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03 November 2012


Russ Steele

California’s political leaders like to set the standard for the rest of the nation to follow, Air Quality, Species Protection, Automotive Design, Manmade Drought, etc. We have some excellent examples in CARB, CalEPA and Fish and Game for throwing monkey wrenches into the productivity machinery. We will have an opportunity to observe the prototype Luddites up close and personal.


George, great (detailed) description of the unemployment facts smacking our nation across the face. This is one of your best posts. It would be helpful if you could add a visual representation of the equation.

Existing regulations and taxes are already putting the kibosh on productivity. Many producers (myself included) have been 'on strike' due to the onerous regs/taxes.

The conundrum is... lower taxes and less regs would fuel growth though not enough to make a dent in the unemployment rate due to efficiency/worker productivity. Higher taxes and regs would kill efficiency/worker productivity thus putting more folks back to work. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

It's easier to live as we are today with roughly half the population working to support themselves and the those on the dole.

George Rebane

MikeyMcD 936pm - The equation between GDP, productivity, and workforce growth rates was developed in the tech addendum pdf that can be downloaded from the cited 'The real jobs problem - shhh!' which has one of a number of graphs that can be generated from the relationship. For the math inclined, the pdf is available here -

But the cited reports really do form a foundation to this post, and should be consulted.

Paul Emery


At this point you must realize that details mean nothing and the deal is done. Obama by enough and the rest will have to wait a couple of years.


Just out of curiosity, what is the number of people who enter the job market each month or year? I'm thinking of those who get out of a high school, trade school, college etc. Are they counted in the jobless numbers?
Dave Cranfield

George Rebane

PaulE 102am - If you really read (understood?) this piece, then you must realize that these 'details' mean everything, and the election is secondary to the bigger picture detailed here. As outlined above (and in this series), the forces at work here overwhelm your continued narrow focus on who is in the WH during these coming years.

Granted, I do try pull the arguments to the present to tell my readers how I think the candidates are either trying to mislead the electorate with current economic data or just avoid drawing the inevitable conclusions of what phase (past the tipping point) the country is in.

Billy Bowels and the Movements

The stats are very informative. If you worked one hour in October, then the government declares a job was added. i.e., created. The lefties say the reason the unemployment rate went up is because people are confident again and have started looking for work, i.e., confidence in Obama's economic plans.

Perhaps Keachie is correct in one aspect: rioting in the streets. Fact is employers just don't need you to be profitable. They need less workers because they have adapted to change in a fierce competitive environment. We need them now more than they need us. ACE is accept, change, or eliminate. Legal immigrants get it.

George Rebane

D 656am - Dave, the number entering the 'job market' (looking for a job) every month is hard to predict, and is what we may call a 'rear view mirror' statistic. What is better known and more reliably predicted is the 4M plus who leave our educational system every year. Almost all of them enter what the demographers call our 'workforce', people presumably able to work. Here and in previous installments of this series, the number from that 4M who start looking for a job has been about 3M/yr or 250,000 a month as stated in the post. That is also the number you hear in the media when they tell us that numbers like 171,000 new jobs in October is not enough.

The takeaway from this point is that those who don't find jobs in any given month don't go away or magically disappear. No, they just continue adding to the cohort of the unemployed - whether looking for a job or not - and they must be supported by someone who does have a job. That is the growing and unsolved instability I have been describing.


Don't miss George's punchline: High unemployment is the new normal (and high unemployment doesn't care who is in the WH).

Q: How does government cope with chronically unemployed 'members' of society?

A: More of the same (redistribution of wealth); regardless of political affiliation (dem or rep).

By The Way: Every possible solution requires a decrease in the quality of life for everyone except the political elite (Champagne socialists).

Ryan Mount


Something like this?


Hope you make it to at least the Outer Party. ;-)


Did the Progressive Owebama supporter in charge of the Ca. Unemployment stats
hold a few back again like he did the last time? Lefty news sure put that news in a deep dark corner last time around.
Gotta keep the real unemployment numbers hid till after the election.
In the mean time Progressive fuzzy math is where it's at.
We know full well the real U.P. numbers are in double digits.


Ryan, yup. BTW, I think American's deserve a piece of humble pie. Any society that encourages war between one 'class' (hate the use of that term) and another is asking for a piece of humble pie [propositions asking a mob if they should tax a sub-set of culture- 'the rich', cigarettes, etc]. Any culture where government grants and personal donations are made to animal shelters when so many humans are starving to death... any culture that encourages teeny-boppers to have promiscuous sex...

Humble pie might be just what the dr. ordered.

Yup, "...last great century of man"

Ryan Mount

I'm not so sure this is the last great century of man, although it sure feels like it when I'm in a darker mood. Without being too melodramatic, it certainly feels like something is coming to an end.

Maybe it's just the last chapter of a long Russian novel? Where the hero(es) die of starvation or some equally horrifying havoc. Maybe it's like a "Dostoyevsky" novel where we finally figure it out after great repetition and humiliation? We're smarter, more humble, but empty handed. (Note: do not say "Dostoyevsky" after a few drinks down at Cirino's. Not only will you sound like a buffoon, people will never believe you've read any of his novels.)

However, it seems to be ending like Herman Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener (we should choose an American) where the protagonist simply stops working because "he prefers not to," then get fired, then arrested and then dies all for objecting. The individual spirit [literally] perishes at the hands of of the collective who has no idea what to do with a free thinker. It's not Galt's Gulch, but rather a dank, lonely prison.


Ryan, something tells me that you were in 'a darker mood' around 8:15pm. Well put (and well read, show off!).

Seems we have more in common than I imagined (similar experiences at Cirino's).

George Rebane

de Tocqueville correctly observed that "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." And that first and great observer of the American scene did not even factor in the devastation of the public service (especially teachers') unions, and the approaching Singularity. From how many sides can our dear Republic withstand concurrent attack and still endure?


We do all agree that shipping American jobs overseas has resulted in a China that now is the number Two economy in the world?

"Only a Madman hands a six year old a loaded gun" ~ old sci-fi novelette



If you do not believe class warfare exists, I suggest a simple experiment. Go buy ill fitting clothes at a thrift store, work in the garden all day, and then go shop in a mall. Then go home and change into your good clothes and go back again. Do you fail to remember the shopping sequence in "Woman in Red?" That's the best example of class warfare I've ever seen.


George 9:27

In a word, no.

The last time I tried to dig for an authoritative de Tocqueville quote expressing the 'vote themselves largess from the public treasury' opinion, I came to decide de T never wrote it. It dates from the 1950's with numerous misattributions and false quotes.


George Rebane

Gregory 848am - I'll not put too fine a point on it. Good quotes today have collected many fathers and mothers over the years - think of the multi-attributed sayings of Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Winston Churchill, ... . If there's too much concern about it, I'll claim to have said it myself because it certainly is true - and that's the point.


Bill Tozer

Great post by Ryan (04 November 2012 at 08:15 PM) and another great column by Dr. Rebane. Mr. Mount points out the nagging question that flies under the radar but we all know the answer. What is the effect on the human spirit and creativity under a collectivist system? Sad results for the free thinker.

Class warfare has always existed, but it not beneficial to promote it. Not healthy at all. May be political expedient to the small thinker, but such policy is narrow minded and wrought with envy, an evil and corroding thread that destroys the individual spirit as well as the population at large.

Listened to a great guy on KVMR the other day around noon. He was rattling off facts and stats on education so quickly that I had to pull over. He pointed out the more we spend on education in inflation adjusted dollars, the more the math and reading SAT scores have fallen. 1965 we had 25 students per classroom. When the classroom size fell, the scores fell. Since we now spend the 2nd most per pupil in the overachieving industrial world, we have fallen further. The point did not get lost on me. Spending less has resulted in better student scores. We spent something like 60% more per pupil than South Korea.

That KVMR dude only confirmed my decision to vote NO on the State school tax. Those monies will not go to the pupil, only to the teacher's unions and salaries. It is no longer all about our children. Nay, it is all about keeping the status quo at any cost. Unfortunately, the cost of the status quo is a never satisfied demand for more tax payer monies to produce dismal and unacceptable student SAT scores.

Results do not matter in class warfare. It is jealousy and envy and the worse of human nature. It is the slave mentality, not the thinking of free men and women where the sky is the limit. There is one thing government or even a self help program can never provide: that one thing is initiative.


The only path to high US employment is lowered energy costs.

At the moment, there's no substitute for fossil fuels for 24/7 heat, electricity and transportation, but the current incarnation of the EPA is on a no-carbon rampage.

George 8:56, I am surprised someone who is so interested in precise use of the language is so cavalier about false attributions. It's easy! Just write it, and then just say ... "falsely attributed to de Tocqueville".

"Good quotes today have collected many fathers". One of the funniest is "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." Generally attributed to Thomas Jefferson, but it's from ... Gerald Ford.


"Those who put their trust in government get what they deserve"- Michael McDaniel

"...with liberty and justice for all. (Must be 18. Void where prohibited. Some
restrictions may apply. Not available in all states.) "


BTozer, I've come to the conclusion that Prop 30 is more about covering the shortfalls of CalSTRS pension funding. Short of a bankruptcy or retired teachers accepting less, the money is needed from somewhere, and there are some retired teachers who would rather current class sizes go to 50 than renegotiate existing pensions.

As time goes on, the unfunded liabilities due to overpromising future benefits to public employees will be harder to paper over. There is no way Prop 30 will either solve the problem or be temporary; there is truly nothing as permanent as a "temporary tax".

Jesus Betterman

Well, we could always renegotiate current tax rates too. Why is it that teachers' pensions are fair game, yet the taxes on RV's and aircraft are sacred cows? Could it be that Gregory is still settling old scores from his days at NU?

On Class Warfare; "Some pigs are more equal that others, and they like and intend to keep it that way."

I can't remember where that is from, Or well......whatever...

BTW, how come youse guys can't do ex tempo original limericks? It's a great art form. I guess nobody graduated from Haiku U, so at least they learned "Hike You" playing football at NU.


So what? George (Ryan and Gregory), it would be helpful to have your posts/comments end with a 'suggested application based upon what I've just said' thought. A takeaway if you will.

Though I am worried that Gregory might talk me into home schooling my kiddos.

I'll start: This week will be stressful and full of political b.s. I suggest watching this clip for comic relief. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAaWvVFERVA


MMcD, I'm not a fan of home schooling because kids need socialization (the good kind) and not enough parents are up to the job academically. We have schools because we expect academically capable and emotionally stable teachers to be expert at the job to do it right while the rest of us try to do the best at our chosen professions.

All I home schooled my son in was Algebra 1, but only because even Mt.St.Marys was doing a relatively poor job; not because the 8th grade teacher wasn't up it but because the book they selected was poor and my son was literally bored to tears with the plodding review of all prealgebra topics in the 7th grade. Pick the right book and provide the first instruction your child may have ever had about how to teach themselves from a great book, and you too might have a high achiever on your hands.

Keach is doing his class warfare act again.


Gregory, so you are the one that reads Keach's comments. Shame on you.

Jesus Betterman

Greg can't resist the well fertilized (according to some here) mind. BTW, on my laptop, not used in a while, the captchas are back, good quick puzzles.

Jesus Betterman

"Keach is doing his class warfare act again."

It's so hard keeping up with the Romneys'

Michael Anderson



"so you are the one that reads Keach's comments"

If I could be guaranteed no one else did either I wouldn't bother.


That's the Power of the Keach.


Bill Tozer

Not an uncommon story, but just a nutshell how timing, regulations, and competition works in the real world. Jobs: running out of time



Well Bill, they collapsed about 50 years after I did. Way back when, in the early seventies, I started making daypacks on my own, buying fabric from Ski Hut, and using a good industrial Singer from about 1914. I and my then wife sold these at SFSU, in the quad, for $15 each. It worked well for a year or two, and then Sierra Designs and Ski Hut began bringing in daypacks from Asia, and that was that. I started making more money running video cameras and teaching, and a chapter closed on a nascent American manufacturing giant, due to competition from overseas, no regulations involved. Was it not the deregulation of banks that led to the mortgage crisis?

George Rebane

JesusB 727am - The banks were deregulated years before the mortgage crisis, which was brought on when the feds encouraged the banks to start lending to credit flakes with the tacit understanding that the government would stand behind the subsequent bad loans. With that kind of a guarantee, what was there not to like?


George, my point was and is, it's the transfer of jobs overseas, overseas competition, that shuts down American businesses. Just what "regulations" do you think are keeping the American banks from lending to American businesses? As near as I can tell, what stops the loans is the level of risk the banks wish to, choose to, assume.

George Rebane

JesusB 805am - There are no regulations I am aware of which stifle such lending. The only obvious reason why banks don't lend more today is that they also see an uncertain future for businesses that affects their ability to repay loans (the govt is no longer promising bailouts). The federal govt, along with certain states like California, have created a horrible climate for business which consists of the portent of unknown but massive tax hikes, a continuing and unknown flood of regulations, and the ongoing draconian revelations about the operation of existing laws like Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. In short, the socialists among us have re-created here what they did in Europe. There the only businesses that make it are those in 'close co-operation' with their governments.

And as ever, the solution to all these problems lie in taking the diametrically opposite policy paths.

George Rebane

MichaelA 958pm - As they say, any port in a storm.


George, your citation of government involvement in the financial crisis should not be construed as theory or conspiracy (though I am sure that is how the government is god crowd will read it).

From John Taylor (hopefully our next Fed chair):
"government actions and interventions, not any inherent failure or instability of the private economy, caused, prolonged, and worsened the crisis."


George Rebane

MikeyMcD 856am - You are correct.

On the topic of third parties and third party voting, I might draw attention to 'The Mistake that is the Libertarian Party' by Prof Randy Barnett, a long time libertarian and Libertarian, in today's WSJ.


Comic relief:

David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog "Undecided voters can't decide what's worse - Sandra Fluke getting free birth control, or Sandra Fluke NOT getting free birth control."


Thanks for the link George. I am taking serious heat from die hard donkeys/elephants regarding my public vote for Ron Paul.

Next time I will be quiet.

George Rebane

MikeyMcD 926am - No problem with making this decision. For Sandra I'm willing to chip in for a tubal ligation. Maybe we can pass the hat.


Our newest dog, taking the undecisded voter stance, yesterday at the "Dogs Run Free" park in Grass Valley. BTW, the county elections office contacted me two months ago to work this election, and when I showed up this morning, for some reason had replaced me, a minor but annoying bureaucratic mixup.....or a conspiracy?

9299UndecidedVoterSmaller copy

Paul Emery

Thanks for the link George to the Barnett essay. His view is the typical pragmatic view of those who support a wing of the Republicrats because it offers a miniscule advantage. It's time we bust up the monopoly with alternatives that the monopoly cannot consider because they are bought and sold by special interests. Once again my view is that the primary purpose of the Republicrats is to act as a collection agency for special interest money that controls our government. No mystery in that.


Chewed on Barnett's piece. Nothing new.

I sincerely believe that Mitt could run as a democrat in 2016 (and so could 99% of the congressmen/senators in office with GWbush).

Our 2 party system has failed us and we have $16TRILLION debt and tens of millions of entitled people to prove it.

I would rather be a part of a moral minority than an immoral majority (if condoning military industrial complex, corporatism and progressivism/statism is right I want to be wrong).

George Rebane

PaulE 1003am, Mikey 1029am - OK. So let's keep puzzling on how the current very stable two-party system can be improved by a multi-party alternative. Right now stability is built in because anyone voting for a third party on the basis of principle will strengthen the party that is the biggest enemy of such principle.

The requirement is for voters to agree on a third alternative and vote accordingly en masse. The chance of this happening are about as small as all the fast (hot) air molecules winding up on one side of the room, while the slow (cold) ones wind up on the other side. In physics this required the famous Maxwell's Demon. What kind of demon will cause our randomly influenced electorate to sort themselves out in such a propitious manner?

Well, I'm off to go intimidate voters and vote counters.

Bill Tozer

Jesus!, Betterman. You did not really take your new beloved dog to Parvo Park, did you? Shame on you. Better get another dog soon.

Bill Tozer

4 more years of this??? To paraphrase Emerson, "What you do shouts so loudly I cannot hear what you say, Mr. Obama."



Rebane 10:36

Two words: State's Rights. Imagine if the Feds didn't get 80% of taxes. The concentration of power at the Federal Level is a crisis. A focus on state's rights would encourage voters to vote their values instead of statistics.

Stability is a decent goal but I would prefer adherence to the constitution/Life,Liberty, Pursuit of happiness to stability.


I wonder if our Progressive pals got the news about the 16,000 plus coal mining jobs that were lost just in the past two months? LIB news really didn't let that info out.( for obvious reasons) Ya' think their friends, family, the businesses they frequented, etc. will vote for the ones ( "O" and Co.) that put them in the unemployment line? How about all the power plant workers who's jobs are also gone or on the rocks? You really think they are going to tow the union and Liberal line? Not going to happen. And the proposed "cardcheck" union rule that "O" has promised to impose "IF" he gets a second term is more than a little late. He will still lose more votes than he will gain on that statement alone.

George Rebane

MikeyMcD 1205pm - Not sure that states' rights is the broad gateway issue for breaking up the 2-party set-up since it is promoted only by the conservative side of politics. The collectivist see states' rights as anathema.

I never said that stability was a goal, "decent" or otherwise. But I did say that the current 2-party set-up has the system attribute of being very stable. Stable systems are able to absorb outside (exogenous) shocks, and automatically return to their original stable state, here the 2-party set-up.


George, agreed. Through states' rights (thanks for correcting my horrible punctuation) individuals would have the option of voting with their feet. As it is even the state with the 'live free or die' mantra pays a disproportional % of their taxes to the feds. In other words they believe in a form of government that is impossible under the federally focused reality.

Were states permitted to have more control I think we would see states with more focused values (collectivist or individualist or). In this utopia who wins a federal election is of less consequence and thus the 2 party system less 'meaningful.'

Sorry to waste time on a topic that we can control as much as next winter's weather.

Ryan Mount


Would you object to what they call "Alternative voting" whereby you rank the candidates by preference? Why do we have to have such a black and white approach to voting? For example, it's quite possible that I like some of the things Romney (or Obama[gasp]) has to say, but I like Johnson much more overall.

For example, and alternative vote for President might look like this:

Johnson 1
Romney 2
Stein 3

etc. Then the votes are calculated and weighted. Then there are run-offs. I'm not sure what the Constitution says about this, BTW.

More on it here:


I'm not sure why anyone would be opposed to this.

Paul Emery

I think we have tremendous control Mikey. In two years we could change the country and rock the two party system with a simple third party vote in the House elections. Third party any party would do it. But pragmatic establishment thinkers like Barnett use fear to keep the establishment in place. Ron Pauls or Ralph Naders do pop up from time to time but they are easily dispensed with by the major partys even though Nader at least had the guts to run third party something that Paul never did.

George Rebane

Re third party voting. PaulE 141pm blasts by my stability argument as if I didn't make it. I didn't detect the use of even a smidgeon of "fear" in Barnett's piece, just cold logic. What RyanM suggests in his 137pm is the subject of a long and ongoing discussion/debate. My own contribution to the issue of voting is still captured in 'Who can work, who may vote'.


Finally, we all recall the great gift that Ross Perot gave to the country in his 1992 third party run - why it's our fun loving elder stateman, none other than ol' Billy Jeff hisself. If it warn't for Ross, ol' Billy Jeff would still be doin' trailer parks in Arkansas today.


Ryan, I would VOTE for that system :).

Paul Emery

You can say the same thing about Nader in Florida 2000 whose votes, if he hadn't run would surely been distributed to Gore by enough of a lopsided number that would have eliminated partisan Judges from making the final call.

Paul Emery


Me too

Ryan Mount

Thanks George. Your columns often send me off a-researchin'. This time it was for "Pareto optimality" named after the Italian economist. Interesting stuff. Fortunately I was able to wrap my brain around it. I think. Is a glass half empty or half full? Neither. It's half wasted space.

Anyhow, we do have a problem where people are voting on things without properly studying them, and worse simply following the party line without question. Again, the ghost of Madison's factions haunt us. Certainly a chunk of the Founders wanted property owners to vote. (We've got measure K down here in Alta Sierra. I chuckled, using my inner voice, when I thought of non-property owners voting yes on a parcel tax.)

Anyhow, I have no idea what to do about the dumb voter. It's perfectly fine to vigorously disagree with someone, but I respect the thought and time they've put into it which is typically informed by their values. For example, I've grown tired of arguing with the Greens on fiscal topics, whom I agree with on several issues, because they honestly don't give a crap about taxes and revenue. I suppose the money will come from Big Rock Candy Mountain, I ask them. Obviously I'm oversimplifying their position. Jill Stein, who is one tough lady, wanted to fund her "Green New Deal" with dramatic cuts in military spending. It's as mysterious as the Romney/Ryan plan and as ill thought out as Obama's spending frenzy.

Perhaps it's time to turn this chapter's page on this last great century of man. Unless we get our schools in order, again as Madison warned us, we're not in a good place to make smart-ish (I didn't say "smart") decisions. I think folks like Jefferson and Adams would be surprised that we made it this far and that we hadn't indeed "murdered ourselves." The good news is, we're dumb, happy and frankly brave Americans. We do dumb shit, sometimes for fun, sometimes for virtue. We run at the fire when others are running away. So hope springs eternal that that spirit will rise to the occasion.

Paul Emery


I sense a derogatory attitude towards trailer folk. I live in a mobile unit myself. Sounds like class warfare to me. Those of us living in aluminum need to unite. If the trailer ain't level ain't nothing right.

Steve Wynn

So Walt, do you support the big tax write off that the coal industry gets when shipping their products?

It almost makes it "free" to ship it, so I can see that you're a big proponent of coal, so what about the billions they are given by the government as a support?

Do you stand behind the continuation of this tax break?


Now come on Paul,, How much grief has been given to as some on the Left say," Conservative ,redneck trailer trash"? And since you just happen to live in
tornado bait yourself, ya' take issue?
If you feel the need to get off the hook of living like the dreaded redneck,
take the axles off and the hitch, and pour a foundation. And instantly you can also change the name from "trailer" to " modular, prefabricated dwelling".
That should help the self esteem issue. ( PPpppssssst..... But no matter what, deep down it's,,,, still a trailer)


The Blaze TV is free tonight including on line.


All our dogs have shots, not a problem, but I'm declaring Romney the incurable two generation loser as of NOW. Off to water volleyball and then Matteo's, Margarita's, and the Stonehouse. The election office overbooked employees for NSJ's AIC polling place.

The Hey!Zeus! predicts Gloomda at Goombah's

Bill Tozer

Paul E, that was funny. I can always spot the rich folk in a trailer park. They are the ones that took off the wheels. I have many kinfolk in trailer parks. I always attend the family reunions to pick up dates. Keep it in the family and roll your own


'Ron Pauls or Ralph Naders do pop up from time to time but they are easily dispensed with by the major partys even though Nader at least had the guts to run third party something that Paul never did.'


Paul Emery


It ain't home till you take the wheels off


How come nobody took the obvious next step, as I celebrate Obama and 30 and I really hope Bera (put $77 into that one)?

"Hey!Zeus! Get off'a my cloud!"

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