Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Truth About Wisconsin

Every now and then, the bad guys will tell the truth on themselves.  If you think the protests in Wisconsin have anything to do with educating children, this video should clear that up for you.

In 2009, Bob Chanin, the retiring General Counsel for the National Education Association spilled the beans on the real reason why the NEA exists.
"It is not because of the merit of our positions, it is not because we care about children, and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child.  NEA and our affiliates are effective advocates because we have power.  And we have power because there are 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year..."
It's about money and power.  Period.  The battle in Wisconsin is about the union's power to suck the public teat dry and the tax payers unwillingness for that gluttony to continue.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Don't Worry, Be Happy

This is a bit wonkish, so hang with me.  The first graph is the US unemployment rate according to polling conducted by the federal government.  The second graph is the unemployment rate according to a Gallup poll.  The two organizations use different sampling techniques, so the results are never exactly the same.  However, the differences are usually small and the trends (moving up or down) are usually the same.

For the past several months the differences have been growing and the trends in opposite directions.  The government would have you believe that unemployment is declining and is now at 8.9%.  Gallup would have you believe that unemployment is rising and is now at 10.3, as high as it was a year ago.

Who's right?  Neither.   In the 1970's the government stopped counting so-called 'discouraged workers' -- those who couldn't find a job and have stopped looking -- and neither of the unemployment numbers above include the discouraged workers.

When we add in the discouraged workers and those people working part-time who would rather be working full-time, we get a better sense of the magnitude of our economic crisis.  The feds put that combined number (U6, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls it) at 15.5%, while Gallup puts that number at 19.9%

When 1 in 5 people are unemployed or underemployed, that's pretty much the definition of a depression, isn't it?

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