It’s a con, perpetrated those who believe that there is no such thing as the public good.

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Better, and still nicely under 300k.

Initial applications for unemployment benefits dropped by 10,000 to 268,000 in the week ended May 21, a report from the Labor Department showed Thursday. The median forecast of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected 275,000 claims.
(snip)

Economists’ estimates in the Bloomberg survey for weekly jobless claims ranged from 270,000 to 297,000. The previous week’s figure was unrevised at 278,000.

Wyoming estimated data last week and otherwise there was nothing unusual in the figures, according to the Labor Department.

The four-week moving average of claims, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, increased to 278,500 from 275,750.

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Holger Stark, Der Spiegel’s Washington Bureau chief, attempts to understand Trumpery. A snippet (emphasis added):

Trump, like Europe’s right-wing populists, is betting on aggressive nationalism as a response to this sense of victimhood and the complexities of globalization. At his campaign rallies, the seats shake when tens of thousands of fans collectively bellow their response to the question of who will pay for the border wall: “Mexico!” Trump’s supporters cheer when he threatens to punch protestors in the face. And they seem to have been waiting for someone to finally promise to deport — with force, if necessary –the 11 million illegal immigrants from Central and South America. By breaking social taboos, Trump’s appearances resemble the “rallies of fascist leaders who pantomimed the wishes of their followers and let them fill in the text,” Jeffrey Herf, a political science professor at the University of Maryland and expert on Nazi Germany, recently wrote in the American Interest magazine.

This aggressive nationalism is paired with an absurd authoritarianism. Indeed, there is something operatic about Trump promising his voters that after he wins the election, his first official act will be to call the CEO of Ford and force him to move his auto plants from Mexico back to the United States within 48 hours — not to mention his vow to force Apple to stop making iPhones in China. But Trump’s words have made an impact.

Follow the link; you may consider this a required reading assignment.

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19 May 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Somewhat better.

Applications dropped by 16,000 in the week ended May 14, the biggest decrease since early February, to 278,000, a Labor Department report showed Thursday.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, rose to a seasonally adjusted 275,750 from 268,250 in the prior week.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits decreased by 13,000 to 2.15 million in the week ended May 7.

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12 May 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Not great, but still under 300k.

Initial jobless claims rose by 20,000 to 294,000 in the week ended May 7, a report from the Labor Department showed Thursday.

(snip)

The four-week moving average of claims, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, increased to 268,250 from 258,000.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits rose by 37,000 in the week ended April 30, the biggest increase since the end of November, to 2.16 million.

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11 May 2016 · Comments Off on Gerry Mander, and His Entire Staff · Categories: Political Economy

Then:  Founding Father says,

Afterthought:

Of course, the cartoonist seems to ignore that Elbridge Gerry was a “founding father.” There’s nothing new about gerrymandering. What’s new is the efficiency: the confluence of computers and cravenness combine, concentrating its consequences.

Via Job’s Anger.

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05 May 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Still nicely under 300k.

Jobless claims rose by 17,000 to 274,000 in the week ended April 30, a Labor Department report showed Thursday.

(snip)

The four-week average of jobless claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, rose to 258,000 from 256,000 in the prior week. Filings have been below 300,000 for 61 weeks — the longest stretch since 1973 and a level economists say is consistent with a healthy labor market.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 8,000 to 2.12 million in the week ended April 23, the lowest level since November 2000.

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02 May 2016 · Comments Off on A Picture Is Worth: Trickle On Economics · Categories: Mammon, Political Economy, Republican Hypocrisy

Chart showing how Republican policies since 1980 have favored the rich and punished the lover and middle classes.

Via Job’s Anger, which points out that

They (Republicans–ed.) imposed a system that tilted the economic playing field to favor the rich (and the corporations). They told Americans that giving more to the rich would benefit everyone, because much of that extra money going to the rich would trickle down to everyone else in the country. But that didn’t happen. They rich got richer, and everyone else got poorer (thanks to stagnant wages and rising inflation).

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30 April 2016 · Comments Off on “The Dismal Science” · Categories: Political Economy

Harry Shearer interviews economist James Galbraith. Follow the link to listen; you’ll be smarter for it (the interview starts at about the 14 minute mark).

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28 April 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Still not bad.

Initial applications for unemployment benefits climbed by 9,000 to 257,000 in the week ended April 23, a report from the Labor Department showed Thursday in Washington. The prior week’s revised 248,000 claims were the fewest since 1973.

(snip)

The four-week moving average of claims, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, decreased to 256,000, the lowest since December 1973, from 260,750.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 5,000 to 2.13 million in the week ended April 16, the fewest since November 2000. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.6 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

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26 April 2016 · Comments Off on Trickle On Economics: The Toll · Categories: Political Economy

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24 April 2016 · Comments Off on The Rights Balance · Categories: Gunnuttery, Political Economy

In NRA Paradise, the “rights” of ammosexuals to play with their ammosexual appendages trump all other rights, but there are worms–nay, wormwood–in the NRA apple. Bruce Greenspun writes eloquently at the Las Vegas Sun. A snippet.

Gay rights, women’s rights, rights of individuals to be free to pursue their dreams and the rights of all Americans to eat where they wish, stay where they wish and marry whom they choose are all important, and the evolution of those rights is indicative of an advancing civilization.

But none of those, I submit, is as precious as the right of a young child to be able to grow up free from the constant fear of being shot to death on the schoolyard, in the classroom, in a movie theater, in a church parking lot or anywhere else that has long been a violence-free zone in America. Until recently.

I am certain I am not the only grandfather or father who fears the phone call that says the school where a grandchild or child attends is on lockdown because some crazy person with an assault rifle or machine gun or whatever else he could get his hands on is shooting up the place.

Just read it.

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21 April 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Still not bad.

New applications for unemployment benefits fell by 6,000 to 247,000 in the week ended April 16, data from the Labor Department showed Thursday.

(snip)

The four-week moving average of claims, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, decreased to 260,500 from 265,000.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 39,000 to 2.14 million in the week ended April 9, the fewest since November 2000. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.6 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

The story says this is the best report since 1973, the year I entered the workforce.

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16 April 2016 · Comments Off on Deduct This! · Categories: Political Economy

Warning: Taste (Very Little)

Moved below the fold because it autoplays on some systems.

(Parenthetical Remark: Autoplaying is evil. It is more evil than HTML email.

I am looking for a pattern, but have not found it. I can’t blame it on Windows, as it occurs on Linux also. These pestilences autoplay on some Linux distros and not on others, in some browsers and not in others, and I have not isolated a pattern.

Eventually, though, I shall track down the trouble and I shall shoot it. Troubleshooting is what I do.

By the by, if you catch something autoplaying, email me from the link over there on the sidebar
————>
and I shall push it below the fold.)

More »

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16 April 2016 · Comments Off on Solidarity Reimagined · Categories: Mammon, Political Economy

One day those who have been seduced by the snaring economy will realize that they have been duped.

While they work for pittances, Silicon Valley reaps the premium and sucks them dry. It’s bubblelicious.

Three persons sitting at a bar.  One says,

I carried a union card for 24 years.

Shortly after I started at my first employer, my job became a union job and my pay went up because I was no longer without protection. (I won’t go into the technical details of why this happened–it had to do with “deferred agreements” and stuff like that there).

When I got promoted into a non-union job, I continued to pay my union dues and maintained my seniority as a fall-back. When the time came that I needed a fall-back (my whole office and all the persons in it in Wilmington, Delaware, got offed), it turned out that I didn’t need to exercise my seniority rights, as I fell back into another industry. Nevertheless, those rights were there and I could have used them to put bread on the table had the other opportunity not come along all on its ownsome.

I never had to avail myself directly of the union’s services, because the union had already fought to protect me; I benefited from the sacrifices of persons who were willing to die for workers’ rights. I appreciated those protections, and, the more I learned about labor law, the more I appreciated them. I appreciate them still.

The union made my life better.

“Right to work” laws are in truth “right not to get paid fairly” laws and are one of the most successful cons in American political and labor history.

Image via Juanita Jean.

Afterthought:

In the phrase, “everyone is an entrepreneur,” methinks “entrepreneur” is “exploited” misplet.

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14 April 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Still under 300k.

Jobless claims dropped by 13,000 to 253,000 in the week ended April 9, equaling the level in March that was the lowest since November 1973, a report from the Labor Department showed Thursday.

(snip)

The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly claims numbers, decreased to 265,000 last week from 266,500.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 18,000 to 2.17 million in the week ended April 2, the lowest since the period ended Oct. 17. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.6 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

The four-week average of continuing claims dropped to 2.18 million, the lowest since November 2000.

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07 April 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Not much change, but still under 300k.

Jobless claims dropped by 9,000 to 267,000 in the week ended April 2, a report from the Labor Department showed on Thursday.

(snip)

Economists’ estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 261,000 to 290,000. Applications in the prior week were unrevised at 276,000.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure than the weekly claims numbers, increased to 266,750 last week from 263,250.

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In the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Bruce Peterson, taking issue with a previous column (linked in his article), explains that a civilized society is, indeed, social.

No summary or excerpt can do his article justice. Just read it.

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03 April 2016 · Comments Off on Economics of Fail · Categories: Political Economy, Political Theatre

At The Roanoke Times, John Winfrey, Emeritus {rofessor of Economics and Public Policy, dissects Tea Bag economic mythology reasoning and exposes its internal contradictions. A snippet:

The second pillar of Tea Party ideology is equally irrational: A deep belief in the free market myth. Chapter One of Eco 101 begins with Adam Smith describing the virtues of competitive markets. Owners of firms and inputs are required by competition to be as efficient as possible. Each input is paid according to the value of its contribution (its marginal product) to the productive process. Thus competitive markets are both efficient and fair.

Unfortunately the Tea Party Ideologues seem oblivious that every Eco 101 text also has a Chapter Two.

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31 March 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

For all practical purposes, status quo ante.

Initial jobless claims increased by 11,000 to 276,000 in the week ended March 26, the highest since the end of January, a report from the Labor Department showed on Thursday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called filings to hold at 265,000.

(snip)

Jobless claims have been below 300,000, a level economists associate with a healthy labor market, for 56 consecutive weeks. That’s the longest since 1973. . . .

The four-week moving average of claims, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, increased to 263,250 from 259,750.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell 7,000 in the week ended March 19 to 2.17 million, the lowest level since mid-October.

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