Tag Archives | Unemployment

Mass Privatization Can Kill

Source: BBC/The Lancet

Source: BBC/The Lancet

The BBC reported in January of 2009:

The rapid mass privatisation which followed the break up of the Soviet Union fuelled an increase in death rates among men, research suggests.

The UK study blames rapidly rising unemployment resulting from the break-neck speed of reform.

The researchers said their findings should act as a warning to other nations that are beginning to embrace widespread market reform.

The study features online in The Lancet medical journal.

The researchers examined death rates among men of working age in the post-communist countries of eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union between 1989 and 2002.

They conclude that as many as one million working-age men died due to the economic shock of mass privatisation policies.

Following the break up of the old Soviet regime in the early 1990s at least a quarter of large state-owned enterprises were transferred to the private sector in just two years.

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Is The New ‘Normal’ Unemployment Rate Above 5%?

Unemployed Man - Exhibitor at APExpo 2010 012The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, in its Economic Letter entitled “What Is the New Normal Unemployment Rate?” states:

“Recent labor markets developments, including mismatches in the skills of workers and jobs, extended unemployment benefits, and very high rates of long-term joblessness, may be impeding the return to “normal” unemployment rates of around 5%. An examination of alternative measures of labor market conditions suggests that the “normal” unemployment rate may have risen as much as 1.7 percentage points to about 6.7%, although much of this increase is likely to prove temporary. Even with such an increase, sizable labor market slack is expected to persist for years.”

Their conclusion? “As the recovery proceeds, we should develop a clearer picture of the new normal rate of unemployment.”

The question becomes, what happens to that ‘extra’ 1.7% of US population? Are they unjustifiably unemployed, if we assume that 5% is truly normal for a super-rich society like our own?… Read the rest

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Record High: 1 in 8 Americans Are Receiving Food Stamps

Examples of the traditional "food stamp" that today are distributed on debit cards.

Examples of traditional "food stamps" that today are distributed on debit cards.

The Boston Globe via Bloomberg News reports:

The number of Americans who are receiving food stamps rose to a record 40.8 million in May as the jobless rate hovered near a 27-year high, the government reported yesterday.

Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program subsidies for food purchases jumped 19 percent from a year earlier and increased 0.9 percent from April, the US Department of Agriculture said in a statement on its website.

Participation has set records for 18 straight months.

Unemployment in July may have reached 9.6 percent, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts in advance of the Aug. 6 release of last month’s rate. Unemployment was 9.5 percent in June, near levels last seen in 1983.

An average of 40.5 million people, more than an eighth of the population, will get food stamps each month in the year that began Oct.

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‘Hey Obama, Give Me A Freakin’ Job’

More anti-Obama billboards, reported by Yahoo News:

“I need a freakin’ job.” That’s the message President Obama saw as he arrived in Buffalo, N.Y., this afternoon for an event talking up the administration’s success in creating new jobs. He also pitched Congress on approving a $30 billion credit for small-business growth.
Yet critics say Obama has been focusing his recovery efforts too narrowly and hasn’t done enough to help people find work. After all, the latest job figures show 9.9 percent of the country still out of work. That inspired a group of unemployed Buffalo residents — who also have a website called INAFJ.org — to appeal to the president in the form of a billboard along the route his motorcade took into town. Here is a photo of the billboard:

billboard

[continues at Yahoo News]

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Joblessness: The Kids Are Not Alright

From WSJ:

Will the U.S. accept youth unemployment levels like Europe’s?

Unemployment today doesn’t look like any unemployment in the recent American experience. We have the astonishing and dispiriting new reality that the “long-term jobless”—people out of work more than six months (27 weeks)—was about 44% of all people unemployed in February. A year ago that number was 24.6%.

This is not normal joblessness. As The Wall Street Journal reported in January, even when the recovery comes, some jobs will never return.

But the aspect of this mess I find more disturbing is the numbers around what economists call “youth unemployment.” The U.S. unemployment rate for workers under 25 years old is about 20%.

“Youth unemployment” isn’t just a descriptor used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s virtually an entire field of study in the economics profession. That’s because in Europe, “youth unemployment” has become part of the permanent landscape, something that somehow never goes away.

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2008 Financial Collapse: An Inside Job

By Robert Singer

Maybe it’s the smoke from Mt. Vesuvius that keeps Arianna Huffington and the financial community from seeing that the economic collapse has nothing to do with the Fed “missing” the warning signs leading up to the October meltdown.

“Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.”   John F. Kennedy

The Fed didn’t miss anything; the October meltdown was an inside job.

Capitalism never made sense

Professor Ebeling, the Ludwig von Mises professor of Economics at Hillsdale College, understood something was wrong when he wrote: “the perverse development and evolution of historical capitalism, the institutions necessary for a truly free-market economy have been either undermined or prevented from emerging.”

But when he claimed, “it is the principles and the meaning of a free-market economy that must be rediscovered” in order to overcome the burden of historical capitalism and save liberty, he should have written that principles must be rediscovered in order to prevent the planet from attempted murder (ecocide).… Read the rest

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The September Employment Rate is 90%

By Robert Singer

The U.S. Department of Labor Official Employment rate in September 2009 is now 90% (Unofficial rate is 75%).

And for those Americans who are still employed, they will find it harder to get that sweet deal on a new car because auto dealers won’t be competing with each other now that Brian Deese, special assistant to president Obama for economic policy made the decision (not the Chrysler bankruptcy judge), to close dealerships without regard to profitability.

Deese, age 31, in his first government position, shuffles back and forth from the West Wing to the Treasury Department dismantling the US Auto Industry and rewriting the rules of American “capitalism”. [1]

Deese’s first rule: Withdraw Credit and Liquidity.

Result – Catch 22:

The pullback in spending causes companies to cut back on inventory and staff – Creating unemployment.

Which causes spending to fall and companies to cut back on inventory and staff -Creating more unemployment.… Read the rest

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