Jobapalooza Open Thread

jorbs

No April Fools joke on the country here, 215K new jobs in March and unemployment up a smidge to 5.0% even as more people entered the workforce.

The 215,000 gain in payrolls followed a revised 245,000 February advance, a Labor Department report showed Friday. Average hourly earnings increased 0.3 percent from a month earlier, while the jobless rate crept up to 5 percent as more people entered the labor force.

A still-robust pace of job creation represents a vote of confidence by employers that the U.S. will hold up against an anemic global economic backdrop. Additional tightening in the labor market that sparks bigger pay gains for American workers may convince Federal Reserve policy makers that the economy is more insulated to weakness overseas.

“We’re still in a really good spot with the labor market – – the fundamentals here are strong,” Thomas Simons, a money-market economist at Jefferies LLC in New York, said before the report. “ I have no reason to suspect we’re seeing a turning point in the labor market any time soon.”

Construction payroll growth accelerated in March, while manufacturing employment slumped. Other industries adding jobs included retail, health care, leisure and hospitality and professional services. Government hiring was the strongest since August.

The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a 205,000 advance in total employment, with estimates ranging from gains of 100,000 to 250,000 after a previously reported 242,000 February increase. Revisions to prior reports subtracted a total of 1,000 jobs to overall payrolls in the previous two months.

Average private sector hourly wages up 7 cents to $25.43, black unemployment at 9.0%,  U-6 number coming in at 9.8%, headline should again read “Obama economy humming along despite Republicans crapping all over things.”

Open thread.

 






116 replies
  1. 1
    different-church-lady says:

    As frustrating as it is, building this thing back up steadily, slowly, and solidly might be the best for us in the long run.

  2. 2
    guachi says:

    Obama’s second term job growth is better than Reagan’s second term job growth.

    Suck it, Republicans.

  3. 3
    satby says:

    Gives me hope that once I move to an area less dependent on service jobs I can get one too. Though honestly, I quit looking the last two weeks. Too much other uncertainty right now.

  4. 4
    satby says:

    And happy to see you back Zandar!!

  5. 5
    different-church-lady says:

    @satby:

    Gives me hope that once I move to an area less dependent on service jobs…

    You mean, like, out of the country?

    [kidding…]

  6. 6
    raven says:

    We had a “welcome home Vietnam Vets” even for state employees this week with 200 vets in attendance. I couldn’t help but wonder how many of them hated government.

  7. 7
    RaflW says:

    The GOP has spent 7.5 years trying to ruin this president, and all they will have to show for it is their own party crack up. Brilliant, McConnell. Well played, Reince.

  8. 8
    MomSense says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Hitting very close to home this morning.

    Regretting my decision not to move to Norway when I had the chance. At least their service jobs pay a decent wage.

  9. 9
    RaflW says:

    @different-church-lady: I had that thought as well. This recovery has sucked for a lot of people, but I don’t think there is much froth. It’s not a typical re-inflation bubble.

    And the way the GOP engineered a slow recovery has enraged their base – though it is of course utterly misdirected in their inchoate misery, they will still probably manage to rip up their own sofas and set fire to their own houses, even as the Trump ringmaster points at Obama (who is, what, like twice as popular as The Dorknald? 3X?)

  10. 10
    Face says:

    “Obama economy humming along despite due soley because Republicans crapping all over fixed things.”

    FTFY.

    Sincerely,
    MSM

  11. 11
    Punchy says:

    The GOP has spent 7.5 years trying to ruin this president, and all they will have to show for it is their own party crack up. Brilliant, McConnell. Well played, Reince.

    /looks at Senate…..GOP Control
    /looks at House…..GOP Control
    /looks at over half of all states…..GOP Control
    /looks at SCOTUS…..just recently lost over a decade of GOP Control

    Not buying this argument that Republicans are on the ropes or near death……

  12. 12
    RaflW says:

    @Punchy: I was speaking about the national party. The Senate is very much in play this fall, in part because of McConnell’s play on the SCOTUS, which has now issued a 4-4 ruling on unions that almost certainly would have gone GOP under Scalia. The House may not flip but Fitbit Ryan has no control over 2/3rds of his caucus, that’s why we see zero legislative action from them.

    Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Wisconsin and other GOP states have horrible state budget deficits and no good answers. The GOP looks good in your rearview mirror, but I am optimistic that they are headed for a long, deep ditch. They’ve lost the ability to govern in their fully frozen 80s Reagan policy amber. We won’t flip that many state governors or chambers right away, but the winds are blowing, and I only buy the gerrymander argument about 33%.

  13. 13
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @MomSense:

    Regretting my decision not to move to Norway when I had the chance. At least their service jobs pay a decent wage.

    Yeah, but the liquor prices there are SO high

  14. 14
    RaflW says:

    ETA: I’m not suggesting that Kansas, Oklahoma or Louisiana will flip (though LA did elect a D governor to – of course – come clean up that moron Jindal’s mess). Rather I’m saying that we’ve now run the GOP policy experiments in multiple states and they suck balls. It shouldn’t be that difficult to make the case in swing/purple states that electing GOP governors will turn your state into a deficit-heavy, college-slashing backwater.

    Will Dems make the argument? I sure as heck hope so, we’ve got great ammo these next couple cycles.

  15. 15
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    @RaflW:

    I’ve thought that the slow recovery may have been beneficial as well. As always due to our structural tax imbalance, I’m noticing that urban core real estate pricing is going nuts again; our tax structure prefers trapped, increasing capital as opposed to dividend producing equities, and dirt has traditionally and culturally been the place where excess capital runs to.

    The reason why I notice this is that I’ve been looking to end my commute and move in, but I’m not going to pay a crazy price MORE for smaller space that needs the upgrades I’m doing on my current home already. That just seems nuts. So I just dumped 10K into floors and am looking to drop another 50-60 into exterior upgrades (including new stain or paint, stone veneer on a portion, and installing a large deck on the house front which leads toward a lower level hottub), combining a couple of rooms into a big master and doing floor to ceiling windows overlooking the woods (with rear exit to an upper floor sitting area and access to the lower tub). It may run more, but bully the time I’m done, I’ll have the house I always wanted to enjoy, for less cost than an artificially inflated 1200 foot house on a small lot that I’ll have to poor money into. Besides, I only have 14 years left on the mortgage.

    Anyway, the recovery may actually be more durable and not amenable to a cyclic bust, which would have occurred with quick reinflation of the economy, given that tax structure problem.

  16. 16
    p.a. says:

    @RaflW: Don’t bet on it. Federalism! These ‘experiments’ in conservative economics have been running in some benighted areas since the overthrow/abandonment betrayal of Reconstruction. Wash Rinse Repeat. They may elect someone to put out the fire when it approaches their property, but they never extinguish the embers.

  17. 17
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    Booze is bad for you anyway. (ETA: Quoth the teetotaler.)

  18. 18
    Cermet says:

    Our Dad just continues to prove he knows what he is doing and cares so much, he put up with crap few Presidents have. Glad we have him for a while but not looking forward to his leaving.

  19. 19
    MomSense says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    So true. I didn’t even miss it though since there are so many cheap and fantastic outdoorsy and cultural things to do. I even went to a free Scremo concert which was a trip. Met a group of college age kids reading Chomsky in between slam dancing.

    ETA should be Screamo as in screaming emo music

  20. 20
    Donut says:

    black unemployment at 9.0%

    I blame Obama. Because Obama is also black.

  21. 21
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning 😊, Everyone 😎

  22. 22
  23. 23
    rikyrah says:

    Never ever forget, when jobs numbers come out:
    The GOP chose ECONOMIC TREASON against this country beginning January 20, 2009.

  24. 24
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Face: The frustrating thing about having a political system like ours is that it’s almost impossible to do well-controlled experiments, unless you get some freak thing like 9/11 that hands control entirely over to a single party.

  25. 25
    JMG says:

    In re: Red State governance.
    The evidence is pretty clear that the majority of voters in those states no longer care if government helps or hurts them, as long as the government is actively inflicting pain and hardship on those they perceive as enemies. The GOP has become the Punishment and Cruelty Party, dropping the supply-side fig leaf except when talking to credulous pundits.

  26. 26
    rikyrah says:

    @Donut:
    Last time Blacks were at full employment was slavery.

  27. 27
    Paul in KY says:

    @rikyrah: Happy Friday!

  28. 28
    L Boom says:

    As someone who got laid off about three weeks ago, this is encouraging news. I’m actually a little surprised at the number of jobs out there I can apply to. (Sr. PM roles in software). Got a job consultant to help out with the resume, LinkedIn profile, etc. as part of the severance package, with the job application blitz starting next week.

    But oy, we’ll see how it goes..

  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @rikyrah: Yeah, but they only got slave wages.

  30. 30
    p.a. says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Booze is bad for you anyway.

    That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

  31. 31
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @guachi: Everything about Obama is better than Zombie Reagan. Every dang thing.

    @L Boom: Good luck in securing new employment.

    @JMG: As long as they keep the suffering to their own red states, I don’t care about them. They can wallow in GOP sloppy governance all they want.

  32. 32
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Larry Sabato hazards a guess about a Clinton vs. Trump electoral map that actually seems reasonable to me. Long story short, it looks a lot like Obama’s victory maps, with only minor differences. Not a Johnson v. Goldwater-level blowout. Clinton vs. Cruz is a bit harder but the field is still tilted toward Clinton; he doesn’t seem to find the scenarios where they swap in somebody else credible enough to talk about.

  33. 33
    Disgruntled former Baud supporter says:

    … headline should again read “Obama economy humming along despite Republicans crapping all over things.”

    This.

  34. 34
    Dork says:

    @Donut: He also needs to be blamed for Kenya’s unemployment, Hawaii’s issue with bleached corals, teen pregnancy, and the condition of the wheels on the Martian rover.

  35. 35
    MomSense says:

    @MomSense:

    As I think about it, Reading Chomsky While Slam Dancing could be an excellent title for a book about what it is like to find your place in this economy of ours.

  36. 36
    Schlemazel (parmesan rancor) says:

    @raven:
    I remember having a big “welcome home” parade in Orlando after Desert Storm in the very early 90s. I thought it was a bit late & a bit contrived but thought it might help some guys feel better. But I remember seeing the parade on the news & about 80% of the participants were wearing green berets. I turned to my son & said, “Now I know why we lost! There apparently were no supply Sargents there to supply all those special forces.” Stolen valor.

  37. 37
    Mike J says:

    @Disgruntled former Baud supporter: Not just Republicans. Hard to throw a revolution with the slogan, “everything’s pretty good, but we could make it better.”

  38. 38
    Donut says:

    @rikyrah:

    I blame Obama for slavery, too. He made those white people do horrible things they didn’t want to do. But they had to. Because they knew in the future that there would be a black president, and he would make all the white people nuts. Because he’s black.

  39. 39
    Schlemazel (parmesan rancor) says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    So, about equal to now

  40. 40
    Schlemazel (parmesan rancor) says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    “Beer, the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” – Homer Simpson

  41. 41
    Applejinx says:

    @RaflW: Gerrymandering makes their dominance fragile. It assumes they won’t and can’t lose their base. What about when they dump Trump?

  42. 42
    bystander says:

    @Donut:

    I blame Obama. Because Obama is also black.

    How will Dems survive without Obummer keeping them down on the plantation? Sure repubs are in disarray but both sides do it.

  43. 43
    philpm says:

    @Punchy: Of course, all that happened before the present and ongoing self-immolation.

  44. 44
    Chyron HR says:

    @Donut:

    Because they knew in the future that there would be a black president, and he would make all the white people nuts.

    That was George Washington Carver, and they’re actually legumes.

  45. 45
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @satby: Here’s hoping that things look up for you soon.

    I hope you have a safe and enjoyable trip!

    The last half of March was pretty crappy for me. My mom died suddenly last Thursday, about 45 minutes before I was able to reach the hospital ICU. :-( Lots of unknowns and delays in various stages of trying to make some sort of arrangements, trying to contact her brothers, the autopsy required by the hospital making a mistake (two doses of heparin rather than one), unknowns about the family plot, etc., etc., meant that we’ll have to have some sort of informal arrangements for her sometime in the future. Her cremated remains will be shipped to me until then.

    On top of that, I was driving south on I-75 at 3 PM on Monday, in the center lane, beautiful day, straight road, normal traffic, going about 70 MPH, when WHAM!!! I was rear-ended by a SUV that must have been going 90+. I’m fine, but my insurance company is saying the car is probably totaled. I don’t think it’s that bad and am almost certainly going to get it fixed, but I’m having to battle with them some over the settlement. I should have the final repair estimate by Monday. And I have to figure out what a “salvage” title means going forward if that is ultimately required… :-/

    (sigh)

    I’m glad March is over. April can’t be any worse, right? Right??!!

    Everyone, keep your wits about you as you’re driving! There are too many people out there who don’t pay attention. :-( And try to keep in touch with your relatives, and know what they want done when the time comes…

    Best of luck!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  46. 46
    Germy says:

    My condolences, Scott. And I’m glad you weren’t hurt in that accident.

  47. 47
    Paul in KY says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Very sorry to hear that about your mother. Scott. My condolences to you & your family. Also sorry about the wreck. Hope that person had good insurance.
    Edit: The guy rear ended you! His/her insurance pays for that. You just sic your insurance co on them, or deal directly with theirs. Should be a police report saying that.

  48. 48
    MomSense says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    I’m so sorry about your Mom and the accident. Very relieved to hear that you weren’t hurt.

    When my car was totaled and I hoped it could be saved, an engineer friend of mine told me that it was a really bad idea. After an impact like that, the car will never be the same again even if repaired. Better to try and get the best replacement possible.

  49. 49
    Schlemazel (parmesan rancor) says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:
    Glad you were not hurt by that moron.

    That is a tough way to lose your mom, not that there is a good way but that is double not good. I hope you can enjoy the memories of the good times and find peace.

  50. 50
    Mark B says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Salvage title is fine, unless you’re concerned about reselling the car later, as that will make the resale value a lot lower. Also you won’t be able to insure it for a lot of money, as the insured amount is limited to what the insurance company thinks the car is worth.

  51. 51
    rikyrah says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:
    Sorry for your loss. More positive times ahead.

  52. 52
    Betty Cracker says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Oh man, very sorry for your loss. And glad you weren’t injured in the accident, especially considering the speeds involved.

  53. 53
    Chris says:

    @raven:

    We had a “welcome home Vietnam Vets” even for state employees this week with 200 vets in attendance. I couldn’t help but wonder how many of them hated government.

    If the defense industry near here in northern Virginia is any indication, that sector is chock-full of government haters. (Every other department is wasteful and evil and bureaucratic, you understand. It’s our jobs that are vital and awesome). Admittedly, most of these people aren’t veterans, and a big big chunk aren’t even military.

  54. 54
    Mnemosyne says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    So sorry about your mom. Don’t feel too guilty about not being there — sometimes it just isn’t possible.

    I echo other people’s caution about getting the car repaired. Have a good body shop check the frame for damage. If the frame is damaged, it’s safer to get a new car.

  55. 55
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Condolences to you on your Mom’s passing and sorry to hear about your accident. Here’s hoping that the rest of the year is less eventful for you.

  56. 56
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Yeah, but the liquor prices there are SO high.

    All over Scandinavia. There are a couple of ferry lines (Viking & Silja) who make a profit running 200m-long multideck behemoths daily between Stockholm & Finland primarily on the lure of dutyfree booze*. You could buy a roudtrip in deck class, 8 cases of beer & 2 wheeled carts to carry them (sold next to the 15m-long wall of beer cases) for about what the brews would cost on land–& next trip, you bring your own carts. I saw one guy debarking in Helsinki who had done just that–a rucksack on his back & a cart in each hand rolling down the ramp.

    * One cannot do dutyfree on voyages between two EU nations–but an exception is made for travel to/from the Aland Islands, an economically depressed bunch of rocks in the mouth of the Gulf of Bothnia. So around midnight, eastbound Viking & Silja monsters would put into the harbor at Marienhamm, the biggest settlement in the Alands (pop ~5,000), drop the gangplank, look left, look right, pull up the gangplank & beat feet–& 5 km later dutyfree was open for bidniz again.

  57. 57
    Chris says:

    @JMG:

    The evidence is pretty clear that the majority of voters in those states no longer care if government helps or hurts them, as long as the government is actively inflicting pain and hardship on those they perceive as enemies. The GOP has become the Punishment and Cruelty Party, dropping the supply-side fig leaf except when talking to credulous pundits.

    This.

    The South spent more than half a century after Reconstruction as an economic disaster area even by the standards of the time, and by and large, its white people were okay with that. (Sure, they didn’t turn down the New Deal development when it finally came, but their support for FDR was at least as much “we’re voting for Democrats because fuck Abe Lincoln!” as because of anything he was actually doing for them).

    And that’s largely what our entire heartland has become. Fuck governance. They just want other people to suffer.

  58. 58
    Disgruntled former Baud supporter says:

    @Mike J: That’s why I quit Facebook.

  59. 59
    philpm says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Sorry to hear about your mom. That’s not a fun experience to go through.

    I’ll echo what others have said about your car, and add this: if the repair shop sees frame damage, the chances are good that the insurance will total it, as most repair shops now won’t do insurance work on a car with a damaged frame. I speak from vast experience on this.

  60. 60
    D58826 says:

    @Chris: And their government paychecks

    A bit OT. I always figured Trump would finally say something that would blow himself up. It’s taking longer than I thought but maybe his comment on prosecuting women who have abortions will do the trick. The irony of course is it is the GOP that has been flogging abortion for decades and it took the Donald to finally find a line that the party did not want to cross (at least publicly).

  61. 61
    Technocrat says:

    On the down side, it’s becoming nearly Impossible for the government to hire qualified people to take classified technical positions.

    Low unemployment makes it a seller’s market, budget cuts limit what they can pay you, and the work conditions suck due to security requirements. Not to mention it can take a year to get your clearance. Do you know many people who look for a new job a year in advance? Me either.

    You can’t have competent government without competent people. I’m not sure how we fix it though.

  62. 62
    RSR says:

    Chicago Teachers Union strike today. My wife and some fellow Philadelphia teachers are there as well!

    Follow @CTULocal1 and #shutdownchi on twitter for more.

  63. 63
    Kay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I liked that map too, especially the movement- the revision. I don’t know what to think. I thought Trump would do better in my county than he did- it’s overwhelmingly working class and 55-60 R and I feel like Kasich’s real “base” in Ohio is college-educated suburbanites so I don’t wholly credit Kasich with “beating” Trump. They don’t love Kasich either. Trump didn’t just not win- he did poorly here. There’s no reason he should have- we have a confederate flag group- you see the flag here- and all the various flavors of Republicans. I wonder if it’s immigration. That isn’t really an issue in Ohio, it wouldn’t be a big turn out driver.

    I’m curious about Pennsylvania, how that turns out.

  64. 64
    p.a. says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: So sorry for your loss. Here’s hoping the new month brings better things.

  65. 65
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    My comment on high C2H5OH prices in Scandinavia is “in moderation” (FYWP!) but it should also be noted that the (then-West) Germans invented Alkotourismus when they realized that there was Bier to be had in then-Czechslovakia every bit as worthy as their own, at ~20% the price. So they would go charging across the border Friday afternoons, & the Czech(oslovak) border guards would pour them back across the border come late Sunday or early Monday.

    Still happening, but In the interim the Brits have raised alcotourism to a high art, abetted by cheap r/t’s on LyinAir or QueasyJet from London to Prague. At the Czech Beer Festival a few years back the epicentre ;^) of rowdiness was a Yoo-Kay contingent of about a half-dozen. Nice blokes, but a rolling insurrection…

  66. 66
    gene108 says:

    @Applejinx:

    Gerrymandering makes their dominance fragile.

    Losing control of the SCOTUS will make their dominance fragile. So much of the last six-years dominance is built on the gutting of the VRA and the Citizen’s United decision.

    Roll those two decisions back and the playing field gets much more level.

  67. 67
    Disgruntled former Baud supporter says:

    @gene108: Supreme Court is the Biggest FD.

  68. 68
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Thanks everyone. I appreciate it.

    The car (a 2004 Jetta TDI wagon) is a “unibody” design – there is no frame. And the damage in the rear isn’t that extensive. The shop just called – $3250 to fix the damage. They’ll be using a new bumper and will throw in a free “detailing” inside and out. I’ll have some other cosmetic stuff done too (stuff I was trying to figure out when to do before this) so it’ll be “better than new” when done. ;-)

    There’s still some decisions I need to make with the insurance company, but it sounds like most of this stuff with the car will be over in a week or so. Maybe I’ll get mine back before the rental car time limit hits… :-/

    Thanks again.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  69. 69
    🚸 Martin says:

    manufacturing employment slumped

    So, part of my one man effort to steer the manufacturing jobs question in a more productive direction…

    China is the largest manufacturer of cars in the world but they sell almost exclusively in China. They have a number of brands that outsell BMW. These are not small manufacturers. So why aren’t they selling in the west like so many other Chinese goods?

    The knee-jerk reaction to people in the US to protect US workers is to put a tariff on Chinese cars to make up for the labor cost differential to make US production competitive, but that hasn’t been needed so far. The regulation that is working is the US emissions and safety regulation. Building cars to pass US emissions standards is very difficult (go ask Volkswagen), and our safety standards are difficult to meet as well – so much so that the Chinese cannot reliably meet them. Now, that won’t always be the case, but it’s the kind of regulation that has a clear purpose in protecting consumers that has a side benefit of protecting workers.

    That’s the kind of pivot that Obama is trying to make in the TPP – swapping out tariffs for other forms of regulation that serve as the same sort of moderating function that a tariff would, but which would be viewed through a WTC lens as clearly in the national self-interest (protecting consumers in a non-arbitrary way) and which raise the standard for products to a level that US workers should be able to compete at. Rather than serve as a barrier which says ‘all pickup trucks will cost 25% more because we are upset about your chickens‘ it serves a productive good for all involved. If US workers cannot compete at the highest level of product expectations (which is what we establish), well, then we just deserve to lose. But we have shown that at the highest level of product expectations, the US does very well – we just don’t do well at the very low-end, low-margin product dumping end of the trade spectrum. And TPP approaches it from the other side as well, trying to export US labor and environmental standards to other countries. Not only do their workers benefit when that happens, but you get a much more natural labor balance.

    What I’m saying is that all of the fights that were made over tariffs (and continue to be from Sanders and Trump) are misplaced because they are arbitrary and only serve to slow economic progress for everyone, we should be fighting for free trade but setting the highest standards for products and for labor practices. What people miss is that the GOP free trade arguments were always a backhanded way to undermine US labor laws by encouraging competition with worse labor laws. The solution to that wasn’t to end free trade, it was to take over the mantle of trade agreements and write them in ways that reinforced best labor practices. And for reasons I don’t understand we are now opposed to that happening.

  70. 70
    liberal says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class:

    As always due to our structural tax imbalance, I’m noticing that urban core real estate pricing is going nuts again; our tax structure prefers trapped, increasing capital as opposed to dividend producing equities, and dirt has traditionally and culturally been the place where excess capital runs to.

    Which is why site value should be heavily taxed. But it’s difficult to explain to people here—they simply can’t grasp even the simplest economics.

  71. 71
    LAO says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: That is a whole lot of horrible wrapped up in a short time period. Hope things turn around. And, of course, my condolences on the loss of your mom.

  72. 72
    liberal says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    And for reasons I don’t understand we are now opposed to that happening.

    We’re not. Rather, the TPP and similar agreements won’t make it happen.

  73. 73
    Aleta says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:
    I’m very sorry for your loss.

    The disorder and mistakes around my Mom’s stroke made it so much worse, such injuries on top of what was already hurting were unbelievably painful.

    Right after she died, I had a tire blow out on a curve, car rolled over twice and stopped nearly in the river. Oddly I wasn’t hurt (Subaru Forester). I got some oesteopathic (connective tissue) work in the next days, which I think took away the body trauma.

    Hope you can take it easy if it suits you.

  74. 74
    ruemara says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Sorry about your mom, Scott. You may want to try and get a new car if your insurance is saying it’s totalled. And thank goodness you’re not hurt.

    Yes, may April be a better month for all. This year has been dark.

  75. 75
    Kay says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    The knee-jerk reaction to people in the US to protect US workers is to put a tariff on Chinese cars to make up for the labor cost differential to make US production competitive, but that hasn’t been needed so far

    No, it isn’t. That’s the Donald Trump idiot’s version of fair trade. Donald Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about and people who have been working on this for 20 years DO know what they’re talking about because some of them were at the table on TPP.

    They wanted protections against China manipulating their currency. They had a specific ask. This insistence that they are asking for a playing field skewed in their favor is not their position. They are asking US negotiators and politicians to STOP skewing the playing field against them. The US position for 20 years has been we will “lead” on opening markets and then other countries will “follow” and we’ll patiently wait forever for other countries to “follow” and open up THEIR markets. Meanwhile, while we’re all waiting for that free trade nirvana that never arrives (because other countries hang onto their advantages), US manufacturers are at a disadvantage.

    They don’t even enforce illegality in trade. They can’t wait 5 years to enforce these trade deals. They can’t saddle US workers with a five year handicap while we wait for other countries to “follow”. A person could have had an entire career waiting for the US version of “free trade” to be adopted world-wide. They feel as if they are being sacrificed for this vision where the US “leads” on trade and it’s never reciprocal. We “lead” and they follow in their own sweet time, after they have secured a huge advantage.

    They’re not that generous. They’re not willing to take a hit for 20 years in the hopes the world will “follow” our economists and politicians.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    Sounds like the Illinois/Wisconsin border circa 1985. And, of course, I missed the cutoff date to legally drink in WI before age 21 by thismuch, damn it.

  77. 77
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    U-6 number coming in at 9.8%

    If that’s a sign of a good economy I’d hate to see what a bad one looks like.

    Talk about lowered expectations. America needs to demand more.

    The US position for 20 years has been we will “lead” on opening markets and then other countries will “follow” and we’ll patiently wait forever for other countries to “follow” and open up THEIR markets. Meanwhile, while we’re all waiting for that free trade nirvana that never arrives (because other countries hang onto their advantages), US manufacturers are at a disadvantage.

    @Kay: We should brand this onto the foreheads of every politician who’s sat in the Oval Office or the Senate since 1992. Sadly, it would probably hurt a lot as there’s a lot of text there. Oh well.

    Every word you wrote is true, Kay. This isn’t the 1950s where we can let that shit slide so as to allow countries shattered by WWII to rebuild. They’re rebuilt, and eating our lunch because we are letting them do so. It needs to stop, because the price is being paid by American workers, not politicians or business owners.

  78. 78
    Aleta says:

    @Chyron HR: “That was George Washington Carver, and they’re actually legumes.”
    deeply impressed by this

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Aleta:

    I think one of the things that tipped me over to buying a Subaru over a Toyota a couple of years ago was the “They Lived” ad campaign showing a really mangled car with all of the service and rescue workers telling each other, “It’s okay, they lived.” It definitely worked on me!

  80. 80
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay: You see the Confederate flag in Massachusetts too… but those guys are Trump voters all the way.

  81. 81
    chopper says:

    @liberal:

    Which is why site value should be heavily taxed. But it’s difficult to explain to people here—they simply can’t grasp even the simplest economics.

    it must be so lonely on the top of Olympus.

  82. 82
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Well, the U-6 was about the same in April when another person named Clinton was running for reelection.

  83. 83

    @liberal: You’re also a fan of Henry George — YAY!!!!!

  84. 84
    MomSense says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    My head on collision was in a Subaru and all the first responders, tow truck driver, garage mechanics, and insurance adjusters said the same thing. The police officer said that he had a terrible feeling when he saw the accident and our cars. The other car and driver were in much worse shape.

  85. 85
    Linnaeus says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    The solution to that wasn’t to end free trade, it was to take over the mantle of trade agreements and write them in ways that reinforced best labor practices. And for reasons I don’t understand we are now opposed to that happening.

    Here’s the conundrum, though: ardent free traders have been arguing for years that lower labor & environmental standards are an important component of a poorer nation’s comparative advantage and that to expect higher standards from those countries would doom them to continued poverty. So now you have a tension between using a trade deal to raise standards and the underlying theory of that very trade deal.

    This leads to the issue of enforcement. The standards written in the TPP are not meaningful without credible enforcement. Will parties to the agreement conduct that enforcement? I’m not sure that we can definitively say that they will, although of course I hope that they do. It’s up to national governments to do that, since labor, environmental, and other noninvestor groups don’t have access to the ISDS process, and I think some skepticism of governments’ willingness to enforce is not unwarranted.

  86. 86
    Kay says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    There was “slack” in wages. The slack is gone. They’re making 15 dollars an hour. Time to stop promoting “free trade” that isn’t reciprocated over a generation. They can’t wait another 20 years for any upside.

    It is extremely frustrating to me that Democrats managed to piss away any advantage they had on trade and allow people like Ted Cruz to claim it because Ted Cruz is lying. Have you listened to his bullshit? He’s selling Sherrod Brown’s position on trade. He probably pulled it from Brown’s book.

    Democrats know what to do to mitigate the effect of these deals on US workers. Place-based employment- health care, education and building trades. Yet, they passed Fast Track without getting concessions from Republicans on public investment that would help. They’re going to ask working people to wait another decade or two for the free trade tide to start lifting all boats when all these countries voluntarily go along, because there is no enforcement. They can’t do a long arc policy like free trade and abandon an entire generation or two of working people waiting for it to “work” thru the magic of markets. Since 1974 they have “assisted” a total of 2 million displaced workers. That’s pathetic. Tends to hurt them on the ‘ol “cares about people like” me index.

  87. 87
    Kay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    We have people here flying the confederate flag when I would bet their ancestors fought on the union side. I would say it’s “mystifying” but, you know, it’s not! I know why they adopted that symbol!

  88. 88
    dogwood says:

    @Kay:
    I tend to agree with you, but I’m pretty sure enacting the kind of trade policy you advocate wouldn’t change voter behavior in your county.

  89. 89
    Kay says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    I read a good analysis on the trade “frame” we have adopted, where the writer said politicians and economists see the US public as consumers, not workers. They start with the assumption that US workers will value cheaper consumer goods over wages and work. I think that’s true and I wonder how that happened. I hope it isn’t that they don’t have any respect for what lower wage people do- they don’t value what they “produce” so they assume everyone thinks that’s a good deal because THEY think it’s a good deal.

  90. 90
    dogwood says:

    @Kay:
    It’s not just elites who don’t value labor. I had a disturbing conversation a couple of years back with a young man my contractor hired to help demo my kitchen. He was bragging about the fact he’s never left a tip in a restaurant. He works harder than a waitress and nobody tips him. Explaining that tips are necessary because they don’t make minimum wage led to his predictable conclusion that waitresses and waiters should just get a better job. He’ll take 15/hr. I’m sure but will resent the hell out of the fact some fast food worker will get the same benefit.

  91. 91
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Kay:

    They wanted protections against China manipulating their currency.

    China isn’t part of the TPP, so asking China for currency relief within the TPP is completely pointless. The whole point of TPP is to build a trade alliance against China that will limit the ability of the Chinese to influence western markets through these intermediaries, the goal of which is to force China to the table for a proper trade deal. As things stand now, we have very limited ability to influence China as a sovereign nation who has the ability to dominate the trade discussions with the rest of the world because we have refused to participate in trade agreements. Killing the TPP hands even more power to China. Who do you think Indonesia and Australia are going to talk to if we kill this? Yeah, they’ll talk to China. You think that will favor US workers?

  92. 92
    🌷 Martin says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    Talk about lowered expectations. America needs to demand more.

    On what basis can we demand more? We are 4% of the global population. Even with our higher per-capita GDP, the Chinese are outbuying us as consumers.

    You have this Trumpian sense of American entitlement. This is a distorted form of american exceptionalism that lives within the left – that we are economically more powerful than we actually are. The last great economic advantage we got we got through military power, and we have accused the GOP of extending that through various wars for oil.

    We do not have a strong enough economic hand to demand more.

  93. 93
    Linnaeus says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Who do you think Indonesia and Australia are going to talk to if we kill this? Yeah, they’ll talk to China.


    They already are
    , and they’ve been doing it since 2012.

  94. 94
    🌷 Martin says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    eating our lunch because we are letting them do so.

    No, they are eating our lunch because they are bigger than us. Look, this is supply-side thinking. Stable sustained economic activity has always originated from the demand side. We are a wealthy industrialized nation but we represent 4% of the global population – and shrinking as a percentage. Immigration could give us a stronger hand, but that’s opposed by the right. We proclaim that lifting Africa out of poverty ought to be a policy goal of the left – and I agree – but that goal creates 1.1 billion new consumers. That gives Africa a stronger economic hand than the US.

    What the left really is saying here is to lift them out of abject poverty, but not so high that they get a seat at the global trade table. We want the difficult visuals to go away, but we still want them mostly poor because that keeps the US as most favored trade partner.

    The only way we are letting the Chinese eat our lunch is by not bombing their population back to some reasonable size. They are not eating our lunch by lowering US wages, they are eating their lunch by creating enough economic growth within their country that China now buys more automobiles each year than the US does – by a LOT. And that growth – magnified by the size of their population is why the US is losing so much influence. Until someone provides a plan whereby US GDP can grow at the rate of the Chinese population to keep us ahead (and we did that in the 1940s by bombing everyone else’s GDP out of existence), then everything else is pretty much just whistling past the graveyard.

  95. 95
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Aleta: :-( It’s so painful when a loved-one’s death is made worse by avoidable mistakes and so forth. It’s hard enough under the “best” of circumstances…

    I’m glad you came out relatively ok after that horrible accident! It’s a wonder that humans don’t cower in fear under a table all the time since our lives can change so radically so very quickly.

    Here’s hoping that bad news only comes in twos and not in threes! :-)

    Best wishes to you and yours. Hang in there.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  96. 96
    Kay says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Yes, we get it Martin. Every trade deal is always the best possible outcome. There will be no debate or discussion on trade deals because, alternately, the US “must lead” on trade OR, if that doesn’t work, the US has zero leverage on trade and are wholly subject to market forces.

    The President and Congressional Republicans should go out and adjust those job projections they made. They claimed between 600k and 2 million new net jobs as a direct result of this deal. That isn’t what experts say now. How many times are free traders planning on over-promising? They destroyed their own credibility well before Donald Trump opened his mouth.

    If lower wage workers are going to take yet another hit in service to our “long arc” wish and prayer trade policy the least they could do is admit it. It isn’t about “US workers” and it never has been. They can’t even be bothered to make some serious effort to mitigate immediate job loss, let alone “create” a new workforce.

  97. 97
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Linnaeus:

    Here’s the conundrum, though: ardent free traders have been arguing for years that lower labor & environmental standards are an important component of a poorer nation’s comparative advantage and that to expect higher standards from those countries would doom them to continued poverty. So now you have a tension between using a trade deal to raise standards and the underlying theory of that very trade deal.

    But ardent free traders had all manner of other domestic agendas they were seeking to achieve through that effort – such as weakening labor and environmental standards in the US. Democrats never really connected those two things, and we now treat those as synonymous, but they don’t necessarily need to be. The left could enter trade agreements that eliminate arbitrary tariffs but replace them with economically similar improvements in labor and environment. We would be no worse off in doing so and by putting other nations in a parallel trajectory to the US would actually reinforce our standards rather than undermine them. And it denies an opportunity for the next time we are out of power for the opposing party to pass a trade deal that we truly loathe.

    Since these trade deals are going to continue – and they have been wildly successful on a global scale (poverty is plummeting at the fastest rate in history), the real question should be what would a liberal trade deal look like. The answer from the left is purely regressive. It’s ‘tariffs’, which are proven to not work in the interests of the population at large. This is the equivalent of the GOPs ‘repeal and replace’ where they refuse to document the replacement. The left MUST have a vision for tariff-less trade, and we don’t. We stand and refuse to engage and it is a 100% losing strategy.

  98. 98
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Kay:

    Every trade deal is always the best possible outcome. There will be no debate or discussion on trade deals because, alternately, the US “must lead” on trade OR, if that doesn’t work, the US has zero leverage on trade and are wholly subject to market forces.

    I am not saying that.

    What I am saying is that when the only answer we have to every trade question is ‘no’, then we should expect to continue to lose on this issue. There was no effort ever made to evaluate the TPP or to give productive input on what a trade deal ought to look like. When you refuse to engage productively, then you lose all right to complain about the result. That’s what I’m saying.

    And there are ways that we can engage productively, but not if we hold onto this notion that the only way to protect certain US workers is to drop arbitrary taxes on goods. That’s a failed model.

  99. 99
    Kay says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    I don’t know Martin, did you follow this at all? The currency piece was huge. This is the think tank the President was relying on for his TPP promotion campaign:

    A currency manipulation plan connected to a far-reaching Pacific Rim trade pact received a key endorsement from the architects of a widely cited proposal to crack down on the practice.
    Several leaders at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, who developed a framework for deterring currency manipulation that was embraced by a majority in Congress — said the side agreement to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) meets the standard set in the trade promotion authority (TPA) law passed by Congress and should strengthen the Treasury Department’s ability to stop the practice.

    You really think Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown didn’t know China wasn’t in the agreement? The labor leaders who insisted on the currency piece were at the table on TPP.

    Continuing to insist these people don’t know what they’re talking about, as the President (unfortunately) did is just not accurate. All of this rhetoric about “pulling up the drawbridge” is deliberately misrepresenting their position. I don’t need the President to tell me we need international trade. We have German, Japanese and Mexican-owned manufacturing facilities in this county. They make things. They’re pro-trade. They’re anti crappy trade deals.

  100. 100
    Linnaeus says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    But ardent free traders had all manner of other domestic agendas they were seeking to achieve through that effort – such as weakening labor and environmental standards in the US

    Sure, some of them did. But they weren’t the only ones making the poor-conditions-as-comparative-advantage argument. Paul Krugman, no Republican himself, did the same thing in the late 1990s. This view was pretty much the consensus on working conditions and free trade. Though, to be fair, Krugman has changed his tune a little bit in the last couple of years.

    Since these trade deals are going to continue – and they have been wildly successful on a global scale (poverty is plummeting at the fastest rate in history), the real question should be what would a liberal trade deal look like.

    I agree that trade deals are going to continue – the current trade regime is pretty strongly in place and if the US tried to reverse it, the US would fail. What we do need, and what we really haven’t had, is a truly honest accounting of both the benefits and costs of the global trade regime (in the US and elsewhere). These deals were oversold to the US public, and because the costs have been relatively concentrated, it has been easy to ignore them.

  101. 101
    PNW_WarriorWoman says:

    Miss. Looking at lagging indicators and unreliable ones too.

    Job Cuts Pile Up

    “In March, job cuts announced by the largest US-based companies soared 31.7% year-over-year to 48,207. The fourth month in a row of year-over-year increases. Up 40% from March 2014.

    Job-cut announcements in the first quarter jumped to 184,920, up 32% from 2015, and up 52% from 2014.

    These are not minor increases. And they only include the largest US-based companies that announce layoffs to the media. They do not include smaller companies that might be trimming their payrolls quietly.”

  102. 102
    PNW_WarriorWoman says:

    Nope.

    Job Cuts Pile Up.

  103. 103

    @Punchy:
    I promise you that McConnell looks at a choice between Trump or Cruz as GOP presidential candidates, and goes home and hides in a pillow fort and cries. This is a living nightmare for him. My guess is he blames Obama, not himself, though.

    @Face:
    You overestimate their grasp on reality. The GOP line is that we’re in a horrible recession right now, and it got steadily worse through Obama’s presidency.

  104. 104
    Elie says:

    @PNW_WarriorWoman:

    Interesting site. Thanks for sharing!

  105. 105
    jl says:

    The jobs report was good news for Democrats for upcoming election. The uptick in unemployment was probably mostly due to people entering labor force because jobs market looking better enough for the trouble to be worthwhile, as Zandar indicates. Wage increase was good, might be a noticeable increase in real wages this year. That kind of economics is just as important as horse race and personality BS for election, and it is looking OK.

    I think “humming along” is little optimistic for for overall recovery. There are very early signs of end of expansion over two to three year time horizon (see Econbrowser or Calculated Risk blogs for more details) But most jobs market statistics, certainly ones we read in the headlines, are considered a ‘lagging indicators’. Basically, if you are an investor who waits until a turning point show up in the unemployment statistics, then you have missed the boat, the recession (or recovery) has already been underway for at least several months.

    So, we can have a crummy recovery that shows early signs of petering out, but still good job market stats the bode well for Democrats in the general election this Fall.

  106. 106
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: What LAO said–whole lot of hurt in a very short time.

    My condolences regarding your mom. Don’t beat yourself up over not having been there–none of us knows the hour.

    Re the car, I presume you’re going to drive it until it falls apart, so if the rebuild isn’t a safety issue it makes a certain amount of sense. But it also probably makes sense to drop comprehensive coverage on a 12-year-old vehicle.

    Hope for better luck for you from this point forward!

  107. 107
    Linda says:

    @Punchy: Except for this: Before Obama, the conventional wisdom was that any problems that could not be solved with tax cuts, deregulation or foreign invasions had to stay broken. That is not the default anymore. We need to work the levers of power better, but we are changing the underlying default mode. That’s a big Biden deal.

  108. 108
    jl says:

    @🌷 Martin: I would prefer to say ‘no’ as a default to gimmicky partial trade deals like TPP. An alternative to gimmicky partial trade deals like the TPP is to go back to real multilateral global trade negotiations,which were abandoned almost a decade ago when US corporations could not get everything that they wanted.

    I think there is a good chance that the TPP may also fail in bringing China into some kind of ill-defined fold or purported system created by a bunch of ad hoc trade deals that consist of some major economies getting what they want out of a small collection of small economies, and it might not work as some kind of bulwark either. The only consistency I see to a sequence of deals like the TPP is spreading the gospel of very extreme US-style IP law and economics, and keeping environmental and labor standards down a very distant low priority compared to what US corporations and finance want, which is US IP law and a relatively high dollar which is advantageous to acquisition of foreign assets.

  109. 109
    jl says:

    And, seems to me this labor report is good news for Democrats in November. Headline labor stats can give mixed messages in a weak recovery, and this recovery has been the weakest of the post WWII era. And that is more true with big sectoral shifts, which certainly have been underway for awhile with continued very low fossil fuel prices.

    Big good news is people optimistic enough to re-enter labor force, and probability of noticeable, though small, increase in average real compensation this year.

    Calculated Risk blog has a collection of year-over-year macro stats, and signs are that a weak recovery will continue for at least a year or two.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/

  110. 110
    jl says:

    I’m don’t know enough inside financial baseball to read US Fed Reserve tea leaves, but one prominent Fed watcher says Yellen is furiously signalling that she will follow sound economic policy and put further interest rate hikes on hold until justified by macroeconomic data. (Edit: probably will mean a spat of VSP and media panic as inflation target becomes a true target rather than a ceiling that must always loom very high above the data).

    Yellen Pivots Toward Saving Her Legacy

    The incoming data suggests that means the economy needs to run hotter for longer if the Fed wants to leave the zero bound behind. Yellen is getting that message. But perhaps more than anything, the risk of deteriorating inflation expectations – the basis for the Fed’s credibility on its inflation target – signaled to Yellen that rates hike need to be put on hold.

    http://economistsview.typepad......egacy.html

  111. 111
    J R in WV says:

    @L Boom:

    Best of luck!! I always had headhunters calling me at work before I retired. It got tiresome in a way, but it also made me feel good about job prospects if a boss ticked me off, which was usually why I went looking for a new job.

    Software is hard to do right, and people who have a track record are valued.

    Hang in there!

  112. 112
    J R in WV says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    Really sorry about you Mom ! The wreck doesn’t help, even though it wasn’t your fault.

    A salvage title means the vehicle was totaled out. It will be hard to sell at anything like BlueBook price, and trading it in will also be difficult if possible at all.

    While it may be possible to reconstruct the vehicle, it may (for example) use up tires, use up brakes, vibrate at certain speeds, and such. It may also not be as safe as it was before it got hit.

    I know all this since I got rear-ended while stopped at a red light by a woman doing her makeup on her way to work. There was a cop sitting at the light that had turned green, who saw the impact and watched me sail across the intersection.

    The shop replaced most all the sheet metal behind the read window, although the (4-motion) rear drive was OK. They had to pull the unibody straight too. I still have the car, but wish they had totalled it out. The damage will be on any damage report when I go to trade it in. IIRC it was $17K in repairs.

    I’m glad you’re OK, I saw the car coming at me and stiffened up, it sounds like you were so taken by surprise you didn’t have a chance to tense up, which is a good thing.

    If you have a choice, I would go for the check rather than for a repaired salvaged vehicle. The difference between the insurance payout and a new car should come from the guy who hit you. Get a lawyer right away if you haven’t already. Get advice from other lawyers about who to hire.

    Best of luck with it all!

  113. 113
    satby says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: I’m just back online and shocked by all that bad news! My deepest condolences on the sudden loss of your mom. It’s so much harder with no time to prepare. And to have the car get totalled right after is horrible. Very glad you were ok. Loving thoughts to you and your family at this time.

  114. 114
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay:

    I read a good analysis on the trade “frame” we have adopted, where the writer said politicians and economists see the US public as consumers, not workers. They start with the assumption that US workers will value cheaper consumer goods over wages and work. I think that’s true and I wonder how that happened.

    It may be partly the decline of organized labor, but Americans tend to think of wages and customer demand almost as natural phenomena that policy doesn’t have any effect on. Lower prices are better than higher ones, lower taxes are better than higher ones, but if they don’t get paid enough or if nobody wants to buy what they have to sell, what are you going to do? That’s just the way it is. Or else it’s “the economy” which they vaguely assume has been damaged by the government spending too much.

  115. 115
    No One You Know says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: l’m so sorry, Scott. Am facing a deadly duo myself; both mother and mother-in-law are in the process of passing.

    Dying, it seems, can take a long time.

    Do get your spine looked at; I learned young that getting rear-ended can permanently damage a spine , even if nothing’s outright broken.

  116. 116
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @J R in WV, @satby, @No One You Know and everyone – thanks for the kind words. It’s appreciated.

    Take care of yourself, NOYK. Even when you know it’s coming, it’s hard.

    J has been through several accidents and has gotten banged around far too much at weird angles over the years. She has a good physical therapist that I can visit if necessary, but there’s really no need. I’m Ok. It being a complete surprise, and being a directly straight-on collision, probably helped me avoid injury.

    On the lawyer things, I don’t think I’ll go that route. J went that way with her latest accident (she and the other car had the same insurance company and things dragged out a very, very long time). Having a lawyer didn’t seem to help much at all in that case (there was more of an issue with the car insurance and the medical insurance companies fighting with us over who paid what). I’m just trying to get the value up so that maybe I can avoid the hassle of a salvage title (and so it won’t cost me quite so much), but it’s not worth a lawyer.

    The cautions about getting the car repaired are certainly worth considering, but the structure of the car really is fine. I drove it 500 miles (up to 80 mph downhill briefly at times) back from Ohio after the accident and it really is fine other than the smashed hatch… Avoiding a car payment is a big plus! ;-) I’m hoping to hold on to it another 5-10 years, by which time plug-in hybrids should be awesome. Already the 2016 Volt sounds pretty good (but I want a wagon).

    Thanks again. We’ve got a good family here.

    Be careful out there, everyone.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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