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  1. #1

    A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Americans are not working.

    The unemployment rate is now 8.1% down from the month before. It's probably what the Obama campaign will use however the real story is the amount of people without jobs.

    The forgotten people roughly 10% of the US population don't have jobs. They are the forgotten people -- so special interest groups, no lobbyists for them either.

    There were 115,000 jobs created last month -- however, 522,000 left the labor force rolls last month -- that's over 1/2 million people who joined the lost in one month!






    If this information doesn't scare you -- it should. I'm not blaming Obama for all of this - but has not been as effective as he could have been. He needs to be more focused on creating conditions for job creation for the regular American and not so much on his own job creation.

    How can we turn this around?

    Is it too late?

    Are we headed for a major collapse?

    Have you built your cabin in Montana?

    April’s jobs: Americans aren’t working | Felix Salmon

    Daily Kos: Open thread for night owls: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

  2. #2
    GiancarloC
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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    And the republican party cares about people who left the work force? I think not. Headed for a major collapse? Obama prevented a major collapse from happening and the work force has been steadily improving. There have been millions of jobs created, but when you're talking about a recovery from one of the worst Republican-induced recessions since 1929.

    And what is the president supposed to do? Instate some five year plans? It's funny. Republicans often demand the president to take action, but once he does he is accused of interfering with the economy. Why don't you stay consistent and demand that the private sector do more?

    Not only does your thread have statistical manipulation, it reeks of fear mongering. The economy has its issues but it's generally headed on the right track.

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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Springer View Post
    [President Obama] has not been as effective as he could have been. He needs to be more focused on creating conditions for job creation for the regular American …
    If that’s the case, what do you think the President should do in order to improve conditions for job creation for regular Americans?

    (The linked articles in the opening post do not provide that answer.)

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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Jack, you're blaming Obama for not doing enough, but it's been a Republican Congress this year that has blocked most of his initiatives. Most of them were very good, bipartisan, and had the potential to create jobs in the short and long-term.

    Needless to say, the economy is still improving despite partisan setbacks.
    #439th oldest member on JUB.

  5. #5

    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Hey guys. I'm not looking for a blame-fest.

    I'm looking for solutions.

    Tell me what you think well help -- not the usual political talking points.

    Real stuff that will make a difference.

    I don't think Washington has the answers -- they've forgotten why they are there.

  6. #6
    GiancarloC
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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Solutions are increased government intervention into the economy, but of course you'll be against that. So why are you demanding Obama do more? Don't you want him doing less and have the private sector "sort it out"?

  7. #7

    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    two thoughts or observations .
    1 ) In the last century the work force has been consistantly reduced , both by reducing those able and the amount of time : end of child labour ,mandatory retirement , the 40 hour work week and the introduction of many paid days off ( long weekends ) .
    2 ) In the Western world in about the last century our average standard of living has skyrocketed . Reasonably we have a quality of life perhaps historically unparalleled .

  8. #8

    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Hopefully the US will not repeat Europe's disastrous experiment in austerity. It's not the way to produce employment growth.
    Here are 4 policy suggestions from Robert Reich (and he is not the only person suggesting this).

    FIRST: no cuts before jobs are back – until unemployment is down to 5 percent. Until then, the economy needs a boost, not a cut. Consumers – whose spending is 70 percent of the economy – don’t have the money to boost the economy on their own. Their pay is dropping and they’re losing jobs.

    SECOND: Make the boost big enough. 14 million Americans are out of work, and 10 million are working part time who need full-time jobs. The President’s proposed jobs program is a start but it’s tiny relative to what needs to be done. It would create fewer than 2 million jobs. We need a big jobs program – rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, and including a WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps.

    THIRD: To pay for this, raise taxes on the super-rich. It’s only fair. Never before has so much income and wealth been concentrated at the very top, and taxes on the top so low. Go back to the 70 percent marginal tax we had before 1980. And include more tax brackets at the top. It doesn’t make sense that any income over $375,000 is taxed at the same 35 percent, even if it’s a billion dollars. And tax all sources of income at the same rate, including capital gains.

    FOURTH: Cut the budget where the real bloat is. Military spending and corporate welfare. End weapons systems that don’t work and stop wars we shouldn’t be fighting to begin with, and we save over $300 billion a year. Cut corporate welfare – subsidies and special tax breaks going to big agribusiness, big oil, big pharma, and big insurance – and we save another $100 billion.

    Do you hear me, Washington? Do these four things and restore jobs and prosperity. Fail to do these, and you’ll make things much, much worse.

    Robert Reich (Stop the Austerity Train Wreck!* The biggest...)

  9. #9
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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by csb999 View Post
    two thoughts or observations .
    1 ) In the last century the work force has been consistantly reduced , both by reducing those able and the amount of time : end of child labour ,mandatory retirement , the 40 hour work week and the introduction of many paid days off ( long weekends ) .
    2 ) In the Western world in about the last century our average standard of living has skyrocketed . Reasonably we have a quality of life perhaps historically unparalleled .

    It is interesting that as the workforce shrunk, quality of life dramatically increased.

    Now we have families scrambling with some people having two jobs in order to assist the wealth aggregators to amass more cash under their Swiss or offshore tax haven mattresses.

    It is all about demographics and expectations. Once the boomers yield control of the workplace, there will be a huge number of job openings. In fact, the reality is, the shortfall is already starting to be so great in some areas that the gaps will only be filled by immigration and/or over 60's working longer in order to afford retirement.

    It all comes back to the simplest of principles. In order to have an economy, there has to be a demand for goods and services. No demand, no need. Empty factories and stores. The most recent cycle, where money itself became the economy has collapsed. At least for now.

    Our economic rise was fueled by invention and exploration. By the creation of something available at the mass level.

    The solution today would be invention. Not of new iphone apps, but of something so fundamentally 'necessary' that it re-ignites the economy.

    Maybe it is going to Mars. Maybe it is 3D holographic home entertainment systems. Or jet shoes. Or home based energy production. Or perfect blue roses. I haven't a clue what it will be. But somewhere out there, there have to be kids around the world who have an idea.

    And who will spark the next great wave of invention and production. And create new wealth. And exploit resources and people to get one in 2 billion households.

    Then there will be a job for everyone again.

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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    All the jobs sent over seas could be brought back.
    This Nov take the Reps out of the congress.
    BEWARE! Harassing the Indian may result in sudden and severe hair loss.

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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by rareboy View Post
    It is all about demographics and expectations. Once the boomers yield control of the workplace, there will be a huge number of job openings. In fact, the reality is, the shortfall is already starting to be so great in some areas that the gaps will only be filled by immigration and/or over 60's working longer in order to afford retirement.
    .
    That is a fact. The unfortunate thing is that the overall concept of everyone MUST go to college will not produce the skilled workforce required to fill many of those job. Immigration will happen because despite the rhetoric no one is really actually against it as you can tell by their actions. So the only shortfall will once again be skilled workers. That will somehow be spun into the republicans fault for not taxing heavy enough to throw billions more at for profit collegiate level education.

    Instead of the paradigm shift that must occur in this country. It is perfectly acceptable to be a machinist. It is entirely worthwhile to be a nuclear power plant technicians. Being a professional Salesman has merit. Becoming a TIG welder pays a damn good paycheck. BUT instead of getting go foolks into those trades we have what is left over because everyone MUST go to college.

    I like what Obama did recently when he set some strict guidance for the GI Bill and using that term. Also for the schools that receive its funding must meet some criteria. That same effort needs to be focuses like a laser beam on our technical schools.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


  12. #12
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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by csb999 View Post
    two thoughts or observations .
    1 ) In the last century the work force has been consistantly reduced , both by reducing those able and the amount of time : end of child labour ,mandatory retirement , the 40 hour work week and the introduction of many paid days off ( long weekends ) .
    2 ) In the Western world in about the last century our average standard of living has skyrocketed . Reasonably we have a quality of life perhaps historically unparalleled .
    I'd challenge the notion that reductions in the workforce brought about increased quality of life. Technology and more efficient manufacturing methods are more likely responsible.

  13. #13
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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by rareboy View Post
    It is interesting that as the workforce shrunk, quality of life dramatically increased.

    Now we have families scrambling with some people having two jobs in order to assist the wealth aggregators to amass more cash under their Swiss or offshore tax haven mattresses.

    It is all about demographics and expectations. Once the boomers yield control of the workplace, there will be a huge number of job openings. In fact, the reality is, the shortfall is already starting to be so great in some areas that the gaps will only be filled by immigration and/or over 60's working longer in order to afford retirement.

    It all comes back to the simplest of principles. In order to have an economy, there has to be a demand for goods and services. No demand, no need. Empty factories and stores. The most recent cycle, where money itself became the economy has collapsed. At least for now.

    Our economic rise was fueled by invention and exploration. By the creation of something available at the mass level.

    The solution today would be invention. Not of new iphone apps, but of something so fundamentally 'necessary' that it re-ignites the economy.

    Maybe it is going to Mars. Maybe it is 3D holographic home entertainment systems. Or jet shoes. Or home based energy production. Or perfect blue roses. I haven't a clue what it will be. But somewhere out there, there have to be kids around the world who have an idea.

    And who will spark the next great wave of invention and production. And create new wealth. And exploit resources and people to get one in 2 billion households.

    Then there will be a job for everyone again.
    Much of this I agree with but ............

    I think the basic problem with our economy is that:

    1 - JOB needs are different today than they were 5 years ago - 10 years ago
    and many, too many, are ill equipped for that change
    those people need to be willing to learn new skills and someone needs to be willing to train them

    2 - BIG companies are NOT the thing anymore - working a long time for a BIG company is just not the thing
    they're downsizing and frankly the big companies are NOT the market makers anymore
    working at smaller companies - having diverse skills - being flexible, etc. is the key

    I think some of this will shake out by college students learning newer skills - like Environmental science for example

    so I believe that younger people, newer to the workforce will be fine over time - actually better

    men/women in their late 30's, 40's and 50's need to figure it out - and quickly - otherwise they become obsolete or at best will need to find work BELOW their expectations IF employers are willing to hire them

    I believe that govt. stimulus should be used to TRAIN older workers for new skills - that those $ would be well spent and frankly are necessary

    roads and bridges are important but people are MORE important

    good post rareboy - well done

  14. #14
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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by Just_Believe18 View Post
    Jack, you're blaming Obama for not doing enough, but it's been a Republican Congress this year that has blocked most of his initiatives. Most of them were very good, bipartisan, and had the potential to create jobs in the short and long-term.

    Needless to say, the economy is still improving despite partisan setbacks.
    I'd say that for the last three months, the economic figures haven't been reflecting what Washington has done, but the resilience and determination of Americans despite what Washington has done -- or, more accurately, has failed to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by White Eagle View Post
    All the jobs sent over seas could be brought back.
    This Nov take the Reps out of the congress.
    For most of those jobs that really can't happen; the price structure has adjusted to that cheaper labor, and isn't going to adjust back.


    Robert Reich's list is probably the best thing I've seen.


    But we also have to remember that the country is missing twelve million workers -- jobs that are going unfillled, and auxiliary jobs that would go with them -- because of the completely misguided "everyone go to college" mantra Clinton pounded so hard. Trade and technical schools have to be part of that mix -- we need those people, and we don't have them. It would be worth the effort right now to encourage all the people who might have gone to those schools to do so by promising that half of whatever college debt they have will be forgiven if they finish the trade school and take one of those millions of unfilled jobs.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  15. #15

    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    For someone who complains and criticizes the President a lot, you have no solutions for these problems you are so quick to whine about. You even called him a "whimp" when he was first elected. Springer, in your eyes the President can't and never will do anything correctly ever, so your opinion is meaningless.

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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Jack, as your chart shows, the labor force has been declining for the last decade, from the beginning of Bush's first term. This is hardly a new trend under Obama.

    The reasons for this are several, but one main one is that the baby boomers are starting to retire, which means the trend is going to continue, since they have been the largest block of working people for decades.

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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyBob View Post
    For someone who complains and criticizes the President a lot, you have no solutions for these problems you are so quick to whine about. You even called him a "whimp" when he was first elected. Springer, in your eyes the President can't and never will do anything correctly ever, so your opinion is meaningless.
    Hmmm perhaps you are Stewie Bob??????

    wimp Noun: A weak and cowardly or unadventurous person.


    BTW that is Brian and STewie on repeat saying Cool whip for ten minutes......... I could only take 1.34 see how long you can take it and then think about CE&P ...sometimes.....
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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by hotatlboi View Post
    Jack, as your chart shows, the labor force has been declining for the last decade, from the beginning of Bush's first term. This is hardly a new trend under Obama.

    The reasons for this are several, but one main one is that the baby boomers are starting to retire, which means the trend is going to continue, since they have been the largest block of working people for decades.

    The Labor Force Partcipation rate is the salient point. This is the population of working age people. About 16-65. So, retirements and an aging population aren't going to have any effect of this data.


    Labor force - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Until the baby boomers are pushed to curb to let the next generation take the reins, there is going to be next to no economic recovery. Even my mom who is very near retirement age agrees with me. Course the problem is that she has no plans on retiring until 70 at least. Hell, one of her bosses is 74 and still working at her company (he owns it) and won't retire until he dies. At least that explains away the "youth unemployment" portion.

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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by maxpowr9 View Post
    Until the baby boomers are pushed to curb to let the next generation take the reins, there is going to be next to no economic recovery. Even my mom who is very near retirement age agrees with me. Course the problem is that she has no plans on retiring until 70 at least. Hell, one of her bosses is 74 and still working at her company (he owns it) and won't retire until he dies. At least that explains away the "youth unemployment" portion.
    With the Fed pushing inflation to 6%, a lot of boomers aren't going to be retiring until they literally can't work any more. There's a 75-y.o. lady at a nearby Walmart who said she'll be working until 82, 'thanks to the bankers'.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  21. #21

    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Surely I don't need to remind you of the impact of millions of immigrants upon the number of unemployed.

  22. #22
    GiancarloC
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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Surely I don't need to remind you of the impact of millions of immigrants upon the number of unemployed.
    Of course, bring up that faulty irrelevant non-point... blame the immigrants for everything. That's all you have done.

  23. #23

    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Any new ideas?

  24. #24

    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    This is a thread about the effects of immigration. You just don't want to talk about the 1000 lb gorilla.

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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    This is a thread about the effects of immigration. You just don't want to talk about the 1000 lb gorilla.
    are the mexicans keeping you up at night?


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    Virtus in medio stat JUB Admin opinterph's Avatar
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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    This is a thread about the effects of immigration. You just don't want to talk about the 1000 lb gorilla.
    How ‘bout some facts to back up your assertions? Gorillas rarely weigh more than 500 pounds.


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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by opinterph View Post
    How ‘bout some facts to back up your assertions? Gorillas rarely weigh more than 500 pounds.

    That's a good article. It bears out what I learned in a summer program once: Cubans coming to South Florida vitalized the economy, raising everyone's standard of living -- and similar situations elsewhere.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  28. #28

    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    "What Are the Negative Effects of Immigration? [This is from the Cerniglia article cited below]



    Though immigration has many positive impacts, it also has its downsides. “About 85.5 of every 100 new workers are new immigrants in this decade” (Isidore, 2006, p. 1). This has caused the native born work force to decline tremendously. Between 2000 and 2005, the number of native born male workers who were between the ages of 16 and 34 declined by 1.7 million; instantaneously, the number of male immigrant workers rose by 1.9 million, states economists Andrew Sum, Paul Harrington, and Ishwar Khatiwada (2006). This influx of immigrants has had detrimental effects on low-skilled U.S. labor. Since immigrants gravitate towards lower-skilled jobs it has caused turmoil for some native born U.S. workers. “Immigrants [have] displaced low-skilled U.S. -born workers, particularly the young and the poor, from jobs” (Isidore, 2006, p. 1). Immigrants displace these workers because like these workers, they too are uneducated. “Of adult immigrants, 31 percent have not completed high school, compared to 8 percent of natives” (Camarota, 2007, p. 1). Since many native born workers are being displaced from low-skilled jobs, those not displaced are also being hurt. Immigrant labor is cheap labor. If a native and an immigrant are performing the same job, each person’s wage would be the same. Immigrants lower the wages of low-skilled native workers as well.



    "Immigration also “imposes a short-term cost on state and local governments that provide education, health care, and other social services” (Parker, 2005, p. 02). The Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies, Steven A Camarota (2007), states that 33 percent of immigrant households are using at least one major welfare program, compared to 19 percent of American households. “34 percent of immigrants lack health insurance, compared to 13 percent of natives” (Camarota, 2007, p. 1). Immigration has also put a burden on the public school systems. A big question has arisen about whether or not immigrants cost the government more than they contribute in taxes"
    There are academic studies on both sides of the question often reflecting the bias of the writers.Most pro-immigrations are liberal academic studies say that immigrants say that immigrants work, spend and create more jobs. Serious flaws in that argument are: exactly that same result would be accomplished by giving jobs to Americans our of work. They THEY could spend etc and create the new jobs. BUT wait. The same liberal studies emphasize that most immigrants take very low wage jobs, which Americans supposedly do not want. If they are in such low wage jobs, how can they spend enough to create new jobs. Here is the negative part of one of the studies: Immigration: A Nation's Economic Friend or Foe by Philip Cerniglia.

    Common sense is needed. This is a thread about the many unemployed we now have and how many are no longer even trying. Shall we tell them we are going to bring in millions of immigrants, mostly unskilled, so they can work, spend and so create jobs for Americans? We bring in a million a year legally, year after year, decade. If they create so many jobs, how can we have so much poverty? The best solution is to stop the immigration for a few years and give Americans a chance.
    Last edited by opinterph; May 7th, 2012 at 10:35 AM. Reason: added quote tags; Refer; fixed link display

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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    The best solution is to stop the immigration for a few years and give Americans a chance.
    How? The best way we've found to reduce immigration is to have a recession . . . .

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  30. #30

    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Not a thread about immigration.

    It's a thread looking for new ways to get Americans back to work.

    It's sad that most Americans -- the ones that have jobs -- have forgotten the ones that don't have jobs.

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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Springer View Post
    Not a thread about immigration.

    It's a thread looking for new ways to get Americans back to work.

    It's sad that most Americans -- the ones that have jobs -- have forgotten the ones that don't have jobs.
    It is sad, but most working Americans are too worried about making ends meet to worry much about those who have no jobs.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  32. #32

    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    How? The best way we've found to reduce immigration is to have a recession . . . .
    The million a year are LEGAL, and yes we con stop them. Illegals harder to stop. It is logically impossilble to discuss reducing unemployment without also discussing immigration. BOs website says he has created 4.2 million jobs. But with a million legal immigrants a year, that is NO reduction in unemployment.
    Kulindahr's theory is that immigrants spend and create jobs. But if we bring in immigrants to take the jobs there is no gain.
    Last edited by Benvolio; May 7th, 2012 at 01:21 PM.

  33. #33
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    Re: A reduced labor force is a lousy way to cut the unemployment rate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Springer View Post



    There were 115,000 jobs created last month -- however, 522,000 left the labor force rolls last month -- that's over 1/2 million people who joined the lost in one month!
    And that’s the most precipitous one-month drop in the participation rate since records have been kept. [Link]

    The chart you provided in the opening post includes data from 1984 to present. If we look at the same data going all the way back to 1948, we find that the participation rate began a steady rise in the 1960s. The following chart is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I’ve added an arrow to indicate where the data for the graph you provided in the opening post begins.



    Noticeable downturns in the participation rate occurred in conjunction with recessions. We see obvious reductions after the 1969-1970 and 1973-1975 recessions, a net flat-line associated with the 1980 and early 1980s recessions, and a pronounced reduction during the early 1990s recession.

    Generation X’ers first became included in the calculations in the early 1990s and it is typical for younger members of the population to exert a downward influence on the participation rate. We see the same influence in the early 1960s as the Boomers were initially included. And overall, the most remarkable observation of the rate from the 1960s until 2000 is the inclusion of the very large Baby Boomer population. That group increased both the labor pool and participation rate significantly, beginning in the 1960s.

    The economy basically stopped growing after the early 2000s recession and the collapse of the dot com bubble. The participation rate leveled out and essentially flat-lined until the “Great Recession” of the late 2000s.

    A decline in the participation rate has long been anticipated as the Baby Boomers begin to retire. A 2002 study by Robert F. Szafran attempted to calculate future participation rates by assuming 2000 levels for the percentage of resident population that is civilian and noninstitutionalized and the 2000 level participation rate associated with each age and sex category. The study demonstrates that the participation rate is expected to decline until about 2040, with progressively greater drops until 2020. It accounts for delayed mortality, as compared with earlier generations, and notes that a decline in the participation rate doesn’t stop until the Boomers eventually die and the Generation X’ers enter old age.

    Of course, actual results may vary considerably as a result of social and political outcomes. For example, younger members of the population may seek higher education and therefore delay their entry into the labor force, or changes to Social Security and pension benefits may encourage more workers to remain in the labor force until a later age.

    The chart below ([Source]) demonstrates the Szafran prediction, shown as a yellow dashed line beginning in 2002. The blue dashed line represents a more recent forecast by Mitra Toossi of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


    This indicates that while the Great Recession may have accelerated recent reductions in the participation rate, those reductions are not unexpected.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails latest_numbers_LNS11300000_1948_2012_all_period_M04_data_arrow800.jpg   ParticpationRateProjection_800.jpg  

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