Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why does this analysis of the so-called "recovery" sound like the Ethanol plaint?

So, the Washington Times claims "Government job cuts create a historically slow recession recovery".

Huh.  It seems that while the private employers of America have added 7.4 million jobs, the loss of 10% of that number, 750,000 employees, from the public dole is the reason for the slow economy.

That sounds an awful lot like "add  10% ethanol to your gas, and we save 10% of the gas!" when the reality is that the resulting mix only gives 90% of the mileage. Yes, that 10% ethanol represents a 10% loss of usefulness of the mix. We pay, exorbitantly, an entire industry, and divert an astonishing amount of food to make the fuel -- that doesn't actually act like much more than a smaller gas can for the same price.

I mean if you go the same number of miles for 90% of a gallon of gas, as for a gallon that is 90% gas and 10% ethanol -- my choice is the smaller can for the same number of miles. At least if I skip the ethanol I don't have to add additional fuel-related products to correct damage to my vehicle from ethanol, and products to protect from additional damage from the ethanol. And I don't waste both tax money (burdened, because it represents the fuel and earnings of tax payers that tax "revenues" represent) and the food that might have been available to the world, if it hadn't been diverted to capitalize on federal money distributions. Not to mention the industries involved in distributing ethanol and tracking ethanol usage, reporting statistics of ethanol use and distribution, etc.

So that 10% dilution of jobs created during this "recovery" seems a bit disingenuous. Adding 10% ethanol doesn't significantly impact the amount of gasoline consumed in America, and the "loss" of 750,000 jobs, way less than 10% of all federal, state, and local employees, has on any recovery.

I suppose the loss of government jobs wasn't offset by steadily rising union representation and escalating salary and benefit price tags in a troubled economy. And I suppose those 7.4 million civilian jobs are distributed proportionally among the highest level incomes as well as the entry level and minimum wage jobs are.  And I suppose that the raise in minimum wages a few years back isn't crippling the actual income of many employers with employees that either earn minimum wage, or wages calculated from minimum wage (Min plus $0,10, min plus $1.25, or min times 1.3 or times 2.2). Well, maybe a little.

And raising taxes, siphoning off the incomes of people hiring employees, of people funding new projects, corporation operations, etc. doesn't dilute what money can accomplish in the economy. I suppose that doesn't affect the rate that money moves through the economy.

I am sure that investments of large parts of the economy in debt "derivatives" and financial gimmicks like credit default swaps rather than, say, industries that employ people has anything to do with why merely adding more fast food workers doesn't solve the nation's problems.

I am sure that considering a house to be an investment, instead of a place that a family lives, doesn't weight the evaluation of the economy in unhealthy directions. I am sure that a "mobile" work force -- expecting to hire seasonally, workers to move for jobs several times in their work career, doesn't contribute to an unstable and costly waste of resources of people, of community assets, and increases demands for government support.

Well, maybe I do think the simplification of counting the loss of state and local workers with the slowed growth of union federal workers to explain why the national debt siphoning off tax revenues and credit availability to the nation is somewhat misleading.

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