April 25, 2009
– Comments (18)
MY FELLOW FOOLS.....PREPARE!!!! DON'T FEAR......THEY WILL TRY TO SCARE YOU!!!!!
Kiss GM Goodbye, Its Bondholders want Bankruptcy
SPAIN'S UNEMPLOYMENT SKYROCKETING!!!!!!!!!!!
According to the country's National Statistics Institute a record high figure of 17.4 per cent were unemployed in the first quarter of the year. Unemployment leapt from 13.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2008, the biggest quarterly jump since 1976. Joblessness in Spain has almost doubled in a year.http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/article6164629.ece
AMERICA IS NOT TOO DIFFERENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is just that TMF and the mainstream media refuse to report that accurate Department of Labor U6 statistic of 16.2%??
Ask yourself this question, why is TMF and the mainstream media concealing this information from you????
So TMF is now a bad guy?
As I understand it, media outlets pretty much report in line with their leadership's way of thinking. If the leadership is liberal, then the reporting is liberal. If the leadership is conservative, then the reporting is conservative. I have not been around TMF long enough to figure out what flavor of leadership TMF has, but what I have seen is little in the way of censorship of any particular line of thought. For the most part TMF allows its members to speak their minds, share their opinions, share their knowledge, and only step in when something violates the TOS for their site. Since I have not seen much in the way of heavy handed stepping in for TOS violations, I can only surmise that they must have very few rules and that most folks here do not violate them.
That said, I did not know what U6 vs U3 was until I came to TMF and started reading. Granted, I was not really looking for that information to begin with nor was I overly concerned about which number being reported in the media is more accurate. To my way of thinking millions of unemployed are millions of unemployed, whether they are a statistic or not. Bottom line, millions are out of work.
At any rate, back to my line of thinking...it is a free country and the media outlets are numerous and are free to report how they see fit. If you do not like the information you are reading, listening to, or seeing, from a media outlet, then pick another one. Champion those you see fit, but realize that for every media outlet that you do not like there are tons of other folks out there that do not like the media outlets that you prefer. As the saying goes "Opinions are like a_ _ holes, and every one them stinks." At least in this country, you have the freedom to express your opinion however you see fit, and champion whomever or whatever idea you desire.
So before you question TMF and any other media outlet, take a look at what they are responsible for, take a look at their leadership, and take a look at what they are doing. Is it TMF's job to report about unemployment? Is that an express responsibility of this site and organization? Or are they supposed to provide you with investment wisdom and tools to succeed? If they are responsible for reporting on unemployment, I must have missed that when I signed up. And yes, I understand the impact of unemployment on the economy and how an awareness of such information can shape a decision making process, but I believe the TMF does a fine job and meets exactly what it describes itself as.
The stuff that TMF does not report on, it does not censor...to my knowledge. So don't ding TMF to harshly. Just because your username is not TMFAlstry does not make the information you present any less valuable, and it certainly does not mean that TMF is not reporting it...it just means that perhaps it is not their responsibility to report on unemployment numbers, and perhaps they are following the herd of others in reporting what has become the standard for talking about unemployment...
Of course, I could be very, very wrong and I'm open to and willing to accept that, but I certainly don't hold TMF responsible for that...
Evil Triumphs when the Good do Nothing......
Name me a single mainstream media outlet, including TMF(which I highly respect)....that is reporting the current unemployment rate as 16.2% as the Department of Labor indicates?
We are an investing community. These are the issues we banter about to make investment decisions. The better the info we have, hopefully the better the decisions we can make.
Isn't this about investors helping investors? Isn't the truth furthering that goal?
Alstrynomics is all about helping investors know the truth.
THE FLOODGATES ARE ABOUT TO OPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“‘In the next couple of months, we are going to see an increase in the foreclosures, and some of the lenders we represent say that that is coming,’ Fridovich said. ‘They have held off and held off due to the administration (of President Barack Obama), but the floodgates are going to open.’”
I'd have to ask one question of you before I started searching for such a media outlet. Where did you find the information that you have been sharing rather vehemently for quite some time? Did you simply unearth it on your own, or was it reported somewhere? Based on your response, I'd say that whatever media outlet you found the information on might be one such outlet reporting the proper numbers. Of course, stating that they are proper numbers lends credence to the opinion that they are in fact the proper numbers. Which opens a whole can of worms that begs the question of why the U6 numbers are more correct than some other set of numbers that may paint an even more gruesome picture of the unemployment.
Note, I am not arguing for or against the use of one set of numbers over another. I am simply saying that statistics are whatever they are made to be. As easily as one agency can come up with a set of really nasty statistics to quantify an issue, some other agency can come up with a set of numbers and statistics that paint an entirely different picture.
At any rate, I'll look around and see if I can find some media outlet that is considered mainstream and reporting U6 numbers for unemployment.
I actually found the data at the Department of Labor website...both on the same table A12.
It is the same agency reporting the same set of data.
Think if you were trying to determine the number of Americans infected with a sexually transmitted disease. We will pretend the Department of Health identifies statistically as S. Think of S3 as simply counting women and S6 counting both men and women. Which number more accuately reflects the number we are trying to ascertain of the number of American's infected with a sexually transmitted disease? Unless we became a nation of Lesbians and strictly conforming Priests....U3 would only provide a fraction of the picture.
It is not much different for U3 and U6 as it relates to unemployment.
Here is some more anecdotal data from the Washington Post:
But now, as Obama nears the 100-day milestone of his presidency, Childs suffers from constant exhaustion. In a conservative Southern state that bolstered Obama's candidacy by supporting him early in the Democratic primaries, she awakens at 2:30 a.m. with stress headaches and remains awake mulling all that's befallen Greenwood since Obama's swearing-in.
On Day 4 of his presidency, the Solutia textile plant laid off 101 workers. On Day 23, the food bank set a record for meals served. On Day 50, the hospital fired 200 employees and warned of further job cuts. On Day 71, the school superintendent called a staff meeting and told his principals: "We're losing 10 percent of our budget. That means some of us won't have jobs next year, and the rest should expect job changes and pay cuts." On Day 78, the town's newly elected Democratic mayor, whose campaign was inspired partly by his admiration for Obama, summarized Greenwood's accelerating fragility: "This is crippling us, and there's no sign of it turning around," Welborn Adams said.
BTW...I'm guessing you got your information from the web, and the Department of Labor's site. And I am going to throw in the towel, because a cursory search of the web shows that the only places unemployment numbers matching the Department of Labor's sites are forums like this and small media outlets.
So, mainstream media is not screaming at the top of its lungs using the U6 numbers. Does that change the fact that they exist or that unemployment is at all time highs as measured by the number of folks out of work vice as a statistical percentage that can be manipulated to come up with any variety of high or low percentages?
As far as your other questions regarding investors helping investors and the truth...yes and yes. And believe it or not, I have learned quite a bit from reading your BLOGs, and while I may not post agreements with everything you write about, I do consider the information shared to be valuable. So thank you for bringing these kinds of things out...expands my horizons each time I read one of your posts/BLOG entries.
It is extraordinarily relevent when your Treasury Department and Federal create a "stress test" for our banking system based on faulty data.
As anyone who is a computer programmer, or owns a HD television.....garbage in garbage out.
I have always liked this quote which is on topic by the former Mayor of Atlanta:
"There can be no democracy without truth, there can be no truth without controversy and there can be no change without freedom."
Motley Fool gives us the Freedom to speak the Truth....the problem is as a percentage of the population at large....we are a relatively small community.
I concede that it is relevant.
My question for you is what difference do you think it would make if they were reporting the U6 numbers vice the U3 numbers? Would their reporting of the worse of the two numbers change anything regarding the condition they are reporting on? Would America or any other country that reports unemployment in a similar manner change the way they approach resolving the problem of unemployment? Would someone else come along and say the U6 numbers are bad but here is another statistic that is even worse and more correctly reflects the actual unemployment? Would reporting that worse number change the simple fact that we are in a major recession or the fact that companies are letting people go by the thousands in order to cut costs and survive the recession?
I don't think so. The fact that unemployment is extremely high no matter what statistic you favor is known to everyone. The fact that there will be no easy solution to the problem is known to everyone. And for every person who reports a rosy picture of where we stand relative to the bottom of this recession, there are an equal number of folks who paint a doom and gloom picture of where we stand.
So yes, the statistic is relevant, but would reporting it make a difference?
Note, I think we hit submit on our posts at or about the same time. I did not see your post about your source of information until my post was submitted and the page refreshed.
I have no issue with most of your post except the WP article
"but now, as Obama nears the 100-day milestone of his presidency, Childs suffers from constant exhaustion. In a conservative Southern state that bolstered Obama's candidacy by supporting him early in the Democratic primaries, she awakens at 2:30 a.m. with stress headaches and remains awake mulling all that's befallen Greenwood since Obama's swearing-in.
On Day 4 of his presidency, the Solutia textile plant laid off 101 workers. On Day 23, the food bank set a record for meals served. On Day 50, the hospital fired 200 employees and warned of further job cuts. On Day 71, the school superintendent called a staff meeting and told his principals: "We're losing 10 percent of our budget. That means some of us won't have jobs next year, and the rest should expect job changes and pay cuts." On Day 78, the town's newly elected Democratic mayor, whose campaign was inspired partly by his admiration for Obama, summarized Greenwood's accelerating fragility: "This is crippling us, and there's no sign of it turning around," Welborn Adams said."
This could just as easily lead with "100 days after the diseaster of the Bush presidency"...
Thsi to me is an example of the logical fallacy Post hoc ergo propter:
From wikipedia-Post hoc ergo propter hoc, Latin for "after this, therefore because (on account) of this", is a logical fallacy (of the questionable cause variety) which states, "Since that event followed this one, that event must have been caused by this one." It is often shortened to simply post hoc and is also sometimes referred to as false cause, coincidental correlation or correlation not causation. It is subtly different from the fallacy cum hoc ergo propter hoc, in which the chronological ordering of a correlation is insignificant.
Post hoc is a particularly tempting error because temporal sequence appears to be integral to causality. The fallacy lies in coming to a conclusion based solely on the order of events, rather than taking into account other factors that might rule out the connection. Most familiarly, many superstitious beliefs and magical thinking arise from this fallacy. "
I know you can cite many factors you believe to support your conclusion that state of the ecomomy and perhaps more should be laid at the feet of President Obama but I would simply not agree. Two well informed and intelligent people coming to different conclusions with much of the same data.
Also I would add something else. If you believe the U6 is the correct figure then what was it at for the periods of prosperity? I assume also higher then the U3. I would guess it has a higher propotion increase but still I take Mike's point. It's always "worse" than widely reported in unempoyment, inflation etc. it's also often better than reported depending on the stats used. Often "Figures lie and liars figure". Not you Alstry just an observation about over reliance on numbers isolated from comaprative scenarios. Maybe I meissed a blog where you've done this?
It's bad out there but I don't think's it's as bad as you state or will get as bad as you predict.
MikeBobulinski great comments and well reasoned and reasonable positions. An enjoyable read.
it is also relevant because the MSM tells us that the reason we will not have anything like the Great Depression is because back then, unemployment was 25%, and now it is ONLY 8.5%...
Well, if you report U6 numbers, which more accurately reflect the way unemployment was counted in the 1930s.. you'd see we are already at 16% unemployment, well on our way to Depression era levels.
How are people supposed to prepare, if their media is constantly telling them half truths at best? Investors that use accurate numbers are alsomore likely to succeed, since we may see improvements in the U6 numbers before the turn in U3, since people will likely start hiring temporary labor, etc when turnaround does finaly come.
If you want to argue numbers, then give the percentages some real relevance by removing the percentage and talk about actual folks that are unemployed. During the peak of the Great Depression, 1933, 24.75% of the workforce was unemployed. That translated to 12, 830, 000 (12.83 million) people without jobs. Per the Department of Labor, the number of bodies unemployed, as of March 2009, was 13, 200, 000 (13.2 million) people without jobs for an unemployment rate of 8.5%.
I may be a little rusty in my math, but I believe we have already surpassed the Great Depression with regards to numbers of folks out of work. Granted the population in the US has nearly tripled (305 million versus 121 million) since the Great Depression and the workforce is close to three times larger (154 million versus 51.8 million), but what I seem to be missing are all of the other things that history shows us to have been prevalent during the Great Depression.
So, again, I ask what difference would it make if they publicize the U6 number or the U3 number? We have already surpassed the numbers of bodies without jobs. Would it make a difference if the media used the U6 number? Would the fact that more people are out of work now than during the Great Depression? Would talking about it in this fashion change anything about the current economic situation or the fact that it is not going to be an easy job to get things turned around? Should we fire up the war wagons and create a world war to bring us out of this recession in the same manner that a world war brought about the end of the Great Depression? Should everyone freak out and panic?
I'm not certain what the answer to the question is, and I am not even certain of the question itself. What I do know is that history will show that this point in time is unique in and of itself, and should a solution be found, history will most likely paint it as some miraculous recovery brought about by brilliant minds coming up with brilliant solutions. In reality, there will be a lot of blood, sweat and tears involved in turning the economy around. In reality, there will not be an easy solution.
In reality, we have a long road ahead of us and all we can do...according to most ...is prepare. Whatever that means...as I can't seem to find anyone with a crystal ball who can give me a definitive answer as to what I should prepare for, but I have seen answers that range from total chaos and armageddon to a severe belt tightening that may last quite a while.
But, like I said before, I may be wrong in my line of thinking...
Note: Any numbers listed in this post were pulled from the web from either the census bureau with respect to US population or from the Department of Labor with regards to employment statistics and workforce size.
The War didn't end the Great Depression. It was still raging strong in 1946. When the government finally capitulated and gave up spending, then the GD ended. Free pdf.
As for letting the government pick the numbers, it seems like they always pick the ones that paint themselves in the most favorable light. In accounting, that is called fraud.
David in Qatar
Good post and comments from everyone, thanks.
FWIW, I think I agree with just about everything you stated.
The issue with Obama is whether there is change.....not attributing blame.
"As I understand it, media outlets pretty much report in line with their leadership's way of thinking. If the leadership is liberal, then the reporting is liberal. "That statement is so far from the truth.... When will people realize that New York Times reports LIBERAL no matter what? Along with them... Boston Globe, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, NBC, ABC, CBS,...etc....etc....etc.. all left leaning.. liberal... Doesn't matter whose President.
You misunderstand my statement regarding leadership. The leadership of which I spoke is the leadership within the media outlet, not the White House. Based on your statement, I would surmise that the list of media outlets you named have liberal minded folks running their company...