Sunday, February 05, 2012


8.5% Falsehood

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths


It’s hard to judge “mood on the street”, so my U.S. readers will have to tell me if what’s displayed above is understood.

Here’s the key: 58% of working age Americans are working, meaning 42% of working age Americans ARE NOT WORKING.  Now I’d call that a 42% unemployment rate.

The U.S. government calls that an improvement, an 8.5% unemployment rate. 

How do they figure an 8.5% unemployment rate?  Officially if you haven’t worked in a year, you’ve ‘chosen’ not to return to work and should not be considered part of the workforce.  Note this is for statistical purposes only.  For unemployment purposes you can continue to get unemployment assistance for 2 years.  Meaning the labor statistics department says you’re permanently unemployed and not worth counting if you haven’t worked full time in a year, while the unemployment compensation department says as long as you’re still looking for a job after 2 years you’re not permanently unemployed.

And the unemployed people and partially employed people (such as my sister-in-law who’s employer cut her to 4 days a week a year and a half ago) who are struggling to survive say WHAT?

It’s taken 3 years but even CNN is starting to point it out.  Does that mean people are starting to understand?


  1. Akiva, I don't know that it has anything to do with the folks on the ground, but the propaganda machine. Think about this, the economy has just begun to recover nicely, and then low and behold, Israel hit's Iran, oil prices hit the roof, the economy takes a huge hit (which it may do whether or not Iran is hit), Obama and company blame Israel, and the story goes.

  2. While I don't agree that the economy is recovering - rather just bottoming out with the propaganda machine saying that's a recovery, I strongly agree with your proposed scenario.

  3. I am a real estate lawyer living in NY. In my opinion, people do not understand the reality of the situtaion. The most recent example came late last week when employment numbers were announced. Analysts were expecting that less than 200,000 new jobs were created in January of 2012. In fact, the actual (estimated) number came out at about 245,000. The mainstream media called it a huge success and the mainstream media outlets all cheered the good news.

    The reality, however, is that only a few weeks months earlier, analysts admitted that in order to realistically help the unemployment rate, the economy must create over 300,000 new jobs per month (I dont recall the exact number but it was north of 300,000). Taken in the proper context, therefore, last weeks "great" jobs report was actually significantly LESS than what is necessary to put a dent in unemployment!

    Unfortunately, expectations have dropped so low that when the market learns that things are not as dire as originally thought, th emain stream media throws a party!

    We have lost all sense of context.

    Everyone assumes that things will get better because "they always do". This, however, is NOT a reality. The historical reality is that the relative prosperity that we have enjoyed for the past 70 years has been a historical abberation.

    In the 1920's and early 1930's people were literally jumping out of windows becuase of their financial ruin, rachmana litzlan. The world erupted into a massive World War that ended with the dropping of 2 nuclar bombs.

    Since that time, the world has become much less stable and a number of "rogue" nations have access to nuclear and chemical weapons.

    I challenge ANYONE to look at the financials and put together a rational argument as to how/why things arent that bad. Quite frankly, I'd really love to be wrong.

  4. The mobile industry is still growing, people are buying new iPhones each year. Seems like America is booming from over here.


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