Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Quick Hit on Real Time With Bill Maher (9/7/12)

A full write up will happen sometime later today (after I sleep and wake up), but for now I just want to say that Christine O'Donnell is either a moron or public speaking causes her to say a bunch of stupid things she wouldn't normally say. I had my suspicions before, but now they've been confirmed. In her interview with Bill Maher before the panel discussion part of the show, she said something to the effect of: "For every job gained we've lost four".

Bill Maher basically said "really? I don't believe you" and then she went on to say how the jobs created aren't real and that the latest jobs report (released the same day by the BLS) prove that we're actually losing jobs.

This is the perfect example of a politician who hasn't got a clue on what they're talking about. She just got briefed on a couple talking points that she doesn't really understand, and it just shows completely and utterly.

What Christine tried (and failed) to say is this: For every private sector job we gained in August, four people exited the work force. The reason why the unemployment rate went down last month was because more people exited the workforce than entered it. When the unemployment rate goes down, it either means people are getting jobs or people are getting so discouraged about finding a job that they stop looking altogether. The unemployment rate inched down because of the latter and not the former.

In a country of 310 million people, our total employment rate is 58.3% (58.3% of all adults are employed). Our population grows at around 1.1% per year, so in a full year, we can expect 3.41 million more people to exist within these borders. 85% of the country is 18+ in age, so that means we can expect about 2.9 million more adults to live in this country by the end of the year.

2.9 million at 58.3% is 1.69 million. Spread that out amongst 12 months and that means the economy needs to add 140,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth at current labor force participation rates. Since we only added 96,000 jobs last month, but the unemployment rate down, that meant just under 400,000 people left the work force last month as well, which drove the unemployment rate (which only counts people who are actively looking for work) down .2% to 8.1%.

Later on in the show, Maher and that insufferable Katrina van Heuvel were going on and on about how awesome it was when Bill Clinton said that Republicans don't understand basic arithmetic. I'm starting to get the feeling that they were right.

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