The Other Half Of The Misery Index

Recently I ranted about inflation. I’m pissed that I saw inflation coming a mile away and was told I wasn’t seeing it. I was told “this time is different” and “mathematics don’t apply to us” and “don’t be lame, it’s a historic moment“.  Now inflation is swirling around my ankles and I’m being told that it’s not true. Why? There is no nobility in denying that which is true.  I’m annoyed because some dumbass will be telling me it’s all sunshine and rainbows right until I’m dropping a twenty on a box of corn flakes.  (Especially if the media likes the guy in the big chair.)

I might as well add the other part of the misery index; unemployment. I’m less worried about unemployment than inflation. Inflation sneaks though the window in the middle of the night, sets your car on fire, shoots your dog, and lobs a live grenade into your bank account. Unemployment shows up drunk, drinks all your beer, craps on the couch, and makes a pass at your girl but you can try to set things back in order once you shoo it out the door.  Unemployment is never delightful but an individual can do his or her best to adapt and might come out ok.

Also, unemployment is hard to pin down. It’s based on the number of Americans who’re receiving a certain Federal benefit. The relationship between this and hard working COGs who are temporarily idled is fuzzy.  But accepting that it’s a fruity number it’s still relevant.

So how are things going? Shitty!  How do I know they’re shitty? Because the statistic stands at 8.6%.  Not long ago Bush Jr. was in office and eight points would have been considered the end of life as we know it and proof positive that we were doomed.  Bush’s unemployment rate bounced from 4.3% to 7.8%.  Towards the end of his administration he was hounded for unemployment any time the media wasn’t barking about Guantanamo.  (Good thing Obama closed Guantanamo.)

So 8.6% is bad news right? Nope, the press loves the guy in the big chair so it’s all puppies and flowers. Check it out: Jobless Rate Dips to Lowest Level in More than Two Years.  I’m really impressed by their ability to spin 8.6% into good news.  (Next they’ll kick me in the groin and tell me it’s good for my self esteem.)

I couldn’t help but dredge up this chart:

This is the chart that the president showed so it must be right. Also, I think entirely in pastels.

This chart comes from page four of a January 2009 report by the Council of Economic Advisors called “The Job Impact Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Program” (it’s available from the footnotes in Wikipedia). This chart was a key to the sales pitch (snow job) that got the “Stimulus Package” passed.

This chart is also completely fucking wrong.  Not one part of their “predictions” were even remotely correct.  (Which is something I saw coming…as did many others who hadn’t drank the Kool aid.)

The next chart is reality:

Reality is a harsh mistress.

I decided to compare the puppies and rainbows “prediction” (i.e. bullshit) with real life.  Check out my super cool annotation abilities!

Since when is "much worse than predicted under any scenario" good news? (Bonus question: to what extent is this related to the stock price of New York Times?

Just for fun I pulled the stock price for the New York Times Co. during the same time period as “predicted” under the Stimulus Package.

Yes those are dollars and yes their price has dropped from about $28 to $7.62 right now. Well played gentlemen!

Note: Hat tip to The Right Sphere.

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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4 Responses to The Other Half Of The Misery Index

  1. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    The Liberal Establishment has a lot of practice at denying harsh reality. They still consider Communism a respectable faith, a piece of blinkered idiocy that involves ignoring its entire history. They believe the most appalling nonsense about health and diet. They buy into “science” that I can prove is so much hogwash, with a high school exposure to statistics. They even believe in the providential wonderfulness of their selves, for which their is no evidence whatsoever.

    • Yes there are folks who are professional reality deniers. For some reason they tend to think they’re pretty noble for their self delusion. How can one be proud of being incorrect. One look at pre-Glasnost Russia would submit any person with faith in a planned economy to a kick it in the groin from which they’d never recover. Yet they still keep on believing. It’s a mystery.

      • C. S. P. Schofield says:

        A lot – not all, but many – of these people are self-styled intellectuals fighting bitterly against the cold fact that intellectualism is a luxury good that many societies simply cannot afford. Many serve no useful function in society whatsoever; academics who don’t publish, second-string vice-presidents in charge of counting legumes whose careers are already notably sideways, that kind of thing. The only way they can hold on to their inflated sense of self-worth is to hold opinions which all the Right People know are the Right Ones (often opinions flattering to the Western Intellectuals), and which are rejected by the “uneducated” masses. That many of the “uneducated” masses are self-educated experts on history or simply possessed of common sense would never occur to these twits.

        They live in a fantasy world in which only the bitter and foolish resistance of the Peasants keeps them from their Natural place in life as the unquestioned rulers.

        Far too goddamned many of them die of natural causes.

  2. jefferson101 says:

    Inflation, you say? Meh. The lower end monetary metals went nuts three years or better ago. I buy Copper, Brass, and Lead in quantities. And I know what happened to the prices on them.

    Gold is for rich people. I figure that if I can time it just right, I can cash out my 401k account and buy silver with it early in some rapidly approaching year. By the time the taxes come due on it, I can pay them by selling a dozen incandescent light bulbs, a box of ammo, or some such.

    But yes, it’s coming. Given the spending mode of our .Gov, and that of Europe and China, it’s all toast. Buy something of value and put it away, people. Gold, Silver, Copper, Brass, Lead, or hard goods. Soap and TP will be worth their weight in “Cash” in your classic Federal Reserve Notes. And they aren’t even good TP, because the FRN’s are too stiff. The lower denomination bills make good fire starters, but don’t use too many of them, because you are expending a valuable match to light them with, and that match is worth more.

    Got chainsaws? Spare chains? Nails, screws, and bolts and nuts? Saws, drill-bits, shovels, rakes, and hoes? I don’t care what you got, but buy something. Cash is the worst place to be.

    Unless you really need something to get the fire going with, that is.

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