Zero

September 2nd, 2011 at 11:34 am

That’s how many jobs employers created last month, on net, according to the BLS survey of firms.  More analysis to come, including Chad Stone’s detailed look at the guts of the report, but for now, this:

This jobs report is like a medical record from a sick patient…she’s not dying but she’s not getting better…but she needs help and she needs it quickly…yet her medical team can barely agree on when they’re free to consult on her case.

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2 comments in reply to "Zero"

  1. FS JOHNSON says:

    YOU SEEM TO BE A LEFT-LEANING ECONOMIST, AND I CERTAINLY LEAN TO THE RIGHT, SO HOW ABOUT THIS LEFT-RIGHT IDEA FOR GETTING CORPORATIONS TO USE SOME OF THEIR CASH HOARD TO CREATE JOBS:?
    1) Eliminate the corporate income tax altogether (right wingers cheer)
    2) Replace it $ for $ with a CORPORATE CARBON TAX levied on “first users” of the carbon fuel (oil refiners, gas pipeline companies, coal utilities) (greens cheer, lefties should too).

    What do you think the economic benefits and risks of this change would be? (Forget the politics for a minute, since I suspect that you’ll say that the oil lobby will never let this idea through, and I fear that you might be right)

    Here are some of the benefits in my view:
    1) Investment in energy saving projects will jump because the IRR of investment in energy saving projects will skyrocket as carbon-based energy costs will rise, and yet corporations will be able to keep 100% of the savings they achieve instead of 65% or less)
    2)A corporate energy tax is more progressive than a corporate income tax because eventually all corporate taxes are passed onto consumers as a cost of doing business and rich people consume disproportionately more energy intensive goods than do poor people. (As of now, food, clothing, retail, and drug companies remit and pass along US income taxes, –airlines, fancy car companies, McMansion builders generally do not.)
    3) As oil, gas, coal consumption drop due to the tax, the price of these goods will drop too (ceterus paribus)thus shifting some of the tax burden onto our frieds the Saudis and Venezuelans, and partially offsetting the cost to consumers.
    4) Collecting the tax will be dead simple compared to the current corporate income tax code.
    5) and most important…we will stop penalizing corporate management for doing what we want them to do (improve sales and limit costs) and begin penalizing what we want them to do less of which is consuming carbon and putting us in hock to OPEC. I.e. “creative destruction” will accelerate and drive overall growth.


  2. Geoff Freedman says:

    I’m in retail and after the debt ceiling debate, the credit rating drop from AAA by S&P on 8/5/11, and the Dow Jones 600 point drop on 8/8/11, I noticed a drop off of my sales starting on 8/9/11.

    Some of this has come back, and I’m really not sure how much of this is strickly ancedotal or based on some unconsidered or unknown local (microeconomic) factor.

    I know that consumer confidence in Aug 11 is down to 44.5 (extremely low), 30% of those employed are now afraid they will be laid off, and 44% of those employed are afraid their benifits will be cut.

    I suspect consumer spending will be down for Aug 11.

    I also suspect that the debt ceiling debate and some of its unintended consequences (credit rating drop, stock marjet volatility) has played a measurable role in dampening the economy. Does any of this show up in any data anywhere, to the point where you could see a change in job and spending patterns after 8/8/11?

    What brought this back up for me was the squabble over the date for Obama’s speech to congress.

    I think all this back and forth political stuff is destroying the public’s confidence in our government, and one of the unintended consequences of this lack of confidence is a dampening of economic recovery.


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