Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kids say the damnedest things, are we stuck in a moment? Lies have consequences.

'We may become the makers of our fate when we have ceased to pose as its prophets. It is always flattering to belong to the inner circle of the initiated, and to possess the unusual power of predicting the course of history. Besides, there is a tradition that intellectual leaders are gifted with such powers, and not to possess them may lead to loss of caste. The danger, on the other hand, of their being unmasked as charlatans is very small, since they can always point out that it is certainly permissible to make less sweeping predictions; and the boundaries between these and augury are fluid. If you know that things are bound to happen whatever you do, then you may feel free to give up the fight against them. You may, more especially, give up the attempt to control those things which most people agree to be social evils, such as war; or, to mention a smaller but nevertheless important thing, the tyranny of a petty official
.' -Karl R. Popper

'I'm not afraid
Of anything in this world
There's nothing you can throw at me
That I haven't already heard
I never thought you were a fool
You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment
And now you can't get out of it

'For a moment there, I thought we were in trouble'
-Butch Cassidy

As stated previously on this blog: During the First Great Depression the Unemployment Rate peaked at 23.53% in 1932, 24.75% in 1933 and 21.6% in 1934.( Source :U.S. Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1957)

Back in those days, before the Federales massaged the relevancy of statistics into the pablum narrative rabbithole it was pretty simple to calculate the unemployment rate.

In 1932 there were 12,060,000 unemployed out of a labor force of 51,250,000, returning 23.53%.

In 1933 there were 12,830,000 unemployed out of a labor force of 51,840,000, returning 24.75%.

In 1934 there were 11,340,000 unemployed out of a labor force of 53,140,000, returning 21.60%.

Of course back then the labor force grew, now we bid the unemployed adieu.

And back then the labor force was 'defined' a tad differently.

From the Congressional Research Service's : The Labor Market during the Great Depression and the Current Recession.

The 1940 census of the population was the first statistical undertaking to include questions on the labor force defined as persons who are employed or without jobs but actively seeking work within a prescribed period of time. Before then, the 1930 census of the population, the 1937 census of unemployment, and the occasional survey conducted in various states and cities utilized a very different concept—the “gainful worker”—that is, individuals who had at some time worked in an occupation in which they earned money or the equivalent, or in which they assisted in the production of marketable goods.

With passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 1938,the age limit for employment in manufacturing industries was raised to 16 years, which effectively reduced the number of job opportunities for young persons. This, in turn, might have prompted some teenagers to refrain from entering the workforce and instead, remain voluntarily in school after reaching age 14.

The increase in unemployment was greatest among young workers. The number of unemployed 14 to 24 year olds rose by 251% between 1930 and 1940. The Fair Labor Standards Act (which prohibited 14-and 15-year-olds from working for manufacturers) effectively limited the job options of the very youngest workers as well.

AM here : Was under the impression that in the First Great Depression the Unemployment Rate counted everyone over the age of 16 that did not have a job. In a previous entry had stated: In 1916 the Child Labor Act passed, setting a national minimum age of 14 in industries producing nonagricultural goods for interstate commerce or for export and the Keating-Owen Act passed, forbidding the transportation among states of products of factories, shops or canneries employing children under 14 years of age, of mines employing children under 16 years of age, and the products of any of these employing children under 16 who worked at night or more than eight hours a day.

It would appear though that prior to 1938, there were a lot of unemployed 14 and 15 year olds that were included in the unemployment rate.

That makes the following study even more frightening.

It speaks for itself: the first column represents 12/07 and the second column represents 12/09.

Center for Working-Class Studies at Youngstown State University


Officially Unemployed 4.9%, 10.0%
Marginally Attached .8%, 1.5%
Discouraged 02%, .05%
Underemployed 3.1%, 6.0%
Excess disability 6.0%, 6.0%
Government programs 4.0%, 4.0%
Subtotal 18.52%, 28.35%


Officially Unemployed- Persons who worked less than one hour during the nationally determined reference period (one week), looked for during this period, and were available for work during this period.

Latent Job Candidates

Marginally attached workers - Persons not in the labor force who want and are available for work and who have looked for a job sometime in prior 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months), but were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.

Discouraged workers - Persons not is labor force who want are available for a job and who have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months)
Underemployed -Persons who would like to work full-time but are not able to do so for economic reasons such as unavailability of full-time work or reduced demand for hours by current employer

Excess disability - Persons who are excluded from labor force because of sick leave or early retirement

Government Programs - Persons receiving government subsidized or government provided programs. For example, low wage workers receiving Earned Income Tax Credits

These estimates may be low given what has happened in the economy and the lack of current data. For example, individuals going to colleges and universities have increased dramatically during the current recession/regional depression but are not counted as part of labor market

For more information about the de-facto unemployment rate, contact John Russo at the Center of Working-Class Studies at

AM here: Kids say the damnedest things don't they?

Good luck going home and explaining to your relatives living in the Matrix that it is a Great Depression ... maybe you can try grounding some red pills into the gravy.

I'll go ask a smartypants about the age 14 thing and let you know in an add-on.

But let's be clear, of course it is a Great Depression.

It is not merely a question of semantics, it matters. How can we the people have any voice to articulate the solution when we are being corn-fed a specious premise?

Lies have consequences.

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