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In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Friday, April 6, 2012

April 6, 2012 - Good Friday - Morning Headlines

- The Syrian government seems to be increasing its attacks on civilians and rebels in spite of agreeing on a Kofi Annan-led peace agreement it claimed it would honor (Fox News):

- The Center for Health Transformation, Newt Gingrich's healthcare think tank has filed for bankruptcy (Yahoo!):

- A military board recommended that Sgt. Gary Stein be dismissed for posting comments critical of President Obama on his Facebook. Stein claims he was within his free speech rights (MSNBC):

- The government's March jobs report is expected to show strong job growth and an unemployment rate holding steady at 8.3% (ABC News):


  1. Fuzzy government math:

    - Economists surveyed by CNNMoney expect the report to show that employers added 200,000 jobs in March, and that the unemployment rate fell by 0.1% to 8.2%.

    - The economy needs about 125,000 new jobs each month just to keep the unemployment rate steady. To fully dig out of the jobs hole left by the financial crisis, it needs far more.

    Both from (

    But the Wall Street Journals says, "The US economy added 120,000 jobs in March dropping the unemployment rate to 8.2%."

    How? If it takes 125,000 just to keep it steady, how does 120,000 cause it to drop?

    It's getting deep!

    1. You are correct about the 125k jobs/month just to keep up with the population growth. Though, the CNN article I read noted that the unemployment rate dropped due to a combination of the added jobs as well as people exiting the job search.

      The article:

      "Job growth of around 120,000 is just about enough to keep up with population growth, and is therefore more like "treading water" than a major improvement, Owens said.

      Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 8.2% as the labor force shrank by 164,000 workers, mostly due to white women leaving the job market."

  2. Good afternoon and happy Friday MN 4 Rick and RKen - I can't say much; it's another busy day at the office, and I have to get a lot done before I leave early.

    To go along with what you're both saying, the funny part is you're both correct. When MN 4 Rick wrote his comment at 8:34 am EST (for some reason our timestamps are in PST) it was right after the jobs report release at 8:30. I saw the exact same article, and when the email came through and I saw his comment about the article, I thought the same thing. At the time, they didn't talk about the people that left the workforce.

    Now the article is updated, and RKen has correctly pointed it out. The shrinking of the denominator made the overall unemployment rate drop.

    So, MN 4 Rick, it's not really fuzzy math, it's more, the math wasn't there at the time you and I saw that article ~ 8:30am.

    I hope you both have great, safe weekends :-)