First, an expression of gratitude. Reality -- new economic data and active central banks -- has removed any duty to pay attention to the convention of either party. August job data released today were poor. The meager 96,000-job gain was cut in half by downward revisions to the two prior months, and the apparent decline in unemployment from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent is a statistical quirk -- the percentage of Americans at work or trying to find it fell to the lowest level since 1981. Click chart to enlarge. Source: Bill McBride/Calculated Risk Blog.There is no way to fund necessary government on a tax base so weak. Democrats are focused on grabbing larger pieces of a shrinking pie, and Republicans on helping those with pie to keep it, when the perfectly obvious task at hand is to grow the pie. As poor as the job data were, other reports describe a minor miracle: The U.S. is not entering recession. The Institute for Supply Management's August manufacturing index slid further to marg...
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