those of us who do not completely fill out the Census form. So there will be a bunch of people who get paid to come to our houses and ask us the questions we refused to answer in the first place.

It will be a total waste of money to send a census worker here so why waste the money?

Anyway, these jobs will be temporary and provide a boost and I want Summers to let us know now that we will need to look past them.

Want to bet he never mentions it and they take credit for any bump?

What a snow job. The best thing the blizzards did was keep politicians out of DC. We were safer for the entire time.

Big Dog

Gunline

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26 Responses to “Talk About A Snow Job”

  1. Adam says:

    “In any event, if the numbers are bad the snow will be blamed and if they turn out to be better Summers will claim they are actually pretty good because people lost jobs because of the blizzards.”

    Summers is correct though so if he says either thing it will be true.

    “It seems to me that the snowstorms would not cause unemployment. It just does not sound correct that the number of jobless would go up.”

    First of all you’re forgetting that multiple sectors are still shedding jobs while others are creating them. To get good job numbers in the current conditions you need to have more jobs created than lost because the losses are still pretty bad. When you disrupt the jobs created then the jobs lost will seem even worse.

    Second, you’re thinking on basis of folks working already but not about those who would have been hired. The east coast has lost millions in revenue in multiple job sectors due to the weather. That has had (dare I say) a snow ball affect in preventing companies from expanding.

    There are about a 100 million or so residents in our region affected by the storms. If just a couple of thousand people are not hired because companies can’t afford to expand then you no longer have the positive job numbers you thought you would have.

    There are inevitably businesses that thrive in the bad weather but this is dampened by crappy retail sales and construction numbers that drive the economy much more than ski resorts and liquor stores.

  2. Mike Radigan says:

    Adam said, “To get good job numbers in the current conditions you need to have more jobs created than lost…”

    Not what you stated in this older topic where you argued that if job losses were just slowing it was good:

    http://www.onebigdog.net/pelosi-pounds-president-on-jobs/

    BTW Adam, you never responded to Darrel in that same topic where he called your example silly. Of course, Darrel first thought it was my example not yours. Oops!

    Adam said, “Or let’s say it’s been 20 below zero and the temperature rises to 5 below zero. Is it still getting cold, just much slower?”

    Darrel said, “DAR Okay, let’s go with your silly temperature example. I say silly because, why do we need an “example?” Are we to believe that you can’t understand a job situation improving when less jobs are lost than the month before? Really?”

    • Adam says:

      “Not what you stated in this older topic where you argued that if job losses were just slowing it was good”

      Neither myself nor Darrel ever said the job situation was perfect. We were both simply arguing that it had improved dramatically. The argument is as simple as saying that losing 69,000 a month is better than losing 691,000. Of course you can’t admit that for some reason and prefer to go in circles on it.

      Now as for my statement today the fact is that to keep improving we will need to add more jobs than we lost because we are so close to the zero point for the last few months. It’s not that complicated and nothing I’m saying contradicts anything I’ve said in the past.

      “BTW Adam, you never responded to Darrel in that same topic where he called your example silly. Of course, Darrel first thought it was my example not yours. Oops!”

      What is there to respond to? Darrel and I were on the same page and the example he cited was me giving you a faulty example based on your logic and not him arguing against a point I made. Again, it’s really not that complicated.

      • Mike Radigan says:

        It’s amazing that the ONLY time you two have EVER disagreed with each other was the lone case when Darrel thought it was me. What are the chances?

      • Darrel says:

        I was going to explain this to Mike but I see you did already. Nice.
        Mike thinks that because I attacked an example I mistakenly thought he used, that this translates into me mistakenly attacking Adam. Not so. The temperature example would be a silly one for Mike to use, but not for Adam to use (although I thought it unnecessary), because you were both arguing for different things.

        D.
        ————-
        The chart in question.

        Down is bad, up is good, way up is better.

      • Adam says:

        Mike believes that Darrel only attacks to attack and not because he has facts to back it up. When Darrell attacked my point when he thought it was Mike’s point then it proves that.

        Of course Darrel was only attacking a point I made in jest to show the failure of Mike’s logic so we really have to question Mike’s reading comprehension skills at this point.

        Mike’s not the only one who has accused Darrel of that but there are a lot of conservatives on this site that work outside the bounds of logic and verifiable information so it makes sense that they would assume Darrel is doing that as well.

        • Mike Radigan says:

          Again, what are the chances that this is the only time he disagreed with you?

          And as far as my original point, how’s this for a chart that shows total job losses not the slowing of job losses?

          http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Decade-NFP-.jpg

        • Adam says:

          Darrel has disagreed with me before anyway. We agree more on some things than others so I don’t really get your point.

          But do you really need to have any point or do you just want to go in circles and waste our time again obfuscating one of the most simple arguments imaginable again today like you have done other days?

        • Adam says:

          As for your chart you are the only one saying we were saying the jobs outlook was perfect. It’s not. It’s bad, the losses are deep, and it’s far from recovered. Yet it is getting better and has been for months.

        • Mike Radigan says:

          Adam said, “Darrel has disagreed with me before anyway.”

          Example?

          Adam said, “But do you really need to have any point or do you just want to go in circles and waste our time again obfuscating one of the most simple arguments imaginable again today like you have done other days?”

          You’re right. No point in going on as you’ll never understand that slowing job loss is not good. It doesn’t get good until there is job gain. And didn’t President Obama state that unemployment would peak at 8% if the stimulus was passed? Just askin’.

        • Darrel says:

          MIKE: “No point in going on as you’ll never understand that slowing job loss is not good.”>>

          DAR
          Slowing job losses is not good? No, I will never understand that because it’s wrong. Slowing job losses is certainly good when compared to increasing job losses.

          You studiously avoided answering some very simple questions about that chart that would have helped you out.

          Hey Mike, in this chart, which is better, when the bar goes up or down? (answer: up is better)

          Do you notice a trend line in the chart? I think you do. Is it better when it trends upward or downward? (answer: better when it trends up)

          Regarding disagreeing with Adam, if he’s wrong about something I wouldn’t hesitate to disagree with him. And I hope he’ll return the favor.

          D.

        • Mike Radigan says:

          Dar:

          Hey Mike, in this chart, which is better, when the bar goes up or down? (answer: up is better)

          Better is a relative term. Up is better than the previous month’s loss, but still bad if it showing job loss increasing, worse in totality.

          http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Decade-NFP-.jpg

        • Mike Radigan says:

          BTW Darrel, your chart only shows up in 3 months on of which one is the very first month charted. The other two are two of the last three. And even those totaled would be down. I agree with you that up is good, but less down is still down not up.

        • Darrel says:

          MIKE: “I agree with you that up is good.”>>

          DAR
          Excellent. And good to see you using quotation marks.

          Verbatim flashback to our exchange in the original thread:

          ***
          DAR
          “Down is bad, up is good. Amazing.”

          MIKE: “No its not.”

        • Mike Radigan says:

          DAR said, “Down is bad, up is good. Amazing.”

          MIKE said,” “No its not.”

          When I disagree with your statement above it’s because I disagree with what is up. Less down is not up. As I pointed out only 3 elements are up, one at the beginning and 2 of the last 3 which totaled are still down. Less down is NOT up. Your x axis is 0. Any element going down from the x axis is negative (down) and bad. Any element going up from the x axis is positive (up) and good.

        • Mike Radigan says:

          Actually the last element is down also. It’s just very close to zero it’s hard to tell. So you really only have two up elements. The beginning one and November. All the rest are down. You do agree 0 is the x axis? And, if so, then anything below the x axis is DOWN.

          http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b6c5ff6000000000042f5ed/chart-of-the-day-jobs-lost-in-the-bush-and-obama-administrations.gif

        • Darrel says:

          MIKE: “You do agree 0 is the x axis?”>>

          DAR
          Ignore the 0. I am, and was, speaking of the trend. Months on the chart are to be compared with each other not some ideal months not on the chart. Up is good, down is bad.

          D.
          ————-
          Mike Radigan says:
          Wednesday Mar 3rd, 2010 at 09:13

          “I agree with you that up is good…”

          Moving on…

        • Mike Radigan says:

          Well if anything Darrel is stubborn. Just ignore the x-axis. Right! Using your logic, Darrel, an elevator slowing while descending is going up. Really?

        • Darrel says:

          MIKE: “…an elevator slowing while descending is going up. Really?>>

          DAR
          You still want to pretend you don’t understand that up is good and down is bad even after you’ve already admitted that up is good and down is bad. Apparently you’d rather play word games than make sense. Boring.

          It’s a beautiful chart really, and very easy to understand. I bet if it didn’t have Obama’s name on the months heading upward you suddenly wouldn’t have any trouble whatsoever understanding that when one month is lower than the previous, this is a bad thing, and when one month is is higher than the previous, this is a good thing.

          D.

        • Mike Radigan says:

          The job loss is not decreasing (moving up) unless it is above the x axis. What you call up is still down just at a slower rate.

          Darrel’s get rich scheme. Tune 15 pianos a week. Then have one bad week where you lose 5 customers. But after that it is all good. Lose only 4 the next week, then 3, then 2, then 1. It’s all good.

          Darrel, the net jobs change is still a loss just at a slower rate. Let me ask you a question. For each element below the x axis are jobs gained or lost?

        • Darrel says:

          MIKE: “What you call up is still down just at a slower rate.”>>

          DAR
          Right, and considering the alternative and the other months in question (down, increasing rate of loss) this is a “good” thing when the line goes up, as you already admitted.

          Mike: “For each element below the x axis are jobs gained or lost?>>

          DAR
          Oh, if you want to move the goal posts over there now, lost of course. But this is, as you know (and have already admitted), completely irrelevant to my rather mundane observation that “up is good and down is bad” on the chart in question.

          Keep digging.

          D.

        • Mike Radigan says:

          This is about my last comment on this topic as you just don’t understand basic math.

          First, here’s your chart link (just the chart – no point linking your message board topic).

          http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b6c5ff6000000000042f5ed/chart-of-the-day-jobs-lost-in-the-bush-and-obama-administrations.gif

          Each element in YOUR graph displays the net change made for a particular month If more jobs for a month are gained than lost then the element graphs up from the x axis that amount. Example: say 7 jobs are gained and 3 are lost. Then the element would indeed graph up – in this case 4 above the x axis. Now if 3 jobs were gained while 7 were lost then the element would graph DOWN 4. And that is exactly what YOUR graph shows, except for 2 months, a net loss (DOWN). 3 minus 7 is a minus 4 not a plus 4 and it graphs DOWN not up. We can argue all day the reasons for the job loss and who to blame it on, but that is not the case with math. You cannot ignore the x – axis. Any element ending below the x axis is a net job loss for that month and is DOWN. That’s how math works and if you don’t get that then you are dumb at math. You cannot get two interpretations of it. There is only one right. And you are wrong. Show me on this graph how graphing below the x axis is up and I’ll donate $100 to the DNC. You have to do nothing in return, but my money is safe. In summary 3 minus 7 is a negative 4 and graphs DOWN not up. Up is good when it is, in fact, up. That’s just not the case with your graph.

  3. Adam says:

    “Example?”

    I tried to find one specific one I had in mind but I can’t. Maybe Darrel can waste time trying to find one. I don’t see your point anyway.

    “You’re right. No point in going on as you’ll never understand that slowing job loss is not good.”

    I guess you missed the part where I wrote “It’s bad, the losses are deep, and it’s far from recovered. Yet it is getting better and has been for months.” Again with the reading comprehension fail?

    “And didn’t President Obama state that unemployment would peak at 8% if the stimulus was passed?”

    So what does that imply then since it is higher than 8% now?

    • Big Dog says:

      It is only logical that if we were losing 600k jobs a month that we would have to eventually get to a point where we were losing fewer. We could not keep up that pace no matter who is in charge. It simply could not happen and we had to get to a point where people were losing jobs but not as many. This is simple math and has nothing to do with the stimulus. If we did nothing we would get to a point where fewer jobs each month were lost.

      We have had a number of crippling snowstorms and unemployment did not go up. So if they were going to hire they can do it a week later. People did not go to work and were not paid (some of us worked every day) but they did not lose their jobs.

      You can bet though, the administration will take credit for the census workers that take temporary jobs…

  4. Big Dog says:

    Hey Mike, the problem here is that these guys have defined “less down” as up…