Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two Graphs on Unemployment

Here are two good graphs to debunk any GOP talking points about unemployment benefits being the cause of unemployment.

slacktivist writes Tom Corbett is not right, smart or good "Tom Corbett, the Republican candidate for governor in Pennsylvania" thinks there are jobs out there but that people aren't applying for them because they're getting unemployment benefits. Here:


Kevin Drum rips apart the infamous Arthur Laffer. "Yep: Laffer is seriously suggesting that unemployment benefits, which, according to his own chart, begin rising after unemployment rises, are what cause unemployment to rise. It's groundbreaking stuff, but as an exercise for the reader, can you think of an alternate mechanism to explain why total unemployment benefits paid out might go up when the unemployment rate goes up? Anyone? Take your time. I know it's a chin scratcher."


Seriously, this is the level of stupidity the Democrats seem incapable of beating. I just don't understand it at all. I was never a big fan of David Axelrod so I'm not surprised if he's awful at talking points, but what's David Plouffe doing the last couple of months?

Update: Number of the day. "The average weekly unemployment check is: $307. This figure, which comes from a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of Department of Labor data, shows why it's unlikely many people are passing up jobs in favor of continuing to collect unemployment checks. With average weekly wages around $800, it doesn't make sense."


Richard said...

I got so frustrated with the Laffer graph that I had to go find the data myself (Bureau of Labor and Department of Labor) to recreate it. The data to recreate the chart is in this google docs spreadsheet - Unemployment statistics 1971 to 2010. I also explain its creation the way Laffer should have in his opinion piece.

In short the peaks in the unemployment benefits paid occur from 9 to 13 months after the peak in unemployment rate. Even the most egregious examples of correlation being mistaken for causation have the cause preceding the effect, unlike here.

Howard said...

You rock.