Who's on unemployment?

Who's on unemployment?
Unemployment as reported is at 9 percent. But it's actually more than 16
percent. Some smart statistician came up with a distinction. A slight of
hand to make the unemployment number tolerable rather than frightening. The
concept was simple: 9 percent are unemployed and are actively looking for
work. The 16 percent includes those who gave up and are no longer actively
looking for work. So those casualties are no longer counted. They cease to
exist. The 9 percent is a fake. A sham. And worthy of an Abbott & Costello
routine. If that great comedy team were still alive, the routine on our
unemployment woes might go something like this.
COSTELLO
I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.
ABBOTT
Good Subject. Terrible Times. It's 9%.
COSTELLO
That many people are out of work?
ABBOTT
No, that's 16%.
COSTELLO
You just said 9%.
ABBOTT
9% Unemployed.
COSTELLO
Right 9% out of work.
ABBOTT
No, that's 16%.
COSTELLO
Okay, so it's 16% unemployed.
ABBOTT
No, that's 9%...
COSTELLO
WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 9% or 16%?
ABBOTT
9% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.
COSTELLO
IF you are out of work you are unemployed?
ABBOTT
No, you can't count the "Out of Work" as the unemployed. You have to look
for work to be unemployed.
COSTELLO
BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!
ABBOTT
No, you miss my point.
COSTELLO
What point?
ABBOTT
Someone who doesn't look for work, can't be counted with those who look for
work. It wouldn't be fair.
COSTELLO
To who?
ABBOTT
The unemployed.
COSTELLO
But they are ALL out of work.
ABBOTT
No, the unemployed are actively looking for work... Those who are out of
work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer
in the ranks of the unemployed.
COSTELLO
So if you're off the unemployment roles, that would count as less
unemployment?
ABBOTT
Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!
COSTELLO
The unemployment just goes down because you don't look for work?
ABBOTT
Absolutely it goes down. That's how you get to 9%. Otherwise it would be
16%. You don't want to read about 16% unemployment do ya?
COSTELLO
That would be frightening.
ABBOTT
Absolutely.
COSTELLO
Wait, I got a question for you. That means they're two ways to bring down
the unemployment number?
ABBOTT
Two ways is correct.
COSTELLO
Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?
ABBOTT
Correct.
COSTELLO
And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?
ABBOTT
Bingo.
COSTELLO
So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two
is to just stop looking for work.
ABBOTT
Now you're thinking like an economist.
COSTELLO
I don't even know what the hell I just said!
ABBOTT & COSTELLO did a comedy routine about fictitious ball players called
"Who's On First?" The absurdist number of the real unemployed is not a joke.
Reply to
Ray Keller
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Unemployment by educational attainment:
Less than a high school diploma 13.8% HS Graduate no college 8.7% Some college or associates degree 7.7% Bachelor's degree or higher 4.1%
(Table A-4)
Dummies stay out of work whether they are counted in U-1 or in the number that makes headlines, U-3. Then of course you don't disclose that you may be talking about U-6.
Or perhaps you don't have clue and simply repeat the Republican propaganda you've been fed.
Reply to
Sid9
Double those figures. Theres a slew of unemployed they dont count. They dont count welfare recepients. Those that used up their unemployment. Those that have been out of work for two years. illegals, anyone unemployed before the economy dumped. And many many more.
Total umemployment is about 20% .
Reply to
DogDiesel
I can believe that unemployment is way up. Business can't afford to take risks or hire, since no one knows the impact of that Obama health care that's being forced on us. Forced on us by the dead guys in Chicago who voted it in.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus
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.
Double those figures. Theres a slew of unemployed they dont count. They dont count welfare recepients. Those that used up their unemployment. Those that have been out of work for two years. illegals, anyone unemployed before the economy dumped. And many many more.
Total umemployment is about 20% .
Reply to
Stormin Mormon
Those who don?t want jobs are not counted as un employed.
go here and learn how it works:
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Reply to
Sid9
We know how it fucking works. Welfare whores and illegals aren't counted. Unemployment's over 20% and the working man cant pay for it.
Obama added 3.9 trillion more debt last year.
The fact is the federal government created unemployment. And it sure as shit don't give a fuck about it , spending or inflation. Or devaluing the currency which makes it worse.
Reply to
DogDiesel
I did as Sid suggested. For the last year, employment is static, but there are 2.5 million more people not working.
Who's dumber than dirt?
Reply to
Frank
Unemployment is not over 20% unless you are measuring your brain's activity. Any debt added belongs to St Reagan and bush,jr. Clinton handed bush,jr a clean set of books. Republicans fucked it up. Our currency has not been devaluated. The dollar remains strong no matter the wishes of RRR lunatics.
Republicans continue the fight to have more Americans unemployed with more spending cuts. Example: Laying off teachers increases unemployment and reduced vital services.
Speaking vital services, you might want to go out and get some education
Reply to
Sid9
Hmmm... Seems to me that it that the Republicans in the Congress were a major part of that by not passing excessive spending legislation...or can you point out where Clinton vetoed large amounts of such legislation?
Further it seems to me that Bush was running a fairly small deficit until the Democrats took over Congress then it ballooned out of sight, and once Obama came in it only got worse.
So maybe you should take off your partisan blinders and look at the whole picture?
Reply to
Scout
As for Clintons budget surplus..there simply wasnt one. His PROJECTED budget surplus was based on PROJECTED revenues..and then the DotCom bubble exploded.
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No surplus of any kind.
Gunner
One could not be a successful Leftwinger without realizing that, in contrast to the popular conception supported by newspapers and mothers of Leftwingers, a goodly number of Leftwingers are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid. Gunner Asch
Reply to
Gunner Asch
His surplus was the difference between "budgeted/appropriated" and actual expenditures.
There was a $300 Billion that was Budgeted---but not spend that carried over to Dumbya.
The GOP congress and Bush's policy immediately wiped it all out---and then went $1 trillion defict spending
Add to that the nearly $6 Trillion in unfunded mandates and unfunded war---and ya got massive debt/deficit that Obama inherited.
Money being spent today---is directly applied to fixing the mess your idiot caused.
Greenspan -- Flawed Ideology, Deregulation Cause of Collapse, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Only a Factor
.Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, long considered the icon of Free Market capitalism, testified yesterday before the House Oversight Committee on the causes of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Committee members, led by chairman Henry Waxman asked the 82 year old Greenspan a series of tough questions in an attempt to isolate "regulatory mistakes and misjudgments" leading up to the collapse. The result was a number of era-defining statements by Greenspan revealing the flaws of absolutist Free-Market capitalism and irresponsible deregulation of the financial system.
Flawed Ideology Enables Systemic Failure
Greenspan noted that he had made a mistake in believing that banks would be rationally compelled, through self-interest, to protect their institutions and shareholders. This belief is a key foundation of free-market capitalist ideology -- that individuals will act rationally to pursue their own self interest and that financial institutions would magnify this rational thought to result in long-term economic growth and increasing general prosperity. What ended up happening, instead, is that both individuals and institutions ignored severe risk in order to pursue massive short-term gains. In this sense, rational self interest rapidly turned into irrational greed. While a few individuals who had gained access and control of key institutions were enriching themselves, the rest of the economic system was isolated, neglected, and suffered increasingly severe strains and failures. Furthermore, private-backed predatory lending exploited the vehicle of sub-prime mortgages and rapidly toxified a massive segment of the international financial system. Greenspan described these failures as resulting from "a flaw in the model... that defines how the world works."
In particular, Greenspan noted that the loophole permitting credit default swaps when combined with the internationalization of the mortgage market set the stage for a world-wide disaster. In short, this allowed banks to bundle questionable assets and then shift their liabilities to almost any entity, even investors overseas. Greenspan noted that the boom in sub-prime lending occurred, primarily, due to a massive demand for investment opportunities within the global economy. This demand created an opportunity for lenders to provide mortages, even to borrowers with very weak credit. It also provided impetus for often misleading adjustable rate mortgages, which Greenspan himself advocated, and which resulted in a majority of the initial housing foreclosures.
All of these practices were enabled by the removal of key regulations that left both banks and consumers vulnerable. Greenspan noted that "As much as I would prefer it otherwise, in this financial environment I see no choice but to require that all securitizers retain a meaningful part of the securities they issue." In short, this means that banks must hold more assets in order to hedge against lending risks. Where as before banks could leverage twenty, thirty, or even fifty to one (loaning out up to fifty times the assets they hold in accounts), now they would be required to substantially 'deleverage' only loaning out what banks could reasonably cover at a loss.
What is, however, most tragic, is that Greenspan appears to be honestly shaken by the failure of markets to behave as he believed they would. Greenspan noted he was shocked by the widespread failure of banking officials to protect shareholders from bad loan decisions. "A critical pillar to market competition and free markets did break down," Greenspan stated, "I still do not fully understand why it happened."
In particular, Greenspan noted that the loophole permitting credit default swaps when combined with the internationalization of the mortgage market set the stage for a world-wide disaster. In short, this allowed banks to bundle questionable assets and then shift their liabilities to almost any entity, even investors overseas. Greenspan noted that the boom in sub-prime lending occurred, primarily, due to a massive demand for investment opportunities within the global economy. This demand created an opportunity for lenders to provide mortages, even to borrowers with very weak credit. It also provided impetus for often misleading adjustable rate mortgages, which Greenspan himself advocated, and which resulted in a majority of the initial housing foreclosures.
All of these practices were enabled by the removal of key regulations that left both banks and consumers vulnerable. Greenspan noted that "As much as I would prefer it otherwise, in this financial environment I see no choice but to require that all securitizers retain a meaningful part of the securities they issue." In short, this means that banks must hold more assets in order to hedge against lending risks. Where as before banks could leverage twenty, thirty, or even fifty to one (loaning out up to fifty times the assets they hold in accounts), now they would be required to substantially 'deleverage' only loaning out what banks could reasonably cover at a loss.
What is, however, most tragic, is that Greenspan appears to be honestly shaken by the failure of markets to behave as he believed they would. Greenspan noted he was shocked by the widespread failure of banking officials to protect shareholders from bad loan decisions. "A critical pillar to market competition and free markets did break down," Greenspan stated, "I still do not fully understand why it happened."
Perhaps the most critical finding of the House commission, however, was that Greenspan and his fellow panelists Chris Cox (SEC Chairman), and former Treasury Secretary Jonathan Snow all agreed that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not the root cause of the financial crisis, but only a factor in how events played out. Furthermore, facts weighed heavily against republican-spread misinformation claiming Fannie and Freddie caused the meltdown. Included among these facts are that the majority of sub-prime loans were originated by institutions other than Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and that by the time the crisis was realized only 13 percent of all sub-prime loans were owned by Fannie and Freddie.
According to Center for American Progress Senior Fellows Michael S. Barr and Gene Sperling, Freddie and Fannie didn't become involved in securitizing subprime mortgages in substantial numbers until 2005 --"The sub-prime boom was led by investment banks and mortgage brokers, not by government-sponsored enterprises. Fannie and Freddie became unhinged in the middle of this decade when they tried to play catch-up." In addition, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remained compelled by law not to participate in the kind of predatory lending that severely impacted the housing market. This kind of lending occurred through private firms that, essentially, took advantage of lower income borrowers.
The deregulation allowing sub-prime loans to exist resulted in one of the largest predatory lending sprees in the history of this country. According to findings of the Federal Reserve Board the "turmoil in financial markets clearly was triggered by a dramatic weakening of underwriting standards for U.S. sub-prime mortgages, beginning in late 2004 and extending into 2007." The result was that more than 80 percent of sub-prime mortgages and all predatory mortgages were issued by private lending institutions and these loans were at the very epicenter of the housing collapse.
Once unfair loans began to go south, predatory lenders did their best to shift liabilities into the hands of investors. To do this, they exploited an erosion in Depression era regulations enabled by John McCain's chief economic advisor Phil Gramm. The legislation Gramm authored -- The Commodity Futures Modernization Act -- allowed for the unregulated swapping of debts from one lender to another. So almost as rapidly as the bad debt was produced it was pushed on to other holders, quickly infecting the entire financial system. According to Michael Greenberger, former director of the CFTC's division of trading and markets, unregulated swaps were at "the heart of the sub-prime meltdown. I happen to think Gramm did not know what he was doing. I don't think a member in Congress had read the 262-page bill or had thought of the cataclysm it One Hundred Year Tsunami or Unleashing the Monster?
This irresponsible deregulation and an almost blind faith in free markets, therefore, enabled the worst financial disaster in more than seventy years. Greenspan himself referred to the disaster as an economic 'tsunami' of the kind that only occur once every hundred years. But to label the disaster a tsunami is to dehumanize its causes which are both very real and very quantifiable. Greenspan's attempt to shift the disaster into the realm of a force of nature is either naive or misleading. For the root causes of the disaster was, essentially, an economic system designed out of a blind faith in the ability of financial markets to responsibly self-regulate. An apt metaphor, therefore, is that we have once again let the monster of human greed run rampant through the world's financial systems. The result is a godzilla-like swath of devastation. And the disaster won't stop until we once again contain and chain the monster.
In short, we can't use more of the failed economic policies that caused the disaster in the first place to get us out of it and we must, if we are to have any hope of re-establishing integrity, curtail the ability of individuals and institutions to create environments that foster economic weakness and then prey upon it.
Sources:
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Reply to
Yoorghis
It's been a while since I dug into that, but I don't think that was the issue. The difference concerned the accrued debt that was reflected in the SS trust fund.
As the Treasury Dept.'s website says (and it said it while Bush was in office, as well), the meaningful measure of "national debt" is actual expenditures versus actual revenues. The SS trust fund neither increases nor decreases the "national debt" (which, BTW, has no official, universal definition) in any real way. The future debt is statutory; the special trust fund bonds are an accounting device to keep track of how much is taken in versus how much goes out. Without it, the accounting would be a mess.
But a SS bond placed in the trust fund does not determine what will be paid out. That's a statutory issue, decided by Congress. The actual revenue from SS taxes goes into the general fund. That's really the only practical place to put it.
So, using the Treasury's preferred measure, we ran slight surpluses at the end of Clinton's term. This has been explained to Gunner two or three times. He just ignores it, with no response except to cut-and-paste comments from writers he doesn't really understand. As is often the case, he finds the facts inconvenient to his ideology.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Words that should be etched on Gunners gravestone.
Reply to
rangerssuck
That opportunity will occur sooner rather than later. gummer is 58 years old and has already had coronary bypass surgery and a stroke. He still smokes, and generally engages in unhealthful living. He's not long for this world.
Reply to
Randal Scripter
Let me amend that. That description is for *current deficit*. The addition to or subtraction from the debt is what is left over, or what was borrowed, as a result of that deficit, whether it was positive or negative.
But the point is that special bonds for SS don't add to or subtract from what will be paid. What will be paid is what Congress says will be paid, assuming the money is available for it.
Reply to
Ed Huntress

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