Not Enough Labor Day

How the government is destroying jobs


Today, many Americans will be enjoying a respite from the incessant demands of their jobs. But many Americans will be wishing desperately they could trade the holiday for the incessant demands of a job. This year, given the state of the economy, Labor Day should be called Not Enough Labor Day.

The unemployment rate during the recent recession peaked at 10.1 percent last October, and in August, it was 9.6 percent—an increase from July. Nearly 15 million people are looking for suitable work and not finding it.

Most of the loss of employment is the result of large events: the financial crisis, the housing bust, and the general collapse of demand. Congress, the administration, and the Federal Reserve are straining to stimulate hiring through fiscal and monetary policies aimed at reviving growth.

But that is not all the government does to affect employment. Alas, much of what it does offsets the good it is trying to accomplish.

A sad example is the payroll tax, which impedes job creation in two ways. First, it imposes an extra cost on employers for hiring workers—a cost they don't incur if they decide to replace workers with machinery. Second, it reduces the take-home pay of those hired, making it less attractive for them to work.

Richard Rogerson, an economist at Arizona State University and author of the new book The Impact of Labor Taxes on Labor Supply, says the negative effect of payroll taxes is especially large when the revenues go to programs like Social Security. Evidence from Europe, he says, suggests that "a 10-percentage-point increase in labor taxes used to fund transfer programs leads to a reduction in hours worked of between 10 and 15 percentage points."

Many liberals admire Europeans for their civilized habit of working less than Americans do. But they used to work more. The change came about because higher taxes on that side of the Atlantic have greatly reduced the gains from working.

Generous social welfare benefits were another factor in sapping the European work ethic. But the United States is moving in the same direction. President Obama recently signed a bill extending unemployment insurance benefits, allowing those out of work to collect for up to 99 weeks.

There is something to be said for providing extra help to people who lose their jobs during hard times. But there is an unintended side effect: longer spells of unemployment. In the past year, the average duration has increased from 25 weeks to 34 weeks—far above the average peak duration of 21 weeks during previous recessions over the past 65 years.

What's different this time? "The dramatic expansion of unemployment-insurance eligibility to 99 weeks is almost certainly the culprit," writes Harvard economist Robert Barro in The Wall Street Journal. The extension provides the longest coverage ever.

Economists disagree on how much jobless assistance aggravates the problem it is supposed to ameliorate. But a study this year by the liberal Brookings Institution estimated that without the additional benefits, the unemployment rate would be at least 0.7 percentage points lower than it is—the equivalent of a million jobs.

The extension makes it feasible for some unemployed workers to put off looking for work longer than they otherwise could—which is why workers without coverage usually find new jobs quicker than workers with coverage. Often, the benefits just postpone the inevitable, depriving the economy of labor without yielding better jobs for those looking.

Then there is the increase in the federal minimum wage that took place last year. In the teeth of the downturn, the government required companies to boost their pay floor to $7.25 an hour, an increase of 70 cents. The intention may have been humane, but the effect was like tossing a struggling swimmer an anchor.

For Washington to dictate higher pay is bound to destroy jobs in the best of times. But the very worst moment to raise the minimum wage is during a period of economic stagnation combined with deflation, as we had last year.

When inflation screeches to a halt, many workers will be compelled to accept lower pay than they once would have taken. (Many already have.) A higher minimum wage prevents some from doing that.

Paying people not to work, barring them from taking wages they would be willing to accept, and penalizing companies that hire them? It's an ingenious formula for destroying jobs, and it seems to be working.



NEXT: Don't Leave Home Without It

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  1. Politics, recession, lay-offs, etc, these are mostly the reason why we’re still having a hard time. There are still more people who jobless. The American government does not have the political will to be honest with the American people about our financial condition. The politicians will most likely take the easy way out by printing us into hyper-inflation rather than admit their folly and take the responsible action of implementing Greek-style austerity. Either way, it’s not going to be pretty. We are already seeing some European traditions such as general strikes that will be very disruptive to daily life.

    We help Americans move to Asia for jobs and prosperity. Learn more at

    1. Alright, seriously, how long is the management of this blog going to permit rank blogwhoring and spam? We’ll drop the banhammer on anyone who says something remotely outlandish or violent, but not the bots?

      1. Why do you hate the blog whores?

        1. TAO’s other handle is blogwhore.

      2. rank loss-leader blogwhoringsexworking

        (Answer to your question: When readers start paying to view.)

        1. What is the relationship between comment filtering and paid admission? An inverse one, I suspect – the more comment spam the less value the paid advertisers get for their efforts. This means it is a very important role for Reason to police the spam content, as otherwise there is no added value to obtain for paid advertisers.

          1. I’d say it’s far from completely inverse. It’s probably parabolic or in form, since most are willing to deal with some spam up to a point.

            1. This is a dumb conversation. There is one spam so far as I can see and the rest is conversation about the offensive spam. Oh shit and now I am contributing to the idiocy. Oh shit, I just called myself an idiot.

              Oh shit my heads gonna explode!!!

              1. Strike out that last sentence above and it’s not spam. Incoherent and rambling, but not spam.

                1. Angry O’s all upset for being banned himself, for posting contact information about someone who would not obey his rules here.

        2. Smoke Lucky Strikes!

          1. Don’t tell me what to do!


          2. Shut the fuck up and have a Coke and a smile!

            1. Nuh uh. It’s the Pepsi Generation. Comin’ at ya, goin’ strong!

              1. Make Mine Moxie!

              2. Tonight, let it be L?wenbr?u.

          3. Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.

            1. be sure to drink

            2. Stop hinting at decoders!

          4. In Soviet Union, reader spams bot!

            1. I need a drink.

              1. I don’t care if you have a Clio, you must remove your shoes in here.

                1. Says the man with no testicles.

          5. Tell me what to do. I like being told what to do.

            oops wrong website…

      3. It has the electrolytes plants crave.

      4. Has anyone ever actually been banned?

        1. You liber-pussies tried banning me but I’m back!!!!

        2. I was banned for a while for posting Lonewacko’s completely public “whois” information.

          1. The fact that the information was public was irrelevant.

            It was just one of those things we’d rather not know.

          2. If it was completely pubic, then you didn’t have to post it. You could have just said, “Go to whois and look up Lonewacko’s website to find out who he is” or something.

            1. If it was completely “pubic”, it would have been far more interesting.

            2. If it was completely pubic, who the hell would even want to look at it.

          3. And you still cry, cry, cry whenever you disagree with anybody. Biggest “remove commerce from Libertarianism” pussie on earth.

            1. Beltway, what the hell are you talking about?

              1. The only thing worse than a blog pussie is an ignorant blog pussie.

        3. Remember Gary Gunnels!

        4. 2 live crew

        5. Has anyone ever actually been banned?

          How could even carry out a ban given that there are no user accounts and all posting is pseudonymous?

          1. They can put up a firewall that says “don’t accept requests from ip x.x.x.x” so that when he puts in, the server sends an appropriate response saying that it won’t serve your request from reason’s ip address.

      5. Meanwhile, regular commenters have their posts deleted from the morning links thread for having links in them.

        1. REVOLT!!!

          I’ve never seen posts deleted. I feel so left out.

          1. Of course you haven’t seen it. They were deleted.

            1. This exchange is the type of rhetorical genius I come to expect from a website called Reason.

          2. Weird thing you ask that hmmm several days ago I wrote a joke post for you with the word i’l’l’u’m’i’m’a’t’i in it that got deleted. Subject matter was less controversial than what I usually do and obviously a joke at that so I assumed it was an error on the squirrels part.

        2. I don’t know if they get deleted so much as filtered out before posting. I don’t know how many times I’ve triggered the “3rd party spam filter” with what I thought was an ordinary comment, yet these obvious spammers seem to have no problem getting through.

          1. They are technically brilliant products of the public school system.

  2. Well, there’s always more Stimulus. That will create jobs, for sure.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m moving to Asia.

    1. I don’t understand this expatriation fascination showing up on so many comment boards. Yes, things aren’t going great in America. Yes, there’s police corruption, politicians are becoming more like aristocrats, and so on. But it’s not like there’s some libertopia out there. Yes, there are certain countries that are comfortable to live in if you have money to bribe the local politicians. If you don’t mind being the main part of the problem, go ahead and move there. Just pray there isn’t a populist uprising, because rich foreigners are going to be the first people to be expelled, looted, or killed. America is still on average the freest country economically and socially where the rule of law is still largely in effect, and there is no major threat of major race riots like there is in so much of Europe, or true populist uprisings as in most of the rest of the world. The closest we have to a populist uprising is the Tea Party, and that’s largely a reactionary protest movement. It’s very anti-populist, even though it appears to be populist at first glance. But I digress. I’m not trying to cheerlead here, I’m not saying America is a free country with total rule of law. Just that even now, it’s still better than everywhere else.

      1. It was a joke, in response to the first comment on the board.

      2. > But it’s not like there’s some libertopia out there.

        What about HOAs, with their privatized corporate governments?

        1. Please tell me where I can live without being involuntarily subjected to taxation and nannystatist government. I would love to live somewhere where the closest thing to a government was a HOA.

          1. Somolia

          2. If you don’t like the taxes and regulations of a government, don’t buy a home in its territory.

            Same as with an HOA.

            1. Don’t appreciate you spoofing my fine feathered friend Tulpa. He would never say something that buttwipe worthy. Not in a million years.

      3. You are incorrect, my poorly-traveled friend.
        1. In Banana Republics, the fuckers stay bought
        2. Having an American passport is like a mob initiation.
        jump in, the water’s fine. I’m going back as soon as I sell my house.

      4. But… but… I heard “Machete” was going to launch a wave of revolution against white children in the suburbs! WHY CAN’T I TRUST YOU, INTERNET!!!

      5. Nothing lasts forever. The question is how much longer ’till the inevitable happens.

    2. Well, there’s always more Stimulus. That will create jobs, for sure.

      When I fisrt heard this today I thought it was a bad joke.

      WTF 800 billion of infrastructure and targeted tax credits fucked the economy up, but now son of stimulus that’s 1/10th that size is going to fix everyghtin?

      Obama is a fucking moron.

      1. Well, yeah, but, Paulie Krugnuts says we need more, if it’s not too late, whatever that means.

        And besides, the first Stimulus was just political payback, it wasn’t real Stimulus. This time, they’re serious.

        1. Then shouldn’t it be bigger?

          Son of Stimulus doesn’t even make sense on Keynesian terms.

        2. They thought that it would act as a stimulus AND serve as political payback. They really did.

          Barack Obama: Then there’s the argument, well, this is full of pet projects. When was the last time that we saw a bill of this magnitude move out with no earmarks in it? Not one. (Applause.) And when you start asking, well, what is it exactly that is such a problem that you’re seeing, where’s all this waste and spending? Well, you know, you want to replace the federal fleet with hybrid cars. Well, why wouldn’t we want to do that? (Laughter.) That creates jobs for people who make those cars. It saves the federal government energy. It saves the taxpayers energy. (Applause.)

          So then you get the argument, well, this is not a stimulus bill, this is a spending bill. What do you think a stimulus is? (Laughter and applause.) That’s the whole point. No, seriously. (Laughter.) That’s the point. (Applause.)

          They really believe this ridiculous shit, and that’s why they’re still in shock that the “recovery summer” never actually happened. It can’t possibly be the stimulus, regulations, undertainty, and all of the other crappy policies that are responsible. No, it must be that they just didn’t go far enough!

          1. “…all this waste…Well, why wouldn’t we want to do that? (Laughter.)”

            That speech delivered with that folksy, sing-song voice in that annoying cadence — and he draws laughter?

            1. I think it might have something to do with the audience. He could yell “Kill Whitey!” and they would applaud.

              1. Clap!

            2. That speech delivered with that folksy, sing-song voice in that annoying cadence — and he draws laughter?

              There is an old black term for that kind of bullshit. The ‘shuck and jive.’ To use one of a somewhat more recent vintage, what a jive turkey.

        3. Do you have proof that it was political payback? Or do you talk out your ass like Glenn Beck? Krugman knows a lot more about economics than you do I am sure.

          1. Krugman knows a lot about economics — Keynesian economics, and statist political economics.

            He might know about other kinds of economics, but they don’t get mentioned in his columns.

          2. A Huey Long admirer? Seriousy?

            1. Read EveryManAKing’s blog for a good laugh. According to some of the commenters there, the government is a fucking magical entity that can guarantee you a 30hr workweek, retirement at 50, a moratorium on foreclosure, and universal healthcare. They make Pauly Krugnuts look sane.

              1. What we really need is an art economy run by poets. EMAK blog has too much of a robber baron influence from right wing brainwashing.

          3. Krugman knows a lot more about economics than you do I am sure.

            And when he speaks as an economist he often contradicts what he says as a NY Times columnist.

          4. My boss has a doctorate in economics and he told me the other day that Krugman is a hack.

            Also, a good chunk of economics is common sense. This explains why the vast majority of the country doesn’t get how the economy works (they lack common sense for those who are too dense to follow).

      2. The main difference between stimulus pushers and crack dealers is that the latter have willing customers.

        1. And crack is at least makes you feel better for a while.

          1. Stimulus is like whacking off into a tube sock. You feel good doing it, but you accomplish nothing and in the end you have a dirty sock to clean.

            1. So what if you huffed gold spray paint out of the tube sock and then whacked off into it?

            2. If you start with a dirty sock in the first place, that doesn’t matter.

              1. Yeah, but you can at least try to wear a dirty sock once more before washing it, but not after it has been, well, defiled.

      3. Are you saying things were fine before the first stimulus? It’s one thing to say it didn’t work, but acting as thought the economy wasn’t already completely fucked is a lie.

        1. You consider prolonging a recession as simply “didn’t work”?

      4. Did you ever look in the mirror? I’ll know not to “like” any of your comments, no matter the few that were sane, over at McAdled’s ever again.

        1. So you think another 50 billion in highway construction is going to fix this economy?


      5. What we need in this country is more runways and roads, not jobs.

        The people that make roads and runways already have jobs repairing the roads and runways semi-annually due to their poor quality of work.

        1. The various brother in laws, of the various politicians, working for these paving companies need the work. The more asphalt laid, the longer the senator gets to go without said BiL sleeping someplace other than the senator’s guest room.

          1. Then what we really need is another Big Dig.

            Crane operators and sons in law of congress unite!

    3. I’ve heard American men do well in China.

      1. I was at a conference in Lanzhou a few years ago, and one afternoon the maid came to my hotel room and struck up a conversation with me in very broken English. She didn’t bring anything or clean anything, so I had no idea what her purpose was for being there; later I assumed she was learning English and wanted to talk to a native speaker.

        The next day I was telling another American conference attendee about this, and he laughed and said she was probably curious about American/European men if you know what I mean, and I’d blown an opportunity to sample some of the local cuisine. To which I replied, fuck, I don’t even want to drink the water in this shithole, let alone expose my mucous membranes to something more intense.

        1. Jia Jiao: A group of Americans flew in the other day. I went over to greet them.

          Biyu: Sounds like an opportunity for a wonderful cultural exchange.

          Jia Jiao: With barbarians that would be impossible. I asked the ‘gentlemen’ if he would like me to demonstrate Mandarin calligraphy for him.

          Biyu: You draw so beautifully. Surely he would have appreciated your gift.

          Jia Jiao: I am ashamed to say this, but – he mistook me for a prostitute.

          Biyu: What?!?

          Jia Jiao: It was obvious in his condescending and ignorant tone.

          Biyu: Condescending and ignorant. Confucius had a word for such a lack of manner accompanied by a high degree of moral turpitude.

          Jia Jiao: American?

          Biyu: It might as well have been.

  3. Yea, if I see one more blog whoring link, I’m out of here.

    1. You should check out this blog…..a#comments there are some good pocketbooks for sale.

      1. don’t forget about scarves. scarves put the s in hipster.

        1. I dont know how I overlooked the scarves. Perhaps because its 85 fucking degrees out I wasnt interested in scarves.

          1. ZOMG! Globally warmings!

            1. LOL. Oil companies are anti-winter apparel stooges.

              I think we should all wear scarves in solidarity.

  4. take the responsible action of implementing Greek-style austerity.

    Now, *that’s* funny,

    1. Or we could spend another 800 billion dollars on Roman Orgies.

      Concubines, both male and female are woefully underemployed in America.

  5. If I had a blog I’d whore it like a twelve year old Asian girl.

    1. Blogs are like assholes, which are like opinions.

      1. So your saying that if I don’t have a blog then I don’t have an asshole?

        1. He is saying you are still an Asian ladyboy whore.

  6. Have you checked out my blog lately?

  7. When your face

    gets grizzled

    and has love has fizzled

    scrape off those nubs

    and snuggle up, bub

    Drink Burma Shave

  8. “Not Enough Labor Day”
    It brings up the “teaching moment” that, while all of us could be sweating profusely 24-7 clearing brush or whatever, the only labor that creates wealth is labor that other people are willing to pay for.

    1. It is mental ability we should celebrate.

  9. Krugabe:

    But it’s both instructive and discouraging to look at the state of America circa 1938 ? instructive because the nature of the recovery that followed refutes the arguments dominating today’s public debate, discouraging because it’s hard to see anything like the miracle of the 1940s happening again.

    The miracle of the 1940s?


    Seek professional help, Professor.

    1. How fucked up is your economic theory when it requires industrial mass murder to reach fruition?

      1. Depends. Is Krugman talking about killing Krauts or Jews?

        1. He wants the last Kraut Jew left.

      2. Of course by any objective measure the war economy sucked. Yeah, it won the war. But winning the war required sacrifice, meaning everyone lived in a horrible economy where you couldn’t buy a new car or a refrigerator or a new set of tires.

        Only someone as sinister and stupid as Pauli Krugnuts could describe that as a miracle. The “miracle” occured after the war when the pent up demand of no one being able to buy anything for four years and being forced to save via rationing and war bonds, created a boom. And it should be noted that the Pauli Krugnuts of the late 1940s were totally shocked by it happening.

        1. It also helped that all of our competitors in the international industrial market were essentially destroyed in the war.

          The late 40s were hardly a boom period for Western Europe, for example, and they’d had an even more severe war economy there.

          1. It was for Germany. It wasn’t for the UK because the UK kept their war time planning and rationing policies.

            1. Does this mean Sucky won’t post on this thread?

      3. Hey, Marxism isn’t fucked up! It’s just…well, kind of…I mean…

        Okay, it’s fucked up. But don’t say that, or we’ll kill you.

    2. Please be advised the proper way of addressing the almighty economist of The Gray Lady is Dr. Pauly Krugnuts.

      1. It would have more badda-bing if you spelled it “Paulie”.

    3. I was flipping channels yesterday morning and flipped by one of the Sunday Morning Talkshows. Their panel was Friedman and Pauli Krugnuts and a couple of others. I fliped the channel before my TV was sucked into a vortex of stupidity.

      1. I like the one with the bow tie.

        Not Cokie Roberts, the other one.

      2. In all seriousness, the last time I even watched a Sunday morning talk show was This Week with Snuffalupagus (shows you how long ago it was) and the discussion panel at the end was David Brooks, Gwen Ifill, EJ Dionne, and Katrina van Heuvel. (I assume Brooks was acting as token conservative in place of George Will)

        1. I used to watch the Snuffalupagus show, but I was turned off by Oscar and his overt pessimism.

        2. Obama and Howard Dean make Gwen Ifill seem intelligent. She should have them on as often as possible.

      3. Why does Krugman have that shifty-eyed look like he thinks someone might be getting ready to sucker punch him from the side. Now that Tapper is gone, I think he’s probably safe.

        1. I figured Tapper was not going to last with ABC. He was too good of a reporter to not draw the hate of invested interest.

  10. Until capital feels safe from seizure on an Obama whim, we will not have recovery.

    Today, there are no limits on Federal power.

    1. PS — An election doesn’t totally solve this problem (it only delays some future tyrants hand); we need new firewalls in the Constitution.

      1. We already have all the firewalls we should need in the constitution. They are just ignored by the powers that be.

        Unless you’re proposing an amendment that says something like, “For the purposes of interpreting this document, ‘Interstate commerce’ means interstate commerce, ‘public use’ means public use, ‘right to keep and bear arms’ means a right to keep and bear arms.”

        Which would have great comic value, but probably wouldn’t have any effect on the living constitution types.

        1. It would be funny, but it’s getting to the point where something like that seems to be necessary.

          1. We need to eliminate through constitutional amendment the entire legislative branch and replace it with three basic laws:

            1. Do no harm to others. This would include murder, assault rape etc…

            2. Respect private property. Dont steal or vandalize etc.

            3. Respect private contracts. This can also include general guidelines to prevent fraud.

            Thats it, no more rules, just enforce these.

        2. Actually, expanding the Bill of Rights to about 1,000 items, and rewriting the first 10 at length to be very clear about what government can’t do, ever, would help immensely.

          “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”


          “To keep a free state free, the people need to have the firepower to overthrow a government that has become tyrannical. Thus, the absolute right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Any politician or bureaucrat formally proposing to limit the right to own guns and other weapons in any way whatsover, and carry those arms in public places without hindrance, or proposing rules or regulations or laws or any other restrictions whatsoever — that politician or bureaucrat shall be immediately removed from office and barred from ever working for the government again in any capacity.”

          Something like that, X 1000.

          1. This is the opposite of what a governing document should attempt. The more specific it is, the easier it is to carve out exceptions.

            1. But easy wording leaves it open for interpretation. When Hamilton wanted to establish the first central bank, Washington wrote Jefferson and Madison to get their thoughts. In the end Hamilton won out by claiming that even though congress shall make no laws – (you get the idea) – it does not say that congress cannot put the duty on someone else’s shoulders. If specifically defined, it would be harder to take advantage of as more clarity of purpose is given.
              Not that it matters wither way of course. No army was to be raised with govt for over the time of 2 years.How long did that last?

  11. the proper way of addressing the almighty economist of The Gray Lady is Dr. Pauly Krugnuts.

    Balderdash. What are you, some sort of Stalinist?

  12. It’s not just an ingenious formula for destroying jobs, it’s also an ingenious formula for driving people into the gray economy, hiring illegal labor and the like.

  13. Could we have more posts about Glenn Beck, please? I would like to see more posts by the visiting amateur psychologist christfuck brigade, kthx.

    1. 621 comments? WTF happned on that thread. I want it noted not a single one is from me.

      1. So you’re saying you aren’t going to pull your weight? Fuckin’ free loaders.

      2. John, I linked this article over there, figured you might like it, so here it is again.

        It’s a Slate piece on Obama’s moral cowardice.

    2. Warty, I really wish you would take the void in your soul that should be your love of wal-mart, and fill it with jesus. Actually any hole will do, just start filling them with jesus. It’s what the church likes to call a shovel ready project, and it’s the only way to save the economy.

      We are all counting on you, godspeed!

      1. “Fill a hole with Jesus.”, is almost as good as Buddy Jesus.

      2. Last time I went to Wal-Mart, I forgot to get one of my bags after I checked out, and the checkout girl was too oblivious or lazy to let me know. Jesus may be an asshole, but at least he’s never stolen any peaches from me.

        1. If simply neglecting to yell, “hey idiot, you left one of your bags here” constitutes stealing, then Jesus is just as guilty, seeing as he’s omniscient and didn’t let you know either.

          Or perhaps you should stop blaming others for your own negligence in checking the bag carousel for foreign objects before leaving.

          1. Hey, look, Tulpa came to make the point that was obviously implicit in my post, but in an obnoxious, condescending and nagging manner! I’ve never seen such a thing.

            Tulpa, don’t you have a cop to fellate or something? Fucking dumbshit prick.

        2. You buy peaches at Walmart? WTF is wrong with you?

          1. ? Goin’ to the country, gonna eat a lotta peaches… ?

        3. I help those who help themselves.

          However, since Warty has helped himself to my merchandise a little too freely, he is no longer welcome at Walmart. Greeters are instructed to shoot him on sight.

        4. Jesus apologizes for the oranges…

  14. Can you really say that the economy is being “deprived of labor,” or is it that there’s no consumer demand to support investment / expansion on the part of business?

    I don’t have a big problem with the libertarian argument against unemployment insurance (or extended UI), and I get the objection to bumping the minimum wage. But these arguments are more matters of principle for you. Do you really think that either of them is having an effect on employment now? If people can’t (or don’t want to) buy a companys product, then shaving that companys payroll isn’t going to have a big effect on demand for the product or the need for labor.

    Yes, theoretically if you could pay people $1/hour some organizations would hire a ton of unemployed people to do work for them, at least in the short term. But that’s not the ‘solution’ to unemployment that most people are looking for.

    1. I say this as a construction worker who was only marginally employed for about a year after losing my job (have a good one now). I didn’t take unemployment or any goverment assistance, I relied on my savings and hustled to get small contracts. However, I don’t see any developers saying “Gee, we can hire framers for under $7.20 / hr, lets go build some houses” if there isn’t anyone to buy those homes. I suspect the same is true for a lot of other industries. The reality is for blue-collar workers the only businesses that are expanding at the moment are ones that can rely at least partly on government contracts and stimulus. In my case, I now work in utility-services putting down gas and electric lines. (I know that makes me a ‘parasite’ to some of you.) But these are simply the only industries in the area that are doing anything.

      No one that I know in the trades works for minimum wage, and I work in a right-to-work state (CO) where employers can fire you for pretty much any reason. So, if the cost of labor is the culprit here, why aren’t businesses laying off people making $10-15/hr or more, and hiring those whose unemployment benefits have run out (if they had them at all; not all contractors are eligible) at minimum wage or some lower payscale? It’s because there’s no customers.

      1. I think the situation has many factors playing into it. Sure, blaming a slowdown on a minimum wage increase and unemployment insurance is oversimplification, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t some component of those things playing a role, along with many other factors. The reality is that recessions and even depressions happen from time to time in any economy and no politician can legislate them into or out of existence, no matter how great their hubris.

    2. But that’s not the ‘solution’ to unemployment that most people are looking for.

      Yes, we know. What they want is France, where everyone everywhere gets guaranteed 50,000, with ample vacation time and lots of “free” benefits.

      Too bad for them.

      1. Why is everyone who even questions conservative dogma some Francified sissy welfare queen in your book?

        Are the only possibilities in your world view an immoral totalitarian welfare-state or a econo-anarchist utopia?

        1. Maxwell,

          In your case, you’re also dealing with the fact that residential and commercial construction demand was goosed well past its organic level for a couple of decades by sprawl-favoring land use and transportation policies and an historic fed fuckup on interest rates.

          So to a certain extent, you’re right: getting rid of the minimum wage probably won’t put every unemployed construction worker back to work. But that’s because the music has stopped on the misallocation of labor to residential construction, and nothing will fix the disconnect between labor supply and demand there until a whole lot of people capitulate and decide they aren’t unemployed construction workers or property surveyors or appraisers any more – they’re unemployed janitors. Or unemployed light industrial workers. And so forth.

          1. Couldn’t agree more about the need for flexibility in job-seeking. But I think that most of the unemployed are pretty flexibile when considering new jobs / careers, especially more blue collar workers. I just don’t think a lot of people would say “I stamp concrete, I’m not going to work in maintenance or custodial.”

            I’d be interested to know what “sprawl-favoring land use and transportation policies” you take issue with from a libertarian perspective. I figured sprawl was born of an absence of government involvement in land-use.

            1. I’d be interested to know what “sprawl-favoring land use and transportation policies” you take issue with from a libertarian perspective. I figured sprawl was born of an absence of government involvement in land-use.

              Zoning and tax incentives that favor deep-pocketed big box developers over denser mixed use/mom & pop development. Free parking requirements. Neighborhood-destroying freeways. Tim Lee talks about transit issues pretty frequently.

              And then of course there is the long-standing policy of putting every idiot with two bucks to rub together in a ranch-style on a half acre.

              1. Yeah, and just the general promotion of homeownership as the end-all-be-all of American dream. Read more here:

            2. I figured sprawl was born of an absence of government involvement in land-use.

              Go to a suburban Walmart sometime, and note how many inner-city people are shopping there, having ridden a bus or carpooled so they could take advantage of the low prices.

              Then ponder why Walmart doesn’t open a store in the inner city so they could get even more business from that clientele.

              The answer to how govt interference contributes to sprawl awaits you.

            3. Maxwell,
              You are correct that a lack of demand for products produces a lack of demand for labor. But there are many sides to this economic coin. The increased price of labor reduces demand for labor because the price of the goods being produced by this labor has not increased.

              As for the unemployment benefits issue, by continuing to extend benefits, you provide an increased incentive to not work. Notice the article did not claim that without extending unemployment benefits we would have no unemployment, but it would be 0.7% less (still a million jobs). I myslef know of at least 3 people who turned down work or delayed going back to work because of their unemployment benefits. There’s also the fact that these things that are reducing employment are in turn reducing demand because the unemployed are not able to spend. So anything that disincentivizes people getting back to work is reducing demand further and causing a downward spiral.

              In summary: you are right, but so is the author.

              1. I myslef know of at least 3 people who turned down work or delayed going back to work because of their unemployment benefits.

                Then these people, upon audit, will need to repay the system the money they stole through fraud. The laws (in most states) do not allow you to turn down an offered position. Typically, doing so results in losing benefits and kicks in a requirement to repay the benefits you have received.

                1. There are some exceptions to that rule, but they typically involve a very high bar showing just cause for turning down the job.

                2. Neu,

                  In the New England states where I know the law, the standard is that you can’t decline “suitable employment”, meaning employment that matches what you had before.

                  If you were making $18 an hour doing residential construction, you are perfectly free to turn down $9 an hour to bus tables.

                3. That strikes me as being essentially unenforceable. But even if it’s enforceable, that’s another reason for libertarians to oppose UI; it interferes with workers’ freedom of association.

                4. And they all lived happily ever after. The End.


            4. I’d be interested to know what “sprawl-favoring land use and transportation policies” you take issue with from a libertarian perspective. I figured sprawl was born of an absence of government involvement in land-use.

              You figured correctly.

              The meme that sprawl is driven by government subsidies is liberal-tarian nonsense that explains why their preferred development style is not predominant.

              Its on par with the mythical highway subsidies that keep bitchen high speed rail from fiscal viablity.

    3. Do you really think that either [unemployment insurance or lowering minimum wage] is having an effect on employment now?

      Yes for both. Unemployment by duration looks like this. I don’t want to draw the wrong conclusions, but the real anomaly in the current situation is not the general unemployed rolls; those are just like other bad recessions. But what’s striking is the truly long-term jobless. I just can’t imagine this being the case with a stricter unemployment insurance regime.

      With minimum wage, if you think it doesn’t matter you have to make the argument that it’s set below the equilibrium wage level for all workers. I’d argue it’s effective, and thus raises unemployment while raising wages for those who are paid the minimum. (Another way of putting it is that wages would be the same with or without the minimum wage. I don’t think that’s the case.)

      I don’t think changing those would make a huge impact, but it would have an impact, maybe 0.5-1%. Most of the unemployment is, of course, demand-driven, and I’d also say that business environment and regulatory uncertainty plays a part. As for the latter, I’ll just say that the stock market rises 85% of the time in the fourth quarter after an election, because certain risks get taken off the table (I can’t find the right citation).

      Yes, theoretically if you could pay people $1/hour some organizations would hire a ton of unemployed people to do work for them, at least in the short term. But that’s not the ‘solution’ to unemployment that most people are looking for.

      Honestly, I’d think that continuing a job search on your own dime would really outweigh accepting a $1/hour job. The fear that without a minimum wage tons of people would be working for a few cents or bucks is pretty unfounded.

      1. Thanks for the response. I also read Barro’s piece in the WSJ a few days ago (that Chapman cites), and neither you nor he really make the connection between extended unemployment benefits and unemployment. Yes, people are unemployed for longer now than they were in the past, and yes, unemployment benefits are extended as well. But what’s the argument exactly that benefits are sustaining a high unemployment rate? How do you know you’re not putting the cart before the horse?

        Long term unemployment is highest in the less educated and less skilled work-force. These are generally people who did not make a lot of money to begin with, and even when fully employed were living paycheck to paycheck. Unemployment benefits only pay a fraction of the worker’s previous income, and these people can’t get by on these benefits alone.

        This isn’t to make a ‘bleeding heart’ argument for carrying them economically. If you tell me “I believe it’s unethical to sustain the unemployed at the tax-payers expense” then fine. That’s a fair argument – not one I share but it’s sound. What I don’t believe though is that there’s sufficent demand for labor to say that someone could get a job if they weren’t being paid by the government not to work. That unemployment insurance somehow saps the work ethic or motivation of potential employees.

        If unemployment insurance increases unemployment, you should be able to see a correlation between UI benefits and unfilled positions. Can you show that there are jobs going unfilled because people are sitting at home collecting benefits?

        1. Unemployment benefits don’t allow a worker to turn down an offered position (do it and you lose your benefits), or to sit at home not making inquiries about unfilled positions that they might be able to fill (you have to actively seek). While certainly some can slip through the enforcement cracks on these two aspects of the benefit, the system is designed to avoid the trap.

          1. Yes, but you can actively avoid seeking jobs that you feel are beneath you or arent’ paying you enough. Or you can refuse to look for jobs in another city, or you can go travel because you know no one is hiring in your industry but you don’t really want to re-train yourself for another industry. These are real examples of people I know. They’re not bad people, but they are being provided with incentives that allow them to not go to work or to delay their return to work.

          2. Anyone remember that story about a German woman who refused a job as a prostitute and because she refused she lost her unemployment benefits.

              1. That is pretty eye opening. It is the same cold logic the SCOTUS uses to say interstate commerce means everything. But they have a point. If you don’t want to suck dick for money, they you don’t need to suck the government tit either.

            1. That scenario is rare. But a German can also lose unemployment benefits if s/he does not accept work in a call center, and many of those use illegal business methods.

          3. At least where I lived, it was an extraordinarily easy system to take advantage of. I lost my job in 2003, and decided to move to Atlanta. I stayed with a friend while looking for work and used my unemployment to make ends meet. The only requirement? I had to call in every week and press buttons on my phone – “Press ‘1’ if you have been looking for a job, but have not found one.” I never even had to talk to a live person after the initial application was approved. I was diligently looking, and found something within a few weeks, but I could have held out for a lot longer.

        2. This is one of those really tough issues beacuse no one wants people to go hungry, but you also can’t deny that paying people to sit on the sidelines will have some effect on the unemployment number. The truth is that if unemployment benefits were discontinued, the unemployment number would go down, but the number of people suffering because they still can’t find a job and have no benefits would increase. There is a human element and an macroeconmics element.

          As far as minimum wage, there is no way to argue that increasing the cost of labor doesn’t result in hiring fewer people. At some point the cost of hiring an additional person outweighs the benefit that person will bring and companies will not hire that person. Minimum wage laws are fairly pointless becuase the market very fairly identifies what each person’s skill set are worth and translates that into their wage.

        3. neither you nor [Barro] really make the connection between extended unemployment benefits and unemployment. … How do you know you’re not putting the cart before the horse?

          And how do you know you aren’t?

          I’m not making Barro’s case, and I didn’t really like his logic. Mine is far less precise: it just doesn’t make sense that you can pay somebody to not work without making them less likely to work. I’m not arguing for a huge impact; I stated pretty clearly above that we’re talking a percent tops (including at least temporarily lowering the minimum wage) when unemployment’s high and U-6 is disastrous. Barro’s talking about 3%, which just comes off as crazy.

          If unemployment insurance increases unemployment, you should be able to see a correlation between UI benefits and unfilled positions.

          You could also show a correlation between time between employment and whether someone received unemployment benefits, and that does exist. The data’s skewed because those who don’t receive any unemployment benefits tend to be younger workers, of course.

  15. “Yes, theoretically if you could pay people $1/hour some organizations would hire a ton of unemployed people to do work for them, at least in the short term. But that’s not the ‘solution’ to unemployment that most people are looking for.”

    True, but working for $1 is better than not working or working for less. And working for $2 is better yet, and so on. Looking for a job while unemployed is not as tough as FINDING and GETTING a job when you haven’t had one in a while. But once you are working hard (especially at a dead-end job), it is very hard even to LOOK for another. So while we need a continuum of jobs from the extremely high paid to the extremely low paid, we also need a way to present oneself as a credible candidate for a BETTER job, even while working hard in low paying employment).

    1. You’re kidding, right? Looking for another job is a LOT easier when you already have one. You’re a more attractive, confident candidate. You’re free to focus only on jobs that represent an opportunity for improving your current situation. You also have the upper hand in salary negotiations, because you can easily say no, and the people doing the hiring know it. You maybe even be able to use a job offer to negotiate with your current employer, if what you really want is to keep working for the same company.

      1. No, GETTING a job is a lot easier because of all the things you mentioned. Hell, headhunters will call YOU when you’re hot. If you already have a demanding job that tires you out after a hard day’s work (especially a low-pay job), on the other hand, then LOOKING becomes more difficult. You either have to work less for your employer, find a way to “look” on his or her dime, or drag yourself around at odd hours to have interviews, prepare and circulate job-seeking materials, hang out in venues at at functions where prospective employers may be found, etc. People have done that kind of thing for ages, of course, but it would be nice if technology could make the chore as easy as possible.

        One group that finds it easy to look for jobs when they are already employed is the “self-entitled” group that short-changes the employer, and thinks nothing of writing and sending our resumes while on the company clock. So, I guess, if you don’t have a conscience or work ethic, looking for work when fully employed might be an easily doable thing.

        What I had in mind, though, was some kind of service or databank that would announce your availability for employment and present you fully as a candidate without 1) alerting your present employer and 2) requiring pavement-pounding effort on your part until someone actually wanted to interview you. I know that versions of such services exist, but usually only for high-end workers, not necessarily for those who are flipping burgers, bagging groceries, etc., and looking to change occupations or climb the business ladder.

        1. Most companies, even the ones with burger flipping and bagging jobs, will let you fill out an application online. At the very least they will have a website where you can fill out a form, send an email, or just get a phone number to call and find out if they are really hiring. You can do it from your house, or a local library, and your current employer will never know about it.

    2. No, working for $1 is not better than not working. It means selling your skills and your time far below value.

      1. Going through dumpsters for aluminum / steel to recycle would be more profitable than working for $1 a hour.

  16. Steve Chapman is not much of a phrase maker for a writer. He shouldn’t quit his day job…Oh, shit. That is his day job!

    1. Max, get off the computer. Your dad says he has to do the taxes, again.
      What I don’t get is what women in their under garments have to to with Quicken.

      1. I refuse to believe that SIV is Max’s dad.

      2. Can I get my lucky socks back?

      3. Hi, dear. I hate to have to say this, oh, I just feel terrible about it. But if I catch your son peeking in my bathroom window again, I’ll have to call the police.

      4. My ass hurts.

      5. How can I say this without hurting your feelings?

        You people are funny.

        1. Calm down, Pookie. Come up from the basement and give Mommy your special kissies.

  17. OH wow, OK that looks like a lot of fun dude. Amazing.

      1. Homo arigato, Mr. Anon-bot-o

  18. One for barfman:…..airs-book/

  19. My friend Bingo Williams draws my attention to a hilarious Mills-&-Boon passage in Tony Blair’s memoirs, in which he describes the night he decided to contest the Labour leadership. Perhaps Alastair Campbell, once a writer of soft porn, helped with the drafting:

    That night she cradled me in her arms and soothed me; told me what I needed to be told; strengthened me; made me feel what I was about to do was right. On that night I needed that love Cherie gave me, selfishly. I devoured it. I was an animal following my instinct, knowing I would need every ounce of emotional power to cope with what lay ahead. I was exhilarated, afraid and determined in roughly equal quantities.

    1. Actually–and I’m not supposed to tell you this–they paid NutraSweet to ghost write it, but he had to be on Valium, MDMA, or Ketamine, or some combination of the three, while writing any passage. It was in the contract, dude; just ask him.

      If I recall, this passage was MDMA and Special K.

      1. I also forgot to mention that there is no Kitty Kelley; guess who uses her as a pen name?

        1. Excellent. 🙂

  20. Another Slate piece on Sweden’s 18 month paternity leave…

    The commenter’s jealousy of the European welfare state is palpable and tangible.

    An example:

    But it’s not “free” money, Sean. There is in fact a value in creating peace of mind for half of your workforce which increases their productivity. It’s not as if these men are sitting on their asses for 18 months. They are being productive and creating value, just not in the way we here in the ultra-capitalist US think of value. And guess what, all those Medicaid and Social security recipients LOVE those services. Why do you think that during the healthcare (or as you might know it “obama-care”) debates you had all these old people complaining that the government was going to take away their medicare?

    1. Of course people are jealous of other people getting to sit at home all day instead of having to work and then getting paid to do it. It’s not hard to understand that many people want to be freeloaders.

      1. It would not be so bad if they didn’t pretend that their motives for advocating these things are as pure as the driven snow.

  21. On that night I needed that love Cherie gave me, selfishly. I devoured it. I was an animal following my instinct, knowing I would need every ounce of emotional power to cope with what lay ahead. I was exhilarated, afraid and determined in roughly equal quantities.

    Godfrey Daniel!

    1. Yeah, I think we know what he’s getting at here. Kudos to Cherie – a lot of women won’t let their man go down that route, if you know what I mean.

  22. My prediction is that when the Administration is parading this pig before the public, that None Dare Call it Stimulus.

    Despite the best efforts of Pauly Krugnuts and the other Krugmen, people largely understand that the spending surge was a failure.

    1. Your stupidity is mind boggling, Hugh.

      1. And I’m an expert!

  23. Long term unemployment is highest in the less educated and less skilled work-force.

    [citation needed]

    I wonder if this is true. It may be, in absolute numbers. My *suspicion* (unbuttressed by data) is middle managers, of the type who essentially move papers up the corporate stream while adding little (if any) value to the end product, are easily thrown overboard, and find it very difficult to get an equivalent position.

    1. Back when it was my job to monitor such things, I recall construction unemployment being double that of the wider economy (percentage-wise, I don’t know about absolute terms).

      And those paper-pushing middle managers are often also the ones making hiring and firing decisions, so you might be surprised just how resilient they are.

    2. Asking for a cite is fucking annoying as hell. If you want to disprove someone get your own data, it usually takes all of 2 minutes. There are hundreds if not thousands of economics articles dealing with unemployment with respect to, duration, and especially education. It’s not like you’re looking for the effects of the Woolyworm population on the futures market for pork bellies. long term unemployment by education bls

      There’s currently a calculated risk article showing a current trend in the higher education levels having longer unemployment or the rates for higher educated people accelerating.

  24. Happy Socialism Day, everyone.

    1. That’s May Day.

      1. Yeah today is communism/facism day…get it right.

    2. Everyone knows that Socialism Day is just another holiday manufactured by Hallmark in an attempt to sell more greeting cards.

      1. I’ll have you know I sent out my Labor Day cards to all the good comrades weeks ago.

        1. Workers of the world, unite… around the Hallmark store for great deals on holiday cards!

  25. The POTUS just said that the poor economy makes our cause that much more urgent.

    Um, exactly what role does he think he should have in “fixing” the economy?

    And now three sentences later he is waxing nostalgic about the “union label” that built this country.

    I am gonna buy a fucking bunker and stock it with canned beans bottled water and batteries.

    And I am closing the hatch until I know this retard is out of office and he has taken all of his moronic leftists quasi commie do-gooders with him.

    1. Not a bad plan, but dude will you be waiting a while!

      1. Thats okay cause I got plenty of beans.

        1. Now, now, El Duderino, no need to go all Timothy McVeigh on us. You just need some, er, schoolin’ on how things really are. At one of My retraining facilities, coming soon to your state.

  26. The last few decades, unemployment numbers in the US were complete fakes. People who were unemployed and looking for a job were not counted for various non-reasons, such as having run out of unemployment benefits. There is no need for debate on whether any government action or inaction has any effect on unemployment numbers – those are fake numbers anyways, and thus any effect visible in those numbers is fake.

    Same for GDP and CPI.

  27. But I think that most of the unemployed are pretty flexibile when considering new jobs / careers, especially more blue collar workers.

    Not really. I’ll bet that if one of those ostensibly “flexible” unemployed people had a gun put to their head and were told they had to obtain some — any — kind of paid employment, legal or not, within the next 24 hours or they would be hunted down and killed, they would ALL be employed in some way within 24 hours.

  28. If the Dems could create jobs by just letting go of the reins or cutting taxes for the rich or whatever it is you guys propose, then why wouldn’t they have taken that, much easier, way out?

    If you guys had your way, unemployment would be closer to 20%, and you’d still be calling for austerity for those unemployed and everyone but the wealthiest. Do libertarians have an economic plan, or are they more interested in pointing the moral finger at people for the crime of being unemployed?

    1. If the Dems could create jobs by just letting go of the reins or cutting taxes for the rich or whatever it is you guys propose, then why wouldn’t they have taken that, much easier, way out?

      Why not, indeed?

    2. “If you guys had your way, unemployment would be closer to 20%, and you’d still be calling for austerity for those unemployed and everyone but the wealthiest.”

      The U-3 or the U-6? Because the latter is at 16.7% right now. Not close enough to be determined as “close”?

      All things considered, you guys largely had your way and the U-3 has been stuck above the administration’s 8% prediction for almost a year and half now.

      Do progressives have an economic plan, or are they more interested in trying to blame someone else for their failures?

      1. Do progressives have an economic plan, or are they more interested in trying to blame someone else for their failures?

        You say that like there’s a difference.

        1. Good point–Obama’s speech today pretty much confirmed that strategy.

          1. Goddamn, I hate you fuckers.

            1. Now, Tony, don’t be hatin’. They’ll get theirs soon enough. Just be patient, I’m getting ready to put My Boot on their ungrateful, freedom-lovin’ necks.

            2. Why, Tony, because your self-righteous posturing backfired in your face?

              If you follow Paulie Krugnuts’ recommendation, we need to get involved with a massive world war, coupled with consumer rationing (also known as “austerity”) to get the economy back on track. I can’t believe even you would be that sociopathic.

              Krugman, yes, but not you.

              Let’s cut the crap–it’s not about “mean people” or “fairness” or “social justice” or any of the other agitprop that’s been slung around the last couple of years to justify $1.5 trillion in structural deficits.

              It’s about simple mathematics. And after nearly $2 trillion in bank bailouts and “stimulus,” and ramping up annual deficits to 12% of GDP (resulting in a 14% nominal to real GDP spread) we’ve got a job growth rate that is about 1/3 of what is needed just to keep pace.

              And guess what? With those $1.5 trillion in structural deficits, that means you could cut EVERY SINGLE PENNY of defense spending, and you’d still be short by 17%. So which sacred cow will you cut next? Social Security? Medicare? Unemployment? Those are taking up the lion’s share of the rest of the budget. Even the interest payments we have on the debt isn’t even close.

              And Obama’s silver bullet to this is–$50 billion in “infrastructure” spending that somehow wasn’t accomplished with $750 billion. And he’s going to distribute the money through an “infrastructure bank,” because apparently the government is too incompetent to distribute the relatively smaller amount of money on their own. Besides putting more cash in Warren Buffet’s pockets, this sugar high won’t be any more effective than the last one was.

              Your red herring about “letting go of the reins and cutting taxes” shows you understand the underlying problems of this depression even less than Obama does, and he’s completely clueless.

              1. You wouldn’t know mathematics, or the difference between me and a spoofer, if either slapped you in the face.

                1. The only thing Krugnutnomics are good for are the subject of these three rules.

                  return a >>= f ? f a

                  f >>= return ? f

                  f >>= (\x -> g x >>= h) ? (f >>= g) >>= h

                  Given the primitive recursive functionality of your mind, Tony, I doubt if you could make the leap even if you googled it.

            3. Aww, Tony–can’t back up your rhetoric with actual facts? What a surprise.

              Try coming back with something other than kindergarten-level emotional outbursts and maybe you won’t get treated like a pile of dog crap.

    3. “Austerity” is only called for when those awful, hateful Republicans are in power, because they spend too much on the wrong things.

      I, however, only spend too much the correct way. Because I said so. Now, you ungrateful hillbillies just need to shut the hell up and do My bidding.

  29. So Chapman got taxes and unemployment…

    But he missed Fannie/Freddy which created the financial crisis…which lead to the recession which lead to higher unemployment.

    he missed regional land use regulations which created the housing housing bubble which contributed to the recession (and unemployment) and it allocated labor in the wrong areas which when the bubble burst left dried up labor markets.

    He missed the Obama care, which because no one still knows how it will effect labor costs has discouraged new hires.

    He missed that the government shut down major portions of the oil industry. which has contributed to unemployment.

    He also missed Obama’s demagoguery which has filled employers with nothing but fear and uncertainty. Very similar to FDR’s constant experimentation in the great depression.

    Plus there is this:


    and this:


    Studies which show that government debt harms recovery and that stimulus that are not tax cuts harm recovery.

    I don’t know why Reason writers pass on such good chance to pile on. High taxes and unemployment insurance do contribute to unemployment. But they are not the only way government has caused such high unemployment we have right now.

    1. Chapman is a syndicated columnist, not a reason writer. Which means that a) he only gets a certain number of words, and b) he has to dumb it down for the rubes.

      1. Probably C) all of the above.

  30. If the Dems could create jobs by just letting go of the reins or cutting taxes for the rich or whatever it is you guys propose, then why wouldn’t they have taken that, much easier, way out?

    It’s a conundrum.

    1. It’s a conundrum.

      Piles and piles and piles of left wing white papers drawn up from 1994-2006.

      That is why.

  31. If the Dems could create jobs by just letting go of the reins or cutting taxes for the rich or whatever it is you guys propose, then why wouldn’t they have taken that, much easier, way out?

    They could create a buttload of jobs by not prohibiting people from working for the actual market value of their labor, if said labor is worth less than the minimum wage.

    They won’t do that because either they are economically ignorant, or pandering to the economically ignorant. So reversing the very first fucking thing they did when they took power ISN’T the easy way out for them.

  32. Only one article on Labor day? Who gave staff the day off? Fucking Commies.

  33. he has to dumb it down for the rubes.

    It’s Chapman; no dumbing down required.

    1. Oh yeah…i actually sent him an email to him for being an idiot.

      Chapman article

      But it’s worth remembering where our problems began: with an oversupply of housing. Channeling more funds into the residential sector will encourage more home building, which will worsen the glut, which will push prices down even further and generate more foreclosures, which will deepen the recession.

      What i wrote

      How does an oversupply of housing cause a housing price bubble?

      Housing prices went up because we had an over supply of money (read government intervention to supply that money) chasing a small supply of houses.

      Cheap money given out by the government for housing will raise the cost of housing.

      A smart person would call that Inflation.

      I should have added that we had a small supply of homes regionally because of land use regulations.

      Still it is pretty idiotic to think an oversupply of homes caused the housing price bubble. Chapman is not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree.

      1. The government causes all problems and is always bad, and Joshua just plugs is ears and hums loudly when anybody says anything government does is good.

        1. The government solves all problems and is always good, and Max just plugs his ears and hums loudly when anybody says anything the government does is bad.

          1. Fuck off, anarchist! Go suck Ron Pual’s dick!

            I’m never coming back to this websight!

  34. Channeling more funds into the residential sector will encourage more home building, which will worsen the glut, which will push prices down even further and generate more foreclosures, which will deepen the recession.

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  37. Another great column by Chapman — thanks!

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