37 percent of unemployed "devestated" by recession

goman, higher granularity does not fix bad methodology.

And if you think any of the regular stats: CPI, unemployment, GDP, M2/M1, etc. have been altered so much in the last 25 years to be more accurate instead of altered merely to make the government look better, well, let's just say we'll agree to disagree on that one.

Minarchist wrote:

goman, higher granularity does not fix bad methodology.

And if you think any of the regular stats: CPI, unemployment, GDP, M2/M1, etc. have been altered so much in the last 25 years to be more accurate instead of altered merely to make the government look better, well, let's just say we'll agree to disagree on that one.

If inflation is as bad as shadowstats says why is their subscriber price not keeping up with that so-called bad inflation.

I work in an office that basically analyzes corporate accounting and SEC documents. I've been involved in this industry since about the dot com era. I've yet to see any change in how something is calculated that wasn't accompanied by an explanation about how wrong the old way was, and how much better the new way is.

We don't tend to trust such assertions.

goman wrote:
Minarchist wrote:

goman, higher granularity does not fix bad methodology.

And if you think any of the regular stats: CPI, unemployment, GDP, M2/M1, etc. have been altered so much in the last 25 years to be more accurate instead of altered merely to make the government look better, well, let's just say we'll agree to disagree on that one.

If inflation is as bad as shadowstats says why is their subscriber price not keeping up with that so-called bad inflation.

You know quite well that inflation doesn't affect all industries equally or at the same time, and that his true price is based more on subscriber base than stated cost.

Minarchist wrote:
goman wrote:
Minarchist wrote:

goman, higher granularity does not fix bad methodology.

And if you think any of the regular stats: CPI, unemployment, GDP, M2/M1, etc. have been altered so much in the last 25 years to be more accurate instead of altered merely to make the government look better, well, let's just say we'll agree to disagree on that one.

If inflation is as bad as shadowstats says why is their subscriber price not keeping up with that so-called bad inflation.

You know quite well that inflation doesn't affect all industries equally or at the same time, and that his true price is based more on subscriber base than stated cost.

Yeah, I mean, price is always based on one thing: what the customer is willing to pay.

Minarchist wrote:
goman wrote:
Minarchist wrote:

goman, higher granularity does not fix bad methodology.

And if you think any of the regular stats: CPI, unemployment, GDP, M2/M1, etc. have been altered so much in the last 25 years to be more accurate instead of altered merely to make the government look better, well, let's just say we'll agree to disagree on that one.

If inflation is as bad as shadowstats says why is their subscriber price not keeping up with that so-called bad inflation.

You know quite well that inflation doesn't affect all industries equally or at the same time, and that his true price is based more on subscriber base than stated cost.

That is his true income... not his true price.

Income = # of consumers*average price consumer paying. Yes his income can grow without price increases if his base grows.

Yeah, you know what I meant.

http://bpp.mit.edu/usa/

Here is an alternative to government CPI and shadowstats regarding inflation. It is called the billion prices index (BPI). I think it correlates more with CPI than with shadowstats.

For half a year last year BPI was 1 to 1.5% higher than CPI. Now they are the same. Around 4%.

Shadowstats on the other hand is showing stagflationary type of inflation rates. 7 to 12%

Here is how BPI does it.

Data collection: our data are collected every day from online retailers using a software that scans the underlying code in public webpages and stores the relevant price information in a database. The resulting dataset contains daily prices on the full array of products sold by these retailers. Our data include information on product descriptions, package sizes, brands, special characteristics (e.g. “organic”), and whether the item is on sale or price control.

I don't trust government willy nilly either. I look at alternatives too.

Minarchist wrote:

Yeah, you know what I meant.

Yeah -- it is actually nominal income too, not real income.

Isn't 3% unemployment considered to be full employment because there's always people "churning" from job to job?

bandit0013 wrote:

Isn't 3% unemployment considered to be full employment because there's always people "churning" from job to job?

4%, I think, but yes.

wordsmythe wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:

Isn't 3% unemployment considered to be full employment because there's always people "churning" from job to job?

4%, I think, but yes.

so to put the previous chart in perspective it's 15% of 5% that are devastated. :-p

Not to be unsympathetic, but lies, damn lies, and stats and all.

bandit0013 wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:

Isn't 3% unemployment considered to be full employment because there's always people "churning" from job to job?

4%, I think, but yes.

so to put the previous chart in perspective it's 15% of 5% that are devastated. :-p

Not to be unsympathetic, but lies, damn lies, and stats and all.

Several things that you are misreading about this:
15% are not devastated, 15% are "totally wrecked". 21% are "devastated", so 36% are "devastated or worse".
Also, it's not 15% of the hypothetical 5% "healthy unemployment%" which are devastated. First of all current the official unemployment rate is 8.6%, and as several people here have mentioned other methods of calculating employment put that number at half again higher. Second of all these numbers come for people that became unemployed between August 2008 and August 2009, when the unemployment varied from 6.2% to 9.7%. Now getting an actual percentage of the total population would be pretty hard, because you'd need to know more information to figure out what proportion of the population actually lost their job during that range. The absolute bare minimum number is 3.5%, assuming that not a single person that was unemployed in August 2008 got a job in the interim, and assuming that nobody got a job and then lost the job. It's probably several percentage points higher though.

I also think that it's unwise to make comparisons to the current situation and theoretical healthy unemployment. When you do that without reservation it makes it look like you think that this economic climate is normal. In a healthy situation we would not only have around 4% unemployment, but none of those people would be "devastated" they would all be in the top two categories: "Made it back" or "on the way back".

bandit0013 wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:

Isn't 3% unemployment considered to be full employment because there's always people "churning" from job to job?

4%, I think, but yes.

so to put the previous chart in perspective it's 15% of 5% that are devastated. :-p

Not to be unsympathetic, but lies, damn lies, and stats and all.

37% are devestated, not 15, to be fair.

bandit0013 wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:

Isn't 3% unemployment considered to be full employment because there's always people "churning" from job to job?

4%, I think, but yes.

so to put the previous chart in perspective it's 15% of 5% that are devastated. :-p

Not to be unsympathetic, but lies, damn lies, and stats and all.

You're talking about distinctly different durations of unemployment.

bandit0013 wrote:

Not to be unsympathetic...

"That word..."

gregrampage wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:

Isn't 3% unemployment considered to be full employment because there's always people "churning" from job to job?

4%, I think, but yes.

so to put the previous chart in perspective it's 15% of 5% that are devastated. :-p

Not to be unsympathetic, but lies, damn lies, and stats and all.

37% are devestated, not 15, to be fair.

My math turned says that the 37% of 5% of working Americans is roughly 2.8 million people. That's a lot to be devastated by the economy in recent years. Definitely not a :-p worthy amount.

Sorry, been tired, went back and looked at the article. Interesting though:

Workers classified as DEVASTATED have experienced a major change to their
lifestyle due to the recession. They can be either in poor financial shape and think the
change is temporary, or in fair financial shape but think this change is permanent.

Workers that have been TOTALLY WRECKED by this recession have experienced a
major change to their lifestyle that is permanent and are in poor financial shape.

If you're in fair financial shape and think the change is permanent, that's not devastated by any definition I would use. I'm not sure where in the tenants of reality it says that because you made $X one year that if things change (buggy whip maker) that now you only make $X-$Y per year and you're in "fair financial shape" that is devastating...

The more interesting thing about unemployment to me versus arguing about methodology is to seek an answer to the following question:

"With increases in productivity/technology and expectations of knowledge levels of workers in many fields, what percentage of the population is unemployable?"

bandit0013 wrote:

"With increases in productivity/technology and expectations of knowledge levels of workers in many fields, what percentage of the population is unemployable?"

That is an interesting question. To some extent, populations become like venture capital in a highly technological society: you generate more net wealth by most of them failing and a few of them succeeding brilliantly. How do you deal with the fallout to society of that kind of situation?

CheezePavilion wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:

"With increases in productivity/technology and expectations of knowledge levels of workers in many fields, what percentage of the population is unemployable?"

That is an interesting question. To some extent, populations become like venture capital in a highly technological society: you generate more net wealth by most of them failing and a few of them succeeding brilliantly. How do you deal with the fallout to society of that kind of situation?

One would think if we hit the star wars era of technology where the price/availability of basic goods falls to a level where it is insignificant that everyone would be provided a pretty comfortable baseline of existence with the exceptional types leading exceptionally lavish lives. However, since you'd also see a drastically reduced need for human capital and expanded lifespans you would likely also see rational curbs on population growth.

That aside, it's been a question I've been turning over in my head for a while now since Globalization really hit its stride. It used to be you could go to school, be a C student, get a job at the local factory, and since worker supply/demand curve was decent due to lack of global options you could make a solid living. Those days are over. Not only does Globalization vastly increase the supply of C students, advances in technology also mean we need less C students overall.

Given that, what percentage of our able bodied population is now economically... not viable?

bandit0013 wrote:

If you're in fair financial shape and think the change is permanent, that's not devastated by any definition I would use. I'm not sure where in the tenants of reality it says that because you made $X one year that if things change (buggy whip maker) that now you only make $X-$Y per year and you're in "fair financial shape" that is devastating...

That's fair, for sure. It does depend on the definition of "fair financial shape" but I agree that if it means going from upper middle class to lower middle class (major change in lifestyle) that's not devastating.

gregrampage wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:

If you're in fair financial shape and think the change is permanent, that's not devastated by any definition I would use. I'm not sure where in the tenants of reality it says that because you made $X one year that if things change (buggy whip maker) that now you only make $X-$Y per year and you're in "fair financial shape" that is devastating...

That's fair, for sure. It does depend on the definition of "fair financial shape" but I agree that if it means going from upper middle class to lower middle class (major change in lifestyle) that's not devastating.

Truthfully, i was focusing the most on the people who are "totally wrecked," which can mean being very close to homelessness or at complete survival level. Going from upper middle class to lower middle class is also a tragedy, especially if the unemployed person had graduated from college, worked hard and done all the right things. Suddenly, they can only afford necessities while probably working just as hard at 3-4 minimum wage jobs. One run of bad luck and they're in the totally wrecked bunch. Worse still, there's little hope that their kids will have it better. The way things are going, the lower middle class will never be able to afford to send their kids to college. I hope I'm wrong but it seems that nowadays once you fall, there's no getting back up.

As far as the whole unemployable question goes, a lot of first world countries understand that unemployment can last for years or decades, and thus have programs to deal with that reality. Now, I don't think it's good for people to simply collect checks for years on-end. But countries like Germany have job sharing programs that help the unemployed stay in the workforce.

At any rate, I just wanted to post something to give credence to what's really happening out there. I know a lot of pundits like to spin how well the economy is recovering and "only a few losers" were really hurt in the recession. I'd argue that we're really in a depression, albeit one not as severe as the Great Depression. Yet.

CheezePavilion wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:

"With increases in productivity/technology and expectations of knowledge levels of workers in many fields, what percentage of the population is unemployable?"

That is an interesting question. To some extent, populations become like venture capital in a highly technological society: you generate more net wealth by most of them failing and a few of them succeeding brilliantly. How do you deal with the fallout to society of that kind of situation?

The two sides of my mind fight over this. Logically, it's easy to zoom out and talk about "human capital" as a resource. But the other side of my mind resists the dehumanization that happens when you zoom out, so it sees people being "spent" as a real problem.

wordsmythe wrote:

The two sides of my mind fight over this. Logically, it's easy to zoom out and talk about "human capital" as a resource. But the other side of my mind resists the dehumanization that happens when you zoom out, so it sees people being "spent" as a real problem.

What's the term for when someone mentions Stalin in a thread? (I'm thinking of the "A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic" quote)

Scratched wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

The two sides of my mind fight over this. Logically, it's easy to zoom out and talk about "human capital" as a resource. But the other side of my mind resists the dehumanization that happens when you zoom out, so it sees people being "spent" as a real problem.

What's the term for when someone mentions Stalin in a thread? (I'm thinking of the "A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic" quote)

I don't know if there's a term. I don't mind people referencing the quote, but such a quote isn't a justification of the way our perspectives warp. It's something that I think we need to fight against the same as we fight against confirmation bias and all sorts of other irrational tricks our minds play.