Job Market Nearing Full “Recovery?” Here’s a Dose of Reality

Don’t Trust the low Unemployment Rate for the Answer!

By Doug Short, Advisor Perspectives:

The unemployment rate beat expectations by dropping from 4.9% to 4.6%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) was above forecast at 178,000. A decline in the unemployment rate is a good thing, right? Not in the November employment report.

The Shrinking Unemployment Rate

The closely watched headline unemployment rate is a calculation of the percentage of the Civilian Labor Force, age 16 and older, that is currently unemployed. Let’s put this metric into its historical context. The first chart below illustrates this monthly data point since 1990.

In the latest data this indicator dropped to 4.6%. The age 16+ population grew by 219,000, but the labor force (the employed and unemployed actively seeking employment) more than offset that growth with a shrinkage of 226,000. The the number of employed grew by 160,000 while 387,000 unemployed vanished. How can that be? Obviously, the lion’s share of the unemployed didn’t join the ranks of the employed. They simply disappeared from the labor force.

Unemployment in the Prime Age Group

Let’s look at the same statistic for the core workforce, ages 25-54. This cohort leaves out the employment volatility of the high-school and college years, the lower employment of the retirement years and also the age 55-64 decade when many in the workforce begin transitioning to retirement … for example, two income households that downsize into one-income households.

In the latest data this indicator has dropped to 4.0% from 4.2% the previous month. The cohort population grew by 37,000, but the labor force shrank by a whopping 231,000! The breakdown of the shrinkage is 9,000 employed, and 222,000 unemployed. Here we can clearly surmise that the 0.2% drop in the employment rate was the result of the unemployed leaving the labor force.

A More Sobering Measure

A wildcard in the two snapshots above is the volatility of the Civilian Labor Force — most notably the subset of people who move in and out of the workforce for various reasons, not least of which is discouragement during business cycle downturns. The chart below continues to focus on our 25-54 core cohort with a broader measure: The Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR). The LFPR is calculated as the Civilian Labor Force divided by the Civilian Noninstitutional Population (i.e., not in the military or institutionalized). Because of the extreme volatility of the metric, our focus is the 12-month moving average.

Based on the moving average, today’s age 25-54 cohort would require 2.4 million additional people in the labor force to match its interim peak participation rate in 2008 and 3.7 million to match the peak rate around the turn of the century.

Why are so many more labor force participants needed for a complete LFPR recovery? When the economy is moving at full speed, as in the late 1990s, jobs are abundant, which encourages the population on the workforce sidelines to join the ranks of the employed. Today’s economy doesn’t offer that sort of encouragement.

Employment-to-Population Ratio

The next chart below is calculated as the Civilian Employed divided by the Civilian Noninstitutional Population. Again our focus is the 12-month moving average. A significant feature of the Employment-to-Population Ratio is that it isn’t affected by the volatility of labor force participants who, for various reasons, are unemployed.

First the good news: This metric began to rebound from its post-recession trough in late 2012. However, the more disturbing news is that the current age 25-54 cohort would require an increase of 2.7 million employed prime-age participants to match its ratio peak in 2007. To match its mid-2000 peak would require a 4.7 million participant increase.

A Structural Change in the Economy

The charts above offer strong evidence that our economy is in the midst of a massive structural change. The three mainstream employment statistics — unemployment, labor force participation, and employment-to-population — all document an ongoing economic weakness far deeper than the result of a business cycle downturn.

In order to discount the general belief that the aging of the baby boom generation is a major factor in weak employment, we’ve focused on the 25-54 age group. Also, by excluding the age 55-64 decade associated with early or pre-retirement, we’ve eliminated a cohort that might include a major source of discouraged or less-determined workers.

The Growth of the Elderly Workforce

Let’s close this analysis with a chart that essentially demolishes the prevailing view of our aging population as a demographic drag on labor supply. Here is the ratio of the 65-and-over cohort as a percent of the employed civilian population all the way back to 1948, the earliest year of government employment data. Mind you … these people are not only in the workforce, but also actually employed.

The 12-month moving average of elderly employment is at its historic high of 5.9% — now over double its low in the mid-1980s. This is a trend with multiple root causes, most notably longer lifespans, the decline in private sector pensions and frequent cases of insufficient financial planning. Another major factor is the often surprising discovery by many of the elderly that, financial consideration aside, the “golden years of retirement” are less personally satisfying than productive employment. Note that the growth acceleration began in the late 1990s, prior to the last two business cycle downturns (aka “recessions”).

In Conclusion…

We are clearly experiencing a structural change in employment, one that continues to have a major impact on the overall economy. The fact this change was exacerbated by a business cycle downturn in late 2007 should not blind us to its structural nature. By Doug Short, Advisor Perspectives.

But households get a feel-good illusion. Read…  OK, I get it: Companies Clamor for Cheap Labor, Fed Delivers

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  126 comments for “Job Market Nearing Full “Recovery?” Here’s a Dose of Reality

  1. Meme Imfurst says:

    Wolf, the real structural change in employment has barely surfaced. That being Artificial intelligence and automation which are in the process of destroying more jobs than any one can yet see. Cars, trucks, trains, grocery, bartenders, construction….there are no areas where these folks are safe including medicine. The examples are everywhere, from robots babysitting in Japan to the Tesla, to Amazon’s goal of zero humans in their workforce, trucks that deliver beer, the machine doctor that runs the scan and dispenses the medicine.

    Sound so kool to the techies. So who needs humans now. Let the machines buy and sell to each other and that pesky GDP doesn’t have to be fake just like the employment numbers and corporate profit numbers.

    Not a nice future when no one has an answer on how to put cash in the hands of people to buy that American dream or a cup of coffee.

    • AeroFX says:

      Meme – Trump is here to make us great again ok? Relax he will Tweet a solution in just a moment LOL! He knows machine language and will make the robots back down. If not the Klan will take care of it!

    • Paulo says:

      Manufacturing of construction products is vulnerable, but not so much construction, per se. For example, you might have pre-fab stairs made in a factory, but they still have to be installed and finished out. Spindles and railing stock might be made by a robot-like machine, and are, but cannot be installed by one. Roof trusses are the same, but often a rafter roof is called for and an actual person is required to think and build.

      Unless, of course, we all one day live in renovated shipping containers stacked one on top of each other.

      I have worked in construction on and off for most of my life between stints at flying and teaching. My helicopter friends are now worried about drones taking over a good deal of their work in freight transport and fire fighting. Teachers are vulnerable to online offerings, if parents want their kids to be taught on screens, but a skilled tradesman is not so easily replaced while there is still cash or goods to trade for services.

      I could work everyday if I chose to do so, and my son who has his own small electrical contracting business is ecstatic he might have a week or two off over Christmas. When power is needed or upgraded a qualified electrician is mandated by safety codes.

      On a downturn in aviation back in ’81, I wrote my trade exams for carpentry as I had the industry experience required and references to prove it. I have never ever regretted having the Red Seal. It is portable, and is a basis for customers to understand what they are paying for. Contractors come and go, and handyman building services are all over the map, but with certification it is understood a certain competency is present.

      Plus…and this is a big plus, you can build your own house for peanuts. When something needs repair you can do it yourself and save thousands of dollars. This is why I was able to retire in my fifties.

      I heartily encourage all young people to ‘get’ a trade before even thinking about university. I hate seeing ‘kids’ spending the folks dime finding themselves, or figuring out what they want to do. What a waste. That should have been done at high school, and would have if parents were engaged.

      • UK Immo says:

        Paulo the fake news freaks and others now in power who deny science as well are out to gut education. Its pathetic and your point on education is spot-on. WE have the same fools in the UK. Blind and stupid is no way to go through life. Farage should ashamed at the foolishness he has wrought.

        Cheers from a bit across the pond!

        • rich says:

          Fast food restaurant baron in charge of the Labor Department

          Rothschild, Inc billionaire in charge of the Commerce Department

          Goldman Sachs billionaire in charge on the Treasury

          Privately schooled billionaire heiress in charge of the public school system

          Attorney that sues the EPA in charge of the EPA

          General who spreads fake news in charge of the NSA

          And soon to come, Goldman Sachs billionaire in charge of America’s budget.

          So what do they call it when the foxes guard the chicken coops and the common working folks are thrown under the bus?

          “Making America Great Again”, one plutocrat at a time.

        • John Doyle says:

          Is it too much to hope Trump operates on the old principle
          “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”?
          He seems to be appointing people who are opposite on the spectrum of his earlier speeches. It’s so bizarre, it sounds like a plan!

        • d says:

          How much of this is P45 and how much is pence .

          Is the first question you should ask.

          This is a very Pence line up.

          Do we have president pence and King POTUS Elect P45.

          Its beginning to look that way.

          Kings Frequently can do very little, with out the cooperation of their first (Pence) minister.

          Pence get elected POTUS, NEVER.

          Pence run the show.

          We shall have to wait and see.

          Who ran the Reagan white house, Ronnie or Nancy?

      • Saylor says:

        Uh…I can see modular housing pretty much devouring many of the construction jobs.
        Laser measuring/cutting and such produces a very ‘tight’ and accurate structure.
        In California they are heading towards ‘net zero’ housing. I was in one and it was pretty amazing. A contractor had the specs delivered to a manufacturing company in Arizona. The dwelling came in two sections. So aside from the grading/foundation, delivery and set up, most of the work was done in a factory with CNC equipment.
        A friend of mine almost got her kid to sign up to a company that taught machining and 3D print programing. Unfortunately he passed on the job feeling it would be too boring. But, I digress. While there will be a need for the trades, even they will become more plug and play and less actual fundamental skill.

        • Saylor says:

          I meant to mention that the cost of having this house built at a modular house company (in spite of the additional specs the builder required to make it ‘net zero’) the house was far cheaper than a ‘stick built on site’ house and waaaay far cheaper that building a ‘net zero’ house on site by a factor of 3 to 4.

        • Paulo says:

          True enough, but modular homes are not very good quality and cost almost as much by the time a contractor/carpenter ‘fixes’ the problems. I know, I was just involved with one. Just minor things occured, like missing conduit in walls, electrical panel on wrong side of service feed, poor quality drywall, cheap cabinets, etc. And the price per sq ft is damn near the same when the dust settles.

          The factories always make wonderful claims about their product, but when you look at what you have it is simply particle board and OSB junk. To a regular consumer in a modular home park it looks good and everything is new, but the quality is way below what a builder does.

          I have seen pre-fabs arrive to set up on a foundation 3″ short. I guess someone used different plans.

          Think about it, what isn’t automated is done assembly line fashion using unskilled labour paid at a low rate. The sub-floors are nailed down, carpet installed as well as lino, then the walls are installed over top. Basically, it’s crap and I don’t care what the factory owner claims.

          One thing people need to ask about a house purchase is, “Are we buying a home with possible re-sale appreciation? Or, are we buying a shelter”? It is the biggest purchase people will make in their lives and mass production is exactly what it states. They even sell home packages at Home Depot. Might as well buy a used trailer and throw an addition on the side and save $150,000.

          As for CAD opportunities? I used to teach CAD. The design jobs are all in India, now. there are very very few in-house designers and engineers these days. It’s all part of the Great Race to the Bottom.

        • Dan Romig says:

          Concur with you Paulo. There have been a few ‘box on box’ two story homes built in my neighborhood over the last few years, and they are made of OSB, wrapped in Tyvek and quickly assembled. Most are listed @ $419,000 and are on 120′ by 40′ lots.

          The appeal is probably that they are new and look well appointed in the kitchen and bath(s), but they are essentially two mobile homes stacked on top of each other.

      • Pete Koziar says:

        3D printed buildings:

        No job is safe, not even construction.

        – Pete

      • 3phase says:

        I quite agree Paolo. I went to college after high school and as graduation closed in I spent a lot of time worrying and thinking about career options. Reading sites like this helped me make a decision and I got into the electrical trade even though my education had nothing to do with it. It gives me a good laugh when I hear people say construction can be automated. Sure plenty of things can be prefabricated, but there’s so much that can only be built in the field. Until we have some incredibly versatile and limber robots it isn’t going to happen. Prefab is even kind of an issue because at the hospital I’m building right now the sorry excuses for piss poor engineering design has us reworking a large number of our installs as design flaws are discovered. There’s plenty of work out there right now for electrical (at least in my city), pay is better than many of my peers trying to milk their degrees. Of course I still feel poor given the cost of living but I guess that’s america now.

      • Dave says:

        Paulo, I agree completely with your post. I similarly piloted airplanes at different times in my life. Most of my working life was spent working as a tradesman in my own businesses, 20 years ago I began farming wine grapes, today 65, owner of a successful small winery. I love working everyday, but I admit I leave the most strenuous work to younger employees now. I have friends who have far better educations than me, I am much better off financially and love my job.

    • RD Blakeslee says:

      Wolf Street has reported this phenomenon in some detail:

      Local economic organization and smaller enterprises are starting to emerge to “escape” from international corporate dominance:

      An economists theoretical analysis, advocating increased localization of economic governance:

      Here in WV, our agriculture (even cattle finishing, slaughter and retailing) is moving toward local enterprise:

      There is no guarantee that this trend will escape increasing automation, but the incentive to take care for our local people (including their need to be employed) is far stronger than in any international corporation’s boardroom.

      • JerryBear says:

        It is really good to hear this. Marx always said that it is up to the working class to free themselves.

    • Sidera says:

      Automation and robotics are a positive for the economy. Think of all the jobs in the research and development, sales and maintenance of all of the robotics.

      Automation was killing jobs since the invention of the tractor or assembly line. This is a positive for the economy as the increased productivity is lowering costs for everyone. If we did not have this innovation, everyone would still be plowing their fields by hand.

      • Greatful again says:

        From what I’ve observed, production facilities are coming back to the US, but as highly automated plants. Replacing humans is becoming more ecomincally feasible.

        It seems that the outcome will be of a workforce that designs , sells and maintains these facilities is the next wave of employment. But, these jobs will be of a much higher skill level than those they’re replacing. For example, the truck driver is to become robot repair technician or programmer? How will the existing workforce fair in this environment ? And will this new wave of employment provide the volume of jobs that were lost to it?

        • Sidera says:

          The barriers for low skilled workers are not a technological one. The need for robots has been required due to heavy government intervention in the free market.

          Minimiun wage laws, govt insurance, property tax, inflation due to fiat currency all have confounding impacts to the health of the economy. For every new technology there is a period of uncertainty surrounding the new obsolete jobs. The free market will eventually work it self out to benefit the able working population.
          if only the govt would get out of the way of risk taking entrepreneurs who are powering our economy.

        • Kent says:

          “It seems that the outcome will be of a workforce that designs , sells and maintains these facilities is the next wave of employment.”

          Nope, that will all be done by robots.

        • Observer says:

          @ Sidera
          Do you actually read Wolf’s articles? No, it is not all the government’s fault. What do you think has been going on for the past 30 years? Deregulation and globalization courtesy of free market neoliberalism. And here we are today. Obviously, it hasn’t worked. Sheesh.

        • d says:

          Deregulation and globalization

          No it hasnt worked as American Vampire Corporates, allied themselves with china, and abused it, with china.

          To empower and enrich themselves and china, at the expense of the rest of the planet

          Trump is correct, the world has just seen the greatest and fastest, transfer of wealth, from it, to 1 nation, in its history.

          Trump however only blames china.

          In this transfer process

          Globalized Vampire Corporates currently still allied with china, based in America have developed.

          That wield more money and power, than most country’s, they are a global menace. If not swiftly globally controlled, they will suck the life blood from Humanity.

          Problem being P45 Elect dosent even see them as an issue, let alone consider doing anything about them. Which gives them another 6 to 10 years of unrestricted abusive growth, at Humanity’s expense.

          YOU WERE WARNED the US Corporations would do this, under unrestricted Globalization, and YOU DID NOT LISTEN.

          When this is over, I am not sure who will be at the top. If there is still a planet suitable for human habitation, but it wont be the US or china.

      • RD Blakeslee says:

        “Plowing fields by hand” implies subsistence agriculture.

        Is the modern, automatic assumption that such an existence is “bad”, revealed truth? “Everyone” would at least be employed and have food at hand.

        • Kent says:

          Agreed! My great grandmother was born in 1888 and passed in 1986. She was born on a farm in Decatur, IL that her father worked with horse drawn plows.

          She said life was better back then. Better food, people knew how to take care of themselves, and folks watched out for each other more.

          She didn’t see a lot of value in the suburban lifestyle.

        • JerryBear says:

          The Amish are doing quite well on just such a basis. The food would be a lot better too. I like to bake sourdough bread by hand. It has a flavor that you just can’t buy in grocery stores. Many now have “artesanal bakeries that make bread that looks like mine, but it is typically made with package mixes and machines rather than by a real live baker and the bread has no soul when you taste it.

      • Saylor says:

        There are two reasons for automation;
        A hostile environment or… cost of labor.
        There will be jobs in the area you mention, but not as many jobs as the automation replaces. Otherwise, it would not be economically worthwhile.

        • Meme Imfurst says:

          Actually there are four reasons, the third is plain greed and no interest in the community of man is the forth.

          Perhaps plumber, electrician are safe. And the guys who design the machines that automate jobs…I know one actually.

          I have seen an automated house paint machine…inside and out. It does require you take the stuff off the walls….at least right now anyway. And, yes there are automated construction sites where robots make the building.

          Nice to see so many posts and 90% see the future, al 10% see peachy keen unicorns.

      • walter map says:

        “This is a positive for the economy as the increased productivity is lowering costs for everyone.”

        This is a positive for the economy as the increased productivity is lowering costs for corporatists and increasing their profits, which are not shared with the society off which they feed.

    • nick kelly says:

      Plumbing is real safe. A bot that changes a washer is not in the forseeable future.
      And a bunch of predicted stuff is further out than estimated.
      It is lot easier to get something functioning in a test situation than to make it a practical market reality.
      The leading edge of technology is also the bleeding edge.

      I’m sticking with my pick of self- driving car as the most over-hyped example. You don’t even want to think about a bunch of these things in a busy Walmart parking lot. And the proponents don’t think about it, or the GPS going down,or a sudden rain storm or…

      People who wonder what ails this economy need to read WR posts on Health Care. It is sucking 20 % of the GDP before anyone has bought anything discretionary ( car, ice cream etc.)
      Add in the mandarins (bureaucrats) in gov, ed, and all the rest of the public sector and maybe only half the pie is left for those producing it.
      (Of course not all public sector workers are a drain on the economy- but there are few cases where they are not paid more than the same job non-public- fire dept being the poster child)
      Any small business owner will tell you that officially hiring new staff is a last resort- contract, casual, under- the- table, anything but putting a target on your back for the bureaucrats to shoot at.
      They are a bigger problem that bots stamping out widgets.

      • Greatful again says:

        Having been in construction for a lot of my life, I think there’s a time coming when it will be far more modular than it is today. Just as sheet rock replaced plaster, Romex replaced knob and tube, PEX replacing copper pipe, etc…perhaps a standard bathroom or kitchen wall with plumbing and electrical could be prefabricated and assembled on site? Or 3D printed on site? To some extent, Prefabed has been done, but execution has not been great, new technologies and materials could make it more likely.

        • economicminor says:

          Well, if the rate of new humans on the planet doesn’t decrease, all except the elite will be living in storage like container dwellings in the future. All the food will be Aquaponics, everything will be recycled and we will need some new energy source to fuel our compacted civilizations. If everyone just replaced themselves and we all live to be 100 years old it really won’t take long from this point to completely cover all habitable space.

        • Salamander says:

          CLT is in many ways just that, no? No more framing, pouring, or laying… walls milled to spec and dropped in place. I wonder if the savings in labor could ever make up for the increased cost of materials?

      • Saylor says:

        I see things becoming ‘modular’.
        Especially with the advent of 3-D printing.
        You won’t replace a washer, you’ll just replace the unit as you cannot get to the washer due to the manner in which the unit was built.

        I’ve already run into this problem with two different at home coffee machines. I couldn’t fix them because they are welded or molded shut. It was such a waste.

        • economicminor says:

          Think Replicator from Star Trek.. And you will be there!

          How far away is that?

        • Paulo says:

          It is a waste, a terrible waste. In a local city near where I live there has been a highly successful used appliance and repair shop for the last 10 years. In my kitchen I am using a lovely second-hand ‘fridge I bought from them. I did have a brand new digital range, but it started to crap out and there was no way to fix it without swapping out modules. It was cheaper to buy another one. However, instead of that I went to ye olde appliance repair shop and bought an older McClary anaologue range. Nary a problem, and as we sometimes have ‘dirty power’ here when it storms, I don’t have to worry about junk Chinese electronics spiking out. I paid $245 dollars for it and they let me drop off my ‘newer’ range behind the back.

          The world cannot support any more of a throwaway society than we already have. There is simply not enough resources to keep throwing everything away and replace with new.

          Some of you guys might like this film:

          Garbage Warrior

        • Chicken says:

          Yes, waste. Quality items can be repaired or recycled, something all molded together can only be recycled by a robot, right?

          In general, they don’t make things like they used to but some are made better than technology allowed.

        • d says:

          Made in china with a planned failure cycle.

          When it was done in the US it was illegal.

          But it is not illegal to import same.

          Many Electronic control components in cars have similar.

      • nick kelly says:

        Another most hyped- 3D printing.

        The enthusiasts completely ignore materials technology.
        Why can’t you 3D print the parts for a jet engine one guy has asked: Because the printer doesn’t print titanium, the only material suitable for the blades.

        The main app of 3D printing has nothing to do with the consumer.
        It’s of great use to a manufacturer, who wants to make a mold for mass production.
        To make a mold you first need an example of the item to be made, this is known as the ‘mother’
        In the past you had to hire a skilled artisan to sculpt the first one to be copied (or as often happens in the case of ornamental objects, you could take a mold off an existing one- common in the case of fake ‘antiques’)

        The 3D printer can create a mother using diagrams or photos taken from each of the three dimensions.
        However the plastic it ‘shoots’ at each ‘pixel’ to build up the 3D item is not directly suitable for most uses. The appropriate material is poured into the mold taken from the example created by the printer.

        • Aeroguy says:

          Nick, I work for a fortune 500 Aerospace company. We do print Ti parts for gas turbine engines. We also print 718 stainless and several other high temp metal alloys.

        • nick kelly says:

          Thanks for update aero, however if you read some of the comments you’ll see many folks expect to pick up their own consumer printer and never have to buy anything again.
          I expect your machines are highly specialized and expensive- not consumer products.

        • nick kelly says:

          Dear aero- I just did a quick update on the metals end of this and although it will no doubt continue to be called 3D printing it differs so much from the mainstream process and machines that are remotely available even to a mid-size manufacturer, let alone a consumer that it ought to have a different name, e.g.
          ‘additive injection sintering’?

          The excerpt below is taken from a piece: ‘The bin of broken dreams’ by a guy called Wright

          ‘Last December, in an industrial park in Cincinnati, I watched as Dave Bartosik set up a build platform on an EOS M280. The part he was printing is one that I began designing a full fourteen months earlier, before I had any idea of the intricacies of metals 3D printing, nor the complexity in bringing an additively manufactured part from design to prototype.’

          He goes on to say that secondary machining, polishing etc. is necessary as the surface of the initial ‘build’ is too rough.

          Within the longish text, the activity of the machine, of which he thinks there are maybe a hundred in the US, is always referred to as a ‘build’ not a ‘print’.

          As the title of his piece: ‘Bin of broken dreams’ suggests, failures are common and a great deal of what he calls ‘craftsmanship’ on the part of the humans is required.
          You can’t just feed in dimensions and get acceptable results.

          This is what consumers may not understand when they think if they just pick up a 3D printer that costs less than a 100K, they will never have to buy anything again.

    • Michael Fiorillo says:

      Yes, we’ve rapidly gone from having a Precariat – a class of workers whose low wages give them a precarious position in society – to having an Unneccessariat, a class of humans who are not needed at all.

      Bring on the Soylent Green!

    • JerryBear says:

      It will work fine if we set up some kind of socialistic distribution system. Science is supposed to free us from sh*t work. If this is not done, then it will fail catastrophically.

      • d says:

        And you will find that the landlord will charge what the Socialist Subsistence level is, per room.

        Only those with children get cheap social housing. To stay in it, they must keep on having children.

        So it dosent work.

        How do I know this.

        Its what has happened in country’s where it is possible to get life time social support. They have raised the price of storage units to that level now.

        For it to even come close to working, you have to revamp the way residential property is, Owned, Valued, and Taxed.

        All the rent seekers and municipal tax gathers, will not willingly allow that.

        • JerryBear says:

          That’s why you have revolutions, isn’t it?

        • d says:

          “That’s why you have revolutions, isn’t it?”

          No you have revolutions so one gang of murderous thieves and extortionist can replace a better class, and slightly less violent gang of thieves and extortionists.

          Look at all the Modern republican, communist, and independence Revolutions, that have taken place in the west and Russia. Since 1641 and defiantly Since the terror in france.

          That’s what has happened, every time.

          The only revolution/rebellion I can think of, that was not to Violent, that improved the lot of the lowest, Long term. Was Aquino, in the Philippines, and Du 30 is undoing all the good done in that, and since then, very quickly.

          Tear it all down revolt /Revolution is not the answer.

        • kevin says:

          Revolution? Again? I thought that was already attempted many times during the multiple Communist revolutions in many countries in the last 100 years?
          You know…the ones where they round up all the bourgeois land-owners and private capital owners to be flogged, slapped, spit upon, and finally hanged by the working-class masses? lol.

          Perhaps, when enough in the Communist bloc (viz. Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, Russia etc.) converts into the Capitalistic system and they face massive unemployment eventually, they will suddenly realize they have come full circle and needs to go back to socialism (aka UBI).
          Of course, the globalist knows too well to associate it with Socialism and its unpopular corollaries, so they create a new term called Universal Basic Income.

          Oh well, I guess that’s why we call them “Revolutions”. After all, we are all on a endless loop cycling between Capitalistic and Communistic social systems, with the usual pitchforks and torches and countless millions sacrificed for every “transition” into the new (next) Golden Age?

        • d says:

          The Fascist will get another turn.

          The world does a lot worse than Singapore does.

          We need something that is not Communist Socialist Dictatorship, that allows long term plans to be followed and completed. Wright or wrong.

          The current democratic system, does not allow this.

          Another way would be to return more power to the reaming Monarchy’s.

          Blair illegally taking England into Iraq with bush, simply as they wanted to. Proves the pendulum has swung to far toward parliamentary power. As the throne cold not stop him.

    • dagny taggart says:

      I think you are very right. When I started working around 1980, the plant that employed me produced about 30.000 tonnes of polymer a year employing 250 people. I was strongly involved in automation ( amongst others ) and when the facility was shut down around 2005, it produced 100.000 tonnes of far more advanced polymers with 125 people. It closed down because it was no longer competitive due to the “high labour cost”. Real reason : delocalised to the far east.

  2. Duane Snyder says:

    If the cause is automation, why the enormous trade deficit? The main cause for US job loss is outsourcing. Automation is nothing new, US “free trade” mentality is. (US was founded and prospered under protectionism and now flounders under free trade).

    • Jungle Jim says:

      The problem is that we are not dealing with free trade. What we are dealing with is mercantilism. In the foolish hope of buying political influence overseas, our leaders have turned one blind eye after another at evidence of cheating by our trading partners. American workers can compete if the playing field is level, but this one isn’t.

      • Kent says:

        American workers cannot compete with people making 1/10th the pay. Sorry. That’s the real world. A level playing field is American workers vs European workers. Not Chinese or Indian workers.

        • walter map says:

          The problem isn’t that U.S. and European workers are paid too much. The problem is that Chinese and Indian workers are paid too little. They are paid too little because that’s what cheap-labor conservatives want: cheap labor, as cheap as they can get it, if not actually cost-free.

          The market-clearing price for labor is prostrate serfdom. In the race to the bottom, only those at the top win.

        • d says:

          The playing field can be leveled by tarrifing them related to their total environmental pollution (Not Just CO2 emission’s) and poor, unsafe, labour standards, and conditions.

          Pollution, poor safety and conditions, is where the profit is.

          Labour rate per item saving, does not equate to shipping costs per item.

          Production is going from china to india, not because of raising labour rates, but due to rising energy and waste disposal costs, along with rising labour safety standards, and basic condition’s.

          “Where there’s much there’s brass” (Brass being money) has never been truer than in india, a very mucky place. Where they still defecate in the streets..

    • JerryBear says:

      d, are you condemning the American Revolution by any chance? Are you a U.S. citizen?

  3. unit472 says:

    It would seem to me that payroll tax withholding revenue would give a more accurate picture of ’employment’ as it avoids ‘percentages’ , surveys and birth death models used in determining the ‘unemployment’ rate. If payroll tax revenue is rising either more people are working or those that are working are making more money or both. It also would capture those who are only marginally attached to the labor force, say working a few hours per month or self employed where your income is reported to the IRS.

    Payroll tax withholding revenue would only miss the black economy and others concealing their income but they aren’t being counted now anyway.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      And it would miss the entire gig economy … all the contractors out there, millions of them, from Uber drivers to government contractors.

      If they make quarterly estimated tax payments, as they should, the tax data would capture them, but only on a quarterly basis, which would make monthly numbers worthless (you’d have a spike four times a year). But many of them – particularly those who don’t earn a huge bundle, or those in their first year – don’t even make quarterly payments.

      So tax data is a good additional source, but it can be very misleading on a monthly basis.

  4. Greatful again says:

    I hear the number of unemployed between 18 and 65 years of age to be over 90M people. This is the real story in the economy. All the other stats are just fluff.

    I was listening to a demographics analysis the other day and the guy kept quoting that 10k people “retire” each day I the US and thus will create a tightening of the labor market. With 90M people not working and most retirees severely underfunded…I doubt the retirement numbers mean anything to the actual employment numbers.

    • Petunia says:

      Most of the people retiring are working another job after retiring. Not everybody retires with a million dollar pension.

  5. Petunia says:

    A big part of bringing all the jobs back will be dealing with automation. The biggest obstacle to automation and progress right now are the unions. The leadership of these unions don’t want to deal with the fact that technology evolves and the economy changes. Sometimes you need more or less workers, and sometimes you need to raise or lower wages. If they want to survive they also need to evolve.

    During the collapse of the economy in Florida, union workers were still demanding and getting raises, while the people that paid them were on the unemployment line. I don’t begrudge anyone their job, but as someone who chose to work in the market economy, I don’t want to guarantee anyone a job either.

    • Michael Fiorillo says:

      You’re mistaken: unions (well less than 10% of the private-sector workforce, btw,. and near zero in many regions of the country) cannot bargain over the introduction of technology; that’s a management prerogative. They can only bargain over the terms under which people are laid off.

      As for bargaining for higher wages when employment is falling, there is an economic logic to that, since wage cuts take years, if ever, to be recouped and affect pension payouts as well.

    • walter map says:

      “The biggest obstacle to automation and progress right now are the unions.”

      Even though there’s almost nothing left of them. But the remnants are still useful as scapegoats, right?

      Naturally, the cheap-labor corporatists who have nearly exterminated them have absolutely nothing to do with it.

      Were you aware that Adam Smith himself stated that the one and only way for workers to have any chance of avoiding serfdom and slavery in a capitalist economy would be to form labour unions? Look it up.

      All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.

      Wealth of Nations, III, iv.

      • Petunia says:

        I got to see the decline of union labor in New York City in a few industries, garment and shipping as examples. Anything that could move, did, because the unions only wanted wage increases and wouldn’t allow for automation. I saw the same thing in Pennsylvania, steel and coal, and even in telecom. Organizing should mean that sometimes you take and sometimes you give. Unions only give once the ship has sailed.

        I grew up in a union household and even in the 60’s my relatives were faulting the union for not being more cooperative. They knew the jobs would be outsourced if they weren’t prudent. But the union won and the workers lost.

        Now unionized labor is mostly in industries that can’t be outsourced and it will stay that way if the unions don’t become flexible. They could be organizing those automation installation, repair, and maintenance people. But they can’t see that far ahead.

        • Greatful again says:

          I remember watching 60 Minutes in the late 1970s and they were talking to UAW members making $35/hour with over-time. This was very big money back then. Even then, the first thing I thought was “how soon until management finds a new place to make the cars?”

        • walter map says:

          “I remember watching 60 Minutes in the late 1970s and they were talking to UAW members making $35/hour with over-time.”

          The average UAW wage in 1980 was ten bucks an hour. Perhaps your memory is not what it otherwise could be:


          You can avoid the risk of getting discredited by doing your own fact-checking.

          That said, why are you so against people working to earn a middle-class living? Or is that a bad question?

        • walter map says:

          “I grew up in a union household and even in the 60’s my relatives were faulting the union for not being more cooperative.”

          And we believe you. No, really.

          “Now unionized labor is mostly in industries that can’t be outsourced and it will stay that way if the unions don’t become flexible.”

          Labour unions were very flexible under Mussolini. They were run by corporations and every worker had to be a member. Or else.

          Were you aware that Adam Smith himself stated that the one and only way for workers to have any chance of avoiding serfdom and slavery in a capitalist economy would be to form labour unions? Look it up.

        • Kent says:

          @Greatful Again,

          Here’s a dirty secret.

          The United States wants a trade deficit but doesn’t want foreign companies using there nice new dollars to buy up American assets.

          So the US sells them Treasuries instead. In order to create those treasuries, the US has to run a budget deficit.

          Why does the US want a trade deficit? In order to destroy labor unions.

          Now you know why the Reagan administration cut taxes and ran up deficits, and fired the members of the PATCO union.

          And why the middle-class was crushed. But it has been a wonderful few decades for the 1%. And the beauty is the white working class voted to do it themselves.

        • nomaspls says:

          Great points….the growth of unions has been greatest in the public sector… mfg unions declined….the union movement moved to the captive public sectors. My local municipality “bargains ” with many individual sub set representations. The rolling contract negotiations guarantee steady progress. Work rules provide the opportunity to do as little as possible for as much as can be extracted from the taxpayer….the poor tax payer has no union rep. Any threat of strike sends management into full flight/fright !Coupled with civil service constraints….employment for life is reality. Ive worked both sides of the table and the sweat shops of the early 1900’s is a very distant memory..if even a memory at all. Unencumbered market wages and benefits could prevail with the elimination of unions and cumbersome labor laws.

          BTW im new to this forum but greatly respect the opinions presented. You all challenge my thinking and perceptions.

        • Petunia says:


          In the late 80’s I worked a tech job in banking in NYC. A union auto worker then made over $60 an hour with benefits which was more than I made with a college degree in a top industry.

        • Greatful again says:

          well, it was a long time ago. But the number really impressed me at the time. Maybe a journeyman Union worker with over-time could get to $35?

          “Bad question” ? Not really a bad question, just highly assumptive. I never said anything about being against someone earning a “middleclass living”. I just said management would probably take action to avoid this.

        • walter map says:

          Petunia: “In the late 80’s I worked a tech job in banking in NYC.”

          And without the reforms following the Enlightenment – abolitionism, civil rights, labor rights, women’s rights – you’d be at home barefoot and pregnant, unable to vote or to read and write. Your grand-daughters could be headed that way again, and you are trying to make it happen.

          “A union auto worker then made over $60 an hour with benefits which was more than I made with a college degree in a top industry.”

          Cite a legitimate source. You can’t.

          That said, why are you so against people working to earn a middle-class living? More to the point, why is the billionaire class entitled to everything, and nobody else entitled to anything but a fight over the scraps?

        • RG says:

          My personal observation is that a significant percentage of union management is more focused on maintaining their perks as union management than taking care of the rank and file.

        • d says:

          American unions are about protecting the Administrators and employees of the union, not about protecting the actual workers, who are member’s of them. Most of them are MOB extortion rackets.

          Unions in most country’s, became tools of political movements, when they did that, they ceased to function for anybody, but themselves, and their political or mob masters.

          Look at the unions left in England, Effectively controlled by COMMUNISTS.

          Which is how Corbyn got to be leader of the British labour party and make it a complete waste of time.

          Unions had a place and a role in the system.

          Once owned by the Mob and or the politicos, they become part of the problem.

        • Observer says:

          @ Petunia
          Your link indicates $27/hour on average. So some make more, and some less. When you include contributions by the company to 401Ks and the company’s share of healthcare benefits, etc., then yeah, it’s possible a person could cost $70/hour. But that is cost, not wage. Per your comment, if you remember that same cost to be $60/hour back in the late 80s, then things have not come very far in 30 years. I’m willing to bet that much more than the $10 difference has gone toward covering increased health benefit costs, while workers’ actual wages suffered, union or not.

    • Tom Kauser says:

      Playing left field and batting below the Mendoza line?
      Cars are made by robots in a union shop and so are pre packaged lunch sandwiches?

      Unions pack stadiums and made sure nobody forgot about Christmastide (praises to London city)

      Its not the union that frightens you , its the labor members having a skill and a voice?

      • JerryBear says:

        The reason why the middle class ever came to exist at all is because of unions. The only logical state for labor under unfettered capitalism is slavery at a bare subsistence level. The plantation owners of the Old South made fantastic profits off their brutal and heartless system of chattel slavery. The reason why the ruling classes are so eager to get rid of the last vestiges of unions is because they want to crush the final remnants of the middle class is they want to reduce everybody in the 99% to the level of slaves living lives of bare survival. They are outraged at the thought of anyone earning a dime more than absolutely necessary. This is what will happen if all the unions go.

    • JerryBear says:

      Petunia, you are just plain wrong. You get your information from unreliable sources and come to wrong conclusions. You refuse to apply numbers and statistics to your claims so you cannot know what is really going on.

      • Petunia says:


        The average worker doesn’t give a crap about statistics, they care about what they see every single day, year after year. My first job out of college paid me 17K, a good starting salary. My friend made 32K working a union job at the phone company as a file clerk. She retired at 40.

        • Observer says:

          Good for her! Sounds like she got a fair deal, whereas you had to accept less than what you were worth since you had no representation.

        • Petunia says:

          She definitely got a better deal, but the customers didn’t get a better deal. They will be paying more for 25 extra years.

        • Observer says:

          Paying more for 25 years. Yes, but not because of unions. Phone service in the US is now far from a public utility and tax payers still use phones. Seems I pay more no matter what. So I would rather pay my money to you and the union worker than have it subsidize outsized corporate management pay packages, hedge funds, or vulture capitalists, whom I consider to produce nothing of value. Rather than reduce the pay of the union worker, yours should have been increased and you should have been able to retire at 40, too. I would be willing to bet that in the same jobs today, you’d still be underpaid, your co-worker’s union will have negotiated cuts to her pay and benefits (if she wasn’t outsourced first), the CEO’s pay will have increased by 300%, and the stock would be doing well due to profits being used to buy it back.

    • Observer says:

      Florida is a “Right to Work” state and has very few unions. What unions/industries are you referencing?

      • Petunia says:

        Municipal and state workers which I don’t feel should be able to organize against the taxpayers.

        • JerryBear says:

          They are organized against the politicians who would love to pay them minimum wage. You really seem to hate common folk. Do you really think that by sucking up to the super wealthy that they are going to share some of it with you?
          You endlessly repeat disinformation and outright lies that originates from their flunkies.
          Do you have any real criteria at all to distinguish truth from falsehood?

  6. walter map says:

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, the U.S. unemployment rate is stuck at over 20%.

    BTW, contrary to the propaganda, tax cuts for the rich do not create jobs. They enable the export of the U.S. economy.


  7. Ed says:

    Quite a few people here work for cash.

    • walter map says:

      Once cash has been banished, they will be assimilated, probably stockpiled as unprocessed Soylent Green, since TPTB will eventually need no more than a few million people at most to make them richer and won’t want unproductive assets wasting the resources of their planet.

      O brave new world, that hasn’t such people in ‘t!

      The means are in place. Resistance is futile.

      • economicminor says:

        yes Borg Master!

      • Petunia says:

        It takes a lot of worker bees to create the infrastructure to maintain a rich person. The Queen of England is one example, but all rich people use a lot of resources, more than average people.

    • randombypasser says:

      Just to make it sure…
      Would You personally, for example, work for free in profession You love, say next 5 or 10 years? And all that in scenario in which You don’t have any other meaningful incomes, ones that don’t require active participation?

      If that’s the case then i dare say You are a special one, one in million or something like that.

  8. Ishkabibble says:

    Here’s something from the Sanders campaign that is relevant to employment statistics in today’s New US.

    About a third of the way down the page we have the following (my CAPS for emphasis) about a March 2016 glowing jobs report:

    “The so-called “new jobs” come from a survey of employers called the Establishment Survey. THIS SURVEY INCLUDES ANY NEW JOB WHERE ANY NEW WORKER WORKED MORE THAN ONE HOUR PER WEEK.

    The 215,000 new jobs included 48,000 new retail jobs. A reasonable question is how all these new retail jobs were created when retail sales have been flat and many retail stores have been closing? The answer is that full time retail jobs were converted into part time retail jobs in order to save retailers money on paying benefits. At the same time that we gained 48,000 part time retail jobs, we lost 30,000 full time manufacturing jobs to sweatshops in China thanks to unfair trade deals like the TPP.


    So if you worked even one hour during any week in the month of March 2016, you had a job and were counted as part of the 215,000 new jobs!”

    Of course with the BLS’s utterly ridiculous definitions one has to ask an obvious question. The labor force in the US is somewhere around 159 million people. If these 159 million were employed 1 hour per week, as far as the BLS and their proud political controllers would be concerned, the US would have achieved a 100% rate of employment and, even more important, a 0% rate of unemployment!

    See, just like the amazing, magical, imaginative instruments of financial engineering that our great economists have developed, the BLS statisticians have been doing their homework, too. With just a few changes to a few words in the BLS’s Glossary of Terms, they’ve been able to reduce US “unemployment” to “full-employment” status.

    Don’t laugh too much. That 0% unemployment (and a 100,000 DJIA) is precisely the “direction” that the US is heading.

    • economicminor says:

      Isn’t that called Propaganda? Or if it were used by China, Russia or any where else it would be called Propaganda!

      BLS should remove the L as they are just BS

    • Salamander says:

      While I agree entirely with your take on bogus unemployment statistics manipulated for political purposes, citing the TPP – which hasn’t been passed or put into effect and was specifically designed to exclude China – as a reason why we are losing jobs to China doesn’t build credibility.

    • d says:

      “we lost 30,000 full time manufacturing jobs to sweatshops in China thanks to unfair trade deals like the TPP.”

      china is not a TPP member just like the US probably wont be, this is a loss for both nations. Not TPP members.

      china is pushing RCEP

      main difference between TPP and RCEP.

      No environmental, Labour, or safety protection in RCEP. No body apart from the chinese may wholly own anything in china under RCEP, but the chinese may wholly own everything in any nation that is a RCEP signatory.

      For the results of the behaviors of American Globalised Vampire Corporates currently allied with china.


      The worst of them was Bailed out by P44, GM, AKA US Government Motors. After the bailout in it’s first year paying tax.

      GM paid $5 M to the US and around $90 M to china.

      Great bailout of GM, which cost the US taxpayer Billion’s, for the chinese.

      Not signing TPP, will cost More America job’s. Than signing it will.

      • JerryBear says:

        That does not compute! A complete non-sequitur.

        • d says:

          “That does not compute! A complete non-sequitur.”

          TPP raises labour, Safety, and Environmental, Standards and Rates, in some of the countries competing with the US. In the future it will raise them further.

          Something no other trade deal has ever done.

          Something globalization was to supposed to do, that exploitative US company’s, have abused it, to do the opposite.

          TPP protects American workers, more than they will be protected with out TPP.

          P45 is not going to sign TPP.

          So what will America have to give to join TPP later??

          I promise you it will need to, and I also promise you, we are going to make that price very high.

      • economicminor says:

        I thought that NO one could read except in a closed room with permission and no notes or cell phones. That No one that has read it could discuss the terms of the TTP agreement until it was finalized and signed so How Come you seem to know what is in it?

        What I have read is that it has been negotiated by the corporate interests on both sides and IF it were agreed to by all sides, it would significantly reduce each country’s sovereignty by taking trade rules away from each government and placing it with a board made up of corporate interests. Including environmental issues.

        • JerryBear says:

          d, your description of the TTP is pretty much the exact opposite of what most think it actually entails. How have you been brainwashed into such a ridiculous position?
          Are you really that gullible when it comes to propaganda from the big multinationals?
          Have you heard of the Orwellian concept of “double think”?

        • d says:

          Dont worry I only associate With some people who were involved with it from day 1.

          It only got messy after the US bullied its way into it.

          It was a private negotiation, as it is impossible to negotiate something like that, in public. Especially with the Grandstanding American house and Congress involved.

          Most of the ugly and undesirable elements in it, were introduced by America, of course.

          It is not really a trade agreement, more like a regional set of trade rules.

          Probably what should have been, before Unregulated Globalisation, was allowed to run riot.

          Currency union without fiscal union (the Eur) is long-term untenable.

          Free global trade, with out first having all inclusive Global Rules (including tax rules) is untenable long-term.

          As it is Globalised .

          Lassie-fair Capitalism, is known to be disastrous, for the many.

          POTUS Elect 45, is a Lassie-fair Capitalist.

        • John Doyle says:

          Lassie might actually do better. She always succeeded.

        • economicminor says:

          So you have a link to the actual text? If so, why don’t you post it.

          All I know is what I can read and then double check against what I think I know is real. I know that I neither trust corporations nor government to do what is right for the American workers for the most part. They have proven this to me by the outcome of their actions for decades. When I have read that the process is secret and that it was being negotiated by the corporations for their benefit, it makes sense to me.

          Seems to me that your position sounds more like propaganda and double think as anything else I read.

          Put up!

        • Wolf Richter says:

          The entire text is over 6,000 pages, I’m told. This is a HUGE package of things that practically no one fully understands. The White House finally made it public a year ago. You can download each section as a separate PDF from here…

        • economicminor says:

          Thanks Wolf…

          Sometimes I don’t really want what I ask for..
          I was being a smart ass.
          I didn’t know it was available though

          I don’t think I will try and read it..
          most likely way beyond my ability to comprehend
          and if I did, then what?

          I’d rather read you and all the input here instead.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          “I’d rather read you and all the input here instead.”

          Thank you!! I tried to read the document while it was still alive and gave up after a few chapters :-]

        • economicminor says:

          my last response was to JB about “Have you heard of the Orwellian concept of “double think”?”

  9. Winston says:

    The figure “0.6%” marked on the right hand side of the Employment-to-Population Ratio: Ages 25 to 54 graph should be more like “77.8%.”

  10. NotSoSure says:

    Doesn’t matter. As long as credit keeps flowing, you don’t need a job. Heck, the economy is still growing. Some people including Wolf complains that it’s all healthcare, etc, but hei it’s all counted in the economy anyways.

    The real story will and always has been how the economy keeps growing even when a lot of people have fallen the wheelbarrow. As long as the existing ones can take up the slack, the economy does not care.

    • walter map says:

      “Heck, the economy is still growing.”

      Now that’s gullible. The financial economy is growing. The real economy is shrinking. And the numbers clearly state that the real economy is shrinking faster than the financial economy is growing because the parasites are killing the host.

      Were you aware that the BLS has stated that onsite retail employment is project to continue increasing at 7% per year, even though onsite retail sales are actually decreasing?

      How do you account for the discrepancy? They don’t. If you ask them they will tell you it’s an unexplainable paradox.

  11. Lee says:

    “……and also the age 55-64 decade when many in the workforce begin transitioning to retirement … for example, two income households that downsize into one-income households.”

    One-income households because the other one was sacked and can not find work as a result of being too old. Never to be gainfully employed again.

    Here in Oz the number of people over 50 on unemployment has increased over the recent past. Depending on which source you use the number varies between 25 – 33% of the people getting the government dole..

    And unlike in the USA people here can stay on unemployment roll forever or until they reach retirement age when they are moved on to the old age pension.

    Or if they have too many assets or other sources of income they disappear from the data as they are unable to collect anything from the government and are not counted.

    So they number of unemployed people here in their 50’s are even higher than the estimates suggest.

  12. Chicken says:

    Cheap labor violating basic human rights isn’t cheap enough, even the 13 year old factory worker working 14 hours shifts assembling toasters takes a lunch break, the robot doesn’t.

    The question is, why doesn’t the US lower it’s workers rights standards to that of China or below? Either that, or impose trade sanctions, but that would be biting the hand that feeds the elite.

    As Bezos said, your margin is my opportunity.

    Now back to fake news, “Globalism helps middle class American families”

  13. JerryBear says:

    When a real economy is shrinking like ours, the ruling class can maintain the incomes and privileges of the upper middle class layers they regard as their supporters by gradually cutting everybody below that out of the economy.

  14. TBear says:

    I am so happy to have worn the uniform of the US Navy. I am so happy to have my job. I am so happy I will retire out of the USA and have my pension mailed to me electronically.

    I openly encourage anyone I see to join the US military. Thats the only good job left. You might be deployed and shot at but thats just a small downside. The serfs around you wont join as less than 1% serve anyway. A retired 4 star makes about 220k or so in retirement. Now they all want to re-up to be politicians and cabinet secretaries. Thats beyond double dipping. Just ignore them as you serve, do well and then leave. I have so many friends in Asia and Europe and now the carib and other latin locales south of the border. Get your pay and LEAVE.

    I encourage all of the retiree’s I know to leave the country they served. Its no longer worth living there given Trump and the Plutocrats he has assembled. Its not worth fighting city hall anymore as most members of Congress are desperate to stay employed and run again and again for an even better pension than I earned and access to power.

    If you are not on the inside you are on the OUTSIDE. The hate, the guns and toxic politics are insane. No thanks ever again.

    The middle class is done and nothing King Trump can do will bring it back. Not when his list of idiots is this – Dec 8, 2016 at 1:19 pm we have

    Fast food restaurant baron in charge of the Labor Department

    Rothschild, Inc billionaire in charge of the Commerce Department

    Goldman Sachs billionaire in charge on the Treasury

    Privately schooled billionaire heiress in charge of the public school system

    Attorney that sues the EPA in charge of the EPA

    General who spreads fake news in charge of the NSA

    And soon to come, Goldman Sachs billionaire in charge of America’s budget.

    So what do they call it when the foxes guard the chicken coops and the common working folks are thrown under the bus?

    “Making America Great Again”, one plutocrat at a time.

    • Lee says:

      Being in the military over the past eight years must have been hell for many people.

      Retirement from the military?

      How many times have they changed the rules and requirements over the recent past?

      Getting out when I did was either the smartest or dumbest decision I ever made – no retirement – just an honorable discharge from Active duty and one from the reserves.

    • JerryBear says:

      Us plain folks are the overwhelming majority. When the super rich start pushing us too far, they will start feeling the earth beneath their feet tremble. Wanna bet they don’t heed it?
      I smell Revolution in the air…….

      “A revolution seems impossible until the day finally arrives when it seems inevitable.” Leon Trotsky

  15. walter map says:

    “So what do they call it when the foxes guard the chicken coops and the common working folks are thrown under the bus?”

    A successful disinformation campaign. The common herd is so gullible – they actually believe the sharks when they’re told they’re going to stop eating the fish.

    The primary flaw of democracy is the possibility of electing persons to office who are committed to destroying it. Some say inevitability.

  16. Meme Imfurst says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, since I had the privilege of the first comment, perhaps this will be the final one.

    Since Wolf’s posting was about ‘nearing full employment’ when wink, wink, wink, we all know that is fake news from our leaders. it will never happen.

    I have one final thought about employment ( since At one time I owned the oldest employment agency in Wash. D.C.), and that is, the population grows, the jobs shrink. No amount of ‘gosh it will be OK’ is going to make it OK.

    Petunia…you may already know about this. Big Wall Street money has made a “quantum computer”. It runs as I write. Imagine a machine that can do a trillion different models (NOT calculations) simultaneously,
    that is …..RUN cinereous of unimaginable complexity and have the best pick for the best answer to you question. Every computer on the planet does not have this power if all were linked together. What stock is going to…? How do I design a machine to replace…? Who will be the next…? Who can we ….?

    This machine is just the first of many. Nothing is ever going to be the same. Perhaps hugging some one next to you will be a real 9 to 5 job in the future.

    • JerryBear says:

      And when they finally link all the super quantum computers into one giant ultra intelligent system. I can imagine the savants of that time asking it some really tough question to challenge its capabilities. Suppose they ask it, “Is there a God?”
      The inevitable answer would swiftly come:
      “Now there is.”

  17. Iskabibble says:

    Maybe these new computers will be better able to calculate a better answer to “the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything” than “Deep Thought” did:

    It does not take a computer to calculate that there is a fundamental flaw in a system of currency in which all dollars that are in existence have been created out of thin air AS DEBT that must be paid back, PLUS INTEREST. Even puny human brains are able to figure that out. The politically insurmountable problem is how to correct it. It is insurmountable because the only people who can correct it are owned by those that have made trillions from it.

    Have a nice day!

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