Saturday, December 18, 2010

Live Images of the New Normal: Unemployment Extension Won’t Help 99ers - WSJ

SOURCE: Unemployment Extension Won’t Help 99ers - WSJ:
The extension for unemployment benefits that is part of the compromise tax deal is good news for many of the unemployed, but it won’t provide aid to anyone who’s been out of a job over 99 weeks.

That’s a concern because the number of 99ers may be increasing. The number of people who have received their final payments from extended-benefits programs this year through the end of October — the most recent month for which data are available — is over one million, and that number has been steadily increasing. Separately, the Labor Department reported that nearly 10% of the unemployed in the third quarter of 2010 — more than one million people — had been out of a job and looking for work for about two years or more. Meanwhile, initial claims for unemployment have been trending lower recently, but the biggest surge came in early 2009. The peak of 643,000 claims in a single week came in March of last year, 89 weeks ago. Anyone still unemployed since that peak is likely to run out of benefits soon, if they haven’t already.
The New York Times adds that amidst this mancession:
Misplaced confidence in market forces is making it virtually impossible for the unemployed to man up — or woman up.
None of these figures even begin to take into account those who fell off of the 99-week edge-of-the-economic-Earth, prior to this most recent capitalist extremist economic cleansing. A post-information, post-scarcity economy is by definition a public-private partnership. Neither side can be the supreme commander; each must do their part.

We need Free Markets to create new products, services, innovations, and the number of jobs possible. It's utterly absurd to mandate non-productive, make-work J.O.B's (Justifications Of Being). It's even worse to panic and claw back industrial jobs that are needed for development throughout the rest of the world.

We need Basic Income to provide for social stability and human dignity in a nation where nearly 20% U-6 Unemployment is already the norm; and it's heading to 30% because we keep becoming more and more labor efficient. We should not roll back those efficiency gains just because we've never encountered such breakthrough levels of achievement ever before in history. In the so-called advanced west, should look at the world as it is and make the adaptive changes required to show the way forward. If we do not, why would today's developing nations seek to emulate us at all, if widespread unemployment, poverty, and panic are the final outcomes of mastering the efficiencies of advanced industrialization?

It's time to increment our understanding, time to move forward. That's the PlusPlus in Capitalism++. BasicIncome.Org | USBig.Net

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Crisis of Capital, Crisis of Theory

Forum on Capital as Power: "Crisis of Capital, Crisis of Theory." Conference Program and Videos. Co-sponsored by Routledge and Springer. Brennan, Jordan and Cochrane, D. T. and Starrs, Sean. (2010). Conference held at York University in Toronto on October 29-31 2010.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Trend of Unemployment Claims as % of Continuing Unemployment; US Population vs. Employment, vs. Labor Force, vs. Continued Unemployed

Inquiring minds might be interested in a pair of charts courtesy of Mish's reader Tim Wallace.

Note the trendline of new unemployment claims as a percentage of continuing unemployment.


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