Someone Must Have Been Reading My Blog

On July 8 I showed a series of job growth charts showing that the recovery in private employment virtually ceased almost on the exact same day Obamacare passed.

Via Q&O, Heritage has done a similar analysis, and come to a similar observation, though with much nicer and more professional graphics than I had.

Correlation is not causation, but in fact we have a lot of independent evidence (including my own experience) that many small and middle sized companies have changed their hiring plans based on costs and uncertainties of Obamacare.


  1. Jens Fiederer:

    Any comment on this Yglesias post?

    McArdle tweeted "Graph is very thin evidence of anything, but looking at the 2nd derivative is not some sort of odd technical chicanery"

    While the change is obvious on Yglesias's chart, it looks much less dire.

  2. Andrew:

    Can someone explain what "Jobs a month a month" means and whether that is the metric being used in the chart?

  3. Ted Rado:

    I have often wondered why government officials have not consulted a behavior scientist before passing legislation. When the government subsidizes unwed mothers, the number of unwed mothers mushrooms. If the USG subsidized housing that people can't afford, people buy houses they can't afford. The list goes on.
    Most of these coming fiascos should have been obvious to anybody. Most lay people, let alone behavioral experts, could see them coming. Are we fools or what?

  4. Noumenon:

    Another comment on the graph (points out that a graph that continued to rise would have indicated much-higher-than-historical job growth, by hundreds of thousands of jobs a month).

  5. Mesa Econoguy:

    Using technical analysis, we seem to have short-term support around 5k.


    Here’s another fun, and related graph:

    Had I studied economics at Cal under Christina Romer, I would probably be suing for a refund right about now.

  6. Neal:

    Love how Yglesias says "I think it’s really too bad that conservative institutions spend a fair amount of time and energy on projects whose only possible effect can be to mislead their own constituency."

    As if the liberals only tell us the absolute truth at all times and never mislead anyone.


  7. Ignoramus:

    An absurdist, comical interlude

    Looking back from 2012, "Debt Ceiling Chicken" may be the biggest event in Obama's presidency. If so, we're living in an unfolding historical moment.

    What follows is a selection from Press Secretary Carney's presser yesterday. I know he's an idiot, but I take what he said as having been scipted and vetted by Obama beforehand, until the poor Press Secretary got caught in doublespeak.

    I invite you to read it as an absurdist, comical interlude:

    Opening: ... the breaking news report that you all have probably received is incorrect. There is no deal. We are not close to a deal.

    Q: So you said you’re not close to a deal, and you also said there’s no progress to report. Did yesterday’s meetings yield any progress?

    A: Well, they were constructive and useful meetings ... What is not in doubt is that Congress will act to ensure that the debt ceiling is raised and that we do not risk default. That is not in doubt.

    Q: Is it still a red line for the President that any grand deal include revenues?

    A: Yes .... And finally, we can and must, if we want to achieve significant deficit reduction, find savings through the tax code.

    Q: ... is it still the President’s position that any expansion of the debt limit must take the country through 2012? Or would he be willing to accept something less than that, maybe

    A: The President’s position, his opposition to a short-term extension, a short-term lifting of the debt ceiling remains firm, period.

    Q: Can you explain to the American people why the ultimatum that this has to go through 2013 is important? Because you and I talked about this, and I still don’t understand why that ultimatum is more important than avoiding the risk of default?

    A: We’re not going to default, Jake. I mean, it’s a circular question. But we’re not -- Congress will act and has said that it will act, and we remain confident that it will.

    Q: But in a world where you’re looking for the lesser of evils, the least horrible option, is contributing to that uncertainty not preferable to risking a default --
    A: But you’re asking for a hypothetical that doesn’t -- we’re not going to default.

    Q: Saying it does not make it so.

    A: True enough.

    Q: Would that it were.

    Q So you said earlier that you’re not close to a deal; there’s been no progress made.

    A: I said no progress to report.

    Q: To report, right. So why should anybody believe that in the next 11 days you guys are going to make progress and be -- and actually reach a deal, when you’ve been working on this for months?

    A: That’s like saying, you know, why should anybody believe Christmas is going to come until Christmas Day. I mean, it’s -- the --

    Q: Or Santa

    A: Or Santa. (Laughter.) Because obviously there won’t be a deal until there is a deal. So the fact that I can stand up to you and say that reports that we’re close to a deal are incorrect doesn’t mean that there won’t be one. And what -- again, my confidence -- we remain optimistic -- we remain confident that a deal can be reached, that a significant deficit reduction can be reached and that there is time to do that. We are also cold-eyed realists about the challenges that reaching such a deal are presented -- or present themselves

    Q: I guess I’m curious how you’re not close when we’re so close to the deadline.

    A: That’s semantics, and I can just tell you that the suggestions that we’re close to a deal are incorrect.

  8. Emily Adams:

    When I worked with NIST one particular researcher put a quote from Samuel Clemens at the top of every report she issued: "Lies, damned lies, and statistics".
    His interpretation by using two first order equations is wrong. The best fit line is a second order equation (a curve) that plateaus. Sadly most people never got those math classes so they believe this sensationalist tripe.
    Mesa Econoguy: Your link shows a more frightening trend, a gradual slope up then a sharp increase. Remember, these figures are from unemployment agencies. Once people drop off, they are no longer counted.

  9. Bram:

    Ted Rado:
    Common sense tells us that offering rewards for things (unemployment, out-of-wedlock children, etc...) gets us more of those things.

    Penalizing activities - starting a business, hiring employees, paying for their health insurance - gets you less of those activities.

    Unfortunately government has nothing to do with common sense.

  10. CBT696:

    Remember that in 2007 the minimum wage was $5.15 and that by 2009 it had risen to $7.25, i.e., a 40% increase in eighteen months. Couple this with the healthcare/unemployment correlation and the divergence in employment vs. levels of education is plausibly explained.