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« Sell in May? | Main | The Individual Investor Experience »

May 06, 2008

Comments

Bill aka NO DooDahs!

True enough, Jeff, but there are common motivations and themes.

Regardless of their beholdenness (sic?) to different special interest groups, government actors are practically united in wanting to rob from the many to benefit the few - it's just a question of "which few?"

It also seems, from the historical evidence, that they are practically united in wishing to expand the power of government, even if they may have different, competing special-interest groups for whom they wish to use this power.

oldprof

Venn - You are one of the few to see the inconsistency in the arguments about government policy. There is no one "government actor." There is plenty of disagreement -- between branches of government, legislative houses, within and between parties. Some would be delighted to increase benefits for old folks, a powerful voting group. As you correctly note, just look at their behavior. "Government" is not like a single-minded business manager, trying to accomplish some rational calculation.

oldprof

Vermont -- All of the economic data have been for below-trend growth, maybe 1%. Payroll jobs can actually decline a bit and still not indicate negative GDP (due to higher productivity). That still could be an "official" NBER recession, of course.

I would just like to see better understanding of the BLS methods.

But your points are well taken.

Jeff

VennData

So then, the "contrarian" play is that the B/D adjustment is more useful than not.

John Williams of Shadowstats also claims that the inflation "under-reporting" is Clinton's fault; a little economic history involving Boskin and Bush I might help him. The best thing that can be said for his site is that he improved the layout.

And the idea that the government is lying about inflation so they don't have to pay COLA adjustments is preposterous. The Congress is heading us toward a $750B plus y-o-y increase in the debt. They could care less about COLA adjustments.

Vermont Trader

Even if you take the government figures at face value, the latest payroll report was still weak.

Payroll employment is only up 0.3% year over year. This stinks and is consistant with a pre-reccessionary enviroment.

Factory man hours were down 1.2%. The index of aggregate hours worked fell 0.4%

These are not results that support GDP growth in the second quarter net of the effects of the government economic stimulus.

Steve

Honestly, I don't think a bunch of bloggers have influenced anything. I do find it amusing, however, that some bloggers can conclude that the entire market is being duped and they're the only ones smart enough to see the truth. Whenever John Browne is on Kudlow & Co., he likes to quote the "real" inflation numbers from Shadowstats and scream about how the market is being duped. Hilarious.

The arguments against the B/D model have been with us for years. And we've had many revisions to the employment figures that encompassed the periods that used the B/D model. I don't recall there being any analysis done showing that the B/D model was inferior to the prior methodology.

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