Monday, May 9, 2011

Oh Some've Been Waitin'

As Barack Obama (wearing helmet, shoulder pads, and protective cup) continues to tell everyone who'll listen that he's not the type to "spike the football," other stories are starting to creep timidly back into the news. Like the announcement that the unemployment rate (wait for it...) unexpectedly rose again last month to 9%.

It's something of a good news/bad news situation...because the economy actually added a fairly robust 244,000 jobs in the month, including several which did not involve flipping burgers at McDonald's.

But the unemployment rate went up anyway, because more people who had given up all hope
for the past two years decided to return to the job market for one more try. Those people come from the actual ranks of the unemployed and underemployed, which is currently 15.9%... a far higher and vastly truer number than the one the Obama administration likes to use.

Unfortunately, the lingering threats of Obamacare, looming inflation, and refusal to get serious about the debt are still keeping many potential employers from hiring.

And although the president claims to have a plan to make job conditions better, he steadfastly refuses to show proof. Perhaps he's afraid that it would upset the Muslims.


Longterm unemployment and daytime TV: a fate worse than debt.


Angry Hoosier Dad said...

Unemployment compensation, like any government dole, is a double-edged sword. It can help you survive for a time in a kind of holding pattern; static but not moving forward. But after a while the unemployment eats at your soul. You question your worth as a human being, let alone as a husband and father. You may not even notice the state of your own depression until you have hit bottom or been lifted out by re-employment. Then you can look behind you and see how far you had fallen and give thanks to God that you were lifted up. The answer is a growing economy, creating a "sellers market" for employees. Obama's answer is more government. How's that hope and change working out for you? For me it sucks and I want that rat bastard gone.

Jim Hlavac said...

You would think that all of Obama's rich buddies who complain they're not paying enough in taxes would have set up the "magic pill energy company" or something, and hired a slew of people to do some research, and perhaps some more to manufacture the pill, and distribute it. All with their own money, too. Why, there's a whole economy there, no? In fact, why haven't any of these people set up any sort of company whatsoever to hire people to do something? Sort of noblesse oblige that they think we all owe everyone. How many people could Warren Buffett hire with his $40 billion or whatever he has? I don't know, but I think with just $20 billion he could hire tens of thousands to go around with paint and hammer and do a little home repair for free for all the little old ladies on social security.

Andrew Carnegie built 1500 libraries across America -- what have any of these people done? Oh yah, Oprah opened a school in South Africa. For her people. No doubt. Meanwhile, Detroit (not you Pete) is apparently 1/2 functionally illiterate.

But if these people are so sure redistribution of people's wealth for community good is so peachy, well, distribute away ladies & gentlemen. The people await your largesse with your own money.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Angry Hoosier Dad & Jim Hlavac- Both of you have identified what I feel is the biggest problem associated with our unemployment rate: not the lack of revenue, but the destruction to the human spirit that comes from lack of work.

No amount of wealth redistribution can give people a sense of worth or fact, it can do just the opposite.

That's why seeing a number like 15.9% true unemployment should strike fear in all of our hearts: that's the sort of number that speaks of a declining society, and the erosion of our national character and work ethic.

The government cannot create jobs, but they can remove the shackles from the job creators in the private sector.

John the Econ said...

Unfortunately Stilton, wealth redistribution can not buy people self-esteem. But it sure does buy a heck of a lot of dependent voters. And at the end of the day, that's all that counts in a "democracy".

Last week's unemployment news was a revealing litmus test for our media. You could very accurately identify their bias depending on how they reported the news; either it was "Yea, a quarter-million jobs" or "Yuck, back up to 9%". Never mind that a fair chunk of those new jobs were of the "burger flipper" variety that the media used to denigrate as worthless and demeaning only a few years ago.

Chuck said...

I have to disagree. I think Obama IS serious about the debt: he wants more of it ... seriously.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- If only the creation of "dependent voters" was a side-effect instead of the actual goal of politicians.

But instead of deriving dignity and self-worth from work, people are trained to feel like victims and encouraged to exact revenge at the polls as a form of class warfare.

And all the while, the borders are kept wide open to assure that there will be no entry-level jobs available to Americans who would seek them, and unions are artificially propped up to assure that American workers cannot compete with lower-priced labor overseas.

It's a nightmare.

Pete(Detroit) said...

Stilt (one up) - Spot ON - but then, that's why we're here
Jim, I "flipped burgers" for years, approx 10 of them... worked my way up from 'grill cook' to 'fry guy' to 'drive through' to management - it ALL sucked. It also paid the bills, fed me, and (eventually) motivated me to move on - but it's good to know that I have skills that can pay the bills (for just me, a single guy w/ no dependents) and feed me too...
Jim, thx for the 'shout out disclaimer' - but I don't actually LIVE *in* Detroit - I'm actually about a mile from the mosque that Terry Jones wanted to protest at - but "Detroit" is a place people "know of" and can place - as opposed to "Dearborn" which 'used' to be kind of low profile... and yes, the literacy rate "in the City" is utterly appalling...
Stilt - "destruction of human spirit"
No Sh*t.. I was laid off early in 2001, things looked to be about turning around when 9/11 hit... spent a year w/o a paycheck (no 'extensions' at THAT time) was grim...
Now, I hear of folks (mostly younger) getting 'unenJOYment' and basically taking a 2 yr vacation at Federal >koff< expense.
Who the hell is PAYING for this?
Oh, yeah, WE are.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Pete(Detroit)- I hear you on the entry level jobs. I've been behind the counter at a bakery, been a pizza cook (where I met the lovely waitress who is now Mrs. Jarlsberg), and waited tables. I've driven a forklift and worked on a UAW assembly line. Not because I wanted to do any of those things, but so I could pay the bills while sneaking up - oh, so slowly - on more professional positions (which eventually happened).

No matter what the job, I always tried to do it to the best of my ability...and I could take pride in even the humble jobs when I did them well.

Now, it seems all the "entry level" jobs where I live belong to people who barely speak English. And I don't begrudge the fact that they're working, but I resent like hell the idiotic governmental policies which have crippled the American work ethic, the "jobs ladder," and even the educational system that should be preparing our children for the workforce.

Jim said...

Doesn't this make everything else right? I mean just because he has lied habitualy, destroyed the economy, doubled the defeceit, kept unemployment at 22% (U6 numbers), paid off his supporters with the fake stimulus money, attempted to take over healthcare with fake reform, made a personal mandate to get gas prices above $5.00 a gallon: doesn't the fact that he took the intel recieved from the CIA that they obtained by waterboarding GITMO detainees, and the plans the CIA and SEALs worked out and after waiting until his approval rating was in the dump to make the call tha tany other president in history would have made six months ago... doesn't this mean he is a brave strong leader now?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Jim- By George, you've got it!