16 Weeks – Old Enough to Drive, not Working
Will those who are claiming that the economy is recovering and things are better please explain why, as of today, we have sixteen straight weeks of “seasonally adjusted” UI claims above 400,000?
I’m now convinced that there will be no troop reductions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, or any of the other places where we’re conducting unpaid-for, possibly illegal, wars between now and late 2012 if only because those soldiers would come home and raise the unemployment rate.
The sad part about this entire articles is, its true.
The weekly jobless claims isn’t getting better, its either the same or increasing.
The Jobs issue, should be the main issue we address
You must think there’s a lump of labor,
Krugman: Jump Start Possibilities – Suppose that Obama announces that we face a clear and present danger from Ruritania, and that to meet that threat we need immediate investment in roads and rail (to move troops, of course). The economy surges on the emergency spending — and newly employed men and women at last get to move out of their relatives’ basements. Home construction surges. Then Obama apologizes, says that his advisers have learned that there is no such country as Ruritania, and cancels the program. But we still have the new roads and rail links; plus, the surge in housing demand is now self-sustaining, and the economy remains strong. Of course, we could do all this without the Ruritanian threat; but we won’t.
But recent hisory says otherwise: “But we still have the new roads and rail links; plus, the surge in housing demand is now self-sustaining, and the economy remains strong.”
if only because those soldiers would come home and raise the unemployment rate.
Bringing troops back from a foreign country is not the same as demobilizing them. Right now, nobody who matters is talking about changing the size of the armed forces. But there are less than 200,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, so even if every one of them were to be demobilized, it won’t make much difference to a labor pool of over 150 million and an unemployment pool of about 14 million (very rough numbers from memory). The U-3 would tick up by about 0.13%.
The negative impact from bringing the troops would/will come from halting the spending that keeps troops in the field supplied with food, water, fuel, etc. That could be as much as $150B per year once they are all home and resettled. Much of that money is actually spent in the States rather than in the “host” countries.
Aside from all that, many of troops in Iraq are already gone, and it looks like political considerations in Iraq will force almost all of the rest out. I think political considerations here will keep most of the troops in Afghanistan.
Then why didn’t he do that the with the first Stimulus?
PeakVT – True, just bringing them back wouldn’t do anything. But there would also be the end of the Stop-Losses, and the steady expiry of re-enlistments for the re-patriated.
One of the main reasons we got the G. I. Bill (first one) was because the flood of labor coming back from World War II would have made unemployment soar. (See Brad DeLong’s recent series about the half-arsed activities after World War I, which were wholly inadequate if you believe in supporting the troops.)
jazzbumpa – No; I think there is a lot of labor taking lumps. I also suspect that downsizing 640,000+ people, seasonally adjusted, makes it much more difficult to follow the policies that would prove there isn’t a lump of labor (and, collaterally, raise worker productivity, because my 11th hour of work is probably not so productive as your fifth or sixth on second shift would be).
Thanks for sprinkling a few facts into the conspiracy theorizing. Even is one were determined to think bad things about Obama in every situation, it is another matter to believe hair-brained things about him. Our deployment in WWII was massive, and the troops were drawn from across the economy and most of society. Today, the deployment is a far smaller part of the populace, more narrowly drawn from the economy and society.
The notion that Obama would risk backlash from those opposed to staying in Iraq and Afghanistan (now the majority) in order to avoid adding a tenth to the jobless rate is nonsense. Even assuming we booted every soldier returning from the wars out of the military, they’d represent a week of new jobless claims – a small week.
because he’s really a stealth conservative; here are a few examples of Obama’s effective conservatism:
His stimulus bill was half the size that his advisers thought necessary; He continued Bush’s war and national security policies without change and even retained Bush’s defense secretary; He put forward a health plan almost identical to those that had been supported by Republicans such as Mitt Romney in the recent past, pointedly rejecting the single-payer option favored by liberals; He caved to conservative demands that the Bush tax cuts be extended without getting any quid pro quo whatsoever; And in the past few weeks he has supported deficit reductions that go far beyond those offered by Republicans.
Thanks for pointing out this which is repeatedly mentioned at AB – even when I try to correct it everytime.
The bulk of the troops overseas are active duty and will not suddenly be unemployed if they returned to the states today. The reservists and others who deploy are protected from adverse job loss while deployed also and many emplyers actually cover the difference between their military pay and civilain pay (mine does) plus allows them to keep there medical coverage (if they use it vs. Tricare).
Bottom line: Returning the troops from overseas wil have zero effect on the unemployment rate.
Kharris – thanks for backing him up. We agree on this 100%!
islam will change