Archive for August, 2011

Unemployment claims (continued)….

August 25, 2011

Oh look, another Thursday morning, time for another Initial Claims for Unemployment number!!!

This post is a continuation of posts here, here, here and here.

Foxnews and CNBC have their reports.  Relevant quotes follow:

“The prior week’s claims were revised up to 412,000 from the previously reported 408,000.”

“The Labor Department says weekly applications rose 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 417,000, the highest level in five weeks.”

Can you believe it??  The prior weeks numbers were revised UPWARD…………..AGAIN!!!  Nobody took my wager, yet, but I will keep trying.  I will wager that next week, this weeks number of 417,000 will be revised UPWARD!!  Any takers?  I’ll even give odds of 2 to 1.

Following up on last weeks statistics lesson, I have the following quote:

“The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, rose 4,000 to 407,500.”

Unbelievable!!!  The moving average “ROSE”!!!  Oh, wait, that is what I said was going to happen, so, no surprise there.  I will make the following wager, although, the odds are becoming more even.  I will wager that the moving average RISES next week as well.  Any takers?  Next weeks number will need to be below 401,000 in order for the moving average to fall.  This could be a possibility, even though I am willing to wager that it will be greater than 401,000.

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Unemployment claims (continued)….

August 18, 2011

Oh my gosh, I have a surprise for you today!!  Just like clockwork we have ANOTHER revision to the Initial Claims for Unemployment.  OK, OK, OK………..It is NOT a SURPRISE!!!  Yes, you are correct, the revision is UPWARD (AGAIN!!!) from last weeks reported number. 

The prior week’s figure was revised up to 399,000 from the previously reported 395,000.”

Here is my original post, the next weeks post and here is last weeks update.  In ALL posts I was willing to make a wager, so I will continue.

I will wager that this weeks number of 408,000 claims will be revised UPWARD next week! 

I did say that the new claims may not be revised above 400,000 this week, and I was correct It was WAY below 400,000 at 399,000!!!  Does anyone really trust the “governments” revised figure of 399,000??  Is that one person willing to wager that the number is EXACTLY 399,000??  I would bet the farm that it is not!!  In fact, I would be willing to wager that if I looked at the adjustments that “thay” made to get this number, I could make a VERY SMALL adjustment and the number would be above 400,000.  After all, a 1,000 point change in a 400,000 number is only a 0.25% MISS!!  The “revisions” that “they” have been doing have been as high as 2.25%.  I think that “they” made sure the number was below 400,000 so that the news would stop reporting the number of weeks above 400,000.

Applications have been above 400,000 for 18 of the past 19 weeks.”

Just another example of politics being used for propaganda.

Another problem that I have with the media are the following two quotes, one from Fox News and one from CNBC (referenced above):

“Still, the average number of applications over the past four weeks fell to its lowest level since mid-April. That suggests the job market may be improving.”

“The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, fell 3,500 to 402,500.”

Why paint such a rosy picture??  Why look for the silver lining in these numbers??  I know during other Presidencies, when the numbers were not nearly so bad, all was doom and gloom.  As for the first quote, I am willing to make another wager.  I know, I know, it is just statistics.  But, with the numbers that we have had (meaning NOT a large variation), IF this weeks number is ABOVE the moving average, the ONLY way for this moving average to continue moving lower is IF next weeks number is below the moving average by MORE than this weeks is above.  I will wager that with all of the economic news that is hitting in the last few days that this will NOT happen.  Is the author of the first quote going to reverse their position, when the moving average goes up to say that “suggests the job market may be getting worse”?

Just a question.

Cost of government day…

August 11, 2011

This year (2009) is the LATEST cost of Government day EVER (Here is the actual analysis). It occurs on August 12th.  It beats 2008 by 23 days.  That is MORE than 3 weeks, that every American (you know, those of us who work) had to work, to PAY for the Government.

How does that make you feel???

Do not worry, the rest of the year you can work for yourself and your family.  The Government will not be back UNTIL the New Year.

Unemployment claims (updated)….

August 11, 2011

Today is Thursday, time for another revision to a Government Number.  Yes, you are correct, the revision is to the Initial Claims for Unemployment, and yes, you are correct, the revision is UPWARD from last weeks reported number. 

“The prior week’s figure was revised up to 402,000 from the previously reported 400,000.”

Here is my original post, and here is last weeks update.  In both posts I was willing to make a wager, so I will continue.

I will wager that this weeks number of 395,000 claims will be revised UPWARD next week! 

I will say that the new claims may not be above 400,000 this week, after they are revised, so this may be the first week in 19 that the initial claims is below 400,000.  But really, is it much of a consolation if we are ONLY 5,000 below 400,000??  The estimate I have seen says that the initial claims need to be BELOW 300,000 to have any chance at reducing the overall unemployment number.

To the “government statisticians” supervisors:  I am willing to do this job for the same pay that you are paying the currently inept people.  I mean seriously, they are supposed to be STATISTICIANS!!!  They should understand, that I (and ANY other person that has taken graduate level statistics) can show with SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE that their “estimates” are LOW.  If they cannot come up with a better adjustment to their initial numbers, then they are INCOMPETENT (or political HACKS) and no longer deserve to be PAID by US.  We demand an HONEST and OBJECTIVE analysis to be done!!

To the supervisors:  If you are unwilling, or unable, to do YOUR jobs, I am willing and able to do your job as well!!

Budget numbers….

August 10, 2011

Why does the media insist on using a “10 year” projection when discussing the budget for The United States of America??  But then, when they do not like the savings, they make them seem small so it would sound insignificant??

Here is a case in point, from that “ultra conservative, right wing extremist, rag” Foxnews:

“A new report Tuesday claiming budget analysts understated the cost of the law by up to $50 billion a year …”

$50 BILLION!!!  With all of the newscasts that have proclaimed that the deficit is $14+ TRILLION, or they need to cut $2 +TRILLION or $4+TRILLION or whatever TRILLION, $50 billion does not sound like very much. 

I wish that the media in this country would STOP helping the politicians distort and confuse the American public, most of whom are to busy trying to live their own lives and take care of their families to spend time to try and understand what the politicians are doing.  The media’s JOB is to hold politicians accountable!!  ALL politicians!!!  Not just Republicans.  Not just Democrats.  Not just Tea Partiers.  ALL of them.

The media needs to keep the budget issue simple.  Let’s keep it to a summary of ONE year.  How much did the government spend last year??  How much is the government going to spend this year??  How much TAXES will the government collect this year??  How BIG is the deficit (the difference between how much the government collects and how much the government wastes spends)  How much….??

If the media insists on keeping the “10 year projection” then I think EVERYTHING should be a 10 year projection.  For instance, in the previously mentioned article wouldn’t it sound worse if instead of $50 BILLION a year, they said that the error in calculating the COST of ObamaCare is $500 BILLION over the next decade?  Or, better yet, the error is HALF OF A  TRILLION dollars!! 

So much for the LIE that ObamaCare would CUT spending on health care!!!

Congratulations Mr. President!!!

August 9, 2011

I read this article this morning and could only think to Congratulate The One.  It appears that The One has accomplished something that was bothering most LEGAL Americans.  He has, if not stopped ILLEGAL immigration from the south, he has greatly reduced it.  From the article:

“The Mexican government’s statistical unit says the country’s net outflow of migrants has fallen to “almost nothing.”

Congratulations Mr. President, you have done it.

You have made America so much like the rest of the third world (poorer, unemployed, desperate, hopeless, etc.) that NO ONE wants to come here any more!!!  Keep up the good work.  NOT!!!

Fannie Mae STILL losing taxpayer money!!!

August 5, 2011

Fannie MAe continue to lose taxpayer money.  In the last quarter:

“The largest U.S. residential mortgage funds provider on Friday also reported a second-quarter net loss attributable to common shareholders of $5.2 billion…”

And if that is not BAD enough:

“Including the latest funding request, Fannie Mae has needed $104 billion in government capital injections since the U.S. Treasury seized control of it in 2008 during the financial crisis.”

Just to put that into perspective, IF that “loss was included in the budget in 1999 (the federal budgets can be found here), it would have equaled almost 20% of the ENTIRE federal budget!!!  IF it was included in the budget in 2007 it would have equaled almost 10% of the ENTIRE federal budget.  When I say ENTIRE federal budget, this includes all expenditures including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Defense (or as some say, The Wars) etc.  Fannie Mae is a black hole eating our, the taxpayers, money!!

I have a few questions for Fannie Mae:

How much have you spent on BONUSES for your employees over that time?

Have you recovered the ILL GOTTEN bonuses for the years that these “bad loans” were made??

Unemployment claims (updated)….

August 4, 2011

Last week I posted a wager.  I said:

“I will make a wager with anyone that NEXT week the 398,000 number is REVISED UPWARD above 400,000.”

Unfortunately (for me) no one took the wager.

This week the number was *surprise, surprise, surprise* revised upward to 401,000.  This weeks number was 400,000.  Does anyone want to take my next wager?  I will wager that this 400,000 number is revised UPWARD next week.

By the way, these revisions may be more accurate than the atomic clock in keeping time!!

Matt Damon and Taxes…

August 3, 2011

Apparently, Matt Damon (interview by Nicholas Ballasy) is upset that “rich” people, LIKE HIM, do not pay more in taxes.

“Matt Damon Calls for 50% Tax Rate & Says Nobody Who Earns Over $250,000 Starts Businesses if They Keep More of Their Own Money”

I would like to make a wager with Mr. Damon.  What if I told Mr. Damon that there are people in the USA making less than his $250,000/year income, that pay MORE than 50%!!  Would he say that does not happen??

You can visit a posting I did a few years ago here.  If we include ALL of the taxes paid by citizens, I would wager that most income tax payers in New Jersey are paying more than 50%.  And that does NOT include the self-employed.  Speaking of the self-employed, I would wager that if it is a small company (less than 20 employees), that the owners pay more than 50%.  I KNOW!  I have owned a small business.  My taxes were closer to 65%.  AND I did start that business with MY own money.  Seriously, Mr Damon??  Do you really believe that most of the small businesses started in this country, are started with someone else’s money??  Seriously??  I would wager that greater than 50% of the businesses started in ANY year in the USA, are started with the founder’s money, or family of the founder.

Pick the wager Mr. Damon, and let me know what you would like to wager.  I’m willing to back up the FACTS with MY OWN money, are you willing to back up your faulty opinions with your money??

A comment for Mr. Damon.  I have checked and there is NO law that prohibits Mr. Damon from sending more than the minimum to the IRS.  I think it would behoove Mr. Damon, if next April, he showed EVERYONE the check that he was sending to the IRS.  What say you Mr. Damon.  Please, quit being one of those standard “Hollywood Stars” that says “Do as I say, not as I do.”  Stand behind your convictions and lead by example.  Until then, I think you should stick to “acting”, your “real life” experiences are lacking!  If you really BELIEVE what you are saying, send the money, then you can “lecture” the rest of us.

Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee…

August 1, 2011

Oh…..where to start??

Sheila Jackson Lee

What are these people in Texas thinking when they elect someone like this??

Recently, Rep. Jackson Lee has said:

“…she and fellow Democrats will “read the entire” bill to determine whether it provides “justice for all, or justice for a few.”

Thanks, Rep. Lee, but that is your JOB!!!  To READ every bill, BEFORE you vote on it!!!  I just have one question for Rep. Lee at this moment. 

Did you READ ObamaCare, to “determine whether it provides JUSTICE for ALL, or justice for a FEW”??

Nancy Pelosi said,

“It’s going to be very, very exciting,” Pelosi gaffed, telling the local elected officials assembled that Congress “[has] to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it, away from the fog of controversy.”