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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

 

Job-Spin

Some of you might remember this little thing I like to call "The Economy". There is no shortage of people who will come on TV, talk-radio or write in periodicals, editorializing-as-news (The New York Post, The Washington Times, etc.) and will tell us how well the Economy is doing. Sometimes when listening to the likes of Fox News Channel, you'd come away with the feeling that the Economy is doing so well that your future is as bright as your dreams can make them. You just haven't reaped the benefit yet.

And now with the upcoming purchase of The wall Street Journal by Rupert Murdoch (yes, THAT Rupert Murdoch) and his NewsCorp empire, we're going to be hearing more glad tidings of our national economy that "just hasn't hit YOU yet."

Ew!

But no matter how hard they're going to try spin our economy (and try they're certainly going to do), there are some numbers that President Bush, his cronies and the main stream media just won't be able to spin.

The President and the Main Stream Media like to tell us how low the national unemployment rate is, especially compared to how high it was early in the Bush(43) administration. (They talk about Bush's first term as if there was a different George W. Bush in office from 2001-2005.) Today, that rate, according to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics hovers in the 4.5 percent area.

However...

When one looks at the REAL numbers one sees a different American workforce snapshot. The number is termed by the BLS, "The Employment-population ratio," and it tells us everything we need to know about American employment. The BLS tells us, how many able-bodied Americans could be employed (the Civilian non-institutional population); how many Americans are actively employed or are seeking employment (the Civilian labor force); how many Americans are actually employed and unemployed (as defined by the Payroll Survey, which traditionally shows a lower unemployment rate than the former defining Household Survey); Americans who want to work (Persons who currently want a job); and the ever increasing number of people who, as the Bushies want us to believe, are just too lazy to work, don't care to work, or simply don't need to work (Not in labor force).

The Employment-population ratio tells us, as a percentage, how many of those who could be working are actually working. June 2007's number shows us that 63.1 percent of all able-bodied Americans are employed.

In comparison, as Bill Clinton was turning over the reigns of government to George W. Bush, there were 64.5 percent of all able-bodied Americans working. In today's numbers, that 1.4 percent decrease means that an additional 3.2 million Americans who could be working are actually not working. And if you take into consideration how many workers have two or more jobs today versus 2001, that number would be much higher.

The number of jobs added to the economy increased by 132,000. Even though that number is approximately 18,000 under what is needed to keep up with the growth of our population, the Bushies call it a great success. However, what the "Big Government Republicans" fail to include in those numbers is that 40,000 of those jobs were created by our government. In other words, almost one-third of all jobs created in June are going to be paid for with our tax dollars. A mere 92,000 jobs were added by the private sector, the part of our economy so relied on by this administration.

  Jan-01     Jun-07
Civilian non-institutional population.............. 210,889   Civilian non-institutional population......... 231,713
Civilian labor force............................ 141,955   Civilian labor force....................... 153,072
Participation rate........................ 67.3   Participation rate................... 66.1
Employed...................................... 135,999   Employed................................. 146,140
Employment-population ratio 64.5   Employment-population ratio 63.1
Unemployed.................................... 5,956   Unemployed............................... 6,933
Unemployment rate......................... 4.2   Unemployment rate.................... 4.5
Not in labor force.............................. 68,934   Not in labor force......................... 78,641
Persons who currently want a job.............. 4,417   Persons who currently want a job......... 4,898


And here's the kicker:

"The number of discouraged workers-- persons not in the labor force because they believed no jobs were available--declined from a year earlier."
-Philip L. Rones, Deputy Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics

I sure would like to talk to some of them. wouldn't you?

-Noah Greenberg



In response to the Republicans using the Religious Right's main issue, abortion, as a carrot (without ever getting anything done), Victoria Brownworth writes:

As a true pro-lifer I agree with Eddie Konczal. I am against the death penalty, war, guns, euthanasia AND abortion. however, on the last two items, I don't think I have the right to make choices for others. Would I like to see abortion become exceedingly rare? Absolutely. But I think MOST people want that.

I would note this, however. Women and girls to not get pregnant by doves like Mary did. They get pregnant by MEN. So if we are going to legislate against pregnant women and girls who cannot or do not want to carry a baby, then we need to legislate against the men who got them pregnant as well.


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-Noah Greenberg