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3. #economicsinthreewords: "Support the narrative."
#publicaccountinginfourwords: "Whatever the client wants."
#lawintwowords: "It depends."

So cynical! Watch out world, this guy sees through you!

#5: they should distinguish between state/local and federal employment. After all, the POTUS doesn't have much sway over whether your local school district added or cut teaching and administrative positions this fall. I know there are pass-through funds from the federal government that filter down to the local level, but still.

State and local employment is a function of economic strength, not a driver of it. The reason the drop in public sector employment early in Reagan's term was followed by a strong increase was the very robust recovery - that's what's missing now.

That makes sense. I just don't see the point of comparing presidential terms here unless we're talking about how policy influences hiring, and presidents obviously have more influence on the size of the federal workforce than public sector employees in general.

The result holds for federal employment only http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=MDW

Much, though not all, appears to be about the Postal Service http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=MDX

>State and local employment is a function of economic strength, not a driver of it.

You'll never get a job in the Pelosi administration with that attitude.

There won't be a Pelosi administration, unless of course President Feinstein is assassinated.

#5. They should also add in "contractors." That might really bump up the numbers under Bush II.

In his 1988 SOTU, Reagan spoke with pride on his success in privatizing government.

It was in the Reagan years that the road to government agencies using private security guards with criminal records vetted by private security checking agencies approving many for government security clearances so they can ride with POTUS with guns.

Of course, the Secret Service performed perfectly when Reagan was shot, according to a review of the SS, and then the SS started growing until it doubled in size in the next two decades.

Is it time to say Obama's "Only Nixon could go to China" issue is "Only Obama could have seen the huge drop in public employment!" (I know it was mostly governor's actions here.) This is clearly the biggest reason why the middle class jobs have been so stagant the last 6 years. Public employement drops during Obama have much bigger and historic than any other modern President.

The public sector accounts for only about 15% of the total job market in the US. So, no that's not the biggest reason for the middle class job stagnation.

At both the state and federal level budgets are getting eaten up by entitlement and pension costs. It's happening faster at state levels because their ability to borrow (and print) are much more limited. Thus, say, Illinois which has rising pension liabilities has been losing public employees (often by quiet attrition - not hiring when people retire).* The result is a government that is costing more, but doing less and the trend is for more.

- It'd go faster if not for some many constitutional positions in Illinois - tons of low level jobs that form part of a structure that leaves IL with more govt entities than any state, save CA, which is thrice its size.

Local governments depend on property taxes to fund their operations. Many towns are still operating with smaller budgets than they had in 2007.

http://eyeonhousing.org/2013/09/property-tax-remains-largest-revenue-source/

It shouldn't surprise anyone that local governments laid people off during the first Obama term and it had little to do with Obama's policies (although the stimulus package did allow some states/cities to delay a pain a bit)

#3. That won't work.

+3

Correlation is not causation.

Incentives matter. Duh.

Produces unintended consequences.

Does the 'public sector' include members of the armed forces? How do the numbers break out if those are not included?

Military figures listed at: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/data-analysis-documentation/federal-employment-reports/historical-tables/total-government-employment-since-1962/ alongside other categories of federal employment. Not sure why a Reagan - Obama comparison would be in anyway meaningful across any category other than Cowen is electioneering.

"Not sure why a Reagan – Obama comparison would be in anyway meaningful across any category other than Cowen is electioneering."

Yes, I don't understand the relevance either.

The Reagan years also added more Private Sector jobs, too, but that's not going to surprise many people.

We don't have a good count of federal workers if we don't include contractors somehow. They makeup the bulk of the new upper middle class in DC metro region.

#3 Scarcity drives decisions

#3. Supply versus Demand

#4. For an article about re-thinking the common understanding of giraffes, I'm surprised they left out the fact that giraffes emit deep sounds below human hearing that other giraffes react to over long distances.

Assume can openers.

#5: Shouldn't all the jobs figured be adjusted for population? Or, possibly, working age population? 100k jobs in 1980, either gained or lost, probably meant more than 100k jobs in 2014.

And so it is, by far the most statists president of the post WW II age was none other than Ronald Reagan.

If you ignore LBJ and Obama and Nixon and George W Bush, then yes you are probably on to something.

#6: is there an ungated version? So Social liberalism is genetic and uses the same genes as religiosity, but economic liberalism has different genes or is it non-genetic? Or is the divide something else than that of Nolan's map?

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