Who’s on First

Who ever wrote this piece is brilliant. I have always wondered why politicians are so enamored with the unemployment rate. After reading this bit I figure it is because a lower number is easier to defend than a higher number. In my books the real number is the percentage of people out of work. After all, they were working before the economy crashed so why give up counting them?



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

ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s 5.6%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that’s 23%.

COSTELLO: You just said 5.6%.

ABBOTT: 5.6% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 5.6% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 23%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 23% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 5.6%.

COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 5.6% or 23%?

ABBOTT: 5.6% are unemployed. 23% 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.


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 ALL of them are 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 it gets to 5.6%. Otherwise it would be 23%.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 people stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like a Democrat.

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

ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like Hillary..

2 Responses

  1. Yes, 23% is probably the right count. When Barry O claims x amount of new jobs created they don’t include jobs lost to get a real count and most of the new jobs are part time and low wage. Why don’t they tell us the total amount of jobs lost over the last two decades because companies have taken the jobs to other countries? That has to be in the millions. These companies should be taxed at a rate so high that it is no longer profitable to make things outside of US.

    I have a plan to create over 10 million jobs. IF YOU SELL IT HERE YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT HERE. This allows foreign countries to still have factories here and make money by investing in the geographic US but using American workers. Once these new workers have jobs their salaries go back into our own economy and even more people now go to work and an upward spiral of full employment skyrockets. Then there will be more jobs than people to fill them and salaries will rise.

    We know who’s on first alright. And second, third and home. The exploitative megabanks and megacorps have the bases loaded and their pockets loaded and the system is loaded against American workers.

  2. Good one. Highlights the emotions attached with unemployment that, perhaps, cause the un-objective treatment.

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