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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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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30 March 2016 · Comments Off on Twits on Twitter · Categories: Health Care, Political Economy

Twits with benefits.

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

Still not bad; it would be better if the jobs were better jobs (emphasis added):

Initial jobless claims increased by 6,000 to 265,000 in the period ended March 19, a Labor Department report showed Thursday.

(snip)

Initial filings have been below 300,000 for 55 weeks, the longest stretch since 1973 and a level economists say is consistent with a healthy labor market.

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, was little changed at 259,750 compared with 259,500 in the prior week. . . .

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits declined by 39,000 to 2.18 million in the week ended March 12. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.6 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

English is a language of word order. The order of words matters.

Bloomberg’s headline emphasizes that the rise was less than forecast. Why does it not say that their forecasts were higher than the reality?

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22 March 2016 · Comments Off on How Stuff Works, Trickle-On Economics Dept. · Categories: Mammon, Political Economy

Via Raw Story.

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

Still under 300k, still not terrible.

Initial jobless claims climbed by 7,000 to 265,000 in the week ended March 12, a report from the Labor Department showed on Thursday.

(snip)

The four-week moving average of claims, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, rose to 268,000 from 267,250. . . .

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits rose by 8,000 to 2.24 million in the week ended March 5.

Bloomberg’s headline asserts that Jobless Claims in U.S. Climbed Less Than Forecast Last Week. A more accurate rendition would be Jobless Claims in U.S. Climbed Less Than Bloomberg Forecast Last Week.

In reference to Bloomberg’s forecasts of the unemployment rate, if Bloomberg tells you to bet on Teabiscuit in the ninth at Belmont, don’t be surprised if Teabiscuit comes in seventh in a field of five.

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11 March 2016 · Comments Off on Babbling Brooks · Categories: Political Economy

At MarketWatch, Darrell Delamaide skewers David Brooks’s fantastickal ramblings about the American Dream.

It defies excerpt or summary. Just read it.

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

Still not terrible.

Jobless claims dropped by 18,000 to 259,000 in the week ended March 5, the fewest since mid-October, from a revised 277,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, declined to 267,500 from 270,000 in the prior week.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 32,000 to 2.23 million in the week ended Feb. 27.

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05 March 2016 · Comments Off on How Stuff Works: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Con · Categories: Political Economy

Chris Busby gives an example:

My favorite is the Maine State Pier. Almost 10 years ago, city officials declared that the publicly owned pier was in such rough structural shape that Portlanders could never afford to fix it. Ipso facto, we need to allow private developers to lease the pier for, say, a century, and they’ll replace the rotting pilings for us in exchange for the favor of allowing them to build luxury office space, a hotel, restaurants and other amenities for tourists there.

Of course, the pier wouldn’t have been in bad shape to begin with had those same city officials done their jobs and maintained the waterfront infrastructure for which they are responsible.

Follow the link for more.

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25 February 2016 · Comments Off on Giving Government the Business · Categories: Political Economy

Pictured:  Drummer and captain of Roman galley looking out on only two galley slaves.  Drummer says,

Click for a larger image.

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25 February 2016 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Still not bad.

Jobless claims increased by 10,000 to 272,000 in the week ended Feb. 20, a report from the Labor Department showed on Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly claims numbers, decreased to 272,000 last week, the lowest since mid-December, from 273,250.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 19,000 to 2.25 million in the week ended Feb. 13. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.7 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

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