Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Depression Commencing 2008 and Forward ?

So many offices stand empty now, that it's no wonder that so many have been set up at home.  ( )

      This is the third post in a series which concerns worries about a financial collapse in the US, and wherever this leads afterward.

        According to the US Department of Labor Statistics, unemployment in the United States is at 8.1% as of May 4, 2012.     (technical data may be found here: )   However, some economists and a lot of Americans believe that the true unemployment rate is a good deal higher than this figure suggests.   The BLS calculation I mentioned above is calculated in the following way.

 The BLS samples 60,000 US households and this gives them information on 110,000 workers.
 60,000 of these people are employed full time, either in their own business or working for others.
 10,000 of the unemployed say they are looking for work.
 40,000 are not included in the statistic because they are considered by the BLS to be either in school, disabled, or not presently seeking employment.

 Given these statistics, the unemployment rate might really be 14.3 % )

 This is an extremely flawed way of calculating the true unemployment rate in the US.

1. First of all, how are the sample of 60,000 selected each quarter ?   Do we choose cities where things are going well, or cities where there are not a lot of people working, like Detroit ?   How did they establish a mean ?
2. This figure does not account for the many, many new college graduates or those with new Master's degrees or Phds who cannot find work, and incidentally, are worried sick about their inability to begin to pay the crushing debt of student loans.
3. This method of sampling counts as working those who work part time, or those who could not possibly support themselves with the number of hours or salary they receive.
4. This method excludes high school students who in a better economy might be working to pay car insurance or save for college.  They are simply excluded from these figures.
5. Some years ago, I resigned from a job, and they did not want me to leave, so in the hope that I would return, they placed me on "an extended leave".  (Gosh I hope they are continuing to put away retirement for me, "she says jokingly") Using the methods of the BLS, I would be considered employed, despite the fact that I have not drawn a paycheck from that particular employer in 10 years.

Many new graduates are very frustrated in that they have been unable to find employment in ANY field following graduation from universities. They cannot go on with their lives or begin to pay their student debtloads without jobs.

        If one adjusts for their odd methodology, then the unemployment rate in the US could actually be 30% or more, higher.  Yes, we could actually have a US unemployment rate of 40%, higher in some places, and lower in others.

          The Depression of the 1930s occurred with a much lower population than we have now.  According to the BLS itself,  these were the unemployment rates in the US for the years listed:

Year Unemployment rate

   Seeing these makes us wonder whether we have a second "Great Depression" and that no one wishes to tell us about it until it is clearly ending. What happens when or if a large contingent of people in the US begin to believe that we are in a Depression, and that our government is either not interested in solving these issues, or addressing our problems.  Would rioting result ?  Would posse commitatus be set aside, along with our eroding US Constitution, and would military and police place people in work camps "for their own protection" or so they "can be fed, and receive medical care ?"    I used to think this was a ridiculous scenario, but I am now, not so sure.

Read more about this:


Gorges Smythe said...

You keep talkin' like that and you'll start seein' strange men in suits hangin' 'round your neighborhood!

JaneofVirginia said...

I am afraid that a number of Congressmen know of my concern, and have since 2008. As for neighborhood, they would have to find it first ! This could be tough because they stopped delivering mail to this area in the 70s, when the rural post office was closed. To get mail here, one travels to a post office a distance from here to pick it up about once a week or so.