What Washington should be concerned about




While I’ve been writing about Social Security and minimum wage, employment and unemployment are much more important questions.  These charts are from a web site called Jobenomics by a blogger named Chuck Vollmer.  I think his information is reliable, with the caveat that his “can work – not working” category includes a lot of us retirees who are well past our prime working years (and many of whom do unpaid volunteer work).

Goods Producing vs Government Payrolls



As the son of a school teacher and a Maryland civil servant, I’m not one to say that government employees contribute nothing to American well-being.  They did things of value to society, earned salaries and paid taxes.

But it is disturbing to see the relative decline of Americans employed in actually making things.   I think that a good society should have adequate public utilities and public investment, as well as a social safety net, but I don’t see how we can pay for the safety net unless we have a thriving manufacturing economy.

The following charts show the sources of what job growth we’ve been getting.



And the next charts show just how halting the jobs recovery has been.


The U3 official unemployment rate includes those who are looking for work and can’t find it. The U6 unemployment rate also includes people who would like to work, but have stopped looking, and those who are employed part-time and would like to work full-time. The statistics are compiled from a monthly survey of a cross-section of the population by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Click on Jobenomics for the source of the charts and more information.

Click on Why Washington Doesn’t Care About Jobs for comment by Christopher Hayes in The Nation.

Click on Inside the heads of the 1% for an article in the Los Angeles Times about the priorities of the economic elite.

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3 Responses to “What Washington should be concerned about”

  1. Atticus Says:

    This is an excellent post Phil. You might enjoy a site called shadowstats.com that point out these exact things.


  2. holden Says:

    Somewhere along the line the leadership lost touch. All rhetoric from the president and most from other politicians always say the same thing. More government jobs and government funded contracts.

    Yes it technically pushes aggregate demand and GDP upward, but it isn’t sustainable and the multiplier on those dollars spent is typically thought to be low.

    Meanwhile, corporations seem not to worry too much either. Corporate welfare programs are healthy and vibrant. Anyone else feel an Atlus Shrugged period of American history coming on? 😉


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