10-11-2012 07:33 AM
The pre-debate joke was about what the keyword(s) should be for a Hi Bob style drinking game.
"Jobs" had to be #1. Better be drinking Miller 64 or not maker it through.
The data manipulation brouhaha aside, a couple of things are clear about jobs. First is that largest loss/failure to recover since 2009 has been in public sector jobs. And, the private sector has consistently added jobs but the net addition has been in lower wage, part time and most of all, non-benefit jobs.
On public sector, not much to say. Federal aid to states and localities not likely to happen, if it should, and states and localities aren't likely to increase taxes to hire more. Plus, the 20 year disaster of defined benefit plans has come to pass putting a drag on budgets as has medical costs.
On the private side, I notice that Darden Restaurants (Red Lobster, Olive Garden) is experimenting with juggling hours and job titles in order to avoid paying minimum wage (tip sharing), part time status and, heaven forbid, Obamacare. Which, putting aside how much the executues make, etc., is exactly how a rational actor would behave until such time as their bottom line begins to suffer becasue they either can't hire people or service is so bad that it hurts business (which I'm guessing they'd be very slow to recognize.) And, there is enough slack in the labor market that it isn't going to happen anytime soon- some of their best might go elsewhere (until the cuts catch up with them there) but for the most part the company will probably mostly rise and fall with the macro economy and the long term trend for their market position.
Someone getting minimum wage equivalent for working 31 hours a week as a dishwasher, with a family, could qualify for full foodstamp benefits (for now). If they could juggle a second 31 hour gig they'd still get stamps. They'd also cost somebody some money when they went, uninsured, to the emergency room, then defaulted on their mortgage, or got evisted from their rental unit as they can't pay it, etc.
If oil, gas and coal go full bore (already running about 80%) you will get a few hundred thousand good paying jobs (and lose some amount that green energy developments would have provided.) This question is moot as it, and defense and government contractors ARE the GOP and if a republican majority emerges, it shall come to pass. The only question is how the GOP will misdirect the narrative as it becomes apparent that this in and of itself did little to move the needle.
Gotta run but PS- I think we could get a pretty sharp, temprary drop in oil sometime soon. There is some slack in the market and it is due much more to falling demand,- waek economies- particularly europe- and the long term adjustments to the 300% repricing of oil- than it does with supply.
However, unconventional oil has managed to keep production pretty steady as conventional oil otput has fallen.
Somebody will get to take credit for that which will be mostly baloney but it will help a bit as the rest of the problems of global slowdown begin to bite.
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