Wednesday, September 8, 2010

You know, sometimes I just want to tell people to piss off.

Suppose that instead of handing out free money to 9.2 million unemployed, we hire them at minimum wage to spit at the moon.

This one is a bit of a rant.  Yes, I realize there is some inconsistency with past writings, but hell, the situation is so damn complex, with so many facets, I really can't keep it all in my head.

I was unemployed for around sixty months a couple of years ago.  I was an overqualified, fat, old man who was well-used to making big coin.  Needless to say, this is not the optimum way to  way a approach a job market.  But I am used to working, and having two ex-wives and a couple of teenage boys means that I need to work.  My social security sheet that they send me every years shows that I have been pretty good at it too.

So I drew my unemployment check.  Searched for jobs in a big way, took the first job that got offered.  At 40% of my old pay rate.  Sixty weeks into unemployment   The folks who walked out the door the same time as I did are still looking.  They mocked me at the time for taking a job beneath my station.  They recently ran out their 99 weeks.

So, that being said.  If an overqualified guy with nothing but excellent reports on work ethic and effort takes over a year to get a job paying well below what I made before, I would say that the data shows that the job market is complete shit and there aren't jobs there.

So reading Mike (Mish Shedlock) is never a way to make me amused.  Truthfully, this guy probably goes into a bathroom each and every night with a copy of Atlas Shrugged and pulls out the vaseline.  My God.  there are something like 11 million fewer jobs than there were in 2007.     Our factories are now in other countries.  There are scads of folks that would jump at any job offered.

So, while Wikipedia isn't perfect, it isn't all bad.

Cyclical or Keynesian unemployment, also known as deficient-demand unemployment, occurs when there is not enough aggregate demand in the economy. It gets its name because it varies with the business cycle, though it can also be persistent, as during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Cyclical unemployment is caused by a business cycle recession, and wages not falling to meet the equilibrium level. Cyclical unemployment rises during economic downturns and falls when the economy improves. Keynesians argue that this type of unemployment exists due to inadequate effective aggregate demand. Demand for most goods and services falls, less production is needed and consequently fewer workers are needed, wages do not fall to meet the equilibrium level, and mass unemployment results.
Some consider this type of unemployment one type of frictional unemployment in which factors causing the friction are partially caused by some cyclical variables. For example, a surprise decrease in the money supply may shock participants in society.
With cyclical unemployment, the number of unemployed workers exceeds the number of job vacancies, so that if even all open jobs were filled, some workers would remain unemployed. This kind of unemployment coincides with unused industrial capacity (unemployed capital goods). Keynesian economists see it as possibly being solved by government deficit spending or by expansionary monetary policy, which aims to increase non-governmental spending by loweringinterest rates.
In contrast, Austrian economists argue that government spending and policies are the root cause of economic cycles and cyclical unemployment and should be reformed or removed.
Classical economics rejects the conception of cyclical unemployment, seeing the attainment of full employment of resources and potential output as the normal state of affairs.[citation needed]
Mish is an Austrian dude.  That means he is a Calvinist among economics.  The bad people (read here lazy unemployed) are to be shunned.  They have not pleased the God of money and must be made to suffer.  The people with jobs and income are the chosen, they have pleased the god of mammon and are allowed all things good.  They get to keep their tax breaks.

But, answer me this.  Mish is a stockbroker and a photographer of magazine covers.   When was the last time he looked for work in an economy where there are 10-11 million fewer jobs than three years before and 30 or so million other folks competing for them?  Has he ever seen an hungry kid while snapping his pictures of suburban gardens?  Has he ever stared at a bottle and wondered if he could stay away from hopelessness another day.

Take a good look at the graph that I lifted for John Williams "Shadowstats" website.  Just remember that each of those percentage points stands for 1.55 million souls.

Best I can figure, cuz the PTB and the blogarati don't put things in easy numbers, there are around 135 million job positions out there for around 155 million folks who want to work.  There are around 15 million of the current jobs that don't pay enough to make ends meet (part time or just plain really shitty).  There are around 6 million folks who have given up looking.

So Shedlock's view is that we cut off all government and all support for everyone and the market will magically fix everything.  Hose all current employees.  Cut off all government programs.  Baby goes out with the bathwater thank you very much.

That is the real trouble with reading the economic blogs.  They talk about the stock market and the bond market.  They speak of Keynesian schools and Austrian schools.  Stimulus versus shock therapy is all the rage over canapes.  They have the coin, that proves they are virtuous.  The rest of us poor trash can suffer because that is our lot.

The rest of us work. Or starve

Just to piss folks off, the Muslims are even above Mish in this one.  Muhammad was speaking of orphans in this one, but I am reasonably certain that the thought carries over
"To improve their lot is best; if you have any dealings with them, [remember] they are your brethren. God distinguishes the plunderer from the improver."


Mayberry said...

While I would rather the government keep it's nose out of my business, I'd much rather see people getting unemployment over the corporate welfare we've been watching with horror. And which hasn't done a damn thing to improve the economy (which can't be improved, because it is in collapse).

russell1200 said...

Mish often shows the worst characteristics of the Libertarian-Austrian school.

For myself, I have a bigger problem with the Libertarian part of the philosophy than the Austrian.

Mish was a computer programmer who lost his and spent a long time unemployed. He got interested in finance and started his blog. The blog led to his new employment.

I liked the idea of libertarianism until I met some. They were somewhat successful people who had the good fortune to be born in the middle class, and had managed to stay there. None of them were remotely a rags to riches story.