166k is not enough. We need to sustain nearly double that amount to keep up with population growth and to make up for lost ground in any reasonable amount of time. Yet, by the looks of news reports and even some from my fellow bloggers, we should be throwing a party? Perhaps some people are happy the unemployment report wasn’t worse. But employment is a lagging indicator; and if compared to what is known about other indicators, inflation is falling, RGDP is slowing (especially RGDP in relation to employment) there might be some indication that a month from now we’ll not be so excited about the report for May. Or maybe I will be sitting here, one month from now, writing about how 166k is just more of the same – as I did last month – because it is more of the same.
One part that I understand about the hype is that the stories of more doom and gloom from fiscal austerity aren’t panning out. It is perhaps a vague vindication of the idea that less fiscal stimulus would have prompted the Fed to do more monetary stimulus in 2009-10. While I can follow that line of reasoning, I have problems understanding why the powers that be at the Fed would have thought that fiscal stimulus would have done anything at all while having a 2% ceiling on inflation – or how fiscal stimulus of just over a trillion dollars could have filled in the several trillion dollars gap in NGDP from trend. Basic math informs us of the only possible outcome; and so it really doesn’t come as a surprise that fudged thinking comes from people who codify reasoning from a multitude of price changes into monetary policy and try to tell us it’s a good idea.
I don’t need to speculate about what the Fed might or might not have done in 2009-10 because I am sure that I wouldn’t have the nerve to be shocked if the AR&RA had zero impact on the choices made by the FOMC that is full of self-absorbed, inflation-obsessed ideologues who can’t seem to pull their heads out of their ivory towers. This monetary fiasco is a nightmare that just goes on and on as they wait for more serious damage to be done before doing anything else.
I can only hear so many predictions of the world coming to an end if the Fed prints one more dollar because for the people who are long-term unemployed, and that condition has completely ravaged their lives, the world has already come to an end. While I was in that predicament, I felt like I was just sitting there waiting for death as the days turned into years. It’s an unspeakable injustice for the unemployment rate to go down through workforce attrition and have it be met with cheers.
I didn’t necessarily intend for this to turn into a rant, but the world I find myself living at the moment seems like a very nasty and ugly place. It makes me want to cry, but I’ve already done that and it didn’t help.