View Poll Results: Regarding the unemployment information in this thread ...

Voters
26. You may not vote on this poll
  • This is good news (I lean left)

    8 30.77%
  • This is good news (I lean right)

    0 0%
  • This is good news (I'm a centrist)

    1 3.85%
  • This is bad news (I lean left)

    0 0%
  • This is bad news (I lean right)

    1 3.85%
  • This is bad news (I'm a centrist)

    0 0%
  • This is mediocre news (I lean left)

    6 23.08%
  • This is mediocre news (I lean right)

    3 11.54%
  • This is mediocre news (I'm a centrist)

    3 11.54%
  • This is something else (Post and Elaborate)

    4 15.38%
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Thread: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

  1. #51
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    I'm not saying other countries don't do it. I'm talking about this country. I said it won't happen here. They won't be forced to cut back hours and automatically hire more people.
    In terms of political feasibility, sure. Neither the Democrats or Republicans have any political will to do so, and even Sanders hasn't called for a reduction of the workweek. But if a reduction in the workweek were to be implemented, it would result in better working conditions for workers. The fact of the matter is that most Americans are already overworked because they work such long hours. It's simply not a sustainable business model to overwork employees with a shorter workweek in an industrialized country, when more humane working conditions, including shorter workweeks, produce a happier, and therefore more productive worker. There are benefits in terms of productivity when it comes to expanding the rights of workers. I'd also support policies promoting unionization so that a transition to a shorter workweek include workers having a say in how they are treated.

    Quote Originally Posted by joG View Post
    Actually, that probably does not work that way. I would have to look up to see, what studies have been done. But the French did reduce worked hours a while back and seemed to effect the reduction in economic activity I had expected. This is because the cost of doing business rises, when two people do the job one could. When the cost of business goes up it reduces production. Ultimately you need fewer employees.
    I recognize that the French implementation of the 35 hour workweek wasn't perfect by any means. One way to compensate for raising costs of business is to abolish the corporate income tax. I disagree with the idea of taxing the internal workings of a corporation as a form of funding for the government; this money would be put to better use by providing employees with better benefits, wages, working conditions, etc., such as a 35 hour workweek. Regardless, reduction of the workweek is not the only method of reducing unemployment; I posted earlier about establishing public works programs with jobs available to anyone who applies, and the workweek reduction ensures that a reduction in employment is not restricted to one sector of the economy. Additionally, independently of the 35 hour workweek's effect on unemployment, I support it as a matter of improving working conditions.
    Social democrat is no longer an accurate description of my views.

  2. #52
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by SocialDemocrat View Post
    In terms of political feasibility, sure. Neither the Democrats or Republicans have any political will to do so, and even Sanders hasn't called for a reduction of the workweek. But if a reduction in the workweek were to be implemented, it would result in better working conditions for workers. The fact of the matter is that most Americans are already overworked because they work such long hours. It's simply not a sustainable business model to overwork employees with a shorter workweek in an industrialized country, when more humane working conditions, including shorter workweeks, produce a happier, and therefore more productive worker. There are benefits in terms of productivity when it comes to expanding the rights of workers. I'd also support policies promoting unionization so that a transition to a shorter workweek include workers having a say in how they are treated. .
    I'm not saying someone, some day couldn't get the work week shortened to 35 hours. I'm saying your comment that employers would have to hire more people because of it would never happen.

    If 5 hours means the difference between "humane" and "inhumane", then I think workers are very weak. Most people I know who are successful work far more than that. I know I do. I have to work a lot on Sundays and in the middle of the nights because I'm in a job that requires me to work with people in Europe and the Middle East. Same with the employees I manage. It's not the end of the world to us.
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  3. #53
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chomsky View Post
    Fair enough - those are skilled services we can market to each other at a (currently) livable rate.

    As long as the skill levels in a particular specialty are high enough, there shouldn't be much downward wage pressure from unskilled citizens & immigrants as seen in some service industries - though corporations using very low-skilled labor are nipping away at some of these specialties (ex: oil change 'only' places, vs full service mechanics).

    But there's another good thing to note for some of the skillsets you mentioned: Relatively easy entry to becoming your own boss - and THAT'S something to say!
    For those so inclined with a bit of entreprinerial spirit - absolutely. For those not so inclined - a good plumber can still make well over a grand a week - same with many of the other skilled trades. When I worked in the legislature, I toured a training facility operated by the IBEW - the electricians union in these parts - and they have programs to educated kids for free and they can start earning money as helpers as soon as their second semester on the job part time in addition to their classes. They operate their own school and its pretty much state of the art.

    The high school I taught at was once known for all sorts of career programs but little by little they axed them since they were far more costly to operate than regular college prep classes. Its a crying shame. That is definitely a direction we should go.

    I have a grandson who is entering high school this September and he says he would like to try his hand in real estate instead of going to get a degree. The kid is smart enough to go into almost any field he desires short of nuclear engineering or something like that and I think its great that he has figured this out on his own. Of course, this probably will change at least a half dozen times over the next four years and he could well end up a lion tamer for Ringling Brothers. Hopefully not.
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  4. #54
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by digitusmedius View Post
    While I agree with almost everything you wrote above that quote, I think your conclusion overlooks what a lot of habitual critics of this economy avoid mentioning: the voluntary removal from the work force of about 4 million boomers retiring per year. With our low birth rate, we're going to see a decrease in the working age population over the next few decades which might be offset by the ability of businesses to improve productivity. But to do that we need to have workers who are well educated/trained to do the types of jobs the future economy needs. Many job openings even go unfilled today because employers are not finding the type of skilled workers they need. This country is behind on providing an educational system that provides that education and training. We're still using an idea born in the 19th century that all kids have to go through the same educational pipeline instead of beginning at the earliest of school ages trying to sort kids out by inclination and talents to an education that they can use.
    One other thing I forget to mention in response to some of the issues you raised: we spend thousands of hour teaching kids stuff that the vast vast majority never really need to know once they become adults all in the name of a broad education. Back in the late 90's I was sent to a national seminar on curriculum development and some expert shocked everyone when he stated the percentage of American jobs which required a basic understanding of math that was beyond the old fashioned basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. He was not asking if it would be good to know things like algebra and trig and the like , but asking what percentage of jobs in America had to have those skills in order to do the job. I remember that nobody in the room even came close to the answer.............. which he stated was five percent. Not fifty-five percent...... not even twenty-five percent .... not even ten percent ..... but five percent. Sure, he conceded that there were plenty of jobs that a person could use algebra or something else to help them solve problems - but one could also use the basic arithmetic computations to do it to. Only five percent of American jobs actually had to have those higher math skills or you could not do the job.

    So then, how many kid in the American education system - both public and private - force kids to take higher math classes beyond what we used to call basic math?

    Then compare that to the number of kids who will have relationships with other people, many ending up in crisis and crashing and burning leaving a wake of misery and hurt in their wake causing all manner of societal problems costing God knows how much.... who will be parents .... who will have houses .... with all the various problems that come about in those areas and ask yourself why we do not teach those skills to the vast majority of students like we mandate they take higher math.

    I was impressed. And it told me how much in the wrong direction we were going.
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  5. #55
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    The high point was in 98...here is the historical participation rate
    Attachment 67186674

    As you can see...raised dramatically, and has started dropping from it's high in 98/99. So yes, the trend has been downward for a long time.
    But if you look at the end of the graph, you can see that the downward trend has slowed drastically. In fact, it has virtually stopped for the last 18 months or so (overall).

    Since I see no evidence that baby boomers have stopped aging, then the explanation seems fairly obvious to me - those nearing retirement simply cannot afford to retire and have to stay in the workforce; a position born out (to some extent at least) by the fact that the number of Americans over 55 has increased drastically since the end of the Great Recession...FAR higher then any other age group (to my knowledge).


    BTW - I would like to add that the U-3 rate is, imo, a waste of time. And the fact that the Fed used to use it as a benchmark for raising rates but has now abandoned it and no longer uses it as a major reference point for employment backs up my viewpoint to at least some extent.
    An unemployment measurement that can theoretically be at zero when only one American is employed even if every other eligible American wants to work but they had to give up looking for work because there were no jobs (as the U-3 could be) is a waste of time to me. Plus, not counting people as unemployed who want a job desperately but are forced to give up looking for work (as the U-3 does) is ridiculous, imo.
    Last edited by DA60; 07-02-15 at 05:48 PM.
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  6. #56
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    They won't be forced to cut back hours and automatically hire more people.
    That ought to go into a file, along with "people will never accept Obamacare" and "this country will never support same-sex marriage" for famous conservative predictions that never came true.

  7. #57
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    I agree with much that you wrote here. And having spent 33 years in education - I can tell you conclusively that we badly need to regear much of what we do particularly for the non-college bound student.
    you are right this is what Obama wants to do ...have big companies with local small colleges train people specific to the business needs..
    I find the lack of logic in humans most disturbing...

  8. #58
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    I voted for Obama ..but I want to tell him is that why do you charge more taxes per dollar when we work overtime.. instead of charging the regular tax rate per dollar.. no one wants to work overtime we only do it to make ends meet..it is almost like you are putting a penalty tax for working overtime on us.
    I find the lack of logic in humans most disturbing...

  9. #59
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by digitusmedius View Post
    Apparently that quote is something your agree with. Let me just say that nature doesn't care what you care about. We might be not far down below polar bears on the list of species nature decides can't be supported anymore and that might be something you care about but it won't help you a bit.
    I actually don't agree with my signature.
    Last edited by sookster; 07-02-15 at 07:20 PM.
    "Don't care. I don't care about polar bears, and I don't care about people who think our policies should be dictated by the effects on polar bears. Polar bears are basically Ice Monsters. Like that thing in the second Star Wars movie. **** em. And anything with more than four legs." -Deuce

  10. #60
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    Re: US Unemployment: Good news or bad news?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post
    Wage stagnation has been a long term problem for people in the lower quintiles. It is now a problem for the middle. This comes to no surprise to me. If people's motivation is to buy cheap stuff at any costs, they are shooting themselves in the foot.

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