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In the weakest job report in 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday that the economy created a mere 69,000 seasonally adjusted net new jobs in May. The official "headline" unemployment rate—known as U3—rose to 8.2 percent. An alternative measure labeled U6—which includes part-time workers who want full-time work but can't find any, and some but not all of the millions of people who have become too discouraged to look for work—rose from 14.5 percent to 14.8 percent.

One positive: The civilian labor force participation rate rose from 63.6 to 63.8 percent and the employment-population ratio rose from 58.4 to 58.6 percent.

The number of Americans unemployed for six months or more rose from 5.1 million to 5.4 million. Making matters worse, revisions changed growth in payroll employment in March from 154,000 to 143,000 and in April from 115,000 to 77,000.

Chart showing recession recovery
(Calculated Risk)
It was the third month in a row that the economy created a disappointingly low number of jobs. This indicates that the upward trend in job creation of earlier this year has gone the way it did in 2011 and 2010. Three years after the official end of the Great Recession, 12.7 million Americans are officially out of work.

The BLS jobs report is the product of a pair of surveys, one of business establishments and the Current Population Survey of 60,000 households. The establishment survey determines how many new jobs were added. The CPS provides data that determine the official "headline" unemployment rate, also known as U3. That's the number that is now at 8.2 percent.

The only other good news in the report was that the CPS showed 422,000 more Americans employed in May with 642,000 more now in the labor force. But those numbers are a reversal from recent reports.

(Continue reading below the fold)

Overall nearly 24 million Americans are now counted as jobless or underemployed. But if millions of Americans were not leaving the labor force, those statistics and the unemployment rate would look a good deal worse than they do, with nearly 29 million out of work. Indeed, depending on how the calculations are made regarding the labor force participation rate, official unemployment right now could be as high as 11.4 percent, instead of 8.2 percent, and combined unemployment and underemployment as high as 17.5 percent, instead of 14.8 percent

What's going on?

As both amateur and professional analysts have noted for some time, at least some of the contraction in the labor force participation rate derives from the retirement of the first wave of "Baby Boomers." The oldest Boomers are turning 66 in 2012, the first year they can retire with full Social Security benefits. That is a natural occurrence that would be taking place whether we lived in hard economic times or not.

But how big a percentage of the drop in the labor participation rate is caused by this "structural" demographic realignment is a matter of contention. The Economic Policy Institute puts it at about one-third of the total of what it calls "missing workers." The other missing workers—about 2.7 million of them—are part of "cyclical" fluctuations in the economy, that is, the job situation defined by recession and recovery. Most of these workers would presumably return to the labor force if the job situation perked up.

EPI isn't alone in analyzing missing workers. Greg Ip puts their number at about 5.0 million. Evan Soltas calculates 5.8 million. A team at the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank has, like EPI, put the number at about 2.7 million.

What does all this mean?

Most importantly, it means that cyclical forces—played out this time as a deep and prolonged recession and a slow, unevenly distributed recovery—have driven millions out of the labor force who would otherwise still be in it. In other words, unlike voluntary retirees, these millions didn't want to leave, but circumstances forced them out. Because they aren't in the labor force, they aren't part of the calculations of the unemployment rate. If they had stayed in and not found jobs, the official unemployment rate—that 8.2 figure this month—would now be much higher. In fact, because of the lower labor participation level, the unemployment rate (which already suffers from other problems as a description of what the economy is actually doing) greatly understates the true situation.

How much?

For 2011, the official unemployment rate averaged 8.9 percent. By EPI's calculations, if those millions who did not want to leave had stayed in the work force, the jobless rate would have averaged 10.7 percent last year. As noted, other analysts figured the rate differently. The Chicago Fed team says 9.7 percent. Soltas says 11.4 percent. Likewise, the U6 un/underemployment rate would have climbed. As can be seen, all the analysts believe the skewed labor participation rate we've been seeing for the past 18 months means the unemployment rate fails to accurately measure the reality even on its own terms. What the analysts disagree about is how far off it is.

These analyses do not posit a conspiracy by the BLS or other branches of the government to meddle with the numbers. The methodologies are transparent. The data-gathering methods and formulas applied to the data are not secret. All the critics use that same data to derive their conclusions.


Here's what the new job numbers have looked like for May in the most recent six years:

May 2007: +139,000
May 2008:  -190,000
May 2009:  -361,000  
May 2010: +516,000 (boosted by Census hiring)  
May 2011: +  55,000
May 2012: +  69,000

Among other changes detailed in today's job report:

Construction: -28,000
Transportation & warehousing: +36,000
Health care: +33,000
Manufacturing: +12,000

• The average workweek (for production and non-supervisory workers) fell from 34.5 to 34.4 hours.
• Average manufacturing hours fell 0.3 hours to 40.5 hours
• The average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 2 cents to $23.41. Over the past year such earnings have risen 1.7 percent, compared with an inflation rate now running at 2.7 percent. In other words, workers real wages are falling.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 05:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  eh, as long as it doesnt spike (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pozzo, daeros, SaintC

      we should be ok.

      Would prefer it hits 7.9 before the elections, but as long as it stays in the low 8s...

      •  Who is "we"? (17+ / 0-)


        the millions of unemployed/underemployed?

        "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

        by Superpole on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:14:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah... (0+ / 0-)

          although i'm more inclined to uprate both of you because democratic victories would HELP the unemployedd.

 If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals! up yours!

          by daeros on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:20:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think I know what he means by this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pozzo, Supavash

          The fact is that Romney's method would lead to a crash by 2014 and we need to hit that hard.

          Also, didn't something similar happen last year when May numbers were 54K?

          With gas prices tumbling again (just like they did last year) spending might just tick up. Because of that, the rate may trend back down.

          Also, it looks like the Greece issue will be solved by June 17. The pro-bailout forces have a pretty big lead.

          The poster is trying to stay positive. I don't know what side of the fence you are on, but it's always good to try to do that.

        •  we is the country (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and yes those millions of unemployed/underemployed will do much better with Obama re-elected then with Romney in there.

          Guess what its fucking going to take time. There is no quick fix to almost a decade of horrible economic policies. So everyone needs to settle in because there will be more bumps in the road for YEARS to follow.

          •  Convince them and the media. Right now (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Medium Head Boy

            Romney has the full stage to play with these numbers.

            There's nothing new the Pres can do or say to pump up the voting public.

            He had his chance to attack the "do nothing" congress, but chose not to.

            I'm disheartened now. Unless things pick up substantially, this becomes Romney's playground.

            Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive. And... It’s the Supreme Court, stupid!

            by auapplemac on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:38:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Obama is not doing (4+ / 0-)

            enough to end this Depression. He wasted time and did damage switching to "belt-tightening" rather than focusing on jobs. He has shrunk the Federal workforce, etc.

            He's better than Romney and the gop, for sure. But he's been bad enough that there's needless suffering for many millions because of his bad decisions.

          •  It's more than a decade. It includes some... (14+ / 0-)

            ...awful decisions by Bill Clinton, too, although the economic impact of of those decisions didn't hit on his watch. Picking some of the worst of Clinton's advisors to be his, as some of us warned starting in November 2008, was among Obama's chief mistakes.

            We've got both chronic economic problems and acute problems; they are entangled with each other. And nobody I know says that "fixing" either is easy.

            What irks me is that we've been hearing for three years now from the president's surrogates, both in Washington and in places like Daily Kos, that those of us presenting warnings about the economy, whether we have Nobel prizes or are mere amateur observers, don't know our asses from a hole in the wall and should let the "adults in the room" take care of everything.

            That kind of perspective is part of what has put us in the situation we're in today, going into a crucial election in which door-to-door campaigning is going to be very tough indeed.

            Obviously, nobody who cares about our future should be talking surrender. Quite the opposite. But there is no sugar-coating this jobs report because it's isn't just one month, it's three. And it's worse than in 2011 when we had the tsunami and the Arab Spring as an excuse.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 07:20:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  well guess what (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              next month could be worse, and if Europe goes down, all the stimulus in the world wouldn't/won't help us.

              It's a roller coaster. If you want to say I told you so, feel free, but at this point, not sure what you expect that to accomplish.

              I would have liked to see a bigger stimulus too, but a) dont think it would have passed, and b) not sure what we could have gotten passed would have been enough to significantly change things.

              So, we are where we are, and we aren't going anywhere else before the elections because as it stands not a darn thing is going to get through the House that remotely stands a chance of success.

              We can get to work, or we can gripe, complain about how we weren't listened to and thus it's all falling apart.
              I see no utility in the latter.

              •  Pardon me, but I've been involved in ... (9+ / 0-)

                ...politics, both electoral and "street," for 49 years, several of them before I could even vote. I haven't given up. And I don't plan to start now. But I also don't ignore the economic and political facts that we, as progressives, have to deal with in order to keep the situation from getting worse.

                It's not just that some of us weren't listened to (were, in fact, ridiculed, excoriated, even accused of carrying GOP water). It's the fact that we're STILL not being listened to. Just as we weren't listened to about this time in 2010 when we said Democrats were in big trouble in the coming election that year.  Right up until September, we were told that our assessment was completely wrong and our warnings were hurting Democratic chances. Afterward, you still hear echoes of that today, some people actually blamed us for the outcome in 2010, saying we had suppressed voter enthusiasm.

                This is not about vindication. It's about trying to return our discourse to what we once touted ourselves at being: part of a "reality-based community." The reality is that big mistakes were made, that many people warned in advance that the mistakes were being made and were nearly tarred and feathered for the warnings, and that even now we're being accused of being nothing more than whiners.

                November is going to be tough. We're going to have to fight hard to hang onto both the White House and the Senate. Sugarcoating or otherwise glossing over the economic news will not make it easier.

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 08:27:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

                  but your posts in this thread don't come across as just telling the plain facts with no sugar-coating, they come across as, see I told you so.

                  no one has said this is good news, but it isn't unexpected news either. You can continue to talk about how something two years ago should have been different, but I fail to see how that does anything positive.

                  Now, if you have a specific idea for what needs to happen in the future, that's fine, although the reality at this point is nothing, absolutely nothing you propose that requires Congress to do anything is going to happen between now and November.

                  So, you tell me, how is "keeping it real" and talking about how you should have been listened to two years ago going to help things now?

                  You are thinking strategically/long term, but we are well passed that point now. it's tactical now, short-term, win the election.

                  After the election, we can return to thinking long-term, and strategically.

                  By the way, I didn't even use the words "given up" in that post, I said griping and complaining about not being listened to does nothing at this point.

                  Because it doesn't. Regardless of whether or not you were 1000 percent right about needing a bigger stimulus, for myriad reasons it didn't happen. It sure as heck is not going to happen now.

                  So what's the point at this stage months away from the election, revisiting the issue now because we've had a couple of months of weak growth?

                  •  "... but it isn't unexpected news either..." (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Detlef, dclawyer06

                    Puhleez. This is what I am talking about.

                    I urge you to look at what has been said in just the jobs report diaries for the past six months. There are plenty of comments saying that what you call not "unexpected news" wouldn't happen, that the economy had turned around and all us "doomers and gloomers" had been proved wrong.

                    We'd been treated to folks saying just a couple of months ago that unemployment might be as low as 7.5% in November and that would assure Obama's reelection. This kind of pollyanna forecasting, despite the caveats in the data.

                    And THIS:

                    "... the reality at this point is nothing, absolutely nothing you propose that requires Congress to do anything is going to happen between now and November."
                    That's precisely what some folks have been saying about the proposals that others and I have made for the past three years: Nothing can be done. Congress is in the way, so. we. shouldn't. even. propose. anything.

                    Personally, THIS is the doomer and gloomer approach, not the can-do attitude that we, as progressives, ought to be putting forth. Instead of lowering expectations, we should push hard, as progressives in other eras have done, for far more than we think we can obtain in the short run.

                    You are quite right that at the moment we have to think about how to get Democrats elected and work hard to make that happen despite the economic mess, despite the fact that the don't-present-any-strong-jobs-proposal "faction" won the rhetorical argument that has helped make that campaign so tough for us.

                    One thing that won't help is more talk about these numbers not being really that bad.

                    And a final note:

                    I can just about guarantee what will happen come November if Obama does win a second term and we manage to hang onto the Senate: strategic economic thinking that you say we can "return" to will again be laughed off as the proposals of people who don't know how politics works.

                    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                    by Meteor Blades on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 10:04:52 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  so the fact that someone (0+ / 0-)

                      has been too optimistic is the reason why you need to engage in see I told you so?

                      There are always going to be uber-optimists out there. I wasn't one of them, so telling me about them is a waste of our mutual time. I thought MAYBE the rate MIGHT hit 7.9, and still think there's an outside shot of that.

                      Second, it's frustrating to me to see that you are lumping in the fact that we are in the homestretch with only 5 months until the election and thus nothing is going to happen (and you KNOW as well as I that nothing would pass this House that would have an iota of a chance to help this economy, because that would help Obama and the Dems)...

                      with someone(s) who made an argument that nothing will pass three years ago?

                      Apples and oranges. The former is reality. It recognizes how long it takes for even legislation folks more or less agree on to pass Congress. It recognizes that the current House is batshit crazy. It recognizes that as long as we have the abused filibuster, owning the Senate isn't going to move things more quickly. And it again recognizes that we have five months to go (and less than that before we'd have to see some results from whatever could be passed).

                      The latter is something it's fine for you to be upset about, because it effectively says never ever try.

                      And no I don't believe the numbers are REALLY bad. I believe they aren't good. I believe they are disappointing, and I believe we need to do better. But no, I don't think they are REALLY bad. I think that's hyperbole.

                      But let me tell you what happens if we "push for more than we can expect in the short run." We'll all be disappointed all over again because it won't possibly happen. Which isn't going to be very effective in generating the enthusiasm we need to counter the other side.

                      •  For the record, President Obama has just ... (0+ / 0-)

                        ...finished a speech in Minnesota right now making proposals that won't happen by election day.

                        These numbers aren't really bad. If the "missing workers" are included the actually unemployment rate, as I wrote in this diary, would be 9.7% to 11.4%. By any metric, that's bad. Really bad.

                        About the only thing we seem to agree about is the need to fight to keep things from getting worse by allowing a transfer of power to the Republicans.

                        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                        by Meteor Blades on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 10:55:32 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  What is the Definition of Insanity (0+ / 0-)


                  Look, MB, it's time to take the next logical step: stop wasting time and effort with the current hopelessly corrupt, polarized paradigm.

                  The big D democratic party died some time ago (thanks! Clinton, Emanuel, McAuliffe, etc.) and yes, Nader is correct regarding what we have now.

                  The democrats have proven this over and over again, one prime bit of proof being when they tossed Howard Dean out in favor of a politics as usual loser Kerry.

                  It's wayyyyyyyyy past time for an actual Labor/Green party.

                  "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

                  by Superpole on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 11:27:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Maybe so. But the American landcape is... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...littered with a century-and-a-half's worth of bones and phantoms of third parties, including labor parties and green parties. The Greens have been on the ballot in California for two decades. Remind me again how many Green office-holders the state has. That failure doesn't stop it from running symbolic campaigns for President and Senate, wasting energy and what little money it has for no good reason.

                    When such a party commits itself to actually running candidates for scores of city council and state legislative seats, get back to me. Until one does, third parties are bad jokes, no matter how good their platforms.

                    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                    by Meteor Blades on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 01:16:13 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Regarding the "Adults" in the Room (0+ / 0-)

              Presumably one of the adults, Obama, is doing no less than SIX campaign events today.. in one freakin' day.

              Uhh, I get it- the guy needs to campaign, but I just don't see the sense of urgency/priority here.

              This is yet another example of the democrat acting just like the repug would. Obama should be staying in DC, admitting we have a serious crisis on our hands, kicking the shit out of congress to get something(s) done.

              Instead, because it's yet another election year, Obama and the "democrats" in congress are (again) kicking the can down the road to the lame duck session where the debt ceiling issue comes up (again) providing a bullshit excuse to continue to do nothing about real economic growth.

              This is "leadership"??

              "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

              by Superpole on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 10:18:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Really? (0+ / 0-)
            and yes those millions of unemployed/underemployed will do much better with Obama re-elected then with Romney in there.
            How do you figure? does an Obama win mean the repugs in congress are suddenly going to wake up and pass some meaningful legistlation with the dems? Especially if the repugs get control of the senate?

            gimme a break

            Here's a more likely scenario: if Rmoney wins, he and the doofus repugs in congress finally wake up, "hey everyone, we're in a serious crisis!! we need a new stimulus plan to create jobs! let's rebuild our nation! yayyyyy!"

            of course the dems will have to support this, because that is in fact what needs to happen.

            "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

            by Superpole on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 11:18:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Some people seem far more concerned (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Superpole, happymisanthropy

          with winning this election than what happens to the country. What is so great about electing a Democrat is he is going to govern like a Republican?

          My hatred and fear of the Republican Party and Mitt Rmoney is far greater than my disappointment in the way Obama has governed, so I will be voting for Obama. But I still feel like I am being forced to choose between the frying pan and the fire.

          I don't believe for a second that these people are stupid. They are trying to win elections rather than doing what is right for the country. But it sure seems to me that doing what is good for the country would also be good for winning elections. Instead we have to put lipstick on a pig and hope no one notices.

          Why can't we have someone that actually represents US for a change?

          "I will believe corporations are people the day Texas executes one!"

          by Haningchadus14 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 08:01:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think part of the problem is the American (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Electorate likes to punish those that do what's right and award those that don't do what's right.  Just look at Jimmy Carter's re-election.  He made the right call with putting Volcker as Treasurer who's tactics took time to implement but helped the economy hence why Reagan didn't get rid of him when Reagan was elected.  There was also the way Carter handled the Iranian hostage situation.  He actually spent more time focusing on handling the hostage crisis peacefully and less time campaigning.  And of course there's that speech where Carter told the truth about how we are becoming a nation of consumers.  Carter should've won re-election and should've been rewarded for his handling of the hostage situation and putting Volker in charge of the Fed and spent time focusing on his job and less on the actual campaign.  Yes, it doesn't help that both corporate and even private and independent media outlets can distort information but we the American people also need to analyze ourselves and what direction we want the country to go.  We have to drop this NIMBY attitude and realize that we have to sacrifice and share in order to make this country work.  It's give and take.  Once American society realizes this, then we will get a government that works for us.

          •  BEENGO!! (0+ / 0-)
            with winning this election than what happens to the country. What is so great about electing a Democrat is he is going to govern like a Republican?
            Well, here in insanely partisan Bloggo world, what's-his-name's old adage: "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing" is totally worshipped.

            What exactly we are "winning" with mere political victories is never explained. Now with literally Millions of us losing with the current economic/political paradigm, the answer is.... our corrupt/incompetent leadership needs more time!! but again, time to do what is not explained.

            as one of my fav college profs was fond of saying, "it's later than you think".

            "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

            by Superpole on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 11:37:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Silver (0+ / 0-)

        Nate Silver did a piece a while back talking about how the unemployment rate after June doesn't change the outcome of the presidential race.

        That is to say, today was Obama's last chance.

        •  here's the thing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          just because someone says something, doesn't mean it's always true. History doesn't always repeat. We've never re-elected a President with over 8% UE either, but if the next few months pick up, and we get down to say 8 by election time, then Obama breaks that trend.

        •  thats not true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          He had a piece about avg 150k jobs a month until election day was a good shot of re-election. Obviously this report complicates things but I don't think after June it doesn't matter.

  •  The Elephant on the Brake (20+ / 0-)

    The absolute single cause of this miserable report is the Republican Party.

    That singular group of traitorous bastards have held their foot on the brake of any solutions that could improve this situation.

    They'll will obviously blame the President, but in truth it is the GOP.  They would rather see a continued economic and social catastrophe in the pursuit of a vote then to actually help the nation they allegedly love.

    They are truly unAmerican and immoral.

  •  Europe (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, ferg

    When we read about Spain and Greece, unemployment is always most prominent--do they use stats closer to U3 or to U6?  

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:07:45 AM PDT

  •  Recovery my ass (19+ / 0-)

    Labor participation tells me there is no recovery. My wallet tells me there is no recovery. People are getting laid off again on a regular basis all around me. People that had already been unemployed and found part time or lower wage jobs are now unemployed again. Deflationary Depression, count on it.

    ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

    by Kristina40 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:08:33 AM PDT

    •  well part of the problem (0+ / 0-)

      is we are lead by economists who think that as long as deflation is avoided, there will be no new Depressions.

      On the other hand, at present we have commodity inflation at the same time as asset deflation.  Which nobody talks about.

      all morals are relative, but some are more relative than others.

      by happymisanthropy on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 12:09:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We have commodity (0+ / 0-)

        inflation because our idiot government keeps shoveling money at the banks and they are not using it to lend to business or do anything useful so instead they shovel it into commodities raising the price. It's a vicious cycle and we're about to have another credit event. The spreads are getting wild again. Liquidity is about to dry up. Meanwhile, J6P is getting his brain pounded in with rising prices on everything he needs to live and sinking wages and hours. Yep, this is sustainable...not.

        ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

        by Kristina40 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 04:59:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bernanke, your on! (7+ / 0-)

    I just posted this in another diary:

    We're in a depression, and we have been since before 2008, we just didn't realize it before then.

    Ben Bernanke needs some cover (bad news) before he can announce a version of Quantatative Easing.  China is in trouble, Europe is in trouble, there is going to be a massive effort to reinflate the economy, and my bet it's going to come at the Fed meeting and the G20 meeting around June 19.

    Hang on to your butts, it's going to be a wild ride from here to Nov.  And if Romney wins, you can kiss your butts goodbye because we're heading for something that makes the 1930's look like a picnic.

      •  Yes, the "tools" that the Fed can use... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Armando, PatriciaVa

        ...are relatively ineffective. How much "cheaper" can they play tricks at the discount window? Not enough to make even a detectable amount of difference.

        We need no less than $5 trillion over 3 years of new Federal-directed Spending. We also need to do something approaching a Western Hemisphere Marshall Plan, no less than an additional $2 trillion over 5 years, though Brazil could probably cover some of that.

        When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:32:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't underestimate the FED (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Bernanke has more tools than we might believe.  He can buy anything he wants with "new" money.  Stocks, private corp bonds, government treasuries (state and local)...

          The FED can flood the economy with money from many different directions, and when the inflation starts, people with money will be buying things like crazy to try and stay ahead of the inflation.

          We're in the twilight zone now, expect the unexpected.

          •  But not to consumers (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pollwatcher, ferg, Egalitare

            which is the point.

            Someone needs to SPEND the money for monetary stimulus to work.

            you are overestimating the FED's power in this economic crisis.

            We need spending.

            •  It will get to consumers (0+ / 0-)

              It's a trickle down process, unfortunately.  I would prefer that we had a combination of a government jobs program funded by the FED buying treasuries, but I won't be waiting by the phone for Ben to call me.

              Once the FED commits to buying enough "things" to cause inflation, it will increase demand, businesses will start hiring, and the economy will start growing, it'll take time, but it will work over the intermediate term.

    •  I expect QE3 sooner or later (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pozzo, guinea, pollwatcher

      In the June Fed meeting they will probably hint at it.
      QE3 will probably be later this year

      Callate o despertaras la izquirda! - protest sign in Spain

      by gjohnsit on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:17:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Totally nailed it about Romney (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher, Supavash

      It will by 1982 on steriods.

      For those who don't remember, unemployment under Reagan that year was 10.8.

      We can only hope for those numbers under a Romney regime.

      •  It will be 1932 on steroids (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        willynel, Supavash, Meteor Blades, ferg, mikeVA

        1982 was a deliberate recession caused by the FED raising interest rates to kill inflation.  What will happen under Romney will be a collapse of the entire worlds monetary system, with the U.S. loosing it's reserve currency status, the collapse of most of the worlds major banks and many countries going belly up.  We'll have to rebuild from there.

      •  Why would you hope for that? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        To be perfectly honest - I want whoever is president to be sucessful because when they're sucessful, it typically means good things for US Citizens.

        10.8 unemployment - especially the way the US "counts" unemployed is a disaster for citizens.

        Romney and or Obama are never going to have to worry where their next meal comes from and neither could really care where your's or mine come from.

        Be careful what you wish for.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:56:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Shorter: This country is fucked! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miracle11, guinea, auapplemac, Zornorph

    Get used to saying President Romney.


    He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

    by dlh77489 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:10:38 AM PDT

  •  I start back to work on Monday (6+ / 0-)

    and was approached by them, I was not really looking quite yet. It was not the first call I had gotten so I'm not sure what the market is really like. All I know I have seen more activity than 2 years ago.

    Trade always exists for the traders. Any time you hear businessmen debating "which policy is better for America," don’t bend over. -George Carlin-

    by not4morewars on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:11:25 AM PDT

  •  Labor Participation Rate at lowest point in 30 yrs (13+ / 0-)

    Free Image Hosting at

    Back then the rate was as high as 10.7%. The difference nowadays is because this recession, or whatever it is, has been so long is that those discouraged workers are disappearing, else we would probably be in the high 10s or even 11% percent range for unemployment.

  •  Refresh my recollection (10+ / 0-)

    Didn't every credible economist predict this with a weak stimulus followed by an orgy of budget-cutting and layoffs at every level of government all over the country?

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:12:36 AM PDT

  •  Republicans whinig about ecomony getting better (0+ / 0-)

    is really annoying.  They need to be forced to eat their words.  

  •  what do you know (8+ / 0-)

    We don't try to reform the broken system, nothing gets fixed, we merely throw money at the problem, and all we get is a very weak recovery.
       Who could have guessed? Oh, wait. Just about anyone with a brain.

    Callate o despertaras la izquirda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:15:15 AM PDT

  •  This is where it starts to get really ugly... (9+ / 0-)

    ...which is--as you well know--even more sad...because it does NOT/did NOT have to be this way.

    Add this to the just-announced downward revision in the quarterly GDP nos., and even using the term "treading water" is, in effect, to put a positive spin on an economy that's losing more jobs than it's creating, once you add-in new entries into the labor force.

    As you also know, the May numbers were considered critical to pundits' prognostications for the entire election cycle, with the public's perception pretty much being solidified for the next six months as far as the economy's concerned.

    It's not a stretch to say that this will feed the flames of those touting Romney as the new "favorite," and the forces of so-called "educated consensus" beging to gather momentum for the you well know.

    You can't spin this.

    To quote one of my favorite musicians and lyricists: That's the way it is.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:16:45 AM PDT

    •  "beging" s/b beginning... n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:17:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  spain is about to take europe down (5+ / 0-)

      its a game changer, november might as well be 50 years away, considering all that is about to occur before it reaches us.

      Bad is never good until worse happens

      by dark daze on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:34:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's probably over for Obama (9+ / 0-)

      In the court of public opinion, Obama owns this.  Not Romney, not congress but the President, regardless of the scheming and manipulations that led us to this point.  
      I have been out of work for 3 years, I turn 62 in 2 weeks, my 401k is rapidly disappearing and I now see that what I worked a lifetime for will eventually be taken from me.  
      I also know that not 1 fucking person in Washington gives a flying fuck about me or my family or any of us for that matter.  That this was avoidable and correctible and all anyone in Washington can worry about is where their next campaign contribution is coming from sickens me beyond words.  We have two incompetent parties to choose from; one is evil, one is incapable of governing.
      Why in the world would I vote for people who don't give a shit about me?  I feel this way and I'm a lifelong Democrat and once one of Obama's biggest cheerleaders.  

      •  I feel the same way. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raboof, SpecialKinFlag, MindRayge

        I haven't worked since 2008. I'm no spring chicken either. They may get this fixed eventually, but that won't give me back the years of my life that I've lost. Those are gone forever, along with so many hopes and dreams for my child.

        It brings tears to my eyes when my child asks a question like "when we are going to have prime rib again." How do you answer a question like that, when the answer is that we are barely holding on by our fingertips and the cavalry isn't coming. There is nothing left for us to cut out of the budget in our household. My shoes have holes, my son is wearing last years school clothes. We'll be going down soon.

        And it really seems that these motherfuckers only care about winning elections.

        Meanwhile the ones who managed to not lose their jobs are eating and telling the rest of us to be patient and cut the guy some slack. Just like the ones who already have health insurance tell us not to worry about the Public Option etc.

        It's all a bunch of fucking bullshit.

        "I will believe corporations are people the day Texas executes one!"

        by Haningchadus14 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 08:19:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Romney has already pulled even in battleground (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      states according to polls released yesterday. Also, his
      positive numbers are improving.

      If the other shoe drops this month - ObamaCare decision - well, I just don't want to think about it.

      Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive. And... It’s the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by auapplemac on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:54:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cue up the tax cuts and less regulation crowd (3+ / 0-)

    from Romney and the GOP. That and "Repeal Obamacare". It's the only thing they know.

  •  Europe is a festering tumor that has to be... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dealt sooner rather than later.  There is noting Obama can do to help this economy, or for that matter ANY US politician.  It's over.....We are facing the "abyss" of something MUCH worse than 2008.  Spain is flat out broke and with sky high employment, is turning into the vortex of a gigantic economic/financial black hole.  Spain is too big to bail out.

    Lecturing about the merit of the creation of the euro itself, and why such undynamic nations such as Greece were let in, is analogous to "whistling past the graveyard".  And there are some truly awful ideas being floated around to hide the end result.  Heck, there was a market rumor that WE were going to bail out Spain yesterday.....LOL!

    Sort of like the rumor early on that China was going to bail out Europe.....

    We stuck (would like to use a certain 4 letter word beginning with the letter "F").....we have to pay the price of truly awful ideas.   As I tell everyone, just be careful.  We live in a global economy, and as such, we are being held hostage over Europe.....

  •  HP stock up 7% (11+ / 0-)

    after announcing plans to cut 27000 jobs.

    See?  The economy is fine.

  •  McConnell (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, Eric Nelson

    Here's a video clip I made of McConnell killing the Senate Transportation Bill. By passing only the extension, 100,000 jobs were lost because projects must be planned way in advance. I do wish the media took this sabotage seriously.

  •  I was pretty close!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:21:19 AM PDT

    •  But you also said numbers would be... (0+ / 0-)

      ...revised up next month. March and April numbers were revised down today. Indeed, April's numbers went down by 30% in the revision.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 01:20:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bit off too much (0+ / 0-)

        I will say that I expect that on Labor Day we'll be saddled with U3 of 8.4% and that's the "cross we'll have to bear" going into November.

        When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 08:26:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans In Congress Are Too Worried (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, SaintC, Meteor Blades

    about a women's vagina to create jobs.  Someone should ask Boehner where are the jobs, and women should ask where do you want my vagina today.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:24:09 AM PDT

  •  Half full, or half empty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, Meteor Blades

    There is the old joke where the optimist says the glass is half full, and the pessimist says the glass is half empty. But the engineer looks at it and says the glass is too big.

    And that I fear is where we are at. We are going to have to deal with a smaller glass. Many of those jobs are not coming back. But twenty years from now when all the baby boomers are out of the market, we might see record employment. Not because there are more jobs, just less workers.

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:24:34 AM PDT

  •  Ugh... so sick of this hand wringing! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Construction? Well ya... No one wants to address the real problem which is that the housing market will not return to previous levels in decades, no matter who is president. The construction trades are over saturated and if people insist in staying in that line of work, well they are going to be long term unemployed.

    I would like to see the demographics of the unemployed more clearly laid out. Just yesterday there was a story on NPR how computer engineers are hard to come by in Seattle, where companies are struggling to find workers. The day before, another story how "big data" technology will create 50,000 jobs in Massachusetts over the next 5 years!

    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world." Richard Dawkins

    by HGM MA on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:24:38 AM PDT

    •  You're correct (0+ / 0-)

      but a lot of the labor portion of the construction trade may not have the aptitude to "re-tool" for a new career.

      It's been sobering for a lot of the construction trade that people are not willing to just pay whatever is quoted.  I know a few guys who were making big $$$ and now don't want to take less - they were grossly overcharging for their work but it was all "bank" money and contractors were price fixing.  They can't find work becasuse others have become more competitive and there's too many contractors with poor skills - swinging a hammer is not a "skill".  Truly skilled will always find work but the unskilled guys can only get it for the lowest bid.

      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ctexrep on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 07:05:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's easy to fall into hand wringing (0+ / 0-)

      when you can barely buy food. I can't help thinking that the ones who are telling us not to engage in that type behavior are going to bed with a full stomach every night.

      "I will believe corporations are people the day Texas executes one!"

      by Haningchadus14 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 08:22:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well that's exactly my point.... people need (0+ / 0-)

        to be open for any an all sorts of change to find employment. This means moving, training and especially changing the type of work one has done in the past.

        Not sure I understand your comment, there was quite a bit of poverty even in the best of times...

        "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world." Richard Dawkins

        by HGM MA on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 09:27:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Righhhht (0+ / 0-)

          Just give up your profession and jump into another whenever necessary. That's the problem, people are too inflexible. Righhht.

          I think you probably understand my comment perfectly well. I'm saying the ones who have food worry a lot less about the economy than the ones who don't.

          As far as there always being quite a bit of poverty, well I guess that should make my poverty stricken ass feel so much better.

          And sorry for the way I respond sometimes, I don't have Phd or a doctorate. I try to speak intelligently, sometimes by emotions get the best of me. Especially when I am worried about feeding my family. I'm a victim of our public schools. I don't have a high school diploma. I can't even spell my handle correctly.

          Lot's of this stuff is way beyond the ability of my little mind to comprehend. But I'm not going to let that stop me from trying to participate and maybe get a little smarter in the process.

          "I will believe corporations are people the day Texas executes one!"

          by Haningchadus14 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 10:09:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Glad to see you were too dignified to respond (0+ / 0-)

          It must be nice to be so superior

          "I will believe corporations are people the day Texas executes one!"

          by Haningchadus14 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:56:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You'll be happy to know (0+ / 0-)

          that I explained to my wife what you said about there always being quite of bit of poverty, even in the best of times. She said she feels much better now about not be able to cloth and feed our child.

          You people don't care, except maybe in the abstract. Bunch of pointy headed intellectuals chewing things over in a vacuum.

          No go eat your prime rib and be happy that you are better than the rest of us.

          "I will believe corporations are people the day Texas executes one!"

          by Haningchadus14 on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 06:49:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  My problem with people like you (0+ / 0-)

          is that you offer bullshit solutions and when a real person comes forward and exposes your bullshit you clam up and run and hide like the little intellectual cowards that you are.

          "This means moving, training and especially changing the type of work one has done in the past." BULLSHIT, I been willing to do anything.

          To me you are no different than a piece of shit Republican who blames the poor for being poor. As if we'd be so much better off if we'd only listen to you.

          Go fuck yourself.

          "I will believe corporations are people the day Texas executes one!"

          by Haningchadus14 on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 06:54:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I know people that eat rice and beans (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        every single day.  Sometimes they don't eat so they can afford formula.  Who is helping them?  They aren't going to vote for Romney, but they sure as hell aren't going to vote for Obama at this point either.

  •  Again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, Medium Head Boy

    Why is anyone surprised. Almost NOTHING has been done to fix what caused this mess in the first place.

    This problem needs time, fundamental economic restructuring, real regulation of the financial industry, and debt relief to solve.

    For now watch the next step .... Bernanke dropping money from helicopters ... as about the only technique left.

    Without demand there will be no job growth. There will be no demand growth because consumers are tapped out. DEBT has to be eliminated (with all the pain that causes) before we can get new growth.

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. - JFK

    by taonow on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:25:29 AM PDT

  •  Mittens (0+ / 0-)

    On Jobs: The record speaks clearly: What happened to not only jobs but the free market capitalism of reaganomics as to investing in economic growth with the bush tax cuts especially to the wealthy, i.e. job creators, not too mention except for the handful the mitt hires to run his campaigns, rest depends on volunteers, that job creator hasn't produced in years let alone those at bain, even the Olympics, those jobs are always there if hosting.

    And then to regulations: Again very clear, look at all that happened when the tepub congresses had both houses and a tepub president and the regulators, literally in bed for some of them, not doing even what's already on the books as to their jobs.

    Need more be said!!!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:26:40 AM PDT

  •  Well, this sucks. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, Supavash, auapplemac, askew, ferg

    No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

    That govt. is continuing with lay-offs isn't helping any, either.

    About the only somewhat positive thing that I see here is that manufacturing is still adding jobs.

    The sane and sensible thing to do now would be to implement a second stimulus which is fully funded by raising taxes considerably on the very wealthy.  Fat chance that that'll happen with Repubs in control of Congress, though.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:28:03 AM PDT

  •  Didn't several people lose unemployment? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Wonder if that's connected to a stall in consumer spending . . .

    "Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage." - H. L. Mencken

    by Jaxpagan on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:30:08 AM PDT

  •  I wish one of the media pundits (4+ / 0-)

    would point out that Herbert Hoover was a Republican president with lots of business experience and was also a milllionaire. It was his genuinely belief that the American worker should NOT receive government assistance as it would only make them lazy. Hoover is very much responsible for one of the worst, most destructive periods in American history because he believed that the private sector would come through to save the economy.

    Didn't happen. And THIS is what some people want to return to????

  •  We can't spend our way out of this recession. (5+ / 0-)

    We can fire up the printing presses even more than we have the past 4 years, but no amount of spending is going to get us out of this recession with Europe on the edge of the abyss.

    It is a world economy now, and we can't spend enough here to make up for all the rest of the problems in the world.

    Businesses aren't going to start expanding knowing that the EU is about to fall off a cliff.

    That is not the President's fault, but it is a fact of life.

  •  Great Diary, Concise Analysis Which (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, Zornorph

    unfortunately is very bad news.

    "Normally" the spring/early summer job growth numbers are much higher- due in part to a robust construction sector, which we don't have now. While applications for housing permits are up nationally, they're not back to pre-crash levels, and I don't see anyone predicting this happening any time soon.

    Thus there is an obvious answer, which Obama and the doofuses in congress still do not get.

    INVEST at least one Trillion dollars in infrastructure, including real high speed rail, not the bullcrap 120 mph type; that is not high speed.

    The jackass GOP governors turning away money for projects can be dealt with via congressional action.

    Of course it would help if dem voters would KEEP jackass GOP governors out of office, but we see what happened in 2010.

    "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

    by Superpole on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:36:40 AM PDT

  •  The horrible truth. . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaintC, Odysseus, happymisanthropy

    Is that we live in a country where people who try and fail get blamed infinitely more than people who never try at all.

    Ironically, the Democratic Party's biggest strength -- that we actually give a shit about our fellow Americans and want life to be better for everyone -- ends up being our biggest political weakness.

    The GOP, on the other hand, doesn't even act like they give a shit about anyone else. And when they get in power, they prove it. In a perverse way, they're meeting expectations.

    Our values system is completely inverted.

    They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. -- Brian Fantana

    by IndyScott on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:37:23 AM PDT

  •  Obama needs to draw a line in the sand, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaintC, Supavash, happymisanthropy

    tell the people, this is the result of Republicans austerity, and its not working. Look at Europe, its a stalled economy mess as well. We will have to spend to get out of this mess, and tell Americans we have a clear choice, to go forward or go back with Romney and the Repugs.

  •  I started work in April....but the statistics are (8+ / 0-)

    BS.  Laid off at the beginning of 2010, collected unemployment until middle of 2011, finally got job in April 2012, working Saturdays and Sundays only.

    I think the statistics are bogus and don't reflect what actual humanoids are going through.

    No benefits, no healthcare, spent my 401K making house payments for a year, due to the collapse of the housing market, before finally selling it.  Years of payments on an investment with negative zero return. I am talking about keeping the house running, replacing everything that broke, was below code, etc...

    Is two days a week, with no safety net really considered a job?  Oh, and I make $7.50/hr., that with my masters degree.

    Oh, and by the way, F*(*#@K chase bank (they don't even deserve capital letters).

    "A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Yo Bubba on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:38:30 AM PDT

  •  Its too early to concede to Romney as many here (6+ / 0-)

    seem ready to do.

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:41:39 AM PDT

  •  Quit whining..!!! This is the President's (4+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    auapplemac, guinea, Zornorph, belzaboo
    Hidden by:


    He's not creating the jobs....We all know it can be worse.....BUT IT CAN BE BETTER....!!!!   THIS IS PATHETIC...!!!!!


  •  but Boehner passed all those jobs uh vagina bills (3+ / 0-)
    •  Scary vaginas were threatening to take jobs (0+ / 0-)

      from angry white men and ensure God would damn the whole nation to hell, or some sort of very scary story like that. GOP couldn't dare hold back from calling for national hatred of women's rights and health needs.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 10:48:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not good news at all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auapplemac, Supavash

    but what are we going to get out of Congress in the way of a real plan to help this situation but a great big nothing.

    If you have millions of people with no income to speak of continually hanging on by the help of family, friends and charity, you just keep draining the system of cash to stimulate growth.

    Corporations continue to sit on huge cash hordes, use temporary or part time workers.   This is a long term issue.   If labor no longer has a value to American businesses at the top end of the food chain (size, sales, number of employees) then we need to restructure tax, investment, labor regulations accordingly to have a functional long term economy.   Except nearly half the country seems to have bought the Republican bat shit crazy premises about how to improve the economy.

    How many years of things not working, not getting better will it take for people to open their minds to new ideas.   Such as, don't let rich people own the government and end the national experiment in democracy.

  •  The G-20 Have Moved Beyond Political Solutions (6+ / 0-)

    For the past century the Western economic model - whether liberal or conservative, collectivist or libertarian - has been built on growth through the increased velocity of a relatively fixed amount of currency. For those of a certain age who lived in or around Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry hosted a wonderful exhibit on the Magical Multiplier and the alchemic wonders of fractional banking.

    Yet underlying this system was an acceptance of rewarding people simply for the use of money and not for the production of goods. The class of financiers and investors was created to fuel growth - all of it based upon borrowing. Today that class controls nearly $300 TRILLION in world-wide financial assets.

    In the past thirty years the game changed. No longer were the proceeds of debt used to produce goods, goods that benefited people rich and poor (especially as regards public improvements). The new system took the proceeds of debt and returned it to financier class. It has been as if our economic engine began to be fueled by its own exhaust. Starved of the proceeds of debt the producing parts of the economy began to consume themselves for they still required fuel.

    Today a financier is looking at a world that can no longer pay him (for the class is nearly all male) for the use of his capital. British FIFTY YEAR gilts are being offered at below the rate of inflation. Shorter term bonds offered by Germany, Japan and France offer a similar promise to lose value (but perhaps lose it at a lesser rate than those producing parts of the economy that have eaten their own muscle and sinew due to starvation). The US government market is trending into the same territory.

    Only an industrial policy based upon local interest can fight against this cancer. Planned economies and high tariffs have not been well loved of late but THIS cancer requires chemotherapy. The chemicals will be toxic to part of the body politic but if the whole is to survive drastic action, revolutionary action, is needed.

    Soon we will pass the Event Horizon of a spiral down into disinvestment and currency debasement that will require centuries to recover from. It is not a thing that politicians can achieve. Only the people, acting collectively, can. That realization does not leave me with much optimism this morning. The lingering effects of the financiers' Kool-Aid may take too long to wear off.

  •  Not surprising. (4+ / 0-)

    The false economy we all participate in is in trouble.

    Even if the economy "returns" what does it return to do? Continue raping the planet of the remaining resources to produce consumer goods?

    Either there will be a paradigm shift out of this false reality we've built or the "economy" will continue to hobble along while laying waste to the only planet we have.

    Sadly we don't have any politicians with enough conscience to call this out for what it is. Humanity is so infatuated with its new god- money (which is only worth what we believe it to be) that we cannot ask the simple question: what the fuck are we doing?

    Is there no better way to meet the needs of humanity and the planet without this rush towards "creating" representations of fictitious wealth?

    Yes, lets recover the economy. But we should do so with a purpose. The "free" market was never free, it was just a racket whose sole purpose was to increase the wealth of the few while keeping the rest of us on an ever increasing incline. See the myth of Sisyphus. We'll rebuild the economy only to have the 1% crash it again.

    The only difference is there isn't a damned good reason for us to do the heavy lifting for the plutocrats and oligarchs...

    A Victory Garden documents our experience transitioning from suburban lawn to edible food forest based on permaculture principles.

    by FinchJ on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:56:07 AM PDT

  •  I hate to sound pessimistic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    guinea, Zornorph

    But we must prepare for the possibility of a President Romney and what the Democratic response should be. I'm not saying he's a sure thing, but with numbers like these, it's becoming more and more likely.

    Can a Dem minority filibuster their radical plans, such as the Ryan plan? Or can the GOP push these things through with reconciliation? I don't know. We should try to filibuster everything we can. And no Democrat should vote to raise the debt limit under a President Romney.

    •  Romney wont win. We are in May. Everything can (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, SaintC, happymisanthropy


      "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

      by LaurenMonica on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 07:05:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Provided that this summer... (0+ / 0-) not a repeat of the last 3, where bad news really dominated the headlines (health-care debate gone astray and hijacked by hecklers in 2009, BP oil spill and the cleanup in 2010, debt-ceiling debate in 2011).

    •  Only if we lose the Senate will we... (0+ / 0-)

      ...need to filibuster.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 07:41:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If Obama loses, then Dems lose the senate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't see a scenario where Obama loses and we keep the senate, so yes, we have to filibuster.

        My question was, what can be filibustered and what cannot? Repugs will try to push through any thing they can via reconciliation, but I don't know the exact rules of the senate. I know they used reconciliation for the Bush tax cuts, and that scares me.

      •  But isn't this the site where people (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nextstep, VClib

        decry the filibuster as anti-democratic, and excoriated the Democrats for not having gotten rid of it already?  

        Or maybe - as several of us pointed out during those discussions -- Senators on both sides keep the filibuster because they want to use it when THEY are the minority.  

        •  You join the filibuster discussion late (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades, BradyB

          Please review Daily Kos circa 2005.

          Yet again you don't know what you are talking about.

          •  Be honest. There's been a constant drumbeat here (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nextstep, VClib

            for Democrats to either end the filibuster, or "reform" it so that it can only be used to delay, not block, legislation.  

            And the calls to end the filibuster continue -- at least until Democrats fear losing the Senate.  See here and here and here and here here here here and here.  That last link is to a diary about a Maddow show about the filibuster.  

            I could go on and on.  Since Democrats have had majority control (and especially since they lost the 60th seat) there has been a constant drumbeat here to either eliminate the filibuster, or to "reform" it so that it was no longer such an effective way to block legislation.  

            I also admit that there are some voices on this site that recognized that the filibuster is a good thing if you are in the minority.  I suspect the number of those people on the site will grow if the Democrats become the minority, and Republicans start calling to end or "reform" the filibuster, as some of them undoubtedly will if they become the majority in the Senate.

        •  Yes, it is. And we should get rid of the (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Supavash, ferg, wsexson, happymisanthropy

          filibuster regardless of the outcome of the election.  Elections have consequences.  If the American people elect a republican majority in both houses, after hearing their plans, then they should have to live with the consequences.  

          No more trying to shelter an uninformed electorate from their choices.  Let them see full-on what it means to exist under republican rule.  It's not like there are no examples already out there (Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Florida).  These guys will stop at nothing to advance their corporate agenda.  

        •  Nuance, please. The argument was about... (0+ / 0-)

          ...not getting rid of the filibuster altogether changing the rules regarding it, making the filibuster more rare and making it real instead of the current version in which all the minority side has to do is threaten not to allow 60 votes to get a virtual filibuster.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 08:32:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That guts the effectiveness of the filibuster, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            which, of course, was the intent -- to make it so that it would more likely delay, not completely block, legislation -- so that a minority of 41 could not completely block any legislation that they could get 41 votes to block.  See, for example, here. The whole point of "reform" was so that the filibuster would be a far less effective tool of the minority to block legislation, and so that a minority of 41, ultimately, could not completely prevent a bill that had 51 votes from passing the Senate.  That was the whole point of filibuster reform.  

            •  but (0+ / 0-)

              since conservatives are willing to kill the government, and liberals generally are not, the filibuster is inherently more useful to right-wing extremists than it is to people who want America to survive.

              They're willing to cut the baby in half.  We aren't.  

              In the long run, getting rid of the filibuster will help, if we can survive the short-term consequences of conservatism.

              all morals are relative, but some are more relative than others.

              by happymisanthropy on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 12:40:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Until we reverse the Reagan tax cuts... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...not the Bush tax cuts, mind you, the Reagan tax cuts, everything the US does fiscally is a band-aid on a bullet-hole.  30 years of Reaganomics have poisoned this economy.  Until the poison comes out, this is what we'll see...

    "Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." - Mark Twain

    by GrimReefa on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:59:14 AM PDT

    •  That would actually result in lower taxes on (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      guinea, Medium Head Boy, nextstep, VClib

      the rich than if you revert to the Clinton rates.

      That's because if you go back to the 1979 system, there were so many deductions/exemptions etc. on those high rates that the rich paid less in individual federal income taxes in 1979 than they did in 2000.  The CBO keeps that data -- it keeps historical effective federal income tax rates.  See the SECOND chart at this link. The top 1% paid MORE under Clinton than they did in 1979.  

      The Clinton years represented the highest effective taxes ever on the $250,000 - $1 million households (in today's dollars) that primarily had earned income. And, for many of those households, the AMT gets the effective rate up to 26% - 28% -- a very very high effective tax rate, if you look at that chart.  

      You can enact the Buffet rule -- and have an EFFECTIVE tax rate of 30% on millionaires and billionaires (including capital gains income).  But that $4 billion or so a year will do nada to help the economy as a whole.  

    •  GrimR - the "Reagan tax cuts" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Tax Reform Act of 1986 was a complete re-write of the IRS code for individuals. It was a comprehensive tax reform that eliminated nearly all tax shelters for individuals. Comparing pre-86 tax rates with post-86 rates are apples and oranges. They have no relationship to one another. The rates are applied to two very separate sets of IRS rules.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 11:20:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not fair (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auapplemac, Zornorph, Supavash

    but the President generally gets the credit, or the blame, for the economy.  I, personally, think that the influence of a President over the economy is minimal.  But if you tag President Bush for what happened in 2008, you have to tag President Obama for what's happening in 2012.  The voters are simply not going to buy that the economy is STILL President Bush's fault, I think.  

    Yes, he inherited a mess.  People understand that.  Unfortunately for the President, the simple question Republicans will ask voters is, did the President fix things like he said he would?

    I suspect that you are going to see a LOT of that clip where the President says, "If I don't have things done in three years, there's going to be a one-term proposition."  Politically, the President set this up himself by essentially taking responsibility for the economy.  

    I think that the best thing the President can do is, rather than focusing on the negatives about Mitt Romney, instead to lay out, specifically, his plan for the economy for the next few years -- i.e., tell us what he actually proposes for the next two years if he is re-elected.  That would help him in two ways.  First, it would answer the voters' question, what are you going to do differently about the economy if we give you another term?  Second, if he is re-elected, politically, that gives him the argument that the people put him in office to do what he said he would do during the campaign.  

    •  i agree with your proposals (0+ / 0-)

      That's exactly what he needs to do. He can't just go negative. He needs to go positive and lay out a real agenda. He needs to take Paul krugmans advice and acknowledge how bad it is and lay out what needs to be done. This will also force romney to come out with his specific proposals as well.

    •  Pres Obama is unlikely to get specific (0+ / 0-)

      other than repeating what has already been said.

      Pres Obama will argue that his proposals were blocked by Republicans, and that is why it feels we are still in a recession. That will be the basis for arguing for re-election of Obama and restoring Democratic Party majorities in House and Senate.

      Significant changes in proposals would come across as saying his other proposals were either adopted and failed to work or they were not adopted and not the right ones and therefore they are being changed.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 09:16:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is why we abandoned Wisconson (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To the average person, state and federal workers have teh advantage in pay, stability and a laughably better benefit package.

  •  despite appearances, Boehner is focused on jobs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Staying Focused on Job Creation

    The number one concern for the American people continues to be the lack of private sector job creation in our country.  Even here in Ohio, where progress is being made under the policies of Governor John Kasich, employers are being hampered by the policies coming out of President Obama’s Washington.  That’s why the House will continue to focus on removing government barriers that are preventing our economy from creating new American jobs.  

    The House has already passed nearly 30 jobs bills, including legislation fully repealing the president’s health care law.  In the coming weeks, we’ll be voting on legislation that repeals ObamaCare’s medical device tax, removes government red tape that stifles energy production, imposes a moratorium on new federal regulations, and so much more.  

    While President Obama and Senate Democrats continue to block House-passed legislation and waste time on political gimmicks, Republicans will be working to liberate job creators and build a stronger economy for all Americans.


    John A. Boehner

    Yes, this is an authentic message Mr. Boehner sent out this morning.  No, I do not support him, but apparently his response to the numerous messages I've sent to him expressing my views, he sends periodic messages expressing his!  

  •  Now is the time (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CookyMonzta, Supavash

    for the President to stand up and DO SOMETHING. Fire someone, propose a solution, fight to make the economy better.

    The last thing we need is him on a golf course. He needs to be seen as dealing with this.

  •  It's one jobs report, however, the president (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CookyMonzta, Supavash

    has got to draw a line the sand. he's got to level with the American people about Europe and GOP obstruction. i don't he's stressed these two factors enough.

  •  error in the diary (0+ / 0-)

    the labor force participation rate doesn't include the retired baby booms (they are not in the labor force) so that doesn't really have an effect on the labor force participation rate.

    •  The diary doesn't say the retired baby boomers... (0+ / 0-)

      ...are in the labor force. It says the opposite. The retired baby boomers are part of the missing workers cohort.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 01:33:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The reason Obama can't blame the Repubs here... (6+ / 0-)

    ...despite all their obstructionism, is that he's more or less quietly gone along with it for three years, even painting his willingness to cooperate as a virtue.  The technocrats (e.g., Geithner) who he's appointed surely have a role in that, but O appointed and has kept them throughout.

    To change course, he'd have to admit that his entire political approach has been considerably flawed since day 1.  While that's obvious to a great many people, it seems that Team O is completely unwilling to do this.  As long as they remain unwilling, the Repubs will not only be able to obstruct any move toward recovery, they'll be able to hang the consequences of that on Obama, as they have been doing.  

    In the mean time, not only does he fail to win anyone over among the current crop of 'independents,' but Obama loses more and more of the goodwill many of his supporters felt toward him as they see him steadfastly refusing to admit what's increasingly obvious to everyone, and thus looking more and more like yet another bullshit-artist politician every day.  

    "Two things that were left out of the bill of rights: the right to leave and the right to change one's mind" --Veronika, in Eustache's La Maman et la putain

    by ed k on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 07:42:39 AM PDT

  •  The answer is construction and mortgages (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Medium Head Boy, antirove

    Housing values are still going down and a tremendous number of homes are under water.  This means that there is no activity in that sector and certainly no new housing being built.  So construction jobs were down by 26,000.  

    The best thing the president can do is fire the jerk who heads the agency overseeing Freddie and Fannie, and put someone in there who will write down the federally held mortgages.  No legislation needed.  The current guy refuses to do this.  If people feel they can sell their homes without still owing money, transactions will increase, people will feel a little "wealthier," they'll start spending some money and the cycle will pick up.  Maybe they'll even start building some new houses too.

    And it's not too late to do this for the November election.

  •  Another summer like the last 3, and we're screwed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In 2009, the health-care debate, and town-hall meetings on the subject, were hijacked by gun-toting hecklers...

    ...In 2010, the BP oil-spill cleanup dominated the summer...

    ...In 2011, the debt-ceiling debate ruined last summer, and Obama's approval took a big hit.

    ...This year, we have the Euro fighting for its very existence, with Greece ready to drop out of it, and the situation there is affecting markets everywhere, to the point where the Dow could sink back into the 10,000s or worse, and the threat of the first monthly job loss report in more than 3 years looms.

    If this is the kind of summer we're headed for, we're in deep shit, because the next guy (if he wins) has a plan that will only make it much worse than we could ever imagine; so say many people, including Krugman.

    Obama needs only to do one thing, above all else:  Prevent this summer from becoming like the last 3.  Start by cranking out executive orders like there's no tomorrow.  And reintroduce a jobs bill, and if the other side says no once again, put them on notice throughout the whole summer and the fall campaign season, reminding the people of each and every example of their obstructionism.

  •  Jesus, get a grip people! (3+ / 0-)

    This site should be re-named The Daily Sky is Falling. Jesus, fuck!

  •  This indeed sucks, but what sucks more is the (7+ / 0-)

    defeatism that is so rampant here.

    That's it? We give up just like that? Now more than ever we need to fight for this president because so much is hanging on the line if he loses. Just think of the Supreme Court (Ginsburg can't hang on endlessly),  healthcare, women/gay/minority rights, wars, and the list goes on and on.

    So let's mope and whine for a couple more days, but then shake it off and double down on this asswipe of an opponent we have, and get the job done!  

    Let's not abandon this great president. Least of all not now.

    Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one. ::Goethe::

    by Jeremy10036 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 07:58:31 AM PDT

  •  What does this all mean? (0+ / 0-)

    Unemployment rate is up, but so is the size of the labor force...

    Does this mean that more people are trying to find jobs again after having given up?  

    All politics aside, is this a good signal, then?  

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 08:06:14 AM PDT

  •  The problem is not economic.... (0+ / 0-)

    The problem is our system and structure of government favors those whose lust for power exceeds their desire to help the country.

    Plainly speaking, our constitution is not up to the task of providing a workable framework for governance  anymore...

  •  to all concerned... (0+ / 0-)

    We all talk about ploiticians changing but why should they? IMHO the problem is everybody wants everything right now nobody wants to wait so they go in way over their heads in debt to get it.

      My son is a student,makes about 10,000-11,000 a year and thinks he's terribly in debt because he owes about $2500.00. He drives a 1995 Taurus and thinks it's wonderful.

  •  No way to sugarcoat this one. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, poopdogcomedy

    It's a bad report and means that we might be headed to something like Summer 2011 which is not good for anyone.

    As for the President, I think the June polls are going to be more negative.  Romney is working to consolidate his base and he might get additional points on the economy for being 'not Obama'.

    For the President, in addition to focusing on Romney's record as governor and his proposed policies, I think he is going to have to reiterate the message he had at the SOTU and the speech last summer where he unveiled the American Jobs Act.  If he can focus the campaign on the American Jobs Act and contrast it with Romney's tax cuts for billionaires, that might keep him ahead in the blue states and in position to win enough purple states.  But he has to pivot quickly back to a September 2011 mindset rather than January 2012.  America is back, but not quite back yet based on these data.  

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 08:18:16 AM PDT

  •  Teacher layoffs coming up in new numbers (0+ / 0-)

    I expect you're going to see private employment rise quite a bit with the summer construction season starting up and more home buyers getting into a market, and also once the fiscal year starts up July 1st, but we're also going to see all the teacher layoffs for next year's budgets start to show up. The new private employment will offset the numbers but once again will mask the idiocy of austerity while the numbers overall look "stagnant".

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 08:19:04 AM PDT

  •  This is the fault of the Republicans. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poopdogcomedy, Supavash

    As mentioned upthread, the blame goes to the Republicans every step of the way. Bush managed to tank the economy before leaving office (some might say on purpose.) Then the GOP, playing on the knowledge that it's really difficult for presidents to be re-elected when there's a high unemployment rate, managed to water down and obstruct stimulus bills for Obama's first two years. Then they ran on "Jobs, jobs, jobs" to take the House in 2010. Of course, they couldn't let the economy get better yet, since the election was still two years away, so instead, they've worked on "abortion, abortion, abortion," and "obstruct, obstruct, obstruct."

    Now as the 2012 election rolls around, and we've seen what they've done with their newfound power in state legislatures: cut more jobs- state jobs, weaken unions, and purge voter rolls or otherwise muck with the election system. This keeps Obama looking bad, while simultaneously cementing the GOP's power by depriving any opposition of funding and votes.

    They're playing the long game here. Don't expect any changes if they manage to take the White House- they're still trying for a permanent majority. They'll keep right on cutting jobs and privatizing, so their rich buddies can get even richer off of contracts. And they'll play the same games they've played in the states, but on a federal level, so when the voters realize what's been done, it will be too late- despite having an undisputed majority of support, any opposition will have no hope of being elected.

    We need the House back, and as big a majority in the Senate as we can possibly get, or things will get even uglier.

    -this space for rent-

    by EsnRedshirt on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 08:43:10 AM PDT

  •  An objective (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, Meteor Blades

    and well done discussion of the labor force participation issue.

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 08:58:17 AM PDT

  •  Bailing out the Banks worked! (0+ / 0-)

    I mean if we didn't bail those banks out the debts would be wiped out and people would be using their income to create demand which would create employment. Who wants that?

    Now our masters can stay rich as the middle class gets destroyed, great job!

  •  I would say it's a mixture of GOP obstruction and (0+ / 0-)

    a few bad calls from the Obama Administration.  Personally, I don't think there's one full solution to this problem.  Corporations are sitting on all this cash but aren't spending any of it to hire people and demand needs to be higher as well.  Another thing to realize is we have a different breed of consumer.  Best Buy is shutting down a bunch of their stores because their products are over priced and people only want to buy certain products from Best Buy hence why you see more of those Best Buy vending machines popping up.  Also, people are buying stuff on line more often.  Obviously we need to stop with the austerity and invest more in our country but any suggestions what the everyday consumer can do to help things improve, I'm all ears on any and all ideas and suggestions.  

  •  Five months until decision time (0+ / 0-)

    The American Economy (and possibly the global economy) is broken

    It is clear that all the fixes so far (low interest rates, temporary tax cuts and stimulus programs) have not worked

    So, do we want to continue pushing on a string waiting for the economy to recover, or do we want some clear path to recovery?

    The winner gets to occupy the Oval Office next year.

    All polls taken before November 6 are meaningless

    157 days until the polls open

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