Politics: Who's Out of Work?
Published by: Rodney Conover on Tuesday July 10th, 2012
I read an interesting statistic today about unemployment and that was in addition to the 8.2% unemployed, if you add in "discouraged" workers and people who have given up looking, the unemployment rate is around 18%. What? Why wouldn't you count people who are discouraged? The bigger question is, why would the Obama Administration not count all people out of work?
That's like asking what the interest rate is on your mortgage and your banker says, "It's only 4%, because another 5% on top of that would only be discouraging; so it's not 9%. Yes, we know the other 5% is still interest, but we don't count it if it's discouraged.
Why aren't the people who dream this up in some sort of institution? Wait - they are - the Federal Government is an institution, I forgot. Well, as far as explaining the 15% unemployment rate, I'll leave it to my friend, the great director, Barry Levinson, who hasn't given up:
COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.
ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It's 8.2%.
COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?
ABBOTT: No, that's 18%
COSTELLO: You just said 8.2%.
ABBOTT: 8.2% Unemployed.
COSTELLO: Right 8.2% out of work.
ABBOTT: No, that's 18%.
COSTELLO: Okay, so it's 18% unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, that's 8.2%...
COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 8.2% or 18%?
ABBOTT: 8.2% are unemployed. 18% 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 who?
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 8.2%. Otherwise it would be 18%. You don't want to read about 18% unemployment do ya?
COSTELLO: That would be frightening.
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?
COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?
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 a Democrat.
COSTELLO: I don't even know what the heck I just said!