Dec 10 2013

Nothin’ From Nothin’ Leaves Nothin’

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment Situation Summary

December 06, 2013

The unemployment rate declined from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent in November


Both the number of unemployed persons, at 10.9 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.0 percent, declined in November. Among the unemployed, the number who reported being on temporary layoff decreased by 377,000. This largely reflects the return to work of federal employees who were furloughed in October due to the partial government shutdown.

(See tables A-1 and A-11.)


The employment-population ratio increased by 0.3 percentage point to 58.6 percent in November

As of December 6, 2013, the United States has a total resident population of 317,208,000

58.6 percent of 317,208,000 is 185,883,888 people. Supporting 317,208,000 people.

Which means of course that 41.4 percent of the US population is “unemployed” (not working anywhere, for any money) now.


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  1. Edger

    It’s all uphill from here?

  2. Zorba

    We need to reintroduce child labor and decrease the minimum wage to whatever an employer deigns to throw your way.

    Yes, this is snark.    {{Sigh}}

  3. MO Blue

    Obama is talking populist again.

    President Obama is once again turning to populism to reinvigorate what has been a lackluster second term.

    The populism counterpunch is one the White House has delivered several times with Obama on the ropes. White House aides and Democratic strategists said it helped catapult him to a second term last year.

    He’s definitely trying to get the message about his priorities back on track after the ObamaCare kerfuffle because I’m assuming his polling is saying revert back to populism and get the message back on track,” one Democratic operative said.

    “But I think the real issue is, what can he accomplish?” added the operative, who pointed to the healthcare reform website as undermining the president’s credibility.

    “His credibility is largely shot for many reasons, the most recent one being the website,” the operative said. “So when he tries to strike a populist tone and talk about issues like college affordability, does anyone believe him and does anyone care?” link

    Meanwhile back at the home front:

    House Democrats unsuccessfully sought to use the negotiations as a vehicle to secure an extension of unemployment benefits set to expire at the end of the month. Benefits affecting 1.3 million long-term unemployed workers are set to expire if Congress doesn’t act, and the budget deal could be the only vehicle headed to President Obama’s desk before the House of Representatives adjourns until the new year on Friday. The Senate is scheduled to be in session next week.

    The new plan, according to analysts at Roll Call, is to eliminate a loophole that allows states to pay higher food stamps by tapping into a program designed for helping with winter heating bills.
    For Democrats especially, any talk about cutting billions from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is uncomfortable and certain to create internal strife. But negotiators on the farm bill believe they’ve found a way to make about $8 billion in savings from the program palatable for most Democrats


    Why is this “palatable” to most Democrats?

    The key is eliminating a loophole that enables states to help some low-income residents with nominal subsidies to pay for their heating in the winter in order to trigger much higher food stamp benefits. Some states, such as New York, will make a $1 Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program  payment to low-income people in order to automatically qualify them for the maximum federal food stamps Standard Utility Allowance for 12 months.

    How horrifying, states are trying to find ways to help residents not go hungry by tapping into other programs for the poor. Clearly this must be stopped at all costs. link

    All is well – Obama is talking populist again.

  4. MO Blue

    Susie Madrak at C&L has a post highlighting the problems of the long term unemployed and featuring excerpts from Klein’s article on Washington ‘Abandoning The Unemployed’


    Ezra is right. I don’t know which particular gun was held to Patty Murray’s head, but when it comes to the Democrats stiffing the working class, it always seems to be the right threat. The wealthy, in the meantime, will stay very, very comfortable — as usual. Merry Christmas, long-term unemployed people!


    But the political system isn’t erring on the side of extending jobless benefits. It’s erring on the side of further deficit reduction. The deal Murray and Ryan struck replaces a bit less than half of sequestration for this year and a lot less than half of sequestration for next year but it adds about $20 billion in fresh deficit reduction to the top.

    Democrats wanted to add unemployment insurance to the deal but found Republicans implacably opposed. Which is to say that Republicans were able to add extra deficit reduction to the deal but Democrats weren’t able to add help for the long-term unemployed to the deal. It’s a reminder of where the political system’s priorities are — and a reminder that they’re grossly out of line.

    I think this statement needs to be repeated over and over again:

    It’s a reminder of where the political system’s priorities are — and a reminder that they’re grossly out of line.

  5. MO Blue

    policies because they are “Better than Nothing” and somehow hold on to the idea of American Exceptionalism.

    While Dems wildly cheer the fact that they reached a deal on the budget this headline from the Wonkblog would come closer to describing the DEAL.

    The budget deal is good for the economy because it isn’t terrible

    What matters is that under the deal, fiscal policy still be a drag. It just will be less of a drag than it would be otherwise. Economists at Barclays, for example, now think that tighter federal spending will reduce the overall growth rate in 2014 by 0.25 percent, not the 0.5 percent they estimated previously.

    In other words, at a time of high unemployment, falling deficits and low interest rates, budget-cutting is still making the economy worse than it otherwise would be. But with this deal, Washington policy will be less counterproductive than it otherwise would be.

    According to the article “There are a couple of other ways the deal will affect the broader economy, one good, two bad.,” but it is better than nothing.

    We are “exceptional.” Rah, Rah, Rah – Obama and the Dems are fantastic negotiators, they have pivoted once again to TALK populism and all is well with the world.

  6. Edger

    We need to get Nixon revived.

  7. MO Blue

    A blog post by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa in the Wall Street Journal highlights findings from a paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia that much of the shrinking of the U.S. workforce has been due to workers retiring early… – Angry Bear

    Per article, seems that is not true.

    More Than Three-Quarters of Workers Missing from the Labor Force Are Under Age 55

  8. MO Blue

    The Congress has decided it is time that cabinet members make real sacrifices not just the old, the poor and the sick.

    Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) on Thursday introduced legislation that would curb spending on official portraits of cabinet members.

    The bill would limit the administration to spending only $20,000 per portrait, and officials can chip in their own money if they would like to spend more on the painting.

    In March, the Department of Defense announced that it would spend $31,000 on a portrait of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, according to the Huffington Post. TPM

  9. Edger
  10. Dromaius

    I worried when I heard you left Talkleft.  Another voice of reason gone.  But here you are!

    I agree.  Jeralyn and BTD have ignored the realities of Obamacare for the good of the team….

  11. Edger


    < ducks >

  12. Zorba

    Okay, no baklava for you, Edger.    😉

  13. Edger

    You haters are all alike!

    ProPublica tweets: Obama & the British and Danish PM’s shoot a selfie…at Mandela’s memorial

  14. BruceMcF

    There are a number of entrepreneurial activities compatible with a YOYO society …

    … that can make good use of a balaclava.

  15. Edger

    Now THERE’S a great slogan!

  16. Zorba

    absolutely crazy.  ” Better than nothing.”

    The ACA was better than nothing, this budget deal was better than nothing, and on and on and on.

    It is driving me crazy.

    Isn’t it terribly, terribly sad that this country, which has so much, cannot do any better than better than nothing?

  17. MO Blue

    “This would not be the deal that any of us would’ve written,” Van Hollen said. “It’s the product of a compromise and again, just speaking to the confines of the budget deal itself and not this overall package that may come with the rule, again, I think on merit this is better than the alternative.” Pelosi: ‘Absolutely Unconscionable’ Budget Deal Does Not Include Unemployment Benefits

    BTW Nancy inquiring minds want to know, if it is ‘Absolutely Unconscionable’ why did you agree to cave on the issue?

    Keep looking for creditability somewhere but am having difficulty finding it. I must say that it impedes my assuming my proper role as a Dem Cheerleader. (yes, this is snark)

  18. sj

    …preening about Obama’s speech. What part of “watch what they do, not what they say” is unclear?

    He can talk populist, but that blue in his face is because he’s Blue Dog, not because he exhausted.

  19. TMC

  20. MO Blue
  21. Edger

    “curb spending on mug shots”?

  22. MO Blue

    Panel Set to Recommend Modest Changes to NSA Surveillance Programs

    The proposal likely to gain the most attention would revamp the NSA phone records program….The proposal to have that data held by a phone company or a third party would effectively end the controversial NSA practice known as bulk collection. NSA could collect data only after meeting a new higher standard of proof.

    Another likely recommendation, officials say, is the creation of an organization of legal advocates who, like public defenders, would argue against lawyers for the N.S.A. and other government organizations in front of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the nation’s secret court that oversees the collection of telephone and Internet “metadata” and of wiretapping aimed at terrorism and espionage suspects. Mr. Obama has already hinted that he objects to the absence of any adversarial procedures in front of the court’s judges.

    In the end, I suspect that most of this will amount to very little. But it’s better than nothing. Thanks, Edward Snowden. Kevin Drum

  23. sj

    … the illusion of better than nothing. So they propose to farm out storage of the bulk collection of data. Not, you notice, to narrow parameters of data collection. Yeah, that will be safer. And anyway, this could just be a window-dressing/white washing solution to all the problems they are having bringing the Utah NSA data center on-line. I don’t believe for a second that they have given up on the data center. I would believe, however, that they have exceeded capacity wherever they are currently storing.

    As for this:

    Another likely recommendation, officials say, is the creation of an organization of legal advocates who, like public defenders, would argue against lawyers for the N.S.A. and other government organizations in front of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court…

    I can see that this could be used as window dressing as well. Wasn’t the FISA court itself supposed to provide oversight and not a rubber stamp? As long the “legal advocates” are government selected, and as long as the legal arguments are still shrouded in secrecy, who really thinks anything will change?

    Upon reflection, I think this may very well be worse than nothing. The illusion is hiding the sleight of hand beneath the surface.

  24. TMC

    at Obamacare over at Lambert’s blog, Corrente, he calls it Obamacare Clusterfuck http://www.correntewire.com/ob

  25. MO Blue

    Pope Francis said in the first peace message of his pontificate that huge salaries and bonuses are symptoms of an economy based on greed and inequality and called again for nations to narrow the wealth gap. digby

    Someone once accused me of trying to use the Pope to promote my political agenda when I posted this quote from the Pope

    With this in mind, I encourage financial experts and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: “Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs”.

    A financial reform open to such ethical considerations would require a vigorous change of approach on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and an eye to the future, while not ignoring, of course, the specifics of each case.

    and had the audacity to suggest that these words might be addressed to the current administration as well as leaders in other countries.

    I must say when it comes to advocating for the poor and taking governments to task the Pope is doing a fine job of promoting a part of my political agenda without any help from me.

  26. MO Blue

    I’m getting an error message when I click on that link

  27. TMC

    ObamaCare Clusterfuck

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