Monday, March 12, 2012

Abbott and Costello classic "Who's on Unemployment"!

Is the US economy and the unemployment rate really improving?

Trillions of dollars in government spending by the Obama administration has left the United States with an official headline unemployment rate of 8.3% along with an anemic economic recovery.

But to hear President Obama and the Democrats crowing, however, you would think things were much, much better!

So do their statements represent reality or simply wishful thinking in an election year?

And, with the MSM squarely on the same page sending the same message, does this talk sway the perception of the American public so that the idea that the economy is anything but horrendous becomes reality?

The actual reality from Gallup!

"... The 0.5-percentage-point increase in February compared with January is the largest such month-to-month change Gallup has recorded in its not-seasonally adjusted measure since December 2010, when the rate rose 0.8 points to 9.6% from 8.8% in November. A year ago, Gallup recorded a February increase of 0.4 percentage points, to 10.3% from 9.9% in January 2011.

In addition to the 9.1% of U.S. workers who are unemployed, 10.0% are working part time but want full-time work. This percentage is similar to the 10.1% in January, but is higher than the 9.6% of February 2011..."

Source: Gallup

Abbott and Costello and their classic "Who's on Unemployment"!

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America .


ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible times. It’s 9%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?


ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.

COSTELLO: You just said 9%.


ABBOTT: 9% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 9% out of work.


ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 16% unemployed.


ABBOTT: No, that’s 9%…

COSTELLO: Wait a minute. Is it 9% or 16%?


ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.

COSTELLO: IF you are out of work you are unemployed.


ABBOTT: No, you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.

COSTELLO: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!


ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.

COSTELLO: What point?


ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work, can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.

COSTELLO: To whom?


ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.


ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles, that would count as less unemployment?
ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?


ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how you get to 9%. Otherwise it would be 16%. You don’t want to read about 16% unemployment do ya?

COSTELLO: That would be frightening.


ABBOTT: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means they’re two ways to bring down the unemployment number?


ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?


ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?


ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.


ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like an economist.

COSTELLO: I don't even know what the hell I just said!

H/T Greg Mankiw

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