Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What Decade Is It?

I'm still pondering the Depression of 1920-21 and its aftermath.

It's difficult to find hard data on the peiod.  Beareau of Labor Statistics information only goes back to the 40's.

Anecdotal information from J and Tux about the 20's are consistent with the same kind of top-only "recovery" we have experience over the last decade.  For a while, I though that 2000 was a 1929 equivalent, and that the stock market rebound of the last 12 months was something like the ups and downs of the 30's.  My feeling has been that we are about to fall into the second depression leg, a la 1938.

Analogies are never perfect, but now I wonder if 2000 wasn't like 1919, and the Bush years weren't the roaring twenties, but with better record keeping.  The recent recovery, such as it was (or might it have been a sham?) was jobless.  Income and wealth disparity have continued to rise over the last decade.  That was they way in went it the 20's, but was not the main thrust of the 30's, as regulations were put into place.

Nothing in the last several years has happened to dampen my pessimism.  What is the best analogy for today?  Is it 1929 or 1937?

Or do I have this all completely wrong, and recovery is a shiny package waiting on the door step?  If this is true, please convince me so I can stop worrying about my grandchildren.

Meanwhile, idiots like John Kyl spew this kind of dreck. (Emphasis added.)

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) did not join Bunning's effort, but he defended his colleague's point of view. Kyl told the Senate he questioned why anyone would see unemployment benefits as helpful to the economy, or to the job market.

"If anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work," Kyl said. "I am sure most of them would like work and probably have tried to seek it, but you can't argue it is a job enhancer."
Andrew Stettner, deputy director of the National Employment Law Center, says there's a good reason people are out of work for so long. There are six unemployed Americans for every available job, he said.

In other words, according to Kyl, unemployment is a nice cushy vacation, so why would these new welfare queens go back to work?   As Mark Thoma puts it:

Conservatives whine about everything, and the noise they make is often quite disconnected from the importance of the problem, so the mere fact that they are making noise doesn't say much. The real problem is those who refused to give the help that was needed, people like Jon Kyl. The people sitting at home jobless as a consequence of this failure, people just trying to get by until there are jobs again, are not the ones to blame.



BadTux said...

My advice: Call Senator Kyle's office and say that you want a job and you heard that Senator Kyle said that there are jobs for every American who wants one, so you want Senator Kyle to tell you where one of those jobs are so you can get a job. When the staffer stammers and halts and staggers and says, "Call your local unemployment office", insist that Senator Kyle himself tell you where one of those jobs are, since Senator Kyle says that there are jobs for all the unemployed. When the staffer says that it doesn't work that way, gripe, "what, you mean Senator Kyle was just making things up about there being jobs? He was lying to me?" and see what happens.

Yeah, I know, you're officially retired, but being a rabble-rouser is part of being retired, right? :).

- Badtux the Troublemaking Penguin

Jazzbumpa said...

Great idea. I'd do it if I weren't so busy . . .