There is a slew of reports this week that paint a pretty bleak picture. The Labor Department has placed the unemployment rate at 9.4 percent (the highest since 1983), If you add “temp workers” the rate is higher. In the meantime, another report indicates that over 16% of personal income of the United States is now coming from the government.
With jobs cuts continuing, we are now at an unemployment rate of roughly one in ten Americans — not including temp jobs or low wage service jobs.
The good news is that the loss of jobs is slowing.
However, we are now seeing the impact of our crushing deficit spending. The government has been pouring out money and it is now endangering recovery according to the Chinese who hold $768 billion in our Treasuries, here.
I’d keep on writing but the combination of these reports and the invention of a new robot teacher has led me to start a subsistence garden.
For the unemployment story, click here.
105 thoughts on “Ok, This is Bad: Reports on Unemployment, Deficit, and Family Income Paint Dark Picture”
It is actually that easy and many people do it every year. You have to start small and learn some ropes and use other peoples money so yours is left alone. Also the Federal government has grants and loans you can take advantage of. I know many that have.
If I can do it anyone can do it, it dose not take much effort to make 100k/year in this country. To put it in perspective that is 25 lawns a week at 75$/each or about 4 lawns per day if you work Saturdays. Seems like a reasonable work week to me. Plus you sell other services if you live somewhere that has seasons, leaf control, power washing, weeding, etc.
A friend of mine just had an idea for a handy man service, he charges about 100 bucks to change a light bulb (and people pay it) or clean gutters, put in a window or patch drywall.
I guess I don’t really know what its like to not have a job because I have always had one, even it was to just cut lawns or wash dishes. I do okay but I am not a millionaire (at least not yet but I am trying).
What I am saying is to not be discouraged and look on loosing a job as an opportunity for a better situation. You can either hang around the house waiting for something to come to you or go out and shake the trees and make something happen.
My guess is out of touch because he does show a modicum of sympathy. The trouble is that people who have done well financially, whether through luck of the draw, or their own efforts, somehow lose insight into how really tough it is to earn a living and support a family.
I was always employed, mostly at very good jobs and always avoided credit debt, yet there were times when I had to not pay a bill for a month in order to get expensive antibiotics for my kids. There was another point of about 4 months in the 90’s where with my advanced degrees and an Executive Position at work, I had to work 36 hours each weekend driving stretch Limos just to keep my family afloat and the mortgage paid. People who haven’t been there find it hard to imagine the fear, tension and anguish lack of money causes, especially when you have a family with young kids.
I had to avoid IS’s comments because they appear so out of touch with reality.
Yeah, lose your job and just start up a business, right?
How about capital?
Of course, it doesn’t cost much to join the millions of other EBAy purveyors as we try to sell off our junk.
I supposed Lemonade stands are not to capital intensive.
Maybe a baby-sitting service for those that have only lost 20% and not ALL of it.
Yes, out of touch or totally ignorant.
You make the call.
“The loss of a job however is not the result of bankers or of CEO’s of large corporations, it is a direct result of government policies over the past number of years.”
In some sense you are correct that government policies have led to a loss of jobs. My guess is that you ascribe it to the wrong policies. The loss of jobs is a direct result of government (Bush/Cheney Crime Family and their legislative enablers) not enforcing the regulatory laws on the books that
would have checked the insane manner in which corporate business is run in this country.
In the end though it is the major corporations who are to blame for the loss of jobs. Wrong decisions by the auto companies as to which vehicles to build. Greedy decisions by corporate management to falsely increase profits by laying off workers (See Circuit City)to increase profit which drove stock prices up increasing management’s stock options. Predatory investors taking over viable companies and then selling them off piece by piece. An insurance industry (see AIG)that forgot that you needed to back up obligations with actual capital. A banking industry that engaged in a host of predatory lending practices.
“Corporations can only do so much cost cutting. It might be nice if they could have some tax breaks too.”
40% of major US corporations pay no taxes. The other 60% avoid them through tax breaks and hiding the money in places like the Cayman Islands.
“As I said above start a business of your own, many people have and are very successful.”
The rate of small business failure in the US for the first year of operations is around 95% and has been for many, many
years. That represents people who have the money, or credit to start one. Millions of people have neither.
“I invest my own money and I am down about 20%, granted I dont take much risk and I like stocks that provide dividends.”
How nice that you have money to invest. Most people in America don’t even have enough extra money to save. I am glad that you’re able to have discretionary funds. People who were working for Enron for instance watched their retirement savings go down the tubes as a corrupt management
played fast and loose with the jobs and their futures.
Now you don’t seem a bad type of person and you do evince some sympathy for the unemployed. However, perhaps because of your own financial good fortune, or acumen, you are really unable to understand that Government since the 80’s has been run for the benefit of major corporations and financial institutions. These corporations and financial institutions have chosen to run con games so that upper management could enrich themselves, rather than actually trying to build and maintain their businesses. I’m no saint and perhaps if I saw I could walk away with $100 million or so I might have been tempted to do the same.
However you slice it, if you could look beyond your own pre-judgments, you must acknowledged that our financial crisis is the result of greedy corporatists, who cared not a whit for their company, their workers, or their Nation. They made their bundles, some even did some jail time and now we call them philanthropists.
Here’s what I don’t get, you’ve said several times something that boils down to, “this is the govt’s fault for rigging the system.” Well why isn’t it the fault of the people for whom the system is rigged?
One thing that’s been puzzling me lately about the modern libertarianism is its focus on government as the only cause of loss of personal freedom. Any large organization has the ability to rig the system. Why should we single out only the one for regulation?
I am told I have a good sense of humor. I am certainly glad you appreciate it.
Indentured You wrote: I think I indicted Bush too. Corporations can only do so much cost cutting. It might be nice if they could have some tax breaks too.
me: You are going to be the funny one. I can tell. tax breaks for corporations? Good one. I’m laughing.
IS: Both parties have no clue on the economy as both Bush and now Obama have shown. It is a shame to, because real people like you loose jobs. the government causes the problem and then business gets blamed for not doing enough. How can they, government holds all the cards.
me: what are you saying? that the worlds smartest economists know nothing about the economy and the President has something to do with their ignorance because he holds the cards? Like he wants the economy to fail?
IS: You should be getting upset at your elected officials for making laws and regulations that strangle business and restrict market entry.
me: okay. wait right here while I get angry. okay. done being angry now. what do suggest next?
IS: Blaming business for loss of jobs is like blaming the fire department for a fire.
Me: you have never worked for a large multinational company at the upper levels have you?
IS: I am speaking generally, certainly there are bad businesses and people that run them, but they are probably in the minority.
Me: generally? speaking generally? how about speaking specifically?
IS: As I said above start a business of your own, many people have and are very successful.
Me: yeah. I said I could tell you were the funny one.
I was in Houston at a convention.
you are doing fine.
Socialism is the cancer capitalism is the answer. To paraphrase our Muslim brothers.
Hidflect – I won’t speak for I.S., but I think you’re missing his point. Both parties are clearly guilty of pro-corporatist policies and for empowering the government to create winners and losers in the private sector. I for one do not like to evaluate policy through the lens of the two party dynamic because it eliminates the possibility that both parties are wrong.
In terms of criminal prosecution, there is no higher crime than government and Federal Reserve control over the entire money supply. This allows government and the banking system to continuously rob citizens through inflation and debt creation, and allows politicians to spend money they do not have to raise through taxation. Some of this money will come from our children and grandchildren that haven’t even been born yet! When government creates artificially low interest rates and then allows banks to lend money they don’t have, we get things like the dot com and housing bubbles (and ever rising tuition, etc). The government is the root of the problem.
Republicans under Bush advanced many corporatist policies by the federal government and also set many new precedents for intervention by government in the private sector. These same powers are now being used to favor slightly different corporate (and union) interests under Obama. I see little difference between the two parties in this regard.
For a preview of where this will lead in the United States, one need only watch this video of how Putin forced public submission by an aluminum company CEO this week in Russia. Watch:
my o sticks.
Well everyone thought junk bonds were not so good either. It’s just another way of funding companies that create jobs. If your 401 k sucks maybe its because you have a limited choice in what to invest in because your government wont allow you to put it into something good.
I invest my own money and I am down about 20%, granted I dont take much risk and I like stocks that provide dividends.
Before you get all hot and bothered about derivatives go and really investigate them.
Democrats are no less at fault than are republicans, our elected officials do not know anything about economics (for the most part)so I think the solution is to not vote for either party and find some candidates that know something about economics.
If you were honest you would admit that government and not the private sector is at fault.
I always like an argument being shot down because of one to many o’s. But then that is pretty typical.
Are you too good to clean houses? Now I know what you really think of the people that do that type of work. I personally have a saying “there are no bad jobs only bad men that do them”. The translation is that any work no matter how unskilled is valuable and that anybody willing to work at one of these jobs has worth because they are willing to work and not sit on their candy coated arse whining about not having a job.
Indentured Servant is part of this relentless positivism I commented about above. Make lemons from lemonade. No discussion of prosecuting the Corporate people responsible for the looming $540 Trillion derivatives hole that blasted and will continue to blast so many jobs from this earth.
You can call an American any foul-mouthed name you like and they will grin back at you. But call them a loser and you’ll be on the receiving end of a vociferous, incoherent rant. So averse are the right-wing and conservatives to this concept that (like the Fonz being unable to enunciate “I was wrong”) they are unable to even spell the word “lose” properly. Inevitably spelling it “loose”. Time and again I read “looser” or “loose” on comment pages from these people. I wasn’t a big fan of Freud’s theories but really.. it’s quite disturbing how often this occurs.
Before smugly recommending that people who have lost their jobs and 401K’s through no fault of their own should start cleaning houses, maybe the recommendation should be arresting and jailing the perpetrators of these high crimes. Republicans to a man that they obviously are.
I think I indicted Bush too. Corporations can only do so much cost cutting. It might be nice if they could have some tax breaks too.
Both parties have no clue on the economy as both Bush and now Obama have shown. It is a shame to, because real people like you loose jobs. the government causes the problem and then business gets blamed for not doing enough. How can they, government holds all the cards.
You should be getting upset at your elected officials for making laws and regulations that strangle business and restrict market entry.
Blaming business for loss of jobs is like blaming the fire department for a fire.
I am speaking generally, certainly there are bad businesses and people that run them, but they are probably in the minority.
As I said above start a business of your own, many people have and are very successful.
I wish you good luck if you do.
Indentured Servant writes:
But then I will assume most of you voted for this guy (Obama) so you reap what you sow. And to Bush and his TARP I guess those people got what they deserved too.
me: you are sorry for people who have lost their jobs through not fault of their own but because management of large corporations can’t think of a more creative way to cut costs than workforce reductions? And then have the audacity to have us accept our misfortunes because we voted for Obama?
is that what you are saying?
my husband lost his job 7 months ago. In October. before the election.
and there are about 5 million others who lost their jobs before that.
First off I would like to say how sorry I am for people that have lost their jobs.
The loss of a job however is not the result of bankers or of CEO’s of large corporations, it is a direct result of government policies over the past number of years. If Obama is able to institute his policies fully we are going to see hyper inflation and many more job losses in the coming months and years.
I would suggest if you have any money you put it in a safe country, say China or Russia. I see large estates for sale in the local magazines and I can guess the rich are moving their money offshore to avoid the coming confiscation through heavy taxation, which has to happen because of this ridiculous stimulus package.
But then I will assume most of you voted for this guy (Obama) so you reap what you sow. And to Bush and his TARP I guess those people got what they deserved too.
The engine of job creation is the private sector.
To those that lost their jobs – start a business, it dosent have to be glamorous but you can make money cutting grass or selling hot dogs on a street corner. Or setting up manufacturing of purses in say Bolivia. You can also clean houses or any number of things. Do you have a hobby you enjoy? Can you turn it into a business, do it. In this country, even with all the regulations it is still relatively easy to make a buck. Go for it and good luck.
It beats sitting around feeling sorry for yourself and waiting/hoping for Nanny Sam to come and maybe bail you out.
Mike Spindell said,”catch up with everyone anon”. I have never gone on this site without seeing many posts by you. Maybe you are taking a break.
Hidflect writes: “Obama is fulfilling the wet-dream of the Rand Republicans: put the government so far into debt that it will never be able to pay for another program or regulation oversight department, ever”
The problem with this theory is that the Treasury is not limited to how much money it can borrow. If the government needs $2 trillion to fund a new war in Pakistan or for the program of some new Czar, it can simply issue US Treasuries that are in turn purchased directly by the Federal Reserve. The Fed can issue an unlimited amount of new US dollars.
Therefore, the idea that the federal government will be constrained by the level of debt is false.
People that hold these treasuries (like China) needn’t be concerned that they won’t be paid back. Instead, they will need to be concerned that the dollars they are paid with are so devalued that they won’t have much purchasing power. That is why China is now loudly warning the US to stop printing money.
The insults of the “Greed is Good” philosophy have been poured on us all to the point of destruction. But I fear the final and greatest insult will be when the Trustafarians and sociopath Libertarians point to all the Trillions Geitner, Summers and Obama are pouring into Banksters accounts and shout; “See? Liberal Gummint spending doesn’t work! We need to slash taxes and cut government to nothing!”
The irony being – hardly a penny is being spent by government on anyone or any biz with less than a $100 Million in equity. Obama is fulfilling the wet-dream of the Rand Republicans: put the government so far into debt that it will never be able to pay for another program or regulation oversight department, ever.
It will take more than 45 years for the government to pay off the interest it owes. Not even one penny of the actual amount.. just the interest. It’s over.
But in a final note I must say, a large part of the blame for this rests in that relentless positivism that’s been so pernicious for years in the USA. Any criticism was branded “loser” thinking and legitimate doubts raised would be labelled acts of spite, a la “You’re just jealous coz he’s got a Billion dollars and you don’t. Get over it, loser” Or, a parallel example is when any criticism was levelled at Israel.. “Oh, you’re an anti-semitic nazi, I’m submitting your name to the Wiesenthal Center..” – thus effectively shutting down any argument. Well here’s the reward for so faithfully toeing our leaders’ diktats.
“The government is not there to give us everything, and I know as a small businessman, you will likely agree. However, the government has hindered and squandered opportunities for small businesses while lavishing gifts and tax breaks on the wealthiest businesses and they in turn have the money to buy their way out of paying taxes through tax avoidance incentives.
As a man who devoted his life to government as a workaholic, I thoroughly abhor what I now see as those who are in government taking advantage of their secure positions while forgetting that they are public servants first and foremost.’
Great entry that bears repeating. This is why you a conservative and me a liberal can actually find much common ground. The problem was never capitalism per se, it was the manipulation of it by the rich and powerful to increase their share, while putting more burden on what to them were the lower classes. Perhaps you and I may disagree on the details of how to fix it, but our common ground on the problems shows that this is not about political philosophy, but about stopping the theft of our national resources.
There were so many great posts to read this AM, but the sun is high and the swimming pool calls. Catch up with everyone anon.
Here’s a great story to lift the spirits!
“Gun-loving pastor to his flock: Piece be with you
Ken Pagano, pastor of New Bethel Church in Louisville, Kentucky, talks, AP – Ken Pagano, pastor of New Bethel Church in Louisville, Kentucky, talks, Wednesday, June 3, 2009, about …
By DYLAN T. LOVAN, Associated Press Writer Dylan T. Lovan, Associated Press Writer – Thu Jun 4, 5:50 pm ET
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Kentucky pastor is inviting his flock to bring guns to church to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment.
New Bethel Church is welcoming “responsible handgun owners” to wear their firearms inside the church June 27, a Saturday. An ad says there will be a handgun raffle, patriotic music and information on gun safety.
“We’re just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation,” said pastor Ken Pagano. “And we’re not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms — without that this country wouldn’t be here.”
The guns must be unloaded and private security will check visitors at the door, Pagano said.
He said recent church shootings, including the killing Sunday of a late-term abortion provider in Kansas, which he condemned, highlight the need to promote safe gun ownership. The New Bethel Church event was planned months before Dr. George Tiller was shot to death in a Wichita church.
Kentucky allows residents to openly carry guns in public with some restrictions. Gun owners carrying concealed weapons must have state-issued permits and can’t take them to schools, jails or bars, among other exceptions.
Pagano’s Protestant church, which attracts up to 150 people to Sunday services, is a member of the Assemblies of God. The former Marine and handgun instructor said he expected some backlash, but has heard only a “little bit” of criticism of the gun event.
John Phillips, an Arkansas pastor who was shot twice while leading a service at his former church in 1986, said a house of worship is no place for firearms.
“A church is designated as a safe haven, it’s a place of worship,” said Phillips, who was shot by a church member’s relative for an unknown reason and still has a bullet lodged in his spine. “It is unconscionable to me to think that a church would be a place that you would even want to bring a weapon.”
Phillips spoke out against a bill before the Arkansas General Assembly that would have permitted the carrying of guns in that state’s churches. The bill failed in February.
Pagano, 50, said some members of his church were concerned that President Obama’s administration could restrict gun ownership, and they supported the plan for the event when Pagano asked their opinion.
Marian McClure Taylor, executive director of the Kentucky Council of Churches, an umbrella organization for 11 Christian denominations in Kentucky, said Christian churches are promoters of peace, but “most allow for arms to be taken up under certain conditions.”
Taylor said Pagano assured her the event would focus on promoting responsible gun ownership and any proceeds would go to charity.
“Those two commitments are consistent with the high value the Assemblies of God churches place on human life,” she said in an e-mail message.
Pagano is encouraging church members to bring a canned good and a friend to the event. He said guns must be unloaded for insurance purposes and safety reasons.
He said the point was not to mix worship with guns, though he may reference some passages from the Bible.
“Firearms can be evil and they can be useful,” he said. “We’re just trying to promote responsible gun ownership and gun safety.”
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