URK! The sound made after the breath has been knocked out of you

Both me and the American economy. And they still don’t get that it’s all about the intersection of bad and vastly too much regulation
This and more at PJMEDIA: Stephen Green, The Bistromath economy
My emphasis

2.3 million — number of Americans “marginally attached” to the labor force.

-720,000 — change in civilian labor force in October.

815,000 — number of discouraged workers in October.

62.8% — labor force participation rate.

-0.4% — change since September.

13.8% — underemployment rate (U-6) in October.

More bistromathic mathematics:

+0.2% — change in U-6 since September.

14.2% — U-6 in January, 2009.

-0.4% — U-6 improvement after 52 months of economic recovery.

??? — actual unemployment rate, following revelations of data manipulation by Census Bureau during lead-up to 2012 election.

7949.09 — DJIA, January 20, 2009

16,064.77 — DJIA November 22, 2013

200% — increase of DJIA since January 20, 2009.

$22.01 — U.S. average hourly wage, January, 2009.

$24.10 — U.S. average hourly wage, October, 2013.

9% — increase in U.S. average hourly wage since January, 2009 (not adjusted for inflation).

10.61% — cumulative inflation since January, 2009.

< 0% — increase in average hourly wage since January, 2009

2.5% — second quarter U.S. GDP growth, annualized.

2.0% — third quarter U.S. GDP growth, annualized.

2.0% — fourth quarter US GDP growth, projected.

< 3.0% — 2014 U.S. GDP growth, projected.

1.67% — average U.S. GDP growth under George W. Bush, including 9/11 and 2008 financial meltdown.

Just over 1% — average U.S. GDP growth under Barack H. Obama, including stimulus and recovery.

$1,020,000,000,000 — stimulus injected into U.S. economy by Federal Reserve in 2013 (planned).

$313,695,000,000 — U.S. GDP growth in 2013 in dollars (projected).

3.25:1 — ratio of Fed stimulus dollars to each new dollar of economic growth.

62% — percentage increase in U.S. debt since January 20, 2009.

56% — increase in U.S. debt after eight years of GW Bush

38 — months remaining in Obama administration.

Charlie Martin @ PJMEDIA Obamacare vs Arithmatic

Mr. Martin lays out ‘my’ plan for health car, he got it probably long before I did, you should too. This should be the Republican, Tea Party, soft libertarian ‘answer’ to Health Care. @ http://pjmedia.com/blog/obamacare-vs-arithmetic/

In there is Gammon’s Law:

From Milton Friedman: Some years ago, I came across a study by Max Gammon, a British physician who also researches medical care, comparing input and output in the British socialized hospital system. He took the number of employees as his measure of input and the number of hospital beds as his measure of output. He found that input had increased sharply, while output had actually fallen.
He was led to enunciate what he called “the theory of bureaucratic displacement.” In his words, in “a bureaucratic system . . . increase in expenditure will be matched by fall in production. . . . Such systems will act rather like `black holes,’ in the economic universe, simultaneously sucking in resources, and shrinking in terms of `emitted production.'”

Friedman referenced health care in general but it applies to the square with Obamacare…

US Bureaucrat’s are (largely) neither stupid or venal, their bosses, our Politicians on the other hand….

Bad Mandates
Francis Fukuyama at The American Interest

Bureaucratic dysfunctions can almost always be traced back to a badly-conceived mandate from the political principal to the bureaucratic agent, which prevents the agent from exercising an appropriate degree of autonomous judgment.
.
.
.
Under our system of government, private individuals are given standing in the courts to force agencies to implement laws. If local officials thought wheelchair ramps didn’t make sense, they would face a blizzard of lawsuits like the ones described by Loyola and Epstein, where a single individual named Theodore Pinnock forced every mom-and-pop store in little Julian, California to remodel their facilities to accommodate his wheelchair. So the problem here is not excessive autonomy, it’s complete lack of autonomy in complying with a senseless legislative mandate that takes no account of the need for discretionary tradeoffs against competing goods.

And why does the bureaucracy grow, because the politicians give it more, and more and more, to do….

WSJ || Sequester is bad medicine But the only medicine for now

20130812-155542.jpgLove the cartoon, yay WSJ!

WSJ OPINIONAugust 11, 2013, 6:18 p.m. The Budget Sequester Is a Success
The Obama spending blitz is over and the deficit is heading below 4% of GDP

This is about the only way we’re going to cut budgets in this environment, I think it is unrealistic to expect congress to manage its way out of this given the inability to horse trade and really sock it to any constituency, given the rules of the game as played today. The big remaining problem is the locked in promises inherent in the big ticket entitlements.

Tyranny of Data, McNamara’s whiz kids to Google’s geek culture

20130602-174541.jpg

Body count: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara briefing the press on Vietnam at the Pentagon in 1965.

Read more: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/514591/the-dictatorship-of-data/#ixzz2V67sF8kO From MIT Technology Review
Seems to me that McNamara epitomized the dark heart of the blue model industrialization, he was trying to make central planning work using the tools of capitalism. Big data has the the potential to make Stalinist (central planned top down industrial society) real like no tool before it. But at the same time the underlying technology will make centralization ever less attractive overall, ever less economically efficient. Some nations may fall to Big Data / Big Brother but they are not likely to become conquerors by economic or military coercion because the Maker States will be so much more resilient and efficient. Of course that assumes short sighted politicians/bureaucrats don’t take us all down some ‘consensus’ path because of short term returns that fools take as structural not ephemeral.

Going to Mars, but Talk about the negative!

20130530-184745.jpg20130530-184752.jpg20130530-184758.jpgWIRED: Why We Can’t Send Humans to Mars Yet (And How We’ll Fix That)
BY ADAM MANN
This is a good article and it has an excellent recap of needed technology, but it is in my opinion reduced in power by a negative tone. It seems biased by a drum beat I have been seeing about how hard, how expensive, how risky…etc, and while I appreciate the challenges one does not open frontiers by dwelling on all the horrid ways one is likely to die. This also seems Blue centric NASA, NASA, NASA. In the end the commercial civilian drive will send us outbound not risk averse bureaucrats.

Walter Russell Mead // jobs jobs jobs

As always lots of great thought at The American Interest read more at: http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/05/22/jobs-jobs-jobs-2/

First, make hiring easy and cheap.
Second, put the service economy and especially small business and entrepreneurship front and center.
Third, we need to feed the state to the people even as we individualize its services.

That third one had me puzzled till I read the explanation, which is a good description of what the statesmen of the past have done.

A characteristic of American political economy going back to colonial times has been the use of the resources of the state to promote the welfare of what today we would call the middle class. For much of our history we “fed the state to the people” by turning over publicly owned lands at low and ultimately zero cost. The public lands, which once included virtually all of the continental United States, were a possession of almost infinite value, but it seemed wiser (and more politically sustainable) to the leaders of the day to make them cheaply available to the people rather than to hoard them or try to retain a larger share of their value for the public purse.

Duh! … Well intended policies have negative impacts …

Well-intentioned policies to make achieving tenure more family-friendly actually have negative consequences for the salaries of college faculty, says a study co-written by University of Illinois labor and employment relations professor Amit Kramer:
“The norm in academia is that success requires the focused pursuit of academic work at the expense of other responsibilities, including family,” he said. “That suggests that the use of these policies may be detrimental to the career outcomes of tenure-track faculty members. In particular, evaluators may perceive stopping the clock for family reasons as an indicator that the faculty member lacks the commitment to his or her academic role. And that, in turn, may constrain their career prospects.”

This ‘unintended consequence’ should have been predicted (and my bet is that it was) by any rational adult who has worked in even a moderately competitive workplace (and academia in main line universities is anything but just moderately competitive.) This sort of thing is a fact of life among us monkeys, move on, nothing to see here! Trying to add some kind of anti-bias bias, as suggested later in the article, is nuts and will only make things worse.

If you want to provide this sort of benefit, do so knowing there will be ‘unintended consequences’ of this sort and allow your adult, professional staff figure out their own best path. I think providing more personal days per year and allowing them to accrue along with a reasonably strict use policy to offset impacts to the company / coworkers would be more fair and flexible.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-04-family-friendly-tenure-policies-result-salary.html

20130429-194213.jpg

Eye Candy : Wired Photo Gallery