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Conspiracy Theorists Greet the Jobs Report, Small Business Bunk: Five Reads Friday

| October 5, 2012

Big Bird meets Donald Trump’s proxy.

Conspiracy theorists claim Friday’s jobs report was manipulated:Today’s jobs report, showing the unemployment rate dropped below 8 percent for the first time in over 40 moths, will have Democrats gleeful and Republicans despondent. But what if the numbers are actually just a part of a plot to get President Obama reelected? It’s a stupid question, but the immediate reaction of many conservative media figures has been not only to ask it, but ti answer it as well. On Fox News, which completely ignored the numbers for the first 30 minutes they were out to bring you stories about gold and a live performance by 12-year-old Jackie Evancho, host Bill Hemer warned, in the same breath that he summarized the report, “a lot of questions remain about those numbers.” Co-host Martha MacCallum agreed that the report “raises a lot questions.” Finally, they brought on Fox Business analyst Stuart Varney to give it to us straight: “There is widespread mistrust of this report and these numbers, because there are clear contradictions.” Varney explained that many of the jobs are part-time work, and that there were discrepancies between the two surveys that make up the report (one looks at jobs added and the other calculates the unemployment rate).” From Slate. And this from Frank Rich: “What’s the news here? If you think polls are slanted and climate change a hoax, of course you think unemployment number is bogus.”

Let’s Ban the Term ‘Small Businesses’ From All Future Debates: “[T]he term small businesses is basically meaningless. First, many small businesses aren’t really what you would probably think of as “businesses.” They’re just … people working alone. Freelancers, consultants, skilled construction workers, and such often organize themselves as a business for legal and tax purposes. About 78 percent of all companies in America don’t actually employ anybody other than their owner. As Jay-Z so famously put it, “I’m not a businessman / I’m a business, man!” For sake of argument though, let’s ignore all those solo operators. Instead we’ll focus only on the roughly 4.1 million companies that are both affected by individual income tax rates and have actual employees on their payrolls. We can call these “actual small businesses.” Turns out, many of these actual small businesses aren’t really what you probably think of as “small.” Just 1.3 percent of actual small businesses employ 43 percent of the country’s actual business workers. These are companies with 100 people or more Think along the lines of big Washington law and lobbying firms, which are usually organized as partnerships, and can rake in hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenue.” Jordan Weissman in the Atlantic.

Publishers Settle Long-Running Lawsuit Over Google’s Book-Scanning Project “After a seven-year legal battle, American publishers and Google have come to terms over the company’s ambitious book-digitizing project. A settlement of the publishers’ copyright-infringement lawsuit, announced on Thursday by the Association of American Publishers and Google, “will provide access to publishers’ in-copyright books and journals digitized by Google for its Google Library Project,” according to the groups’ statement, and “acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright-holders.” Litigation over the book project continues, however, between a group of authors and Google. Under the settlement, American publishers can now opt to remove their copyrighted books and journals from Google’s library project or choose to make them available for use and sale. Beyond that, the statement offered few details, not revealing what commercial terms Google and the publishers have reached. […] At least one close observer of the case was underwhelmed by the deal. “This is one of the least-dramatic settlements I’ve ever seen,” James Grimmelmann, a professor of law at New York Law School, said by e-mail. “Google already offers similar terms to publishers through its partner program; this will change almost nothing on the ground.”” From the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Is Islam an obstacle to democracy? “As Arab populations “pursue values like freedom, justice, equality, autonomy and pluralism, and new models of democracy and of international relations,” the scholar Tariq Ramadan wrote in The New York Times this week, “they need to draw on Islamic traditions.” But what would that look like? Does Islam encourage or discourage democratic government?” Read the debate in the Times.

Nevada Weekend Escape: Virginia City, Twain territory: “It’s often said that good writers have to find their voice. If that’s so, Samuel Clemens found his in Virginia City, Nev. While working for its local paper in the 1860s, he assumed the name by which he’s best known: Mark Twain. Were he alive, Twain would still recognize this town 25 miles southeast of Reno; it hasn’t changed much in the last 150 years.” From the L.A. Times.

The Daily Show judges the debate:

Flagler County Jail Bookings

Flagler County Jail Bookings, Oct. 5-6, 2012

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8 Responses for “Conspiracy Theorists Greet the Jobs Report, Small Business Bunk: Five Reads Friday”

  1. I'm Not Saying...I'm Just Saying says:

    If liberals and Democrats were crying ‘conspiracy’ about job numbers during a GOP Presidential term, FOX and the other mouthpieces would be bashing them left and right. With the shoe on the other foot, it’s 100 percent legit and a true Washington conspiracy. Fair and balanced indeed.

  2. Hooty Tooty says:

    Can’t hide poor jobs performance very well now can ya? Spin what ever you want but the reality is in our faces everyday and everyone knows the truth by what we see, this economy sucks and it isn’t getting better. No leadership is no leadership, especially from the golf course..

  3. fred8131 says:

    I don’t think the numbers are bogus. But, we started using a new method to alculate the number this month, imagine that. Why? I am more interested in the U6 number. The real drag on workers.What’s the U6 number? Has the U6 number changed, no. Why has the unemployed number changed and not the U6 number? The unemployed number is part of the U6 number. And how’s the black unemployed rate doing?

    Just like the unfunded liabilities plus the debt number. What’s the real debt number?

    More importantly, how much is in my wallet and how much is it worth? Been to a gas station lately. Been grocery store lately? How’s the value of your house doing?

    Lastly, what is a moth?

  4. Karma says:

    Here is the statistic that stick out with me from Bloomberg news:
    The household survey showed an 873,000 increase in employment, the biggest since June 1983, excluding the annual Census population adjustments. Some 582,000 Americans said they were working part-time because of slack business conditions or because they were the only jobs they could find.
    The biggest since 1983, yet the GDP for the second quarter of 1983 was 8.1 %, This years 2nd quarter was just revised lower to 1.3% from 1.7%.
    Mark Twain said it best: There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”

    • johnny taxpayer says:

      “The household survey showed an 873,000 increase in employment” -Exactly the cause of my suspicion too… I really hope the number is accurate, because God knows we have too many people on unemployment who need jobs, but such a huge increase when compared with other months, coupled with the fact that the 873k increase reported by employees, isn’t even close to the jobs reported by the employers. I’m not suggesting these two should match, but I would have thought they’d be a hellovalot closer?

  5. John Boy says:

    Mitt is offering for $19.95 and special conversion kit. You get two complete kits for the price of one. The kits, t allow you to convert yourself and a commrad from being a “Birthers” to a “Welchers” Seperate shipping and handling charges apply.For the next 24 hours a authographed receipt by the “Donald” will be included free of charge.

  6. snapperhead says:

    Corporate profits and the Dow Jones are near record highs….how’s that trickle down economics working out for us?

  7. Dorothea says:

    This Washington Post article explains how the unemployment rate is compiled and why President Obama could not influence that rate:

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