Friday Open Thread

December 2, 2011 9:46 am

by Buzz Brockway · 36 comments

It’s a Conference Championship Weekend. Will UGA beat LSU? Jeff Shultz thinks not. Who will win in the ACC? Clemson or VT?

315,000 left the workforce and unemployement fell to 8.6%. Wait, what?

The final playoff spot is up for grabs this weekend in the Peach Pundit football league. The Head Shrinkers have the inside track even though I cruelly defeated him by less than a point last week.

Discuss these things, or anything else on your mind in this Open Thread.

griftdrift December 2, 2011 at 9:54 am

Leaving the labor force is not the same as losing your job. It’s a subtle difference but it is a difference.

Buzz Brockway December 2, 2011 at 9:56 am

True, but couldn’t we say the drop in unemployment is mostly due to a shrinking workforce?

120,000 people got jobs which is good news.

griftdrift December 2, 2011 at 10:11 am

I suppose you could but the numbers have always been calculated that way. It would similar to Bachman’s claim that the health care thing will cost a half million jobs when actually a half million people will leave the labor force due to no longer needing to have a job to maintain coverage.

Buzz Brockway December 2, 2011 at 10:22 am

There’s lies, dang lies, and statistics.

griftdrift December 2, 2011 at 11:28 am

Buzz, here is an article the digs deeper into what I’m talking about. For those that don’t want to click through or read a bunch of wonky stuff, the bullet is the “labor participation rate” has been declining for some time (as far back as the late 90s) and everyone suspects we are seeing a structural change in how the economy operates.

Some of the factors they suspect are causing the shrinkage: baby boomers are reaching retirement (and likely retiring earlier), people in their 20s are staying in school and, of course, the much talked about discouraged workers.

The bottom line is there is something fundamentally changing in the economy, it started well before the crash and it behooves us all to see what’s rumbling underneath instead of just glancing at the surface.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/why-are-people-dropping-out-of-the-labor-force/2011/12/02/gIQAfJLuKO_blog.html

Buzz Brockway December 2, 2011 at 11:32 am

Thanks grift. I’ll check it out.

saltycracker December 2, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Buzz,

There is another factor that I bump into regularly. The underground economy is growing faster than Greek tax evaders.

I’ll skip a long list of anecdotal evidence, including conversations, just today, with a maintenance company owner upset over payroll taxes while his competitor pays cash and a fellow with a kid on unemployment doing contract work, as I’m certain you can fill in many more examples, particularly with small business owner’s unreported revenue.

TheEiger December 2, 2011 at 10:10 am

Two Things :

1) I hope that Ga beats LSU and LSU and Alabama still play for the national title. This will make everyone so mad that the BCS will be doomed and a playoff system will be put in it’s place.

2) The drop in the unemployment rate is due to seasonal employment at places like UPS and department stores for Christmas. Before our liberal friends start talking about this is the economic turn around that Obama needs to get re elected, this happens every year. If unemployment continues to decline into the Summer of 2012 and gets at or below 7 percent then Obama has a chance to see a second term. If it doesn’t. We will have President Romney or Gingrich.

gaexaminer December 2, 2011 at 10:13 am

Because enough people said to heck with looking? Temporary retail jobs wouldn’t figure into this.

Also, that last spot is MINE MINE MINE – though I would prefer to make it with a winning record.

-Head Shrinkers

griftdrift December 2, 2011 at 10:14 am

It’s seasonally adjusted. And the rate last November was 9.8.

ricstewart December 2, 2011 at 10:15 am

Honest question, not a rhetorical one, concerning HB 87 Immigration Enforcement Review Board:

HB 87: “Complaints may be received from any legal resident of this state as defined by Code Section 40-2-1 who is also a legally registered voter.”

First Amendment to the United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

What if I, as a citizen of Georgia and the United States, choose not to register to vote? Wouldn’t that abridge my right to petition the government for a redress of grievances?
Is the Immigration Enforcement Review Board exempt from the Bill of Rights? Does the incorporation doctrine not apply to boards and commissions like this?

benevolus December 2, 2011 at 11:45 am

That’s bizarre. I can’t even imagine why someone would want that language in there.

David Staples December 2, 2011 at 11:11 am

How am I supposed to get any news anymore if Jason doesn’t post Morning Reads this morning? :-P I’ve become accustomed to checking PP for my morning reads before going anywhere else anymore. :-)

Engineer December 2, 2011 at 11:24 am

+1

Lawton Sack December 2, 2011 at 11:36 am

LSU: 42, uga: 3.14159

Also, the Southern Conference champion Georgia Southern Eagles will be hosting a second round playoff game in the prettiest little stadium in America.

Calypso December 2, 2011 at 11:54 am

Sounds more like an LSU/GaTech score

David Staples December 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Agreed. I’m not sure many people at UGA would know what 3.14159 is. And if you mention pi, the first question would be apple or blackberry?

Calypso December 3, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Hey Lawton, add a touchdown to pi and you were dead on.

Lawton Sack December 5, 2011 at 11:44 am

Well, I knew it would be some irrational number 10 or less. I chose pi.

John Konop December 2, 2011 at 11:43 am

Would you support this bill why or why not?

FROM AJC:

Senate rejects, for now, extending payroll tax cut

…….The first payroll tax plan to fall was a Democratic measure that was the centerpiece of Obama’s jobs package announced in September. It would cut the Social Security payroll tax from 6.2 percent to 3.1 percent next year and also extend the cut to employers, with its hefty $265 billion cost paid for by slapping a 3.25 percent surtax on income exceeding $1 million…..

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/senate-rejects-for-now-1247932.html

Harry December 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I would support under two conditions:
– The required fiscal offset is a direct reduction in the federal workforce.
– It’s not tied to continuing post-26 week unemployment benefits.

saltycracker December 2, 2011 at 9:28 pm

The SS tax is an insurance payment by the individual employee & employer, albeit a ponzi one as the premiums aren’t invested for the future as intended. This is smoke and mirrors that the premiums will be supplemented by someone else’s high incomes.

When taxes go into one big pot you can say anything.

This is a non sequitur fraud.

How about we meet our SS obligations, raise the age & maybe the ceiling, set up a restricted fund with the money in 30 yr. treasuries, get to work on fraud and worry about something else.

saltycracker December 3, 2011 at 10:34 am

P.S. This is a scheme to turn an insurance program into an entitlement program with little accountability – next step, everyone gets the same regardless of contribution –

meanwhile the fraud increases, particularly with disability – walk into any SS office in metro Atlanta & count the seniors……not many…..

How can the idea of premium reduction even be on the table for discussion until a set aside program is funded to all participant revenue contributions plus 30 yr. treasury earnings and we see a massive surplus ?

John Vestal December 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Happy (early) Birthday to my bride, who turns *redacted* tomorrow! :>)

USA1 December 2, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Congrats to Senators Isakson and Chambliss for voting in favor of S.1867 this week. It’s only the worst bill regarding civil liberties since the patriot act, and our senators were happy to trade even more of our freedom for security. It is nice every once in awhile for our cowardly congress to go on record and vote for something so awful, since usually they hide behind our commander-of-war and let him do whatever he wants via some sort of magical executive privilege to ignore laws he doesn’t like and make up new ones.

saltycracker December 2, 2011 at 9:36 pm

UhOh – keep in touch usa1 they may be coming for you – these guys are Senators !
Seriously, this is a slippery slope.

SallyForth December 2, 2011 at 10:31 pm

GO DAWGS! Now that I got that out of my system, back to politics. How bout that Newtster, who was for the no-fly zone before he was against it? There’s been some interesting reading in the Washington Post this week about all his different businesses located at 1425 K Street, NE, Washington, D.C. Gingrich Communications, Gingrich Group, Center for Health Communications, et.al. of his different lobbying pseudonyms. Seems he also ran up a big rent bill for another business called American Solutions, which among other things drove people crazy with robo calls during dinner time to push whatever his clients wanted to do. But the Newtster never paid the rent and instead moved A/S out in the night, hung it in his landlords.

Good old Newt, silver-tongued devil lobbyist since 1998, up to his good old smarmy ways. Let’s hope Republican voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and other early primary states are not desperate enough to vote for putting a disgraced former legislator turned lobbyist into the White House! Everybody needs to take a deep breath and vote for nominating a clean-cut statesman from the pack of nominees.

TheEiger December 3, 2011 at 10:08 am

And who would that “clean-cut statesman” be? Romney, who has be running for President since he was 30 and has lost more elections than he has won? Cain, who likes the ladies a little too much? Perry, who thinks having a brain fart during debate is how you get to get on Leno and Conan? Santorum, who lost his re-election as a senator in Penn and thinks ” well hell, I’ll just run for president since I can’t even win over folks in my own state”. Bachman, who thinks only wants to talk about “the gays.” Ron Paul, well do we really want the grumpy old man from down the street that always yelled to get off his lawn when you were a kid as our president? Oh yeah, and of course all of our worries will go away if we don’t have a military and just make nice with the terrorists.

Cassandra December 3, 2011 at 11:33 am

“Should I stay or Should I GO?!?”

My bet is Mr. Cain will stay. I got a robo-call last night inviting me to his Grand Opening of the GA Campaign HQ on 3700 DeKalb Industrial Way.

http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-politics-elections/crowd-tv-cameras-await-1249985.html

Cassandra December 3, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Good thing politics is not how I feed my family………………….

Dave Bearse December 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Goldwater, if you yet read this blog, I’ve missed your comments and hope you’re recovering.

B Balz – miss your comments too, even if I disagree with many of ‘em.

Cassandra December 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Call Marlene H. in Dora and ask her about BBalz, she’ll hook you up. He is his irascible, yet charmingly ascerbic self….

saltycracker December 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm

SB 203 CAPCO IS BACK.

So while we debate a broke unemployment fund and a taxpayer provider charity worker our Georgia legislators are now considering passing out $125 MILLION to private venture capitalists to spread amongst small businesses…..because our elected are so good at investing & job creation !

You’d think Republicans would responsibly regulate, put legislation in place to facilitate businesses, minimize their taxes and learn they just can’t pass out taxpayer monies without picking their own winners & loosers.

Harry December 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Amen brother. CAPCO is a gift for connected special interests.

Calypso December 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm

CAPCO sucks.

Dave Bearse December 5, 2011 at 12:38 am

The money is being given to insuruance companies, who will place it with private venture capitalists. It’s not even socializing risk for private profit—it’s corporate welfare.

A CAPCO couldn’t make it on its own merits though a House Committee, so Insurance Committee Chairman Ben Harbin attached it to SB203, an insurance bill wholly unrelated to CAPCOs, after SB203 came to the House. SB203 passed gthe House on the second to last day before the end of the session when it’s likely many of the rank and file were clueless as to what they were voting for. (Buzz – did you know you voted for a CAPCO?)

The AJC reported Gov Deal has reservations about the legislation. Deal campaigned in support of a CAPCO, so his reservations more likely concern Gubenatorial influence on the flow of the money as much as anything else.

Let’s hope the AJC stays on the case and reports how much the special handling cost insurance company and venture capitalists in gifts and campaign contributions.

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