The Recovery Act : Year 1

Posted by: garyW

The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 09:17 AM

For some this is proof that Obama is destroying the country laugh





Imagine if, one year ago, Congress had passed a stimulus bill that really worked. Letís say this bill had started spending money within a matter of weeks and had rapidly helped the economy. Letís also imagine it was large enough to have had a huge impact on jobs ó employing something like two million people who would otherwise be unemployed right now.

If that had happened, what would the economy look like today?

Well, it would look almost exactly as it does now. Because those nice descriptions of the stimulus that I just gave arenít hypothetical. They are descriptions of the actual bill.




Housing starts have now risen 21.1% in the past year, the largest year-over-year increase since April 2004. Building permits are up 16.9% in the past year, the largest year-over-year gain since May 2004.

U.S. Economy: Factory Production, Home Starts Exceed Forecasts. The 0.9 percent increase in production at factories, mines and utilities followed a 0.7 percent gain the prior month, according to the Federal Reserve in Washington. Figures from the Commerce Department today showed housing starts climbed to a 591,000 annual pace, exceeding the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.



Posted by: MacBozo

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 11:25 AM

Obviously, it's a huge failure since it didn't make everthing peachy in a matter of days when it took years of neglect to get the economy to collapse in the first place. crazy

The era of instant (and meaningless) fixes is over. This is going to take some time, just as President Obama said it would. Patience people. It is getting better.
Posted by: steveg

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 12:35 PM

Imagine how much more successful it would have been if Obama were a U.S. citizen!
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 12:38 PM

I think people are legitimately--more than legitimately, desperately concerned about the absence of jobs. In that situation it's almost impossible to hear, and if you hear, then almost impossible to accept that it will take time to make up for the decline in jobs that began in the last quarter of 2007. It doesn't help that so many people who are out for political advantage refuse to see that the plan has indeed begun to work, to be sure, but together with the absolutely understandable despair of so many people, what that political spinning means is that the president has to be constantly on the airwaves setting the record straight. He can't do it by sending out Timmy or Benny to carry the water. He's got to do it himself. Over and over and over and over and over. I think it would also help if he got a little of the Bill Clinton "feel your pain" touch. I personally don't like that, but have a feeling that it would be comforting for a lot of folks.
Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 01:49 PM

As I said before be careful reading those numbers .
Posted by: steveg

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 01:57 PM

Those are national averages. Mileage may vary in different parts of the country.
Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 02:10 PM

LOL

Take a look again at the (employment graph) one bar up the rest are all down .

Keep in mind the declining bars also means that there is no ONE left to lay off as well .

Sure the stimulus has helped in certain areas and in certain occupations - still has a long way to go , to even make up for jobs that were lost not to mention creating new ones
Posted by: steveg

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 02:23 PM

Quote:
Sure the stimulus has helped in certain areas and in certain occupations - still has a long way to go , to even make up for jobs that were lost not to mention creating new ones
<--Eureka! I think he's got it.

The point is how much worse things might very well have been without it.
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 02:38 PM

I'm not convinced it would be better/worse with or without the stimulus. The real problem was (still is) the credit crisis. Saving 2 million jobs is great, but when there are 20, 25 million others unemployed/underemployed the net effect is small overall.

Instead of tossing tons of money at temporary projects, I think what would be more beneficial, and get people back to work faster is expanding something like cash for clunkers, but include stuff we all need like refrigerators, washers, dryers and the like - and make it permanent. Then give huge incentives to consumers to purchase those products that are produced/assembled in the U.S.A. (maybe double the credit), and tax breaks to companies putting people to work making them.

As for housing, IMO houses are still too expensive. Prices need to come down more, and price increases need to slow down to sustainable levels.
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 02:49 PM

-700,000/month a year ago to -24,000/month isn't an improvement? The trend doesn't meet your standard of "improvement"? laugh

The uptick was temporary hiring in December ... as expected.
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 03:22 PM

Well, there is a point of view that postulates that since all the jobs that were lost haven't been recovered by the Stimulus legislation, it shouldn't be considered a success since none of the jobs that were created were "new", but just making up a little lost ground ...

Personally, I think this viewpoint misses the entire purpose of the legislation and fails to recognize that the saving of even 2 million jobs may have been the difference between a pretty bad disaster and outright economic devastation ...

The stimulus was never meant to be a curative -- just a holding action meant to stabilize things before they got even worse ...
Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 03:38 PM

Quote:
The stimulus was never meant to be a curative -- just a holding action meant to stabilize things before they got even worse


Right big Six

Again go and look at the graphs that GaryW posted <-- it is there Black and White . Now you can try and read it anyway you want .

If you had 100 employees and then laid off 50 and then laid off 20 , then a few months latter and then laid off 5 , which would show declining bars <--- does not in anyway means the stimulus package has kicked in - just mean you cannot lay off anymore people or just go out of business instead .
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 03:43 PM


Yes, it's definitely there in black & white ... it's called reversing a trend. It is a statistical correction in the economy.



Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 03:56 PM

Originally Posted By: garyW

Yes, it's definitely there in black & white ... it's called reversing a trend. It is a statistical correction in the economy.





Is there any numbers to suggest what is a natural correction ? ? versus what actually was the stimulus package ? ? <-- if so they should show that

Like I said you can only lay off so many people before you have to go out of business <-- these bars show that big time .
Posted by: steveg

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 04:41 PM

I'm starting to lose the distinction btwn this and your climate change argument.






Helllllllllllllp meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...

Helllllllllllllp meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...

Helllllllllllllp meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...


grin
Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 05:07 PM

Originally Posted By: steveg
I'm starting to lose the distinction btwn this and your climate change argument.






Helllllllllllllp meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...

Helllllllllllllp meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...

Helllllllllllllp meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...


grin


Because it is to complicated for you laugh

1- Climate change = No one is saying that global warming does not exist - The debate is how much is caused by humans -vs- natural . <-- kinda simple question .

2 - Stimulus package -vs- natural correction <-- kinda simple question , means at some point the jobs will come back with out a stimulus package to begin with --> sooner or later ? ? is the larger question

To trow a graph up that is really (vague) and say SEE the stimulus works is rather a very bold face statement , when there is far far to many variables thats not even in the graph
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 05:39 PM

Quote:
2 - Stimulus package -vs- natural correction <-- kinda simple question , means at some point the jobs will come back with out a stimulus package to begin with --> sooner or later ? ? is the larger question


Of course you're right if we're to believe that economics does not require verifiable quantitative statistics. But as with all other fields of science, your gut tells you that science, --- specially those verifiable quantitative statistics --- are wrong.

laugh

Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 05:44 PM

Quote:
means at some point the jobs will come back with out a stimulus package to begin with --> sooner or later ? ? is the larger question


I would think it might be possible to trace the retention of an existing job, or the creation of a new one, to the funding involved, and be able to say with a reasonable degree of certainty that absent such funding neither job would have existed ... which is what I gather the Administration has done (and most economists seem to agree that the Stimulus package did make things better than they might otherwise have been, which was the whole point) ...

You're right, though, that it could all be coincidence and things might have gotten better on their own in the same time frame -- but without being able to glimpse into that alternate timeline, we'll never really know for sure. All we can say, looking at the data in those charts, is that -- worst-case -- the legislation at least didn't appear to do any harm =)

Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 05:50 PM

The only way to test that proposition would be to do nothing and see what happens, so as soon as something gets done, the experiment is over. So from the perspective of what you're saying there can be never be any proof of success.
Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 05:59 PM

Originally Posted By: six_of_one
Quote:
means at some point the jobs will come back with out a stimulus package to begin with --> sooner or later ? ? is the larger question


I would think it might be possible to trace the retention of an existing job, or the creation of a new one, to the funding involved, and be able to say with a reasonable degree of certainty that absent such funding neither job would have existed ... which is what I gather the Administration has done (and most economists seem to agree that the Stimulus package did make things better than they might otherwise have been, which was the whole point) ...

You're right, though, that it could all be coincidence and things might have gotten better on their own in the same time frame -- but without being able to glimpse into that alternate timeline, we'll never really know for sure. All we can say, looking at the data in those charts, is that -- worst-case -- the legislation at least didn't appear to do any harm =)



Right

And the numbers game keep in mind only the first time numbers are counted when they first apply for UI benefits and are not counted the next month , nor are the people that are forced to retire , nor are the people that , well never applied for UI benefits , nor those new growth jobs that are supposed to be created every month . The list goes on .

Like I said the stimulus has worked to a point - but has a long long way to go
Posted by: steveg

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 06:25 PM

Quote:
Like I said the stimulus has worked to a point - but has a long long way to go
Then WTF are you arguing about? Everyone, including Obama, has said it has a long way to go. Sheesh!
Posted by: DLC

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 06:31 PM

Originally Posted By: carp
LOL

Take a look again at the (employment graph) one bar up the rest are all down .

Keep in mind the declining bars also means that there is no ONE left to lay off as well .

Sure the stimulus has helped in certain areas and in certain occupations - still has a long way to go , to even make up for jobs that were lost not to mention creating new ones


Steve I think you're missing a point... in 08 see how long the bars are down ?
In 09 they're down but getting shorter... the trend is towards the +..

wo the stimulus they could have been longer downward than 08.

Bottom line... things are improving though not as fast as we'd like.
It took years to fsck it up and it won't be corrected in 1-2 years.
Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 06:51 PM

Hate to say it like I said above .

Don't let the shorter bars fool you
Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 06:51 PM

Originally Posted By: steveg
Quote:
Like I said the stimulus has worked to a point - but has a long long way to go
Then WTF are you arguing about? Everyone, including Obama, has said it has a long way to go. Sheesh!


I said that above as well - so not sure whats your point ?
Posted by: steveg

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/17/10 07:04 PM

[groan]Good night, carp.[/groan]
Posted by: DLC

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 03:15 AM

So shorter bars = longer bars - no difference ?

That's like saying a 2 X 4 = a 4 X 4! wink

and it not just 1 shorter bar, but several, and it appears as time goes on they're getting shorter.

Sure this could all change, but it's the only "hard data" we can analyze - the rest is unknown.
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 07:08 AM

Quack! laugh
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 07:48 AM

The biggest problem that I see is getting consumer confidence going again. Until folks really start buying again, things are going to remain slow. Employers have cut staff way back and found that they can operate well enough at these staffing levels, so the incentive to rehire is simply not there yet.
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 10:30 AM

Apropos some of the discussion in this thread:

Same data, two different impressions

It's all a matter of how you choose to cook the data ;-)
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 10:44 AM

Are they the same data? The Organizing for America graph plots "Job Loss" data. The second chart plots "Cumulative Job Loss/Gain" data. Of course they look different.

Yet both are positive. The Job Loss data shows the trend has reversed. The Cumulative Job Loss/Gain data shows the trend has hit bottom. As Obama stated when he signed the Recovery Act, new job gains will lag. The first step is to stop the trend of job losses. Both graphs show the stimulus has been successful at that.



Posted by: steveg

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 10:49 AM

Interesting. But note that the second chart, though less dramatic, still shows a flattening of the dive, so while the aggregate ain't purty, it still shows at least a trend toward improvement. In the wider view, it's still just data, and not yet bankable, no matter which side you look at it from.
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 11:31 AM

Yes, they are the same data -- the first chart simply shows the individual monthly totals while the second adds/subtracts those from the running total. Same numbers, different impressions.

I gather Carp would say any legislation/program cannot be considered successful until the bars in the lower chart return to zero; while the counter to that is that the Stimulus wasn't designed to return the bars to zero, just to stop them going in the other direction, which both charts show is happening, whatever the cause ...

I find charts can be fascinating in the way they can be manipulated using the same data to emphasize different interpretations =)
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 01:57 PM

Well, cumulative figures will always show an increase so long as the same trend continues. Think about how a chart showing the cumulative national debt would look. Or maybe not. That would be too terrifying.
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 02:00 PM

You're not implying that we need another "hockey stick" graph, are you? laugh
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 03:08 PM

Quote:
Well, cumulative figures will always show an increase so long as the same trend continues.


I think that was the point of showing things that way -- presenting data in a way that more supports a particular point of view =)
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 03:22 PM

Sure, but the image doesn't give a very good picture of the trend. It's recoverable, as Steve pointed out, but not really clear. Think about a similar graph showing your cumulative income over a lifetime. The impression might be that you're filthy rich. The reality might be that you barely kept up with inflation.
Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 03:44 PM

Quote:
I gather Carp would say any legislation/program cannot be considered successful until the bars in the lower chart return to zero; while the counter to that is that the Stimulus wasn't designed to return the bars to zero, just to stop them going in the other direction, which both charts show is happening, whatever the cause ...


You missed the point the stimulus was divvied out in small portions and in only last month then it was all paid out .

Last
Like I said , the large corporations that where laying off thousands of people - have already reached their peak <-- hence the declining bars
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 03:59 PM

Quote:
Sure, but the image doesn't give a very good picture of the trend. It's recoverable, as Steve pointed out, but not really clear.


I'm not arguing the validity of the message the maker of the graph is trying to convey, just that I find it interesting the same data can be used to show (sometimes) wildly divergent themes ...

As for this particular chart, it conveys very well the trend the maker wished to emphasize -- the depth of the unemployment hole that needs to be overcome to return to where we were a few years ago. The other chart emphasizes the trend in job creation, which is what the maker wanted to display to show how we're beginning to (slowly) not make the hole any deeper ...

Two different messages =)
Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 04:02 PM

Originally Posted By: six_of_one
Quote:
Sure, but the image doesn't give a very good picture of the trend. It's recoverable, as Steve pointed out, but not really clear.


I'm not arguing the validity of the message the maker of the graph is trying to convey, just that I find it interesting the same data can be used to show (sometimes) wildly divergent themes ...

As for this particular chart, it conveys very well the trend the maker wished to emphasize -- the depth of the unemployment hole that needs to be overcome to return to where we were a few years ago. The other chart emphasizes the trend in job creation, which is what the maker wanted to display to show how we're beginning to (slowly) not make the hole any deeper ...

Two different messages =)


Great Scott - some one see it , besides me .
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 04:07 PM

Quote:
You missed the point the stimulus was divvied out in small portions and in only last month then it was all paid out .


Actually, only a third of the stimulus money has been distributed at this point

Quote:
Last
Like I said , the large corporations that where laying off thousands of people - have already reached their peak <-- hence the declining bars


Well, that's your theory at least -- although since you've stated that the charts here are so full of variables that nothing is proven by them, how can you then turn around and state with certainty just what is causing the reduction in job loss? Under your conditions of proof, there's no way to verify just what is affecting what =)
Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 04:15 PM

Originally Posted By: six_of_one
Quote:
You missed the point the stimulus was divvied out in small portions and in only last month then it was all paid out .


Actually, only a third of the stimulus money has been distributed at this point

Quote:
Last
Like I said , the large corporations that where laying off thousands of people - have already reached their peak <-- hence the declining bars


Well, that's your theory at least -- although since you've stated that the charts here are so full of variables that nothing is proven by them, how can you then turn around and state with certainty just what is causing the reduction in job loss? Under your conditions of proof, there's no way to verify just what is affecting what =)


Well did you hear GM or Ford laying off more people - MS laid off 5,000 , I did not hears anymore ?

Simply like I said before , you can only lay off so much people , before you actually close your doors ----- > Hence the declining bars <---- you did notice the raising bars before Correct ? ?

It reached its peak
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 04:40 PM

Not disagreeing at all with the point that there are two different messages! In fact, not disagreeing at all with anything you've posted smile
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 04:41 PM

Originally Posted By: carp
Well did you hear GM or Ford laying off more people - MS laid off 5,000 , I did not hears anymore ?

Simply like I said before , you can only lay off so much people , before you actually close your doors ----- > Hence the declining bars <---- you did notice the raising bars before Correct ? ?


I've heard GM and Ford are hiring, extending hours & opening new plants.

Aug 2009: link Another turnaround, GM announces hiring 1350, overtime for 10,000

Jan 2010:link In its announcement, Ford said it would invest $400 million in a Chicago factory and would hire 1,200 workers to staff a second shift at the site, where the automaker plans to begin producing the next-generation Ford Explorer late this year.



Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 04:45 PM

Well, you're putting various facts together and formulating a conclusion. Which is great, and you might be right. Now all you'd have to do is prove it =)

But, in terms of these charts, since you say there's so many variables involved, you can't really say for sure what caused what. Which, if we your standards of proof, means we can't say for sure if the stimulus was a factor or if it was just the natural way of things ... either is just a theory =D
Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 04:54 PM

Originally Posted By: garyW
Originally Posted By: carp
Well did you hear GM or Ford laying off more people - MS laid off 5,000 , I did not hears anymore ?

Simply like I said before , you can only lay off so much people , before you actually close your doors ----- > Hence the declining bars <---- you did notice the raising bars before Correct ? ?


I've heard GM and Ford are hiring, extending hours & opening new plants.

Aug 2009: link Another turnaround, GM announces hiring 1350, overtime for 10,000

Jan 2010:link In its announcement, Ford said it would invest $400 million in a Chicago factory and would hire 1,200 workers to staff a second shift at the site, where the automaker plans to begin producing the next-generation Ford Explorer late this year.





Still nothing compared to what they laid off . I mean Gary you know the numbers ? well I think you do
Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 04:56 PM

Quote:
Well, you're putting various facts together and formulating a conclusion. Which is great, and you might be right. Now all you'd have to do is prove it =)


Well just look at the graphs - the GDP means nothing - the employments means everything
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 05:01 PM

Well, unfortunately, "just look at the graphs" cuts both ways -- could be the result of the stimulus, could be natural happenstance. Since you've said there a too many variables involved, there's no way to tell =)
Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 05:12 PM

Originally Posted By: six_of_one
Well, unfortunately, "just look at the graphs" cuts both ways -- could be the result of the stimulus, could be natural happenstance. Since you've said there a too many variables involved, there's no way to tell =)


Yes
Correct

However the stimulus was only pointed at certain , Industries and paid out over a long period .

Simply , it would not make a dent in the graph - It really shows a massive job lay off then it reached its peak , then declined .

Example;
Old farts like me with Obama new initiative for renewable energy <-- that creates new jobs , fine and dandy ---> but come on folks like you and me are way way out of that Loop . I would have to go back to school for 4 years to learn the new techs
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 05:14 PM

Originally Posted By: carp
- the GDP means nothing -



that is f*cking retarded.


laugh


Posted by: carp

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 05:17 PM

Originally Posted By: garyW
Originally Posted By: carp
- the GDP means nothing -



that is f*cking retarded.


laugh




LOL

You don't understand - to funny

Take some economy classes might help
Posted by: DLC

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 05:48 PM

Originally Posted By: carp

Still nothing compared to what they laid off . I mean Gary you know the numbers ? well I think you do


I think the point is without the stimulus, they'd likely be laying off even more and hiring NONE !

I don't think you'd disagree that the latter situation would be worse than the present. Would you ? laugh
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 05:59 PM

Originally Posted By: carp


LOL

You don't understand - to funny

Take some economy classes might help





Okay, explain to me if the GDP had been -6.4% last quarter it would have been meaningless too. Explain if the next several quarters are all negative and the GDP for 2010 is down -6.4% for each quarter (-25.6%) it would be meaningless ... something you learned in your economics classes.





Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Recovery Act : Year 1 - 02/18/10 07:04 PM

Quote:
Simply , it would not make a dent in the graph - It really shows a massive job lay off then it reached its peak , then declined .


Or, it shows the infusion of government funds helped reverse the trends. Your guess is as good as mine ... and since you've determined there is no way to prove either position I'm not really sure why you insist your view is more valid over the alternative. To me, absent proof, they seem equally viable =)