Where are the Jobs? The Parallels Between Today and the Great Depression


U.S. jobless numbers surged this past week, with the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits growing by 34,000. If only the administration had watched our 2010 ReasonTV video explaining how their policies would fail to cure our employment woes.

The original text is below:

The Great Recession officially ended way back in June of 2009, so why are so many Americans still out of work?

It's not because politicians were twiddling their thumbs. Indeed, from from bailouts to "Cash for Clunkers" to the massive stimulus plan, government has busied itself with trying to fix the economy. And, according to President Obama, this "bold, persistent, experimentation" has brought our country back from the brink.

Obama borrows that phrase from President Franklin Rooselvelt, and today's president has a lot in common with the original bold, persistent, experimenter. Like Obama, FDR was a charismatic Democrat who replaced an unpopular Republican during a time of crisis. And like Obama, FDR championed a slew of policies designed to get America back to work.

Today many Americans credit FDR with rescuing our nation from the Great Depression, but there's plenty wrong with that view, says Lee Ohanian, a UCLA economics professor who specializes in economic crisis. "What's wrong with that view is that private-sector job growth did not come back under Roosevelt," says Ohanian, who notes that Americans often forget how long the Great Depression lasted. Unemployment stood at 17 percent in 1939, a decade after the infamous stock market crash, and, although times were much worse back then, Ohanian sees troubling parallels between the Great Depression and the Great Recession. In both instances our nation emerged from a severe downturn with strong productivity growth and the banking system largely restored. "So the key puzzle for both today and the 1930s is why aren't private-sector jobs being created at a much more rapid rate?"

Uncertainty may have something to do with it. "Uncertainty is an enemy of job creation," says Ohanian, "Because in a world with a lot of uncertainty there's a tendency to 'wait and see.'" Our nation's job creators wait and see what Washington's next experiment will be.

CEO Joanne Garneau has spent a year waiting for the Federal Trade Commission to announce a new regulation that will determine whether her company hires more employees or even stays in business. It's just one regulation, a tiny one by Washington standards. How will businesses end up being affected by ObamaCare or the 2,300-page financial overhaul? What if taxes go up? Today, like the 1930s, uncertainty reigns.

According to research conducted by Ohanian and fellow UCLA economist Harold L. Cole, FDR's anti-market policies actually prolonged the Great Depression by seven years. And what about Obama's policies? When the unemployment rate finally does improve will he receive credit for rescuing America from the Great Recession or blame for prolonging the crisis?

Approximately 6.40 minutes

NEXT: Sheldon Richman on the Case Against "Made in the U.S.A."

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  1. John Stossel frequently ends his show almost completely hidden behind a fort of printed federal regulations. Anyone who sits down to plan their business with reams of government legalese, written by scores of lobbyists, attorneys and legistlative staffers, has got to be discouraged. You’re trying to navigate an ever changing environment as new rules are written week after week due to various special interests falling in and out of favor with Congress and, more importantly, with regulators. Fuck bureaucracy and the uncertainty it guarantees.

    1. And that’s when times are good; when the government is not trying to “stimulate” the economy.

    2. trying to navigate an ever changing environment as new rules are written week after week

      I sold my first business because the regulatory environment meant that the time between the initial sale (the buyer and seller agree on specifications and price) and bureaucratic clearance to deliver was usually measured in years. A single year was considered “expedited.”

      No, it wasn’t drugs, weapons or anything dangerous.

      1. Sounds like you were a land developer.

      2. Drugs, weapons, etc. are relatively unregulated, if you ignore the men with guns that will shut you down and/or kill you if they find out what you’re doing. If the government really wanted to fuck drug dealers, they’d legalize them and then bury the industry in paperwork, inspections, licensing, reviews and approvals.

  2. How could taking money from the productive segment of the populace and putting it to work on non-productive, non-sustainable projects possibly NOT solve our problems?

    Oh! That!

  3. why aren’t private-sector jobs being created at a much more rapid rate?

    It ain’t rocket surgery.

    Might have something to do with the fact that we are looking down the barrel of a $16T gun (not to mention $60T in unfunded liabilities). Business realizes someone will get stuck with the bill, and under the current regime, that someone is them.

    To try and grow under such a scenario would be insane. We have hit the wall.

    1. Not only do businesses not know for sure what the taxation or health care environment is going to look like in 2013, they don’t know what the maniac in the White House will try to do next!

    2. Raising the minimum wage has something to do with the high unemployment. If Democrats wanted to do something simple and easy that would quickly slash the unemployment rate, to hold/regain power, immediately ending the federal minimum wage would do that (in states where the state minimum wage isn’t higher).

      But, then, they wouldn’t be Democrats any longer because they would understand economics.

  4. The uncertainty meme is inaccurate. The problem today is too much regulation by four different levels of government

    It’s true that the regulation are arbitrarily enforced and ever growing. But strict enforcement would lead to less uncertainty and further stifle economic activity.

    1. Sadly, one can’t use good arguments with a lot of progressives. If they have ever heard any republican say anything remotely like what you are saying then it is a “Republican talking point” and dismissed instantly.

      1. That’s what happens when I bring it up to progs. Usually with some version of we tried deregulation under Bush and it caused the economy to collapse. Which is obviously completely retarded.

        1. progs routinely claim it was the UNregulated financial markets that caused the crash.



          i’m a futures trader. just as a mere trader, i deal with tons of regulations.

          the amount of regulations a corporation deals with are literally a hundred times more extensive.

          but they still claim a myth of “unregulated” financial markets

          1. You don’t get it, Dunphy. The quality of regulation is directly proportional to the quantity of regulation. The more, the better. If we want to fix what ails us, pouring a thick, gelatinous elixer of sweet regulation over everything will do the trick.

      2. and if they haven’t heard a republican say anything remotely like it, they generally ignore you.
        I post comments on the website of my local (liberal) newspaper and lately I have had the same kind of lament. They never present any data. They just rattle off assumptions and whine about faux news or the latest Democrat bogeyman.

    2. It’s a combination. The uncertainty and regulation stem from the same entity. The regulation requires more agencies to enforce the regulation, thus increasing the debt. I see little difference between the two.

      1. The difference is that a socialist can say oh uncertainty is the problem. Then enforce everything strictly and there’s less uncertainty, which is true.

        The problem is the regulations themselves. Spotty enforcement (uncertainty) is less economically destructive, it’s main drawback is eroding the rule of law and empower riskier entrepreneurs.

        The people pushing the uncertainty meme imply that the problem is a fear of increasing regulations. But again the problem is the regulations themselves.

        1. IOW…the problem is government interference.

          Sorry for stating the obvious.

          1. imo, it’s a false assumption that socialists enforce everything strictly. not sure if you are talking democratic socialists a la much of europe or Socialists a la the USSR, but in neither case is it true. favoritism, political concerns etc. affect enforcement choices as much for them as for everybody.

        2. Spotty enforcement (uncertainty) is less economically destructive …

          Maybe in the short term. In the long term it becomes a weapon to punish thy enemies and stifle dissent.

        3. Actually uncertainty hurts both ways: fear both of increasing y decreasing regs — as well as of changes (neither increasing nor decreasing), which is mostly what you get.

          Why would anticip’n of possible decreases in regs retard investment? Because deregul’n can make certain investments worthless; why not wait and see if you can operate in an anticipated environment missing this reg, rather than spending now on compliance?

          But most commonly it’s a change. You spent money on complying this way, now too bad, you’re grandfathered for not long enough to amortize it, and then have to buy again to comply the new way.

    3. Okay, VG Zaytsev – Please tell me exactly how much Obamacare will cost my business per employee in 2013 and 2014. The tell small businesses what their tax rates will be in 2013 if unincorporated, and what will the capital gains tax rate be?

      Who would invest in a small business when NOBODY can answer these basic questions?

      1. Would you invest if I told you with certainty that Obamacare was going to cost you $50,000 per employee and that the tax rate would be 80%?

        The problem is the regulations themselves. Not “uncertainty”.

        1. Business outcomes are always uncertain to some extent. Fear that the government wills steal your efforts directly through taxes of indirectly via regulation is the killer.

        2. I might invest if the cost was $250 per employee a year and capital gains were still taxed at 15%. That could be the case, maybe.

  5. The liberals biggest fear is that someone will get into power, do a few things right, and the economy will improve meaning they will have to face the fact that they were wrong.

    1. Progressives John. Progressives. Or as I like to call them: Proglodytes.

      1. Proglodytes. I am totally stealing that.

        1. Progs, short for Proglodytes. I’m surprised it’s taken this long to see someone come up with this.

    2. No, liberals fear recent history, where someone else DID get into power (Bush, W.), and he completely ruined and tanked an economy that previously had begun to pay down the national debt.
      If you’re a Republican, thats your record…you own it.

      1. The economy was quite good under Bush until late 2007. What happened in 2007? The Democrats took over Congress. And Obama took over and made it much worse, worse unemployment, worse deficites, worse everything.

        And to the extent that Bush “ruined the economy” it was primarily because of the housing bubble which can be laid at the feet of Freddie and Fannie, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.

        That is your record as a liberal, national bankruptcy and bankruptcy for every single state that has followed your model.

        You own it retard.

        1. Name calling…the last refuge for grade schoolers, phoney tough guys, and those with no intelligent points to make.
          If you think the economy was good in 2007, that says it all. You believe in running up the debt,,,except of course if it is a Democrat President.

          1. You are so concerned about the debt, that is why you are voting for Obama.

            And I don’t write the economic statistics, I just read them. Go back and look at the unemployment rate and growth rate for the last quarter of 06 and first quarter of 07. Them watch what happened when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid had some authority.

          2. The job market was excellent in 2007-2008 – I was laid off at the end of 2007 and had a better job offered very quickly. I cannot imagine how bad it would be right now.

            Bush ruined the economy by signing on terrible spending bill after another – first with a Republican Congress then even worse bills from a Democrat Congress.

            1. The bulk of the bad spending bills did not come when Democrats controlled Congress. They came when Republicans controlled Congress…The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and Medicare Part D.
              But yes, both of those did get some Democrat support when Republicans controlled the Congress.

              1. Does the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 ring a bell?

                1. Are you serious? This was passed by Congress overwhelmingly because it was requested by President Bush to save the economy from going into a depression. If you don’t know the history, Treasury Sec. Paulsen, who worked for Bush, told Pelosi there will not even be an American economy if Congress did not act.
                  Passage of this act kept this country from going over the cliff. You would be selling apples on the street now without it.
                  Very easy now to say we could have done without it. Glad you were not in charge then.

                  1. I know the history – they were all fucking retards. The money may as well have been flushed down a toilet. Less than 8 months later, we were bailing out banks.

        2. AM redneck myth, John.

          Wall Street collapsed and the unrelated GSE Reform Act of 2005 was snuffed out by Bush after it passed the House.

          Funny how you idiots always forget Lehman, Bear, Merrill, AIG and the host of others in the private sector that failed without government interference.

      2. So why arent liberals replicating Clinton instead of replicating W?

      3. previously had begun to pay down the national debt


        According to the Treasury Dept, the total national debt increased every year under Clinton.

        He got as close to balanced as we have been since the early 50s, but we never paid any of it down.

        1. Stop with the Steiner phony accounting that you would like to include intr-governmental debt. That is not how debt had been measured in the past…we have always looked at the public debt as the measure and Clinton did reduce that for the last 3 years.
          But fine, then Reagan too had even worse debt than we usually give him dis-credit for.

          1. The Treasury counts it that way.

            If they want to switch to GAAP, I would prefer that, but that makes the case WAY WAY worse.

            1. Under GAAP, Clinton came no where near a balanced budget. The numbers are ugly.

          2. If you can find me arguing for Reagan style spending polices, please post it. I dont think you can.

          3. Not gonna respond to the 2:15 post? Just skipping right past it?

            1. Nah, it was just an overly simple observation that did not deserve much response.
              Like you, I wish he would have let the Bush tax cuts expire. Like you, I liked the government intervention (Bush and TARP and Obama/auto industry).
              But unlike you, I am glad he is winding down disastrous foreign wars (wish it was quicker). And unlike you, I am glad that Obama’s health care plan was attempted to be paid for, while Bush made absolutely no attempt to pay for his health care plan.
              Some differences, some similarities. But like you, I agree that Obama inherited a country that was on the brink of financial collapse, whereas Bush inherited one where the debt was being paid down.

              1. 1.Like you, I wish he would have let the Bush tax cuts expire.


                2.Like you, I liked the government intervention (Bush and TARP and Obama/auto industry).


                3.But unlike you, I am glad he is winding down disastrous foreign wars (wish it was quicker).

                I opposed Iraq. What the fuck are you talking about?

                You are a fucking idiot, you dont have a clue who you are arguing with, do you?

                1. Well then, I am confused? What is your point? Were there differences between the two? I think so. Differences in circumstances, differences in approach.
                  Lets try a few more:
                  The federal work force has been reduced under Obama, while it increased under Bush. We have added jobs under Obama for the last 20 or so months, while Bush shed jobs every month but one in the last year of his Presidency. Obama actually reduced Medicare (see the ACA), while Bush expanded it (see Med. Part D).
                  Guess I have no idea what you like, dislike, etc.
                  But thanks for your kind words.

                  1. The federal work force has been reduced under Obama, while it increased under Bush.

                    Well no. The US Census Bureau says your full of it.


              2. What you dont seem to understand is that Obama has emulated W on almost everything, ratcheting up the stupidest things Bush did.

                War — leds stick to Bush’s timetable and invade other places!

                Health Care — Bush was dumb, I can be dumber!

                Keynesianism — TARP was cool, lets go for QE1-infinity!

                1. No he did not.
                  Obama has increased fuel efficiency standards, Bush looked to increase dependency on foreign oil. Obama made the international community take part in Libya, while under Bush even you would agree we would have done it on our own. And health care? Please. D will cost $7T according to Kudlow, and ACA has at least been outlined to be paid for. Bush made no attempt whatsoever.
                  If you don’t think there has been a difference between the two on a number of things, you are not paying attention.

                  1. There is a difference, Obama is slightly worse.

                    Who gives a fuck about “international community”, it was still an attack on Libya without declaration of war. Just like he continued two undeclared wars of W.

                    ACA isnt going to be paid for, every single analysis that isnt bullshit has had it costing approximately infinity dollars.

                    Fuck fuel efficiency standards, that isnt libertarian.

                    1. Also, you missed the entire point, I was comparing Obama to Clinton.

                      Obama is no Clinton.

                    2. And by the way, as a libertarian, you should realize that the single event in this country that has changed us, and provided us with less freedom is 9/11. That one event can be blamed for a whole host of problems we now face from erosion of freedom to financial collapse.
                      That occurred under Bush, not Obama. And it occurred 5 weeks after Bush was read a memo in a security briefing entitled “Bin Ladin Determined to attack in US.”
                      Imagine putting Obama as President, and that happening. I’d like to hear the outcries then.
                      As a libertarian, that is the one event that has changed this country for the worse.
                      And it is on Bush’s record.

                    3. What utter and complete horseshit. The memo in question was neither particularly news (Who the fuck didn’t know bin Laden wanted to attack the U.S.) nor actionable.

                    4. Hey, Bill Dalasio. Know your history…the memo was entitled “Bin Ladin determined to attack IN the US.” I repeat, IN!!!!
                      That was the difference. Everyone knew he attacked US outside of the US. IN!!!!
                      And sadly, no effort from Bush to take it seriously. No warnings to airlines, no increased investigations, no increase in safety precautions.
                      He did what he always did…nothing.

                    5. Obama worse? Thats funny.
                      3,000 Americans mass murdered under Bush, the mass murderer ignored (Bush’s words, not mine), a financial collapse that brought the world economy to its knees, housing crisis from which we are only beginning to dig our way out of, every expenditure by the government put right on the credit card with not even an attempt to pay for it, a number of iconic American companies ready to go under if not for government intervention. I could go on.

                    6. Rob, it is only Mary, off her meds again. And you fell for it. You should know better.

                  2. You’re a pretty obvious troll, or Mary, but you do realize that Bush signed at least one energy bill that required auto makers to increase fuel efficiency standards too right?

                    Probably not since you’re coming at us with every boilerplate talking point a demfag has.

                    1. Yeah, right.
                      Bush signed into law standards of 35 MPG by 2025. Wow. What an effort.
                      Of course, Obama got corp. average for passenger cars at 54 MPG.
                      Its your plate on the boiler. Like Reagan said, facts are inconvenient things.

                    2. So your actual argument is that Bush just didn’t go far enough?

                      I can see how you’d think that since Obama has continued every single thing that Bush did, just more.

                      And I’m not a Republican dipshit, I’m a libertarian. Seriously, if you people aren’t going to bother to learn the difference, why do you even post?

      4. tanked an economy that previously had begun to pay down the national debt.

        I gather you are claiming Clinton “had begun to pay down the national debt?” WJC was President from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001, so with the context of the year before him to the year after him, from http://www.treasurydirect.gov/…..stdebt.htm :

        DATE …………….DOLLAR AMOUNT

        Where exactly did he begin to pay it down?

        1. Brother. I have already answered this, here I will let politifact answer it

          And here is a quote from the CBO:
          “The Congressional Budget Office wrote in a 2009 report that government-held debt, such as the Social Security trust fund, “has no direct, immediate impact on the economy. Instead, it simply represents credits to the various government accounts that can be redeemed as necessary to authorize payments for benefits or other expenses.” By contrast, CBO wrote, “long-term projections of federal debt held by the public, measured relative to the size of the economy, provide useful yardsticks for assessing the sustainability of fiscal policies.”

          But I could not care less. Use the measure you want, and then hold every President to the same yardstick. All the other President’s then look even worse.

          1. The debt’s gone up every single year, according to the treasury. The only reason it did that in the late 1990s was the Gingrich Congress tightening the screws on Bubba.

            1. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And Bin Ladin was offed because of Bush policies.
              Now about that bridge….

              1. We need better trolls around here.

                1. Troll=someone who disagrees with Brutus.

                  Stop whining.

                  1. Over the past 100 years, proglodytes have, like children, learned how to get what they want–by whining and throwing temper tantrums in public.

                    You have the market cornered on whining. Someone should write a law!

              2. Clinton had multiple chances to kill or capture bin Laden. He chose to do nothing.

                1. As did Bush. Obama chose to do something.

  6. The jobs are exactly where they were before, right behind Tojo Hitler.
    The economic dynamic of the USofA was, is and will be, barring a large meteoric impact (or such), can best be summed by
    December 6th, 1941 and then
    Decmeber 8th, 1941.
    Hey! Wha-da-ja think…apples grow on tress?

    Tor Hershman

    1. What war got us out of the late 1970s Recession?

    2. What war got us out of the late 1970s Recession?

    3. Can someone translate this into English?

      1. Translation: Bomb Chicago to smithereens and use that as a stimulus.

        1. Start with Wrigley Field.

    4. Conscripting 25% of your population into forced labor is a good way of “ending” unemployment. But it hardly makes for an efficient and productive employment of scarce resources.

      War is bad, war is destructive, and war should be undertaken only when necessary and only fought by voluntary forces.

  7. I’m not entirely sure the current US economy CAN recover, in the classical sense.

    To use Thiel’s formulation from the other day, there is a phalanx of government personnel standing in the way of ANY activity that makes ANYTHING.

    It’s not even uncertainty. It’s certainty. I can be absolutely certain that if I want to build a factory anywhere in the northeastern US, people at every level of government will do everything they can to stop me. Particularly at the local level.

    The only things politicians want built are:

    1. Housing
    2. Pretty office parks
    3. Hi-tech manufacturing

    That’s it. If you aren’t building that, fuck you go away you polluting destroyer of neighborhoods!

    We’ve had recoveries before based on housing, based on finance, and based on high tech. But when those sectors aren’t running on all cylinders, there’s no backup.

    We’re having a manufacturing recovery, but it’s mainly based on re-occupying abandoned facilities, and adding personnel and shifts at existing firms. Nobody is saying, “Hey, let’s break ground on a new plant!” because you may as well just either burn your money or hand it over to lawyers and lobbyists directly.

    1. Well Japan has never had a “recovery” and they are going on their third lost decade.

      The thing the US has going for it is that thanks to federalism not all places are like you describe. Compare and contrast the economies of North Dakota and Texas with those of California and New York.

  8. So I’m watching Face the Nation right now and the host is talking about the Aurora incident. He mentions that the suspect’s AR15 jammed at some point and he had to go to a “smaller weapon with less firepower.” Drive-by media knowing jack fuck-all about firearms. The AR15 the suspect had uses a .223 caliber round IIRC. Even if it used the larger rounds, it still would have been less “firepower” than a 9mm glock or a 17 gauge shotgun he also carried. Granted, the AR15 is more rounds and a faster firerate. But at least get that detail correct FFS.

    1. Candy also stated, “He had a 100 round cartridge.

      She’s obviously an expert and anything she says about guns should be accepted without question.

      1. I’m not shooting expert, but I do believe those things are called magazines.

        And Candy Crowley is aptly named. She looks like she’d cut you with a straight razor for the last bag of Skittles.

      2. Wow. They don’t even try do they?

        And yeah coward, at close range there isn’t a lot of difference in stopping power between those three. The big advantage the AR 15 has is that it has a larger magazine and can kill someone at 300+ meters. In a crowded theater that isn’t much of an advantage. And of course the shotgun is devistating at short range.

        1. this is probably the most contentious issue on gun blogs – stopping power.

          there are many schools of thought, and there are the jello junkies, the cooper people, the ones who rely on corpse studies (usually pigs) etc.

          fwiw, a lot of patrol and swat are switching from .40 SW to 9mm. why? back when i got my .40, the stopping power was pretty clearly superior for the .40. NOW, the modern ammo suggests it’s as good with the 9 as the .40 and the 9 has a much more pleasant recoil, and greater mag capacity.

          personally, i’d take a shotgun at close range over ANY handgun, and at more than 15 yds,i’d take a .223 over any handgun, followed by a shotgun with deer slugs.

          the most important thing BY far for stopping power is shot placement.

          but as for stopping power qua stopping power, you could probably find a study to support almost any theory.

          PERSONALLY, i think the .223 ar-15 is better than a 9, but i readily admit that’s my opinion

          some people wank on velocity, others talk about wound cavity, temporary max wound cavity (and rifle bullets make much bigger ones), others wank on penetration, others wank on expansion of the round, etc.

          if you think WE are contentious , read some gun blogs on the subject of stopping power.

          1. In a crowded theater, I would rather have the handgun than the AR 15. The AR 15 is long and unweildy. And at close range the stopping power isn’t really any different. If I am going to have an unweildly long gun in that situation, make it a shotgun that I only have to point rather than aim.

            I have never found the recoil on a 40 caliber to be much of a problem. I hear they have improved 9mm rounds. But they still are really hot rounds that burn right through the target. I would rather have a big slower round like a .45. If I absolutely had to kill someone at close range, I would still take a .45 over about anything.

            1. If I absolutely had to kill someone at close range, I would still take a .45 over about anything.

              Other than a 12 gauge, right? There ain’t a more efficient close range killer than that.

              1. Other than a 12 gauge.

            2. of course i agree in close quarters,a rifle can be unwieldy.

              i’ve used both an AR-15 and a handgun in the live fire house our SWAT team set up and run through the courses (Shoot /don’t shoot) in pretty small rooms. i prefer the handgun. in general, i agree.

              i have the recoil difference substantial.

              i say that as an instructor.

              i have had many students who shoot 175-200 on our 250 pt course (or even lower) who almost instantly see a substantial improvement when we switch them from a .40 to a .9

              it really does make a difference for a lot of people, but if it doesn’t for you, kewl.

              most of these people are people with smaller hands, but even some big lugs are frankly afraid of the .40 bark and it makes a difference. we get minimal firearms training, so if switching a gun can increase confidence and shot placement – DO IT.

              the 9 don’t burn through the target. not with modern hollowpoint

              the military is limited to ball ammo, and in THAT case i’d DEFINITELY go with .45 acp over .40 SW or 9mm

              any day. i agree

              if i ABSOLUTELY had to kill someone at close range, i’d go with the sicilian choice – sawed off shotgun 🙂

              feds frown on that, though.

              i agree. in a close range situation, .45 handgun is about as good as you can get, assuming a handgun, which is a good assumption for close range

              1. The bark of any gun bothers me for the first shot. But after that, even a big bore doesn’t bother me, although they give me a headache if I shoot them much.

                1. yer probably a better shooter than most of the cops (and some of the civilians) i train

                  again, i’m just saying n= a few dozen. they shoot much better after i switch them from the .40 to the 9, and the ONLY difference (in practicality) between the glock 22 and the glock 17 is the felt recoil. the trigger pull, ergonomics, etc. are exactly the same

                  so, that’s pretty compelling

                  a few swat guys have the compensated 9’s which not only have a longer slide (with a cutout), but also have a sweetened trigger

                  those things are unfuckingbelievably awesome to fire. it’s like a .22 lr compared ot the glock .40 (the 22)
                  note: i’m not a huge glock fan, but it’s what we carry

              2. i’ve used both an AR-15 and a handgun in the live fire house our SWAT team set up and run through the courses (Shoot /don’t shoot) in pretty small rooms. i prefer the handgun. in general, i agree.

                Serious question. Are there dog targets?

                1. lol. no, but i will suggest some.

                  btw, in 20 yrs of police work, two of my beat partners have shot dogs.

                  it happens.

                  fwiw, i was attacked by a dog off duty once (note : i very rarely carry concealed or open carry off duty. i almost always go unarmed).

                  it leaped and grabbed my shoulder with its jaws.

                  doctor said if i was not wearing a heavy coat, it probably would have caused serious damage

                  regardless, i love dogs and i would have a really hard time shooting one even if it was a threat. i pray i am never put in such a situation.

                  one of my other partners got the fuck bit out of him after he arrested a dui. she had a dog in the back seat and when he opened the rear door, the thing totally attacked him. to his credit, he pushed it away and slammed the door on it and waited for animal control.

                  i will suggest dog targets to the swat guys 🙂

                  (Note: no i won’t. the partner who shot the dog got endless grief, and got sued . the attorney was one of those wacko leftists who tried to establish that dogs have civil rights. seriously. cows too for all i know)

        2. The AR jammed?! Well for once that fucking worthless piece of shit design might have actually saved some loves instead of costing them.

          The M16s we had in Desert Storm jammed all the time from the sand.

          1. A dozen people dead and dozens more injured and you gun fetishists are discussing which of your dick extensions would have more killing power.
            You are a diseased society.
            The world would be better off if you people would just eat your own bullets.

            1. Yep, it’s those damn guns that killed those people. Not the deranged psychopath.

              I hope, for your sake, that you are never accosted by some criminal who doesn’t care about your precious gun control laws.

            2. Have you tried Vagisil? Sounds like you need some.

    2. What is interesting to me is with America now being such a ‘Homeland Security’ state how does any one individual manage to buy 6,000 rounds of ammo and materials to make bombs?

      1. Not sure about the bombs, but buying the ammo isn’t hard if you do it over a long period of time. I probably have about 5000 myself, though most of it is 22lr.

      2. I could buy 6,000 rounds at any gun show and no one would bat an eye.

      3. The 6,000 rounds were in his car, right? Unless it was all .22, I don’t think most people could actually walk around with weight of 6,000 .223 and / or 9mm rounds. The stuff is heavy.

        Infantry riflemen typically carry 200 to 300 rounds on a combat patrol.

    3. If you think the 9mm is more powerful than the .223, then no offense, but it’s YOU who knows fuck-all about firearms (or basic physics).

      .223 packs roughly 1,200-1,300 ft lbs of energy, and it’s speed guarantees a large permanent cavity and extensive damage from hydrostatic shock. 9mm, on the other hand, puts out only 400-500 ft lbs of energy, with no damage from hydrostatic shock and a much smaller permanent cavity.

      There is simply no comparison between handgun cartridges and rifle cartridges.

      1. Hollow point 9mm is another story, and that’s presumably what the shooter was using.

        1. No, it’s not. Even with hollow points, 9mm simply doesn’t come close to causing the same amount of damage.

          1. I think the thing is energy transferred to the target, not energy of the slug per se. If a .223 slug passes through the target without tumbling, it’s not going to do the damage an expanding round will at lower velocities and remaining inside the target, esentially transferring all its energy.

            1. Not really. The two things that matter are damaged caused to the target and blood loss. A .223 is going to cause more of both (again, because it’s bringing far more energy to to the table).

              Here’s some ballistic gelatin comparisons of the two:



              The first image is a comparison of various handgun cartridges. The second is a comparison of different .223 loadings. Notice how much larger the wound cavity is for the .223’s?

              Even the .45 doesn’t produce a wound cavity as large as even the .223 loaded with 40 gr. hollow points.

              The fact of the matter is that pistols are simply anemic in comparison to even the smaller centerfire rifle cartridges. People use pistols because they are easy to carry and conceal, not because of how powerful they are. They are a compromise.

              1. Also, just about the only instances where a .223 will pass through a target without expanding or tumbling will be long range shots where bullet has lost a great deal of energy.

              2. I stand corrected….I think.

    4. Drive-by media knowing jack fuck-all about firearms

      a 17 gauge shotgun he also carried

      Just sayin’.

      Depends on how one defines “firepower”; the host seems to be defining it as “amount of damage inflicted per unit time” which is a sensible definition.

      I mean, each pellet from the shotgun might inflict less damage than the .223 from the rifle.

      1. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt on the 17 gauge thing; I’m guessing it was a typo and he meant 12 gauge.

  9. The surprising thing to me is that with Holmes being such a meticulous planner, he never bothered to learn how to clear a jam in an AR-15. Something similar happened to one of the North Hollywood Bank of America robber’s AK-47s, and it got him killed….
    Most jams can be cleared in .5 secs, even without a forward assist.

    1. And he took a small gauge shotgun rather than a 12 gauge semi automatic? And a 9mm glock? No way would any of his three weapons be on my list of weapons to carry when wanting to go on a homocidal rampage in a crowded theater.

      1. Well, assuming you’re unable to obtain an automatic weapon, the AR15 seems an appropriate choice if for no reason other than shock value. It looks scary as shit, and that’s part of the allure in this case. Even if it’s nothing more than a .22 rifle with a drum mag.

        1. uh, no Sudden.

          the ar-15 by definition is SEMI-automatic


          “The name “AR-15″ is a Colt registered trademark, which refers only to the semi-automatic rifle.”

          mebbe you mean m-16?

          1. omg, my bad (admitting i was wrong. see, sloopy. doable). you said assuming you are UNABLE to obtain an automatic weapom.

            totally misread your post. i should read posts twice before replying

            anyway, i retract my previous post.

            btw, i think an advantage of a shotgun is the RACKING sound IS scary as shit. and if they are actually looking down the barrel, that’s a big-ass barrel, two advantages over the ar.

            but again, i apologize

            jesus christ. reading comprehensionz, dunphy

            1. The only issue with the shotgun for the scale of killing this guy wished to perform is the painfully slow reload times.

              I think one thing worth keeping in mind here is that this guy spent much more effort on researching and acquiring his protective gear than he did in choosing the best offensive weapons for the job. I’m curious the reason for that. It could be that he wanted to make sure he survived any law enforcement attempts to stop him, but given that CO is a CCW state, I wonder if a part of the reason was the reasonable expectation of an armed citizen. If that’s the case, the CCW at the very least represented a barrier to entry for a crime of this nature.

              1. have there been any reports of any armed “citizens” at the scene and what they did if anything?

                at least in my neck of the woods, i think it would be quite likely that in a full theatre, there would be at least one or more people armed.

                we had an officer shot and killed a ways back right in front of a bus full of commuters.

                TWO commuters who happened to be armed jumped out to assist. neither actually fired (long story i could explain) but just in that commuter bus, there were two armed people, which makes me warm and fuzzy

                i think the average seattleite has no idea how many people around him are routinely armed

                1. It was a gun free zone. I would think most law-abiding carriers would have left the gun in their car.

                  1. omg. that’s fucking unconscionable. a movie theatre as a “gun free zone”?

                    i’ve never seen such a thing in WA state, and i hope they realize that their choice to be a “gun free zone” very well could have increased the carnage

                    seriously, that makes me sick to my stomach

                    unless they had screening at the door with metal detectors and armed guards standing there in case somebody breached, all they are doing with their “gun free zone” is disarming EXACTLY the people who SHOU:LD be armed

                    god, that fucking pisses me off

                    1. KY (and from other posts, most states in the south) dont allow postings to have any value.

                      In KY, you can post “no guns”, but it doesnt mean anything. If Im seen carrying, I can be asked to leave and if I dont, its criminal trespassing. But that can happen without posting.

                      CO’s law is fucking stupid.

                2. My understanding is that the theater had very conspicuously posted no firearms signage and that CO law stipulates that you will lose your CCW permit if found to be in possession in such cases.

                  Now, if you happened to be in possession of a firearm in violation of the law in such an instance, I have little doubt that a person would willingly allow that CCW permit to be taken, and even accept any potential criminal consequences, by taking the appropriate action against Holmes (assuming the availability of a shot). That said, I think most CCW holders would likely have not carried into that theater to begin with due to the potential consequences and the unlikelihood of it being necessary.

                  1. yes. fwiw, at lesat in my jurisdiction, i have seen zero NO GUN signs except in locations where it’s STATUTORILY prohibited (bars, etc.)

                    that being said, the way our prosecutors deal with trespass is in order to actually make a criminal case, assuming it’s a business, is the cops get called and act as agents and demand the person leave and THEN if he refuses it’s trespass.

                    that’s just horrid imo on the theatre owner’s part. he/she should be ashemeed

                    1. So does WA allow posting, like CO?

                      If so, your state fucking sucks.

                    2. i think any private business (not a place of public accomodation) COULD say “no guns”.

                      heck, they could say “No t-shirts, collared shirts only”.

                      i’ve just never SEEN a business do so

                      over on the open carry blogs, where the guys report walking around with openly carried guns, with very very rare exceptions, they get no problems also.

                      sometimes a patron will complain to a business owner, but the business owner will say “whatever”

                      i’ve seen people open carry in 2 different coffee shops when i was there.

                      maybe epi could speak to the rarefied climate in the city of seattle.

                      i spend most of my time in the burbs.

                      fwiw, when i went to grad school near seattle, my campus policy forbid us from carrying on campus.

                      that did not stop me. if i was caught, and they wanted to expel me, fine

                      but apart from that private college campus (and the rule applied ot students and faculty, not sure if general public), i’m not aware of any “no guns” signs.

                      my state requires no permit for open carry, is shall issue CCW, and carry w/o a permit is a misdemeanor.

                    3. Open carry in KY is constitutionally protected. Owensboro tried to ban guns from public parks and the state supremes told them to shut the fuck up. Only not so nicely.

                3. I’ll thank you very much to not put citizens in quotation marks since that is what we all are.

          2. I was saying that assuming you’re UNable to get an automatic weapon, and therefore restricted to a semi-automatic rifle, the AR15 is a decent choice since it looks like an automatic and has that assault rifle aesthetic that causes fear.

            1. yes, that’s why i corrected myself at 1:57 and apologized.

              i agree about the aesthetic. there’s a reason why they passed that STUPID assault weapons bad oh so many years ago – aesthetics.

              agian,i apologize

              1. No worries. Sorry, I hadn’t seen the correction when I started posting the reply. But yeah, it’s a bit absurd that an entire class of firearms was banned essentially for looking bad-ass. Emotion + perception trump reality everytime in the policy world.

        2. What it was supposed to look like was part of the act. That was the genius of the plan. One witness wasn’t convinced it was for real until she saw someone bleeding away from the theater.

          I’m sure that affected the choice of weapons.

      2. well, we don’t KNOW he was on a homicidal rampage

        maybe he was mirroring the modern military philosophy, that it is better to wound and incapacitate the enemy than to kill

        the reason being that wounded personnel incapicitate the enemy more than dead ones due to personnel deployment etc. (replacement cost PLUS rehabilitation/medical personnel cost)


        1. That’s a guerrilla warfare tenet; it only works against enemies like ourselves.

          Al Qaeda probably just lets their wounded bleed to death.

      3. Doesn’t sound to me like he’s much of an interested gun owner, just buys what is “popular”. It takes a more serious enthusiast to choose, say, a .38 Super over a 9mm, but the former isn’t mentioned by the hysterical press.

        … Hobbit

        1. i’m sure the press will search amply to see if he was a “gun nut” /frequented firearms blogs. they kneejerked on loughner to claim he was rightwing and were wrong

          i don’t think they will make the same mistake with this guy, but if they can paint him as rightwing, and god knows gun forums will help them attempt that, they will do it

          he sounds like a fucking idiot, and absolutely did not make good firearms choices.

        2. Fortunely most real gun nuts are just a breed of harmless nerd. God help us if a real no kidding gun nut ever goes on one of these rampages.

          1. i had a “gun nut” (iow research revealed he was well trained military and very proficient and into firearms) get the drop on me.

            he was extremely tactical and i had ZERO chance initially. he let me get close enough AFTER he pointed the gun at his head, that IF he pointed it at me, i might have been able to suck it into my vest

            scariest pucker moment ever.

            most gun nuts are like most martial-arts nuts.

            iow, not using their skillz (or in the case of many others – CLAIMED skillz) for nefarious purposes.

  10. 10:40 am PST. sloopy unable to provide ONE quote to support his claim *i* said that chucklenuts POINTED (his word) his gun at the cops

    i said IF he came to the door armed, as the cops said, then he had only himself to blame for getting capped.

    just for clarity’s sake. checked the other thread and he of course slunk away since he couldn’t provide ONE quote from me (and i’m quite verbose) supporting his lie:
    “he was quick to condemn Andrew Scott for pointing the gun at police”

    (“he” being ME in the mentioned thread)

    1. theadjack. Take it back to the other thread asshole.

      1. smooches. and if sloopy et al can routinely call me out in thread X for shit they claim i said (but didn’t) in thread Y, i don’t see why i can’t do the same.

        granted, my being as much of an asshole as sloopy isn’t really my goal, so maybe you are right.

        i think from now on i shall rise about his nefarious ways and set a better example

        thanks for encouraging me to be better than the liars

        1. You and sloopy are worse than John and MNG.

          And dont smooch at me, thats assault and I will fucking shoot you for it.

          1. robc, you KNOW you want it. tongue and all!

            (right now i am cooking and eating mexican food and i could give you burrito kisses like hennifer lopez!!!! ben!!)

            1. Between you and Tulpa, Im getting way too many weekend propositions.

              1. You should wear a burka then.

  11. Did the original text include the double “from”?

    Indeed, from from bailouts

  12. Here’s the sad fact: this country has lived on increasing debt, both personal and national, for a long time. We had one recent President who paid it down and reduced it, and that was Clinton. Even the great Reagan continued to mount the debt.
    Everything was about credit, and taking on more debt. Our economy was NEVER as strong as perceived, and now the chickens have come home to roost.
    Not surprising we are at this point at all…in fact, its probably about the best that could be expected given our recent history.

    1. Clinton only paid down the debt because Congress forced him to. And the foundation for the entire Clinton debt reduction was layed by Bush I in the 1990 decifit reduction bill he signed.

      1. Please. Typical stance of the right. Anything good done under a Democrat President is due to Republicans.
        So, friend, please explain Bush and Republicans controlling Congress in 2003 when the seeds of the housing crisis were sown?
        I know, Barney Franks fault…

        1. It was Barny Franks who said there was no problem when Bush actually tried to do something about Freddie and Fanny. It wasn’t the Republicans who pused the CRA and told the banks that if they didn’t lend to anyone regardless of credit they were racist.

          And the 1990s are what they are. The economy was fair at best in 1994. It didn’t boom until 1996 and afterwards. After the Republicans took over the Congress and cut taxes, stopped threating to take over health care, and brought the deficit down.

          1. Here is the sad fact…the finance committee in 2003 in the House was headed by Michael Oxley (Republican) and in the Senate Richard Selby (Republican). Barney Frank had no more power than any other committeeman.
            So what is your choice, the Republicans own the mistakes, or they were so inept at management that they let Barney Frank handle the whole thing?
            Either way, they were inept.

            1. i think the sad fact is that BOTH PARTIES suck when it comes to big govt. spending

              team RED and team BLUE people can twist stats any way they like.

              reality is- they both suck

              1. Are all major political factions in the world similarly exactly equivalent to their opponents? Thus, are all political factions in the world identical in ineptitude? Are Republicans not to be distinguished from Hezbollah?

                Are you the only person with good ideas in the world?

                Or does critical thinking require understanding subjects in a more detailed way? The parties have totally different views on everything, and different deficit-reduction plans. If they’re equally bad it would be quite a coincidence.

                Not that it’s that hard to figure out who’s better. Republicans cause recessions, because their economic policies are awful. They also spend needlessly spend far more at all times. At least if the last few decades count as relevant evidence.

            2. Yes, The REpublicans let Franks bully them with the “you hate poor people” meme. Yes Republicans failed in stopping Franks from getting his way.

              1. OK…thanks.

        2. Anything good done under a Democrat President is due to Republicans.

          Clinton’s own projected deficits in the early 1990s showed $200B/yr for the duration of the projection. Only the Republican Congress put an end to that.

          1. Yeah, Republicans…the party of fiscal responsibility. The early 90’s…just like you to ignore the later 90’s, when the debt was paid down, and budgets were balanced.
            Exactly who was that last Republican President to balance a budget.
            Oh yeah, Eisenhower…a guy who supported Social Security.

            1. Who was in charge of the spending bills in the late 1990s? And who was in charge of them in 2007?

              I’ll give you Medicare Part D…unconsitutional and utterly irresponsible.

              1. Well, I certainly never said Democrats did not spend money. I only said a couple of facts:
                The one President who paid down debt was a Democrat (recently), and the myth that Republicans are fiscally responsible has been thrown out a long time ago.

                1. It is Congress that controls the budget, not the president.

                  It was Congress that spent more than President Carter wanted to spend. It was Congress that spent more than President Reagan wanted to spend.

                  Something changed in the late 90s and Congress spent less than President Clinton wanted to spend. The debt still increased since the only reason the budget went into surplus was payroll tax collections.

                  The Bush years were scandalous but if you were a regular reader of this blog you would know that Bush was roundly condemned here both for his spending profligacy (he was referred to as Lyndon Baines Bush a couple of times) and his wars.

                  If you think you are on a Republican site you are mistaken.

      2. Clinton never paid down the debt. In his best year there was still a very, very tiny deficit.

        1. Actually, there was one year of surplus but that was due to FICA tax collections so the debt still increased.

          If private businesses tried any of the accounting tricks the federal government uses their owners would end up in prison.

    2. We had one recent President who paid it down and reduced it, and that was Clinton.

      But even that was an artificial debt reduction. I’ll give Clinton credit for being a bit better caregiver of the national treasury than his successor or his successor’s successor. But we have to be honest, Clinton’s “debt reduction” was only achieved in part due to social security and medicare running massive surpluses during those years. We have not had a single administration since the inception of SS that has managed to balance general govt expenditures without using the surpluses from the entitlement programs. If you accounted for SS/MC the way a corporation in the US would be required to (i.e. the financial assets being offset by the future liabilities, and then some), we haven’t had an ACTUAL balanced budget since Coolidge.

  13. Over his first term, Obama has done several things that significantly add to businesses’ perception of risk in terms of hiring more people.

    Among them:

    1) Constant dithering over whether the tax cuts will be allowed to expire–whether the tax on dividends and capital gains will rise sharply.

    Because, according to Obama, apparently, business owners don’t take how much they’ll have left over to pay themselves and their investors into consideration when they decide whether to hire more people–I guess?

    2) Adding tons of new costs to business owners by way of ObamaCare.

    Because in ObamaWorld, apparently, adding to the cost of hiring unemployed people? Has no impact on how many unemployed people get hired!

    Income taxes make hiring unemployed people more expensive, and not slashing such taxes during a time of high unemployment is unbelievably stupid.

    Voting for a man who keeps trying to raise taxes in the face of high unemployment is even dumber than that–there are some unbelievably stupid voters out there.

    Although a lot them wander out into traffic and get hit by cars, there are still some progressives who survive–and find it hard to understand why businesses would be reluctant to hire under those circumstances.

    …whether such people should be allowed to vote is an ethical question, like whether retarded people should be allowed to procreate. Regardless, even if they should be allowed to vote, that doesn’t mean they aren’t stupid.

  14. The government is just way to big and consumes to much dollars to allow the private sector to work anymore. Imagine if we were purely a agrarian economy where 99% of all economic output is using the land to farm. Now imaigine if the government actually bought 50% of the land for official government use. That is denying 50% of the resources for the people to use. The farming economy wouldn’t be as efficient.

    We don’t farm. We are mainly a nation of investors where dollars are used to invest in businesses just like land was used to farm in the preious example. When governments consume 50% of the dollars that means 50% of this ecomony isn’t being utilized.

    Do you see the connection?

  15. I am pleased to present you with your daily doses of schadenfreude and nut punch.

    Scahdenfreude: Sorkin fires entire Newsroom writing staff. At least he knows what an embarassment he’s produced.

    Nut punch:Near-riot breaks out in Anaheim after police shoot unarmed man in the back. I live relatively close by to this, and seeing the police release dogs and fire rubber bullets at the crowd is pretty disturbing.

    1. Funny how Sorkin claims to write every show himself. “I am not an empire builder. I create these shows so I can write them.” Yet, he not only has a writing staff (just what were they getting paid to do if not write the show?) but also just canned them because the show has been critically panned (if Sorkin writes the show, why are these guys taking the fall?).

      1. Whats the deal with HuffPo and autoplaying vidoes that cant be stopped?

  16. Today many Americans credit FDR with rescuing our nation from the Great Depression

    And worse than that, many credit war!

    1. What do you expect, that’s what we teach our kids in school?

  17. Nobody has enough money so there is very weak aggregate demand. Nobody except the few people who have most of it. And who cares what they do with their money? The “job creator” class creates jobs only if it wants to, and Mitt Romney hiring an extra car elevator winch elf isn’t probably the most productive result of tax policy, assuming he doesn’t just sock all the tax savings away, where it does nothing to stimulate the economy.

    But basic economic realities matter not to people who have no problem substituting for firmly accepted historical facts a self-serving alternate history nobody except you buys.

      1. ________________$$$$

        1. Well played.

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