Regarding job growth and unemployment levels, the topic of those giving up altogether on working and thus removing themselves from the unemployment numbers comes up and generally fades away quickly again. How much impact does this really have? It seems like a lot. Since Obama took office, that number has expanded by over 8.3 million people, approaching 90 million total. Surely a good chunk of those are housewives and retirees, right? Apparently not, though I'll be honest I'm having a hard time figuring out how to get to that info on the BLS site
. But since unemployment figures have squeaked under 8% is that number a legitimate indicator of how well we're doing? If you look at a choking person and say, "Well, they don't appear to be twitching as much now," that doesn't mean they're better. Seems like it's nowhere near a complete picture.
In a nation of about 238 million adults (2011), we're saying not even 2 out of 3 adults are even trying
to find a job, much less actively working, about 38% giving up entirely. According the Census Bureau
fewer than 41.5 million people are 65 or older. While certainly not everyone over 65 chooses to not work, most do. So even if you refuse to count anyone over 65 as a productive member of society, that's still over 21% of adults not even bothering, about 45 to 50 million people who have removed themselves from the workforce by claiming to be discouraged, claiming family responsibilities, or whatever other reason, and none of them are counted in the unemployment numbers, and all of that is separate from the "underemployed" category.
I don't know, whether it's minting/printing more Monopoly money and plunging us further under the building tsunami of inflation or claiming the economy's really making significant improvements, it seems like we're putting on a smile for the camera more than fundamentally improving. I wonder when it's going to set in that a bleeding heart is a deadly condition, and once it finally stops beating it doesn't matter how hard you squeeze a turnip, it can't make up the difference. Hopefully it's after I've managed to buy some half way sustainable land somewhere.
Eric (the Deacon remix)
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922