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Showing Once Again That Denial Ain’t Just a River

8:59 am in Uncategorized by dakine01

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Nile River

Nile River by David Berkowitz

 

The Initial Unemployment Claims report for last week is out and guess what? The Economists are surprised. And water is wet and the sky is blue. From Reuters:

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, according to a report on Thursday that could reinforce fears the labor market recovery has stalled. 

Initial claims for state jobless benefits increased 1,000 to 427,000, the Labor Department said. However, economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dropping to 415,000 from a previously reported count of 422,000.

Note how the reporter managed to skim right over how the report from last week got revised upwards from 422K to 426K.

Point of fact however, this report is not even close to being the best example of Beltway Village IdiotsPundits and Courtiers the last couple of days. It may not even be in the top ten at this point.

Our first contender for the Cluelessness Award of the week goes to Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser (via Bloomberg):

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser warned of inflation pressures from record stimulus, while saying unemployment will probably fall to between 7 percent and 7.5 percent by the end of next year. 

…snip…

The economy will probably grow at a 3 percent to 3.5 percent rate for the rest of this year and next, and unemployment is likely to fall from a “disappointing” 9.1 percent level as of May to about 8.5 percent by December, Plosser said.

There appears to be no evidence of any of this, mind you. I am also wondering just where that “record stimulus” wound up as it sure as hell didn’t result in jobs that might have made that “disappointing” 9.1 percent unemployment rate a little less disappointing. If this speech by Plosser was meant to reinforce The Benbernank’s speech Tuesday in Atlanta, all it does is reinforce just how out-of-touch the Federal Reserve is with the reality faced by millions of Americans. USA Today has this article today pointing out that in order for inflation to be the big problem Plosser seems to see, you need rising wages. Nope, it seems only CEO wages are allowed to rise.
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Life in an Alternative Universe

2:24 pm in Economy, Jobs, Unemployment by dakine01

I am becoming more and more convinced that there are multiple parallel universes occupying life on this one planet we call Earth. It is seemingly the only even remotely rational explanation for the disconnect between the views of most people in the United States (and the World) versus the views of the Beltway Villagers, Media Courtiers, and the excessively affluent.

Friday’s NY Times presented the results of a poll of the “Nation’s Mood”:

Americans are more pessimistic about the nation’s economic outlook and overall direction than they have been at any time since President Obama’s first two months in office, when the country was still officially ensnared in the Great Recession, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Amid rising gas prices, stubborn unemployment and a cacophonous debate in Washington over the federal government’s ability to meet its future obligations, the poll presents stark evidence that the slow, if unsteady, gains in public confidence earlier this year that a recovery was under way are now all but gone.

Capturing what appears to be an abrupt change in attitude, the survey shows that the number of Americans who think the economy is getting worse has jumped 13 percentage points in just one month. Though there have been encouraging signs of renewed growth since last fall, many economists are having second thoughts, warning that the pace of expansion might not be fast enough to create significant numbers of new jobs.

So what are the Media Courtiers reporting on? The Washington Post had this report on the “Biden deficit task force”:

A congressional task force launched by President Obama last week to help cut the federal deficit is off to a rocky start, with some members complaining that the agenda is destined to provide political theater, not a sweeping rewrite of spending and tax policy.

Set to begin discussions May 5, members already hit a dispute this week, disagreeing over how many people should have seats at the table. Some are asking what’s the point of meeting at all.

“I’m at a loss to understand what the purpose is,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Thursday in an interview. He said Obama had not set a timeline for any decisions, although lawmakers from both parties are calling for some agreement on deficit reduction before the government reaches a limit in the coming months on how much money it can borrow.

We have 14M to 15M unemployed, roughly 25M to 30M un and underemployed combined, millions more who are now “self-employed/independent contractors” or who have just given up and when they become eligible, are taking early Social Security and politicians are arguing over how many people will be “at the table?” This shit reminds me of nothing so much as the stories of the early negotiations on the Korean War where supposedly they had to vote on the size of the fucking table used for the negotiations before they could actually negotiate an end to the fighting.
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