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Old 2012-12-09, 20:25   #683
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batalov View Post
I didn't find the pissing part! The one that Asner was being grilled for!
One of the comments:

@2:56 when the rich man is on the scales above the others, he's supposed to be pissing on them. This was cut after Fox news objected with their patented manufactured outrage. I think it should be put back in.


As usual - and analogously with the healthcare-related "debate" - both major parties are engaging in faux-class-warfare games and studiously avoiding the elephant in the room, namely that we have just a bit of a *spending* problem in this country.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2012-12-09 at 20:31
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Old 2012-12-11, 00:43   #684
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Ewmayer, The argument seems to be more of "we aren't collecting enough taxes" vs "we are spending too much money". The reality is more like that we need to get rid of some politicians.

DarJones
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Old 2012-12-14, 20:13   #685
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Friday Humor:

In the wake of the Fed's latest announcement that it will buy upwards of $1T of US debt and other debt-related stuff per year for "as long as it takes", there's been much talk about whether the Fed has any kind of viable exit strategy.

I think I actually figured out what the Fed's "exit strategy" is:

"Keep digging, through the center of the earth if necessary, in hopes of eventually emerging on the other side."

The question is: where is "the other side" at which the eventual exit will occur? Hint: It's not in China. (Though our Chinese friends are strongly encouraged to resume robust buying of US debt in order to secure a piece of this great value proposition). No, using the publicly available geographical coordinates of the Fed-quarters building, (38.892778,-77.045833) puts the geographical antipode at (-51.107222,102.954167), which is in the southern ocean roughly midway between the SW corner of Australia and the nearest point of Antarctica.

But fear not - I'm sure Bernanke et al can cite an academic economic model which indicates that by the time their "keep digging ever faster and deeper" policy achieves a "breakthrough", there will be fertile "growthiness supporting" land as far as the eye can see at that location.
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Old 2012-12-18, 19:14   #686
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Mish has an interesting piece today on long-term trends in the labor force participation rate:

Normalized Unemployment Rates; Cyclical vs. Secular Forces

The most interesting pre-2007 part of that for me is the sharp trend reversal centered around 1990 in the oldest (55 and above) cohort. Mish notes that
Quote:
Starting around 1988 there were abrupt changes in the participation rates of age groups 25-54, 20-24, and 55+. The shift in participation rate of 55+ was especially abrupt. Those shifts reflect baby boomer dynamics.
but provides no further explanation of the 55+ rate trend "elbow". Any of our readers care to attempt an explanation of that?

The long-term declines in the 16-19 and 20-24 participation rates in the 2 decades leading up to the global financial crisis are also interesting. Rise of the national "you must have a college degree, even a useless one, to do any kind of job above burger flipping" trend? An increasing entitlement mentality among young people? Both?
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Old 2012-12-18, 22:56   #687
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
but provides no further explanation of the 55+ rate trend "elbow". Any of our readers care to attempt an explanation of that?
Perhaps the age distribution within the group is changing with the influx of boomers at the bottom end. This is, perhaps participation rate for each of 55, 56, 57, ... 99, 99, 100, 101 etc hasn't changed, but the group now has a much higher percentage of 55, 56, 57 year olds.
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Old 2012-12-19, 22:07   #688
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wblipp View Post
Perhaps the age distribution within the group is changing with the influx of boomers at the bottom end. This is, perhaps participation rate for each of 55, 56, 57, ... 99, 99, 100, 101 etc hasn't changed, but the group now has a much higher percentage of 55, 56, 57 year olds.
My first instinct was along similar "leading wave of baby boomers hitting the bottom end of this age cohort" lines, but the timing is off - the slope clearly and obviously changes sign in the several years centered around 1990, when the leading-edge boomers would have been in their early 40s. Quite the contrary, people turning 55 around 1990 would have been born during the Great Depression, when birth rates plunged.

I feel I must be missing something head-slappingly obvious, but no one has been kind enough to gobsmack me with the explanation yet. :)

-------------------------------

Edit: Apparently the explanation for the above conundrum may be somewhat less that upside-the-head-smackingly obvious, because I e-mailed Mish a summary of the above and he just replied with
Quote:
Unfortunately I cannot shed any more light and now you have me puzzled.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2012-12-19 at 23:12
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Old 2012-12-20, 00:53   #689
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
My first instinct was along similar "leading wave of baby boomers hitting the bottom end of this age cohort" lines, but the timing is off - the slope clearly and obviously changes sign in the several years centered around 1990, when the leading-edge boomers would have been in their early 40s. Quite the contrary, people turning 55 around 1990 would have been born during the Great Depression, when birth rates plunged.

I feel I must be missing something head-slappingly obvious, but no one has been kind enough to gobsmack me with the explanation yet. :)

-------------------------------

Edit: Apparently the explanation for the above conundrum may be somewhat less that upside-the-head-smackingly obvious, because I e-mailed Mish a summary of the above and he just replied with
Mish doesn't see it, either? Maybe he's too focused on the Baby Boomers.

The curve that bends upward around 1990 is for the 55+ age group. What would have been the average age of all people in that group - 65, 70?

When were the people who were 65-70 in 1990 born? 1920-1925

What shaping experience did people born in 1920-1925 share? They were still children dependent on their parents during the Great Depression (and into WW2), of course!!

Might one surmise that this cohort, having witnessed at first hand their parents' hardships of the Great Depression (and the national sense of need to work when the country prepared for and fought WW2) during their formative years, might have retained a lifelong desire to remain employed, to the extent that they'd delay their retirements longer than older folks did?

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2012-12-20 at 00:59
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Old 2012-12-20, 20:09   #690
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Excellent ZH piece on the government manipulation of inflation figures which began in earnest during the Clinton administration (but has Reagan pet-scammer Greenspan's fingerprints all over it - "hedonic adjustments" apparently was his baby) and has continued ever since:

Guest Post: Why Reported Inflation Seems Different Than Reality

Best summation of the cumulative effect of the BLS cheating for me is this:
Quote:
According to John Williams:

"In particular, changes made in CPI methodology during the Clinton Administration understated inflation significantly, and, through a cumulative effect with earlier changes that began in the late-Carter and early Reagan Administrations have reduced current social security payments by roughly half from where they would have been otherwise.
BTW, the quoted John Williams runs the well-respected Shadowstats site, about which the Wikipedia entry notes
Quote:
Numerous economists currently and formerly associated with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reject Willaim's [sic] claims of politically manipulated data.
Well, duh.

The ZH article also points out some even-more-egregious funny-numbering which is occurring related to the "fiscal cliff" Kabuki theater farce occurring in DC right now.
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Old 2012-12-21, 20:19   #691
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
As usual - and analogously with the healthcare-related "debate" - both major parties are engaging in faux-class-warfare games and studiously avoiding the elephant in the room, namely that we have just a bit of a *spending* problem in this country.
Mish has a nice tabulation quantifying that today.


A Frenzy in Italy Over Teaching Jobs
Quote:
[1999] was the last time Italy held open examinations to fill teaching positions in its public schools. So when the exams opened this week, it set off something of a nationwide frenzy among Italy’s despairing underemployed educators, drawing more than 321,000 hopefuls for just about 11,500 openings.

The ratios said as much about the dim job prospects facing Italians with unemployment now topping 11 percent — and nearly 14 percent for people age 24 to 35 — as they did about the rigidities and turf-mindedness of a public education sector that has for years been dented by hiring freezes and job cuts.

Friday Humor:

For those of you with money to burn, the ultimate midlife-crisis-mobile will be coming to the market soon - and you can use some of that onboard processing power to search for Mersenne primes when the weather is fine:

Steve Jobs' Yacht Seized As Heirs Won't Pay
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Old 2012-12-26, 06:24   #692
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Ewmayer, I'm going to pick Mish apart just a bit. I talked this over with a woman who has degrees in math and economics. She worked for several years compiling govt statistics in Canada. Here are some of my thoughts and some of hers. She literally spewed and sputtered over Mish's analysis calling it "hoodoo economics".

Many jobs moved overseas in the intervening 12 years. Granted these were mostly hourly jobs that were at the low end of the pay scale.

Many businesses cut headcount of higher paid employees. These employees wound up with lower paying jobs just to keep food on the table.

The very high end earners increased their pay exponentially and therefore they do skew the results as Mish points out.

A disproportionately large number of businesses went out of business in the intervening years with the result that a huge number of higher paid jobs disappeared.

I don't see anything at all in Mish's numbers accounting for the effects of inflation. This is a VERY telling omission.

The leading edge of the baby boom generation started retiring. The number of people retiring over the next 12 years represents a huge hump in the numbers. These people are disproportionately retiring from high paid jobs. In other words, as they retire, the average wage is pushed down.

Government spending ala Mish includes the social security numbers. I submit that these numbers must in part represent the retirement of baby boomers. In other words, they probably should be treated separately from the rest of government spending because they are anticipated to grow.

The number of employed people has changed dramatically over the intervening years.
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/05...001-2003-2011/
Where do Mish's numbers relate the change in employment to the increase in govt spending?

I submit that Mish has not shown that average wage is in any way correlated to government spending. Think about this carefully. If they are related, then you should be able to express what is happening mathematically. In other words, quit comparing apples to oranges. So from my perspective, I agree that our government is spending too much, but I do not agree that it is directly correlated to average wage. I would push Mish to prove otherwise.


And last but not least, where is your pessimistic attitude? You should be the one taking his numbers apart, not agreeing with them!

DarJones

Last fiddled with by Fusion_power on 2012-12-26 at 06:51
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Old 2012-12-28, 10:21   #693
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@Fusion_power: Good post.

@ewmayer: Stop worshipping Mish and taking his posts uncritically. He jumped the shark a couple of years ago
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