Monday, September 26, 2016

Modern Scientist's Rejection of God is Ideological.

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Moern physicists no longer understand laws of physics as prescriptive injunctions that determine what the universe does. Now they see them as just descriptions of how the universe seems to behave. Is their rejection of law just a desire to get  the law maker (God) out of the picture? That is abundantly clear, at least for some scientists. Paul Davies, a major physicist, thinks so:
Many scientists who are struggling to construct a fully comprehensive theory of the physical universe openly admit that part of the motivation is to finally get rid of God, whom they view as a dangerous and infantile delusion, And not only God but any vestige of God-talk, such as 'meaning,' 'purpose,' or 'design' in nature. These scientists see religion as so fraudulent and sinister that nothing less than total theological cleansing will do. [1]
The concept of law was formed in a time when scientists inextricably linked God with science. Robert Boyle purposely appealed to dive command in creation, as did Newton. [2] These were devout believers, and it was also expedient in the confessional English state. The English dealt with heretics by not inviting them to weekend at Westmoreland or by passing them over for honors. After the time of Newton the field of scientific acuity shifted to France. The French put heretics in jail. The Catholic church was much more in charge in France, enjoying the support of the monarchy, than in Protestant England.[ [3] Thus the French Philosophs rebelled with great ferocity against the Church and religious belief. The French rebellion carried over into all areas of modern letters, not the least in science.

Modern scientists since the enlightenment have sought to take God out of the picture. Philosophers are honest enough to admit there is a problem calling the law-like regularity “description.” After Chalmers explains that Boyle's “stark ontology” made nature passive and left God to do all the work, he writes:
I assume that, from the modern point of view, placing such a heavy, or indeed any, burden on the constant and willful intervention of God is not acceptable. But eliminating God from the account leaves us with the problem. How can activity and law like behavior be introduced into a world characterized in terms of passive or categorical properties only?[4]

At least the scientific realists, such as Calmers know there is a problem in the tension between unalterable regularity, and description. Many scientists either don't see the problem, or refuse to acknowledge it. Some assert a confidence in science's ability to one day answer all questions.

In recent years, under the influence of the new atheism, some physicists have began to compete with God. They claim not only to offer the better explaination, but to learn enough so as to one day erase the God concept from any serious consideration. , (in answer to a question for discussion posed by the Tempelton foundation, “does science make belief in God obsolete?”): “Yes 'science' we mean the entire enterprise of secular reason and knowledge (including history and philosophy), not just people with test tubes and white lab coats. Traditionally, a belief in God was attractive because it promised to explain the deepest puzzles about origins. Where did the world come from? What is the basis of life? How can the mind arise from the body? Why should anyone be moral?"[5] Of course he offers no evidence that science can answer such things (notice he expanded the definition of science to include disciplines many scientists seek to get rid of (philosophy)vi that is an area that could answer the questions that science can't. He also offers no evidence that religion still can't answer them, but he goes on to say, “Yet over the millennia, there has been an inexorable trend: the deeper we probe these questions, and the more we learn about the world in which we live, the less reason there is to believe in God.” So he's made two fallacious moves here, the classic bait and switch and straw man argument. He says science makes God obsolete but then only if we expand science to include non-science. We could just include modern theology instead of nineteenth century theology and bring religion into science. Sorry, but belief in God does not rest with young earth creationism.

Pinker is not just using young Earth creationism to debunck all religion, even though that is a straw man argument. He's really making the same kind of answer that physicist Sean Carroll is making. He's saying “since we now have the capacity to learn everything (someday) we don't need to appeal to God to answer what we don't know thus he asserts that the only reason to believe is the God of the gaps argument). Carroll puts it a bit differently:

Modern cosmology attempts to come up with the most powerful and economical possible understanding of the universe that is consistent with observational data. It's certainly conceivable that the methods of science could lead us to a self-contained picture of the universe that doesn't involve God in any way.  If so, would we be correct to conclude that cosmology has undermined the reasons for believing in God, or at least a certain kind of reason?vii[7]

Of course this is the standard wrong assumption often made by those whose skepticism is scientifically based. Explaining nature is not the only reason to believe in God. Moreover, they are nowhere near explaining nature in it's entirety, the TS argument is the best answer to the questions posed by the transcendental signifiers. It's pretty clear that for Carroll, and those who share his outlook the signifier “science” replaces the signifier “God” in their metaphysical hierarchy. They still have a TS and that speaks to the all pervasive nature of the TS. I've discussed in the previous chapter how the best answer to questions of origin have to be philosophical. That is confirmed by Pinker when he argues philosophy as part of science. The TS argument is philosophical. Science is not the only form of knowledge. Carroll admits there is not as of yet a theory that explains it all. He admits, “We are trying to predict the future: will there ever be a time when a conventional scientific model provides a complete understanding of the origin of the universe?”[8] He asserts that most modern cosmologists already feel we know enough to write off God and that there are good enough reasons.In his 2005 article he says, as the title proclaims, “almost all cosmologists are atheists.”[9]

That may be true of cosmologists but I doubt it, and I have good reason to. First, I don't see any poll of physicists in the article. He only argues anecdotally by quoting a few people. If there was a poll it would be at least as old as 2005. A More extensive study from 2007 (two years after publication of Carroll's article) don't back up those findings. This study was done by Harvard professors who find the majority of science professors believe in God.[10] They present a bar graph that show about 35% professor's ar elite research universities believe in God with no doubt. About 27% believe but sometimes have doubts. About 38% are atheists. That actually means that 60% are not atheists. True that's not cosmologists but there is good reason to think the majority of cosmologists are not atheists. The most atheistic groups in the study were psychologists (61%), biologists (about 61%), and mechanical engineers (50%), not physicists (among whose ranks cosmologists number). [11] “Contrary to popular Opinion, atheists and agnostics do not comprise a majority of professors even at elite schools, but they are present in larger numbers than in other types of institutions.”[12] No group has “almost all” as atheist. Even if cosmologists are mostly atheists (not studied because they are a handful and highly specialized) it's still appeal to authority and could be based upon hubris. They do not have any empirical data at all to prove the universe could spring from nothing. I will will demonstrate the problems with this view much more clearly in the next chapter. Let's just remember the atheist position on this point is an appeal to faith.

[1] Paul Davies, Jackpot...op. Cit.,15.

[2]  Alan Chalmers, “Making sense of laws of physics,” Causation and Laws Of Nature, Dordrecht, Netherlands : Kluwer Academic Publishers, (Howard Sankey, ed.), 1999, 3-4.

[3]  Joseph Hinman, God, Science, and Ideology. Chapter 2.

[4]  Chalmers, op., cit.

[5]  Stephen Pinker, quoted on website, John Tempelton Foundation, “A Tempelton conversation, “Does Science Make Belief in God Obsolete?” The third in a series of conversations among leading scientists...Onlne resource, website. URL: accessed 9/4/15.
Tempelton bio for Pinker: Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Family Professor in the department of psychology at Harvard University. He is the author of seven books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, and most recently, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature.

[6]  Anthany Mills, "Why Does Neil deGrasse Tyson Hate Philosophy," Real Clear Science. (May 22, 2014) OnLine resource, URL: href=" accessed 10/7/15.
"In a controversial interview, Neil deGrasse Tyson dismissed philosophy as “distracting.” The host of the television series Cosmos even suggested that philosophy could inhibit scientific progress by encouraging “a little too much question asking.” He thus follows a growing secular trend that cordons Science off from all other forms of inquiry, denigrating whatever falls outside science’s purported boundaries – especially the more “speculative” pursuits such as philosophy."

[7] Sean Corroll, Does The Universe Need God?” on Sean Carroll's website, Perposterous, online resource, URL: accessed 9/4/2015
Carroll is an astrophysicist and a theoretical physicist, Moore Center for Theoretical Physics and Cosmology, California Institute of Technology. He's authored many books.

[8]  Ibid.

[9] Sean Carroll,"Why (Almost All) Cosmologists Are Atheists," Faith and Philosophy,22(2005) p. 622.

[10] Neil Gross and Solon Simmons, “How Religious Are America's College and University Professors.” SSRC, (published feb. 2007), PDF URL, accessed 9/4/15 The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the for the Sociology of Religion. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: sample was 1,417, representing over 300,000 professors.
Neil Gross is assistant professor of sociology at Harvard University. He works on classical and contemporary sociological theory, the sociology of culture, and the sociology of intellectuals. His first book, tentatively titled Richard Rorty's Pragmatism: The Social Origins of a Philosophy, 1931-1982, is forthcoming.

Solon Simmons is assistant professor of conflict analysis and sociology at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. His recent work has focused on values talk in congressional speeches, third party political candidates, industrial reorganization and the ongoing conservative critique of American higher education

[11]  Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Answering Sotnak's Argument on Moral Outrages Objectivity


, "Ethical Subjectivism and the Argument from Outrage." The Secular Outpost

 Makes an interesting point about the methods of argumet used to justify "objective ethics." [1] He deals with augments that have the following structure:

In arguing for the superiority of theistic ethics over secular ethics, apologists sometimes present some version of an argument like this:1. If theism is not true, then ethics is subjective.2. Ethics is not subjective.3. Therefore, theism is true.
This is the form o argument Craig often uses, Sotnak's argument is that it is emotion that moves the argument it doesn't establish a basis for moral good. The issue is usually that God gives us moral objectivity and yet this is being sold by the use of subjective emotive means rather than logic,

Note the examples that are given: Hitler’s genocidal policies, or torturing children for pleasure. In choosing these examples, the apologist is counting on the audience to feel powerful negative emotions in response to the examples. The suggestion that, say, stomping on kittens isn’t objectively wrong is just outrageous!
The irony, though, is that according to subjectivism, moral judgments are motivated not by reason, but by feeling. And the irony is that the apologetical strategy here only seems to be effective when the chosen examples can be expected to provoke strong negative feelings. Contrast the following two example arguments:
A1. If subjectivism is true, then stomping on kittens is not objectively wrong.
A2. But stomping on kittens is objectively wrong.
A3. Therefore, subjectivism is not true.
B1. If subjectivism is true, then gathering sticks on Sunday is not objectively wrong.
B2. But gathering sticks on Sunday is objectively wrong.
B3. Therefore, subjectivism is not true.

The point is interesting but the problem is the oral outrages used for emotional leverage by apologists and I think you are right that is not the ace card thy need to play. But they are not in themselves the grounding of ethical axioms. They merely point to a reality beyond them selves. The reason they outrages us is because they so antithetical to the nature of the good, which grounded in God's love, At some intuitive level we sense that the connivance and hater kin these examples is a violation of the ultimate nature of the good,
We need the regulatory concept because we cant use the intuitive as grounding it can only point to the grounding.
I you will recall the basis of my ethical view point is not objectivity. Even though I believe God is objective hes the only one who is. We can't be objective so must shoot for less subjective. So we need a regularity concept beyond ourselves.


He uses a certain concept about slavery as a further example.

Or how about:C1. If subjectivism is true, then buying slaves from foreigners is not objectively wrong.C2. But buying slaves from foreigners is objectively wrong.C3. Therefore, subjectivism is not true.These days, it is hard to find theists (even among Biblical literalists) who will disagree with C2, even though a straightforward reading of the Bible suggests that they should (Leviticus 25:44-46). Why? Isn’t it because they are motivated more strongly by their negative feelings about slavery than they are by speculation about some theistic basis for opposing slavery? Doesn’t subjectivism provide a better explanation for why opposition to slavery is much more common among contemporary theists than it was in America in the mid-1800’s?uf
The problem is he's not proving that theistic ethics is really based upon subjective premises but only that people don't worked up about abstractions, These issues like slavery are used because the users feel that the opponent will be less likely to disagree with the immorality of outrages. Like saying :if you mess around with objective moral values you will wind up justifying things you don't like. That may backfire because it has the effect of seeming to ground axioms kin the subjective. But if we understand that the emotive aspects are only pointers that bid us look at higher reasons the nvit;s not grounded imn those emotive matters.

We have to know what the secularist would turn to as grounding. I think the signpost nature of moral outrage indicates we need the regulatory concept and i doubt the secularist can find one as compelling as God.

From the commemnt section: these comments are telling in that they point up the cultural divide between theists and atheists.

One, we have no basis for saying these things are objectively wrong other than depending on the subjective declarations of God. To say a God's declarations are objective is to misunderstand what objective means. Objective can not depend on any thought or be dependent on anyone's decisions, even a Gods.

Meta: The problem here is you are treating God like he's just another guy, you can't put God in the category of other minds, that's like counting the speedometer a another entry in the race. Saying the referee won the boxing match. God is the basis of reality not just another thing reality. Moreover, God is universal mind, He knows things from each and every perspective, He doesn't just have one more perspective he has the the one true objective understanding, God knows what it is like to be us better than we do ourselves.

Furthermore, if it is based on what we feel is wrong we have no way of knowing if those feelings reflect a divinely inserted feeling of some natural feeling.

Yes we do. We have the Bible and that gives us a record of the man God became,me imn history, and we have scientific means of studying religious experience, See The Trace of God Rational Warrant for Belief by Joseph Hinman,m on amazon

I would say we would be less able to actually make beneficial and progressive moral decisions basing them on what we think we feel due to a God's ins crutable actions than with careful thought and reflection on the kinds of things that seem to augment the well-being of people and reduce unnecessary suffering.

Empirically disproved both in Bible and in the body of scientific work discussed in my book,.(Jesus died for sins of the world that set's up a pretty good example for moral behavior. So there are standards we can appeal to,

johzek Joe Hinman • 8 hours ago
If it were only a matter of God's understanding then we probably could accurately characterize this understanding as being objective if we felt the need to, after all he knows all the facts and the relationships between them. However, the relevant issue here pertaining to objectivism and ethics is not God's understanding or omniscience but his omnipotence. This being not only created the facts as they are but can change any of these facts at any time at his discretion or whim. This exposes the subjective nature of theism at its core.

No that's wrong, right and wrong is based upon arbitrary whim. God is not about might makes right. He has character and right is that which is in harmony with God's character ( love), it;s to stay thiat way, Having the power to change it does not mean he will because God is not shallow
btw omnipotance does not mean the ability to do all things it means all authority. Pantocrator, the Pan prefix means all or everything or everywhere. He has charge in all places,.

It seems to me that a better word to use in this context, that is, in the context of creating and controlling, would be the word "absolute". An absolute moral fact is a moral fact as long as God deems it to be a fact.
that's a good point

If as you say "God is a universal mind" and "God is the basis of reality" then a universal mind is the basis of reality. Everything that exists apart from this universal mind and all the facts relating to those things which can be changed at will owe their existence to this mind. This is SUBJECTIVISM.
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No it's the only true objectivity, Universal mind is not localized, God knows your point of view better than you do, he can see it all you see and feel it, He can weight all views equally.
btw I am not worried about being objective,my argument is not that ethics must be objective but that it must be grounded in the absolute, as you say, in unchaining truth always applicable in all cases.God's perfect love ios the only thing that does that.

[1] , "Ethical Subjectivism and the Argument from Outrage." The Secular Outpost

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Question of Being, Brute Fact or Deep Structures?


This came up for me on CARM once,when someone made an argument trying to show God is would have to create brute facts. Ohter atheists chimed in saying God w would be a brute fact.

The meaning of the controversy is the difference between Paul Tillich's view of God as being itself, and the atheist understanding that "the universe just is." Tillich said that if we know that being has depth that it's not just "surface only" then we can't be atheists (Shaking of the Foundations, chapter seven). The atheist understanding has long been their answer to arguments like the cosmological argument. When theists divide up mobes of being into necessary and contingent,the atheist merely says "well what if being just is, it has no meaning or reason for being its' just there?" Of course that's a possibility but it doesn't answer the question, and saying it doesn't make the depth we can see in being go away. What is meant by "depth" of being is that there more to being than just the surface fact of things existing. That's what the concept of "the universe just is" tries to convey, the idea of no reason, not no scientific cause necessarily although they do sometimes try to say that too. These are two totally diametrically opposed understandings. The atheist view says being just is, no reason, nothing to consider or worry about, it's just there for no reason, absurdity. The theists seems more to the nature of being than meets the eye from the surface level. There has to be more to it than just the fact of things existing.

The cosmological argument, for example has different versions, but in generally all CA's assert that there must be final cause to account for the existence of the whole of reality. The atheist's often counter this final cause with an infinite series of contingent causes such as the oscillating universe of big bangs and big crunches. This is called an ICR (infinite causal regression). The atheist asserts that the universe just happens to be for no reason and it's made up of a series of little universes that come in and go out of existence. The whole chain, contingent though it may be (some deny validity of the category "contingent") passes on existence to the next version in the form of a big crunch that then expands again in another big bang. Some argue that the crunch (contraction of gravitational forces) becomes a blck hole and "punches out" the other side as a new big bang. This is not the only mechanism for ICR. They also posit the notion of quantum tunneling and string membranes. The oscillating universe, however, is the most popular form of ICR becuase it's the only one with proven potential, even though the evidence disproves it (scroll down to (2) Cyclical Universe). As ICR for origin of the universe quantum tunneling invovles self causation where the singularity, or some original element or fragment of reality keeps tunneling back to cause itself at another point in time. This would involve being just having no logical origin but causing itself over and over eternally. String membrane in the sense of ICR is more or less the idea of a floating dimension just drifting along, bashing into another floating dimension and causing a third dimension. Since it posits the idea of a dimension just floating for no reason (2 actually) why bother with the mess? Why not say the universe needs no origin?

There's no absolute proof in any of this. If we want to get technical there's no actual proof that we are even living in a state of "reality." We assume the reality of the world, and thus our ability to study it and formulate hypothesis that "explain it" but if we want to start special pleading about explainations we don't like and just asserting the unproved nature of origins to hedge bets on those we do then we cant' be too picky when the other guy calls our bluff and says "now it's the skeptic's burden of proof." Why? Because presumption is on the side of explainations. Science assumes we need them. No one ever hears a scientist say "we don't need to explain that, let's forget it." The problem is atheists fool themselves. They demand science so much when they need to reach back to philosophy (Kant--the question about brute facts begins with Kant) it's reaching beyond science to philosohpy, which most atheists condemn anyway. There's a loss of credibility there. More importantly, they have already promised explainations then special plead and say "we don't need them in this area." Hey, for religious experiences we need them and they must be naturalistic!

The idea of "the universe just is," in philosophical terms is called a "brute fact." It means there is no reason it' just there. The problem with brute facts is that philosophers usually avoid them excusable they are meaningless, they are provoking and they beg the question. They are not satisfying. As stated, the explainable has been established as the proper procedure for dealing with unknowns, yet in this one reach of the metaphysical nature of being they are willing to just let it go. It's a true case of special pleading. The unsatisfying nature of the brute fact is set off against the basic intuitive sense of being meaning one finds in the question of existence. Meaning is part of the depth of being and we sense the depth of being in even asking the question "where did it all come from?" The issue seems like an arbitrary stand off, either there is a reason or not. Either there is meaning or not. We can't really tell why think there is when the only thing that we can be sure of is the blind random existence of what is? The scietnific evidence does suggest bind random accident and evolution.

The problem is the brute fact in terms of ICR or universal origin is just made up of contingent things. The states of bang and crunch that make up the oscillating universe, for example, consist of constituat parts such as space-time, gravitational field, and naturalistic things. Naturalistic things are contingent. To posit the whole totality of all universal meaning, eternal truth, the nature of all that is upon a meaningless happenstance that just happens to be, while everything else about existence requires explaining and implies something greater than itself (such as truth) creates a state of dissatisfaction. If we are disatisfied metpahyically we have the right to question that state. ICR and brute facts don't answer the questions we ask. The atheist is content to lose the phenomena and pretend there is no meaning and no answers but in so doing is no better off or no more intellectually justified than the faithful making excuses about "no one knows the mind of God." There is a deciding factor or two and they are a prori part of the basic fabric of the question. There's an aspect to the nature of the contingent happenstance that makes up the brute fact of existence that suggests depth of being in a greater sense.

The eternal and necessary nature being suggests the distinction between being as a brute fact and being as depth. The very mechanism the atheist seeks to ply aging final cause is the disproof of the brutish nature of fact. To explain this I must explain the difference in my CA and that of others. For example the Kalam argument is a version of the CA. This says anything that beings to exist needs a cause. That argument, therefore, turns upon the nature cause. Thus arguments about Kalam revolve around efficient cause in nature, and thus ICR (if allowed to stand) is a valid answer. ICR contains cause even though it means an endless series of meaningless cause the whole of which cannot be explained, our own particular universe has its cause then in the previous big crutch and it's blowing back out as a big bang. My version of the CA, however, the Argument from Cosmological Necessity doesn't turn upon causes but upon attributes of God. The argument turns upon demonstrating that the attributes that make up the God concept already exist and are known to us as aspects of reality, thus it's just a matter of understanding their relation to being we can see that they spell out something deep inherent meaning in being that disproves brute fact. After all if being has a deep inherent meaning it can't be a brute fact, that is a prori truth. The deciding factor is the eternal nature of being. There is another version of the argument that turns upon theeternal nature of being.

The reason it's not a moot stand off between the two concepts is because the ICR itself has to be eternal. the individual aspects of the regression that move from one universe to another are contingent and temporal, but the whole string in so far as it must stretch back eternally is both eternal and infinite. Both states evoke the sense of the numinous. That means it's a fit object of worship because anything that evokes the sense of the numinous is a fit object of worship since that state is the very reason religion exists in the firs place. That's what worship is, its the nature being moved by the sense that there is something profound and special in being. The atheist protest that "the universe just happens to be" is self negating becuase it's eternal and infinite nature suggest the quality of the numinous and are thus more in and of themselves than they perpetual to be. That in itself is depth of being. In seeking to posit the whole they actually must suggest something that triggers religious devotion and thus prove the depth nature of being.

Atheists logically should have to support the concept the universe moving from a state of absolute nothing. This is because the ICR just moves the problem back eternally but never really confronts the issue of origins anyway. Since the atheists affirm the idea of brute fact, meaningless accident, irrational existence, and so on they should actually just take their lumps in abandoning ratinoal explanations. This is not all there, however, the issue is not a done deal. We can't just leap from eternal being triggers the sense of the numinous to "therefore God is real." We have to deal with the other attitudes. Even though they all actually flow out of the eternal nature of being, necessity is the more independent one of the lot. The attrubites I emphasis are:

ground of being
first cause

I am also challenged by atheists constantly to include "consciousness" or "personal being." There is no necessity in theology to assume God is personal. Even though I do assume so that is not a priamry quality because other things are personal as well. I'm concerned with the qualitaties that make God God and that God can't share with anything else. Whatever is eternal is by definition necessary (at least ontologically so) because it's not dependent and can't cease to exist. Nothing else really is necessary in the sense that God is (totally, no nature as the effect of a prior cause), so these are primary qualities. If there is eternal necessary being then by definition it is the ground of being. That would only be logical to assume that it is the first cause since nothing else is on a par with it ti would be the best candidate to assume that all else has it's origin in that which is eternal and necessary.

That brings us to the issue of necessity. This is a very important issue because the whole about ICR includes a large part about necessity vs. contingency. That will be discussed on Monday.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Obama's Econmy: Helll in a Hand Basket? with 5.1% Unemployment?

Trump still trying to play champion of the common man wshinimng about how we are going to hel in a hand basket, it's a are the latest figure bureau of labor stats



Consumer Price Index

September 16, 2016
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.2 percent in August after being unchanged in July. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in August after increasing 0.1 percent in July. Full text: (HTML) (PDF)

Employment Cost Index

August 04, 2016
Compensation costs increased 0.6 percent for civilian workers, seasonally adjusted, from March 2016 to June 2016. Over the year, compensation rose 2.3 percent, wages and salaries are up 2.5 percent, and benefits rose 2.0 percent. Full text: (HTML) (PDF)

Employment Situation

September 02, 2016
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in August, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent. Employment continued to trend up in several service-providing industries. Full text: (HTML) (PDF)

Producer Price Index

September 15, 2016
The Producer Price Index for final demand was unchanged in August. Final demand prices declined 0.4 percent in July and rose 0.5 percent in June. In August, a 0.1-percent advance in the index for final demand services offset a 0.4-percent decrease in prices for final demand goods. Full text: (HTML) (PDF)

Productivity and Costs

September 01, 2016
Productivity decreased 0.6 percent in the nonfarm business sector in the second quarter of 2016; unit labor costs increased 4.3 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rates). In manufacturing, productivity decreased 0.4 percent and unit labor costs increased 6.7 percent. Full text: (HTML) (PDF)

Real Earnings

September 16, 2016
Real average hourly earnings decreased 0.1 percent in August, seasonally adjusted. Average hourly earnings increased 0.1 percent and the CPI-U increased 0.2 percent. Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.4 percent over the month. Full text: (HTML) (PDF)

U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes

September 14, 2016
U.S. import prices declined 0.2 percent in August, after ticking up 0.1 percent in July. The August downturn was driven by lower fuel prices. Prices for U.S. exports decreased 0.8 percent in August following a 0.2-percent increase in July. Full text: (HTML) (PDF)
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Data in archived news releases may have been revised in subsequent releases. The latest data, including any revisions, may be obtained from the databases accessible on the program homepages.



  • Employment Situation (HTML) (PDF)
  • Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation (HTML) (PDF)
  • Job Openings and Labor Turnover (HTML) (PDF)
  • Mass Layoffs (HTML) (PDF)
  • Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment (HTML) (PDF)
  • Real Earnings (HTML) (PDF)
  • Regional and State Employment and Unemployment (HTML) (PDF)
Below is an old post fro, Feb but it was not bad even then.

 photo prez_jobs_june2015_zps8n6wk4ez.png
from Daily Kos Site [1]

Trump has made the statement "The country is going to hell in a hand basket." Let's look at the figures? See those little red stumps on the upper graph? That's Bush's Job growth. One is negative. Obama's much better. It's not as good as Clinton's or even Reagan's (see the graph, Clinton blue) but Obama had a much worse economic crisis that he inherited.

From Fact 


Since President Barack Obama first took office:
  • The economy has added nearly 8.4 million jobs — more than six times the number gained under George W. Bush.
  • The number of job openings doubled, to a record 5.7 million.
  • Nearly 15 million fewer people lack health insurance coverage.
  • Corporate profits are at record levels; stock prices have more than doubled.
  • However, median household income was down 3 percent as of 2014, and the official poverty rate was 1.6 percentage points higher.
  • The rate of home ownership has dropped to the lowest point in nearly half a century.
  • The federal debt owed to the public has more than doubled — up 107 percent.[2]
The site lists unemployment ratevatv5.1%,  Job openings up 180%,  Business start ups +19%, business failimgs downm 27%

Even a conservative publication such as the Economist says that "the president's record is a lot better than the woes of America's economy suggests." The article points out that Obama faced the most grim economic conditions since 1933, After detailing failure in comic growth and housing market for most of Obama's two terms only picking up late in second term the articles finds all economic recoveries are slow. This a far cry from hell in a hand basket. Since the article is not lauding him as stupendous or berating him for causing every sill since the great depression, it's probably a fairly objective appraisal. [3]


all sources accessed 2/26/16
[1] Jon Perr, "Obama Has Created Six Times As Many Jobs As Bush," Daily Kos Blog, July 6, 2015,

[2] , "Obama's Numbers (October, 2015)," Fact check .org, Posted on October 6, 2015 , blog URL
Trump's statement was that same month.

[3]  Editor, "End of Term Report,"  The Economist, Sep 2012, online URL: