October 4th, 2009

#1751: Reporting unemployment

The graph associated with this article shows us what unemployment has been doing for the past 9 months or so.

It also describes the difference between the two methods used by the Labor Department to track unemployment: U3 and U6.

During the Bush years, the media was all over U6: "Bush says unemployment is X, but it's really X+Y!"

Now the media is carefully reporting only U3: "The US Labor Department today said unemployment was X...."

It works to the Democrats' advantage: it makes the gap between Bush unemplyment figures--which were pretty good--and the Obama unemployment figures--which are rotten--look a lot smaller than they are.

As the article points out, U6 is at 17%. During the Bush years it was somewhere around half that.

This graph points out why this is an important distinction: it reports U3 but as you can see from the graph, U3 is 'way the hell higher than any projection from the Obama White House said it would be, regardless of what the government did.

If we beileve Obama's projections, it looks like doing nothing would have been preferable, because unemployment is much higher than it would have been. In fact, those projections are worthless, and they were worthless at the time: they obviously picked the wrong assumptions, and I would wager that those assumptions included, "We're in charge now, so naturally everything is going to get better!"


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...I only just noticed the link to this page over at Big Dick's Place: "Big Ed and his Atomic Fungus", it says, down near the bottom of the blogroll. I'm a "blog worthy read"!

That makes me happy. Thanks, Dick!

I'm gonna have to look at some of those other guys. A few of them are already in my blogroll....

#1752: Has it been five years already???

Since SpaceShip One won the X-prize?

It's mainly an article on the commercialization of space; and believe me, that's something I am 100% behind. (200%. More.)

Looks like they're getting close to paying passenger service on suborbital flights; and once that gets going, you'll see a lot of interesting things crop up.

Like? How about the oft-repeated claim of "New York to Tokyo in 90 minutes"? It'll finally become a reality, albiet--at least initially--at a price that will make Concorde tickets look like Economy Class.

Suborbital operations are vital to the commercialization of space, and they'll make international travel a lot faster. But that's only part of the story.

The other part comes from continuing development of suborbital craft: the profit motive will mean increasing the efficiency of the things to make them more profitable. And if you make them efficient enough, suddenly you'll find that these are also ways to make suborbital vehicles which can also be orbital vehicles.

The companies which find ways to make money on boosting payloads to orbit will need to pay people just to shovel their money around.

This kind of stuff is exciting in a way that the latest-and-greatest from NASA is not.