“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, October 26, 2015

Israeli Apartheid Leader, PM Bibi W. Botha, says that the possibility of revoking the resident status of Palestinians beyond the separation barrier should be considered,

Israel: Benjamin Netanyahu orders residency status review of east Jerusalem Palestinians

The US has condemned the proposal - which could affect the residency rights of tens of thousands of Palestinians 

The Obama administration has rushed to express opposition to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call to review the residency status of Palestinians in east Jerusalem.
Mr Netanyahu has reportedly ordered a review of the status of certain Palestinian neighbourhoods in east Jerusalem, in a move which could affect the residency rights of tens of thousands of people.

Such a move would be as part of possible measures aimed halting an ongoing spate of terror attacks on Israelis in the West Bank.

An official speaking anonymously said that Mr Netanyahu recently ordered the review of Jerusalem neighbourhoods that lie outside Israel’s West Bank separation barrier, Israeli state television reported. Netanyahu’s comments have since been confirmed by an Israeli official, according to AP.
One third of the city’s Palestinians, up to 100,000 people, live outside the barrier.

The official, however, said there was no discussion of the matter at the forum and Mr Netanyahu did not ask that it be included on the agenda of a future meeting.

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict intensifies

Responding to reports that Israel may revoke travel rights of some Palestinians in east Jerusalem, the US State Department remarked such a move would be “of concern”.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that as far as the US government knows, Israel is not currently considering such a move.

Though he added that if it were, "it would obviously be of some concern to us”.

The majority of Jerusalem’s Palestinian population do not have citizenship, but hold Israeli residency rights.

Unlike Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Palestinians in east Jerusalem currently receive Israeli social benefits and can move freely in the country. 

Stripping them of residency rights would affect their ability to access care and social services, and impact on their ability to work and travel inside Israel.

According to the report on Israel’s Channel 2, the cabinet meeting convened two weeks ago to discuss the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians in east Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the possibility of revoking the resident status of Palestinians beyond the separation barrier should be considered, and called for a separate meeting to discuss the matter. 

“We have to think about what to do. There are all sorts of possibilities. But it is impossible to give them all of the rights without having them fulfil all of their responsibilities,” Channel Two quoted Mr Netanyahu as saying.

A source who took part in the meeting told Haaretz that ministers present were surprised by Mr Netanyahu’s remarks, but that a discussion did not ensue.

“There is no such process to revoke the residency or citizenship of thousands of people,” he told the newspaper.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization called the move ‘an alarming escalation’.

Adnan Husseini, Palestinian minister of Jerusalem affairs told AP: “If this desire by Netanyahu is translated into a decision, then this will be an act of ethnic cleansing because it targets one-third of the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem.”
He said Israeli officials have been pressuring Palestinians in attempts to reduce their numbers in the city. ”They demolish houses and don't give permits for building, they besiege the Palestinian quarters in the city. All of this will only lead to more deterioration in the city,“ Mr Husseini said.

Though such a decision does not appear to be politically feasible, it serves to heighten tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. 

There have been almost daily Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets, which started in east Jerusalem earlier this month and have spread to the West Bank.

10 Israelis have died, mostly in stabbings, while 51 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, including 30 who Israel claims were attackers.

The violence erupted largely as a result of Palestinian fears that Israel intends to impose Jewish prayer on the al-Aqsa mosque, known as Temple Mount to Jews. Housing Islam’s third holiest shrine, the site is of particular importance to Palestinians and Muslims alike.

Palestinians are also frustrated by the lack of a negotiated peace settlement with Israel, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the construction of Jewish settlements on what Palestinians hope will be part of a future state.


  1. Just a friendly reminder to the residents of The United States of Amnesia that claim to be for social justice. It no longer exists in Apartheid Israel.

    1. Mission Statement - Jewish Social Justice Roundtable

      Based on a shared vision, the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, animated by Jewish tradition and values, makes social justice a core expression of Jewish life, while advancing social justice issues in the broader society.

  2. HEBRON (Ma’an) — As the death toll has risen across the occupied Palestinian territory, the southern West Bank city of Hebron has found itself at the center of violence.

    In just over a month, Israeli forces have killed 10 Palestinians in the sharply divided city. The toll, second only to that of Jerusalem, is indicative of a tension that has been building for years.

    “The people don’t sleep here,” said Jawad Abu Aisheh, a coordinator with Youth Against Settlements, a local activist group documenting Israeli military and settler violations in Hebron.

    He said that Palestinians live in perpetual fear of attacks by Hebron’s settlers, widely known to be among the most aggressive in the occupied West Bank.

    There are more than 500 settlers living in a cluster of illegal settlements through the Old City and a further 7,000 in Kiryat Arba, just east of central Hebron.

    They live among nearly 200,000 Palestinians, under the protection of a vast Israeli military infrastructure that has carved up the city into Israeli and Palestinian districts.

    Sitting outside Youth Against Settlements’ office, Abu Aisheh listened to the ceaseless din of clashes that rose from the Old City’s narrow streets below.

    The night before, two Palestinian boys, aged 15 and 17, were shot dead at the edge of Kiryat Arba.

    The Israeli army said they were attempting to stab a soldier at a nearby military checkpoint, but a local woman told Youth Against Settlements that the shooting was instigated by a notorious Israeli settler named Ofer Yahana.

    Palestinians across Hebron agreed they heard between 50 and 100 gunshots fired. In a city that has been on the brink for years, few were surprised.

  3. We'll surely go to hell for our part in all this.

    There probably is no possibility of atonement for a hubris so vast as we've demonstrated.

    1. We sanctioned the hell and gave cover to the architects, instigators, the racist thugs and the egregious actions of the IDF

      Our most important ally that never did squat shit for the US.

    2. Yeah, we've already paid a hefty price, but nothing compared to what we're going to pay, I fear.

    3. Deuce you are blind to the reality of the savages you defend so much.

      I pity you.


    Of the 10 Palestinians killed in Hebron since late September, Israel’s army has claimed that nine were attempting to carry out knife attacks when they were shot.

    But Abu Aisheh does not believe the army’s account in at least half those cases.

    Footage captured by Youth Against Settlements has raised serious questions over the army’s official version of several of the deaths — including that of 18-year-old Hadeel Hashlamon, who appeared to have no knife when she was gunned down at the end of September, and 19-year-old Fadi Qawasmi, who may have had a knife planted on his dead body by Israeli soldiers after he was killed by a settler.

    More recently, on Sunday, Israeli border police shot dead 17-year-old Dania Irsheid outside the Ibrahimi Mosque, claiming they saw “a knife in her hand” — an account witnesses strongly contested.

    Over the course of years, Hebron’s Palestinian residents have been given little reason to trust their occupying forces.

    Youth Against Settlements’ staff and volunteers have been violently attacked by both soldiers and settlers dozens of times. They have been detained and had their equipment confiscated and destroyed.

    After releasing the footage filmed after Qawasmi’s death, Israeli forces detained the group’s media coordinator, Ahmad Amro, for more than three hours, erasing all video footage he had at the time and warning him not to film or publish any more material.

    Abu Aisheh said that it was dangerous work they performed. “They can shoot you when you are alone, and throw a knife next to you.”
    Palestinian mourners carry the body of Hadeel al-Hashlamon, an 18-year old Palestinian woman who was shot by Israeli forces after allegedly trying to stab a soldier, during her funeral in Hebron on September 23, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader/File)

    1. Maybe you should read the arabic press....

      Knife attacks on the Jews are all the rage.

      Sucks when those martyrs are shot and killed, aint fair you and they bitch... how dare Jews defend themselves after all they have no right to defend themselves..

      tuff shit..


    Settlers began arriving in Hebron’s Old City in the late 1970s, using armed force to evict Palestinians from their homes.

    Abu Aisheh, who was born in 1973, had only been in school two years when the school building was taken over by a group of settlers, forcing the students out.

    Before Abu Aisheh even understood the politics of Israel’s occupation, he said he “started to hate the settlers.” He could not understand the extreme inequality, why the soldiers and police seemed to act at the settlers’ command.

    He was 21 years old when, in 1994, the US-born Israeli settler, Baruch Goldstein — still revered as a hero among Hebron’s settlers — massacred 29 Palestinians inside the city’s Ibrahimi Mosque.

    For a while, it seemed Israeli public opinion had changed, aware at last how grave a mistake it had been to allow the settlers to live in the heart of Hebron. Briefly, there was hope among Palestinians that Israel was going to pull them out.
    But instead, the Israeli army began to seal off parts of Hebron’s Old City. The city was segregated, formally divided into Palestinian and Israeli-controlled districts, H1 and H2 — divisions enforced by the army’s checkpoints and guns.

    According to Israeli rights group B’Tselem, more than 1,000 Palestinian homes were vacated in the city center and up to 1,829 Palestinian businesses closed. Shuhada Street, the city’s thriving thoroughfare, was emptied.

    Israeli soldiers aim their guns at Palestinian youths during clashes in Hebron on October 4, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader/File)


    The divisions have not been absolute. Living in such close quarters, the two worlds have spilled into one another on a daily basis, often in violence.

    Israelis and Palestinians have come to know each other by name when filing complaints against each other at an Israeli police station in Kiryat Arba. The names frequently arise in conversation: Ofer Yahana, Anat Cohen, Baruch Marzel.

    Abu Aisheh can recall at one point bringing one of Marzel’s children back to Tel Rumeida settlement after he found him wandering the streets lost.

    At a later point, one of Marzel’s relatives violently assaulted the head of Youth Against Settlements, Issa Amro, inside the group’s office, which itself borders Tel Rumeida settlement.

    B’Tselem has released video footage taken earlier this month showing five consecutive days of attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian homes bordering Kiryat Arba.

    “Young Israelis from Kiryat Arba gathered by the fence and began to throw stones and glass bottles at nearby Palestinian houses, all the while swearing at the inhabitants and calling out racist slurs,” the group reported.

    “This latest installment in a longstanding campaign of violence by settlers in Hebron — which lasted five days and received military backing — reflects the ongoing reality of daily life in the city.”

    One resident of central Hebron, Muhammad Abu Turki, told Ma’an that tensions had soared in recent days. “Nowadays, it’s very dangerous,” he said. “We have seen many people killed in cold blood for no reason.”

    An Israeli Star of David painted on a wall in the West Bank town of Hebron. (MaanImages/Charlie Hoyle/File)


  7. While the latest eruption of violence in Hebron has seemed to many unavoidable, international attention has over time drifted from the segregated city.

    Abu Aisheh said that the Palestinian Authority should have kept a spotlight on Hebron, bringing international leaders and diplomats there. “When they go to Ramallah, they don’t see the face of the occupation,” he said.

    With the PA too weak to protect them, Palestinians in Hebron have found “they must defend themselves,” he said.

    A sense of frustration and despair has driven the demonstrations and clashes that have shaken the city nearly every day this month.
    Black smoke has risen from burning tires, while the streets are covered in barricades of stones manned by children seeking to keep the settlers out.

    The factional lines — normally so pervasive in Palestinian social life — have become blurred at a popular level, said Abu Aisheh. “The people act together on the street.”

    He has allowed himself a fleeting hope for the protests — optimistic that they might give rise to a new generation of leaders in touch with the Palestinian people.

    But Israel’s bloody response, particularly in Hebron, has left him concerned that there is more violence to come.
    via Ma’an News Agency

  8. Replies

    2. No Justice, No Peace?


      The war is lost and the Palestinians are the losers.

      They can't accept it of course.

      Not content on a YES, they seek the destruction of Israel. And that is the Fonzie jumping the Shark.

      They could have had a state, several times. They turned it down...


      they will have hamas and ISIS.

  9. These settlers are no better than The Ku Klux Klan on a good day.

    1. It's a mighty tight fit. I can't make out much difference.

    2. I guess, though, push come to shove, I'd have to give the cup to the settlers.

      There's more of them, and they're better armed.

    3. Eh,

      we get a look at Sept. non-manufacturing, tomorrow. later. :)

  10. Deuce and his friends don't like the idea that terrorist arabs might be kicked out of Jerusalem.


    Maybe that's a GOOD idea.

    Deport them and strip them of any legal status to be in Jerusalem or Israel.

    Compared to what the Syrians do, the Iranians do, the Iraqis do, the Egyptians do it's a down right vacation...

    But Deuce, your pals have declared war, they have decided to stab, shot, kidnap and slit the throats of any Jew they can find.

    The result? Palestinians that are attacking? Are getting killed...

    no spin, just the truth.

    You are not allowed to try to stab another person. period.

    If you do? You will die.

    Now you will bitch and moan, and spin it to make it sound like innocent palestinians are being attacks but we both know that it garbage.

    SO enjoy the rising death toll, the more the idiots stab? The more they will die...

  11. Millions of moslem arabs, pakistanis and north africans have swarmed over europe, driven out of their homes.

    Deuce has volunteered America to be their new home!!!

    Why not settle the palestinain issues that way as well....

    Let 200,000 palestinians move to Philadelphia...

  12. Good luck killing a billion and a half of them.

    1. No need to kill them while Christ is converting them.

      Ex Hezbollah Iranian Muslim Saw Jesus and ... - YouTube

    2. I dont advocate killing a billion and half of them..

      I see the the moslems killing each other in ever greater numbers.

      I see those lucky moslems that LIVE inside Israel as citizens to be blessed.

      I see what I wrote was why not resettle a couple hundred thousand palestinians in philadelphia...

      The only one advocating genocide is your side...

    3. Christianity is not a religion. It is a way of Life. :)

    4. Maybe I was reading Deuce wrong..

      Deuce ☂Tue Oct 27, 09:13:00 AM EDT
      Good luck killing a billion and a half of them.

      I think Deuce is saying that 1.5 billion moslems will try to murder Jews....

    5. I believe there are a large percentage of that number that would like to leave islam but are afraid.

    6. Dougman, the entire populace of Islam is based on fear and submission...

      Maybe Christians can lift their load?

    7. I try when I meet them.
      One fellow told me that muslems believed Truth is god.
      That's a starting point.

    8. I didn't think of it at the time but what I should have said to him was, "How is God served by practicing Taqqiya?

  13. You are on the wrong side of history.

    1. LOL

      Israel, on the wrong side of history for 3600 years and still around no matter how many times your pals try to genocide us...

  14. Replies
    1. LOL

      Lots of Luck Deuce, your side? Iran, the Palestinians? the Russians?

      Nothing but massive death and destruction...

      I stand with America and Israel.

      You stand with Hamas.

    2. Deuce if the world was yours for a day?

      The Jews would be gone from Israel, Israel would be erased and of course all jews would be dead...

      Sorry if our desire to live is greater than your desire to kill us...

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. or as they said in your old hood, “rots of ruck”

    1. My old hood? Is Haverford.

      Ever heard of it?

    2. Ever honest with your local Philadelphia Jew about your hatred of Israel?

      I bet not...

      In fact, I bet you hide these feelings and do not have the courage to be public about your hatred of Israel and it's people.

    3. I would take you more for Overbrook than Haverford.

    4. I take you more for Gaza than Philadelphia

    5. My Dad went to Overbrook in the 40's..

      different place. different time.

  16. .

    Compared to what the Syrians do, the Iranians do, the Iraqis do, the Egyptians do it's a down right vacation...

    The relativity argument.


    1. America nuked it's enemies. Forced Indians to live on reservations.

      One standard for all, not one standard for the Jews.

    2. The idea makes sense, population resettlement to America of a couple hundred thousand Palestinians.....

      Why is this so horrible, after all tens of millions of fellow arabs are being resettled in Europe already...

    3. The English, Spanish, Russians and a lot of others have expelled the Jews, why not try that on the arabs

      Of course the arabs have expelled 650,000 jews from the 899/900th of the middle east just 60 years ago!!!

      Maybe the solution is a good one..

      The arabs threw out 650,000 Jews into Israel

      Maybe Israel should throw out a few hundred thousand Arabs from around Israel into America (or the arab world)

      This happened after ww2 in Germany and Poland...

    4. .

      You and Deuce are two sides of the same coin. He justifies everything the Palestinians do. You justify everything that the Jews do.

      Your argument that actions in other countries justify crimes by the Israelis shows the moral relativism of the propagandist hate-monger. You are like most in Israel on both sides, after 65 years of fighting each other the hate and vitriol is overwhelming.

      As for separating the two, it has already happened in Hebron and it hasn't worked.

      He was 21 years old when, in 1994, the US-born Israeli settler, Baruch Goldstein — still revered as a hero among Hebron’s settlers — massacred 29 Palestinians inside the city’s Ibrahimi Mosque.

      The settlers have turned Goldstein's grave site into a monument. The memorial on the site reads, “The revered Dr. Baruch Kapel Goldstein… Son of Israel. He gave his soul for the sake of the people of Israel, The Torah, and the Land. His hands are clean and his heart good… He was assassinated for the Sanctity of God”

      Every Purim, there is a procession of settlers to the grave site to memorialize their 'hero'. They sing, "Dr. Goldstein, there is none other like you in the world. Dr. Goldstein, we all love you… he aimed at terrorists' heads, squeezed the trigger hard, and shot bullets, and shot, and shot."[37]

      It echoes the same thing Arab leaders are saying about the Palestinian knife wielders.

      The difference of course is that the Palestinians are bringing knives to a gun fight. The IDF and the state has the overwhelming firepower, they have the Knesset, they have the courts, and they have the media. Slam dunk.

      And you argue anyone should visit Israel. Good lord.

      And the Spud offers up tickets to Gaza. Moronic.


    5. Goldstein is not a hero to the people of Israel.

      there are no centers named after him. he was a murderer.

      Compare that to the palestinian's treatment of their killers.

      Institutionally that is...

      go ahead..

    6. As for separating the two, it has already happened in Hebron and it hasn't worked.


      When was the 1st massacre in Hebron?

      1929 by the arabs of the Jews.

      Learn history.

    7. As for your cut and paste of Goldstein's grave?

      Goldstein's gravesite became a pilgrimage site for Jewish extremists.[8] Upon the tomb, the following words are inscribed: “He gave his life for the people of Israel, its Torah and land.”[7] In 1999, after the passing of Israeli legislation outlawing monuments to terrorists, the Israeli Army dismantled the shrine that had been built to Goldstein at the site of his interment. The tombstone and its epitaph, calling Goldstein a martyr with clean hands and a pure heart, was left untouched.[9] After the flagstones around it were pried away under the eye of a military chaplain, the ground was covered with gravel.

      Here is the unedited version...


    8. Quirk you prove yourself to be a lying sack of crap when you selectively edit and distort the truth..

    9. .

      Here is the unedited version...

      The quote I put up is on the tombstone. I didn't mention the shrine at all. The settlers had initially built a shrine around the grave site. That was what the soldiers dismantled. However, the tombstone with the inscription I posted was allowed to remain. The settlers still visit the grave site and consider Goldstein a hero.

      As for the history, I pointed out the animosity that has grown up over the last 65 years. If you want to go back to 1920, here...

      Up to 1937, almost all of the battles/massacres/riots were initiated by the Arabs. Starting in 1937 and for the next 10 years, almost all of the battles/massacres/riots were initiated by Jews. In 1947/1948, it became an equal opportunity bloodbath.


      And I still would not visit the damn place.


    10. .

      Quirk you prove yourself to be a lying sack of crap when you selectively edit and distort the truth..

      Get back to me when you are capable of reading a post and actually understand what is being said.


    11. WiO, that is your modus operandi - it is quite funny when you get all high and mighty accusing others of what you do regularly.

      And yesterday I got a good chuckle of you and your butt-buddy Bob giving business advice - you and your 'Sodastream made MILLION - p/e ratios don't mean squat' and especially Bob's of 'No Credit!, No investment! yields him a place to pitch a tent' - obviously a loser approach in his case.

    12. You might try not to be so homophobic...

      Are you always trashing gays?

    13. QuirkTue Oct 27, 01:44:00 PM EDT

      Quirk you prove yourself to be a lying sack of crap when you selectively edit and distort the truth..

      Get back to me when you stop selectively editing and distorting reality.

      Quirk, you bait and lie.

    14. The government of Israel does not praise jewish terrorists.

      The government of the Palestinians does.

    15. .

      Quirk, you bait and lie.

      You've offer up this slander constantly; yet, I am still waiting for your proof. Normally, when challenged on the charge you just slink away.


    16. I have proven it time and again, if you choose to ignore the written word?

      I can't force you.

      It's your character flaw, you have none.

    17. But continue to lie, make false statements, edit and be specious, we expect nothing but crap from you...

    18. .

      You haven't proved shit.

      We have a perfect example right here, dipshit.

      Lay out for the audience the false statements. The edits. Get specific.

      Otherwise, shut the hell up.


    19. WiO couldn't so he scurried away, yet again. It tells us a lot about his character.

  17. Ah Deuce's pals....

    Maybe they should be deported to the Nabisco Plant in NE Philadelphia...

    Attack by 2 Palestinian teens foiled in Jerusalem, police say
    Officer notices 16- and 17-year-olds observing passersby in the Old City, finds they are carrying ax and utility knife

    police officer apprehended two Palestinian teenagers Tuesday in Jerusalem’s Old City and confiscated an ax and a utility knife that were on their person, and with which they intended to carry out an attack, police said.
    The officer’s suspicion was raised by the sight of the two, aged 16 and 17, standing on a street corner and observing passersby, a police statement read. After questioning them, the officer searched their belongings and found the potentially lethal objects.
    The teenagers, residents of the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur, were transferred to a nearby security facility for interrogation.
    Earlier in the day, police arrested two Palestinian women who were carrying large knives near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron.
    When they were confronted by police, the two refused to submit to a search and began shouting, “We have come to free Palestine” at the Tzalbanit checkpoint near the holy site, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. Border Police officers at the scene arrested the pair and found two knives in one women’s purse.

    Ah, innocent youths and women,

    Darn they were not shot....

  18. The next recession is out there somewhere. Meanwhile, we’ve got other problems.

    October 25th, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    So Ylan Mui warns that a recession is out there somewhere, and we’re getting closer to it every day.

    That is, by definition, true. And while she garners some data to make the case, one can find data on both sides of the issue. Generally speaking, economists cannot predict recessions. Back in the mid-2000s, Dean Baker and precious few others recognized that a massive housing bubble pumped up by underpriced risk would end badly, but to this day, the conventional wisdom holds that “no one saw it coming.”

    Really, all Mui et al have to say here is that a) the current expansion is long-in-the-tooth relative to its predecessors, and b) headwinds exist. The latter include slower growth in China, a possible deceleration in payrolls (about which more below), DC dysfunction in the face of some portentous events (e.g., the debt ceiling), the strong dollar bumping up the trade deficit, and volatile financial markets.

    One fairly strong point pushing the other way is that the Federal Reserve, with its hundreds of staff economists serving some of most elite economists in the world, is getting ready to raise rates to head off nascent inflation. I don’t see it and am more worried about dis-inflation than spiraling price growth, but hard to square where the Fed’s at these days with pending recession (that said, there’s dispute within its portals).

    Bottom line: I wouldn’t take any of these predictions too seriously.

    1. That’s not to say they’re wrong; it’s just that economists don’t have much of a track record calling turning points. Thus, the weight you give to those warning of a recession should be much like the weight you’d give to the observation that someone who is getting old is closer to death than someone who is young. It’s generally true but it’s also axiomatic.

      We do not face serious resource constraints. There are about two percentage points of slack in the job market (i.e., depressed labor force participation and elevated underemployment amount to about two percent of the labor force), capacity utilization remains below its prior peak (and has fallen in recent months), and as noted, wage and price inflation are too low, not too high.

      I very much agree that the possibility of a policy mistake must be taken seriously. The debt ceiling is the biggest potential threat, and while I expect grownups will prevail, it’s a non-trivial economic mistake to even squabble about it (11 hours on Benghazi hearing, check! Raise the debt limit, uncheck…). A premature interest rate hike would also be a policy mistake, though 25 basis points will not tilt the recessionary balance.

      Meanwhile, the combination of solid job growth and low inflation (such that stagnant nominal earnings growth translates into real earnings growth) has kept consumption—68 percent of GDP—percolating along at a decent clip, adding an average of two percentage points to annual GDP growth since 2014.

      What worries me right now is less a recession-inducing demand shock, like the huge reversal in the wealth effect and leveraging cycle that crushed demand in the Great Recession, and more a) the slow bleed of supply-side weaknesses that may be more structural than cyclical, specifically labor force participation and productivity growth, and b) if there were a recession, the collision of the zero-lower bound at the Fed with a dysfunctional, austere Congress.

      The overall labor force participation rate is down about 3.5 percentage points since the recession, but part of that decline, about 2 points by my estimation, is due to aging boomers leaving the job market. Still, the prime-age (25-54) trend, excluding retirees, basically peaked 25 years ago, around 1990, and has been falling or flat since (see graph below). The causes of the decline in labor supply of prime-age workers are not well understood but it must be at least partially driven by persistently weak demand for certain workers in this age range, like displaced production workers.

    2. BTW, a smaller share of the working-age population in the job market means that it will take fewer jobs per month to lower the unemployment rate. Monthly job gains well below 200,000, for example, will translate into lower unemployment if the LFPR stays this low. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but unless the LFPR starts to climb again, don’t be surprised if we don’t hit 200K on monthly payroll gains yet the jobless rate still falls.

      The productivity slowdown is even more worrisome. As the trend drawn through the annual percent changes shows (see chart below), productivity growth is as slow as it has ever been. Some argue that there are measurement issues in play. Specifically, quality-adjusted computer prices which used to fall steeply every year (thus boosting real output) have recently been flat. But even if this were so, and I’ve heard arguments on both sides, it would explain a pretty small share of the deceleration.

    3. Much like our difficulty catching turning points, economists are hard pressed to explain productivity trends (you may at this point be wondering why people pay economists so much money—good question, but keep it to yourself, please). Weak investment is an obvious culprit, but why has investment been so weak? Surely investment capital is abundant and cheap.

      You’re going to (quite reasonably) remind me that if my only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail, but I think the absence of full employment is in the mix. Stronger labor demand would boost the quantity and quality of jobs, pulling more potential workers back into the job market. It would also, as per the Keynesian investment accelerator, boost investment.

      And in full employment conditions with labor costs rising, employers have to find new efficiencies to maintain profit margins. That’s certainly part of the story of the latter 1990s, along with the wrinkle that Fed chair Alan Greenspan recognized that with faster productivity growth, unemployment could fall far below what they thought to be the “natural rate” at the time without triggering price pressures (technically, unit labor costs were stable, as both compensation and productivity accelerated).

      [Neoclassical economics would of course reject that theory, maintaining that any firm that failed to find efficiency gains in the first place would have been competed out of businesses, but unfortunately, in the real world inefficiencies persist.]

      That’s right, folks: I think there’s a full employment productivity multiplier. I’ve yet to figure out how to prove it, though it’s true that slack “Granger causes” trend productivity growth but the reverse is not true (where slack is unemployment minus CBO’s NAIRU; I used six lags).

      One last point. From here on, I declare that any discussion of a recession must reference the results from this new paper on the impact of the countercyclical measures undertaken in the last downturn. It’s by noted economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi and was written as part of our full employment project. Not only does it solidly confirm that much of what we did back then worked pretty well; it also provides important lessons for next time around.

    4. So, like the rabbi in Fiddler on the Roof said when asked for a blessing for the Tsar—“God bless and keep the Tsar…far away from us!”—let’s hope the next recession is “far away from us” and let’s certainly not do anything to bring it any closer, like futzing around with the debt ceiling. And if we’re smart, as per Blinder/Zandi, we’ll keep our policy power dry and ready for action when the time comes.

      Jared Bernstein Blog

    5. Notice the ethic cleansing in Fiddler on the Roof?

      The jews being driven from their homes...

      they were not the violent ones.. they were the tailor, the butcher, the milkman...

      Nothing has changed...

      The palestinians are the kossaks of the middle east with their knives.. Except this time?



    6. Please don't attach your idiot shit to serious posts.

    7. Please don't post anything to do with the Jews, a people that you advocate the erasing of.

    8. You are one ignorant sonofabitch.

    9. And you are one hateful, Israel bashing prick.

    10. The Palestinians are the ones fighting back. The Oppressors are the Israelis settlers and their IDF Green shirts.


    12. The Palestinians are resorting to terror once again. They will be defeated.

      Palestinians are a huge % of ISIS, and Hamas and the Fatah are the same as well.

      that is why their will never be peace.

    13. But Deuce, you are a "settler", you said that people need to "get over it"

      Maybe your friends, the palestinians, need to get over it?

      If they can't? I wish you all the protection you will need being a white colonial oppressor in Philadelphia...

    14. See:

      "The Rufus/Obama Rebound:" Far Below, beyond Farmer Bob.

  19. Can High Unemployment Slow Productivity Growth?

    I see that my co-author Jared Bernstein has been pondering this question. While this sort of thinking can get you thrown out of the church of mainstream economics, I think that he is very much on the mark. Let me throw out a few reasons.

    First, there is an issue about the money available to firms to invest. While larger and more established firms likely to have little problem financing investment in the current low interest rate environment, smaller and newer firms may find it difficult to get access to capital. For them a rapidly growing economy can be strong sales growth and higher profits, both of which are strongly linked to investment. This is a finding from an old paper by my friend Steve Fazzari and Glenn Hubbard (yes, that Glenn Hubbard.)

    A second reason why productivity can be tied to growth is that firms will have more incentive to adopt labor saving equipment in a context of a rapidly growing economy. When they see additional demand for their products, they have to find a way to meet it. Of course they can hire more workers or have the existing workforce put in more hours, but another option is to find a way to produce more with the same amount of labor. Of course profit maximizing firms should always be trying to produce more with the same amount of labor, but they may not follow the economics textbook. Meeting increased demand can give them more incentive to do so.

    1. A third reason is changes in the mix of output. At any point in time we have many high paying high productivity jobs and many low paying low productivity jobs. When we have a strong labor market, people go from the low paying low productivity jobs to the higher paying high productivity jobs. This means that many people now working at fast food restaurants, the midnight shift at a convenience store, or as greeters at Walmart will instead find better paying jobs in a strong labor market leaving these low-productivity jobs unfilled.

      The rapid growth of jobs in low-paying sectors in this recovery has been widely noted. Rather than reflecting an intrinsic feature of the economy, this could be the result of the failure of demand to create enough growth in the high-paying sectors. This is again a story where the causation goes from growth and low unemployment to high productivity.

      These stories are hardly conclusive, but I have always found the causation from low unemployment to productivity growth is be quite plausible, glad to see Jared is on the case.

      I also want to comment on Jared’s Greenspan story. Jared gives our former Fed chair credit for recognizing the upturn in productivity growth before others and using it as justification for allowing the unemployment rate to fall below the conventional measures of the NAIRU. I also applaud Greenspan for this move, which provided enormous benefits to tens of millions of people in the form of increased employment, longer hours, and higher wages. It also gave us the budget surpluses of the late 1990s, contrary to the claim of the Clintonites that it was their tax increases and spending cuts that did the trick. We would not have had a budget surplus, or even a balanced budget, if Greenspan had prevented the unemployment rate from falling below the 6.0 percent level that most economists accepted at the time.

      While Greenspan deserves enormous credit for this break with the orthodoxy, it is worth pointing out that his reasoning did not make any sense. First, his belief that we were mis-measuring productivity growth stemmed in part from the fact that reported productivity growth in the non-financial sector of the economy was substantially higher than growth in the non-farm business sector as a whole. He argued that productivity growth in the rest of the business sector could not be negative; therefore we must be mis-measuring productivity growth for the non-farm business sector.

    2. The big problem with this story was that productivity growth for the non-financial sector was based on an income-side measure of output. The income side of the GDP accounts was rising substantially more rapidly than the output side during this period. (One obvious explanation is that capital gains income was mistakenly being counted as ordinary income, inflating the income side measure.) So the issue was not a difference in the sectors being examined, but rather the measure of output. (Greenspan was also mistaken that productivity growth could not be negative. If a store decides that it has to hire a security guard to protect against robberies and theft it would have negative productivity growth.)

      The other part of the Greenspan story that was wrong was his view that if productivity was being undercounted then the economy could grow faster than was conventionally believed. This made no sense because if productivity was being undercounted, then output was also being undercounted. (No one thought there was a problem in measuring hours growth.) This meant that the economy was already growing faster than was conventionally believed. The result was that Greenspan did the right thing in allowing the unemployment rate to fall below the accepted measures of the NAIRU, but he did it for the wrong reasons.

      There is one last item worth mentioning about this episode. The debate over the level of the NAIRU was somehow translated into a debate over the economy’s growth rate. It is not clear how the level of the “non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment” could somehow be transformed into a debate about the economy’s growth rate, but such is the state of economic debates in this country.

      The switch from a debate on unemployment to a debate on growth was unfortunate for those of us who wanted to see the Fed let more people work. “Growth” is an abstraction. No one sees 3.0 percent GDP growth as opposed to 2.0 percent GDP growth. They do see the labor market. They know whether they or their friends and family members are able to easily get jobs. From a political perspective, we almost certainly would have been better off keeping the argument about unemployment and jobs, which was in fact the issue. Fortunately Alan Greenspan got this one right, so this particular unforced error turned out not to matter.

      Dean Baker

  20. Highlights

    Growth in the nation's service sector is solid but a little slower this month than in September. The services PMI flash for October came in at 54.4 for the slowest rate of growth since the severe weather of January. The report cites a third straight slowdown in new business which is also at its weakest point since January. Though the service sector is insulated to a degree from foreign effects, the report does note that less favorable global conditions are making customers less willing to spend.

    Backlogs are down for a third month which is the worst run in two years and hiring has slowed to the weakest level since February. The outlook, though still favorable, is near a three-year low. Price data show little change for inputs and only a fractional gain for prices charged. This report fits in with the general soft tone of economic data, softness that will perhaps be a key focus of tomorrow's FOMC statement.

    PMI Services Flash - Bloomberg

  21. Ah those innocent Palestinians are at it again..

    with deadly results, well they are dead at least

    Soldiers late Tuesday night killed a Palestinian assailant who pulled a knife on them at a checkpoint near the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron, in a section of the city under Israeli military and civil control.

    Earlier in the evening, a soldier was stabbed and his two assailants killed in a terrorist attack at the Gush Etzion junction in another day of violence in the West Bank.

    During the afternoon, some 1,000 Palestinians rallied in Hebron to demand that Israel return the bodies of 11 assailants killed by its security forces this month. The cabinet decided to delay the return of the bodies until calm is restored in the West Bank amid fears the massive funerals for the attackers, who the Palestinians view as martyrs, would incite further attacks against Israel.

    Here is a tip, try to murder a Jew? DIE, don't collect 200 dollars, do not pass go and maybe don't ever get buried in your family plot, maybe stuck in a unmarked grave for a few decades...

    1. Got to say, 3 dead terrorists is a fine daily total...

      America and Russia are bombing the Palestinians of ISIS....

      Israel is shooting those Palestinians that attempt to murder Jews...

      It's all good..

  22. .

    Republicans Seek to Impeach IRS Chief Over Alleged Tea Party Targeting

    House Republicans filed papers Tuesday to begin impeachment proceedings against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over the agency's alleged campaign to revoke the tax-exempt status of Tea Party-affiliated groups.

    The resolution — filed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and 18 other members of the committee — accuses Koskinen of lying to Congress about agency emails that were found to be missing. It was filed four days after the Justice Department found no criminal behavior in the IRS' scrutiny of the tax statuses of conservative political groups.

    Related: No Charges Against Former IRS Official Lois Lerner

    In an email to NBC News, the agency said: "The IRS vigorously disputes the allegations in the resolution. We have fully cooperated with all of the investigations."

    The Justice Department investigation found "substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia," but it concluded: "Poor management is not a crime."


  23. .

    Couldn't believe it. Just found out John Harwood will be moderating the GOP debate tomorrow night. Hadn't planned on watching anyway but now I know I won't.

    Harwood is a cipher, a nullity, a nitwit. He is the political analyst for CNBC but why they bother with the guy is beyond me. He a liberal apologist and I have yet to hear him offer one criticism of D.C. Why in the world would he be monitor for a GOP debate? Becky Quirk and Carl Quintanilla may be ok, I don't know, but Harwood?

    CNBC’s John Harwood Has No Business Moderating A GOP Presidential Debate


  24. It makes no sense either for CNBC or the GOP. Harwood is mostly on MSNBC. CNBC is rich on interesting reporters. They should have used the guys from The Shark Tank.

  25. .

    John Kerry Says Iran Is In on Syria Talks

    These talks will likely be no more fruitful than the last round; however, had they done this a couple years ago it may have prevented some of the shit that has gone on in Syria. It certainly wouldn't have hurt.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Iran has been invited to participate for the first time in international talks over Syria's future, U.S. officials said Tuesday, a shift in strategy for the United States and its allies as they seek to halt the four-year civil war and eventually ease President Bashar Assad out of power.

    Iran has yet to reply, the officials said.

    The next diplomatic round starts Thursday in Vienna, with Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and several top European and Arab diplomats attending...


    The United States is taking a gamble. Iran has backed Assad's government throughout the conflict, fighting alongside the Syrian military, and is seen by Western-backed rebels and U.S. partners in the region as a major source of the bloodshed. The Syrian opposition may balk at Iran's inclusion in any discussions on what a post-Assad Syria should look like.


    It's not a given that Iran attends. Its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ruled out new negotiations with the United States after they and five other nations clinched a long-term nuclear agreement in July. But Iran clearly has a stake in Syria's future, as Assad's government has helped the Iranians exert dominance over nearby Lebanon and threaten Israel through its proxy, Hezbollah.


    On the other hand, all previous international mediation efforts have done nothing to stop the fighting, and Kerry is trying to unite all sides with influence in the Arab country around a common vision of a peaceful, secular and pluralistic Syria governed with the consent of its people.

    Kerry is like the Eveready bunny. He never stops trying.


  26. .

    Damn, Spud. Go sleep it off.


  27. That's twice in two days, now. You're an embarrassment to all decent people - and, most especially, the people on this list.

    Deuce, if you're around, how about taking that one down.

  28. The Rufus/Obama Rebound:

    Less than half of American workers earn over thirty thousand dollars.

    Forty Percent Of Workers Made Less Than $20000 Last Year!

    40% Of US Workers Now Earn Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage.

  29. Whence comes this Palestinian insistence on self-defeating tactics?

    It dates back nearly a century, to the seminal years 1920-21. In April 1920, as a gesture to the Zionists, the British government created a region called Palestine designed to be the eventual national home for the Jewish people. Then in May 1921, it appointed Amin al-Husseini (1895-1974) as mufti of Jerusalem, a dreadful decision whose repercussions still reverberate today.

    Husseini harbored a monstrous hostility toward Jews; as Klaus Gensicke puts it in his important 2007 study, The Mufti of Jerusalem and the Nazis, Husseinis hatred of Jews knew no mercy, and he always intervened with particular zeal whenever he feared that some of the Jews could escape annihilation. Toward this end, he initiated an uncompromising campaign of rejectionism the intent to eliminate every vestige of Jewish presence in Palestine and used any and all tactics toward this foul end.

    For example, he can be largely held responsibility for the Middle Easts endemic anti-Semitism, having spread the anti-Semitic forgery Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the blood libel and Holocaust denial throughout the region. His other legacies include...
    Only when the Palestinians emerge from the cloud of Husseinis dark legacy can they begin to work with Israel rather than fight it; build their own polity, society, economy and culture rather than try to destroy Israels; and become a positive influence rather than the nihilistic force of today.

    And how will that happen? If the outside world, as symbolized by UNESCO, stops encouraging the Palestinians execrable behavior and impeding Israeli defenses against it. Only when Palestinians realize they will not be rewarded for homicidal conduct will they stop their campaign of violence and start to come to terms with the Jewish state.

  30. Hitler's Teachers: The California Eugenicists

    "Human Betterment Foundation"

    "The Rockefeller Foundation helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.

    Much of the spiritual guidance and political agitation for the American eugenics movement came from California's quasi-autonomous eugenic societies, such as the Pasadena-based Human Betterment Foundation and the California branch of the American Eugenics Society, which coordinated much of their activity with the Eugenics Research Society in Long Island.

    These organizations--which functioned as part of a closely-knit network--published racist eugenic newsletters and pseudoscientific journals, such as Eugenical News and Eugenics, and propagandized for the Nazis."

    "Three generations of imbeciles are enough.""

    - Oliver Wendell Holmes

  31. During the Reich's early years, eugenicists across America welcomed Hitler's plans as the logical fulfillment of their own decades of research and effort. California eugenicists republished Nazi propaganda for American consumption. They also arranged for Nazi scientific exhibits, such as an August 1934 display at the L.A. County Museum, for the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.

    In 1934, as Germany's sterilizations were accelerating beyond 5,000 per month, the California eugenics leader C. M. Goethe upon returning from Germany ebulliently bragged to a key colleague, "You will be interested to know, that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought.…I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60 million people."

    That same year, ten years after Virginia passed its sterilization act, Joseph DeJarnette, superintendent of Virginia's Western State Hospital, observed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, "The Germans are beating us at our own game."