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Or Not

Ted Cruz has knelt before Zod. I hope Hillary Clinton spends the next eight years literally liquidating the Kulaks, because there is literally no one in America who deserves to stop her. I give up on this country. This is my final blog post. Goodbye everyone.

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Estimating The State of Labor Markets (Unemployment Statistics vs. Economic Realities)

Here is my elaboration on the work I mentioned here.

Let’s begin by downloading historical monthly official unemployment rates according to the St Louis Fed website. We’ll be using the series UNRATE, M0892AUSM156SNBR, M0892BUSM156SNBR, and M0892CUSM156NNBR. The first thing we want to do is turn these into a single, monthly series. To begin with, we will take M0892AUSM156SNBR for granted in the early part of the data. Subsequently, when it overlaps with M0892BUSM156SNBR, we will favor that latter series. During the first month of the latter, the two series agree, but they diverge thereafter. It’s not clear why, but M0892BUSM156SNBR seems more realistic. Finally, we have the issue that no seasonally adjusted series covers the year 1947. M0892CUSM156NNBR covers that year, but is full of seasonal noise. Fortunately, M0892CUSM156NNBR overlaps with UNRATE, so it is possible to estimate a seasonal cycle in M0892CUSM156NNBR and remove it. By removing the estimated average monthly differences, I can bridge the gap between the series. Now, using the series GPDIA and GDP data, I can find out what portion of spending in each year, back to 1929, was investment. This is significant because during normal times, there seems to be an inverse relationship between changes in the unemployment rate, and changes in the “investment rate.” As it turns out, this works fairly well through the entire period, except for one glaring discrepancy:


Four years, from 1942-1945 inclusive, fall off the general pattern of this relationship. Why? Simple. During World War II, the forcible removal by conscription of ten million able bodied young men (I assume they would have been young men?) from the labor force into the armed forces, the volunteering of many more who wished to avoid the high likelihood of assignment to infantry associated with the draft, the movement of people into draft exempt war production industries, all naturally led to a reduction in the official unemployment rate. To quote Robert Higgs:

Between 1940 and 1944 unemployment fell by either 7.45 million (official measure) or 4.62 million (Darby measure), while the armed forces increased by 10.87 million. Even if one views eliminating civilian unemployment as tantamount to producing prosperity, one must recognize that placing either 146 or 235 persons (depending on the unemployment concept used) in the armed forces to gain a reduction of 100 persons in civilian unemployment was a grotesque way to achieve prosperity, even if a job were a job.
So, clearly, the unemployment rate during those years does not accurately reflect the actual state of the economy and the ability of people to get a job-it was easier for those not fighting in the war to get jobs only because the supply of labor was artificially contracted. Based on the above relationship, the level of private investment at the time would have supported an unemployment rate of about 20%. But that relationship is a little noisy, I mainly mention it because it fairly starkly illustrates the unreliability of the unemployment rate during that period. I used such relationships with investment and the the private economy’s deviation from long term trend, to estimate, with a multiplicative adjustment, and an additive adjustment, what the unemployment rate would have looked like had there not been so many people simply removed from the labor force. With respect to the investment rate, I appear to have made a conservative (in the sense of err on the low side for an upward adjustment) estimate. I only menti0n this because I cannot, unfortunately, remember exactly how I arrived at the adjustment? I realize this is the sort of comment to invite a great deal of skepticism. I can only comment that I recall that I had some method at the time, and there are defensible methods whereby I know I could arrive at an even stronger answer. I was reconstructing work I did a couple of years ago in the course of writing this post. If you’re disappointed that I couldn’t reconstruct the origin of this adjustment, your disappointment cannot match my own. I think it was based on the private output gap? Either way, you can trust me or not on my final numbers for this period, I’ll leave that up to you. Now, I end up with a monthly record like this:
But…Something kind of extraordinary is going on at the end there. During the alleged recovery from the recent recession, the labor force and the working age population, between the ages of 16 and 64, have diverged in a noticeable way:
We see that, in spite of the growth of the working age population, the labor force began to stagnate in 2008. If we assume an alternate scenario, in which the labor force, but not the number of people actually employed, had continued to grow from 2008 on at the 2000-2007 linear trend, the following happens to the unemployment rate:
I can go further, though, and estimate annual unemployment rates for the US back to 1790. Using my estimates of the private economy and it’s deviation from it’s long term trend, accounting for mismeasured inflation during WWII, based on the relationship between the two:
I chose a quadratic curve to prevent the formula from outputting negative values, and the point at which the relationship would output values going in the “wrong” direction, never occurred in the historical private output gap data. This allows me to extend unemployment estimates back to 1790:
It is on this basis that I find that the unemployment rate was lower, significantly so, during the Classical Gold Standard, than it has been recently, under the Federal Reserve.
Ceterum censeo Subsidium Foederati esse delendam.

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Scum of The Earth

This is the kind of crap that these people resort to when they are desperate.

Oh, and FAU is really eating up all my time. I gotta get to a project, now that I think of it.

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Consolation (Peace) Prize?

Anyone else wondering if this is an apology for the Olympic snub?

Also, as of now, people are saying “He doesn’t deserve it”.

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As the Olympic comittee pisses in the eye of the One.

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Right for once…

Obama calls Kanye a Jackass.

Of course, the pot is calling the kettle….wait, no, I can’t say that. That would be unintentionally racist. So let me rephrase the old saying. The President is calling the “artist” a Jackass. There.

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Uh, so, yeah, I’m not dead.

I’ve been caught up with some crazy stuff lately. So apparently in the crazy left wing world all is not well. You see while they march forward with their plan to centrally plan medical care, it turns out that more people identify themselves as conservative than any other group. Well, whatever, it doesn’t matter because we are heading for so much crazy stuff at this point it doesn’t matter. Um, hm, was that circular reasoning? Whatever.

So what else is new? Obama has gone to lecture the doctors. He has so much to teach them about medicine you see.

The WEGGAHHHS!!!!!!! are on vacation. GHW Bush proves that in addition to being able to jump out of a plane, he can still understand what his own son too often forgot.

Election controversy…and this time it has nothing to do with your humble correspondent’s stupid neighbors.

North Korean is batshit crazy. What else is new?

Oh all the world is a crazy crazy mess. Enjoy.


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So anyway, Christmas book reviews

I’ll be doing this every time I get a good book, but I really am looking forward to a lot of books this Christmas, so I’m planning to do a lot of reviews. Anyway, to start with, just to give you an idea, I’ll start with a book I just got recently, though obviously not for Christmas. I’ve been reading Dinesh D’Souza’s What’s so Great About Christianity. Well, so far, its great. Personally, I think that we both think along very similar lines. Incidentally, he has an article on Townhall, about George W. Bush, and I urge you to go read it. He makes an excellent point, which I think a lot of people have completely missed. Anyway, the book is great. I mean, I don’t think it is perfect, since I personally find that, in limiting himself to the level of thinking of an atheist, he is limited in the points he can make about theism, I sense he has forced himself down to their level, which is somewhat demeaning for someone of his intelligence. But one point I want to address, which I think Dinesh is himself aware of: The argument that Christianity built Western Civilization isn’t going to convince anyone that doesn’t like Christianity that Christianity is good. Why? Because the central goal of the secular progressives, to borrow a phrase from the culture warrior himself, want to destroy Western Civilization. And why not? From the liberal* perspective, the white males, especially the rich Anglo-Saxon Protestants, are responsible for a huge amount of suffering in world. From this perspective, its is easy to see why they hate all of these things so much. Frankly, most people would want the source of suffering eradicated, and there is even a strong, irrational temptation to destroy or ruin even the descendants of your oppressors. Want proof of this? Some day, you may be sued by a black family because your ancestors enslaved their ancestors. Notice that the people in the present aren’t even the sufferers! But “Someone has to pay”. Well, that “Someone” is virtually always the West. Why? Because it is perceived that the West got so successful by taking advantage of the rest of the world. This assumes, wrongly, that success is a zero sum game, but I digress. So, ultimately, Western civilization is the ultimate evil, the “Great Satan” of liberalism. Funny how it’s the same for Islamo-fascists! Well, except that, as Dinesh himself constantly reminds people, Islam is mostly angry at the debauchery of the Cultural Left, which, however unfortunately, Capitalism happens to be shoving down their throats. Well, if the Islamo-fascists could only see that the great thing about Capitalism is that your Free to Choose (which I also hope to get for Christmas) what is and is not shoved down your throat, they wouldn’t have a problem. But they, unlike those of us of the Western Right, they believe in ideological and societal purity. Although a lot of Leftists don’t believe me when I say so, I actually believe in pluralistic society, and they don’t. Because, the reality is that they want us all to have the same (left) views about everything, and forcing people not be racists, homophobes, etc. The Islamo-fascists, in the exact opposite sense, want us all to be racists and homophobes. It is the “evil” Conservatives that want the middle road, where people are free to hold the view that something is wrong/bad, but don’t have to. The left is pushing their culture on us, but we, rational people that we are, have largely tuned it out, not wanting to use th government to change it. The point is that Western civilization is under assault from all sides, who want to illiberalize our society, either in the name of “liberalism” or in the name of “Allah”. So, unfortunately, the left won’t even listen to the plea that Christianity built Western civilization. They don’t just want to throw the baby out with the bath water, they want to throw the whole tub out the window!

Anyway, Liberalism, Islamo-fascism, pick which one you would rather be destroyed by. I’ll just move to Hong Kong, the most economically free country in the World.

*Note that some atheists are not self described “leftists”, but their main goal in eliminating religion is to allow traditional morality to be destroyed. So technically, we are, strictly speaking, talking about the social left, including some “libertarians”

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Um…Hello, is this thing on?

Hi there! I’m Andrew, author of this blog. I’ve been thinking of creating this for a long time, so, well, I have. I’ve set up this blog for the purpose of telling you what I think about certain important issues of our time, giving you the kind of insight generally absent from most discussions these days. I hope that, in doing so, I can provide people with the perspective they need to make informed choices. It is my belief that we are in a time when choices must be made, when we must decide between what is right and wrong, both morally and logically. I might not seem to be qualified to talk about things of this nature, being a random person on the internet, but I have spent a long time thinking about all these things, and I feel that given the ideas which I have, I must share them with the world, so that everyone can better understand my way of thinking.

Thank you for coming to Time to Choose Again, and I hope that you leave a bit wiser than you came every time you visit!

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