NFP Growth of over 500K in Historical Perspective

Reader Rick Stryker writes:

It’s a good thing that Mitt Romney didn’t criticize the Biden economy by saying that we should be seeing 500K job increases, because that would have triggered another multi-year rant from Menzie that that’s IMPOSSIBLE!!!

Mr. Rick Stryker mischaracterizes what I wrote. I said the 500K was an unlikely number for a recovery month, and I stand by that, even if we express 500K accounting for growth in the labor force. Below I produce my May 2012 post:

Governor Romney has said that 500,000 is the monthly job creation he expects as normal during a recovery [1]. It actually last happened in May 2010 but is otherwise pretty rare. Reader Rick Stryker argues that the 500K should be expressed in percentage terms, accounting for the size of employment. Nonetheless, breaching the equivalent in percentage terms never happened during the eight years of the G.W. Bush administrations.



Figure 1: Month on month growth rate (log differences, not annualized) in nonfarm payroll employment, s.a. (blue), and 500,000 monthly change, expressed in percentage of 2012M04 NFP. Source: BLS April release, via FRED.

In fact, over the last 21 or so years, one has to go back to the Clinton administrations to find such numbers.


Oh, and by the way, unemployment has been at or below 4% only 11 times in the past 40 years (essentially at the end of the Clinton Administration).

Here is an updated graph:

Figure 1: Month-on-month growth rate of nonfarm payroll employment (blue), and 500K change in NFP expressed as a percentage of April 2012 NFP (red line). Dashed sky blue line at April 2012, on which Governor Romney made his May 2012 statement. NBER defined peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. Source: BLS, NBER, and author’s calculations.

Between Mr. Stryker’s 2012 comment, and May 2020, there were exactly zero occurrences of greater than 500K NFP growth (expressed as a ratio to NFP).

If one wishes to assert that the past two years constitutes a typical recovery, then I guess one could say 500K is “normal”.

101 thoughts on “NFP Growth of over 500K in Historical Perspective

  1. pgl

    Didn’t THE RICK say he got a Ph.D. in economics. What field? What school? Basket weaving taught by Art Laffer at Pepperdine?

    1. Rick Stryker


      I believe I asked you several times about your qualifications in economics. But you don’t answer. Wonder why.

      1. pgl

        Like many other bloggers I do not reveal my real name when I take the liberty to express my rather non-corporate views. If you had an ounce of brains – you might know why. But if I went to Google Scholar, lots of refereed publications pop up. I checked to see how many pubs are under your name. None. But then maybe I should have searched under Lawrence Kudlow or some other fake economist’s name.

        1. Rick Stryker


          I never criticized you for using a pseudonym. I use one as well, for the same reasons you do.

          Rather, I objected to your assumption (a very common assumption of members of the Left) that people who express conservative opinions are not well-educated, have no qualifications, etc. That’s a convenient but false belief. It should have been obvious that I know what Ricardian Equivalence is from my comments.

          Ok, you say you have a PhD from Vanderbilt. In economics? You weren’t specific.

          I don’t care about academic publications, which are largely irrelevant in the real world. I asked you if you had any relevant experience as an economist in a non-academic setting. I’m confident my qualifications in that regard vastly exceed yours or anybody else’s on this blog, including Menzie or anyone else who posts or comments here. However, I’ve never talked about that since it smacks of arguments from authority.

          You should not make assumptions.

          1. Moses Herzog

            I’d say that Rick Stryker has caught a bad case of Barkley Rosser’s DYKWIA disease.
            “I objected to your assumption…… ” Two sentences later~~”I’m confident my qualifications in that regard vastly exceed yours or anybody else’s on this blog, including Menzie or anyone else who posts or comments here.”

            Ricky says qualifications aren’t important to him, and making assumptions about people’s background is bad, then blindly states he knows he has the best qualifications of anyone on this blog. I’m really kinda surprised Ricky didn’t claim to have the best qualifications of anyone who has ever been on the internet. Nope, no mental psychosis here folks, move along.

          2. pgl

            BTW – that Hollywood rating little nickname you are giving me (PG13) is rather juvenile. But we have seen the movies you have appeared in and all are rated XXX.

          3. Macroduck

            “I asked you if you had any relevant experience as an economist in a non-academic setting. I’m confident my qualifications in that regard vastly exceed yours or anybody else’s on this blog, including Menzie or anyone else who posts or comments here.”

            Your confidence doesn’t amount to evidence. Non-dispositive, as the lawyers like to say. Nor does your merely personal (and self-serving) preference for non-academic employment matter.

            I am confident you are wrong in your claim to have worked “vastly longer” as an economist in a non-academic setting than anyone else who comments here. More importantly, having seen the quality of your commentary here, I’m confident that your experience, however “vast”, hasn’t made you into a good economist.

            Case in point: In defending Romney’s claim that 500,000 new jobs per month every month for – what was it, an entire presidential term – you chastised Menzie for leaving out data from before the Great Moderation. Which suggests an average of 500,000 per month was achieved in some periods prior to the Great Moderation. Never for a full presidential term. Never for even twelve straight months. Didn’t happen. Never even 400,000:


            If you hadn’t wasted all that time propagandizing, pretending and preening, you could have looked at the data yourself. But you didn’t, On Vastly Experienced One.

          4. Macroduck

            Should have mentioned, in you claims for Romney, you are expressed confidence that the right policies could lead to job growth of 4% per year. Again, your confidence is irrelevant. Economists in the “real world” rely on evidence. The closest thing to “confidence” in the presentation of evidence is “confidence interval”. Don’t see one of those in anything you’ve written.

          5. pgl

            “I never criticized you for using a pseudonym. I use one as well, for the same reasons you do.”

            So you admit your taunting was childish and dishonest. OK you are not the Rick but rather Art Laffer and some other lunatic. Look we can judge the intelligence of people based on what they write. Now you may be a smart little boy which should mean you would stop writing such incredibly stupid things.

          6. Barkley Rosser


            Wow, once again you have achieved showing you know more about something than I do. Congratulations! I have no effing idea what this “DYKWIA disease” is. Is this something widely known by all the cool people on social media? Or is it an acronym you have brilliantly made up that everybody with a shred of brains here is supposed to be able to figure out?

            Given you brought it up after Rick Styker declaned himself to know more about “real economics” than anybody posting here based on all the important but unnamed places he has supposedly worked (I guess more real important economics than Council of Economic Advisers where Menzie once worked), I guess this means you think I have made a similar claim here. I do not offhand remember doing so, Moses. I have said I know more about various things than you do, but I have never made a general claim about everybody here for the simple reason that I do not know what lots of people here do or know. Many do not say.

            Rick Styrker says academic pubs are meaningless in the “real world,” but we academics sort of take them seriously. Jim H. and Manzie C. and Bob Flood for that matter, who occasionally comments here. all have more of those google scholar citations than I do. About the only claim I have made and I think can still make is that I have published in a wider array of academic journals in terms of fields and also sub-fields of economics than any of them, although there may be people posting here under their fake identies who have done so more. But all that makes me too aware of how much I do not know, even if I do know more than a lot of people do.

            As for all the fake names, I am sorry, but I doubt that the bosses or clients of any of you doing do because you work at some important business give a phoo about what you have to say here about economic and political issues. What a joke. I continue to have more respect for those who do what Menzie and Jim have requested and go by their real names, which includes Steven Kopits and I think Bruce Hall as well. Most of the rest of you are just chickenscheiss, although 2slugbaits claims he does so to honor a request made elsewhere to do so, and I recognize that once someone becomes identified with a certain name, it maintains continuity to keep using it. Oh yes, “Moses Herzog,” using the name of a character from a Saul Bellow to show he admires Jews, even though he is not one.

  2. pgl

    I get Marjorie Taylor Greene is weird but damn!

    A Fake Jail Cell, a Real January 6 Defendant, Tears, Prayers, and Marjorie Taylor Greene

    Attendees at CPAC, the massive annual conservative activist conference, were given bluetooth headphones, emblazoned with the word “silence,” where they were invited to listen to audio accounts from January 6 defendants who have been jailed due to the Capitol riot.

    Some spectators wept. Some threw money into the cage. Others came up close to mutter words of comfort and support to the emotionally distraught man inside, who was alternating sitting on a bare cot with his head in his hands, and writing sad slogans on a blackboard like “Where is Everyone?” Among those in the audience was Zuny Duarte, mother of Enrique Tarrio, the jailed ex-chairman of the Proud Boys facing seditious conspiracy charges for his role in the Capitol. One man, wearing a T-shirt saying “Correctional Officers for Trump 2020” pointed at his chest, making sure the “jailed” activist saw, and said “”I know how it works, man.”

    Taylor Greene looked like she was about to given certain favors to this domestic terrorist.

  3. Moses Herzog

    One thing you have to admire about Ricky Stryker, aside from his worship of the amoral LOSER donald trump…… Ricky’s “mastery” of rhetoric has him moving both his own goal posts and his opponent’s goal posts, all inside of a single argument. As some of our cerebral Jews say “That takes chutzpah”

  4. pgl

    “Between Mr. Stryker’s 2012 comment, and May 2020, there were exactly zero occurrences of greater than 500K NFP growth (expressed as a ratio to NFP).”

    That may be only a 0.33% increase but over a month – that does seem large. Romney wanted us to believe he could achieve that each and every month. A little first grade arithmetic that apparently the RICK’s Ph.D. in economics did not teach him. That kind of growth for a year means a 4% increase in employment. Do that for an entire 4 year term and Romney was promising to increase employment by 12%. Since population is growing by less than 1% per year, this does not add up.

    1. Moses Herzog

      Honestly, I don’t believe he has a PhD. Are you certain Ricky claimed this?? He strikes me as maybe someone who just got to his sophomore year and then dropped out when he couldn’t choose his major.

      1. Rick Stryker


        Just in case it wasn’t clear, I’ll repeat: I do have a PhD in economics and moreover I have professional experience as an economist working in places you would have heard of.

        If you notice, pg13 is constantly telling people that they don’t know what they are talking about. Yet, he won’t admit to having even an undergraduate degree in economics.

        1. Moses Herzog

          I was under the impression he at least had his Master’s and had taught University level economics classes at some point in the past. He’s strongly hinted at doing private sector work related to trade. I may be mistaken. God knows it wouldn’t be the first time. Does he get slightly annoying with the hyperbole?? Yeah. But I think most of us on this blog at one time or another have partaken in similar such.

          1. pgl

            Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt. But no – Rick does not get my address as his buddies carry torches while wearing white hoods.

          1. pgl

            At the June 24, 2021 conference in this case, the Court ruled that the plaintiff could not produce records regarding his employment history subsequent to his termination from HSBC, unless “the plaintiff proffered evidence that a specific opportunity was denied to him because of the difference between his position as [a financial advisor] rather than a [premier relationship advisor.]” ECF No. 335, at 5-6. The defendants correctly point out that the Court noted that the plaintiff had failed to proffer any such evidence and stated at his deposition that he had no such evidence. See id.

            Failure to produce any actual evidence. Yep – that is our THE RICK!

          2. Rick Stryker


            Uhm, you realize that Rick Stryker is a pseudonym, right? Doing research on Rick Stryker would be the same as me doing research on “Macroduck” and assuming this is you.

        2. pgl

          Now it is working in places were have heard about. Thanks for that clarification. Say hello to the gang on Fox and Friends.

          1. pgl

            “Rick Stryker
            August 7, 2022 at 12:23 pm

            Uhm, you realize that Rick Stryker is a pseudonym, right? ”

            And you should realize you just undermined all your pathetic criticisms of people who write smart things in response to your persistently really dumb things.

        3. Baffling

          I have seen no evidence of phd qualifications from rick, at least from quality institutions. If that is indeed the case, it appears some institutions have quality control issues. Still waiting on the evidence.

          1. Moses Herzog

            @ Baffling
            Some of the mistakes Rick Stryker makes do not belie a man with a PhD education. Think Princeton Kopits MBA and confidence intervals and you’ll get my gist here.

    2. pgl

      Remember how Romney wanted to extend Romneycare to the entire nation until it became known as Obamacare? Ini 2012 he ran on “Repeal and Replace” but he never said what it would be replaced with besides a Federal version of Romneycare. And of course his VP running mate balanced the budget by bogus assumptions. Romney-Ryan was more of a joke than Trump-Pence.

  5. Rick Stryker


    Your view is only reasonable if
    a) You throw away half the post-war data until the early-1980s as irrelevant and only use data from the “great moderation” period
    b) You think the “jobless recovery” that everyone was so puzzled about after the 1990 recession was actually normal and a good guide to the future
    c) You think the recovery after the very mild 00 recession is also representative

    Romney was saying that when you have a Great Recession, a downturn second only to the Great Depression which ended the “great moderation” period, an ambitious policy should be to expect job growth in the 500K per month range during the recovery. When you look at all the data and adjust for the size of the labor force, that’s not an unreasonable goal. I continue to agree with Romney.

    According to your view, if we just looked at post early 80s data and measured historical frequency, it would have been unreasonable to expect all the months that we got greater than 500K monthly employment increases after the Covid recession. Under my view, we should have expected to see numbers like that with decent policies.

    You also claimed that Romney’s goal of a 4% unemployment rate was equally unreasonable. You came to that view using exactly the same argument as for 500K–by throwing away data and pointing out that 4% or under is rare in the post-early-80s period. How then do you explain the fact that we saw the unemployment rate go under 4% during the Trump years and also during the recovery period of the Covid recession? Under your view, we should be very surprised. Under my view, not surprised.

    1. ltr

      January 4, 2018

      Unemployment Rate and Natural * Rate of Unemployment, 1950-2021

      * Long-term

      [ Starting with the July, 2021 report, this series was renamed from “Natural Rate of Unemployment (Long-Term)” to “Noncyclical Rate of Unemployment”. The natural rate of unemployment (NAIRU) is the rate of unemployment arising from all sources except fluctuations in aggregate demand. Estimates of potential GDP are based on the long-term natural rate. ]

      1. pgl

        Thanks for providing the data – something Pepperdine Ph.D. THE RICK never learned to do. It seems this estimate of the natural rate of unemployment was 4.8% back when Romney made rather bogus claims defended by THE RICK. But THE RICK claims we could have expected an unemployment rate less than 4%.

        Now I cannot speak for Pepperdine but most graduate schools do introduce the concept of the natural rate of unemployment. Now I have expressed reasons why this is not necessarily the best measure of full employment over at a blog called Econospeak. But I have yet to see THE RICK educate us about his “knowledge” of these issues.

    2. Macroduck

      Wow, if you have a Phud, this is the worst use of education ever. You’ve made up a bunch more of stuff and pretended it’s about Economics. It ain’t. It’s all rhetorical trickery. The sort of trickery which calls into question all your other claims. So honestly, you worked as receptionist at a place Moses would recognize?

      Speaking of rhetorical trickery, assertion of authority doesn’t make your argument right. In this case, nothing could.

      1. pgl

        ltr is not a PhD in economics but at least she can provide the data. I have to wonder if THE RICK even knows what the natural rate of unemployment even is.

      2. Moses Herzog

        Ricky Stryker isn’t charming enough to work as a Casey’s convenience store clerk, so I’ve marked that off the potentials list.

    3. pgl

      Gee Rick – such a long winded rant but no data? Oh litr did that for you. It seems unemployment was 3% above the natural rate. And with population growing by 1% per year, we could see employment growing by 500 thousand per month for one year but not the 4 years Romney claimed. Of course I used some advanced arithmetic I learned in 1st grade as opposed to that pseudo math you learned as a Ph.D. from Pepperdine.

  6. ltr

    January 4, 2018

    Unemployment rates for Whites, Blacks and Hispanics, * 1974-2022

    * Employment age 16 and over

    January 4, 2018

    Unemployment rates for Whites, Blacks and Hispanics, * 1980-2022

    * Employment age 16 and over

    January 4, 2018

    Unemployment rates for Whites, Blacks and Hispanics, * 1988-2022

    * Employment age 16 and over

    [ Job creation and unemployment recovery by ethnicity is especially encouraging from an historical vantage. ]

  7. ltr

    July 11, 2022

    Two-decade-old U.S. sanctions leave Zimbabweans suffering, triggering protests

    * The U.S. sanctions against Zimbabwe have been piled on since 2001, following a government decision to repossess land from minority white farmers for redistribution to landless indigenous Zimbabweans.
    * The sanction-induced economic mire has inflicted a myriad of real challenges on Zimbabweans, especially amid an unprecedented global pandemic.
    * Given the distressing effect of the sanctions on the viability of businesses in Zimbabwe, there have been outcries against the economic punishment in and outside the country.

    By Tichaona Chifamba, Zhang Yuliang and Cao Kai

    HARARE — Opposite the U.S. embassy northwest of the Zimbabwean capital of Harare sits an anti-sanctions camp marking 1,200 days of protest.

    On July 4, the organizer of the camp — Broad Alliance Against Sanctions (BAAS), organized a demonstration outside the U.S. embassy compound while the Americans were observing their Independence Day.

    “We’re demonstrating against the Americans for celebrating their Independence Day while we are suffering because of their sanctions,” said protestor Jesca Vhiyai, a BAAS member and mother of five.

    The 48-year-old woman spoke out partly due to the agony afflicting millions of Zimbabweans from decades of sanctions imposed by the United States and its western allies. The anti-sanctions lobby BAAS said their camp set up on March 29, 2019, would only be removed when the sanctions are lifted.


    The sanctions against Zimbabwe have been piled on since 2001, following a government decision to repossess land from minority white farmers for redistribution to landless indigenous Zimbabweans.

    Though the Zimbabwean government said the land reform would promote democracy and the economy, Western countries launched repeated sanctions with little regard for the average person’s suffering.

    Over the years, Zimbabweans have spoken out against the sanctions. BAAS is one of the staunchest. “So we are here to stay until they remove these illegal embargoes that they have enforced on our nation,” said BAAS spokesperson Sally Ngoni.

    “We realized that most industries closed due to sanctions, meaning that sanctions are actually the major cause for all our other problems in Zimbabwe,” she said.

    Ngoni said they would soon build an anti-sanctions village at the campsite, which will be molded along the traditional African huts in rural areas, adding that they want the Americans to “feel the pinch” by seeing firsthand how the sanctions have impacted the lives of the poor….

    1. ltr

      August 4, 2022

      President Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe will prosper despite Western sanctions
      Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday vowed to continue working for the development of Zimbabwe, warning that Western countries that have imposed sanctions on the country will not succeed in their machinations to derail the nation.

      HARARE — Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday vowed to continue working for the development of Zimbabwe, warning that Western countries that have imposed sanctions on the country will not succeed in their machinations to derail the nation.

      He said Zimbabwe will achieve its development aspirations despite the economic warfare being waged against it by former colonizer Britain and her allies.

      He said over 20 years of Western sanctions designed to weaken the Zimbabwean economy, and in turn force citizens to rise up against the ruling ZANU-PF government, have so far failed to instigate illegal regime change in Zimbabwe.

      He said the government was going full steam ahead with the country’s development agenda despite hurdles on its way.

      He vowed that his government will resolutely defend the country’s heritage….

  8. Macroduck

    Let’s remember the context when Ricky defened Romney ‘s claim that half a million additional jobs every month is possible:

    “Counting the number of times that monthly employment increases were greater than 500K since 1939 is just an attempt to lower the bar for what administration supporters know in their hearts is a failed presidency.”

    Ricky made that claim in May of 2012, and of course, Obama was re-elected by a substantial majority, so Ricky was utterly, completely, disastrously wrong about a failed presidency, measured in terms of public support.

    But let’s review based on job growth, since that’s the topic at hand.

    The strongest job growth in percentage terms in the first term of any of the last eight presidents was in the Carter administration, despite a recession in the final months of Carter’s term. Trump, naturally, had the worst performance. Bush Sr. did better than Trump and better than Bush Jr. did in two terms. So far, job growth under Biden has matched that under Carter.

    Job growth in Obama’s first term was weak because of the effects of the Great Recession. But by the time Ricky was declaring Obana a failure (by peering into the hearts of Democrats?) employment was already recovering.

    How about 8-year presidential tenures? Which president enjoyed the strongest growth over 8 years? Bill Clinton did. Reagan was next, and then Obama. Bush Jr. Comes in last. And Carter’s record stands up well even compared to two-term presidents.

    Ricky desperately wanted Obama to fail, so Ricky went beyond declaring Obama a failure. He went the nonsensical extra step of declaring that Democrats secretly knew Obama was a failure. Sure, little fella.

    Now, we have Ricky and CoVid and Stevie and Brucey all declaring that a recession is underway when that is clearly not true. They really want Biden to fail, never mind that the failure they wish for would mean millions of folk out of work, lots more people hungry and homeless.

    Sorry, boys. Malign wishes don’t come true any more often than the other kind. And thank goodness they don’t.

    1. Moses Herzog

      What Ricky Stryker really admires about Romney, is Romney’s entire life’s “work” of robbing the taxpayer blind, shutting down mutliple businesses after absconding with real laborer’s money and real laborers’ pensions, and literally laughing all the way to the bank:

      And Mitt Romney did all that, while discussing “other Americans” who “just wouldn’t pay their taxes”. His federal income tax rate was around 15% after destroying businesses to fatten his own wallet. Then donald trump calls him out to dinner like his pet cat, to lick trump’s shoes for a Secretary of State job trump was NEVER going to give Romney, literally laughing in Romney’s face while Romney licked the doggy-doo off of donald trump’s shoe soles.

      Good times……..

      1. Macroduck

        I stopped by the Bain Capital office in Boston once while Romney was running. There was a picture of Ted Kennedy hung prominently on the wall. We didn’t even have to ask – one glance and the Bain lady we were meeting explained that her office had nothing to do with Mitt. Nothing. At all. Ever.

        My guess is, she wasn’t born on 3rd base.

      2. pgl

        Let’s also remember that it was the Romney Republicans that stymied the attempts to use more fiscal stimulus in 2009. Had we listened to Christina Romer for example – the first Obama term would have seen a more vigorous recovery. But no – the Romney Republicans used the filibuster to limit Obama’s fiscal agenda.

    2. pgl

      “Now, we have Ricky and CoVid and Stevie and Brucey all declaring that a recession is underway when that is clearly not true.”

      You did note the weak recovery under Bush Jr. Which reminds me of the latest from Brucey. This lying troll is trying to tell us that the fall in the unemployment rate is not an increase in the employment to population ratio but rather a decline in the labor force participation rate. Graph these two series and both have risen quite a bit under Biden.

      But back in my early blogging days during the Bush43 “recovery” I would not how Kudlow would jump for joy when unemployment fell EVEN WHEN the employment to population ratio fell. So Bruce’s little criticism applies to Bush43 and Kudlow the Klown but not now.

    3. pgl

      “Bush Sr. did better than Trump and better than Bush Jr. did in two terms.”

      This whole credentials thing started when THE RICK was surprised that I criticized Robert Barro for saying we are in a recession. Barro after all was one of the deans of the New Classical school of macroeconomics that denies aggregate demand has anything to do with real output. Back in September 1992 when Clinton and Bush Sr. were both saying they had some magic plan to boost economic growth Barro published a little Business Week piece called Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. He mocked both candidates (I was wondering back then if he was actually advising nutball Ross Perot) for their notions we could expect faster output and jobs growth. The unemployment rate at the time was 7.6%.

      But THE Rick does not get the irony as he has a Ph.D. from Pepperdine!

    1. Moses Herzog

      Awe yes, the unspoken rule against academic economists “being colorful” or showing they have a resting heartbeat. Or even answering attacks on their work. If only Milton Friedman had known before he went on the daytime talk show “Donahue” he wouldn’t have had to return his Nobel. What a pity. He even talked to some of the great unwashed typical Americans in the studio audience. Oh, the shame…….

    2. Rick Stryker

      I just made a little joke in a previous comment and of course I get persecuted. Note to self: stop commenting.

      1. pgl

        The world will be a better place if you do cease commenting. BTW most of your comments are jokes. But hey!

        1. pgl

          I think our host enjoys the stupidity from the Usual Suspects. Me? I laugh routinely at how CoRev chasing his own tail. But THE RICK’s admission that that is not his real name has my side hurting with laughter.

        1. Rick Stryker

          Yes, I know. None of this would have happened if Menzie could just have a little humility. Here’s the apology I think he should have issued 10 years ago to avoid all this fuss:

          “To my readers: I let my desire to defend the Obama Administration cloud my judgment and I’m afraid I lost my objectivity. I unthinkingly repeated some arguments that journalists were making during the campaign that monthly employment exceeded 500K only 16 times since 1939. When a reader made the very good point that monthly employment should be corrected for the size of the labor force in the past, I realized that my point no longer held if I continued to use all the data since 1939. So, rather than concede the point, I instead claimed that data from 1939 to the early 80s suddenly wasn’t relevant. It’s embarrassing frankly for an economist to throw away data that he previously used just because it was inconsistent with his political views. I know I have let my readers down and I promise to do better.”

          1. pgl

            A Ph.D. from Pepperdine who has no humility either. Dude – you are a really funny little guy.

          2. baffling

            and rick wonders why when he sits down at a bar, everybody moves away from him.

            rick, why do you go to somebody else’s blog and conduct political hit jobs? why not do it on your own blog? that is right. nobody is there.

            same applies to econned. two lonely individuals.

        2. pgl

          You of all people talking about egos? Of course there is no substance behind your inflated ego.

  9. Moses Herzog

    Up late, reading mostly garbage online when I should be catching up on my library books. Just took 15 mg of melatonin that should kick in in 10-15 minutes, but stayed awake long enough to see this:

    After 5+ years of being inundated by donald trump by a near useless American media apparatus, the leftover cultural residue stench of Reagan to fill up over 80% of my life thus far, I’m pretty much thinking human beings don’t need an asteroid or a comet, “secret reptilian beings” etc….. etc….. we’re just gonna dumb ourselves out of existence.

  10. pgl

    ltr came through putting up the text from Krugman’s latest, which I reproduce below. Gee Bruce Hall keeps trying to tell us the opposite of what Krugman documented. Funny thing – this lying loser cannot be bothered to comment when ltr provides us with Krugman’s observations. Isn’t that odd?

    Wonking Out: The meaning of falling inflation
    By Paul Krugman

    Inflation is coming down — fast.

    Gas prices, defying predictions of a nightmare summer for motorists, are leading the parade:

    Less pain at the pump.

    The majority of gas stations in the United States are already charging less than $4 a gallon, and declining wholesale prices suggest that retail prices still have further to fall.

    Food prices are also coming down. Here’s the futures price for wheat:

    Wheat futures are way down.

    And business surveys are suggesting a broader decline in inflation. For example, the widely cited Institute of Supply Management survey of purchasing managers shows that prices paid for raw materials are still rising, but at a slower rate than they have in many months:

    Purchasing managers see much less inflation.

    All of this means that official data on consumer prices will almost certainly show much smaller increases over the next few months than the shocking numbers we’ve become accustomed to lately. But what will this improvement mean?

    I’ll get to the implications for economic policy in just a bit. But give me a minute to savor the political implications.

    Republican efforts to regain control of Congress have rested almost entirely on blaming Joe Biden for inflation — and gas prices in particular.

    Did Donald Trump, who is still the dominant figure in the G.O.P., attempt to overturn a legitimate election? Gas is over $5 a gallon! Are Republican judges and state legislators taking away rights women have had for decades? Gas is $5 a gallon!

    Now the party’s main election plank — pretty much their only election plank — is being sawed off at the base. I’ve been wondering what they’ll do. After spending many months doing all they can to dumb down the debate, Republicans will have a hard time suddenly pivoting to nuanced arguments about headline numbers versus underlying inflation….

    1. Rick Stryker


      Krugman has been telling us that inflation is transitory, that it’s about to fall, etc, etc since 2021. Eventually, he’ll be right by pure chance. But anybody who listened to him has lost plenty of money. Better to consult an Ouija board than Krugman.

      1. pgl

        Awww – Krugman got a Nobel Prize for good theoretical work and he is not a world class forecaster. And little Ricky can’t get any respect for his intellectual garbage but he has a Ph.D. from Pepperdine. Life is so unfair. Awwww!!!!

      2. baffling

        we know rick is the better investor. after all, be bragged about moving his substantial amount of cash into the market just at the bottom of the pandemic. he is a real market timer. all investor wannabes should follow our fearless market timing rick when he gushes his revisionist investing history. lots of money to be made there.

  11. pgl

    Bruce Hall finds this quote thinking it makes the case that the current economy is actually weak:

    unemployed people finding new jobs is not the only way in which the unemployment rate can fall. It can also fall because some of the unemployed are no longer looking for work and have dropped out of the labor force altogether. If so, then a falling unemployment rate is not necessarily an indicator of renewed economic strength, but could indicate structural weakness within the job market.

    Of course Bruce Hall is a lazy idiot who cannot be bothered to check the facts. I did. Over the last year, the labor force participation rate rose from 61.7% to 62.1%. During this same period, the employment to population ratio rose from 58.4% to 60.0%.

    Now if we go back to the period from September 2002 to September 2003, this quote is important as Bruce’s labor economist teacher Lawrence Kudlow the Klown kept telling us about the Bush43 employment boom every time the unemployment rate happened to fall. Funny thing during this period the employment to population ratio fell from 63.0% to 62.0%.

    Yea Kudlow the Klown is a lying moron. But he taught Bruce Hall well!

    1. pgl

      I hate to drag this out but we have already example of CoRev chasing his own tail trying to defend Bruce Hall’s lies and confusion. Yes he actually wrote the following stupidity to which I wrote my reply. Lesson learned – when in trouble NEVER hire CoRev to defend you because you will be in deeper trouble:

      August 7, 2022 at 4:36 am
      Ole Lil guy is lying again. “It was 60.2% back when Trump was messing everything up. It is now 62.1%. (Yet he claims) Bruce Hall writes the DUMBEST THINGS EVER!” Quoting the Covid low participation rate, which was largely caused by liberal/democratic state lock downs, is disingenuous. The Biden high post Covid recession is only ~62.4.

      If he’s writing something he’s lying.

      Reply ↓
      August 7, 2022 at 10:34 am
      Yes CoRev – household survey data is noisy. Have you not paid a bit of attention to the posts Dr. Chinn puts up? It appears not.

      Of course the metric to watch is the employment to population ratio which is up.

      I know you want to defend your fellow Village Idiot at every turn and I might say “nice try” but as usual you fell on your face. Go back to chasing your own tail.

      1. CoRev

        Ole Lil guy is lying again. “Of course the metric to watch is the employment to population ratio which is up.” goal post moving is lying. Bruce’s comment was re: the Labor Force Participation Rate from here:

        Ole Bark, bark then provided another reference: I’ve highlighted his confusion. Now he want to talk about another rate????? As if he didn’t understand Bruce’s reference???? It is possible with his need to be the center of attention. That ole Napoleon complex, don’cha no?

        If he’s writing something he’s lying.

        1. Noneconomist

          CoRev: exciting news: your favorite dictator (OK, second favorite) made his way to Texas from Hungary. Surprised there was no mention how Biden’s policies have ravaged the Hungarian economy, currently experiencing an annualized inflation rate of 12.61%. That’s what happens when white people allow too many cultures to flourish.
          Vic no doubt preferred the old days of the Austrian-HungarianEmpire. Other than those who spoke Hungarian, German, Croatian, Czech, Serbian, Romanian, and about a dozen other languages, there was cultural and linguistic solidarity.
          Now that Biden is attempting to wreak his economic havoc on all of Europe, whites from Budapest to Texarkana can be thankful that a modern savior has arisen to lead them.

        2. pgl

          Dude – you are just repeating what I have already noted. Your chasing your own tail all day is giving you serious mental and emotional issues.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      rsm: Since I wrote a whole post devoted to your inanity, I would hope you would learn something. In 2021, mean absolute revision going from 1st to 3rd release is 100K, so something like +200K/-200K for 95% interval.

      1. Moses Herzog

        Menzie, now that you explained this to rsm, you’re going to have to put it in a non-confidence intervals context so that BlueStatesResidentKopits can understand. Oh, no logs also.

  12. pgl

    Lindsey Graham must be so proud of himself for insuring that Big Pharma can still rip off people for insulin:

    Senate Republicans stripped a $35 insulin cap for those with private insurance from the climate and health bill. Seven Republicans joined 50 Democrats in seeking to keep the provision in the bill, falling short by three votes. The vote was held as part of a “vote-a-rama” as the reconciliation bill makes its way through the Senate.
    Senate Republicans on Sunday successfully removed a $35 monthly price cap on insulin for many patients as part of the Democratic-led climate, health, and tax reconciliation bill making its way through the upper chamber. The insulin cap had been a much-desired policy goal for Democrats, who aimed to have the provision apply to Medicare patients along with individuals with private insurance.

    While GOP lawmakers didn’t challenge the portion applying to Medicare patients, they were able to strip the cap for those using private insurance, after talks regarding a potential bipartisan agreement fizzled earlier this year. The Senate parliamentarian — who is tasked with analyzing reconciliation bills to ensure that they meet strict procedural rules — ruled that the cap wasn’t in accordance with what is permissible under the guidelines. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the ranking member on the Budget committee, raised a point of order on the insulin cap, arguing that it was in violation the Congressional Budget Act — and therefore would need at least 60 votes in order to stay in the larger bill. In a 57-43 vote, seven Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in seeking to keep the provision in the larger bill, falling short by three votes. Republican lawmakers who voted to keep the specific provision in the legislation included Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, John Kennedy of Louisiana, and Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan of Alaska.

    Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the chairman of the Finance committee, blasted the GOP-led move. “Republicans have just gone on the record in favor of expensive insulin,” he said in a statement shortly after the vote. “After years of tough talk about taking on insulin makers, Republicans have once against wilted in the face of heat from Big Pharma.” He continued: “Fortunately, the $35 insulin copay cap for insulin in Medicare remains in the bill, so seniors will get relief from high insulin costs. I will continue working to deliver lower insulin costs to all Americans.”

  13. pgl

    Another Bruce Hall lie debunked – it seems Moses is able to buy gasoline for less than $3 a gallon!

    Gasoline At (or Under) $2.99 a Gallon: Here’s Where
    Several states have seen gasoline prices drop to three bucks or lower as crude oil prices have continued to decline.
    Gasoline prices continue to fall in a handful of states to $2.99 a gallon, marking the 50th consecutive day of declines and giving consumers a reprieve as high inflation rates have walloped their budgets. Gas stations in Oklahoma and Kansas are selling unleaded gasoline for $2.99 as of Aug. 4, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, the Boston provider of retail-fuel-pricing information.

    Oklahoma! And GasBuddy being used to find affordable gasoline. Funny thing – Brucie uses GasBuddy to find stations that charge the highest prices!

  14. pgl

    Rick Scott endorsed wasteful government spending during his interview on Face the Nation:
    SEN. SCOTT: So, Margaret, here’s the way I look at it. Right now, this bill actually ought to be called the war on seniors act. I mean, this is a war on Medicare. If you look at this. This is a $280 billion cut in Medicare. So, what’s going to happen is Medicare is gonna get caught and there’s gonna be seniors that don’t get life-saving drugs because the–
    MARGARET BRENNAN: –reducing Medicare cost is not the same as benefits though, you- you know that.
    SEN. SCOTT: Margaret, it’s $280 billion that would have been spent. It was anticipated to be spent. It’s not going to be spent now.
    nd the drug companies that would be doing more research are not going to be able to spend the money on research. There will be life-saving drugs that seniors will not get. On top of that, I mean, they’re going to raise taxes by over $700 billion. And let’s remember, companies don’t end up paying the taxes. Shareholders pay the taxes, lower income for the employees paid the taxes, less investment pays the taxes. So, this $700 billion is actually going to hurt the economy. And then while gas prices are $2 more than they were when Joe Biden took office, there’s an excise tax on gas. So why would you- you know, we’re in a recession. Why would you be increasing the cost of government? We’re increasing taxes.
    MARGARET BRENNAN: So, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget called your claim there, that you just reiterated in terms of Medicare spending, completely misleading. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that just about 1% of new drugs would be affected by the changes there on drug development. So how do you respond to that?

  15. pgl

    Is this the MAGA crowd taking out Muslims in America? This is the garbage Trump, Orban, and CPAC create. Of course President Biden has to stand up to this senseless hate.

    U.S. President Joe Biden expressed solidarity with the Muslim community on Sunday after a fourth Muslim man was killed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in what authorities are describing as targeted attacks. Biden, in a Twitter post after news of the fourth death, said he was angered and saddened by the killings. “While we await a full investigation, my prayers are with the victims’ families, and my administration stands strongly with the Muslim community,” Biden said in a Twitter post. “These hateful attacks have no place in America.” Police in New Mexico and federal agencies were probing the killings, the latest of which occurred on Friday evening. The other three Muslim men killed in the state’s largest city in the past nine months appeared to have been targeted for their religion and race, police have said.
    Two of those murdered men were members of the same mosque, who were shot dead in Albuquerque in late July and early August. Police said there was a “strong possibility” their deaths were connected to the November killing of an Afghan immigrant. New Mexico State Police, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service are among the agencies helping in the investigation. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a Twitter post late on Saturday, “The targeted killings of Muslim residents of Albuquerque is deeply angering and wholly intolerable.”

  16. Rick Stryker


    In your comment, you claim that Romney said we should be seeing 500K per month continuously over the recovery period. But he never said that and neither did I. Menzie said we should be surprised to see ANY 500K months prints based on his peculiar truncation of the empirical data to include only periods consistent with his political views. When he started ranting 10 years ago, I knew it was pointless to argue against a true believer. I merely needed to wait for the data to contradict him and now it has.

    You also misquote me when you say I have worked “vastly longer” as a real-world economist. I didn’t say that although that’s probably true as well. I said the my qualifications in that regard vastly exceed those of pg13 or anyone else on this blog for that matter. How do I know that? This blog has a small number of posters and commenters. The posters are all academics. Barkley is an academic. Steven Kopits never worked as an economist as far as I can tell. 2slugs worked for the Army. It’s obvious most other commenters know very little about economics. Moses? Baffled? Please. So who’s left? Pg13? You?

    I don’t believe you or pg13 have much real world experience in economics. You are welcome to prove me wrong. I understand you want to maintain your pseudonymity so just characterize your experience without naming names specifically. If you do that, I will too. Put up or shut up.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      Now now, Rick, I may be an academic, but Moses has revealed to us that I suffer from DYKWIA disease, whatever that is, and you may too!

      1. Rick Stryker


        I think it stands for Do You Know Who I Am. Of course, Moses was probably drunk when he wrote that so who knows?

        1. Barkley Rosser


          That is probably it. Congrats to you for figuring it out. Or is it indeed one of those acronyms that is floating around out there?

    2. pgl

      “I don’t believe you or pg13 have much real world experience in economics. You are welcome to prove me wrong. I understand you want to maintain your pseudonymity so just characterize your experience without naming names specifically.”

      If you have some way of having Google Scholar substitute my real name for PGL great. But you do not so this is such a BS suggestion. BTW if you check out my blog posts at Angrybear and Econospeak, you will see I have written a lot of posts on this topic that a lot smarter than those porn movies you are known for.

      1. Rick Stryker


        Academic papers and blog posts are not real world experience. Menzie just referred to Mark Zandi and often reports Wall Street research. That’s real world experience.

    3. pgl

      I said the my qualifications in that regard vastly exceed those of pg13 or anyone else on this blog for that matter. How do I know that?

      Because a Ph.D. from Pepperdine is such an incredible achievement. You protest too much. Your writing here speaks for itself. You are incompetent but you are also argumentative. No – you sound like your standard lawyer.

    4. baffling

      dick, you have not characterized your experience. you have only asked to “trust me on this”. serious doubts exist about your credibility. just like your amateur r naught analysis.

      1. Rick Stryker

        No, not true Baffling. I asked pg13 and Macrod!*k to put or shut up. They characterize their real world experience and I’ll characterize mine. They decided to shut up.

        I didn’t ask you because I know you have no background or experience.

        1. baffling

          dick, as i said, you lack credibility, other than your claim to exceptional market timing on your cash investments. you are a financial wizard, for sure. why is it that they must characterize their experience before you? you are probably on par with a former commenter on this blog, peaktrader.

          1. CoRev

            Baffled, when you make a living from the value of your predictions, then you can comment. Academicians seldom lime on their predictions. We have yet to see one re: this recession.

          2. baffling

            corev, I don’t think you are in any position to pass judgement on whether somebody should comment or not. you believe in ghosts for crying out loud. now settle before you have another heart attack.

          3. Rick Stryker


            They are the people who are constantly making ad hominem attacks challenging (without any evidence whatsoever) the credentials of those they disagree with. I think it’s only fair for them to explain why they are qualified to criticize the qualifications of others.

            For me, it’s a win-win because I can easily top anything they could say without revealing too much de-anonymizing detail. Or they can remain silent, in which case I will too. Either way, their true qualifications are exposed.

          4. baffling

            rick, as i noted, you have not shown any credentials that lend to professional credibility. your sophomoric approach to demand so are silly. you already exaggerated your market timing prowess during the depths of the pandemic. makes one wonder what other exaggerations you may make in an attempt to impress or discredit.

  17. Rick Stryker


    Economics in the real world is very different from academics. Being a senior staff economist at the CEA for a year, a government role, does not constitute much real world experience.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      Oh, working in the government at the highest level of policy is not “real world experience”? How out of your mind are you? And Menzie was there for more than a year and across two different admins of different parties. I can name some other government entities that are a lot more important in the “real world” than the big corporations you have worked for that some of us have dealt with.

      As it is, I happen to think you are probably the smartest and best informed of the regular commenters here who clearly lean GOP. Heck, you actually did once catch me in an error, although I have nailed you on a few as well.

      However, on some of your stronger remarks here, you are in fact over the top. So what is so profound or serious or deep about the “real world” experience of being a corporate economist? I know gobs of these people and mostly what they do is apply textbook stuff which is just refried beans from long ago articles, those things you dismiss as having no relevance to the “real world.” Oh yes, of course there are always the special details of what goes on in each corporation or organization. But these institutional matters are not profound economics but just knowing a lot of details. They are utterly boring and worthless to any outsider, even if knowing them well may be important for the corporation making money. But I am sorry to let you know that most people are not all that impressed with being able to help big corporations make more money.

      I would be more impressed if you could claim that in your real world work with corporations you were actually inventing or developing new ideas or concepts, but I am pretty sure you are not. I know there are some people in the corporate world doing so, with the main sector where this is going on ahead of published articles being in the crypto sector. But that is not where you have worked is, it, “Rick Stryker”? You are not smart enough for that. You are more likely one of those plodders applying out of date textbook stuff to specific situations of particular corporations and believing that you are socially superior to all those pathetic academic economists because you are getting paid much more than they are for your basically trivial accomplishments..

      Oh, they are not “trivial” you say? Then describe for us in general terms anything you have ever come up with that was original and worthy and not what I have just described. While I am mostly an academic, I have worked in both the private and public sectors enough to know what goes on in both of those places.

      Oh, and indeed while the vast majority of academic articles really are not all that useful in the “real world,” some have been. If you really have a PhD in econ from anywhere you should be able to name some of them. Quite a few very important things in this world are being run or managed on the basis of these articles, some of which have been cited when their authors made a trip to Stockholm to shake a royal hand. And, I think, Rick, you are actually knowledgeable enough to know this, even if you wrote the contrary in a fit of standing up for yourself. But, hey, this thread has been all about you you and you, :-).

      1. Rick Stryker


        Working for a year in a government/political capacity is not the real world. There is no bottom line. No consequences. I’m talking about working for major Wall St financial institutions in which there is a bottom line and there are real consequences. For some projects I’ve worked on, I have hired consultants who were at some point members of the CEA (and Chairman). But that’s because they brought to the table more general experience that got them to the CEA.

        Yes, in the world I’m describing, people must invent new models, ideas, software, etc. Everything I’ve worked on has to be original but it’s also proprietary, so you can’t publish it. And some academic research can be quite useful. I’ve done a lot of work on the pricing and risk management of exotic credit and interest rate derivatives in the past for example–academic research is very helpful here.

        1. Barkley Rosser


          OK, you’ve done some stuff on derviatives or other fin instruments. Some of that is original.

          However, your comment that working in a “government/political capacity is not the real world. There is no bottom linee. No consequences.” is serious horse manure. Sure, there is not a profit bottom line. But “no consequences”? You do not think that government economic pollicies have “no consequences”? Most of your GOP pals are certainly claiming that there have been all kinds of bad consequences due to Biden’s policies, even if some of their claims are exaggerated or incorrect. There most certainly are consequences, some of them a lot larger and more important than anything coming out of even the very largest and supposedly most important companies. There are “no consequences” from Fed actions? Menzie has done a lot of work with the Fed.

          1. Rick Stryker


            The work on those derivatives is just a small sample of what I’ve done. All of it is original.

            You are exaggerating what I said. We are talking about whether spending a year as a staff economist at the CEA constitutes real world experience. I said “not much” because there is no bottom line and nothing is really at stake. You’re not going to get fired for being wrong, or what’s much worse, at least in the financial industry, for being uninteresting. Nobody is allocating assets or making any decisions based on anything you claim.

            The Fed is a different case entirely. Obviously, Fed policies matter very significantly. Accordingly, the Fed has a very competent staff that’s focused on understanding the real and financial sides of the economy, as well as the regulatory environment. If you worked at the Fed, you really do get very valuable real world experience which can and frequently does translate into great careers in industry, particularly the financial industry.

            Menzie visited the Fed; I don’t think he ever worked there. When you visit the Fed from academia, you are there primarily to work on academic research with the Fed staff, who may be pursuing similar research. You don’t get much real world experience when you are an academic visiting the Fed.

          2. baffling

            rick’s argument is bogus. working in the “real world” is not as important as he wants to make it out to be. if that were true, then we would not have a lehman brothers, bear stearns, salomon brothers, aig…the list goes on and on. this idea of “real world” superiority is simply absurd. economists who work in this “real world” are often biased by the client or the firm.

          3. Barkley Rosser


            It is true that people in lower level civil service positions in the government are not easily fired, even when they make mistakes. But people in higher level position in the government can and do get fired all the time when they do so. You are unaware of this fact?

            Derivatives sometimes make money for the companies using them, but there is little of any broader social value from them. Have any of the other “original” things you have created actually helped society at large as opposed to the bank accounts of stockholders of those companies?

    2. baffling

      so rick is the arbiter of what work counts, and what work does not count. sounds like a real world approach to me. rick probably believe that Judy shelton is an eminent economist with much real world experience too.

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