Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

69 responses to “Weekend Open Thread (2012-04-06)”

  1. One Eyed Man

    WTF? – Whose on First, BLS, ADP, or Trim Tabs?

    BLS -120K new jobs for March 2012
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/07/business/economy/us-added-only-120000-jobs-in-march-report-shows.html?_r=1

    BLS is 80K+ shy of ADP number for March?

    And Trim Tabs is above BLS by 60K+ for March after running well below BLS the last few Months.
    http://trimtabs.com/blog/2012/04/04/trimtabs-says-u-s-economy-added-187000-jobs-in-march-trimtabs-three-month-average-of-172000-new-jobs-is-30-less-than-bls%E2%80%99-245000/

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  2. softwarengineer

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 1

    The 120K Jobs created:

    Don’t keep up with population growth, nor do the lion’s share of these entree level positions pay a livable wage, even Boeing.

    I told a Y Generation youth the secret to economic survival in the future. Don’t be picky about the job you work, just work and get any available job experience over a 5-10 yr constant period. Gradually get some college done, if you can afford it, along the way too….hades, even a hamburger flipper can move up to assistant manager and with a business degree, regional manager using this strategy. Who could compete with you for the promotions, you had constant job experience in the field you’re applying in.

    Pity the college kids in a dorm, graduating with no constant job experience under their belts.

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  3. T. Y. Lee

    RE: softwarengineer @ 2 – How would you define a “livable” wage?

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  4. No Name Guy

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 1

    Go read the commentary on the BS BLS over at Zerohedge.

    Of that 120k, 90k comes from “seasonal adjustment”.
    http://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbd.htm
    So in reality there are only 30k more employed, month over month.

    ADP is useless – it’s a scatter-fest around the household and BS BLS numbers.

    Also at Zerohedge, the number of people not in the workforce is at an all time high, just shy of 87,900,000..
    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/LNS15000000
    Linked from article at
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/nfp-big-miss-120k-expectations-205k-unemployment-82

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  5. Scotsman

    RE: No Name Guy @ 4RE: softwarengineer @ 2RE: One Eyed Man @ 1

    Nonsense- Obama and his team have created and saved millions of jobs. We are in recovery. Port shipments are up. Green jobs are the future. /

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  6. deejayoh

    By Scotsman @ 5:

    Green jobs are the future. /

    Probably are. The only problem – as far as I can tell – is that most “green” technology comes from China. LED lighting, solar panels. Well, I guess they do make those big windmills down in Portland. They’re kind of hard to ship.

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  7. softwarengineer

    RE: T. Y. Lee @ 3

    Wellllll….it isn’t $15/hr [the high end, BTW] Boeing beginning machinist pay per capita, even the average per capita Wash State pay at $18 something an hour is a joke in this high cost Seattle area.

    I’d sattle up to at least $25/hr per capita in Seattle to rent a halfway decent apartment, drive a car, go to a dentist, buy food, buy gas, etc, etc….you can live on less, but you better have a room-mate or working spouse [those can be a royal pain in the neck BTW] or your parents’ house for cover charge. A good percentage work another job, but a friend of mine was doing that, she got a stroke in her early 40s BTW too.

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  8. softwarengineer

    RE: deejayoh @ 6

    Yes Deejayoh

    I saw a joke in the Weekly Magazine [its a non-partisan news source that's hard on both Republicans and Democrats alike]; it showed Obama burning up a $1000 bill smiling, the caption was “Green Energy”.

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  9. Scotsman

    RE: deejayoh @ 6

    True- the Chinese love “our” green jobs. Obama’s green jobs czar said the other day that the problem is that while building the plants/factories creates job, the end product production tends to be highly automated and doesn’t really create that many jobs per dollar of product produced. Dang.

    Looking at gross revenue per employee shows an interesting trend and reveals a big problem. Most modern production really doesn’t create that many jobs. The labor intensive part is the engineering, etc. And even that part can be off-shored for significant savings. We’re just going to have to suck it up for a while until the global economy equalizes.

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  10. softwarengineer

    RE: Scotsman @ 9

    They Pay Peanuts Too

    Like $13/hr.

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  11. softwarengineer

    RE: Scotsman @ 9
    We’re in Deep DooDoo

    China’s in worse shape, they depend on us to buy their stuff and lately, we aren’t.

    No country can survive longterm without its own engineers and sustained manufacturing output; RE: high paying jobs, Seattle home prices have no prop without per capita pay increases, its that simple.

    I don’t know what you do for a living Scotsman [Economics?, Business?], but its slamdunk, its on the outsource/insource chopping block too. We’re all on this global Titanic together, no sacred cows.

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  12. Kary L. Krismer

    By softwarengineer @ 10:

    RE: Scotsman @ 9

    They Pay Peanuts Too

    Like $13/hr.

    Ain’t inflation great!

    My first job in high school in 1974 was for $3.00 an hour, and that was a lot more than most the other students were getting. In college in 1980 I was getting $12.64 an hour, and that was a lot more than most non-students were getting. Now it’s hardly minimum wage.

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  13. Scotsman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12

    Wow- in 1973 I made $1.75/hr working at a cat/dog vet’s cleaning and assisting. The Dr. went on to become the first full time vet for the Seattle zoo. Got to see and be with some interesting animals. :-)

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  14. Pegasus

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12 – If the amount of timewasting posts you make on various forums is any indication of your lack of hard work in your “new” and “true” career and thus a lower income, I suspect you made more in total income in college or perhaps even in high school.

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  15. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Pegasus @ 14 – If you only had a clue. I started working before 8 this morning, I will stop after 8 this evening. What I do in between really isn’t the business of someone who I have zero respect for. But in any case, if you had any understanding of what a real estate agent does, you wouldn’t be making such stupid comments.

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  16. Tatiana Kalashnikov

    RE: Scotsman @ 9

    “Most modern production really doesn’t create that many jobs.”

    I have a friend who works in an optical lab. It is essentially a factory that makes 4,000 pairs of prescription glasses a day. 15 years ago the company had many high-paid opticians and lens grinders on the payroll. Today they have just a few. They are now using sophisticated robotics from Germany to do the work that skilled technicians once did. Most of these machines are operated by low-paid temps (under $10.00 an hour). There are still a few people who make good wages – my friend is a well-paid quality control engineer. But sadly, not only are the wages falling for most of the positions, the number of positions is falling as well. Robotics and automation have a way of doing that.

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  17. Blurtman

    RE: Scotsman @ 5 – Feel the recovery, Luke.

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  18. Blurtman

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 1 – Everything is fine. Going according to plan. Remain calm. Remai……

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  19. Pegasus

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 15 – I well aware of what many hard working real estate agents do, I just don’t think you are one.

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  20. Blurtman

    The recent employment report shows an increase in those not in the labor force. This excludes folks over 65 who are retired.

    “Those “Not in Labor Force” increased by 310,000. If you are not in the labor force, you are not counted as unemployed”

    “Were it not for people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate would be well over 11%.”

    Soylent Green is people.

    Obama – Fail.

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  21. Blurtman

    Forgot to include the link: http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/04/nonfarm-payroll-120000-unemployment.html

    Nonfarm Payroll +120,000, Unemployment Rate Fell .1 to 8.2%, Record 87,897,000 “Not in Labor Force”

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  22. Scotsman

    RE: Blurtman @ 20

    Yup- here’s the short and sweet version:

    ” the number of people not in the labor force is back to all time highs: 87,897,000.”

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  23. Scotsman

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 16

    The only jobs that pay are engineering, some sales, and those that require a high level of technical expertise. With the exception of GM there really aren’t very many well paid “bolt it together” type jobs. Maybe some trades like electrical or plumbing where unions and licensing requirements still rule. Gotta have an education, gotta be a “go-getter” to make any real money. Or work for the government or a bank. ;-)

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  24. pfft

    By One Eyed Man @ 1:

    WTF? – Whose on First, BLS, ADP, or Trim Tabs?

    BLS -120K new jobs for March 2012
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/07/business/economy/us-added-only-120000-jobs-in-march-report-shows.html?_r=1

    BLS is 80K+ shy of ADP number for March?

    And Trim Tabs is above BLS by 60K+ for March after running well below BLS the last few Months.
    http://trimtabs.com/blog/2012/04/04/trimtabs-says-u-s-economy-added-187000-jobs-in-march-trimtabs-three-month-average-of-172000-new-jobs-is-30-less-than-bls%E2%80%99-245000/

    some go with the ADP report but that is the good one this month…

    gallup, which was very popular earlier this year, has unemployment down to 10% from 10.3%. Wonder if someone will link that…

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  25. pfft

    By No Name Guy @ 4:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 1

    Go read the commentary on the BS BLS over at Zerohedge.

    Of that 120k, 90k comes from “seasonal adjustment”

    *shakes head*

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  26. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 5:

    RE: No Name Guy @ 4RE: softwarengineer @ 2RE: One Eyed Man @ 1

    Nonsense- Obama and his team have created and saved millions of jobs. We are in recovery. Port shipments are up. Green jobs are the future. /

    the private sector has added something like 4 million jobs in the last 24 or so months:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LOXWbg5mmao/T37j2fub3GI/AAAAAAAAMs4/eMbum0LXvOM/s1600/PayrollJobMar2012.jpg

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  27. pfft

    By deejayoh @ 6:

    By Scotsman @ 5:
    Green jobs are the future. /

    Probably are. The only problem – as far as I can tell – is that most “green” technology comes from China. LED lighting, solar panels. Well, I guess they do make those big windmills down in Portland. They’re kind of hard to ship.

    there are a whole lot of green jobs here in the US. there are lots of solar and wind companies here making lots of megawatts. BLS says there are 3 million green jobs.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2012/03/23/3-1-million-green-jobs-across-america/

    and of course there are cool jobs like this:

    Green Jobs for Dirtbag Climbers: Fixing Wind Turbines
    http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/green-jobs-for-dirtbag-climbers-fixing-wind-turbines.html

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  28. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 20:

    The recent employment report shows an increase in those not in the labor force. This excludes folks over 65 who are retired.

    “Those “Not in Labor Force” increased by 310,000. If you are not in the labor force, you are not counted as unemployed”

    “Were it not for people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate would be well over 11%.”

    Soylent Green is people.

    Obama – Fail.

    god it just never ends. baby boomers are leaving the work force.

    do you people remember ANYTHING month to month. another weekend thread for me to carry…

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  29. Blurtman

    RE: pfft @ 26 – Pffft, you need to fine tune the bullchocolate, as you are even more rapidly losing whatever credibility you have left. Retiring boomers at 65 and over have never been counted in the left the labor force number.

    Those who took an early retirement cause there are no jobs, or took/faked an SS disability are counted as leaving the labor force, but hardly a platform on which to base an argument for economic recovery.

    No, Pfffft, the increasing not in labor force number is an indisputable sign of the failure of Obama’s economic policies.

    You really should go back to school, or hire a better fact checker. Big Fail.

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  30. Macro Investor

    Lennox Scott and his cronies are whipping up an emotional buying frenzy over the worst selection in decades. Meanwhile the economy is slipping back into recession, and interest rates are climbing back up. Looks like idiot buyers are set up to be reamed again. I’d feel sorry for them, but they were warned many times not to lose patience.

    Fools and their money — how does that saying go?

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  31. Kary L. Krismer

    By Pegasus @ 19:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 15 – I well aware of what many hard working real estate agents do, I just don’t think you are one.

    Yet another thing you don’t know anything about. We have a whole list of those things, and yet nothing you know a single thing about.

    BTW, I just finished, so can I take the rest of the night off? Oh, and I’ve not had an entire day in over a month when I haven’t worked at least four hours. Is it please okay with you if I take a day off sometime if I can fit that into my clients’ needs? Oh, and I cancelled a vacation later this month because I couldn’t fit it in. Can I reschedule that sometime in the future?

    You really don’t have a clue about many things, and somehow whenever you open your mouth you are oh so incredibly wrong.

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  32. Pegasus

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 31 – You poor baby. Cancelled a vacation. WOW! Life is hard. You have a mini boom going on in real estate right now and you waste your time posting nonsense 24/7. I feel so sorry for you and your suffering family….

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  33. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 29:

    RE: pfft @ 26 – Pffft, you need to fine tune the bull”chocolate”, as you are even more rapidly losing whatever credibility you have left. Retiring boomers at 65 and over have never been counted in the left the labor force number.

    Those who took an early retirement cause there are no jobs, or took/faked an SS disability are counted as leaving the labor force, but hardly a platform on which to base an argument for economic recovery.

    No, Pfffft, the increasing not in labor force number is an indisputable sign of the failure of Obama’s economic policies.

    You really should go back to school, or hire a better fact checker. Big Fail.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/12/comments-on-employment-population-ratio.html

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/is-the-labor-market-actually-improving/

    “No, Pfffft, the increasing not in labor force number is an indisputable sign of the failure of Obama’s economic policies.”

    this is bush’s great recession and Obama hasn’t been able to get through any major employment legislation because the republicans block it. in spite of that we’ve added 4 million jobs in the past two years.

    let’s start by passing obama’s jobs bill!

    Obama to embark on bus tour to sell Jobs Act
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20116244-503544.html

    the same people complaining about the lack of jobs didn’t want the stimulus bill, the jobs bill, QE or operation twist…

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  34. Tatiana Kalashnikov

    I respect Mr. Pfft’s right to speak on this site but he seems to dominate in a boorish way. Too much! Is he trying to be cute?? I don’t like cute. And his punctuation is awful.

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  35. Scotsman

    RE: pfft @ 33

    “Obama hasn’t been able to get through any major employment legislation because the republicans block it”

    What? First 2 years he controlled both houses and the presidency, a majority in all ways. It wouldn’t matter what the republicans did, they had no power to stop anything. Your arguments are an insult.

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  36. Scotsman

    “Barack Obama should expect nothing more, and I cannot help but marvel at how diminished he is now relative to the heights of just 3 years ago. He was elected in 2008 promising a new kind of politics. Yet he proved himself unequal to the big challenges he faced, and to mask his failures he has hidden behind the nasty partisanship he once decried. As a consequence, he has divided the country and, should he win in November, will only continue to do so, ensuring America gets nothing meaningful done so long as he is president.”

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-our-pathetic-president_635461.html?nopager=1

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  37. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Pegasus @ 32 – Nonsense 24/7 is your game, not mine. You haven’t had a unique thought in the past 365 days. You lack the intellect and intelligence. And need I remind you that you’re an admitted troll?

    http://seattlebubble.com/blog/2012/01/02/the-tims-top-ten-of-twenty-eleven/comment-page-1/#comment-153139

    Which of course explains why we’re on this topic.

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  38. Kary L. Krismer

    By Scotsman @ 35:

    RE: pfft @ 33

    “Obama hasnâ��t been able to get through any major employment legislation because the republicans block it”

    What? First 2 years he controlled both houses and the presidency, a majority in all ways. It wouldn’t matter what the republicans did, they had no power to stop anything. Your arguments are an insult.

    President Obama is little different than President Bush. That probably explains the problems with the first two years.

    All the BS we heard during 2008 that President Obama was the most liberal Senator was just that–BS. Half the Senators are probably the most liberal Senator by some gauge. How many “most liberal Senators” are there today?

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  39. redmondjp

    By pfft @ 27:

    By deejayoh @ 6:
    By Scotsman @ 5:
    Green jobs are the future. /

    Probably are. The only problem – as far as I can tell – is that most “green” technology comes from China. LED lighting, solar panels. Well, I guess they do make those big windmills down in Portland. They’re kind of hard to ship.

    there are a whole lot of green jobs here in the US. there are lots of solar and wind companies here making lots of megawatts. BLS says there are 3 million green jobs.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2012/03/23/3-1-million-green-jobs-across-america/

    and of course there are cool jobs like this:

    Green Jobs for Dirtbag Climbers: Fixing Wind Turbines
    http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/green-jobs-for-dirtbag-climbers-fixing-wind-turbines.html

    Seriously, pfft???? You complained yesterday about not posting a link, and then today you post a puff piece propaganda article about windfarm jobs that is over two years old? I just spent two hours on the phone tonight with my friend who works in the wind industry. It is brutal and he wants out. The farms are owned by 1%ers, but pay bottom-feeder wages to the workers that results in very high job dissatisfaction and employee turnover rate (if you can get a dollar an hour more at the farm across the road, you jump at it). And there is no shortage of people trying to get these jobs either (which are out in the middle of nowhere; my friend drives over an hour one-way as there are no towns close by, much less any cities). As soon as the federal subsidies dry up, no new farms will be built, and the wind industry will end up in the same place it did 30 years ago.

    Wind energy as it exists today, without an energy storage means (be it pumped hydro, flywheel, compressed gas, battery, ultracapacitors, lots of options), is simply not a viable power source, and is not and cannot replace a baseload power plant.

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  40. wreckingbull

    RE: deejayoh @ 6 – In addition to your concerns about Chinese suppliers, no one ever seems to talk about the elephant in the room – lack of rare earth elements to support green energy technology. Makes the story too inconvenient.

    http://www.economist.com/node/21550243

    “if wind turbines and electric vehicles are going to fulfil the role environmental planners have assigned them in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, using current technologies would require an increase in the supply of neodymium and dysprosium of more than 700% and 2,600% respectively during the next 25 years. At the moment, the supply of these metals is increasing by 6% a year.”

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  41. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 35:

    RE: pfft @ 33

    “Obama hasnâ��t been able to get through any major employment legislation because the republicans block it”

    What? First 2 years he controlled both houses and the presidency, a majority in all ways. It wouldn’t matter what the republicans did, they had no power to stop anything. Your arguments are an insult.

    you should have kept reading!

    “in spite of that we’ve added 4 million jobs in the past two years.”

    everyone knows about the stimulus silly. that’s why I said the last two years and not the last four years or the first two years.

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  42. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 38:

    By Scotsman @ 35:
    RE: pfft @ 33

    “Obama hasn�t been able to get through any major employment legislation because the republicans block it”

    What? First 2 years he controlled both houses and the presidency, a majority in all ways. It wouldn’t matter what the republicans did, they had no power to stop anything. Your arguments are an insult.

    President Obama is little different than President Bush. That probably explains the problems with the first two years.

    All the BS we heard during 2008 that President Obama was the most liberal Senator was just that–BS. Half the Senators are probably the most liberal Senator by some gauge. How many “most liberal Senators” are there today?

    bush is way more conservative than Obama. Obama is a moderate.

    Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/obama-the-most-polarizing-moderate-ever/2011/08/25/gIQArzcRwQ_blog.html

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  43. pfft

    By redmondjp @ 39:

    By pfft @ 27:
    By deejayoh @ 6:
    By Scotsman @ 5:
    Green jobs are the future. /

    Probably are. The only problem – as far as I can tell – is that most “green” technology comes from China. LED lighting, solar panels. Well, I guess they do make those big windmills down in Portland. They’re kind of hard to ship.

    there are a whole lot of green jobs here in the US. there are lots of solar and wind companies here making lots of megawatts. BLS says there are 3 million green jobs.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2012/03/23/3-1-million-green-jobs-across-america/

    and of course there are cool jobs like this:

    Green Jobs for Dirtbag Climbers: Fixing Wind Turbines
    http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/green-jobs-for-dirtbag-climbers-fixing-wind-turbines.html

    As soon as the federal subsidies dry up, no new farms will be built, and the wind industry will end up in the same place it did 30 years ago.

    Wind energy as it exists today, without an energy storage means (be it pumped hydro, flywheel, compressed gas, battery, ultracapacitors, lots of options), is simply not a viable power source, and is not and cannot replace a baseload power plant.

    link for the federal subsidies comment and link for the variability claim. that is not at all what I’ve read. I’ve read they are rapidly connecting wind farms in states and regions which is reducing variability risks.

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  44. pfft

    By wreckingbull @ 40:

    RE: deejayoh @ 6 – In addition to your concerns about Chinese suppliers, no one ever seems to talk about the elephant in the room – lack of rare earth elements to support green energy technology. Makes the story too inconvenient.

    http://www.economist.com/node/21550243

    “if wind turbines and electric vehicles are going to fulfil the role environmental planners have assigned them in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, using current technologies would require an increase in the supply of neodymium and dysprosium of more than 700% and 2,600% respectively during the next 25 years. At the moment, the supply of these metals is increasing by 6% a year.”

    I remember reading about the silicon shortage years ago and how that would stop the solar industry from growing. whatever is too expensive will be used less or will be replaced by something less expensive. that’s the way things work.

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  45. pfft

    By Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 34:

    I respect Mr. Pfft’s right to speak on this site but he seems to dominate in a boorish way. Too much! Is he trying to be cute?? I don’t like cute. And his punctuation is awful.

    you know why I am boorish? because every new piece of data brings an alternate new piece of data that nobody has heard of or mentioned before. One week it’s the ADP report and the next it’s the gallup unemployment report. now this month we ignore those and only focus on the regular government report- beacuse it’s bad. no mention of ADP or gallup because we are good. every month it’s the seasonality nonsense. or labor force nonsense. I am rolling a rock up a hill with this group. even worse is the goalposts(ADP, gallup or some new unemployment rate) move each week or month depending on what we are talking about.

    “And his punctuation is awful.”

    why are you always writing about that? isn’t using two question marks a mistake??

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  46. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 23

    You have to be a go getter, and that is a problem. No one wants to be a go getter in the technology age. It seems to me we have more wage earner mentality than ever before.

    That’s what dominates the multiple streams of income computer age.

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  47. whatsmyname

    By Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 34:

    I respect Mr. Pfft’s right to speak on this site but he seems to dominate in a boorish way. Too much! Is he trying to be cute?? I don’t like cute. And his punctuation is awful.

    Mr. Pfft? Who’s being cute now, Peggy?

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  48. Tatiana Kalashnikov

    RE: whatsmyname @ 45

    “Who’s being cute now, Peggy?”

    Some people call me Tasha. But not Peggy!

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  49. Kary L. Krismer

    A bill to take taxes designated for many different purposes and apply them to the general fund to balance the budget.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/2823-S.pdf

    If these taxes aren’t necessary for the purposes they are being collected, shouldn’t they just be repealed?

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  50. wreckingbull

    RE: pfft @ 44 – Fail. Silicon is the second most abundant element on earth. Did you even bother to read the link? It was about long-term viability of the ‘green’ model, due to its reliance on rare earth elements. Not a short-term market shortage of silicon.

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  51. Macro Investor

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 49:

    A bill to take taxes designated for many different purposes and apply them to the general fund to balance the budget.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/2823-S.pdf

    If these taxes aren’t necessary for the purposes they are being collected, shouldn’t they just be repealed?

    Don’t worry about that. Any time funds are raised for a specific purpose, it just means you can cut that budget and use the general fund equivalent for something else.

    Think about the oil for food program the UN had during the Iraq sanctions. If they’re allowed to get food money, money in their other pocket was available for weapons.

    Citizens of this country need to wrap their heads around the big picture. The entire federal government — other than the defense, state and maybe commerce departments — is a power grab from the rights of the states and people (10th amendment). The last few presidents think their executive orders are higher than the constitution. That should scare people.

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  52. pfft

    By wreckingbull @ 50:

    RE: pfft @ 44 – Fail. Silicon is the second most abundant element on earth.

    that is my point. at one point even one of the most abundant elements still had a shortage. what happened? we became more efficient in producing, using it or using something else. by the way rare earth metals are not rare. they are only rare in large deposits.

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  53. pfft

    By Macro Investor @ 51:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 49:
    A bill to take taxes designated for many different purposes and apply them to the general fund to balance the budget.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/2823-S.pdf

    If these taxes aren’t necessary for the purposes they are being collected, shouldn’t they just be repealed?

    Citizens of this country need to wrap their heads around the big picture. The entire federal government — other than the defense, state and maybe commerce departments — is a power grab from the rights of the states and people (10th amendment).

    no it isn’t. the 10th amendment is not interpreted like that and that wasn’t it’s intent.

    the general welfare clause gives the US government wide powers. if the founders were so into states rights why did they scrap the Articles of Confederation?

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxing_and_Spending_Clause

    would anyone argue that say the education department doesn’t provide for the general welfare?

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  54. Yukon Dave

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 16
    Great point on automation. The book called the Bell Curve by Hernnstein/Murray eludes to this issue of robots/automation making most simple labor obsolete for humans. Automation has the same effect as slave labor from an economic perspective. Automation is as effective as the IQ it replaces. So as automation gets a higher IQ, it will replace more people in all business. The question is what do we do with all of those people that lack the capacity to learn something beyond what they know?

    The assumption is that anyone can just go back to college and learn something new. The reality is these people often did not study their whole life to clean a toilet. It was the only job available to them and they were often happy to have it since it did not rely on their skills or intelligence. The question still stands what do we do with these people as they get older or as they are made redundant by toilet cleaning automation?

    It is ironic that the laws that protect labor are the same laws that make robotics and automation that much more affordable.

    In 2000 the US has 131.7 million people in jobs. As of 2010 the US has 131.3 million non-farm employees. So the US increased GDP output by 50% and dropped the number of employees by 400,000. FYI to all of the Occupy Wall Street folks, stockholders like CEO’s that increased output by 50% and kept costs the same.

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  55. wreckingbull

    RE: pfft @ 52 – Uh, the point was that large deposits are what are needed to fulfill the ‘green’ vision. Wow, I don’t really know what else to say, as I don’t think you are able to get your mind around the issue.

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  56. deejayoh

    By pfft @ 27:

    there are a whole lot of green jobs here in the US. there are lots of solar and wind companies here making lots of megawatts. BLS says there are 3 million green jobs.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2012/03/23/3-1-million-green-jobs-across-america/

    I guess you can categorize jobs however you want. But your link says that there are only 461K green manufacturing jobs, which are what I would consider the piece that is up for world-wide competition. The other 2.7M (which I would really question if they are “green”) are in construction, services, waste services – and the biggest “green” employer by far – the public sector. Based on the article, looks like garbage men and bus drivers count as “green” employees.

    So call me unconvinced. I wish we were doing more to encourage the sector – but I don’t see it. The Alberta Tar Sands probably created more jobs in Canada last year than the US “green” manufacturing sector created here.

    The private sector, by far, had the largest number of GGS jobs, with 2.3 million total jobs evenly distributed across four major sectors — manufacturing, construction, professional services, and administrative or waste services. Manufacturing represented the greatest number of GGS jobs with 461,000, construction was second with 372,000, professional services was third with 349,000, and administrative or waste services had 319,000 jobs.

    The public sector had 860,000 GGS jobs, or roughly four percent of total government jobs. Local governments made up more than half the public sector total with 476,000 jobs, followed by mass transit systems with 229,000 jobs and the federal government with 157,000 jobs.

    Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/17Z7k)

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  57. David Losh

    RE: Yukon Dave @ 54

    There is no automation for toilet cleaning; it takes a brush, and person to determine that the toilet is clean. Lens grinding on the other hand is a precision task that was expensive to do by hand so it was worth automating. Financial analysis is another skill set that has been replaced by a computer.

    Assembly technology is replacing union jobs, but it has to be in a stationary plant. Construction is mobile so you need people to operate the tools.

    The way I see it, the high paying jobs, the jobs that take “intelligence” will be replaced by computers, and automation. All you need is a salesperson to get people to buy the skill.

    Labor can never be replaced, for those things that require labor, like low paying menial tasks. It’s like doctors, lawyers, and accountants, labor will always be a thing that requires judgement calls that a computer can’t recreate.

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  58. Scotsman

    Happy Easter!

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  59. whatsmyname

    RE: Yukon Dave @ 54
    Wow, you touch on a huge can of worms here in so many ways.

    To be brief; while the question to you may be “what do we do with these people as they get older or as they are made redundant by toilet cleaning automation?”, the question to them may be “what do we do with these people who are looking to squeeze us out of the economy, and hinting at perhaps even life itself?”

    Happy Easter, Marie Antoinette.

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  60. pfft

    By wreckingbull @ 55:

    RE: pfft @ 52 – Uh, the point was that large deposits are what are needed to fulfill the ‘green’ vision. Wow, I don’t really know what else to say, as I don’t think you are able to get your mind around the issue.

    this is the typical view of your average “doomer” at the oil drum. no offense of course. it’s SUPPY and DEMAND. you are missing the demand part. if rare earth gets too expensive they’ll use less of it, they will substitute or they will use only for those windmills where it is most economically viable. your own article says near as much.

    Finding substitutes would be hard. Motors or generators whose magnets were made of other materials would be heavier, less efficient or both.

    industries make those decisions every day. if rare earth became more expensive we would just have to squeeze as much power as possible from each windmill. more efficient storage. more efficient transmission. better turbine blades. better situation of turbines. maybe we would turn more to solar or geothermal.

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  61. pfft

    By deejayoh @ 56:

    By pfft @ 27:
    there are a whole lot of green jobs here in the US. there are lots of solar and wind companies here making lots of megawatts. BLS says there are 3 million green jobs.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2012/03/23/3-1-million-green-jobs-across-america/

    I guess you can categorize jobs however you want. But your link says that there are only 461K green manufacturing jobs, which are what I would consider the piece that is up for world-wide competition. The other 2.7M (which I would really question if they are “green”) are in construction, services, waste services – and the biggest “green” employer by far – the public sector. Based on the article, looks like garbage men and bus drivers count as “green” employees.

    there is more to it than that. you are talking about people who insulate. people who install solar panels. people who do energy audits and etc. eventually a lot of jobs will be green jobs. so much so we won’t even notice.

    like this:

    Trash Saved by Waste Management Worth Up to $40 Billion
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-03/trash-saved-by-waste-management-worth-up-to-40-billion.html

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  62. pfft

    let’s just go to the source for green jobs.

    http://www.bls.gov/green/#definition

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  63. Blurtman

    RE: pfft @ 33 – In the link you provided, Krugman examines the employment-population ratio for prime-age adults, arbitrarily defined as 25-54. By removing the older worker, Krugman deceptively ignores the abysmal employment stats in the older population. Ditto the abysmal employment numbers of the sub-25 population. He then utilizes this cherry picked data to ask if the labor market is improving! Does Krugman have any scruples at all? Your link is terrible waste of time. Do you actually believe this crap?

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  64. Tatiana Kalashnikov

    RE: Blurtman @ 63

    “..Krugman deceptively ignores the abysmal employment stats in the older population.”

    Let’s be honest, If someone who is over 50-55 loses a good job they are probably finished. It likely took them 15+ years at one company to get to where they were. If they get tossed they just don’t have the time to crawl back. These people represent the chronically under-employed. Their best hope is early SS at 62. Or SS disability. As more and more of this group drops out of the workforce we will be facing a growing problem. Why? Because they stop paying taxes – they just take.

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  65. Blurtman

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 64 – That may be the present day reality. But it wasn’t always that way, and it should not be acceptable that it is that way. We cannot live in a society where we choose to step over the less fortunate lying in the gutter.

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  66. redmondjp

    By Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 64:

    RE: Blurtman @ 63

    “..Krugman deceptively ignores the abysmal employment stats in the older population.”

    Let’s be honest, If someone who is over 50-55 loses a good job they are probably finished. It likely took them 15+ years at one company to get to where they were. If they get tossed they just don’t have the time to crawl back. These people represent the chronically under-employed. Their best hope is early SS at 62. Or SS disability. As more and more of this group drops out of the workforce we will be facing a growing problem. Why? Because they stop paying taxes – they just take.

    They may not be finished; some of them actually end up wiping off wet shopping cart handles at Walmart. And there’s a McDonald’s right inside the store where they can get a $.99 pink slimeburger on their break too! Isn’t capitalism great?

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  67. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 63:

    RE: pfft @ 33 – In the link you provided, Krugman examines the employment-population ratio for prime-age adults, arbitrarily defined as 25-54. By removing the older worker, Krugman deceptively ignores the abysmal employment stats in the older population. Ditto the abysmal employment numbers of the sub-25 population. He then utilizes this cherry picked data to ask if the labor market is improving! Does Krugman have any scruples at all? Your link is terrible waste of time. Do you actually believe this crap?

    YES!

    But the EP ratio has its own problems right now, mainly because of demography: the baby boomer wave is now hitting the labor force statistics, and there are good reasons to expect a secular decline in labor force participation.

    So, these days I focus on the employment-population ratio for prime-age adults

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/is-the-labor-market-actually-improving/

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  68. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 65:

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 64 – That may be the present day reality. But it wasn’t always that way, and it should not be acceptable that it is that way. We cannot live in a society where we choose to step over the less fortunate lying in the gutter.

    do you understand that the generation called the “baby boomers” are retiring? I think I explained it last month.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/12/comments-on-employment-population-ratio.html

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  69. yukon dave

    RE: David Losh @ 57

    You make the claim “There is no automation for toilet cleaning”. Unfortunately you may not be aware of the advances in toilet cleaning but below is a link to one of many companies that are doing it and progress is moving fast.

    http://exeloo.com/service-expertise/details/automation.html

    I used toilet cleaning as an example of a larger problem. Power tools in the mid 1970’s were banned in the UK for some time as it took few people to do a job. The same is happening all around us in so many ways it is not possible to count. But it is happening and since the year 2000 as I have shown, non farm jobs are not growing at all despite population growth. I use online banking and that has a real impact on number of bank employees as an aggregate. Right now the rise in prefab housing where many of the parts are assemble in a factory and brought together at a job site. This will mean less people will be needed for less time on a job site while increasing quality control and lowering costs.

    I am not saying ban technology, but instead we have to admit that not everyone can be retrained and the problem will get worse. I argue that the problems we face as an economy are the symptom of this problem.

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