Some Numbers Just Don’t Make Sense

Does that ever happen to you? You see some numbers reported the news; maybe reported by the government that don’t make sense to you because you are experiencing something quite different. I don’t like it when that happens. I am a big fan of logic. When things happen that don’t seem logical to me, I am uncomfortable and is hard to understand something that isn’t logical. In real life, in nature things do happen that are out of the ordinary, illogical. It doesn’t happen often and for that reason those events are called anomalies. So, maybe the numbers that are bothering me are the result of anomalies. You can be the judge.

One  set of numbers that are bothering me are what the government reports about our economy. Candidate, president Obama, during the recent campaign was consistent in making his case that for forty months there had been private sector job growth. (He never mentioned public sector job losses, did he?) And, the president admitted that although the economy was not growing as fast as we would like, it was growing. The statistics reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistic and other agencies backed up the president’s story.  But, I am curious if from what you all are experiencing in your daily lives and what you know about that your family members or friends are experiencing, do you think the numbers reported by the government make sense to you? I have to ask because where I live I am not experiencing the same things that you all back home are experiencing. Although I spend hours every day on the internet trying to keep informed on what is going on back home, it is not the same as actually living through it. Now, let me raise the question to a different level.

Do you all think it is possible that the United States is already in recession and we just don’t know it?  Now, I am privileged to have at least to followers of my humble blog who are far better arm chair economists than I am. As they read the question I just posed, I can hear them saying: “Hang on there, Jim. We have a concrete definition of what constitutes a recession. A recession is defined as being two consecutive quarters of negative GDP. And, we haven’t even had one quarter of negative GDP.” Well, I could not argue with them. My friends are right. However, in this Hussman Fund report, written by John P. Hussman, Ph.D., the Doctor tells us that is not uncommon for the US economy to be in recession for a while before the reported numbers indicate it. He gives several examples of past recession that America didn’t learn about until three or four months after the recessions had started. [The article is copyrighted so I can not share any quotes with you. Sorry!] The reason for this, Hussman explains, is the BLS does sampling, sort of like an auditor would do, of a few thousand data points and then enters this data into their model to produce a projection for the nation as a whole. Months later, when the BLS has more concrete data, they announce adjustments to previously reported numbers. The Hussman report goes on to say that their group of analyst believe the United States is already in recession and we will learn about it in a few months. Hussman claims that his analyst use a much broder base of indicators than other analyst typically use. He supports his group’s position with a another group of respected analyst who use a similar methodology and who have come to the same conclusion. So, what do you think. Does it feel to you that the US may already be in recession?

There are some other numbers that aren’t making sense to me. This number, 59.9 million, when compared to this number, 57.8 million, do not make sense to me. They seem to defy logic. The first number is the number of votes the Republican candidate, John McCain, received in the 2008 presidential election. As I noted yesterday, there was no way the Republican candidate was going to win in 2008. America was tired of George Bush for many reasons and whether you belive Bush was responsible for the housing and financial bubbles bursting, it happened on the Republican President’s watch and in America that means he gets the blame. So, for the voters who normally vote for the Republican candidate, there was not much hope that the Republicans had any chance of winning in 2008. Further more, the conservative base was less than enthusiastic about the candidate, John McCain. So, McCain received 59.9 million votes and he lost, as predicted,  by a wide margine. Now let’s look at the 2012 presidential election that occurred eleven days ago. This election took place in a very different environment than the 2008 election. After four disasteous years of an inept Obama amdinistration and a hrrible scandal comining out of Benghazi, libya, Americans seemed ready to put an end to the presidency of Barack Obama. Although for conservatives, Romney wasn’t our first choice, by the time the election came around we had reason to be more enthusiastic about Romney. His choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate was positive. I noted at the time that the choice of Ryan was a classic executive management decision. Romney could have picked someone who could have been more helpful in winning key swing states; such as, Portman in Ohio ir Rubio in Florida. Instead Romney choose someone he thought could help him once he was president. From the Republican National Convention, we learned from Mitt’s wife Ann and some friends something few of us were aware of. We learned that Mitt Romney was a very decent man; a man of principle, a man of faith, a family man, a compassionate man who loved America. And so, our enthusiasm for Romney went up a notch or two. The polls leading into the election showed an enthusiasm advantage for the Republican candidate. So, what happened? How under those circumstances was Mitt Romney held to winning only 57.8 million votes. That is over two million votes  less than John McCain got when he was running just for show because there was no way the Republican, whoever it was, could win in 2008. How do we explain that? It seems to defy logic. I don’t like it when logic is defied. I have no explanation for what happened. There is no doubt that there was election fraud in favor of the Democrats. There is always election fraud in favor of the Democrats. But, the order of magnitude of voter fraud that it would take to hold Romney to two million votes less than what McCain got does not seem like a plausible explanation. In spite of all the pundit’s analysis of voting blocks and turnout, the results do not make sense to me. How about you?

Well, now you know what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

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21 thoughts on “Some Numbers Just Don’t Make Sense

  1. Despite what Hugh posted at Western Hero, I don’t think voter fraud tipped the election to Obama. I think he won it fair and square. Millions of voters stayed home, and Obama got out his base. Romney did not.

    As for the recession, I agree with Hussman.

    Also, I read their quotation policy, and they do authorize reasonable quotations. From their site:

    Site and site contents © copyright 2003 Hussman Funds. Brief quotations including attribution and a direct link to this site (www.hussmanfunds.com) are authorized. All other rights reserved and actively enforced. Extensive or unattributed reproduction of text or research findings are violations of copyright law.

    1. I agree with you, Kurt, that we lost because people stayed home. That, in my opinion defies logic. Not after all that happened in the last four years, Not after all the lies and all the hate and divisiveness. Not after Benghazi. Many of us complained about the polls being skewed in Obama’s favor, but they turned out to be quite accurate. So, why were the polls that said Republican voters were pumped about voting not true?

      Oh, I guess it does pay to read the fine print. Thanks!

  2. I have commented, not sure if here, that PA GOP voters were treated badly in my neck of the woods. We were considered a lost cause, no effort what so ever to reach out to the tea party folks. In fact it was made clear we need not apply. Then, at the last moment, a couple of weeks before the election, we were expected to rise to the occasion. That is the short version. Then yesterday, to add insult to this, Romney is out there with his beating on the 47 percent nonsense once again that aggravates me once again. There is a way of saying it without coming across as an uncaring a.. .

  3. I’m not sure that Obama won fair and square, particularly if voter fraud ran rampant in urban areas, the areas with the highest populations. In several instances, the state was going for Romney UNTIL the urban areas’ votes came in. That’s exactly what happened here in Virginia, a state that I was closely watching. But it is certainly possible that urban areas and edge cities (Northern Virginia) lean strongly in favor of the Democratic Party. People in those areas are free-stuff oriented.

    I know several people, mostly blue collar workers, who lost their jobs between 2008-2010. Very few have been rehired, particularly hired full time. And when most who did find a job got hired, they ended up with a job much lower paying.

    I personally know only one government worker (federal or local) who lost his job toward the beginning of the downturn.

    My property sale here fell through when the housing market tanked. This property is one that should go for development as this particular area in Northern Virginia is burgeoning with growth because of a new subway line. However, not a single developer has shown interest in picking up my property! Houses that go on the market here in Northern Virginia since 2008, sit on the market for a long time before selling — unless the asking price is well below the norm for this region. It used to be that houses on the market here stayed up for sale more than two weeks! Estate sales and foreclosure sales are humming right along, however.

    Most of the older homes foreclosed on in this region have now been replaced with mega-mansions, which are very lucrative for the local government because of greatly increased real-estate taxes. It is my understanding that those mega-mansions are owned by government workers and, of course, lawyers.

    High-end shopping malls are busy, but over 50% of the walking traffic there consists of Saudis and the uber rich.

    Restaurants here in the suburbs are not crowded. The ones in downtown D.C. are.

    Much retail space in some of the better strip malls has been sitting empty for well over a year.

  4. Lets put job growth and GDP growth into proper perspective…

    First…
    The jobs and job growth we read about every month only says how many jobs were created the previous month. That tells just a fractional, short-term story.

    What really matters is jobs and job growth over the long term. The BLS provides that information and we can review it.

    Do that and you’ll find we lost nearly 7.2 million jobs from Jan 2008 to Jan 2010 because of the Great Recession and that we are still 3 million jobs BELOW that right now… despite that the working age population of the U.S. has grown 11.3 million over that same time period!

    That… I bet… makes much more sense to you than knowing that we’ve had 32 months of meager private-sector job growth!!

    Second…
    The GDP growth we read about all the time only compares the GDP of the reporting quarter with the GDP of the quarter immediately preceding it. That tells just a fractional, short-term story.

    What really matters is real GDP growth over the long term. The BEA provides that information and we can review it.

    Do that and you will see that in real terms that it took the U.S. FOUR YEARS to recover the GDP lost in the Great Recession. This country completely LOST four years of real economic growth!

    That… I bet… makes much more sense to you than knowing we have had meager GDP growth every quarter since Q2 of 2009!

    Vote totals in perspective…
    That is the saddest statistic of all.
    Voters are so apathetic this year compared to 2008 that fewer of us voted when there is so much more at stake now than there was then. What is wrong with us?

  5. I am amazed at the stupidity and ineffectiveness of the national press and all those Republicans that are practicing Monday morning quarter backing about why the Republicans lost the election.

    In the process I will answer your question of why the Romney’s total vote was lower than McCain’s.

    Let me be clear first that I believe that the main reason why the election was lost is because Romney was too good of a candidate. Let me repeat, “Too Good Of A Candidate”. By being a family man, a faithful man, honest, smart, successful, compassionate, classy, religious, Noble, capable, wise, patriotic,. . and more . . ., he could not identify with the majority of what is now the new and changing population of the United States. No man with this qualifications will ever be President of the United States again. George Washington could not get elected today.

    Now, to the question of why Romney’s total vote was so low, there is one main reason (that probably accounts for 70-80 of the missing votes): Libertarians and Paulites – or those commonly known losers who claim to vote for “principle”.

    Let me give you the figures: In seven battleground states the average vote taken by Libertarians was 5%. That 5% average out of a total of 120 million votes cast represents 6 million votes. If we add to that the absentee Paulite vote calculated at a very minimum of 1% of the vote (Paul scored at 10%+ regularly during the primaries), it gives us 1.2 more million missing votes, which added to 6 million votes tell us that 7.2 million votes went missing for Romney. It is obvious that those 7.2 million votes would have given the presidency to Romney and that America would have been saved.

    Next time you meet a Paulite or a Libertarian make sure you give him/her the right salute.

    1. That is inaccurate. The national libertarian vote was 1.1 mil. Had we all saddled up with your squish candidate, I doubt we would have garnered
      one additional state and I am not going to go through all of them.

      Secondly, and most reprehensibly, the GOP and their delegates worked very hard to ruin any chance Dr Paul had. Many believe he won Iowa and a few other states.

      But here’s the deal. He was no squish. Dr Paul is REALLY a conservative, not a squish like the vast majority of the GOP. You want to win an election? Start by not blaming everyone else. That sounds a lot like a third grade whine. If the GOP was so #hit hot- they would have won. Period.

      1. Hear, hear, that’s how I feel too. Been following this stuff since I was a little girl. Got the Limbaugh Letter for my 16th birthday. I didn’t leave the Republican Party, it left me.

        I’d also like to note that Romney couldn’t win his homestates of Michigan or Massachusetts. Gee, up there with the doctor wait now at six weeks thanks to Mittcare, they don’t lovingly throw roses at Mitt’s feet.

        Mitt Romney = globalist = Obama = bankster = will sell us out for slave labor if they can.

        I’m under no illusions.

      2. Two points: I did not say that the election tally was 6 million votes for Johnson (remember, this is an attempt to explain the Republican “missing” votes). We extrapolated the average of poll’s Libertarian intentions in all 7 battleground states of 5% (not our statistic) to the national count; that includes all those Libertarians that “did not vote for anybody”, including the 1.2 million that actually voted for Johnson. Second, our Paulite count is too low at 1% and it was probably 2-3% (under the same accountability) that would compensate for an overcount of the Libertarians (it is rather difficult to keep them apart).

        PD. I did not say those “evil Libertarians” (see comment below); what I said was, “. . . known losers . . . “. Libertarians are not evil, but they are “well intentioned” losers – and we can go to the records.
        .

      3. Many wrote in Ron Paul’s name. And a growing number of libertarians are refusing to vote at all because the whole thing is just a joke.

        Your adjectives to describe Romney are pretty delusional. He cheated right through the whole prmiary process. The man hasn’t worked a real job in his whole life. He doesn’t reflect anyone in America but the bankers. Getting $50 abortions paid for under MIttcare and signing off on Gay Pride Days in public school are noble and classy? Not in my universe.

  6. Splitting hairs Galt. Your negative connotations are still negative whether you characterize us as losers or not. This is what you said… “Next time you meet a Paulite or a Libertarian make sure you give him/her the right salute.”

    Btw, we knew we were going to lose. We stood on principal. You stood on squish with the rest of your party. RM is right. Your nominee couldn’t even carry his home state or the state he was Governor of. That ain’t exactly a big vote of confidence. In fact, had Squish run Democrat I bet he would have won those states. Maybe he will in 2016.

  7. Was there voter fraud? I am sure there was some, there always is. But I when I think about the scope and the size of the fraud it would have taken to get this result I just don’t see how it was plausible. I think people who are tired of both parties stayed home in order to teach them a lesson and I think we are all going to pay for this decision. And if there really was voter fraud of this magnitude the country is already lost and I am not willing to admit that just yet.

  8. Voter fraud? Surely! Was it what took Romney down, don’t think so, at least not by itself. We know there is always fraud going on, both parties do it all the time. I think there were alot of people that just sat this one out and didn’t vote. There were the Ron Paul supporters that could just NOT vote for Romney and didn’t want to pull the lever for Gary Johnson, so they figured it would not matter. Obama was able to get any amount of votes together he wanted to win, but still, I think it might have just been disenchanted voters that did it to themselves. That and all the “free stuff” that certain people want to make sure they continue to get, that sure got the vote out. I know we were told how great things were and things were turning around, but here in Central Illinois, that is anything but the truth. I don’t see it and people are not “just fine”. We are struggling and businesses are struggling, and still we are expected to think everything is looking up, just because the media tells us that? Makes no sense to me. Now we have Obama coming out and showing his EVIL nasty self. We care, but those that voted for him, just sit back and figure they will continue getting what they always have, he is back in and thing will continue as they have for 4 years of their “stuff”. Who wants to tell them that their free ride is slowing down and coming to an end? We really don’t have much difference in the parties at this point. The “Powers that Be” are calling the shots, the candidates are just figure heads to march out, so as not to scare the little people. Most are cut from the same cloth. Right now, I do NOT feel we have much say in how America will emerge, this has been planned out years and years ago, they just throw us a bone once in awhile so we will think that we still have a CHOICE it its’ outcome. Am I giving up? No, but it will be a nasty fight, all the same. Those people don’t like opposition.

  9. Jim, respectfully, there’s irony in your rationalization of numbers to deduce logic that voter fraud had to occur. I say that because I’ve argued that Mitt lost because his very numbers were illogical and simply didn’t add up. And it isn’t so much that his numbers defied math, logic, and history (more tax breaks for the wealthy added with a splash of pixie dust will put mass quantities of people to work at a much higher wage) but rather his Snidley Whiplash demeanor seemed to gain momentum.

    While there’s tons of straw to add to the camel’s back, there seems to be a denial of the integrity of the Romney/Ryan campaign. This isn’t about conservative views or ideological differences but rather about selling an agenda to the electorate.

    Secrecy, rhetoric, spin, and abject dishonesty was presented to the voters and they just didn’t buy it. Now I’m not saying that Obama, Clinton, or most any politician hasn’t engaged in spin or dishonesty but the R/R team took this to a new level. They built their entire campaign on outright lies and blatant dishonesty while having the chutzpah to change any given position at any given time contingent on what that particular audience wanted to hear. They ignored the fact that their numbers on the most important issue (the economy) simply didn’t add up. While people in general wanted nothing to do with Ryan’s budget, the campaign were vague, inconsistent, and simply pretended those issues weren’t there. The R/R team presented themselves as the worst of the worst of the used cars salesmen, telling their prospects absolutely anything they wanted to hear to make the sell. Romney dismissed fact checkers, ignored reporters, selectively hid tax returns, refused to explain what loopholes he’d close, and just became more mendacious while flip flopping at an unconscionable pace.

    At the end of the day, people buy from who they can trust the most, rely on the most, and feel they’ll get the best service or protection for their investment. Regardless of how you trust or distrust either, Romney’s campaign strategy simply failed to make the sell.

    Many conservatives fail to see this because they’ve relied on the strategy and belief that as long as they could just sell the concept that “Obama bad, Obama bad, Obama bad, they could beat him with anyone.

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