Unemployment – OUT OF WORK

Abbott & Costello

Who’s on First

As a kid I enjoyed the antics of a very famous duo-comedy force called Abbott and Costello. One was a straight man for the other. They had some classic side splitting skits. One of them called  “Who’s on First” is genius comedy.  The skit below is modeled after “Who’s On First.”  This version is even funnier than the original.   Of course, if you are either unemployed or out of work you may not see the humor.

Unemployment- OUT OF WORK

 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% or16%?

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

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

 ABBOTT: No, Obama said 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 his 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 gave up looking 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 Obama

gets it to 9%.   Otherwise it would be 16%. He doesn’t want you to read about 16% unemployment.

COSTELLO: That would be tough on his reelection.

ABBOTT: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question

for you. That means there are 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 have Obama’s supporters stop looking for work.

 ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like the Obama Economy Czar.

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

 ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like Obama.

Thanks Diane for a great laugh.

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5 Responses

  1. [...] Unemployment – OUT OF WORK [...]

  2. There is a term used in India called “disguised unemployment”. If two people are doing a job that can actually be done by one person, it is called ‘disguised unemployment” as the second person in not gainfully employed. I think we need to think of exporting this principle to other countries suffering from unemployment!!

    • Ankur: I am familiar with the practice but never herd it called that before. Perhaps we should adopt it during these hard times.

  3. So, who IS on first?

    • I don’t know what you are talking about.

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