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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The real unemployment rate: 19.6%

It's amazing how the government cooks or ignores numbers it doesn't like. Inflation doesn't count food and energy prices, and unemployment doesn't count people who are permanently unemployed.

It's sort of like the City of Portland's triple-A credit rating -- true yet misleading.

Comments (8)

There's some basis for the way the government puts these numbers together. That they are not "cooked" is evidenced by the fact that they are reported both ways—both the unemployment and the inflation numbers (which, by the way, are higher just now without food and energy than with, because of the decline in oil prices). The press just can't be bothered with that kind of nuance.

"It's amazing how the government cooks or ignores numbers it doesn't like."

Now you know why they hire PR flacks instead of people who know math.

Unemployment high? Not for red-haired brewers. Crappy math scores? Tests just don't measure what the OEA does for students.

The saddest thing is how people here drop their critical thinking for anyone who claims to be progressive/green/sustainable.

It's not just media reporting that filters out the inconvenient numbers. Politicians do it, too. Not to mention the use of the less meaningful figures in calculating Social Security benefits, tax brackets, and many other government measures supposedly based on inflation.

I think only 10 percent of Portland's bond issuances are rated triple A. The raters based their ratings on city hall's ability to rob water and sewer rate payers whenever the city should get in a pinch.

It's frustrating Mayor Adams routinely touts his plan to subsidize job growth, when there is very little evidence other than such policy only ends up racking up financial losses (as reported in the Oregonian a week ago Saturday) and very little job creation. If anything Portland's pinchant for public subsidies makes the city look like a risky investment, because at some point city residents are going to have pay back a mounting pile of debt. Even the city's financial auditor in her July report to the Mayor says the financial condition of Portland is worsening because of escalating real debt and unfunded obligations. Yet city hall ignores this report and goes about its merry unsound spending ways.

And that's why I asked the Work Force Oregon people to address those numbers in their news conference. I sent them the questions the day before and was assured they would be asked.
I'm not sure they would have done squat with it had I not asked.
The Zero has address the U6 numbers in past years but usually in a little story in the biz section. Not today, I see...
Lookie there, the "Hobbits" DO make a difference.

Because Ipads and Iphones are adding new features, using "modernized" inflation measures prices are falling....


Let them eat Ipads...


When the employment numbers tick up, watch how the BlueOregon kids react.

If a D is in charge, they will say, "Look deficit spending works!"

If an R is in charge, they will say, "But, those aren't good jobs." (Remember, kids, the only good job is a union job.)

On the other hand, government (Census and HHS) cooks the books on how many are officially in "poverty" because income does not include transfer payments. As a result, many more are in poverty, which might be acceptable for PR purposes, but it becomes a criterion for eligibility for many government benefits. In short, it increases demand for tax dollars by using this calculation.

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