Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Have a good look...

...at the real unemployment rate, compared to the "official" one.

financial infotainment
Op-Ed: The Illusion of Wealth
Minyanville Staff Nov 24, 2008 1:45 pm

...The unemployment rate is currently 6.5%, according to U-3 government figures. The broadest U-6 measure, which includes discouraged and marginally attached workers, is 11.8%. If you're still discouraged and jobless after 1 year, the government ignores you in its calculation. How convenient. If these workers were to be included, the unemployment rate is currently 16%. When someone tells you our current situation isn’t close to the Great Depression because unemployment was 25% in the 30s, keep this chart in mind. We've lost 1.2 million jobs in 10 months. The U-3 rate will reach 9% by late 2009. That would be another 3.6 million job losses. These are the kind of numbers that could lead to social unrest. Our social services system and food banks will be pushed to the breaking point...

Not "will be," but are being. In spite of these figures, I am still not in favor of a bailout for any US company, especially the auto industry.

...According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 145 million employed Americans in October 2008. According to their own information, the US carmakers employ the following number of workers worldwide:

General Motors 266,000
Ford Motor 87,700
Chrysler 132,130

Total Workers 485,830

Approximately 377,000 of these jobs are in the US - that's 1 in every 385 American jobs. The Center for Automotive Research, which is financed by the Big 3, issued a report just before General Motors, Ford and Chrysler's CEOs went before Congress that said 2.95 million direct and indirect jobs would be lost if the Big 3 ceased operation. Even this exceedingly broad interpretation of lost jobs comes to only 1 in 49 jobs.

This is a far cry from the 1 in 10 figure many Democratic congressmen have been spouting But the bigger the lie, the more likely people will believe it...

Instead of wasting $700 Billion-with-a-B on the failed unsustainable paradigm, why not just give each of the 300 million households in this country $100,000 to pay bills and get out of debt? They will vote with their pocketbooks which automakers and financial firms should stay in business. Everybody else needs to find a niche in the new relocalized, petroleum-free, sustainable, fair-wage economy. Instead:

...We are heading down a path toward corporatism, where government merges with corporate interests. It's already taken root within the defense and healthcare industries. It's also taking place at the state government level.

And I, for one, do not welcome our new old-fashioned Robber Baron overlords.

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