Tuesday, September 21, 2010

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Politicizing the Numbers

commentary by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

For some time it’s been apparent that the (mainstream) US news media has moved from a semblance of objectivity to blatant bias.  As reporters and editors are writing into their articles that they “don’t understand why people have turned on the Obama administration”, it’s unclear if this bias is intentional support for the administration or an actual worldview that really doesn’t understand why so many American’s don’t want to “keep the change” that has left them out of work with increased health care insurance costs after they lost their home.

What grows more concerning is the blatant politicization of government operations.  While it’s expected the administration will focus the bureaucracy towards it’s goals and programs, situations such as the justice department dropping of the Black Panther Voter Intimidation case show a disturbing trend not seen in the United States since the Nixon years.

Today we find the same happening in statistics.  Just in time for the November election we’re informed by the National Bureau of Economic Research that “the Great Recession ended in June 2009”.  “

The NBER acknowledged the risk of a double-dip recession, but said "the committee decided that any future downturn of the economy would be a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in December 2007.

The NBER said it did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, it decided that June was when the economy hit bottom, and that it has been slowly but steadily growing since then.

The question this august institution apparently ignored is what is growth?  If the economy “isn’t getting any worse” but is getting better at a pace below which new young people enter the job market…then it’s getting worse!  Meaning, if the U.S. needs 500,000 open jobs every year to absorb young people entering the job market plus immigrants plus citizens, but it’s only creating 100,000 jobs a year…then 400,000 ADDITIONAL people are unemployed every year!  And that’s getting worse!

Technical explanation:  If the country had zero population growth for 3 generations then as each older person left the work force they’d open up one job for a young person just entering the work force.  [Not the same job, people would be promoted into the more senior positions opening the junior ones for the new workers.]  But with a small percentage population growth plus immigration, more new workers enter the workforce every year than older people leaving the workforce.  Therefore to stay at a steady level of unemployment a certain number of NEW jobs must be created every year.

So if GROWTH is below the minimum level needed to absorb new workers, then the unemployment rate grows and the government must support more out of work people.  And growth has stayed below that minimum level.

But it gets worse!  The millions of people who lost their jobs due to the recession, and the millions who are officially under-employed (days cut from their schedule, working a cash register in a grocery store instead of being an office manager) are similarly also stuck.  Because job growth has to PASS the minimum level to create new positions to allow the unemployed and under-employed to return.

And worst of all, in current conditions the experienced unemployed and under-employed are competing for any decent position, including new junior ones that would normally go to fresh-out-of-college graduates.  Leaving the graduates delivering pizzas instead of starting their careers.

As Israel’s economy is growing, the equation for aliyah is shifting fast.

3 comments:

RAM said...

Ending this recession is sort of like killing Rasputin,; they never quite finish the job. At least in Rasputin's case they wanted him gone. Obama & Co. may want to expand and extend our misery so they can implement more socialistic measures.

Crazy Smade said...

Welcome to globalism! The First World countries get taken down a notch, so the Third World countries can be elevated a notch. Sadly, the truth of the matter is that only the rich profit from globalism, whilst the rest us are reduced to eating the crumbs from their table. Middle-Class America was nice while it lasted. See y'all at the soup kitchen! :(

Batya said...

recession? a rose by any other name...

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