In an earlier note I referred to a Wall Street Journal article that pointed out the large gap between the employment growth reported in the Labor Department's household survey and the job growth reported from its establishment survey. I took a quick glance at the recent data on Social Security tax collections and concluded that the proponents of the household survey may have a case.
Yes, that is what the Post had to say about yesterday's drop in the unemployment rate. The Post article asserted that: "considering that some workers lack the education and skills to be readily employable, economists regard any unemployment rate below 5 percent as striking." It then quoted Mark Zandi (generally a reasonable economist) as saying that "we are beyond full employment."
Yesterday's employment report showed far more growth in employment in the household survey than in the establishment survey. Most economists view the establishment survey, which is much larger, as being the better gage of employment, but there are doubters (many of whom are not Republicans).
PHILADELPHIA, PA -- At lunchtime today, hundreds gathered in Philadelphia�s Love Park to support Pennsylvania Democrats. The crowd huddled in the cold, clutching their �Ricky the Rat� signs that depicted a smug Santorum with whiskers, buck teeth, and mouse ears. �He�s a rat,� said one red-cheeked activist, �for making $165,000 a year and not supporting minimum wage changes.� Local labor leaders quickly got the crowd fired up by chanting �Hey hey! Ho ho! Rick Santorum�s got to go!�
THE CONSERVATIVE ID. I'm wary of getting into a lot of meta discussions about blogs, but what the hell. Benhints at it in responding to Blake, and this is perhaps not going to inspire widespread agreement among readers and commenters (or fellow Tappeders), but it needs to be said: The Corner is must-reading.
THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT RIGHTWING BLOGS: In response to Blake: I generally do not read rightwing blogs myself, as I typically find their argumentation so tautological and their views so ill-considered that they are totally unpersuasive. However, one thing they can do is make you understand your own beliefs more clearly--and not only out of revulsion at theirs. Some of the better writers at some of the better blogs, like The Corner, actually have a fairly nuanced understanding of American liberalism, even if they try to cover it up with outlandish book titles.
THE PROCESS OF POPULISTS. I don't know, Mark, I always got the feeling that 1974 represented the zenith of process-oriented, good-government liberalism. My read on 2006 is that we're seeing the opening salvos of a populist turn in the Democratic Party. This obviously isn't true straight across the board, but the Testers, Browns, Webbs, and even Lamontsof the world represent something distinct and resonant, more reminiscent of 1994's class of true believers than 1974's class of hard workers.
SO MANY TYPES OF SANTORUM. But Scott, the Santorum strategy isn't merely to deny that he's a conservative, it's also to affirm that he's a conservative! And a libertarian! And a progressive! Given the breadth of the coalition such a uniter could theoretically muster, Bob Casey must be one helluva candidate to remain so far out ahead.