Obama and Congress giving up on the economy?

This is a discussion on Obama and Congress giving up on the economy? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by Daved Not exactly, although I'm curious why you think that's humorous. Did you look at the posted ...

  1. #31
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    Not exactly, although I'm curious why you think that's humorous. Did you look at the posted graph? It sure doesn't look like unemployment rises until the recessions start.

    My actual point was that the current unemployment rate is not a very good indication as to whether the economy is recovering.
    Humorous because I was/am agreeing with you*. Of course unemployment doesn't rise until the recession starts -- it is a consequence of the shrinking economy.

    * So you think 2+2=4?
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  2. #32
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    A modern and advanced society is much more than a strong economy and a powerful military. It is foremost, a reflection of its citizens education and tolerance levels.
    A starving man has no morals. You need a strong economy to support such enlightened social standards. I don't disagree with those ideals, but they are far down on the list of priorities below things like food water shelter (strong economy) and safety (strong military). Only when the lower level needs are met can thehigher level needs be addressed.
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  3. #33
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    A starving man has no morals. You need a strong economy to support such enlightened social standards. I don't disagree with those ideals, but they are far down on the list of priorities below things like food water shelter (strong economy) and safety (strong military). Only when the lower level needs are met can thehigher level needs be addressed.
    Well, we definitely agree on that.
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    >> So you think 2+2=4?
    Yes, and again I'm not sure why it's amusing. Obviously we make assumptions about what those symbols mean but it makes no sense to do anything other than use established conventions absent other context, so of course 2+2=4.

  5. #35
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    So you think 2+2=4?
    But so is 3+1. Consider this...

    Imagine that news coverage warns of a potential recession in the near future when analysts make predictions based on the current housing economy recession. Imagine that the news coverage keeps insisting on this subject and the news become increasingly dominant on every household. Impending Recession! There's no arguing (is there?) that this particular recession was an odd recession; An announced recession.

    In this scenario doesn't it make sense for companies to think activating their defense protocols? Layoffs, firing, reduce production? And wouldn't this reaction further the idea that "a recession is coming"?

    It almost certainly was coming. That's hard to deny. But it's probably no mere accident that initial predictions in late 2007 thought of the recession as happening in 3 or 4 years time, while the reality showed it started right the next year and caught every government in the world by surprise. I just happen to wonder how much of that wasn't caused by the steep reduction in consumer confidence caused by the decline of employment rates as companies started a snowball effect.

    So,

    - Can unemployment cause a recession? It certainly is one of the recognized indicators to predict a recession.

    - Can it lead a country out of a recession? I don't see how consumer confidence can rise and economic activity increase back to previous levels without employment rates going up.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  6. #36
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    from - Index of Leading Indicators
    The ten components of the Leading Economic Index include:

    Average weekly hours worked by manufacturing workers
    Average number of initial applications for unemployment insurance
    Amount of manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods and materials
    Amount of manufacterers' new orders for capital goods unrelated to defense
    Speed of delivery of new merchandise to vendors from suppliers
    Amount of new building permits for residential buildings
    The S&P 500 stock index
    Inflation-adjusted money supply (M2)
    Spread between long and short interest rates (i.e. the yield curve)
    Consumer expectations
    text in bold red was original source text highlighted by me.
    Last edited by abachler; 09-14-2009 at 12:56 PM.
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  7. #37
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    In this scenario doesn't it make sense for companies to think activating their defense protocols? Layoffs, firing, reduce production? And wouldn't this reaction further the idea that "a recession is coming"?
    For the most part actually, no. You were a small business owner, I think. My parents have been in manufacturing all my life, thru several recessions. The "rule" with the staff is a pretty simple one: they are employed to handle the orders. If the orders dwindle, then it may be necessary to cut back hours or lay people off to manage costs.

    But it would be completely stupid to start laying people off before the orders dwindle. That would be pretty literally shooting yourself in the foot, since you will now have to backlog the non-dwindling orders.

    It makes sense to me that most business works that way. Of course, if you have a bunch of people that you didn't need in the first place, there's a different story. But that is probably unusual. Employers are not in the habit of hiring people unless there is something for them to do. The other scenario would be where a manufacturer is in the habit of stockpiling -- making products before they sell, such as in the automotive industry. But that is unusual too, AFAIK, and not really very smart (including in the automotive industry).

    The upshot of this is that the reason unemployment could be used as a leading indicator is that it reflects the activity of small private companies which DO NOT report publicly -- in other words, their real productivity cannot be directly measured. I believe that is actually most of the economy.

    So it is only a useful indicator in so far as it parallels the diminished productivity which IS reported quarterly by corporations.

    @abachler: "Average number of initial applications for unemployment insurance" is not remotely the same thing as the unemployment rate, BTW
    Last edited by MK27; 09-14-2009 at 01:48 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    I don't understand your position, abachler. On the one hand, you post that because the unemployment rate is still high, the economy still requires more legislation to be fixed (implying that it is not getting better and on its way to recovery), but at the same time you also viewed and agreed with the graph that I posted which clearly indicates that unemployment only starts dropping when the recession ends. Which is it?

    Assuming you were being serious (not always a safe assumption, I know), the point of the thread seemed to be that the apparent focus of the executive and legislative branches on health care reform is to the detriment of the recovering economy. Everything I've read and seen indicates that the economy is recovering just fine (not great, but fine) and there isn't a whole lot that can be done legislatively to speed up the process. So I don't understand your point.

  9. #39
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    I don't understand your position, abachler. On the one hand, you post that because the unemployment rate is still high, the economy still requires more legislation to be fixed (implying that it is not getting better and on its way to recovery), but at the same time you also viewed and agreed with the graph that I posted which clearly indicates that unemployment only starts dropping when the recession ends. Which is it?
    He's obfuscating; like I said, "Average number of initial applications for unemployment insurance" IS NOT the unemployment rate. As a matter of fact, right now, that first one is DOWN, while the second one is up (the number of people becoming unemployed is not increasing, but the total number is).
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    It makes sense to me that most business works that way.
    But large businesses do not work this way. Large businesses may decide to close down some of their riskier entities, or cut back on research and development if they feel a recession is coming.
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  11. #41
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Thanks bithub. I wouldn't probably be able to put it into so few words.

    But more importantly, the example serves only to provide an hypothetical scenario. It's besides the point, MK27, to discuss it in detail. It's, if you must, an analogy into something much more important.

    Consumer Confidence is the leading catalyst to economic activity. Being that Consumer Confidence is mostly affected by the employment rate, now do the math. edit: The math is that while not necessarily always, a recession can indeed by provoked by a employment rates. And one possible reason being a snowball effect in layoffs as companies tend to follow other companies practices in their effort to remain afloat and competitive.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 09-14-2009 at 02:54 PM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  12. #42
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bithub View Post
    But large businesses do not work this way. Large businesses may decide to close down some of their riskier entities, or cut back on research and development if they feel a recession is coming.
    Maybe so and maybe not* -- in any case, most business is in fact, not large business.

    *quite often the later anyway, methinks; eg the aerospace industry is order based. Boeing will not make cutbacks unless they have a real reason to do so. The ones that work the way you are saying are speculative to start with, and they will be the exception, ie, you are wrong...
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  13. #43
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Consumer Confidence is the leading catalyst to economic activity. Being that Consumer Confidence is mostly affected by the employment rate, now do the math.
    Well now here's the real rub: consumer confidence is mostly affected by media representations of the economy. If some naive bunch of doom and gloomers start screaming that the unemployment rate is what to watch, then you will just create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Esp. if they are prone toward erroneous and misleading generalizations a la abachler.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  14. #44
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    See? It wasn't so hard to agree with me

    EDIT:
    Wait! You didn't agree with me! Definitely need to read slower. Anyways. I'm starving. That's my excuse.
    Consumer Confidence is mostly affected by employment, MK27. Check your sources. Besides consumers are not nearly as sensitive to the economic blurb of media news.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 09-14-2009 at 03:01 PM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Maybe so and maybe not* -- in any case, most business is in fact, not large business.

    *quite often the later anyway, methinks; eg the aerospace industry is order based. Boeing will not make cutbacks unless they have a real reason to do so. The ones that work the way you are saying are speculative to start with, and they will be the exception, ie, you are wrong...
    lol, I had forgotten how utterly pointless it is to have a discussion with you.
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