With Unemployment In Double Digits…

…do we REALLY want to be pursuing legislation that costs jobs?

If that seems like a no-brainer, consider that non-partisan FactCheck.org analyzes health care reform and cap-and-trade, and concludes both are job-killers.

First, health care reform:

The truth is the House legislation would likely have a “small” effect on jobs, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. A RAND Corp. expert says the job loss would be “quite minimal.” A third estimate puts the job loss at several hundred thousand low-wage jobs, or well under one-half of 1 percent of all jobs. Furthermore, the bill doesn’t kick in until the year 2013, and by then the economy is expected to be much improved, with unemployment down to 5.8 percent according to CBO’s projections.

Now, it’s true that the article emphasizes the small nature of the job loss, and the expected improvement in unemployment by the time most of the job losses kick in.

But I ask you: does the loss of several hundred thousand low-wage jobs seems like a small thing to you?  Sure doesn’t sound “minimal” to me, nor does the loss of 1/2 of 1% of the nation’s jobs seem trivial.  Legislation that drops a half percent off of employment seems to me to be legislation you would want to avoid.

But that’s a veritable party next to cap-and-trade:

It’s true that limiting carbon emissions would create some jobs – building wind turbines or insulating homes and businesses, for example. But it’s equally true that raising the cost of burning coal and oil would act as a drag on the entire economy, slowing down job creation in other industries.

According to projections by the Energy Information Administration and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the net effect of the House cap-and-trade bill will likely be to slow future job growth. Using 11 different possible future scenarios, EIA projects that future job growth might be constrained by something between 388,000 (under the most optimistic assumptions) and 2.3 million (assuming everything goes badly) 20 years from now. CBO also says employment would likely be lower than it would without the legislation – but only “a little.”

So claims that the bill would create hundreds of thousands of “green jobs” are misleading, at best. The government’s own official economic projections indicate more jobs will be lost than created.

So, let’s consider the impact of both bills together – under the ROSY scenario, mind you, we’re pursuing legislation that will drop employment by a full percentage point.  And since when does the rosy scenario come true?  Far more likely is an outcome between the two extremes.  But let’s be generous – a 1% drop in employment it is.

Just TRY selling that to middle America right now…and shame on the Republicans if they don’t point out these numbers at every opportunity…

65 comments to With Unemployment In Double Digits…

  • So, in answer to your question, yes, England has an FOI provision, as well, and yes, they are seen conspiring against compliance.

    Jacques, with all due respect, this is starting to really, really stink…

  • More, from link above:

    Jones says that UK climate organisations are coordinating themselves to resist FoI. They got advice from the Information Commissioner [!](1219239172)

    Funkhouser says he’s pulled every trick up his sleeve to milk his Kyrgistan series. Doesn’t think it’s productive to juggle the chronology statistics any more than he has.(0843161829)

    Tom Wigley tells Mann that a figure Schmidt put together to refute Monckton is deceptive and that the match it shows of instrumental to model predictions is a fluke. Says there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model output by authors and IPCC.(1255553034)

  • Bob from Ohio

    Where does Jacques work again?

    Keeping state agencies and elected officials honest can be a daunting task, but this is why we have some important tools to work with. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal program, and an Open Records Request (ORR) is state-level. The Texas Open Records Act, or Texas Public Information Act (PIA), was enacted in 1973 in the wake of the Sharpstown Bank Scandal of 1971, which implicated many of the state’s top elected officials – including the then-Governor, House Speaker, Attorney General, a Representative and some aides – in a scheme to defraud the citizens of the state. Consequently, the Texas PIA is actually stronger than the federal FOIA.

    But he can’t imagine why East Anglia might be subject to FOI.

  • Where does Jacques work again?

    The University of Texas.

    While Federally funded research (conducted under grants awarded after April 2000, and used in the formulation of Federal regulations) does fall under FOIA provisions, there are very broad exemptions.

    In the US, if the papers based on the data, in question, haven’t been published yet, the data is exempt from FOIA requirements. And, if the data is older than 3-5 years, there’s no legal requirement that it be retained (though some Universities may mandate a longer retention period).

    I have no idea what UK laws are, in this regard.

    So, anyway, what’s the data that we’re talking about, here?

  • Oh, and just FYI, here’s what OMB Circular A-110 has to say about what sort of “data” is covered under these rules:

    ["Data"] is defined as the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings, but not any of the following: preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, or communications with colleagues

  • Bob from Ohio

    So, anyway, what’s the data that we’re talking about, here?

    The stuff they fabricated or destroyed of course. You know, that they admit to doing. Duh.

    Nice to hear that the US FOIA is so toothless. Is the Open Records Act in Texas also toothless?

    Apparently the East Anglians were pretty worried about the UK’s FOI though. Worried enough to, what’s that word, oh yes, stonewall requests and corruptly influence the administrative appeal process until they could destroy stuff.

  • Just to summarize US laws in this regard:

    Say I write a paper, and Bob files an FOIA request, saying “I want to see your raw data”.

    1) If the paper hasn’t been used in the drafting of Federal regulations, I’m entitled to say, “Screw you.”
    2) If the paper has been used in the drafting of Federal regulations, but the research wasn’t funded by the US Government, I’m entitled to say, “Screw you.”
    3) If the paper was used in drafting Federal regulations, and the research was funded by the US Government, but the paper’s more than 3-5 years old, I’m entitled to say, “Screw you.”
    4) If the paper was used in drafting Federal regulations, and the research was funded by the US Government and the paper’s less than 3-5 years old, but I have followup papers, using the same dataset, in the pipeline, I’m entitled to say, “Scr.. Wait till after I’ve published the followup papers.”

    Again, I don’t know what the UK laws are, in this regard.

    Nor do I know the circumstances of the alleged conspiracy to thwart FOI requests. But I just wanted to point out that, at least in the US, the bar that Bob has to surmount is pretty high.

  • Note, too, that even if Bob is not entitled to gain access to my data, he can still file FOIA requests, to his heart’s content.

    And I, in turn, am entitled to bitch to my colleagues, in private email, about what a nuisance Bob is being.

  • Peter

    Geez, I go to a bar mitzvah, come back, and it’s thirty posts later. Sorry to miss all the fun.

    I did not mean to hijack the thread with an ACORN discussion. My only point was simply that if you use trickery to find wrongdoing on the part of those you disagree with, you’ll probably find something incriminating, or at least something which has the superficial appearance of incrimination. When I was a pup, and the Vietnam war was going on, Al Capp was a vocal conservative supporter of the war. A coed seduced him, got this into the press, and he was thoroughly discredited and withdrew from public life. That’s dirty pool, just like the rogue filmmakers and the computer hackers. It would be as if the Democrats sent young boys to meet Tom Foley or Larry Craig to catch them in scandal and force them to resign. Whatever truthiness may be revealed, tainted evidence is useless, simply because it is tainted. There’s a reason why enticement and entrapment is against the law.

    If you would like to know why ACORN is a harmless organization which serves the public good by increasing voter participation – and is continually harassed by the GOP because the voters they register are likely to vote the other way – or why voter ID laws are phony attempts to achieve the same thing, I would be happy to enlighten you. But not in this thread.

  • Bob from Ohio

    Bob would never care to see anything Jacques did.

    Petey is wrong on the law of course.

    the fact that these documents were disclosed as the result of hacking does not make them in any way irrelevant or inadmissible. See, e.g., Lee v. Lee, 967 S.W.2d 82 (Mo. App. 1998) (Video tape depicting sexual activity between wife and another man was admissible in dissolution proceeding, regardless of whether husband obtained tape by criminal trespass or invasion of privacy).

    Indeed, the dissemination and discussion of these documents is shielded by the First Amendment, especially given that they involve matters of great public concern. Bartnicki v. Vopper , 532 U.S. 514 (2001) (First Amendment barred lawsuit over publicizing tape that someone else obtained through illegal invasion of privacy).

    (Thanks to Hans at Volokh Conspiracy)

    Government can be prevented from using illegally obtained evidence but only when its agents are the ones acting illegally. Even then the courts go out of their way to let stuff in.

    Enticement is not banned even for the government. One need only mention the legions of prostitution and internet sex stings that have resulted in criminal convictions. Pure entrapment not allowed but the bar is pretty high. Only in the movies or TV does entrapment actually work as a defense. Ask any criminal lawyer.

    Government is not acting here, private individuals are using these admissions.

    There is nothing morally wrong with using these admissions, no matter what happened to poor Al Capp.

  • Peter

    I’m not sure what Bobo’s point is, if indeed there is one. If the government used actors employing phony identities to enter a business and ask them to violate the law, the case would be thrown out of court. If the government, absent of any other evidence, hacked into computer correspondence and used the stolen emails to indict, the case would be thrown out of court. My point is simple: if you lack facts and logic, and have to rely on trickery and deceit to discredit those you disagree with – discrediting them personally, not even their positions or evidence – then you don’t have a case to begin with.

  • Peter, your point is nonsensical. In the first place, this wasn’t the government, it was private hackers. In the second place, no one tricked anyone – they stole their correspondence, but the correspondence was real…no one was “induced” to say anything. They said all these things willingly, and by email…

  • Bob from Ohio

    If the government used actors employing phony identities to enter a business and ask them to violate the law, the case would be thrown out of court.

    As a flat statement, that is just not true.

    It depends what they say but its done all the time. What is a prostitution sting but a form of using an actor to ask people to violate the law. Cops pretend to be 15 year old girls on the internet and men go to jail when they show up at the meeting.

    As I pointed out, Petey, it ain’t the government here. And the East Anglians are only in the court of public opinion.

    Petey, you can’t defend them on the merits so you just get all prissy about some imaginary form of ethics.

  • Peter

    False analogy. A cop cannot legally “ask people to violate the law.” That is clear entrapment. However, he make a post on craigslist (“fifteen year old girl wants to meet sugar daddy”) and see if anyone responds. If the adult makes the first step and contacts the post, he can be caught and prosecuted.

    The analogous situation with ACORN would be if the rogue filmmakers put an ad in the paper (“Looking to skirt federal housing laws”) and ACORN pro-actively contacted them.

  • Bob from Ohio

    A cop cannot legally “ask people to violate the law.” That is clear entrapment. However, he make a post on craigslist (”fifteen year old girl wants to meet sugar daddy”) and see if anyone responds.

    You have no idea what entrapment is. Your craiglist example is no different legally than what happened to ACORN.

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