Change

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Turning Over New Leaf

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pants on Fire

pants


Regardless of the political rhetoric, the USA is experiencing a long-term unemployment crisis. The average unemployed American has now been out of work for a longer period than at any time since records began being kept more than 60 years ago.

There is a simple reality that is intentionally overlooked, but it cannot fool informed Americans. In 2006, the absolutely horrible numbers revealed that 26 million Americans were on food stamps. Today, the number has risen to 48 million. Yet, the government tells us the unemployment rate has vastly improved. Not so.

Unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed individuals by the number of people in the labor force. For example, if the labor force consists of 100 million people, and 10 million of those people are seeking jobs but remain unemployed, the unemployment rate would be 10%. But here lies the problem. If millions of people lose their jobs and do not file for unemployment benefits, the government still counts them as part of the employed labor force and does not add them to the unemployment rolls, so as not to alter the unemployment rate. Now, with Obamacare kicking in, employers are cutting employee hours so they don’t have to pay medical insurance. The government, however, still counts the newly created part-time jobs as employment.

I guess the plan is simple:  Give everyone in America a part time job, and no one will be unemployed. Yet, somehow settling for food stamps to supplement a part-time job filling buckets with fried chicken parts does not sound like a great plan for the future.

10 comments:

  1. Not fooled by the 'new math' around here either...
    Every time I hear these numbers I think about how if we had just decided to seek a different job in a different state (-my husband is currently employed at a great company, just not where we would really like to be living) back before 2008, it probably would not have taken more than a year to make the change. Now that we have been trying diligently since the Fall of 2010 and have gotten nowhere, I cannot imagine what it would feel like to do this if we were without any job at all.
    I see a lot of permanent changes being made to our society because of the effects of all this permanent unemployment. Lots of people seem just down and out and have nothing to look forward to; no hope for the future. Also, many are figuring out that relying on the government for a pittance of a living is easier than trying to get one yourself. It makes me sad and frustrated that so many are giving up on the American dream of achieving whatever you want with hard work and ingenuity, without really understanding what they are giving up.

    I have even noticed that I am becoming more of a tightwad than ever myself. I don't spend on fun experiences much anymore. I've realized how much I used to go to festivals and such and haven't done much of that in years now. I think I have become afraid to let go of cash because I don't trust anything anymore and yet I know that attitude can't be good for the economy. It's that old adage of 'if everybody did'. There's so many things that don't work if everybody does the same thing- be it hoarding cash or living on the government dole. We as humans are meant to be diverse in every way.

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    1. Jasmine: My wife tells me I have changed my personality since this administration took control. I have been dissatisfied with political leaders in the past, but I have never before witnessed the decline of the country I love. I would respect our current leaders more if they just admitted they were socialists who wanted to change our system of government.

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  2. Population growth has something to do with this--lots of people, not so many jobs. College degrees have lost their status which will affect the importance of a higher education. It's a cesspool filled with flotsam and jetsam. So many factors are involved.

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    1. Linda: I don't disagree. I just hate the rhetoric, instead of the statistics.

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  3. I agree, JJ, it is a problem. The stats do not accurately reflect what is happening. However, if people knew the REAL stats, the discontent would rise considerably... possibly to the point that people woke up and insisted on some Real Change.

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  4. Population growth used to mean greater demand for stuff that needed more employees to produce. I do not put all the blame on the current administration, but they have some nerve claiming credit for numbers that are crap. Employment does seem to be finally picking up but slower than during any recovery I can remember.

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    1. joeh: I definitely agree. What gets my goat is when any administration or politician from either party thinks of us as votes, instead of Americans. Just don't lie. We put them in office, and we know they are human, but they should come clean for the benefit of the nation.

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  5. That's why Obamacare was a bad idea. No one is going to pay the fine. Actually, it's cheaper to pay the fine than to pay for insurance. Sad, huh?

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