New Jobless Claims 424K

There is mounting evidence that the economy is in difficulty. In addition to the now rote +400k new jobless claims weekly report, yesterday, Brad DeLong discussed the downward trending estimates of economic growth:

Time to push the panic button. Macroeconomic Advisers is revising their tracking forecast of real GDP growth in the second quarter. It now looks as though, come July 1, that there will have been no gap-closing in the six quarters since the start of 2010.

Krugman writes:

[T]hese estimates now suggest that we have now gone through a year and a half of “recovery” that has failed to make any progress toward closing the gap between what the economy should be producing and what it’s actually producing. And nobody in power cares!

I think they care but the Obama Administration foolishly listened to (and continues to listen to) the incompetent and corrupt Tim Geithner - who remains the biggest threat to Obama's reelection.

Speaking for me only

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    The fact that the ""recovery" that (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:50:30 AM EST
    has failed to make any progress toward closing the gap between what the economy should be producing and what it's actually producing" is not relevant precisely "because nobody in power cares!."

    It is a feature and not a bug. We have already begun to become the low cost provider of employees for Europe companies. Today Europe. Tomorrow the world.  

    Making excuses for Obama (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by samsguy18 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:22:43 AM EST
    Will not help the rising number of americans hurt by this sinking economy. The swelling numbers of medicaid patients is a big indicator unemployment and underemployment continues to grow. I have never seen in my lifetime so many devastated destroyed and defeated individuals. The only thing Obama cares about is getting re-elected.

    But let's (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by cal1942 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:51:06 AM EST
    not blame Obama alone.

    What's ailing us has been coming for decades.

    What's ailing us is the dominance of Conservative ideology over the past 30 years.  


    Right, which is why Reagan is the (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by observed on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:59:16 AM EST
    worst President in at least 100 years.

    The homeless (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by CoralGables on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:20:23 AM EST
    situation in South Florida during the Reagan administration is something anyone that drove the streets of downtown Miami will never forget.

    Parking lots under the I-95 overpasses became tent cities with each person taking a marked space. Pieces of cardboard occasionally separated each 9 by 19 foot living space, but sometimes just the painted lines organized and defined possessions by separating one man's current home from another.


    Let's be fair (none / 0) (#47)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri May 27, 2011 at 02:28:47 PM EST
    here- Reagan, while horrible isn't Dubya- remember Reagan acted to save Social Security by bucking his own party and instituting the largest Tax increase in American history, he was a barely masked race-baiting scum bag but he did one or two good things which is something Bush II can't claim.

    Wrong again. (none / 0) (#50)
    by observed on Fri May 27, 2011 at 04:59:10 PM EST
    Bush was not as bad, because he didn't change the course of the nation. At a critical juncture, Reagan steered the country sharply wrong.
    The fact Democrats such as Obama revere Reagan shows how much damage he did.

    Especially considering... (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:46:31 AM EST
    you can be flat broke working poor uninsured and not even qualify for some Medicaid action.

    Imagine how many people who be on Medicaid if the max income threshold was set by somebody who actually knows what a gallon of milk costs...eh gads!


    So True ! (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by samsguy18 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:14:58 PM EST
    The working poor only seek healthcare if they are seriously ill...adding insult to injury because they are uninsured they don't qualify for the contracted discounted fee for service rate provided to those who have insurance.

    And (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by jbindc on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:15:50 PM EST
    Their medical costs would generally be higher because they can't go for preventive services.

    err... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:46:55 AM EST
    s/b "would be on Medicaid".

    How does this differ from every president since (none / 0) (#46)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri May 27, 2011 at 02:25:38 PM EST
    Carter left office?

    all you need to know (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by CST on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:26:19 AM EST
    "Claims are still unfortunately seeing some upward pressure from state and local government job cuts,"

    A government job is still a job.  Cut government funding, you cut government jobs and this is what happens.  Any gains being made in the private sector are being offset by cuts to the public sector, while they should be working together right now.

    FL still has not spent hundreds (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by ruffian on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:59:41 AM EST
    of millions of its stimulus money.   Knowing FL government better by the day, I shudder to think of how much of what it did spend was wasted. All of that stimulus money should have been administered by the feds. It was not enough money to begin with.

    Just infuriates me.

    Which is probably why (none / 0) (#23)
    by CoralGables on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:09:19 PM EST
    Florida had the worst claims report of the 50 states this week.

    Probably also helps explain some recent polling in Florida:

    Gov Rick Scott - 29% approval rating.

    Florida Senate-Nelson 47 LeMieux 27      Nelson +20
    Florida Senate-Nelson 47 Haridopolos 26 Nelson +21
    Florida Senate-Nelson 48 Hasner 23       Nelson +25


    What does (none / 0) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:27:36 PM EST
    this do for Obama though? Do you know his numbers?

    Today's report from Quinnipiac (none / 0) (#26)
    by christinep on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:35:53 PM EST
    Obama's numbers have "spiked" up to 51% approval; with a majority also saying he should be reelected. In addition to the OBL factor, which the large poller Q notes, it would seem also that the Medicare issue--so dominant as it has now become--might have some influence in Florida as well.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:49:42 PM EST
    that's due to the OBL factor.

    I don't think it's Medicare though because Rubio has an approval of 49% and he voted to end Medicare.

    Another interesting statistic from that:

    57 percent say the United States should not be involved in Libya; 56 percent say the United States shouldn't be in Afghanistan.

    49% want the ACA appealed. FL might be a tough state in '12 for Obama.


    Obama will not win Florida in 2012. (none / 0) (#31)
    by Buckeye on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:59:48 PM EST
    Depends largely on the GOP (none / 0) (#48)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri May 27, 2011 at 02:30:54 PM EST
    nominee- some possible choices would essentially concede Florida to Obama as they're unacceptable to the state. On the other hand- I think the mid-west might essentially be locked up for Obama given the Autobailout.

    Other stats (none / 0) (#33)
    by christinep on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:01:34 PM EST
    show all Repubs in Florida falling. Rubio so far is keeping his head above water; but, the Repub gov is dragging his party down as well.

    Don't know, but strongly suspect that--as the Ryan Plan/Repub Plan on Medicare continues to sink in & gels--Florida, for the first time in awhile, is going to show spikes in polling for Dems when needed. As former PA Governor Rendell remarked recently "How could they <Republicans voting in favor of Ryan's Medicare changeover> be so stupid!" I'm guessing that about says it all insofar as Florida reaction can easily be projected to be.  Wonder what the Repub prez candidates are saying now about it...in addition to The Newt's pretzel gymnastics?

    Truly, I will remind myself to calm my chortling glee over the turn of events.  Bill Clinton's caution to be careful & not get too caught up in the happy dance means a lot. But, for today & this week, excuse my high hopes for Florida. And, from Kasich's travails (ho, ho), optimism is warranted for Ohio too.


    Clinton's caution is, I believe, (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by Anne on Thu May 26, 2011 at 03:43:42 PM EST
    based on the knowledge that Dems are going to get behind something that will affect Medicare benefits, and what that's going to do is neutralize either party's ability to use Medicare as an election issue.  I mean, how do you campaign on "these guys wanted to end the Medicare program and failed; we 'got something done' - we increased your share of the cost and imposed income-eligibility limits that will make more people unable to qualify, which made the program stronger!"

    I know that while the former has happened, the latter hasn't - yet - but with that kind of possible dynamic, who in their right mind is even going to mention Medicare?

    And then what?  The more of this kind of neutralizing there is, the less reason people will have to feel that it matters who gets elected.   Sharp stick in the eye v. baseball bat to the shins: yeah, let's vote for one of those...


    How to campaign? (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by MO Blue on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:04:21 PM EST
    we 'got something done' - we increased your share of the cost and imposed income-eligibility limits that will make more people unable to qualify

    Now that we "fixed" Medicare, be sure to elect us so that we can "fix" Social Security too. :-(


    Only a Democrat (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:48:05 PM EST
    Only a Democrat could get away with "fixing" Social Security and Medicare.

    Republicans would be hung by their pinkies for doing the same.


    Scott's (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:25:38 PM EST
    numbers in FL don't seem to moving anything on the Presidential scene that I've seen so far. The GOP numbers from the poll are against Nelson and if Nelson were running for Prez, FL would be a sure thing but he's not.

    FL has a lot more than just elderly people. There's also a lot of big box evangelicals in the state. FL also has extremely high unemployment numbers that could hurt Obama. Yes, they are blaming Scott but they could also end up blaming Obama as well.

    OH I see as a completely different story along with MI and WI. I do think the govs of those states probably are going to move some presidential numbers.  


    In the upper midwest (none / 0) (#39)
    by christinep on Thu May 26, 2011 at 03:31:31 PM EST
    the projected work improvements as a result of the positive bailout for GM, Chrysler are extremely important. The media coverage there & word of mouth that I hear are encouraging beyond what was originally postulated.

     As for Florida, Ga6thDem, you correctly point out the overlapping factors & competing interests. It is a hard one to predict, particularly with the strong panhandle evangelicism. But, don't sell the Medicare issue short. (If the Dems sit on the laurels of the week & don't work at it, the advantage with an important segment of the Florida electorate--a high voting segment--will have been squandered.) It may be that the new DNC head Deb Wasserman-Schulz could play a pivotal role...pleasant, well-connected in Florida natch', aggressive yet witty, good knack for phrasing. In any event, Florida would be the icing, if voter turnout among the key Dem groups there increases.


    Today's paper - FL DCF laying off 500 (none / 0) (#44)
    by ruffian on Fri May 27, 2011 at 08:34:25 AM EST
    No worries though, they say it won't effect the kids.

    wait! (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by cpinva on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:46:39 PM EST
    you mean leaving the bush tax cuts for the obscenely wealthy in place hasn't resulted in billion new jobs being created? how could that possibly be, we were promised..............

    All we are doing is delaying the inevitable (1.33 / 3) (#27)
    by Slado on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:38:58 PM EST
    The Keynesian experiment is over and it failed.

    Told ya so.

    Some true believers think if we'd only spent more some how magically the massive debt we've collected since the 1960's would have dissipated.

    Sorry, that's not how math works.  If the multiplier effect really does work why is it also dependent on volume?   Because it doesn't work.  That's why.

    Our economy is being dragged down by government, personal and real estate debt.  

    Bush then Obama chose to stretch out the pain.   Instead of letting the system collapse under it's own debt weight they ran the printing presses and bailed us all out collectively.   Stimulus, bailouts and cheap money have given us the illusion of a rebounding economy but now all the levers have been pulled and the same problem is still staring us back in the face, only now it's even bigger.

    Until we work of this debt burden we will not see the recovery we're all longing for.

    It's just not going to happen.

    Japan has been doing this for more then a decade.

    Sushi anyone?

    Seems to me (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jbindc on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:47:17 PM EST
    If you can spend an get people back to work in good paying jobs (see:  auto companies, bailout, government pay back, adding employees), then those people will be doing things like - paying taxes and not taking out of the system through social services and unemployment.

    Add to that it wasn't "Keynsian economics" that got us here, but 10 years of war with no plan.  Maybe we should instead say, "Neo-con foreign policy just doesn't work." It's not good for diplomacy, it's not good for our soldiers, and it's not good for the global economy.


    It was a 30-year experiment (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by smott on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:00:45 PM EST
    With tax cuts that Reagan dreamed up and Obama continued. Voodo then, voodoo now.
    Ain't Keynsian at all.

    Supply (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:51:30 PM EST
    side economics is what got us here. We have now had over a decade of supply side economics and they are a failure. The idiotic belief that tax cuts pay for themselves and wars pay for themselves is certainly not Keynesian. It's pure supply side voodoo bs.

    Curious (none / 0) (#49)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri May 27, 2011 at 02:33:14 PM EST
    what is the non-Keynesian solution that would work- we know the Austrian-school/Freidman stuff fails and fails hard, so what exactly is your counterproposal?

    Obamanomics increased federal spending (1.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:09:50 AM EST

    Obamanomics increased federal spending to a post war record 25% or so of GDP and the "recovery" has been the weakest ever.  Political diversion of resources to nonproductive uses has been tried and failed.

    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by cal1942 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:44:29 AM EST
    didn't increase spending enough and your statement that the spending (guessing you're referencing the recovery act)was non-productive is bunk.

    Anyway the debt you people complain about has three basic causes:  The Bush tax cuts, unfunded wars (1st time in our history that lengthy wars were not accompanied by tax increases) and the recession, triggered in part by your opposition to regulatory rigor.

    By your tone I'm guessing your version of productive uses is yet more tax cuts at the top.  Tax cuts at the top do great harm to our economy.  The money ends up running around the world looking for the highest return.  We should be taxing the crap out of the top.  Keep the money here.


    A post war record (none / 0) (#24)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:10:27 PM EST

    A post war record was not enough?  If anything the evidence of actual experience points more toward counterproductive than not enough.  Every other post war recession recovered with a more robust expansion and with a smaller share of GDP being consumed on political priorities.  



    NOT. ENOUGH. SPENDING. (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by cal1942 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:20:04 PM EST
    You'll never learn and your remarks here sway no one.  The people who comment here know better.

    True believers are true believers (none / 0) (#45)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri May 27, 2011 at 08:45:33 AM EST

    Facts matter little or not at all to the faithful.  

    Do you have any explanation as to why every other post war recession had a much more robust recovery even with a relative paucity of federal spending?

    Another way to ask the question is, what has changed about the economy that record breaking federal spending (assuming that it is not in fact counterproductive) is insufficient to trigger a stronger recovery?



    you're right (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by CST on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:27:30 AM EST
    those tax cuts were incredibly non productive.  Let's have them back now and spend them on things like jobs for teachers.

    GDP shrunk (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:12:28 AM EST
    This is what happens (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:04:46 PM EST
    when an administration obsesses over deficits instead of over job creation and growth.

    Why (none / 0) (#1)
    by lilburro on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:45:41 AM EST
    is Geithner still there?  Is there something he's doing well that I don't know about?

    I suspect you know about it (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by sj on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:50:37 AM EST
    you just don't like it.  He is doing well at keeping the bankers from being accountable.  You and I just don't have that as a priority.

    Ya forgot... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:57:18 AM EST
    we avoided a great depression!  Well, except those amongst us who always live in a depression like situation of course.  

    Goldman is still grifting...Geithner is doing the job he was hired to do.  Government Sachs baby.

    I mean ya don't think it is by, of, and for the people do ya?  


    Simple answer (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:51:48 AM EST
    Geithner is still there because he is pursuing the policies that Obama wants him to pursue and is a useful scapegoat.

    The economy has not been improving (none / 0) (#6)
    by Buckeye on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:03:05 AM EST
    in 1-2 years.  Job creation has at best kept up with population growth where good paying jobs are being replaced with low paying jobs.  Considering the other challenges our economy faces - commodity inflation, oil prices, housing problems, etc. - as well as banana republican statesmen demanding austerity and refusing to budge on anything, we could another recession coming.

    I first doubted double dip 1937 scenarios.  But I now think it is a real possibility.

    The stage is set (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by cal1942 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:30:45 AM EST
    for a double dip and there was never any reason to believe otherwise.

    Foolish trade agreements have played a role.  People who have found work have found work at lower wages.  Jobs that pay decent wages are still on their way out of the country.

    Even massive programs to create jobs can't have as much of a beneficial impact as in the past because goods bought are produced overseas losing the multiplier benefit.  When the economy did improve over the last couple of years the balance of payments deficit increased.

    Now the GOP insists on spending cuts making matters worse and Boehner wants permanent 'territorial' taxation, meaning that the outflow of good jobs will become a raging torrent.

    Without a fighting advocate in the White House, we, as a nation, are toast.

    Obama's Hope & Change is nothing more than a continuation of a ruinous status quo.


    It's not (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:15:35 AM EST
    the "Obama Administration" it is Obama that is the problem. He is the one who hired these people and he's the one that keeps them. The buck stop with him. The fact that he is even listening to these people who are a massive failure shows how tone death and inept he is on the subject of the economy.

    He'll be worth $100 million by 2020, (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by observed on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:23:49 AM EST
    2025 at the latest. He's not tone deaf.

    Then again (none / 0) (#19)
    by CoralGables on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:36:13 AM EST
    "The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, fell to 438,500."

    I believe below 400,000 is the mark that is considered important to show continued growth so we're still hovering slightly to the wrong side. On a good note, "Overall, 40 states and territories reported a decrease in claims, while 13 showed an increase."