Good Economic News

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Which you won't find on the front pages of mainstream media:

The Labor Department Friday announced that the number of jobs increased between April 2005 and March 2006 not by 5.8 million but by 6.6 million. As an editorial in the Wall Street Journal notes, "That's a lot more than a rounding error, more than the entire number of workers in the state of New Hampshire. What's going on here?" The most plausible explanation, advanced by the Journal and by the Hudson Institute's Diana Furchgott-Roth in the New York Sun, is that lots more jobs are being created by small businesses and individuals going into business for themselves than government statisticians can keep track of. Newspaper reports on the number of jobs usually focus on the Labor Department's business establishment survey. But over the past few years, the Labor Department's household survey has consistently shown more job growth than the business establishment survey. The likely explanation: The business establishment survey misses jobs created by new businesses. Our government statistical agencies do an excellent job. But statistics designed to measure the economy of yesterday have a hard time reflecting the economy of tomorrow.

The federal budget deficit has been cut in half in three years, three years faster than George W. Bush called for. Why? Tax receipts were up 5.5 percent in FY 2004, 14.5 percent in FY 2005, and 11.7 percent in FY 2006. That's up 34.9 percent in three years. And that's after the 2003 tax cuts. When you cut taxes, you get more economic activity, and when you get more economic activity, the government with a tax system that is still decidedly progressive gets more revenue.

The bottom line: The private-sector economy is much more robust and creative than mainstream media would have you believe.

Laugh of the Day

The Democratic National Committee website had an article charging that George W. Bush and the Republicans are shortchanging U.S. troops. Sort of what you'd expect. But the soldier put on the website is Canadian. Captain Ed, whose blog helped to break the Liberal Party scandal story last year, has the scoop. The DNC has now replaced the picture of the Canadian soldier with a picture of a flag. It appears to be the American flag.

The Evolution of John McCain's Foreign Policy

John Judis has a good analysis of John McCain's evolving views on foreign policy in the current New Republic. We could use more of this kind of journalism. Judis doesn't pause to look at McCain's standing in 2008 polls and only briefly mentions his efforts to cultivate Christian conservatives. Instead, he looks back on the stands McCain has taken over the years and recounts his own recent interviews with him. Judis likes McCain but dislikes his support for the Iraq war, which he calls an "unmitigated disaster." (I should think that he would have to admit that it is somewhat "mitigated" by the overthrow of the murderous regime of Saddam Hussein.) But Judis at least lets you know where he's coming from and lets McCain speak for himself.