May 29, 2012

US Unemployment and the Ubiquitous “Zombie Job” Market

US Unemployment and the Ubiquitous "Zombie Job" Market
Bill Bonner
Bill Bonner
Reckoning today from Baltimore, Maryland...

Yesterday was Memorial Day. We said a prayer for all the brave men and women who died in war...after all, we have a heart!

But the brain never quite gets in sync. When it looks at what those soldiers were doing, it wishes they had never left home. America's wars were almost all 'wars of choice,' says a friend. "They were fought to expand the power of the empire. The Mexican-American war was a bald-faced grab for Mexican land. The 'Civil War' was a battle to bring the South into submission. The US took Puerto Rico and the Philippines in the Spanish American war. President Wilson took the US into WWI simply to throw our weight around in Europe; we had no dog in that fight. He botched up the peace so badly that the Europeans went to war again 20 years later to sort it out. That was a war — WWII in Europe — that the US didn't have to get involved in either. 

"And then there was Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan...and hundreds of sleazy assassinations, tawdry meddles and rank ops. They all increased the reach and power of the military-led empire...but the price was paid by the Old Republic, which is now almost extinct."

Mr. Obama can start a war with whomever he vote of the people's elected representatives needed (as if that would make any difference).

Frankly, we never much cared for the empire. We liked the Old Republic, as it was meant to be. So, we didn't festoon our house with red, white and blue, celebrating the success of the US empire, this Memorial Day. Instead, we hung black crepe...and mourned the loss of America.

And what's this...? A headline that caught our eye:

100 Million Americans Without Jobs...

Business Insider reports:
The national unemployment rate gets lots of attention, and lately more attention has been paid to the workforce participation rate since more Americans have given up looking for a job, but we can also see that an astounding 100 million Americans don't have jobs... According to the April jobs report, the number of jobless American stood at 100.9 million.
Let's see...that's about one in three Americans actually working. And how many of them have productive jobs? It depends on what you mean.

Do you mean jobs that actually increase the supply of goods and services that make up our real wealth? If so, you have to take out all the people who are doing zombie jobs...

You may be thinking of people working for the government...paper pushers whose contribution to national prosperity is marginal, or even negative. What about all the TSA agents who are feeling up nuns and radiating grandmothers? And what about people who work for the zombie industries — like "Government Motors"...funded by the feds...or Solyndra, which got a $535 million loan, guaranteed by the feds...or the Bank of America, kept in business by Fed bailouts...or any one of dozens of companies whose revenues come almost entirely from the feds? Do any of them add to the nation's wealth? Net? Probably not.

So, out of a population of 311,000,000 how many are carrying the load? 

Maybe 50 million. One in 6. The rest are zombies. Or retired. In school. Disabled. Or just goofing off.

Land of the free? RIP. More, below...

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