August 6, 2005


Some Caveats on Job Growth (NY Times, 8/06/05)

With yesterday's announcement that 207,000 new jobs were created in July - nearly 30,000 more than had been forecast - Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao took to the airwaves to repeat the administration's mantra about the economy being "strong and getting stronger." But...

If George W. Bush personally cured cancer the Times would fret that oncologists would be put out of work.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 6, 2005 10:34 AM

I suppose Gail Collins and crew penned this piece because they realized that writing an editorial about the jobless numbers with the word "damn" repeated 600 times in a row would be too obvious an indicator of a bunch of middle age New Yorkers having a temper tantrum.

Posted by: John at August 6, 2005 11:18 AM

from the times' perspective it is a bad economy. they are losing readers, advertisers, and employees. sucks to be a leftie.

Posted by: cjm at August 6, 2005 12:07 PM

Wow 207,000 new jobs, that means the wait in line at McDonalds should be lots shorter.

Posted by: delen at August 6, 2005 4:30 PM

What's wrong with McDonald's ?

It's honest work. Even a lucrative career, for the motivated.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 6, 2005 7:24 PM

I agree Michael, But perhaps he meant that more people could afford upscale lunches. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt, for now.

Posted by: Genecis at August 6, 2005 8:04 PM

Your cancer analogy OJ fits well with this joke....

The Pope visits Washington and President Bush takes him for a ride down the Potomac on the presidential yacht. They're enjoying themselves when a gust of wind blows the Pope's hat (zucchetto) off and out onto the water. The Secret Service begins to launch a boat but Bush waves them off saying, "Wait. I'll take care of this."

Bush steps off the yacht onto the surface of the water, walks out a ways and picks up the hat. Back on board, he hands the hat to the Pope amid stunned silence.

The next morning the Washington Post carries the story complete with photos under the heading BUSH CAN'T SWIM.

Posted by: BJW at August 6, 2005 9:34 PM

my husband used to write almost exclusively about job growth, labor statistics and their impact on interest rates. no matter what the number is (job growth or lack thereof) there is always a detailed postmortem, discussion of influences, real meaning of a number, etc.
i personally wouldn't take the times piece as evidence of a prejudice either way so much as the routine dissection of the labor number. often it would work the other way--a low number would come out and john would discuss why it actually meant more growth than it seemed at first glance. also, there are so many factors that affect the number--weather patterns, short months, holidays, current events, and more.

Posted by: fran liscio at August 8, 2005 1:02 AM

Bush could start to cure cancer, or at least help find cures for other diseases, by lifting the wacky restrictions on stem cells research.

Posted by: tristero at August 8, 2005 10:10 AM

that swishing sound you hear is tristero missing the point.

Posted by: JonofAtlanta at August 8, 2005 11:18 AM

This is an artificial recovery propped up by the record defecits. The Shrub, like the Governator, simply delayed the problems using credit cards. I could have done that.

Other than ousting a weak, tinpot despot, and the jury is still out on this one, EVERYTHING Shrub's done has been bad for this country.

He is our little anti-King Midas. Everything he touches turns to poo.

Posted by: tommo at August 8, 2005 11:46 AM

No offense but the article just highlight how weak the recovery is relative to every other recovery since the post WW2 period. This isn't really news. The recovery is weak in the job creation department. Without the huge and somewhat unsafe appreciation in real estate, there wouldn't be a recovery at all. The president's tax cuts while somewhat effective were not the best set of tax cuts for stimulating growth. It's only 200,000 jobs. During the 90s boom this would have been a horrible job creation month. It just shows you how the bar has been lowered.

Posted by: Brian DeSpain at August 8, 2005 12:01 PM

Mr. DeSpain:

It's more useful to look at the proportion of the population employed than the raw job numbers and it's rather high.

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 2:08 PM

Brian writes:

'..During the 90s boom this would have been a horrible job creation month.'

um, yeah, that's why they call it a boom.

how 'bout: During the 30's Depression, this would have been an amazing job creation month.

both statements are 1) true and; 2) irrelevant

Posted by: JonofAtlanta at August 8, 2005 2:09 PM


The deficit is rather low in historic terms.

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 2:09 PM


But it wouldn't be worth it. You could cure hunger if you lifted cannibalism restrictions too.

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 2:13 PM

And if President Bush created a war that by definition cannot be won and then led us into an actual war for reasons that were pure fiction (except to the extent that a real war and fighting is necessary when you create a fictional war that can't be won) you would call him . . . a genius, a man's man, a true American, a Christian . . . my leader, who one day will cure cancer, through prayer and lots of hard work. Because remember it takes hard work and . . . Oh yeah you need long vacations after all of that hard work.

Posted by: eddie at August 8, 2005 2:54 PM

We won.

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 3:06 PM


Sen. John Kerry, Pres. Bill Clinton, Sen. Ted Kennedy, the UN, France, Russia, and Germany all said, at one time or another, that Saddam had WMD.

Were they all lying to you, and if so, for what reason ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 8, 2005 4:29 PM

There are, of course, no restrictions, wacky or otherwise, on stem cell research.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 8, 2005 10:36 PM