Sunday, April 04, 2010


16.9% Unemployment Is Here

Real unemployment in the U.S. stands at 16.9% The Machiavellian at The Virtuous Republic points out. How does The Machiavellian come to such an outrageous number when the official unemployment rate is 9.7%, higher than Obama predicted it would go but much lower than 16.9%? Surprisingly he uses the number of people who are not working but are not currently working, plus those working part-time for economic reasons (i.e. "those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.")

I'm sure that some lefties will want to argue that those working part-time for economic reasons shouldn't be counted as "unemployed." By the strictest definition that would be true, but we know that the lefties aren't interested in following the definitions. They're interested in making themselves look good. If you want to count college educated persons working part-time at grocery stores and fast food joints as employed, the unemployment still stands at an incredibly high 11.1%.

The chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Just the other day, Obama was claiming, "But today is an encouraging day. We learned that the economy actually produced a substantial number of jobs instead of losing a substantial number of jobs.

Funny, the numbers from the BLS don't look any better.

I've heard pleny of people complaining about underemployment for a long, long time. They were generally the folks who questioned the sustainability of massive suburban development; lament the rise of corporate service culture over manufacturing; or who questioned the wisdom of free-trade agreements with nations who had less robust environmental, labor and human rights laws.

They were "righties" and "lefties" that populated that group, even though they hardly ever spoke to one another about such concerns, and even more rarely realized how often they agreed on matters of policy outcomes if not reasonings.

They would often break down BLS numbers to prove their points.

Very few of these individuals occupied a job that depended on re-election.
I'm sure that some lefties will want to argue that those working part-time for economic reasons shouldn't be counted as "unemployed."

I've seen plenty of lefties, both hard-core and soft-core, who vigorously demand that part-timers who want full-time work should be counted as unemployed or (their new term) "underemployed." I haven't myself seen any lefties renounce that ploy even though their messiah with his congressional cronies holds power. Rather, I expect that true-believer lefties would keep pushing this part-time equals unemployed line in order to create the appearance of a fierce moral urgency for change (you've heard that phrase before, no doubt).

For true-believer leftists, more is never enough. Were America to have 100% full-time employment, leftists would insist that someone working for a smaller wage than desired is in some sense "unemployed." This "unemployment" would, according to leftists, require a massive State intervention...
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