July Jobs Report Mildly Positive, But Far From Good News

July's Jobs Report was better than what we've seen the last few months, but it's still not very good.

Going into this morning’s 8:30am reading of the Bureau Of Labor Statistics’ July jobs report, most analysts were expecting a relatively weak net jobs numbers somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000. Given the number’s we’d seen in April, May, and June, and the GDP report that showed just how weak the economy was going in to the third quarter, that certainly seemed to be the best guess. Instead, we got one of the best jobs reports we’ve seen since February, albeit one that still has it’s own share of weaknesses:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 163,000 in July, and the unemployment ratewas essentially unchanged at 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, and manufacturing.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics (10.3 percent) edged down in July, while the rates for adult men (7.7 percent), adult women (7.5 percent), teenagers (23.8 percent), whites (7.4 percent), and blacks (14.1 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.2 percent in July (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 5.2 million. These individuals accounted for 40.7 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 63.7 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent, changed little in July.

Well, they were little changed but they did go down in both cases, and it’s worth noting that if labor force participation was at the level it was when Barack Obama became President, the Unemployment Rate would be 11%.  Furthermore, these numbers mean that the workforce lost 150,000 people in July, almost as many as the net jobs number. Additionally, that civilian labor force participation rate number is now back at the 30 year low that it hit back in April. Finally, the number of people who are not in the workforce, for whatever reason, went up by 384,000, more than double the net jobs number. Had those people stayed in the labor force, the primary Unemployment Rate likely would’ve risen by more than just a tenth of a percentage point.

Additionally, 163,000 jobs isn’t enough to keep up with population grown and hardly enough to signal a real recovery. For the second, we’d need to be seeing job growth averaging at 250,000 per month. Instead, so far in 2012 we’ve averaged 151,000 new jobs per month which slightly worse than the 153,000 new  jobs per month. It’s also worth noting that June’s net jobs number was revised downward from 80,000 to 64,000 while the May number was adjusted upward by 10,ooo to 87,000o. So while it’s a good thing that the number has picked up from the crappy numbers we were getting for the previous four months, it’s still not very good and there appear to be few signs that things will pick up sufficiently to get the jobs market on the right track any time soon.

What we do know, though, is that the worst jobs recession since World War II is continuing, and that it’s going to take some vastly accelerated growth to get us back to where we were when it started. This chart from Calculated Risk tells the tale:

Matthew Yglesias agrees:

We didn’t start July with a health labor market, we didn’t start 2012 with a healthy labor market, and we didn’t start 2011 with a healthy labor market. To re-obtain full employment, we’d want to be adding jobs twice as fast as this. But 18 months worth of steady-state employment gains is much too long a run to just be a coincidence.

Politically, it’s pretty easy to see how this will play out. The White House and the Obama campaign will concentrate on the jobs created number which is, as I said, better than we’ve seen in several months. Republicans will concentrate on the fact that the Unemployment Rate ticked up this month and that we’re now in our 42nd consecutive month about about 8% unemployment. Since it’s fairly clear that the UE number is the one that most lay people pay attention to, and the one that gets the headline coverage in the press, the GOP likely has the stronger argument this month. Moreover, as I said, there really isn’t anything impressive about the job growth this month, and there are plenty of reasons to believe that this may just be a temporary blip and that the months between now and the election may not be quite so rosy. Check back again on September 7th and we’ll see where we are. For now, though, this is nothing to write home about and something that the President ought to still be very worried about.

Update: In the comment thread, Pete passes along a link to Zerohedge that makes this jobs look a lot weaker than it appears from the topline number:

In July the number of part-time jobs added was 31K, bringing the total to 27,925, just shy of the all time record of 28,038. Full time jobs? Down 228,000 to 114,345, lower than the February full-time jobs print of 114,408. Once again, more and more Americans are relinquishing any and all benefits associated with Full Time Jobs benefits, and instead are agreeing on a job. Any job. Even if it means working just 1 hour a week. For the BLS it doesn’t matter – 1 hour of work a week still qualifies you as a Part-Time worker.

Indeed, this continues a trend that began in the midst of the Great Recession:

People are working, but it’s not the kind of work they used to have. And that has important ramifications for the economy.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Economics and Business, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. Pete says:
  2. I think the counter-attack is that Romney’s plan is actually contrationary:

    Romney’s “Recovery Plan” Could Bring On Another Recession

    The first two thirds of Hubbard’s piece is taken up with an attack on the Obama Administration’s economic record: ineffective stimulus, too much regulation, failure to tackle the housing market—all very familiar stuff. When Hubbard eventually gets to laying out Romney’s alternative, there is nothing new either, just a reiteration of the existing policy plaform: a vague promise to cut federal spending and reduce the budget deficit, an even vaguer plan to cut taxes but in a “revenue-neutral fashion,” and a commitment to repeal Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. Judging by this piece, and by recent statements from Romney himself, the G.O.P. campaign still doesn’t have a recovery program worth the name. Indeed, if we are to believe the evidence of our eyes and ears, he remains committed to immediate spending cuts that could well bring on another recession..

    The Republican answer is, as it has been in recent years, “no use the growth numbers we give you and all will be fine.”

    Do you think those growth numbers are “promises” Doug?

  3. Clanton says:

    President Obama should meet with business leaders and listen to what they think needs to be done. I hear a lot from people I know concerning excessive government regulations, rules, procedures, permits, etc. It is not just the Federal government, but state and local pile it on too. Many overlap, are repetitive, confusing, and totally unnecessary. Also, a lot of taxes on businesses probably have a negative effect and will get worse when the health program kicks in.
    Some of these taxes could be dropped or at least suspended until things get better.
    An extreme example of Federal over regulating was the recent disaster with the little league ball field – was shut down because a mirror in the restroom was 1/4 ” too low!

  4. LaMont says:

    Doug

    Your “glass half empty” perspective is really getting old! You can’t even give credit to a jobs report that turned out better than expectations. Instead you choose to commit an entire blog crapping on it.

    Fact of the matter is, I don’t care if the jobs report showed a net increase of only 25,000. The amount of jobs that has been gained (and is steadily gaining although not by much) under this current administration is nothing short of amazing considering the obstruction given from the right since Pres Obama took office.

  5. @Clanton:

    Obama gets very little credit for his reductions to regulation.

    It almost seems like people would rather complain than work with that.

  6. al-Ameda says:

    Far from “Good News”? Actually, it is “good news.” Is it great? Of course not, but it is good.

    From my perspective, the Romney plan to reduce the top marginal tax bracket rate from 34% to 25% while increasing defense spending is not “good news.”

  7. LaMont says:

    @Clanton:

    You may not know this but businesses have been enjoying lesser regulations in general since Reagan took office. Yes, there sre nuances of regulations that steps on the nerves of many business leaders. However, many of these regulations are unfortunately the cost of doing bussiness. Just becuase regulations many times are not ran with all efficiency does not mean it should go away. That is not a solution (see SEC oversight leading to and during the financial meltdown – should the SEC be dismantled).

  8. al-Ameda says:

    @Clanton:

    An extreme example of Federal over regulating was the recent disaster with the little league ball field – was shut down because a mirror in the restroom was 1/4 ” too low!

    Is this urban legend? Where did that happen?

  9. @al-Ameda:

    Yeah, that story fails the smell test. Think about the things health departments will only “warn” on. Now somebody is going to “shut down” on mirror height. No way.

  10. @Clanton:

    An extreme example of Federal over regulating was the recent disaster with the little league ball field – was shut down because a mirror in the restroom was 1/4 ” too low!

    I have to call foul on this one. First, I visit a lot of ball fields in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida because my kids play travel soccer. Trust me: the state of the bathrooms have nothing to do with whether the facilities are open or not.

    Second, and to get beyond the anecdotal: this is not an area that the federal government would jurisdiction over, aside from ADA compliance (which would have to do with accessibility to the restroom).

  11. LaMont says:

    Clanton

    Allow me to rant a little

    Corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars in cash, profits are higher, wallstreet has almost recovered to pre-meltdown conditions, operating efficency has dramactically climbed (i.e. lesser workers doing more overtime leading to higher profits), and taxes are much lower than they have been for the last 10 years. America is hurting but corporations are not on that list. Any regulations we have today I’m sure has a negigible affect on rather these CEOs can afford to send their kids to college.

    You have an argument for small businesses but Pres Obama have policies on the table (that will never make it throught today’s congress) with purposes of alleviating small business hardships.

  12. C. Clavin says:

    @ Clanton…

    “…An extreme example of Federal over regulating was the recent disaster with the little league ball field – was shut down because a mirror in the restroom was 1/4 ” too low!”

    I want a link, or at least some more information on this.
    I deal with Building Codes, including the ADA, every single day.
    This story does not pass the giggle test.

  13. LaMont says:

    @LaMont:

    whether not “rather”

  14. Ben Wolf says:

    @al-Ameda:

    From my perspective, the Romney plan to reduce the top marginal tax bracket rate from 34% to 25% while increasing defense spending is not “good news.”

    The irony is that these two policy changes would be mildly stimulative.

  15. PGlenn says:

    Clanton’s example does sound like urban legend. But the Urban Policy Working Group is not a legend – it’s real and ready to roll in the event that Obama is reelected.

    Pay special attention to the Sustainable Communities Initiative:

    The goal of the sustainable communities initiative is to coordinate Federal policies, programs and resources to encourage and fully assist cities, metros and rural areas to build sustainable communities. This will require aligning Federal transportation, housing, water and other environmental infrastructure, economic and environmental policies, programs and funding. More specifically, it means Federal Agencies’ actions and investments should measurably help our Nation’s communities and regions in making wise sustainable investment choices that will provide residents with a mix of housing options suitable for families of all income levels; support an array of transportation options that provide convenient and affordable access to jobs, education, retail and services; and prioritize development in existing communities, including infill development and Brownfield clean-up.

    The non-threatening use of innocuous-sounding adjectives makes this initiative sound nice and cozy, doesn’t it? But where do suburs/exurbs fit into this initiative?

    Also, any chance that this initiative will involve a significant amount of regulatory “nudging” to get regions/metros to become more sustainable? And, if so, will these nudges affect some of the businesses that Clanton is talking about, many of which have operations located in suburbs/exurbs?

  16. C. Clavin says:

    FYI…mirror height is an ADA issue.
    ADA does not become an issue until someone files a complaint/suit.
    Even then the first recourse is for the owner to correct the deficiency.
    Frankly this strikes me as one of Jan’s fantasies.

  17. Scott says:

    @Clanton: I am sympathetic to the claim of overregulating but I want specifics. Give me examples of a regulation, how much it costs and what is the benefit so that we can weigh the value. I never see that. All I ever hear is vague claims of burdens on business or claims of costs without hearing about the benefits.

  18. @PGlenn:

    Hmm, but right above that, on the same page, was “Place-Based Policy Review”

    Last summer, President Obama directed the Office of Management and Budget, the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, and the Office of Urban Affairs to conduct a comprehensive review of federal programs impacting places, the first of its kind in thirty years. The review represented an important first step toward leveraging federal investments in an integrated way, on a regional scale, and in a particular place to have the most transformative impact.

    That sounds opposite from what you feared!

  19. anjin-san says:

    FYI…mirror height is an ADA issue.

    It’s worth noting that the ADA became law in 1990.

    But, but, but, but, Obama!

  20. slimslowslider says:

    @PGlenn:

    Also, any chance that this initiative will involve a significant amount of regulatory “nudging” to get regions/metros to become more sustainable? And, if so, will these nudges affect some of the businesses that Clanton is talking about, many of which have operations located in suburbs/exurbs?

    probably not

  21. al-Ameda says:

    @Ben Wolf:
    Absolutely, Ben.
    And it shows you that Republicans are not serious about the deficit, they are serious about their “Anybody But Obama” strategy, and their Tax Cut Fetish.

  22. @C. Clavin:

    FYI…mirror height is an ADA issue.
    ADA does not become an issue until someone files a complaint/suit.
    Even then the first recourse is for the owner to correct the deficiency.
    Frankly this strikes me as one of Jan’s fantasies.

    I have no problem believing that there are regulations about mirror heights in the ADA, so I should have been clearer.

    But, as you note: someone has to complain. The odds that someone complained that a mirror was 1/4″ too low and that the whole ball field was closed down as a result is, as you say, fantastical.

  23. PGlenn says:

    @john personna: Why does it sound opposite? You might be right, but if members of the UPWG are like a lot of “new urbanists” whom I know personally, let me breakdown the meaning (and subtext) of the burb on Place-based Policy Review:

    For the first time in decades, the Federal Government has been taking a comprehensive look at how its policies impact the way urban and rural areas develop and how well those places support the people who live there.

    The UPWG wil conclude (or already has) that many of the places do NOT well support the people who live there and thus require “fixing.”

    This “place-based” approach is a long overdue effort to help places work better for people.

    So how do we fix these regions? The full-weight of the federal government:

    Last summer, President Obama directed the Office of Management and Budget, the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, and the Office of Urban Affairs to conduct a comprehensive review of federal programs impacting places, the first of its kind in thirty years.

    This is subtext directed at those who believe the federal government “abandoned” the innnercities after WWII, but especially since the 1970s, when “regionalism” among other pro-“urbanist” movements lost some leverage.

    The review represented an important first step toward leveraging federal investments in an integrated way, on a regional scale, and in a particular place to have the most transformative impact.

    Time for regionalism to make a comeback, but this time it will be on steroids, because if we don’t start building “sustainable communities,” we’ll destroy the planet, among many other calamities.

    We are building upon the progress made last year by initiating the second annual place-based review of agency programs as part of the preparation of the President’s FY 2012 Budget.

    The White House isn’t just going to be paying lipservice to these issues. We’re going to put our money where our mouths are.

    Our goal is to continue to apply placed-based principles to existing policies, potential reforms, and new and promising innovations with a particular focus on strengthening economic growth and achieving greater cost effectiveness.

    Economic growth and greater cost effectiveness = reurbanization (or urban re-densification) and the reempowerment of urban polical coalitions.

  24. @PGlenn:

    I say opposite because they have the OMB there looking at regional impact. If that is serious at all, they aren’t going to do policies with negative impact.

    On New Urbanism, many builders are jumping on that bandwagon. If government is helping builders create and sell attractive properties is that bad?

    Give the people what they want: A walkable city

  25. Scott O says:
  26. (I think maybe PG is afraid of walkable cities, because people who walk might start liking each other.)

  27. bk says:

    If only Obama would stop vetoing all of the jobs bills that come out of the House and are approved by the Senate, right?

  28. C. Clavin says:

    Taxes and regulations? The private sector made 172,000 jobs. The Public Sector cut 9,000.
    George Bush added over 4% to the Public Sector. Obama has lost almost 3% in the Public Sector. That’s a delta of over 7%. If Obama did what Republicans always do when they are in office and grow the Government and add tons of Government jobs…we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.
    Is the Public Sector hampering itself with regulations and taxes?
    It’s a ridiculous argument. It’s not taxes, and it’s not regulations, and it’s not the dread UNCERTAINTY.
    The Public Sector is what is holding back the recovery.
    Republicans are holding back the Public Sector.
    Hang them all for treason and get the economy going again.
    Simple.

  29. PGlenn says:

    @slimslowslider: said that it is “probably not” the case that the White House’s UPWG will succeed in pushing the federal government to put any regulatory muscle behind its recommendations. I’m guessing that you agree with the UPWG’s goals, but that you’re skeptical that they’ll be seriously implemented.

    If so, perhaps you’re right. But what does that suggest, logically?

    A). Global Warming/Climate Change is a potentially cataclysmic problem that we must address with any and all reasonable public policy measures at all levels of American government and international spheres.

    B). Land development, transportation, building, etc. patterns are an integral factor in the emissions of carbon dioxide. To seriously confront the problem of global warming, we must make very serious efforts to promote development, transportation, building patterns that are more environmentally “sustainable,” etc.

    C). The Obama administration claims to agree with propositions A & B above but is only paying lip service to them, telling some political allies what they want to hear, etc. – it’s not serious enough to promote federal-level or federally-imposed/incentivized regulatory measures and/or reallocate federal resources consistent with belief in props A & B.

    Or, the Obama administration does not really agree with propositions A or B?

  30. C. Clavin says:

    @ SLT…
    Yeah…and it’s true…to those of us who can walk, see, hear, etc. the ADA regs can seem silly.
    They now have regs about miniature horses that can be service animals. Just wait until one gets put next to you on an airplane!!!

  31. PGlenn says:

    @john personna: that’s right, libertarians hate it when people walk and communicate with eacother. All that stuff we preach about promoting civil society . . . we see walking while talking to be a real threat to that!

    But we’re talking about whether a niche of developers want to build new urbanist developments (some of which are located on greenfields in the exurbs, btw) or whether some consumers want to rent/purchase those properties. All power to them! I live in a walkable, neo-traditional, inner-ring suburban neighborhood myself.

    We’re talking about whether federal policy will become considerably more pro-urbanist on a grand scale.

  32. Scott says:

    @PGlenn: Since there are a lot of policies already in place, why shouldn’t they be reviewed? Current policies already nudge urban, suburban, and exurban development. Some are positive, some are negative. Unfortunately, in any policy change (or nudging) there will be winners and losers. Yes, this policy group may have a specific viewpoint but let’s not forget that currenty policies are benefiting specific groups also.

  33. @PGlenn:

    I needled you on the “like each other” thing because you wrote “the reempowerment of urban polical coalitions.”

    We’re talking about whether federal policy will become considerably more pro-urbanist on a grand scale.

    A lot hangs on “grand scale” being something scary.

  34. jan says:

    @Clanton:

    You might not know this, but if you don’t post a link then whatever you say either isn’t true, doesn’t matter, or simply doesn’t exist. That story you posted may have been anecdotally accurate. But, with this crowd it becomes an Urban Myth, or a lie. If I were to cite the burger place, less than a mile from where I am right now, that took just short of 2 years of regulations to navigate through, before being able to open for business (even though there had been a prior cafe there), that too would be maligned, because there is nothing to link it to for these people to eyeball and then approve/disapprove.

    However, this is the same crew who crows about Harry Reid’s claims aimed at Romney — baseless garbage that apparently passes their proverbial ‘smell test ‘. There are also those who rail against showing proof who you are in order to vote, calling it voter suppression. But, I guess it is much more of an egregious act to not post a link to a comment than it is to produce ID in order to verify one’s right to vote.

    And, as an aside to the Hot Air link above, Reid may have stepped in it by his ‘hot air’ assertion:

    Reid, who also refuses to release his own tax returns, isn’t just a hypocrite and a slanderer. He’s also a political idiot. Until these attacks, Romney was on the defensive over his tax returns. Now Romney can paint his decision to keep them private as a principled stand against unscrupulous opponents. Reid has handed the high ground to Romney in this fight with his scurrilous lies. Reid has all but ruined Obama’s strategy of making Romney look secretive and weird.

    In the weird world of politics, this tactic may have turned on Reid/Obama……

    BTW, the Federal Disability Act sets rigid rules for access and heights of fixtures. A local zealous building inspector can intervene in giving a final approval by calling out something as small as a mirror height, the wrong kind of door knob, etc. if it conflicts with Federal law.

  35. @PGlenn:

    A). Global Warming/Climate Change is a potentially cataclysmic problem that we must address with any and all reasonable public policy measures at all levels of American government and international spheres.

    Straw man.

  36. @jan:

    Truth is a bitch.

  37. michael reynolds says:

    The political impact is this: it slows the Romney narrative yet again. A really bad number would have accelerated it.

    Mr. Romney has a narrative: The economy sucks, it’s going to keep on sucking as long as Mr. Obama is in office, I’m the guy to fix it because I’m a businessman and a sporting event organizer.

    There are fewer than 100 days to election day. Each day that passes where Romney is off-message, it’s a win for Mr. Obama. When he’s talking about tax returns, gaffes, his absurd tax plan, whatever, he’s off-message. He could have used a really bad jobs report because that would have helped his hapless campaign get back on-track.

    There’s a steady 2 point popular vote gap and a steady electoral lead, both favoring Mr. Obama. Mr. Romney’s unfavorables remain very high. So Romney has to change the dynamic. He’s failed to do so thus far. Next chance: the convention which starts in a little over three weeks.

  38. PGlenn says:

    @john personna: please see my comment to slimslowslider at 11:20 above. If the Obama administration is serious about global warming, how does it not attempt to implement pro-urban policy (“sustainable communities”) on a grand scale?

  39. PGlenn says:

    @john personna: strawman? So how seriously does the Obama administration take global warming? Is it a minor or major problem to them? Can public policy do anything about and to what extent? Are you speaking for yourself (what I consider to be quite reasonable views on global warming), or the Urban Policy Working Group and its allies?

  40. @jan:

    There is a mighty difference between this:

    A local zealous building inspector can intervene in giving a final approval by calling out something as small as a mirror height, the wrong kind of door knob, etc. if it conflicts with Federal law.

    And this:

    An extreme example of Federal over regulating was the recent disaster with the little league ball field – was shut down because a mirror in the restroom was 1/4 ” too low!

    Do I think it is possible that when a facility was being built that an inspector said: “to comply with ADA that mirror has to be moved”? Sure, and I don’t find that onerous. Do I think that an entire little league field was shut down because a mirror was off my a quarter of an inch? No, I do not.

    Yes, there are a lot of regulations, many for very good reasons and some, I am sure, that could be reformed. The problem with this narrative is, however, the notion that regulations are a) all bad, b) all came out of nowhere in January of 2009, and therefore c) the state of the economy is due regulations

  41. @PGlenn:

    It is a straw man argument to suggest that “Obama being serious” is equal to “Obama being willing to crash the economy.”

    Can you name an actual policy proposal by the Obama administration on GW that is scary at all?

    The whole EPA thing was second-order scary. That is, conservatives were scared that if the EPA got into it then they might introduce something scary. Something unnamed.

  42. michael reynolds says:

    @jan:

    If I were to cite the burger place, less than a mile from where I am right now, that took just short of 2 years of regulations to navigate through

    If this happened, it’s about local and state regs, and nothing to do with Obama or the federal government. The most onerous regulations on business – zoning, health and in California handicapped issues — are state and local. I was involved in opening a deli some 35 years ago in California. We were required to build a ramp despite the business being below street level. Long before the ADA.

  43. michael reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    What Jan is rather missing is that California state regs on handicapped access – and a host of other matters – are more onerous than federal regs and preceded those federal standards.

  44. anjin-san says:

    BTW, the Federal Disability Act sets rigid rules for access and heights of fixtures.

    And it did so 18 years before Obama took office.

    What exactly is the conservative message to people in wheelchairs ‘ “good luck gimp, you are on your own?”

  45. Modulo Myself says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Wow. You didn’t put on a silly hat, subscribe to several newsletters, and join a taxpayer revolt? People like you lack the honest American pioneer ethos that requires you go to pieces at the slightest obstacle.

  46. PGlenn says:

    @john personna: now you’re building a strawman. I never said that the Obama administration was willing to crash the economy. I strongly suspect that members of the UPWG believe that pursuance of their recommendations will actually make for a more diverse, robust economy, possibly including stardard GDP growth (although they might be apt to view economic policy in a more “holistic” sense).

    Again, I don’t think my questions are that controversial – Does the Obama administration take global warming to be a serious problem? If so, how can the administration not pursue an aggressive line on “sustainable communiities.” I hope you’re right that I’m building a strawman, but I suspect not.

    The controversial part of my argument (although I haven’t gotten to that stage of the discussion) concern my views on global warming, regional development, transportation, etc.

  47. @PGlenn:

    I used rhetorical flourish 😉

    Again, I don’t think my questions are that controversial – Does the Obama administration take global warming to be a serious problem? If so, how can the administration not pursue an aggressive line on “sustainable communiities.” I hope you’re right that I’m building a strawman, but I suspect not.

    Show me something real. Show me a link.

    I know Jan thinks it is a liberal plot, when we try to tie thought to reality, but let’s give it a go.

  48. anjin-san says:

    California state regs on handicapped access

    The Unruh Act. A well intentioned, but flawed law that is in need of reform.

  49. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:

    You might not know this, but if you don’t post a link then whatever you say either isn’t true, doesn’t matter, or simply doesn’t exist. That story you posted may have been anecdotally accurate. But, with this crowd it becomes an Urban Myth, or a lie.

    So is it, or is it not, an urban legend? As you know, your crowd has a tendency to create alternative realities.

  50. C. Clavin says:

    @ JAn…
    Harry Reid is running for President???
    I had no idea.

  51. Modulo Myself says:

    @PGlenn:

    I think it’s pretty clear that the Obama administration doesn’t feel that climate change is a serious problem. Or if they do feel it is, they aren’t acting on it, considering that nothing came out of the Rio conference.

  52. bk says:

    @PGlenn:

    If the Obama administration is serious about global warming, how does it not attempt to implement pro-urban policy (“sustainable communities”) on a grand scale?

    Are you serious? You can’t even float a proposal for bike paths these days without getting the mouthbreathing “UNITED NATIONS AGENDA!!!!! SOSHULISM!!!!” response.

  53. rudderpedals says:

    Austerity or healthy employment. You only get to pick one. It’s an XOR

  54. C. Clavin says:

    If Jan’s burger place took two years to navigate the reg’s…it’s because there was some bizarre sort of issue…and issue she is not mentioning (lying by omission)…and an issue that a link would probably provide.
    There is a recent episode where Fox News did some deal on kids and it taking some crazy amount of time to get a permit for a lemonade stand. Of course when the facts were examined it ended up being not true.
    Jan won’t link to anything because she knows shes fibbing to make her point.

  55. wr says:

    @jan: Man, it really seems to cause you pain that people don’t automatically believe whatever nonsense you post. Apparently we’re all just big meanies out to hurt your feelings by requesting that when you make ludicrous claims you can actually back them up.

    As for the cutesy opinion piece you quote, all I can say is you must think the American people are morons. A candidate for president insists on hiding every record about his professional and financial past, but you believe that if he’s called on it, everyone will rush to his defense.

    One question: How well has this tactic worked for you? Has your refusing to post evidence of your claims here in the face of repeated calls to do so made people more prone to believe in you?

  56. Modulo Myself says:

    @PGlenn:

    As far as your larger point goes, there may be a few favorable tiny nudges given to sustainable development, but the idea that Obama’s second term will be the beginning of the reversal of the massive five million pound sumo nudge that was given by every form government to create the suburban United States is ludicrous.

  57. PGlenn says:

    @john personna: I was asking whether you perceived that the Obama administration views global warming to be a serious problem that must be addressed aggressively, proactively via federal policy?

    But I take a very cursory look at some of their materials and your (implied) point might have some merit. This blog post from the H.U.D. secretary is kind of what I’m seeing as far as polisy “PR” materials. They do not seem to be stressing the Global Warming Alarmism line, preferring to emphasize happy-sounding concepts that will appeal to the broadest constituencies – “healthy communities,” living near work, more inclusive communities, etc.

    So, what is an environmentalist to think? That the White House is not especially serious about Climate Change?

  58. michael reynolds says:

    @Modulo Myself:
    Thought about it, but decided instead just to build the ramp.

  59. slimslowslider says:

    @PGlenn:

    None of the above. I am used to almost 40 years of those on the right screeching about this and that and not seeing it come true. Maybe this will be different, but I doubt it so I said “probably not.”

  60. Modulo Myself says:

    @C. Clavin:

    What’s bizarre is the mentality about regulations. Everyone I’ve ever known who has started a business has done the actual work beforehand to get the business started because they wanted to start said business. It’s not like a friend who began a daycare center was like, “Screw it–the government wants me to have fire extinguishers and background checks for sex offenders and demonstrably clean water, so I’m not going to bother.”

    Basically, you go on with your life, expecting stupidity to occur, and try to do what you set out to do.

    But the entire right wing, though they hate poor people who fail, have no problems with being turned into infants by anything and everything that might occur to them. I’m at the point of believing that with people like Jan, everything she ever says is just running commentary about her own life and grievances and it has nothing to do with anything else that might have happened to other people.

    You have to wonder, watching Romney flail around, if this is the case when you scale upwards economically. I mean, is he just a cheap clever suit who is always on the make?

  61. Cycloptichorn says:

    @jan:

    That analysis of the Reid thing by Morrissey is absolutely idiotic. I lol’d when I read it this morning, but I’m somehow unsurprised to see you parroting it here.

    I’ve been seeing Conservatives claiming that Romney’s taxes are a ‘dying issue’ for two straight months now. They sure don’t seem to have died out. Polling in every swing state shows majorities over 50% who want to see the dude release more tax information. He’s simply a fool not to do so, even if he’ll take a short-term hit on the contents – Obama is going to fillet him on this issue in the Fall debates.

    Regarding claims on the internet, and proof to support them, anyone should be willing to link to factual attribution, or admit they have none. It’s just too easy to make up BS and try and use it to support an ideological position.

  62. @PGlenn:

    Global warming is real, and response is split between those who see the potential damage as experiential or economic. An experiential concern might be “can I still camp in the redwoods and catch salmon?” The economic version would be “what does camping and fishing really add to the economy?”

    There is a split, broadly, between the experiential or economic views. The first desires a verdant world, the second says WALL-E and pizza in a cup is fine, as long as everyone makes enough money.

    Obama’s constituencies are split along those lines as well, though I’d say the economists are wining, even with him.

    They do indeed accept a diminished world, in exchange for higher GDP.

  63. michael reynolds says:

    I disagree that Jan knowingly posts bullsh!t. Yes, it’s bullsh!t, but she doesn’t know it.

    Basically you can just think of Jan as a repeater of anecdotes taken from Fox and Limbaugh and the rest. She hears it, she believes it, and she’s amazed each time someone calls bullsh!t on it.

    And the fact that she’s blown up virtually every time she says anything is of course meaningless to her because facts are meaningless to her: she knows what she knows and that’s it.

    They do a bit on Howard Stern’s show where they record an interview, break it into chunks and use those snippets of dialog to make prank phone calls. The result is the victim ends up arguing vociferously with a tape recording. Jan is that tape recorder. But not funny.

  64. PGlenn says:

    @Modulo Myself:At some point, I’d be pleased to discuss with you (and others who’ve made similar points) the point that previously federal policy was more pro-suburban (“sumo nudge”), but I’ve already probably stretched the limits of relevancy to the original topic.

    What I’m suggesting – which is kinda relevant to this topic of jobs, regulations, and Obama – is what you’ve conceded: that “there may be a few favorable tiny nudges given to sustainable development” in the event of a second Obama term.

    Yet we never hear about this priority in Obama’s campaign materials and speeches. If urban/regional policy is set to change in the event of Obama getting elected, perhaps the Obama campaign should let a wider cross-section of constituencies in on the plan?

  65. @PGlenn:

    So it is vague fear against vague opportunity?

  66. stonetools says:

    I would say that 99 percent of all conservative stories are either pure myth or a mix of fact and fancy, so I would insist on links. Remember, Reagan’s Cadillac driving welfare queens?

    The most famous myth about welfare may be the one begun by Ronald Reagan on the 1976 campaign trail: the story of a woman from Chicago’s South Side who was arrested for welfare fraud. “She has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards and is collecting veteran’s benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names.” Many investigative reporters tried to track down this “Welfare Queen”. She didn’t exist. David Zucchino, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, spent a year with two welfare mothers in Philadelphia and wrote a book comparing the image to the reality in The Myth of the Welfare Queen

    http://anitra.net/homelessness/columns/anitra/eightmyths.html

    The regulation stories are like that. Links , please.

  67. C. Clavin says:

    “…A local zealous building inspector can intervene in giving a final approval by calling out something as small as a mirror height, the wrong kind of door knob, etc. if it conflicts with Federal law…”

    For once Jan typed something true. However, the problem is not the Regulations. Hundreds of thousands of buildings get built without a major problem. Just because some hack is unable to follow the building code is not a reason to start building unsafe buildings. Bad cases make for bad laws.
    Anyway…I would love it if Jan explained how regulations on mirror height or door levers (the wrong door lever shape can catch fire-hoses) are responsible for the elimination of over a million public sector jobs…and if so…why didn’t Bush get rid of these onerous regulations when he had the House and Senate? When answering she should keep in mind that the Bush Administration added far more regulations than has the Obama Administration.

  68. mantis says:

    @jan:

    Now Romney can paint his decision to keep them private as a principled stand against unscrupulous opponents. Reid has handed the high ground to Romney in this fight with his scurrilous lies. Reid has all but ruined Obama’s strategy of making Romney look secretive and weird.

    Yes, I’m sure voters will totally believe that RMoney won’t release years of tax returns like his dad and pretty much every presidential candidate since has because Harry Reid is a big meanie. Not only will they believe that is the reason, and not that RMoney has something to hide in his finances, but they will find his “principled stand” as honorable and right and not just the privileged obstinence of a entitled billionaire who doesn’t have to answer to voters.

  69. Modulo Myself says:

    @PGlenn:

    I just don’t know what to tell you. Obama can’t talk about the existence of roads and other humans without people losing it. I’m sure that his campaign is just dying to set up some potential sound bites where policy proposals will be elevated into Khmer Rouge desuburbanization programs.

    Are you saying that there’s something nefarious going on here? Aside from Obama’s desire to be reelected?

  70. sam says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I disagree that Jan knowingly posts bullsh!t. Yes, it’s bullsh!t, but she doesn’t know it.

    Yeah. The locus classicus was her asserting as the stone truth that the members of Seal Team Six refused to meet with their Commander-in-Chief after the OBL raid. Anybody who says or thinks such a thing has no knowledge of how the military works. That’s way beyond bullshit into the delusional range.

  71. stonetools says:

    If you talk to economists and not right wing bloggers, Its pretty clear why the economy is stalled and its not regulations. Essentially, the economy is stalled because businesses aren’t hiring. Businesses aren’t hiring because there is no demand. There is no demand because people aren’t buying. People aren’t buying because they aren’t working. And they aren’t working because …..
    The scholarly consensus is that the way out of the vicious circle is another round of fiscal and monetary stimulus to follow up on the (insufficient) stimulus we got in 2009. Unfortunately, Obama and Congress undersized the first stimulus and then the Republicans have been blocking any further stimulus since. Also, too, Obama created another rod for his own back by reappointing Ben Bernanke, who seems bent on repeating the mistakes the Fed made in the 1930s which led to a deepening of the Great Depression.
    Frankly, the only hope I see is to unelect the knuckleheads we elected in 2010 and maybe have Obama hit Bernanke upside his head.

  72. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: On behalf of my late father, who spent the last thirty years of his life in a wheelchair, I thank you.

  73. grumpy realist says:

    @Clanton: If you don’t like the regulations surrounding business, make sure that your business acts in such a way that the regulations don’t need to get passed.

    See, e.g., why the FDA got created. If you don’t like bitching about the evil government monitoring about what you put in your foodstuffs, don’t have a history of carelessly dumping arsenic in everything.

  74. PGlenn says:

    @Modulo Myself: you’re definitely on the right track in your comment at 12:56, but it would take some effort for us to “unpack” what you’re saying, what I’m saying, what the Obama campaign is not saying (because of his desire to get reelected).

    A couple of quick points, though. First, either the UPWG initiatives will have some muscle behind them, or they won’t. If they will, then it would be bordering on undemocratic “progressive” elitism for the Obama campaign and/or media covering the campaign to avoid those plans altogether as a campaign issue, don’t you think? And how do we know whether it’s a serious, agressive initiative or not, since they’re not talking about it? For prudence sake, shouldn’t we assume that it’s a serious initiative unless or until we hear otherwise?

    How many other policy initiatives does the administration have set for the second administration that they can’t talk about?

    Conversely, say what you want about the “sumo”-weighted politics and policy that have historically supported suburbanization in America, but, brother, those policies were developed out of popular democratic processes. It’s not like the housing and highway bills of the 1940s, 50s, 60s had to be flown in under the radar like “sustainable communities” apparently have to be.

  75. PGlenn says:

    @Modulo Myself: p.s., Oh, and this . . .

    Obama can’t talk about the existence of roads and other humans without people losing it. I’m sure that his campaign is just dying to set up some potential sound bites where policy proposals will be elevated into Khmer Rouge desuburbanization programs.

    . . . is going to happen, anyway, whether Obama raises the issue himself or other people have to do it.

  76. C. Clavin says:

    “…How many other policy initiatives does the administration have set for the second administration that they can’t talk about?…”

    Seriously?
    I’m sure Obama is coming for all of our guns on January 21st, 2013.
    Meantime the entire Romney campaign is an initiative he can’t talk about.
    From the AP:

    “…GOLDEN, Colo. — Returning to his economic message, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney claimed that his economic plan would generate 12 million jobs in four years, though he offered no details on how. In Florida, President Barack Obama jabbed that Romney was offering nothing but “trickle-down tax cut fairy dust…”

  77. PGlenn says:

    @C. Clavin: It sounds like Obama believes that opponents in presidential campaigns should offer a lot of policy details. So, let’s hear about the “sustainable communities” initiatives among other policy areas Obama has in mind for the second administration. Or, is openness to discussing policy details something that Obama believes only Romney should exercise?

  78. PGlenn says:

    @C. Clavin: Besides, Modulo Myself just stated at 12:56 that it would be a bad idea for Obama to talk about “sustainable communities” and other related policy initiatives – i.e., they have something to hide, which is policy topics that might be politically inconvenient. Are you suggesting that Modulo is paranoid, dishonest, what?

    Or is it only paranoid when a “reich winger” makes the same point as a progressive?

  79. J-Dub says:

    @Scott: I’ll give you an example of over-regulation. Most jurisdictions don’t allow rats in commercial kitchens. Do you have any idea how much an exterminator costs?

  80. C. Clavin says:

    “…sustainable communities” initiatives among other policy areas Obama has in mind for the second administration…”

    I’m sure he is going to inter all the Republicans that vote against him at Gitmo.
    What f’ing nonsense.

  81. Folderol & Ephemera says:

    @PGlenn:

    Couldn’t let this one go by without answering:

    So, what is an environmentalist to think? That the White House is not especially serious about Climate Change?

    Yes. Major carbon reduction policies appear to be politically impossible to implement at this time, and Mr. Obama is not especially interested in attempting impossible things. I would think that almost all politically engaged environmentalists are painfully aware of this.

    (And most of this talk about “sustainable development” that worries you so much is just that: talk, without any teeth. Bike paths instead of a carbon tax. Whistling past the graveyard.)

  82. PGlenn says:

    @C. Clavin: you remind me of juror #3 from 12 Angry Men.

  83. anjin-san says:

    The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990[1][2] (ADA) is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990. It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush

    On September 25, 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). This was intended to give broader protections for disabled workers and “turn back the clock” on court rulings which Congress deemed too restrictive.[5] The ADAAA includes a list of “major life activities.”

    That Obama is just killing us with regulations…

  84. john personna says:

    @Folderol & Ephemera:

    (And most of this talk about “sustainable development” that worries you so much is just that: talk, without any teeth. Bike paths instead of a carbon tax. Whistling past the graveyard.)

    But that’s the theme for the day. Talk is just so scary.

  85. C. Clavin says:

    @ PGlenn…
    You remind me of Steve King (R-Iowa)

  86. Karin B says:

    Hi Doug, it’s a common mistake these days, but the possessive form of it (its) does NOT have an appostrophe! (Your first paragraph — when you refer to its share of problems…). Any time you are confused, remember, only use “it’s” when you can substitute “it is” in its place. Get it? Otherwise, love the thoughts…

  87. jan says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’m disappointed by your comments. When I first logged onto this site, I thoroughly read your written contributions. We even had a few interesting, civil back and forth disagreements. However, all you engage in now is what common-denominator liberals seem to stoop to, when they have nothing else to offer — a sarcastic mischaracterization of others, replete with tired, false repetitious personal diatribes. Maybe these vacuous, glib remarks keep dribbling out because snark is so easy to bang out. Or, maybe you are just another iconoclastic human being, with nothing left to share, other than the spittle of a junkyard dog .

  88. anjin-san says:

    @ Jan

    When I first logged onto this site, I thoroughly read your written contributions. We even had a few interesting, civil back and forth disagreements

    Then your pattern of being a serial liar, combined with endless cut n’ pastes from right wing rant sites, which does not really support your claim to be a moderate/nonpartisan type.

    Everyone is sick of your act. If you want to know why, look within. Or, be a boilerplate conservative – play the victim and whine about mean liberals.

  89. michael reynolds says:

    @jan:

    You say things you can’t back up. You say things you can’t explain or defend. You say things that are obviously untrue and when questioned you start waving your hands and whining.

    It’s pretty simple, Jan: you’re not honest, and in the long run that’s fatal in an extended give and take. A point your candidate might want to consider.

  90. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I agree, michael. I am certain that she is not lying deliberately. She just knows what she knows, however completely wrong it might be. Of course, no one can convince her that she’s wrong. There’s too much emotional investment in knowing what she knows and trying to prove that others are wrong (otherwise, why even bother coming to a place like this). Of course, we’re all a bit guilty of this, as I think you’ve said before, michael.

    @jan :

    But here’s my proposal to you, Jan. Let’s be scientific about it. Right now, it looks like Obama might get reelected. If that indeed happens, why don’t you write ten things that you know for sure Obama will do. But actually write them down, don’t just think them, so you can come back and check what you wrote. If after four years none of that has happened (and I could almost guarantee that none of that will happen) you might ask yourself, how could I be so wrong? what prompted me to be so misguided? If you’re honest with yourself, you might realize where all of this criticism that people are piling on you comes from.

    I promise to do the same thing if Romney wins.

  91. PGlenn says:

    @Latino_in_Boston: That’s a pretty reasonable proposal – to write down the ten things. We could all probably benefit from such an exercise.

  92. anjin-san says:

    @ Doug

    When we had a Republican in the White House, we were losing 500K jobs a month. Under Obama, we have added 4.5 million jobs in spite of shrinking government.

    That is good news.

  93. grumpy realist says:

    @PGlenn: And DEFINITELY have political pundits and anyone who claims to predict the future do this….

    (My proposal: any pundit/fortuneteller who gets less a 50% accuracy rate has to take a vow of silence for the next 5 years.)