John Galt

'You have destroyed all that which you held to be evil and achieved all that which you held to be good. Why, then, do you shrink in horror from the sight of the world around you?' -- John Galt --

Saturday, October 06, 2012

They're Not Unemployed. They're Just Out Of Work.

This seems to be a good time to bring the comedic duo Abbott and Costello into the controversy that today surrounds the federal government's announcement released yesterday regarding the nation's unemployment rate:
Abbott and Costello on unemployment

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 whom?

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 rolls, 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 there are 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 I just said!

ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like a politician.
Here's a fact. The percentage of Americans working today ("the employment rate") is much smaller than it was when The Great One (who's "number one job" was to get everyone back to work) came into office.

See "You don't need a conspiracy to know the job market is still lousy." And be saddened for your country.

See "1,035,000: Construction Jobs Lost Under Obama." And wonder if they'll ever return.

See "Jobs Report Reveals Despite Falling Unemployment, Millions Still Stuck With Part-Time Hours." And cry.