Ok, This is Bad: Reports on Unemployment, Deficit, and Family Income Paint Dark Picture

250px-Nuclear_fireballThere 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”

  1. GMOM:

    go reread first off.

    Secondly I dont know you so how I can I have an opinion as to wheter or not I like you?

    thirdly the private sector can do all those fucntions for less money and probably more efficiently than can the public sector. There are many alternatives to big government. I know it is hard for people on the left to think about the possibility of an alternative to big government, but it is out there. And John Locke and Edmund Burke would probably like it because it sets man free from the tyranny and oppresion caused by big government.

    And as puzzling so aptly put it we dont have a free market and havent since around 1913. So none of us alive today really even knows what a free market is all about. Puzzling and I have an idea and we think it would probably be awsome but we cant say for a hundred percent certainty (I hope I am not putting words in your pen puzzling) although human nature is like gravity, drop the ball it hits the ground. So to people are selfish by nature and whatever plays to that tendancy (virtue) will be in sync and not contradictory.

    The left thinks that it can remake people in their image, I think you cant change natures laws.

  2. Indentured Servant writes GWMOM- why dont you grow up and join the adult world and quit living in the Nanny State. Sometimes it’s scary to not rely on government for everything but you get over it once you decide to only live for yourself and not for others and expect others to not live for you.

    the nanny state?
    whatever are you talking about?
    I don’t rely on the government for anything that you do not also benefit from.
    what parts of government would you like to abolish? police and fire departments, safe roads and waterways, free public libraries? clean air and water, the safe air traffic? public education? the prison system that keeps you safe from criminals and domestic terrorists? do you expect to get medicare someday? a social security check? have parents who receive these entitlements? where do you think they come from if not government.

    you may not like my ideas and that’s okay. You may not like me and that’s okay too.
    I don’t expect anyone to do anything for me that I can’t do for myself and I have no idea what you mean by living only for myself and expecting others to live for me.
    are you hinting that I am on or seeking welfare? food stamps? a government paid for housekeeper o hair stylist?

  3. Bman:

    I think the right is worse than the left because they should know better. Government at all levels is way to large, they tax the skezix out of us and they spend and spend on things that we don’t need and don’t want.

    The federal reserve steels our money because they can print at will and the morons in congress kowtow to K street and big corps.
    I think big corps would sh… themselves if they actually had to be competitive in the market place and not rely on government.

    That’s why I like free market capitalism because it doesn’t give anyone a free pass.


    75 bucks for lawn service is actually a pretty good price around here so I am not out in la-la land smoking crack.

    “Nine out of ten new businesses fail in their first year, usually because of lack of training in standard business practices or because of undercapitalization. But business start-ups that collaborate with an incubator have a very high first-year survival rate – nationally, about 87% of them are still in business. What’s more, an average of 84% of the companies that have graduated from an incubator stay in their communities.”

    most small businesses fail in the first 2 years because of lack of something on the part of the owner according to one website. Knowledge, money, etc.

    Personally if I could waive a magic wand presto chango poof there goes the Fed and EPA and then on to K street and turn those bastards into toads. After that comes the FCC and the FTC. Then I could relax a little bit, but then the IRS is gone and we have a flat tax with no deductions of any kind and if you make under 35k you don’t pay tax at all of any kind.

    Then on to privatization of SS. But you cant do all this over night and there are too many people that think that manna comes from government so it will never happen and we are destined to continue cycles of boom and bust with the unproductive rich getting richer and the productive poor (read middle class) getting farther and farther behind.

    And all of that is in the name of helping the poor and the children. What a scam, what did Dan Brown say “So great the con of man”.

    Rational self interest baby, that is were its at. (I know bad English)

  4. Apologies for the odd formatting of my message. There was a youtube link in there somewhere. Apparently didn’t make it…

  5. Mike is correct about the FED.

    “The Federal Reserve is no more federal than Federal Express, but yet it has the power to determine the direction and use of money in our economy…. We also have to address the issue of the fractional reserve system, which is how banks create money out of thin air. As they do that, they’ve created the conditions where we’ve had this kind of ponzi scheme, collapsing.”

    – Dennis Kucinich
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR2EtMteHCg (4:00)

    Who established a private central banking system? The government in 1913.

    Who were the largest donors for the election of Wilson? The bankers who sought this legislation.

    Who allows banks to lend money they don’t have by legalizing fractional reserve lending? The government.

    Who creates incentives for banks to take huge risks with deposits? The government, through the FDIC.

    Who took the US dollar off of any gold standard, so that these systems could create unlimited amounts of dollars? The government, under Nixon.

    How did George Bush fund the Iraq war? Through use of borrowed money done through these systems. It would have been much harder for Bush and Cheney to mount and scale their war if the taxpayers actually had to pay for these war costs directly.

    To argue that free market monetary policies have resulted in today’s problems assumes that we have had a free market in the first place. That’s just simply not true. Instead, we have a financial system that favors certain private interests, has thoroughly corrupted our political landscape, and even enables war.

  6. BuelahMan,
    You are right on target re: IS and puzzling’s skewed view of government. In fact their view has been the predominant one since Reagan and that hasn’t worked out very well. IS says the market should control itself through “rational self interest” which is exactly what they’ve been allowed to do for the last 30 years. It turns out that greed was more the motivating force than “rational self interest,” coupled with a complete
    disdain for playing by their own rules.

    Puzzling is more with it in his allusions to the Federal Reserve, but loses sight of the fact that the FED is not a government agency and the government has no oversight authority on it. It is run by and for the Banks and how has that worked out.

    IS on the other hand says it all when he writes that he pays some $75, for 1 & 1/2 hours of lawn work. That says to me that he is so divorced from the average persons life as to be unable to relate to it rationally or emotively. He totally failed to respond to the point in my post above about the fact that 95% of small businesses fail in their first year, or about the fact that most major corporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes.

    A definition of insanity is to keep doing what has obviously been failing. These believers in a self-regulating market in that sense buy into the insanity that has ruled for three decades.

  7. The problem is that government, including primarily the right wing (which is also the majority of Democrats), has allowed Corporations and banks to marry them into an unholy (an once illegal) union.

    It was the lack of government oversight AND the marriage of these two that has caused the state of affairs we are in. Corporatism or Corporate Fascism: either will work.

    IS (Indentured Servant) is so far off base on many issues, but that is not surprising to me.

    As an example, I would prophecy that China will sell some Hummers, but overall, it will be a bust for the consumer market.

    If they took the military side (excuse me, if they were “given” the military side) then our government shows us again how stupid they can be.

    IS wants us to think that Big government is bad, but he doesn’t say a word about the privatization of our military and other government functions that push for less population assistance to profit over every little issue.

    Your idea of capitalism, IS, doesn’t work. It is obvious. And clearly, it is due to NOT NEAR enough regulation and control of the crooks and robbers (and liars) who permeate government and the right-wing agenda (which is basically both parties).

    Few people here are fools, IS. So stop treating us that way.

    Thank you.

  8. Gyges and everyone except puzzling:

    puzzling is right, government intervention in the market place causes more problems than it solves. Think wak a mole, you cant control the market through regulation the market has to control the market through individual transaction, call it rational self interest.

    GWMOM- why dont you grow up and join the adult world and quit living in the Nanny State. Sometimes it’s scary to not rely on government for everything but you get over it once you decide to only live for yourself and not for others and expect others to not live for you.


    what if they dont sell the items in the US?
    Looks like the Chinese are going to sell Hummers to 1.5 billion screaming Chinese.

    All I can say is that once you all figure out that government is not the answer maybe then we can have a healthy economy. Your policies fail in every venue in every time that they are tried. Socialism dosent work because people are people and are by nature selfish, get over it and grow up.

  9. Gyges,

    There’s a lot out there that I think you would find interesting, particularly as it relates to the world of finance and the role of the government.

    Government has a role in this realm, no doubt, although I believe many overestimate its strengths and underestimate its contribution to the current problems. Let’s look at just one example.

    Are the ratings agencies responsible for putting “AAA” stamps on extremely risky subprime collateralized debt? How many people in the US and elsewhere lost their life savings on such debt? Many.

    Is this the responsibility of those firms, like Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch? Sure it is. But why did they do it?

    Government regulations require banks and some types of funds to only by “AAA” debt securities. The government creates the list of firms (called NRSRO’s) that are allowed to make such ratings. These firms were in turn paid by the ISSUERS of these debt securities rather than the purchasers. Because the US government has approved only a handful of NRSRO’s, they had no competition, and independent judgments on the value of these securities were worthless in the marketplace. Turns out they were very wrong, probably deliberately so, and government empowered them to cash in on this for years while crushing competing views through the power of regulation.

    Ultimately, the failure of the ratings agencies was caused by government, not by the predictable actions of monopolies that government created. It is better to simply undo this monopoly than put layer upon layer of regulation on top of it.

    How effective is the government as overseer? The SEC knew about Madoff in detail for decades, and yet was unwilling to do anything about it. Many independent parties on Wall Street and elsewhere knew that Madoff’s strangely stable returns must be a ponzi scheme, and stayed away. Faith in government (in this case spanning across many administrations in both parties) is misplaced. They had near perfect knowledge of the situation and failed to intervene. For decades!

    And that’s not to say that all regulation is bad, but that the tendency to ever greater regulation creates unintended consequences that can be even more costly. There are more Madoff’s out there, and the ultimate ponzi scheme is the government control of the money supply, where more and more worthless money is issued by the government, robbing the original money in your wallet and bank account of it’s value.

    I’m sure I’ve reached the end of many attention spans tonight. I’d be glad to continue the conversation.

  10. IS,

    I apologize for creating a straw man (I don’t think you’re saying everyone should start a lawn care business).

    The point isn’t that people shouldn’t start their own business. It’s that your attitude that everyone can do it, and that if you don’t you’re just a whiner is flat wrong, and insulting.

    I also want to ask if you have any thoughts on my original questions: Why isn’t it the also fault of the people for whom the government rigged the system? If the main reason we limit government power is to keep them from limiting personal freedoms, why shouldn’t we do the same to large corporations?

  11. Author: Indentured Servant
    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.

    you really are pollyanna, aren’t you?
    its easy to dream up some small business. just open a pet shop or nail salon or start an auto repair or sell widgets. there is plenty of retail space available from lessees who have gone out of business because people in the community are no longer buying widgets. They can’t afford them because if they have not yet lost jobs they fear they they still may lose them and are economizing.
    add to that the small detail…. if you own a home any lender for a small business loan wants that as collateral against your loan.

    wake up. join us here in the real grown up world. it is a little scary at first but you’ll get used to it. promise.

  12. BuelahMan,

    That was fabulous!!! I have seen a home where every square inch was covered with taxidermy. (You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a taxidermy toilet paper cozy!) I have seen another home of a “big game hunter” with walls of endangered species and I have made the hodge to Cabela’s, but I have never seen anthing quite like this before. Well done sir, well done!

  13. Haven’t any of you people watched “The Secret”? Tape the hundred dollar bill on your ceiling and meditate on abundance. Imagine money falling all around you. Affirm yourself with the words; I am rich, I am rich. (And people say we don’t practice withcraft in America!)


    I liked your work-ponzi scheme.

  14. IS,

    You do know that a company that moves production out of the U.S. still has to pay taxes on items sold in the U.S. right?

    Instead of taxes, think labor costs.

  15. I actually dont think the right wingers had much to do with wanting to send jobs overseas. We want low taxes, less regulations and a business friendly environment. You cannot tax the living skezix out of a company and expect it to retain jobs.

    both Gyges and Beulahman seem to have a limited understanding of economics and an historical perspective as to the nature of job loss and creation in the US over the last 50 years.

    Companies are in business to make money, if they cannot they will move to a location where they can. It is a simple fact.

    Make the environment in the US conducive to business and they will come back and employ Americans again.

    By the way I pay someone $75 bucks to cut my grass and it takes them 1.5 hours and I pay them cash. probably costs 5 bucks for gas for both the car and the mower.

    Here is another one you may like-bake cookies, Wally Amos did it and so did Mrs. Fields.

    You all can laugh all you want at my suggestions but people do it every day.

    Seems to me some people dont have the cajones to get up and go and want to sit back and bitch about what they lost and not what they have.

    You cant always move forward, sometimes you have to take a couple of steps backward to be able to move forward again.

  16. Beulah,

    I’m an independent contractor of sorts (I’m a musician, and also teach privately, and do music classes for in home day cares), of course I also have to have a day gig (as does almost every musician I know that’s not in school and living off of student loans). So I know all about working for yourself.

    I’ve also worked in several small businesses (3 employees and the owner on average), none of the owners were making much more than their employees (and these were successful, long standing businesses). Not to mention all my family that have run their own businesses (from a publishing company to a place that taught porcelain doll making to landscaping\handyman). The only people who were able to actually pull it off were the ones that had enough money that it was an investment and not the sole source of income for the first few years. Everyone else had to close shop early on and ended up in much worse financial straits after the attempt.

  17. LOL

    Traveling with work recently I heard some commentary from some yahoo in TN (where I live, and yes, I am a yahoo, too) who was discussing with the radio personality (local talk radio… and NO, progressive radio does not exist down here) how he was tired of hearing people complain about losing (loosing) their jobs.

    He said, “Do what I did and go to truck driving school.”

    The theme among these people is that we should stop bitching about losing the jobs we have (mine making upwards of $150K/year on good years) and start driving trucks, mowing grass, selling crap on EBAY (do something for far less money because the good jobs are leaving).

    Don’t correct the mistake of sending all of our manufacturing overseas (thereby limiting the crap the man wants to haul in his truck) and take whatever low paying job you can get. By all means, STFU and be an American. Quiet. Complacent.

    The “Service Sector” in America is nothing more than taking us all to poverty levels.

    And the right-wing sheople may now say, “Amen.”

  18. Buelah,

    This is the beauty of the plan: You’ll be working 8 hours a day (1 1/2 hours a lawn, plus book-keeping, travel, maintenance, etc.) 6 days a week. So you won’t have time to mow your own lawn, so you’ll hire me. I in turn will be working 6 days a week doing other people who own landscape companies lawns so I’ll have to hire them, and they’ll have to hire you…

    We can’t lose!

  19. What I am saying is to not be discouraged and look on loosing a job as an opportunity for a better situation.


    I read an article today (wish I could find the link) that discusses the right-wing’s inability to understand (or spell) the word lose. In the article, it was saying that the right-wingers are so ignorant that they have no idea what “losing” something really means.

    First: Only a fool would pay someone $100 to change a standard light bulb.

    But let us do the math:

    To put it in perspective that is 25 lawns a week at 75$/each or about 4 lawns per day if you work Saturdays

    How many lawn mowers would this take and how much maintenance and gas?

    How many lawn caregivers are supportable in this financial predicament (I would pay anyone jack shinola to mow my yard, much less $75).

    I suppose that every recently unemployed person could break out their lawn mowers and start a business, right?

    Dear lord, save me from the idiocy that has hijacked America.

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