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Ear to the Ground

Unemployment Keeps On Rising

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Posted on Mar 6, 2009
Chow Chows
kukuchew.com

This is what a depressed economy looks like: The U.S. unemployment rate has risen steadily for the past 14 months.

Not since Ronald Reagan’s reckless free marketeering have we seen unemployment this high: The U.S. jobless rate hit 8.1 percent in February, with 651,000 jobs cut during the month.

The Guardian:

Unemployment in the US has surged to 8.1%, hitting its highest rate since 1983, as struggling employers reacted to a worsening economic slump by slashing 651,000 jobs in February.

The government figures indicated that cutbacks are accelerating in almost every category of work with big drops in manufacturing, construction and service sector jobs.

Adding to the gloom, the US labour department sharply revised downwards its employment figures for two preceding months, saying that 655,000 jobs were lost in January and that 681,000 were cut in December, compared to previous estimates of 598,000 and 577,000 respectively.

The revisions mean that more jobs were lost in December than any month since October 1949.

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By Folktruther, March 8, 2009 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

Inherit- It wasn’t Obaama that fucked things up, it was Bush.  But Obama has to correct it, and I don’t see how he can.  Unemployment is accelerating, partially because of lack of demand because of unemployment and the threat of it.  So he has to take control of the economy to incrrease investment to put people back to work to increase demand.

And he can’t.  The ruling class is much more powerful now than it was in the last depression, and won’t give up their money and, more important, their power.  Even the few percent raise on the taxes of the upper two percent doesn’t kick in until the Bush taxcuts die in 2011.

He has to nationalize the banks- not fake nationalization- and get credit flowing into investment.  And he can’t.

What has to happen is that busineses go bankrupt, the rich by them at a fraction of their value, and increasing centralization occurs, and after years, the economy may start up again.  In the meantime the police and military shoot down demonstrators as McArther did the Bonus Marchers in the last depression.

Karl Marx was right.  But China, with a new form of capitalism, party capitalism, maintains control of their economy, so far, by constraints on the flow of capital.  When the US economy declined 6% in the last quarter of 2008, the Chinese economy increased 6%, a terrible rate for them.  But they can buffet themselves from the world downturn to a large extent, as they did during the Asian downturn nearly a decade ago.  So while the West goes down, east Asia may go up.

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By marcyincny, March 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

I don’t care if it is the end of life as we know it as long as I can swoon over that chow chow. Thanks for the eye candy!

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By winston, March 7, 2009 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People don’t realize it yet.  The tsunami already over our heads is massive middle class homelessness.  Employers that need to cut cost should be urged to cut employees to 4 day weeks with the same cut in pay.  We need to keep people in their homes and with some buying power and keep their kids in schools.  The Ratpublican too-free-market is destroying us all.

When the recovery comes (which may take a reinvented economy and many years) it will need individuals who can immediately join in.  Homelessness would be a cliff those individuals would have to scale first.

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By Joe Gall, March 6, 2009 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That’s U3, not U6, which is twice as high.

The political scumbags are always lying.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 6, 2009 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

Obama hasn’t had a chance to f*** things up—he’s not even be Pres for 2 months and his economic plan hasn’t even gone into effect yet. 

The last time unemployment was this bad, Ronald Reagan had been President for 2 years and 11 months—and his economic plan had been in effect for over 2 years.

To lower the UR under RR, they stopped counting people on the unemployment rolls and starting adding the military into the overall population.  Neither actually put people back to work but made the numbers look smaller.  Reagonomics was a failure and he should have been dumped in 1984, just like Bush should have been dumped in 2004.

Rachel Madow tonight pointed out that when you add in the part-time employed and those that fell off the unemployment rolls, the number is 14.5%, not 8.1%  BTW, 8.1% is about 12 million people.  And I know a bunch of them—about 14.

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By howie bledsoe, March 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

whos bitching? work sucks, dude!

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By Major Domo, March 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s the real kicker no one wants to address. Free trade pretty much killed off those production jobs where one uses their hands and sweat of their brow to produce an item for sale. People preferred working in a cushy office job with air conditioning pushing paper and answering a phone - more money for less effort. The irony is that those of us who still know how to make things work find ourselves surrounded by a room full of wanna-be’s claiming to have experience, but totally clueless. Unfortunately, they’ll work for pennies on the dollar which erodes the value of the work being performed. It also increases the workload for those of us who know what to do - we have to go in and clean up their mess on top of our own work and not get a penny for the effort and time. Things will get much worst for a longer period of time than most expect before the economy turns around, but the employment picture will look more like the ravaged fields of trench warfare after WWI in Europe.

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By Shift, March 6, 2009 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

What difference does unemployment make when existing jobs do not pay enough to live in America.  None!  Capitalism is a zero sum game, we have nothing, a few rich people have everything.  Game over!  Go home if you have one.

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By coloradokarl, March 6, 2009 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

If your selling the trinkets of excess or pushing paper it’s trouble. If your doing a service or making a good product (Green?) your hard and productive work will pay off. Government jobs are soon to follow. Get a hobby that sells or can be traded. Fat,Idle and lazy people who have been milking valueless jobs are in for the awakening they deserve. Hard work brings health and happiness. SOCIOECONOMIC Darwinism means Survival of the Fittest. Can’t survive without Insulin?  better lose weight and exercise and start NOW. The Parties OVER Folks…

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By felicity, March 6, 2009 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

Actually, for the last five years the unemployment rate, advertised at 5 percent was 8 percent.  Today’s figure should be 11 percent.  That’s a double-digit unemployment rate and that’s ominous.

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