I Have Your Winner

Yesterday, after noting the rapid economic growth and increase in jobs, Jay at Classless Warfare had this to say:

Even as the economy had been improving over the last year, the fallback for the anti-Bushies was their favorite question:

Where are the jobs?

It became something heard so often that they started to remind of a parrot. “Squawwwk! Where are the jobs? Where are the jobs? Squawwwwk!”

Well start eating a cracker Polly. The government is set to report that over 220,000 jobs were created in the month of May and the unemployment rate will probably drop again. That will put the jobs data over a million since the beginning of the year. The prediction that 2.6 million jobs would be created this year suddenly doesn’t seem so far fetched.

Look for the goal posts to be moved once again as the anti-Bushies have done every time new positive economic data comes out. Now they’ll start arguing that it isn’t the number of jobs that are important but the types of jobs being created.

You’ll see.

Check this out, Jay:

Kerry spokesperson Allison Dobson issued the following statement today in response to the new unemployment numbers:

“Any step forward in the job market is good news for workers but America is still in the worst job recovery since the Great Depression, with 1.9 million private-sector jobs lost in the Bush presidency.

Families are still struggling in this economy. Jobs are scarce and those lucky enough to have one are making $1,500 less each year. Meanwhile, their budgets are being squeezed by skyrocketing costs of healthcare, college tuition and gasoline.”

A press release from an hour ago.

There is also a quote I JUST heard on the radio in whcih Kerry stated that ‘yes, there is job growth, bu they are not good-paying jobs.”

I will post the link ASAP.

Predictable losers, aren’t they?

*** Update ***

From the Opinionjournal:

On his campaign Web site, John Kerry promises to create 10 million new jobs during his four-year term as president. That’s a rate of 625,000 every three months, or only 66% of the past three months’ performance under President Bush. Can we really afford to elect someone who sets his sights so low?


20 replies
  1. 1
    JohnO says:

    Sooooooooo, those 10 million jobs that Kerry is going to create (a feat in and of itself) will only be the high-paying kind?? Excellent. Can’t wait.

  2. 2
    Budo says:

    The AFL-CIO was the first to comment that the new jobs are not good paying jobs. Then–surprise–the Kerry campaign picks up the theme.

    What they mean, of course, is that most of the new jobs aren’t union jobs, which the democrats can bleed for campaign contributions via involuntary union dues.

  3. 3
    mark says:

    well, of course they are not as well paying as say, marrying a rich ketchup heiress.

  4. 4
    triticale says:

    The manufacturing jobs I’m seeing advertised in the Milwaukee area right now are paying $12 to $18 per hour to start, which is enough to live on around here. The news that companies are having trouble filling these jobs was widely linked a few days ago.

  5. 5
    Kimmitt says:

    Bush is still going to be the first President since Hoover to preside over a net job loss. That’s kind of what Republican Presidents do; preside over lousy economic times by comparison to their Democratic counterparts.

  6. 6
    willyb says:

    Before you break your arm patting Clinton on the back for having such a great economy, please explain to me how any president creates jobs.

  7. 7
    SDN says:

    “That’s kind of what Republican Presidents do; preside over lousy economic times” translates to clean up the meses their Democratic counterparts leave for them.

    Recession starting in March 2000 (Still Pres Bubba): check (leaving out the fact that if Clinton was such an economic genius he would have seen this coming and enacted the policies to stop it (like a tax cut).

    Ignoring the terrorist threat to this country for 8 years (continuing a policy of appeasement begun by Dems like Kerry in 1971): check.

    Yep, Bush is doing just what Republican Presidents do!

  8. 8
    willyb says:


    Clinton didn’t ignor the terrorist threat, he tried his best to find the terrorists and give them a fair trial, you know, miranda rights and such. They were very scrupulous in protecting the legal rights of terrorists.

  9. 9
    Andrew J. Lazarus says:

    You guys are incredible. First, the recession’s onset keeps getting further and further back into the Clinton Administration. Even the Bushies (and, I might add, to some skepticism) moved it from March **2001** (is that where you got the “March”?) to 4Q2000. Is Google that hard to use, SDN?

    Now, as far as Kerry’s job promise, I’ll try to explain this slowly. The economy runs in cycles. Averaging Bush’s decent (although not spectacular) job growth over the last few months with his very bad job hemorrhaging earlier will come out with a negative total. Worse than Carter. Worse than Bush 41. Better than Hoover. Even if (God forbid) Bush is re-elected, he won’t be able to keep this growth up indefinitely. Actually, since there’s no more pump-priming available, if Bush is in charge when the economy cools off again, the results will probably be disastrous.

    Kerry is promising an AVERAGE gain much higher than Bush’s. Even assuming that he makes that goal, it will consist of some months below Bush’s current standard and some much higher.

    Your logic is close to claiming the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are better than the Yankees on the basis of one or two days that the Rays win and the Yankees lose. (And, incidentally, I like seeing the Yankees lose.)

  10. 10

    andrew, how does kerry plan on creating those jobs? and what sort of jobs does he plan on creating? i’m guessing he’ll take tax revenue from the ‘rich’ and merely create more levels of government.

    or, he’ll simply feed off the current economic growth and say he single-handedly created all those jobs.

    but first, he has to get elected. and

  11. 11
    retired military says:

    Mr. Lazarus

    The recession has been firmly pegged as having been started in 2000. Plus please recall that we didnt go under a Bush budget until Oct 1, 2001. So the recession started firmly under Clinton.

    As far as Kerry’s job promises, I find the LAUGHABLE.


    “My plan will create 10 million new jobs”

    8.1 million unemployed

    Not only will Kerry be the first president to have zero unemployment but we will have almost 2 million jobs that noone will be able to fill. Nice math there.

    Not to mention that if the current trend continues (and per news reports it will) by Jan an additional 1.2 million+ new jobs will have been created.

    If you look at the Bureau of Labor statistics there were about 136 million jobs in Jan 2000 and only 138 million now. Jobs dont just grow that fast for that long.

    Yes this is simplistic reasoning for economics but the gaps are to big to be nuanced.

    In short, Kerry sounds great on paper but when you look at the figures it doesnt add up. Not to mention his policies will do nothing but constrict and not expand the job market.

    Have fun voting for Hillary in 08.

  12. 12
    retired military says:

    First this was a jobless economy when anyone who knows about the economic cycle knows that jobs are the last thing to get added to an economy when coming out of a recession.

    Then the jobs werent “Manufacturing jobs”

    Now the jobs are “high paying” jobs.

    What next? Well the jobs dont have the right race of people working them.

    Play the race card, it is about all Kerry has left at this point. As far as how long can the economy continue to grow – Make the tax cuts permanent and see what happens!!!

  13. 13
    retired military says:

    Kerry said “Jobs are scarce and those lucky enough to have one are making $1,500 less each year. Meanwhile, their budgets are being squeezed by skyrocketing costs of healthcare, college tuition and gasoline.”

    A. I see help wanted signs all over the place.

    B. I am making more doing the same job than I was a year ago.

    C. My heatlh care costs havent increased a cent.

    D. My son has a job (thank you President Bush) and is paying for his own college (strange a minimum wage job can pay for a college education).

    E. My increased fuel costs are more than offset by the tax cut I got thanks to President Bush.

    Gee, Kerry struck out on all counts.

  14. 14
    Andrew J. Lazarus says:

    Retired military, in ridiculing John Kerry, you forgot to account for natural growth of the workforce because of population increase. Ooooops.

    Oddly enough, at the same time you boast of Bush’s current rate of job growth, which if extrapolated sufficiently far would ALSO come out at the creation of 10 million jobs, close to the end of the hypothetical second term. But when the same result you ridicule Kerry for makes Bush look good, you publish it.

    At this point, I think we can disregard the rest of your “analysis”, although it’s full of many more such simple blunders.

  15. 15
    retired military says:

    Mr. Lazarus

    “you forgot to account for natural growth of the workforce because of population increase”

    Actually you forgot that the baby boom generation is starting to retire. That being said the growth to the workforce will be minimal if not offset entirely.

    In fact if you look at this statement “If you look at the Bureau of Labor statistics there were about 136 million jobs in Jan 2000 and only 138 million now. Jobs dont just grow that fast for that long. ”

    That kinda offsets your entire argument there.

    Yes, I boast of Bush’s current job creation rate. However, Bush never stated that he would create 10 million new jobs. Kerry did.

    Now that I have totally invalidated your two statements why dont you try again. And nice try on passing on the rest of my points with a flimsy excuse when you cant come up with a better argument.

    Have a nice day.

  16. 16
    retired military says:

    Mr. Lazarus.

    I saw somewhere that the growth in the workforce was about 100k per month. This article and accompanying chart would tend to prove that out.

    “The growth in the workforce that supported a growing economy in the 1970s and 1980s is slowing significantly, and less than 20 years from now, the growth rate of the U.S. workforce will fall below zero (see Figure 1). The reason is well-knownbaby boomers are aging, and the succeeding generation of workers is significantly smaller.”

    It in fact shows the decline in net growth of the workforce I was talking about though not as drastic over the next 4 years. (incoming +outgoing will balance out in about 2012).

    SO lets take 100K additional people coming into the workforce a month. Bush last 6 months will put an estimated 1.2 million people into jobs. Kerry stated if elected he would add 10 million new jobs. Current unemployment is 8.1 million.(5.6%).

    So for a little math.
    1.2 million under Bush + 10 million under Kerry = 11.2 million – 8.1 million current unemployed = 3.1 million.

    (this is assuming the 100K per figure holds steady which per this chart it will do nothing but decline)

    New workers = 100K per month for 54 months = 5.4 million.

    5.4 million – 3.1 million = 2.3 million unemployed.

    That would put the unemployment rate 2.2 million divided by 140 million (estimate) at 1.6%.

    Unemployment historically has never fallen below 4% (per chart below). And from what I have read economists has stated that it almost impossible to get below 4%.



  17. 17
    Andrew J. Lazarus says:

    I recommend Brad DeLong on economics. It’s a real economist and it’s full of charts; the one comparing the real number of jobs with promises the Bush Administration made is a beaut (also found here)

    Current thinking is that 150K jobs per month must be created because of workforce expansion. One can corroborate this by noting how little the unemployment rate is falling despite the number of new jobs. (Also, if the absolute number of the jobs required remains constant, the PERCENTAGE change will of course continue to fall, making the graphs in your source somewhat misleading.)

    You also made the serious mistake of ignoring the return of “discouraged” workers into the job market. It is simply not true that

    What am pointing out is that IF you extrapolate the current job growth to the end of the 2004 term, you also get 10 million new jobs. Now, I doubt if Bush has succeeded in creating permanent job growth at the current level. He’ll be very lucky to get back to net zero by the end of his term, and given where we are in the business cycle, we’d probably see a levelling out early in his putative second term. But IF Bush were able to maintain his current rate for the next five years, he would reach the same 10 million you find so silly. Either you have to retract the claim that Kerry’s 10 million is impossible, OR you have to admit that Bush will not be able to maintain the current rate of growth for a second term. It makes no sense whatsoever to try to claim both of these at the same time.

    As it happens, Kerry’s 10MM claim is reasonable AS AN AVERAGE. How do we know this? Because we gained more than 22MM jobs over Bill Clinton’s two terms! (Oooops.) Clinton’s AVERAGE job growth is as good as Bush’s current growth, which is near his very best. As I said before, you’re claiming the Devil Rays are better than the Yankees on the basis of a couple days the Rays win and the Yankees lose.

    Although it’s probably hard for readers of my comments to believe this, I get all the bug-searching practice I need in my day job. But if you insist:

    Right now, tuition at the University of California is over $7000/year. A 40 hour/week minimum wage job is about $13K/year, before FICA taxes, probably about $11.5/year net. Leaving aside how well your son does juggling full-time work and school, I’d like to see how he lives on the remaining $4,500 per year. (Perhaps you live in a state where the taxpayers are still willing to subsidize higher education more generously, but if so, you might temper your enthusiasm for tax cuts.)

    I’m glad your tax cut exceeds the amount extra you pay in gas, but the tax cut has very little to do with the price of gas. A better question: does the amount you are better off compensate for your (and your son’s) increased share of the national debt?

  18. 18
    retired military says:

    Mr. Lazarus

    Again you fail to look at what I said.

    1. I have never claimed that Bush can keep up the current growth for the next 4.5 years. Kerry is making such a claim. Bush never did. The latest news reports I saw stated that the current trend is expected to continue for at least 6 months and Bush has only projected out to the end of this year.

    Bush predicted 2.4 million news jobs in 2004.
    So far 1.1 million
    Projected 200k X 6 months – 1.2 million.

    So he should come in right on mark for this year. So I predict that 10m new jobs in the following 4 years will be almost impossible for both candidates.

    2. Yes there were 22m new jobs under Clinton but the workforce was still expanding faster percentage wise than it is now. (and didnt Kerry take responsibility for 20m of those 22m. :) ).

    3. Your chart showing the actual vs projected jobs is kinda scant on vital economic information that could impact employment figures. IE 911 and the war. It simply shows projected VS actual.

    4. Your remarks about discouraged workers I tend to find laughable. I am to believe they are sitting around living off welfare (I guess if they dont have jobs) and they suddenly get the urge to work. I will grant that some folks do get discouraged but I doubt seriously that the number is appreciable. Though the liberals will stand by and swear they are real (and a somewhat large number) I believe the actual number is very small. I grew up in poverty and I never saw one “discouraged worker” who had given up looking for a job.

    Maybe in your neck of the woods people could afford to stop looking for work for months at a time and live on savings but I know in mine that would mean living on the streets (at best) unless you went on welfare.

    5. Even if 150K per month is the current figure than taking the average overall for the next 54 months the average will be somewhat below that. Again, getting under 4% unemployment is almost impossible. Even using the 150k number for the next 54 months the unemployment rate (if Kerry produces 10m new jobs) would be about 3.67% unemployment. Again, a feat that hasnt been done in at least 50+ years (dont know what WW2 employment numbers were like).

    I would even grant that it may be possible (though highly improbable under the best of circumstances) if Kerry’s proclaimed methods (increase taxes and reduce outsourcing (havent heard increase minimum wage yet but I am sure it is coming)) weren’t proven to kill economic growth instead of spur it on. (another Dot com boom would surely help but I dont foresee one on the horizon).

    6. My son lives at home. He actually saved some money before starting college. With no state taxes (unlike the sky high ones in Calif) he gets along fine.

    7. I love the way liberals trot out the national debt. They have been harping on it for decades now. You know, if you have studied economics, that the national debt isnt that big of a problem as long as the GDP grows in greater proportion than the debt. Take the current budget deficit. $100b of it will just be gone due to the growth of the economy. More jobs + more industry spending (investment) = more revenue for the government = less deficit. Kennedy and Reagan both knew this.(Hint the tax cuts during their administrations. Clinton had the dot com boom to offset his tax increases. Carter on the other hand had the oil crisis which helped cause stagflation). Private dollars spent = more federal income than federal dollars spent (again another basic economic principal). As long as the economy keeps expanding we will be fine.

    8. The economy of the 90s belonged to Bill and Al. Bill Gates and Al Greenspan. The dot com boom and bust just about mark the beginning and the end of the economic cycle during the last part of the 90s (93 until Mar 2000). That plus cutting the military by about 35% is why Clinton was able to “balance the budget” (as long as you count Social security in there).

    9. In addition, Kerry states that he would create the 10m new jobs by reducing outsourcing (a simplistic way of putting it but I am sure you know what I mean). Everything I have seen and read indicate that this would have the direct opposite effect on the economy and thus new jobs created.

    And yes I understand at least the basics of deficit spending and it’s relationship to interest rates, etc. The sooner we have a balanced budget again (if not going back into the black) the better. I dont believe Kerry will do that. I believe Hillarycare will make a comeback (NOW is already pushing for a government funded national health care system) and our economy will go the way Europe’s is now (0.4% GDP growth, and high unemployment). Then Kerry can blame Bush for leaving him a messed up economy.

    Have a good day.

  19. 19
    Andrew J. Lazarus says:

    1. RM, even if it were true that the workforce were growing at a higher percentage rate eleven years ago, that’s balanced out by the larger initial size of the workforce now. If you don’t see that, assume the workforce is expanding twice as fast as it is now, but the workforce is half the size. If Clinton could manage 22MM (including some good timing on when to take office), 10MM isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Kerry. It would be more difficult for Kerry to match Clinton’s PERCENTAGE increase in the workforce.

    2. Bush actually predicted 3.8MM jobs for 2004. (Link, link) The links actually mention where the oft-quoted 2.6MM comes from, and why it’s a misreading of the forecast. Your 2.4MM is off by 200,000 even under the misunderstood forecast.

    3. Compared to Clinton’s best months, Bush’s current totals (which you seem to agree are higher than his average will be) aren’t that strong.

    4. I’m sorry you don’t understand about discouraged workers, because there isn’t any way to make sense of employment statistics until you do. I suppose some discouraged workers do go on welfare, others are supported by working spouses, some might be old enough to retire a little early, and some (as you may find with your son) move back in with their parents. The short version is that workers drop out of the unemployment statistics when their UI benefits run out, even if they are still physically applying for jobs. You can learn much more here.

    5. Excuse me, but the fact your son can afford college on a minimum wage job WHILE HE LIVES AT HOME doesn’t impress me much, or tell me anything very interesting about the national economy, even if he’s paying you some arbitrary figure for room and board.

    6. The deficit grew enormously after the Reagan tax cut, and that’s one reason he raised taxes. I know you wouldn’t take my word for it, so I’m giving you a link from National Review.

  20. 20
    retired military says:

    The deficit grew under Reagan that is true. I never said it didnt. I said that the Reagan tax cuts stimulated the economy and caused a massive growth in GDP. Which it did.

    Clinton inherited an economy that was on the upswing. Clinton also had the dot com boom. Clinton inherited a high unemployment rate. Clinton, in addition, had the one time cut of the military of 35% (which we now know was too deep). Bush inherited one that was at the beginning of a recession and a relatively low unemployment rate. Bush also had the war and 911. Bush has no one time cut in an area of the budget that Clinton did (though I am sure that some liberals would like another 35% cut in the military). Comparing the two administrations is like comparing apples and oranges.

    As far as the discouraged workers go, I will clump them into the total of 150k per month as that number will be declining over the next 4.5 years. Again, I still dont buy that this number is as large at folks think. The job numbers also (to my knowledge) dont take into account people who are running businesses out of their homes when they have “given up” on outside employment.

    Your statement about percentages is true but you fail to take into account the original amount that the percentage refers too. 1.1% VS 0.5% doesnt sound like a big difference but if you look at the fact that 1.1 % is from 110 million or so (1995 ish – 1,210,000) VS 0.5% of what will be 145 million or so (2005) (725,000). I wish I had actual projected numbers to work with VS percentages (on the decline of the growth in workforce) but I take what I can find.

    Again, going by the 150k per month over 54 months. Even if the 10 million jobs were created then the umemployment rate would be 3.57% (my figures from last night were off). Again I say, no matter who is President they wont be able to create 10 million new jobs and they wont be able to get 3.57% unemployment.

    As far as college goes, remember that Kerry was the one who stated that colleges are more expensive. That doesnt mean they are unaffordable or unattainable (both of which I am sure he is trying to convey without saying). I was neither trying to impress you or really make a statement in ref to the national economy. Merely pointing out that Kerry’s statement is somewhat ambiguous in this regard. That is true as well with the statement ref “some people are without health care”. When havent “some people” been without health care? Clinton did all he did for the economy and people were still without health care. Kerry tries to stick this with Bush (saying it without saying it – you know what I mean) when it is a simple fact of life in America. (By the way have you ever seen anyone turned away from an emergency room?). The same is true about the price of gas. That has little, if anything, to do with the unemployment rate. Yet Kerry pastes that in there with his statements on the new job figures.

    Again I state, Kerry could possibly get close (to 10m new jobs) but not with the policies he is promoting to do it. Say he did 9 m new jobs. You could say he was within 10% of his target. That would mean that if Bush did 2.3 million he would be at the 10% area of the 2.6 m number though outside the 3.8m million your articles cite.

    We are lucky that Bush will get reelected and continue the economic prosperity that we are starting to see flourish.

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