jump to last post 1-10 of 10 discussions (28 posts)

Unemployment is " good " news...?

  1. maven101 profile image76
    maven101posted 6 years ago

    I just finished reading an article that suggests Wall Street and the White House will respond positively to the announcement of 37,000 new unemployment filings...Down somewhat from an earlier forecast...Since when is losing one's job good news for anyone..?
    Is the Obama administration that hungry for positive spin that they have to resort to this convoluted concept of good news..? Is Wall Street that cynical they see suffering as a winning strategy..? I can only shake my head and wonder where we are headed when I can read of the misery and fear associated with losing ones job as " Good News "....Larry

    1. 0
      Kenrick Chatmanposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Since consumer spending represents ~2/3 of the economy, consumer confidence is key. Likewise, the media will portray negative information in the brightest light possible.

      I tell job seekers all the time that people are still getting hired. However, more people are laid off, displaced, and/or fired than hired currently.

    2. TheGlassSpider profile image81
      TheGlassSpiderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I understand what you're saying...but if I anticipated losing $50,000 dollars in a deal, and only lost 20,000...I'd consider it BETTER news than if I had lost $50,000. I'm not saying it's great news that I lost anything at all, but it could have been $30,000 worse...I'm not sure if that's what's going on here, though. I'm sure you're more familiar with the situation.

    3. 0
      Iðunnposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      @OP

      Wall Street loves unemployment.  It breaks down as cutting cost of product for corporations and hence increasing earnings/profit.  If you watch the Dow regularly (and bear in mind other vital data's effects), it always rises on news of unemployment and drops with news of worker gains, like increased minimum wage.

      1. 0
        Iðunnposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Here, from Time:

        "Speth notes the seemingly paradoxical relationship between the growth rate (GDP) and decline in employment..."

        http://www.time.com/time/business/artic … tech-yahoo

        1. maven101 profile image76
          maven101posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Now that is a sad commentary on capitalism...Sad, but unfortunately true...Larry

          1. 0
            Iðunnposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            agree and glad not to be the only one to think that. 

            watching (and predicting)  the Dow is one of my hobbies.  I have more articles stashed somewhere on this effect.  if I can find them in my horrid mess of files, I'll post them.

  2. rebekahELLE profile image91
    rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago

    actually Larry, as devestating as it sounds, I have read numerous stories and heard stories about how it has helped a lot of people decide on a new track, change careers, start up their own business.

    as far as listening to news, I think it's all in perspective. they can say whatever they want to make it sound however they want.  any decrease is better news than an increase.

    1. maven101 profile image76
      maven101posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I hear what you are saying, still the anger I feel is coming from the notion that we have been let down by our government, both Bush and Obama...Mostly I blame Congress...the White House can only recommend and act...Congress makes the laws and designates watchdogs to protect Americans from predatory financial schemes...Larry

      1. rebekahELLE profile image91
        rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        with the recent drama from senator bunning and the other senator from north carolina (?) calling him his hero, you have to wonder how these people got elected in the first place. bunning doesn't care about the unemployed, plus he's not running for re-election, so he didn't care if he caused a crisis this past week.

        1. maven101 profile image76
          maven101posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          This whole healthcare battle going on now in Congress is coming to a head...Where is the accountability of these folks to the American people, when they will receive full retirement and a cadillac medical package even if they serve only one term, what is the motivation to serve the people..? What do they have to fear..? ...Larry

  3. maven101 profile image76
    maven101posted 6 years ago

    Kenrick Chapman has written :
    Since consumer spending represents ~2/3 of the economy, consumer confidence is key. Likewise, the media will portray negative information in the brightest light possible.

    I tell job seekers all the time that people are still getting hired. However, more people are laid off, displaced, and/or fired than hired currently.

    Yes, with the media pain sells...and, yes, many more folks are losing their jobs and their dreams as we struggle with this elastic economy...

  4. maven101 profile image76
    maven101posted 6 years ago

    The Glass Spider has written:
    " I understand what you're saying...but if I anticipated losing $50,000 dollars in a deal, and only lost 20,000...I'd consider it BETTER news than if I had lost $50,000. I'm not saying it's great news that I lost anything at all, but it could have been $30,000 worse...I'm not sure if that's what's going on here, though. I'm sure you're more familiar with the situation."

    It's one thing to lose a part of something, and quite another to lose everything...That is totally devastating to not only the worker, but to his family...I guess it just bugs me that the media can be so blase about these tragedies when the report them...Spinning it into " good news " is Pollyanna...Larry

    1. TheGlassSpider profile image81
      TheGlassSpiderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Well, I can understand that. Certainly it is a tragedy for those who are losing their jobs...However, I also wonder if this period of tragedy is exactly what the U.S. needs to give it a shot in the arm. As someone else mentioned, maybe we can conceive of this time period as a time of innovation, changing directions, and positive change in the long run...even though the short term is awfully tough.

      I also wonder how good it would be for the country if all the media was constantly being negative about the news. Now, I understand the need for honesty, but is there a chance that attempting to put a positive spin on these things bolsters the morale of the people and perhaps has a positive effect on the economy?

      Again, this is all merely speculation. I'm just sort of thinking "out loud."

  5. maven101 profile image76
    maven101posted 6 years ago

    The Glass Spider has written :
    Well, I can understand that. Certainly it is a tragedy for those who are losing their jobs...However, I also wonder if this period of tragedy is exactly what the U.S. needs to give it a shot in the arm. As someone else mentioned, maybe we can conceive of this time period as a time of innovation, changing directions, and positive change in the long run...even though the short term is awfully tough.

    I also wonder how good it would be for the country if all the media was constantly being negative about the news. Now, I understand the need for honesty, but is there a chance that attempting to put a positive spin on these things bolsters the morale of the people and perhaps has a positive effect on the economy?

    Again, this is all merely speculation. I'm just sort of thinking "out loud."

    Certainly, one can appreciate the the likelihood of increased innovation, entrepreneurship, and outside-the-box strategies when a business is threatened with extinction or severe revenue loss...And that is a good thing...And maybe it is good to have a flushing out of toxic debt now and then...Still, the cost in human misery and loss of hope hardly seems worthwhile...many of these families will fall apart, children will never be able to continue with a higher education, parents not realize their retirement dreams...Sure, some will profit and grow, but many others will never recover...Larry

    1. 0
      Iðunnposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Well, the media calls this the 'jobless recovery' which of course means GDP growth is happening but it's all Wall Street profits made off picking the last of the flesh off the bones of the working class.

      But you said something there, something important.  Since consumer DEBT is about 70% of our GDP (which by the way is a fairly recent phenomenon - I'll pull up the old stats if I can find), the stock market 'fake growth' cannot be sustained.  I predict another big fall fairly soon.

      Many people are broken.  Jobless, in massive debt, and one in four home-owners are underwater.  Ultimately this is going to cause a major fall in the Dow because you can't just write off all American consumers and still profit.

      I think we're reaching the breaking point.  Hopefully when we as a nation activate to go forward, it will be in the right direction... a more equitable distribution of wealth throughout society, ie:  giving workers a fairer value out of the labor of their hands.

      1. 0
        Iðunnposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Here's a recent article on the current situation:

        http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20100222/cm_csm/280908

        Workers' share of America's pie is shrinking

        "Indeed, its share is at a "record low," says Charles McMillion, chief economist at MBG Information Services, a Washington consulting firm. "Labor has no leverage." So wages have been "depressed, stagnant, or falling" for some 30 years.

        Much of that lost compensation went to business and its owners. Last year, for example, businesses raised workers' hourly pay a little (2.2 percent) but cut their hours a lot (5.1 percent). The result? The remaining workforce became considerably more productive, creating more goods and services per hour worked.

        Ideally, business and labor would share about equally in productivity gains. Over the past three decades, though, business has reaped the bigger share. For every dollar of goods and services the United States produced in 1974, all employees reaped about 59 cents. Last year, their share had fallen to 55 cents. In a $14 trillion economy, that amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars in lost wages every year..."

        1. maven101 profile image76
          maven101posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Let me just say, right off, that I do not support unions...in fact I lost most of my hair doing battle over the years with unions, in my case, Teamsters...How else would a business react but to cut labor and hours in the face of a union dictum, strongly enforced, that states the pace of work should not exceed the slowest, laziest, least competent worker..?
          I do agree that labor and management must reach equity, I'm just not sure how to go about doing that without creating a tsunami wave of unemployment and dog eat dog competition among the surviving workers... Larry

          1. 0
            Iðunnposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Yeah, it's easy to see the problems but considerably harder to find the right solutions.

            I trend to pro-union generally but I agree they are not without defect and when they become too powerful, well you know the adage and it sounds like you have experience with it.

            But try this on...

            What if, just what if... profitable companies willingly passed on a more equitable amount of that profit to the people who create it and then those people have more disposable income and then the businesses become even more profitable?

            That is the way it used to be done in America, the last 40s, the 50s, the 60s and part of the 70s... our best economic time.

  6. maven101 profile image76
    maven101posted 6 years ago

    This is a most interesting discussion which I will return to later...Thank you all for your brilliant and cogent comments...Larry

  7. Karina S. profile image61
    Karina S.posted 6 years ago

    I have to agree with Larry. I do not understand how 9.7% unemployment is "Good News"?

    1. maven101 profile image76
      maven101posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, it is a kind of perverse take on the enormous suffering and despair that is just now starting to kick in for many...Larry

  8. Michael Willis profile image78
    Michael Willisposted 6 years ago

    When unemployment is high, the business owner can hire someone at a lower pay-rate than normal since the pool of workers to choose from is higher. This in turn will increase profits. A business owner can be picky about whom he hires.

    And those who are still employed will in turn be forced to work longer hours and pushed to be more productive or they will be next on the unemployment line.

    We don't like this type of work ethics, but that is the way it is. Like I was told once, "Nothing personal but, Business is Business."

    1. maven101 profile image76
      maven101posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      The Darwinian picture you have painted is real...its here now...and there is real pain and fear out there because of such...Driven managers and CEO's under constant pressure from the stockholders and Boards of Directors, will pinch down and squeeze every bit of profit margin they can...Its the immediate pressure that suffocates innovation, a thinking outside the box, as Iounn has suggested, because the pressure is for profits NOW. How do you convince pensioned stockholders to accept marginal returns on their investment when the world is going to hell, economically, in a hand basket..?  Larry

      1. 0
        Iðunnposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        This is the key, yes.  Excellent observation.

        It's a matter of accepting long term reliable gains over short-term unsustainable and harmful "gains".

        In the old days, stockholders understood the difference and chose with intelligence.  Now, possibly correlated with an actual cultural shift in the U.S.... not so much.

        Quite so!  Good post!

  9. maven101 profile image76
    maven101posted 6 years ago

    iounn has written :
    But try this on...

    " What if, just what if... profitable companies willingly passed on a more equitable amount of that profit to the people who create it and then those people have more disposable income and then the businesses become even more profitable?

    That is the way it used to be done in America, the last 40s, the 50s, the 60s and part of the 70s... our best economic time."

    In a perfect world, meaning a business could work directly with the workers, and not through some union contractual agreement that bleeds off 30% of the profit sharing, your supposition would work...and a lot of companies do just that...Microsoft is a good example of workers sharing considerably with management and shareholders because they ARE shareholders...Larry

    1. 0
      Iðunnposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Can't argue that not having a middleman taking out a cut wouldn't be better (especially with the corruption), but if workers can't get a fair shake at all, maybe it's a second-best answer?

      Shareholding.  I've got to say this about owning stock in general, because this is the excuse the elite use.  Making a couple of extra hundred bucks a year if that much is not a good ROI for selling out your wages, benefits and job.  Fact is, 10% of the country owns 90% of the stock.  The people who really benefit are the upper elite and if they have convinced you that a better bottom line which increases profits is helping you when in fact that bottom line is achieved through downsizing, offshoring, reducing your benefits and stagnating your wages, then I have to respectfully ask you to rethink the situation.  I feel you are being duped. 

      Most people (the other 90% who own the remaining 10% of all stock collectively) who own a little stock for their pension funds or whatever do not benefit, in my opinion, from such a situation.  Please, please, think!

  10. 0
    Iðunnposted 6 years ago

    Today I noticed the DOW was dropping a bit all morning and then within half an hour of this news making front page yahoo, it started to rise.

    Unemployment rises in 30 states in January
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100310/ap_ … employment
    By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber, Ap Economics Writer – 1 hr 24 mins ago

    If you're like me and a chronic market watcher, you'll see that pretty consistently. wink

 
working