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I keep hearing this “94 million people not in the labor force” stat, and it got me to wondering: Is this remotely true? Here’s a good discussion:
From the link, breaking down the numbers:
• People age 16 to 17, who likely are in high school: 9 million
• People who are enrolled in either two- or four-year colleges: 21 million
• People age 65 and older, who have reached retirement age: 40 million people
That means 20 million people are of normal working age, not in college and not working. That’s less than one-quarter the amount repeatedly cited in the blogosphere.
So the 90 million number is exaggerated. Even so, the idea that fewer people are joining the workforce is something that worries economists.
My condolences to you in what I know must be a very sad time.
I would just like to add, in regard to Zero Hedge, that many of the commenters there appear to be mentally ill and/or delusional, people enamored of preposterous conspiracy theories and given to lurid fantasies about the world around them. Many of them, for example, cling to the notion that Barack Obama is a foreign-born/Communist/Muslim/Marxist/Atheist/Terrorist threat to the very survival of humanity.
Sorry! It was on another post. My bad.
I gave a response yesterday and it got wiped out (along with several others). What happened?
Lance Roberts says that $3.7 trillion in “welfare” was paid at the Federal level from 2009 to 2013? I call BS. How has that figure been derived? What are its component elements? The actual data for the period 2009-2013 (five FYs, 2009-2013 inclusive) is closer to $2.4 trillion out of expenditures of $17.1 trillion, or 14.0% of Federal spending. (See https://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_budget_fy13) Moreover, I’m leery of anyone who focuses on all the supposed “benefits” the “takers” are receiving from those who control a mere 90% of all the wealth in the country. Further, Roberts pulls the typical right-wing con artist trick of ignoring the whole set of taxes almost everyone pays–state income taxes, FICA, sales taxes, real estate taxes (either directly or as a component of rent), excise taxes, you name it. Factor in “subsidies” (read: welfare) for Big Business, agribusiness, and banks, a whole raft of tax breaks for the so-called “job creators”, a bloated Pentagon budget that acts as a welfare program for the defense industry, and the whole sick spectacle of the upward transfer of wealth over the last 35 years, and you have a thoroughly dishonest analysis. I also knew it was typical wingnut crap when he used the buzzword “amnesty” to describe Obama’s move on immigration. This BS Roberts is spewing is part of the Right-wing line that Obama has “massively” increased spending and “dependence”. Check the data out here: https://crfb.org/blogs/fiscal-fact-checker-how-much-has-spending-increased-under-president-obama
In other words, Roberts is lying.
I dislike sweeping generalizations, and I find those that center around some purported “generation” to be particularly annoying. There is no such thing as a “generation” in the social sense. All attempts to define these so-called “generations” collapse upon close examination. Time Magazine, unsurprisingly, has been responsible for much of the spread of this egregious nonsense, but it is hardly alone. There are no “Silents”, “Greatest Generation members”, “Boomers”, “Gen X”, “Gen Y”, or “Millennials”. There are only people–diverse, unique, complicated people– born into particular historical contexts and social circumstances. These people exist in complex webs of interaction and reciprocity, ones that require careful examination and study, not lazy, misleading assertions.
To everyone, I say: Please, PLEASE start seeing people more as individuals and less as members of artificial categories. There were extraordinarily good people born between 1928 and 1945, there were vicious, brutal people born in that period, and there was every kind of person in between. In this group there were people from every kind of family, every kind of environment, every kind of social status, every kind of faith (or none at all) and every level of wealth. These attempts to corral people into “generations” are the crudest form of “analysis”. Such vulgar pop-sociology nonsense glosses over all individual biographies, ignores the subtle nuances of human behavior, ignores the ambiguity that is inherent in human life, and tells us nothing about the relationships people have with those older or younger than they. I am an admirer of The Automatic Earth, but this post misses the mark, in my opinion.