Jim Glass sent me this Brad DeLong post from June 2008:
Unemployment Benefit Extension Blogging; Why Does George W. Bush Hate John McCain?
. . .
Calculated Risk writes:
Calculated Risk: Unemployment Benefits Extended: An extension of unemployment benefits for 13 weeks was included in the war funding bill signed by President Bush today. This extension covers workers who used all their unemployment benefits between November 2006 and March 2009…
The rule of thumb, IIRC, is that the average duration of an unemployment spell increases by 1/4 of the increase in the duration of unemployment benefits. Thus a 13-week increase in unemployment insurance duration should increase the average unemployment spell by 3 weeks. With current mean unemployment spell duration at 17 weeks, and with roughly 2/3 of the unemployed eligible for UI, this would produce a 3/17 * 2/3 * 5.5% = 0.6% increase in the measured unemployment rate.
It seems to me likely that–whatever happens to the economy–George W. Bush has just produced four bad unemployment-rate headlines on the Saturdays August 2, September 6, and October 4. This cannot be news that John McCain is happy to hear.
Give me a break! DeLong acts like it’s possible to forecast the unemployment rate down to the last tenth of a percent, based solely on the change in the UI program. Even worse, there seems to be a sort “blame the victim” subtext lurking in the background. I get uncomfortable when people start talking about unemployment as a sort of paid vacation.
So I googled a WSJ article from October 4, 2008, just so I could show my readers what a phony Brad Delong is.
BySUDEEP REDDY in Washington,KRIS MAHER in Pittsburgh andILAN BRAT in Chicago
Updated Oct. 4, 2008 12:01 a.m. ET
U.S. employers shed jobs last month at the fastest pace in five years, as weakness in the job market spread from the ailing manufacturing industry into services and even the public sector.
Nonfarm payrolls declined 159,000 in September, more than double the average pace throughout the year, the Labor Department reported. The unemployment rate, based on a separate survey of households, held at 6.1% after a sharp increase in August.
Oops . . .
PS. For years I’ve been saying about 0.5% of the roughly 5.0% jump in unemployment was due to extended UI (albeit by much more than 13 weeks by 2009.)
*********Attention courtesy enforcers! Everything in this post is meant as a joke. Every period and comma is supposed to be hilarious.**********
Even the disclaimer!!!
PPS. I just saw this in the WaPo, which is funnier than anything in this post:
In addition to partially replacing the sequester, the deal calls for another $25 billion in deficit reduction by extending a small part of the sequester into 2022 and 2023. That shift would primarily affect Medicare providers.
Thank God they are addressing the long run fiscal crisis!