Back over 300k.
Jobless claims increased by 21,000 to 313,000 in the week ended Nov. 22, the highest since early September, from 292,000 in the prior period, the Labor Department reported today in Washington.
The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 17,000 to 2.32 million in the week ended Nov. 15, the fewest since December 2000.
In that same period, the unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits fell to 1.7 percent, the lowest since November 2000, from 1.8 percent the prior week, the report showed.
In other news, Bloomberg’s experts blew it again.
Taxes are the price of living in a civilized society. State governments have turned to casinos because politicians are too gutless to be honest about taxes, so they resort to trickery:
“Casinos will solve everything,” they say. “Casinos are easy money, not like taxes. Taxes are hard.”
It’s not working out so well. Atlantic City is becoming a wasteland and, increasingly, new casinos, like new sports palaces, don’t live up to developers’ projections. Werner Herzog’s Bear considers why; here’s a bit of the considering:
That phenomenon attests to the neoliberal system that has been erected in the last three decades in this country. State-level politicians try to do everything they can to spare the rich form any sort of tax burden, so cigarettes and gambling become an easy target for revenue, even though they are highly regressive in who they take money from. It’s also interesting that the paragon poster-child of capitalist bad taste is Donald Trump, who rose to prominence with his casinos in Atlantic City. In the same decades that casino gambling has grown and grown, so has the biggest casino of them all: Wall Street.
Casino gambling, like most promises of easy money, is a mug’s game. It’s a mug’s game for the gambler and for the polity. The house always wins; the reverse of that is that, ultimately, the gambler and the polity are always fleeced.
Recent archaeological findings suggest that an essential feature of every Babylonian office was the Nebucadenza.
Jim Wright expects the next years to be painful, but he finds some cause for optimism. A snippet:
What I’m saying here is that last time Republicans were in charge? Think back, what happened? What did we get?
Yeah, we got America’s first black liberal president.
In a landslide.
You owe it to yourself to follow the link and read the rest of the post.
Ever wonder what happens when they get their way?
The four-week average of jobless claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, dropped to 281,000, the lowest since May 2000, from 284,000 the week before, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The reading for the week ended Oct. 18 climbed by 17,000 to 283,000, in line with the median forecast of 52 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
More surprising than the improved numbers is that Bloomberg’s experts got it right. Think I’ll run out and buy that lottery ticket today.
Lowest since just after President George the Worst started his war on workers.
The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment aid fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 264,000, the lowest level since April 2000.
The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, dropped 4,250 to 283,500, the lowest level since June 2000.
One quality that Playboy and Reader’s Digest share is this: You can pick up an old issue of either and always find something to read.
I did that last week and discovered an excellent article in the June 2012 issue of Playboy by Tim Schultz entitled “These Rogues Of The Dismal Science Have Been Vindicated By The Economic Crash. How Much Longer Can Mainstream Economists Ignore The Heterodox?”
The thumbnail version is this: “Neoclassical” economists, the dominant school these days, believe that persons always act in rational ways* and that, consequently, economic behavior and outcomes can be predicted with the use of computer models. As a result of their touching faith in human rationality, neoclassical economists are constantly getting stuff wrong, such as the string of bubbles we have witnessed in the last three decades.
“Heterodox” economists, very much a minority, believe that human economic behavior is subject human qualities, such as greed, pride, predatory behavior, and so on. In other words, they tend to view economics much more as a social science, akin to sociology or psychology, than as a hard science, similar as physics. (You can guess to which view I am partial.)
I have not found the article available on-line without a subscription, but you can read about it at Alternet. I urge you to do so.
*Clearly, none of them drive cars or pay attention to the roads.