Archive for the Unemployment Category

Unemployment Insurance = Welfare 2.0 (June 23, 2014)

Posted in Federal Reserve, Insurance, Journalism, Military, Newspapers, Pensions, Personal Story, Press/Media, Unemployment, War, Welfare, Work on June 23, 2014 by

. . .

E          “They are not coming back.”

U          “And they keep coming.”

. . .

E          “After the War, he moved the family westward from the homestead bequeathed to his older brother to a community with no friends and no connections and moved upward from one manufacturing job to another and then retired as a floor manager.  He put food on the table and kids through college.  He said that all the companies he worked for have gone out of business or moved overseas.  Most of the pension funds were dissipated or disappeared.”

U          “Those returning from the current wars are not finding opportunities.  Those who stayed have not found opportunities.”

E          “Years ago, some guys worked at a service station checking the tires and washing the windows and graduated to a mechanics job for life.  Now there is no service and far fewer mechanics positions.”

U          “Yesterday’s grease monkey with a G.E.D. is today’s barista with a B.A.”

. . .

E          “Many of the jobs are undertaken by a robot that may never craft an inspiring poem or participate in a parent-teacher conference, yet it produces a consistently high quality product very efficiently.”

U          “A company can use the robots to fine-tune the built-in obsolescence.  The product can be designed and manufactured to fail ten minutes after the limited warranty expires.  And robots are not the most efficient consumers of their own products.”

. . .

E          “The Federal Reserve is untethered by the Constitution, Congress or common sense except for a mandate in the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act to address unemployment in its decision-making.  The Fed has knowingly pursued decisions that do nothing to promote employment and do much to transfer wealth to the wealthy.”

U          “The Republicans respond with the obscene lie that a reduction in the capital gains rate will reduce unemployment.  The Press almost always gives them a pass.”

. . .

E          “Unemployment insurance originally covered thirteen weeks and then twenty-six weeks and then up to seventy-three weeks in many jurisdictions.  Some are calling for further extensions of unemployment insurance.”

U          “The insurance is becoming a tenuous version of ‘Welfare 2.0.’”

. . .

E          “What happens when thoughtful people realize that the jobs are never coming back.”

U          “The unemployed are categorized under the ‘U6 Unemployment’ category and forgotten.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Get a job


Rational Fear: Still “Unusually Uncertain” (November 8, 2010)

Posted in "L" Shaped Economy, Bailout/Bribe, Banks and Banking System, Bernanke, Depression, Federal Reserve, Greenspan, Kleptocracy, Technology, Unemployment, Volker with tags on November 8, 2010 by

. . .

K         “Think about it.  Some maintain the blind conviction that the business cycle is ordained by nature like the tides to rise after it falls.”

J          “Faith in nature.  This season is bad so that the next season will be good because that is the way it is.  Good luck.”

K         “Some desire to return to unrestrained personal consumption and unbridled economic growth.  Even if it is attainable at this time it is not sustainable over time.”

J          “Faith in unchecked consumption.  With oil peaking and a world population that has not peaked, the prospects are not promising.  America had its opportunity to consume.  Other countries, particularly China and India, now want and have earned their opportunity to consume.  If the oil holds out.  And if the coal does not kill us.”

K         “Some believe that new technology will be pulled out of the hat and pull us out of this mess.”

J          “Faith in technological salvation.  The technology sector likely will continue to grow but not enough to propel the entire economy.  The tech world is producing some sexy developments and neat gadgets.”

K         “I’ve always supported free trade when it is truly free.  Decades ago, I could see that globalization would shift massive numbers of American jobs overseas.  They said the solution is to train and retool the America workforce.  The workforce is not retrained and retooled and may not be retrainable and retoolable.  Not many commentators in academic economics or in the financial press have a clue.”

J          “It is one thing to listen to Greenspan and know that everything he says is wrong, yet who is getting it right.  Knowing which way not to go in a maze is not the same as knowing which way to go.  Volker has a clue, yet he is on the sidelines.”

K         “Bernanke* has a clue.  Now that monetary policy has effectively failed, he is enacting what is effectively fiscal policy.  Fiscal policy is the province of the legislature, the Congress.  But Congress is broken.  The Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act, an act of Congress, requires the Fed to promote full employment.  Perhaps he is actually trying to stimulate employment.”

J          “But there are no jobs, now or in the future.  Quantitative Easing II is nothing more and nothing less than TARP II implemented by the Fed rather than Congress.  The Fed’s purchase of bonds is nothing more and nothing less than a slick way to provide another bribe and bailout to Wall Street.”

K          “That is hard to dispute unless there are a few random hires here and there.  And he continues a tradition at the Fed of lying or at least deceiving the public.  He can do something.  He and the Fed regularly issue ‘Remarks’ and ‘Speeches’ on all manner of topics.  He should direct the Fed to issue a finding that a single bank with deposits and assets of more than 100 billion is a clear and present danger to the American economy and to the security and well-being of the Republic.  If a bank or other financial institution does not enter into an Enforcement Action with the Fed, close the resources of the Federal Reserve to the bank or financial institution.  In effect, require banks to downsize to manageable sizes.  They must be small enough to fail and to play well with others.”

J          “Won’t happen.  Our democracy is now a kleptocracy.”

K         “That won’t help employment, however.  But he could pull it off.  He can be bold.  He would have to play all his capital.  But for us citizens, however, the only things we have to fear are so many very real fears.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

The only things we have to fear are so many very real fears.

Don’t end the Fed, mend the Fed.

“And as things fell apart/Nobody paid much attention.”  “(Nothing But) Flowers” – Talking Heads

“This country’s hard on people, you can’t stop what’s coming.”  No Country for Old Men movie (2007)

The Economic Numbers Game (May 5, 2008)

Posted in Economics, Inflation, Unemployment on May 5, 2008 by

“The truth, though it would not exactly set Americans free, would at least open a window to wider economic and political understanding.  Readers should ask themselves how much angrier the electorate might be if the media, over the past five years, had been citing 8 percent unemployment (instead of 5 percent), 5 percent inflation (instead of 2 percent), and average annual growth in the 1 percent range (instead of the 3 – 4 percent range).

. . .

The real numbers, to most economically minded Americans, would be a face full of cold water.  Based on the criteria in place a quarter century ago, today’s U.S. unemployment rate is somewhere between 9 percent and 12 percent; the inflation rate is as high as 7 or even 10 percent; economic growth since the recession of 2001 has been mediocre, despite a huge surge in the wealth and incomes of the superrich, and we are falling back into recession.

If what we have been sold in recent years has been delusional “Pollyanna Creep,” what we really need today is a picture of our economy ex-distortion.  For what it would reveal is a nation in deep difficulty not just domestically but globally.”

Kevin Phillips

The CPI (Consumer Price Index), the benchmark for measuring inflation, underreports the actual prices for necessities such as food and energy.  [See the e-ssay dated July 16, 2007 entitled “Back Door Inflation.”]  The current CPI is “inflation sans inflation.”  The U-3 unemployment figures underreport unemployment, whereas the U-6 figures are more accurate.  The reporters should report the U-6 figures.

Perhaps the government should simply state and the media could mindlessly repeat that there is no inflation and are no unemployed citizens while the economy is growing ten percent every year.  How much less true would these statements be than the current statistics?

“Transparency” is the rage in many disciplines today.  Presenting accurate information and revising all the past information to conform to consistent and reliable benchmarks across time is a positive and long overdue start.

See by John Williams and navigate from there.

Bumper stickers of the week:

73 percent of all statistics are made up on the fly.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Government Statistics.

Disraeli was 100 percent right.

U-6 Not U-3 Unemployment Figures.

[Mildred Loving, one of the plaintiffs who challenged the miscegenation law in Virginia, died today.  See the e-ssay dated March 14, 2005 entitled “’Strict Construction’ Strictly Construed.”]