Monday, September 30, 2013

Uncertainty Caused WI Job Loss, But A-Okay For Government Shutdown?

It's funny how economic principles are determined by geographic borders. What is economically "true" for the state is somehow not "true" for the country...

At least if one is attempting to keep score among Republicans.

On Friday, Walker was asked why Wisconsin is creating jobs at half national rate while he attended a symposium in Chicago. Walker had this to say:
"There's no doubt in our first two years, because of the protests, the recalls, that they had an impact early on. Much as there is concern nationally about the impact of Obamacare and the impact it has on employers, they just wonder with uncertainty."  
Once the state gets past the effects of that uncertainty, the pace of hiring will increase, Walker predicts.  
 "When the end of the year numbers come out, you are going to see a significant increase," the governor said.
Yes, that "uncertainty" is a bitch. It's amazing states who have experienced catastrophic events like floods, hurricanes and bankruptcy can even keep the electricity flowing let alone create a job. Except they all are doing better than Wisconsin.

Remember when Robin Vos said once the recall election was over - jobs in Wisconsin would take off "like a rocket."

We blame the drum circles. NOTHING throws off job growth more than a drum circle.

So let's say Walker is right for a moment. The recall created so much hand-ringing within the corporate community in the state, human resource departments forgot to hire people. All that drumming caused some sort of inner-ear imbalance making economic projections utterly impossible. Uncertainty froze them all in place.

Why are those same Republicans cheering on shutting down the government?

Even other Republicans say a government shutdown is bad. The stock market has taken a dip in anticipation - which is kind of a significant economic indicator - and yet the same people who swallow Scott Walker's excuses whole, think shutting down the government will result in rainbows and unicorn rides for all.

Both things cannot be true.

If you are wondering which one, you may be totally (not) surprised to find out it was Scott Walker.

While Walker was confronted with details like "facts" in Chicago, which resulted in his clumsy tap dance routine, his staff was tweeting out a completely unsourced graphic which claimed Wisconsin jumped to #2 in economic growth.

Weird. Both things cannot be true.

Jud Lounsbury over at Uppity Wisconsin picked up on the discrepancy and did a bit of digging into the matter - with Jeff Simpson at Cognitive Dissidence following with his own take on the matter.

Walker used data from the Philadelphia Reserve Bank of economic forecasts. (A metric Scott Walker crapped all over in the past when their forecast painted bleak news for Wisconsin.)

In addition to the self-congratulating tweets, Scott's friends over at the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce took out nearly $1 million in ad buys claiming the second place triumph.

They may have all tweeted their horns a bit too much - because the Philly Fed took the extraordinary step of releasing a statement on Walker's bragging by saying:
“We do not consider state rankings based on the coincident and leading indexes to be valid,” says Paul Flora, Senior Economic Analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in an email to the Cap Times. 
Flora says the differences in the various state economies influence the relative change in the index from month to month. He says an older, mature economy, such as New York, tends to experience smaller percentage changes than a smaller, younger economy, such as North Dakota.
“Comparisons between the two are not very meaningful,” he says.
So why the subterfuge? Why risk being called out as a liar over obscure economic indicators?

Because Wisconsin job numbers dropped again in the Bureau in Labor Statistics on Thursday and it was those numbers Walker was being questioned about in Chicago - hoping his comments wouldn't make it back home since he was doing his very best to skew the utterly fake report that didn't make him look like a loser.

Too late.

If you can't keep track of the logic - it looks like this:

Recalls created uncertainty, jobs fell.
Recall ends, jobs stay flat because of Obama.
Economic growth forecast improves, shut down the government.

Problem solved.