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JamesNT, Yeah, a receptionist is a receptionist, a secretary a secretary, an administrative assistant an administrative assistant, a bookeeper a bookeeper, an accountant an accountant, a file clerk a file clerk, a salesman a salesman, and a filing cabinet a filing cabinet. All expendable. Leastways, the bottom line is improved by not having to pay out direct salaries, bonuses, vacation, sick leave, health/life insurance, office space, office equipment, coffee and other perks. Now all we need do is set up programs to replace the Boards of Directors and Executive Management. One question, when are we going to automate the programming mode? I'm getting sick of contracting out and spending money for Programmers...

Ahh... isn't it wonderful too be watched over by machines of loving grace...

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Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few wh o find it.


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Truthfully, if a citizen depends on their government to job and depend on their education system their freedom and property, they do not deserve either, protection nor freedom.
This is an example of a citizen gaining his footing and standing against the government sponsored usurpation.


heaven, And when has living in State of Nature or Anarchism along with the rest of the Beasts of the Field been a solution to anything?

Terry Bennett

Jack, I was referring to Brad's post, and his term "demand uncertainty", which I took to mean the opinion of business managers that demand for their products may decrease unpredictably. I think it's a real phenomenon; perhaps there's a better word for it.

Every manager wants to line up enough production resources (e.g., employees) to meet demand, without paying for excess / idle resources. When managers are confident of needing employees to meet demand, they hire employees. When managers don't have this confidence, they hold back or even lay off employees.

The prevailing opinion of managers everywhere seems to be, "We just have no clue what's coming." The competence of managers in predicting the future is a separate issue. As long as managers, justified or not, do not expect demand to outpace their current labor supply, they will tend to act with caution and not contract for additional labor.

It is clear enough that some policies do have an effect on demand uncertainty. For instance, if the discount rate were suddenly jacked up to 15%, I suspect there would be even fewer people buying cars and houses, and managers in those industries would reason similarly and adopt an expectation of lowered demand, rightly or wrongly, and based on that expectation would probably be poised to fire rather than hire.

Similarly, if income taxes were lowered, some people might say to themselves, "Now that we need less money to pay our taxes, we can put that money toward a bigger TV or new car." Demand might go up, and spur hiring. There are of course downsides to that policy decision, and there is no guarantee of enough new jobs to offset those negative effects, but it's an example of something the government could consider doing to increase demand for labor - and it's an example of the premise I posited in response to Brad's post. He seemed to be claiming that it was irrelevant; most people don't think it is.


Brad --- Thanks for the reply. Sometimes the jargon in this biz has us quibbling when there likely is little to no quibble.

To me "demand uncertainty" seems very close to "weak demand" but I do get the point that, likely, weak demand can be further dampened by governments at all levels continuing to lay people off and there being few jobs available to replace the one just lost.

Likewise government might spur demand, but the tax example seems a poor one as those paying a lot of taxes can usually turn their wants into demand and their needs are largely fulfilled.

It's the strapped middle class (and lower) that needs income in order to "go shopping"........ or we're likely to be stuck with what I'm calling "the basic equation" of stagnant and declining wages for most equaling a stagnant and declining economy for all. The equation is made worse by continued layoffs and "good jobs" being lost with lower paying jobs being, all to often, the replacement.

Day to day "shopping" just can't be the economic spur it once was. In times good or bad most families can shop for food and perhaps continue their medical care somehow. So a few extra bucks? and it's that Asian built TV you mentioned? or the ladies go out to spunk up their wardrobe? At least half imports? though the retail markups would be here.

So.... I'm back to housing that was the ONE leg that held up the economy through much of the Clinton era and all of the Bush era. Everything to do with those big purchases is "Mfg" here from the house itself to the (legitimate) finance and legal costs. Value added dollars flow to all and the formerly "poor farmer" whose acreage has been turned into lots is American and now has cash to spend.

There is little, wait, NO, reason for housing to rebound, and w/o that big driver it's going to be a LONG road home with "uncertain" consumer demand meaning a latte, pair of imported sandals, and a $500 TV for those few who've yet to spring for and LCD or LED and once bought will not buy again for several years.

Merchants would be right to be "nervous" but if we're talking wholesale and retail, that's a sophisticated supply chain of "just in time" delivery with the "back room" being smaller than ever before.

Coming back to the nasty choices of "austerity" or more debt? As the consumer IS strapped, has purchased more house and houses than he needs or wants, that sector is not taking on more debt and likewise is not ginning up the tens of millions of jobs it once had.

So at least to relieve the downward spiral in the construction sector, I end up "replacing" it with tackling the $2 trillion of delayed infrastructure maintenance. More debt? To be sure, but then an asset as well and having "the guys working" and "trickle through" spurring the rest of the economy as well.

The alternative? Don't do the maintenance? Pay "the guys" one third wages to stay home, and at the end of this mess, still have bridges falling down, a similar pile of debt, and a nation not prepared for the next chapter.

Back to demand uncertainty? Both retailers and wholesalers along with the service sector and even those renting or trying to sell homes watch the signals pretty closely. If government kicks out $300 billion or more for "infrastructure" they all have some idea of what that means to their business and are likely to perk up a bit.

Ha! lastly we end up at my back-theory: That sans a "housing boom" we may well be at a historical juncture where 80 - 90% of the work force supplies all that is demanded. (Not all that is needed or wanted....... but given today's income distribution an economy of those who can "demand" and those with too few dollars to turn needs into demand)

Big Mess!

David Garfield

Thank you for continuing to generate such informative reads.
I have now read several posts (here and elsewhere) arguing that a flatter tax system would help to stimulate the economy. Can say anything about how this would work and point to research into the practical (rather than theoretical) results of a flatter tax code? Empirical research would be especially valuable as I'm afraid discussions over the merits of tax codes tend to be conduction with more emotion than evidence.



Government borrowing and deficit spending solved demand uncertainty in Greece, right, Jack? The White House babble about "shovel-ready jobs" three years ago did nothing to alleviate unemployment, or spur demand, but is a useful reminder that a shovel has more than one use.

W R B C Graham

Hey, interesting blog!

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Debt doesn't matter, all that much anyway.


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affl, The Greek problem is due to a lack of tourists from the E.U. Zone leaving behind their Euros, not Defict Spending. In order to solve Greece's problem all the E.U. needs do is require all member nations to require everyone to vacation in Greece. Not exactly an "Austerity" move.

As for "shovel ready jobs" check with the Republican dominated Congress. Or the 1.3 trillion dollar a year direct cash payout (over the last ten years) to corrupt Afghani and Iraqi tribesman and their private Swiss Bank accounts (at least Swiss Banks seem to be solvent). Which was sponsored by a Republican Congress and Administration... My how the "selective memory" aids in Politicking...

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The Obama administration should apply national socialism to deal with the unemployment problem: by smoking parasites like Jack in gas chambers. He is a typical example of leftist faggots who troll on libertarian blogs.

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