Chart of the Day

By James Kwak

From Peter Goodman’s story about long-term unemployment in The New York Times.

For those wondering, U.S. population in 1982 was about 232 million; today it’s about 307 million, or about 33% more.

Unemployment benefits typically run out after six months. That deadline has been extended with federal money, but I believe the extensions will expire again in the next few months.

Then there’s this:

“During periods of American economic expansion in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, the number of private-sector jobs increased about 3.5 percent a year, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, a research firm. During expansions in the 1980s and ’90s, jobs grew just 2.4 percent annually. And during the last decade, job growth fell to 0.9 percent annually.”

Population growth runs at about 1 percent per year (that’s the average rate from 1982 to 2009, for example).

65 responses to “Chart of the Day

  1. Oh boy. What do us young people with no job and education do? I’m 25 and already deep in credit debt and am barley getting myself through school. I’m down to saltines to keep myself alive.

    When will the jobs come back?!?

  2. During times of high unemployment, many seek education to create or enhance a skill-set. Got to love the left’s solution to high education costs… low interest gov’t loans. Transfer that tax money to buddies in the dysfunctional Big University. The public pot is boiling.

    http://bit.ly/bB7rGY

  3. Welcome to the world that the Baby Boomers have left us. Peak oil will kick in and really start doing its magic if the economic picture ever recovers. I really think that even if all the issues with banking and jobs got fixed tomorrow, it would fall right back when the price shocks on oil start setting in. The US really isn’t taking alternative energy very seriously, and I have the feeling that’ll have us jumping out of the frying pan of a broken banking (and healthcare) system and in to the fire of resource shortage.

    In short: don’t expect the jobs picture to look pretty for long, if at all, for a long time. Be prepared for the consequences of not having the means to repay your debts for a very long time.

  4. dilbert dogbert

    The University of Chicago says not to worry. This is just a spike in those who prefer leisure to work.

  5. Truthfulness in simplicty: I empathize with the many American graduates who will be burdened with heavy debts amid this lousy labour market. I came into the Canadian workforce in the early 90s in the midst of a ‘manufactured in Canada’ recession thanks to an overzealously restrictive Bank of Canada policy amied at complete price stability. What is happening in the United States will put a cohort of grads behind the proverbial 8-ball. This is not a time for arguing the finer points of spectacularly useless yet mathematically elegant dynamic equilibirum models. Time to throw rational expectations into the dustin of economic history. Let’s get back to actionable and pragmatic political economy.

  6. When you’re running a fake economy instead of a real one, there are real consequences, unfortunately…

  7. I’m raising two of you — I would like to know, too. ;^)

  8. Let’s try communism again, but without all the croneyism and corruption. With ubiquitous webcams and a new Stasi…

    http://www.infragard.com/

    We can make it work!

  9. First, stop listening to the news on the TV- they are liars. Learn what “oligarchy” means and study the lives of the serfs in medeival times… its your life now. Now that they just print what they need (money wise) they dont even need you as a consumer anymore. If you believe one political party is different than the other- I feel sorry for you. America is not a good place to live, and you might see if there is something you can do to move away. Also- try to finish your education- get those loans- and forget about paying them back. Look into Geology. Most would guarantee you a job in the future. You are young. Just do it.

  10. For Uncle Billy–I think, given the Tea Parties, fascism is more likely. They just haven’t found a leader yet. And there are lots of places we haven’t been to war with lately. Bring back the draft and there will be lots of jobs.

  11. “Shadowstats.com is a website that analyzes government economic and unemployment statistics based on methodologies used by previous United States administrations, from the pre-Clinton era to the time of the Great Depression.[1] Using Depression-era methodology, for example, the U.S. unemployment rate would have been 16.5% in January 2009, more than double the announced rate of 6.7%.[2] The site is authored by statistician John Williams.[1] Opinions of Williams’ claims range from experts who scoff at his analysis[3] to authorities whose views echo those of Williams.[4]

    Williams and other critics of current methodologies point out that under President Lyndon Johnson, people who stopped looking for work for more than a year were no longer considered part of the counted labor force. That change dramatically decreased U.S. government reported jobless numbers, as does not counting part-time workers who are looking for full-time employment.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadowstats.com

  12. Welcome to the new normal everyone. As another fellow member of the Generation Y class, I also do not have too much faith in the direction that the US is currently heading.

    Sadly, this here is only the tip of the iceberg as to what is to come. In addition to peak oil prices, we will also have to deal with other bubble bursts such as commercial real estates, college debt, and state treasuries. Soon enough, there will also be a time when we will have to eventually start forking the bill for this awfully high deficit (hurray for hyper inflation) and concurrently getting taxed up the wazoo as a means to pay for the boomer’s social security/medicare ponzi scheme. The old paradigm of a “normal” 6% unemployment will soon become a thing of the past unless breakthrough innovations come to fruition (something I don’t see happening anytime soon).

    Being a current small business owner and veteran of this country, it destroys me to see this trend of negligence. Unfortunately, I now have no other choice but to start making plans to move both myself and parts of my business overseas.

  13. I was being a little tongue-in-cheeky. Last time we sank this low we didn’t depend on lots of little conflicts to pull us out, we had a slam bang global war. Overcapacity? No longer an issue! Do you ever get the feeling that the folks that are running this planet are sociopaths?

  14. Just what we needed…. more higher education seekers seeking an employment pipe dream and adding more fuel into this college debt bubble fire.

    The truth is, higher education may not really be the solution for many of these unemployed youngsters unless they get into a pretty darn prestigious grad school. With the plethora of useless law schools, MBA schools, and liberal arts master programs out there, the concept of “higher education” is becoming more and more devalued just like the bachelor degree was a decade ago. In fact, it’s even gotten to the point where individuals with a MS or a science phD are having a tough time getting traction in their careers.

    The public pot is boiling indeed.

  15. Well as a Brit en route to gaining residence in the USA, I obviously feel differently about your country. I still see America as the land with more courage, more strength and more vitality than any other.

    Of course, we are all paying the price for decades of greed, at all levels in society and, of course, the payment of that price is being metered very unfairly across society. The time for looking after those who are unfairly burdened has arrived.

    But I have faith that out of all this pain will arise new ways of thinking, of working, of collaborating and, in the end, new ways of surviving. The American people have always been hugely resourceful, and that isn’t going to change.

    Anyone with two brain cells knew that we have been living an unsustainable life for too long. It always had to end. Now the young people have the chance to redesign it all – they need all the support and encouragement that can be given by us ‘older’ ones!

  16. Feb. 21, 2010 5:57PM EST – Globe & Mail – excerpts

    “The (Canadian) federal government’s task force on financial literacy is embarking on a cross-country consultation as it seeks to put together a national strategy that will teach Canadians how to manage their finances.

    The group is examining a survey of more than 15,000 Canadians that suggests that one-third of the population is struggling financially. The data also suggests that Canadians don’t fully grasp their financial picture, or are overly optimistic.

    “Time and again we see behaviour by people – we are talking highly educated, high income people – who are making less than ideal financial decisions for themselves and their families,” said one source.”

    http://tinyurl.com/yfj9gk5

  17. I hear many feel that hyper-inflation is the answer to the counties debt problems. I disagree. The USD is the worlds reserve currency, with 1/2 of the dollars printed used for trade overseas [1]. There are many advantages to this scenario, a google search found one with a quote by economist Paul Samuelson (?) “the overseas demand for dollars allows the United States to maintain persistent trade deficits without causing the value of the currency to depreciate and the flow of trade to readjust” [2].

    There are many other advantages we have with the current situation. We would no longer be the world’s reserve currency if we monkeyed around with the USD stability. IMO, hyper-inflation is a path of sorrow and loss… though, on the bright-side, countries may start to import jobs here for our low wages with our new low repriced currency value.

    [1] http://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/mt/20070301/cover.pdf

    [2] http://www.gocurrency.com/countries/united_states.htm

    us currency held overseas

  18. no one who’s serious is talking or worrying about hyperinflation. Tea Baggers and that lot are the ones who seem to be worried about this, but that is the result of being led around by a bunch of greedy as-holes who can’t own up to supporting policies that helped get us into the mess in the first place {and still advocate strongly for those same positions today}.

    I wonder if when we came out of WWII a whole fringe group of folks were worried about hyperinflation due to the debt to GDP ration being so out of whack… They certainly weren’t loud enough to dorwn out the push for the Marshall Plan. I wonder what a modern day Conservative would say about a full scale Marshall Plan in such debt ridden times as we had right after WWII.

  19. Trades, especially plumbing and electric since they don’t necessarily need a construction boom to keep busy.

  20. some guy in a cube

    Capitalism’s relentless pursuit of profits necessarily leads to a shrinking pie. This is axiomatic. Dem’s the facts: Deal with it.

    The only way to maintain the fragile social fabric in such a pathetically obsolete and dysfunctional economic system system is for the government to step in and make up the difference.

    So, if you think government is big and bad now, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  21. But what Samuelson cites as an “advantage” is actually the major disadvantage. Normally, a country running this kind of trade deficit would see its currency devalue, making imports more expensive and exports more competitive. The over-valued dollar does just the opposite, which guts local manufacturing on both ends. The fluctuation in currency values works exactly like an automatic tariff and export subsidy. No congressional action is required, and they last only as long as necessary.

    It would really help if the economists understood economics.

  22. “Capitalism’s relentless pursuit of profits necessarily leads to a shrinking pie. This is axiomatic. Dem’s the facts: Deal with it.”

    Actually, I think that you will find quite the opposite. Capitalism in practice has enlarged the pie. Even with the growing inequality of the last generation, median incomes have stayed roughly the same, because the pie has gotten bigger.

  23. Hillbilly Darrell

    You forgot these:

    First, the Federal Government GUARANTEES the student loans (97%), so the lending institutions have no risk (3%, but 3% fees up front paid by borrower….).

    Then, make sure Sallie Mae and the “SERVICER” racket gets their cut.

    Then, allow BIG EDUCATION to increase tuition and costs well beyond inflation levels, to allow for the enrichment of administrators and educators.

    Then, prevent the discharge of this student loan debt in bankruptcy-just like taxes…..

  24. No, they haven’t, and it hasn’t. Since the mid 70s only debt has gotten bigger.

    And the main reason the real pie was ever growing prior to that was not “capitalism” but cheap, plentiful oil.

    Now with oil (and other resource) depletion setting in, the real pie will inexorably shrink.

    And as we’re seeing, the debt bubble was inherently unsustainable even without Peak Oil.

    So that’s two blows being inflicted by reality, each of which is lethal by itself.

  25. It is time for the president to be brutally honest with the folks in this country. If he doesn’t, the tea partiers (and the oligarchs) will rule.

    We are in deep doo doo. We will be in deep doo doo for quite a while. Folks need jobs and the country needs infrastructure, home health and medical related services and we will be in this position for some time to come. Moreover, the states are nearly bankrupt and there is nothing coming soon to save them.

    Obviously, we need an expanding economy with real job growth. But we haven’t had it for 10 years and there is no reason to think we will have it anytime soon. Republican policies got us here and anyone who thinks a return to “American values” or “pro-growth capitalism” is going to cure this problem should stop by my house before they light up at night because I want some of whatever they are smoking. Those are exactly the policies that got us “buy ’em and strip ’em down”, “cash out the pension plan”, “fire as many as possible, borrow as much as possible and dividend the results to the private equity owners”, “ship manufacturing overseas” capitalism.

    We have a hollowed out economy running on profits of financial institutions (powered by government funds) that are built on the toxic waste that got us into this mess. We now know they have poisoned other nations and their economies (the toll is yet to be counted). These folks are evil and need to be stopped

    Mr. President, deliever the message. Formulate policies that will put people back to work asap (can you say New Deal, sure you can). Bust up the banks. Tax the bankers (do we really care whether banks can keep these folks as employees?) and the banks. People better get used to deficits in the short term. The alternative is a deficit of jobs and opportunities for all Americans in the long run.

    Once short term policies are in place we can launch long term policies to promote permanent, productive private sector jobs that produce real value. But right now, that is a luxury that millions of Americans cannot wait for and are unlikely ever see if current policies remain in effect.

    We can no longer afford the luxury of debating with the Republicans about such concepts as the “ownership society” and “privatization”. We need to do right and let the Republicans howl as they did from the ’30s through the ’50s. If we don’t we will find ourselves reliving those years but without a progessive Supreme Court and anything close to a social safety net.

    It is time for politicians, including this administration, to be honest with the American people. We are up to our a**holes in aligators and it’s time to drain the swamp. Anything short of that, I’m afraid, condemns us all to tea partiers and their corporate (albeit perhaps unintended) beneficiaries.

  26. My initial comment of “hurray for hyper inflation” was NOT a statement of praise but rather a sarcastic regret of what is to come. My mistake… I should have inserted a *sarcasm* denotation.

    As for CTW, how can anyone seriously NOT worry about the potential hyperinflation. The debt incurred by the US is as high as it has ever been and as I stated ad nauseum, SOMEONE is eventually going to have to fork the bill (mostly the younger generation).

    Your example of the Marshall Plan (I can talk all day about the caveats of this program from a political standpoint) also does little to negate the perils that exists with such a high deficit. The amount allocated for the Marshall Plan was kept in check via the Post WWII Bretton Woods system and doesn’t even come close to the spending ratio that Obama is initiating. Heck, the numbers even pale in comparison to Bush’s errant spending ways (something I also criticized, mind you.)

    Which brings me to my next point. The similarity between Bush and Obama’s spendthrift demeanor really makes me question your thought process when you mention cliches like “policies that got us here in the first place.” Well, heck! Isn’t the current guy doing the same thing? How come only one gets the blame?

  27. Employment is the key. Without real employment, and not slave labor minimum slave wage employment, but realdeal employment, and adequate wages commensurate with the current cost of living standard, – America is toast. The finance oligarchs and the predatorclass can whine and cry about biggovernment to their cold hard hearts content, – but until and unless Americans find and secure true gainful employment, and NOT slave wages, – there will be no recovery!! These brutings of recovery are patently false speculative predatorclass conjurings and imaginings. There will be no recovery until poor and middleclass Americans get back to work, in real gainful employment. Until that day, – which is today far off in some unknown, unknown future – there will be NO real recovery.

    The predatorclass is pimping and bruting recovery for profit. It is a LIE. It is false. There is no recovery until and unless Americans get back to work, earning real wages, and a sustainable income.

    Everything else is jibberish.

    LIARS!!!!

  28. DakotabornKansan

    “So power and greed ran riot, contaminated and pillaged everything, and held nothing sacred or worthy of respect until the Romans plunged themselves to their own destruction.” – Sallust, War with Jugurtha

  29. Increasingly, generation after generation, we have been blasted with propaganda urging us to consume more stuff. It is the Western version of giant Sadam pictures or Mao sayings everywhere. It is called advertising. And it is designed by psychological experts who know how to tap the streams of pride, competition, self-indulgence, social anxiety, etc. etc. What positive social forces does advertisement amplify? Damned few. How can we not realize the effect this has had on our culture?

  30. While I as an American appreciate the positive view of us, I think what you’re expecting of us died with “The Greatest Generation” that brought us the Boomers.

  31. Agreed. Right after financial reform, our two priorities should be as follows: 1) energy. 2) clean drinking water.

    Without those two solved first, EVERY other battle (including healthcare) is simply rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic.

  32. I don’t have much hope for the reform. I’m most concerned with the food and water.

  33. Unemployment compensation has been expanded to 99 weeks, at leasat in NY state. And an additional unemployment extension bill is now in Congress. In the past people looking for work may have dropped under the radar after their 26 weeks were up. Now the extenstions keep them reporting their unemployed status, even if their hopes for finding work are low.

  34. Generation after generation, we have been inundated with advertisement. I think it has created this irrational and greedy culture. A thousand years from now, if humans are still around, they will shudder, and wonder how we could have been so blind to this social poison.

  35. Interesting that eacy increase in unemployment begins with a Republican Presidential administration.

    A reprint of the graph with Red/Blue higlights would be very illustrative. It seems we have round a democratic heartbeat?

    Interesting. Maybe dictatorship is a better model than democracy?

  36. If you get an education in science, math, engineering, or computer science ( at least a BS from a top 100 school ) you will do fine. In fact, you will do very well. Most of the long term unemployed never did the education thing and are now shedding tears. Don’t listen to them. Borrow the money and get and education.

  37. Of course, the long term unemployed ( i.e. secret code name for undereducated ) always blame the Republicans. Don’t listen to them. They want to bring you down.

  38. You are wrong. For those with good educations, the recession has been minor, and the recovery is strong. For the undereducated, they need to either get educated or learn to live in poverty. Yes, we are having a good recovery and the requirement that we pay undereducated people more than they are worth is complete trash.

  39. (Sadly I am at work now, and can’t reply with completeness that I would like.)

    The “advantage” is that we get to trade for “stuff” with a strong dollar. This is advantageous because (IMO) the US operates on a debt economy: personal, corporate, government. We borrow money, and then trade paper for stuff. Pretty good gig while it lasts, but I agree John, a distortion of the markets.

  40. If you quietly look within yourself you will find callings, paths of exploration, parts of yourself waiting to unfold. Money is unimportant, and sometimes harmful, to becoming a self-fulfilled person. Playing the no-money game can be much more rewarding than playing the money game — and it is often better to be a dumpster-diver than a mistreated cubicle slave.

    One of my heroes is a man who lived in a rooming house in Boston, years ago, getting by on welfare and food stamps. He spent his days pulling a tool-cart from one tenement to another, offering the residents, for no charge, to clean and service the oil-burning heaters which so often caused fires. He was known and loved by the people, and doubtless saved many lives. I saw his picture with his cart — he was a tall, nice-looking fellow of about 35.

    Scale down your needs to the minimum — that is an adventure in itself. Volunteer yourself into a service organization — perhaps in another country — most NGO volunteer situations will give you a living allowance and place to sleep. Become a live-in caretaker to someone who is old or disabled, and learn about how to love. Or move out of the city and learn to interface with the natural world — make a shack and plant a little garden — there are people living like that in the flood-prone ravines along the river in one city I know, and probably in many others.

    Offer to do grunt work with a tradesman, swapping your labor for a few bucks under the table, while you learn how to do something new, say, solar installations, or home renovations. Study up. Then strike out on your own.

    Keep learning. Libraries are free, and most give you internet access too.

    I know a family of educated professionals from Rwanda who wound up as refugees in a city in Kenya, living in one cheap room, no furniture, no mattresses, no income. The man froze up, but the wife bought flour, made little cakes every morning in the middle of the room on a griddle over a tin-and-brick fire box, and sold them on the street — she is my hero too. They are in Europe now, both working in their professions again.

    The first thing we should do when we are unemployed is wake up from the disney-dream we have been sold from earliest childhood. Waking up is a good thing — and now is your chance to do it. Call it creative unemployment.

  41. I find it ironic the extent to which the narrow-mindedness of Republicans seems to be informed by the narrow vigilante narratives of “leftist” Hollywood which basically goes like this: If you been done wrong…get your guns, shoot first, ask questions later.. DO NOT COMPROMISE.

    The moral rot in America runs deep. And it is being perpetuated by the Moneyed Classes.. and that includes Hollywood, Professional Sports, All streams of MEDIA and Politicians. The Protestant work ethic is burning down the house. You cannot run an economy on the promise of low taxes to the unwashed massses who dream of one day “making it”? How else to explain the Joe Plumbers who support policies that keep them down…it’s because they have delusions of one day belonging to the predator class (nod to Tony Foresta).

    That’s what you get when the richest people in your country earn 200 to 400 times what the lowest paid employees earn. That kind of discrepency is a one way ticket to social unrest and soon you will be well past the last stop…

    America desperately needs a new Civil War. As in a war to make America civil again..

    As a Canadian I find it extremely distressing to see how America is apparently destroying itself… Americans are mocked world wide for being arrogant, nearsighted and generally dispassionate towards those in need.. But damn if American did not continue to be #1….but the gig is up.

    Has it come to this that the American Dream, to function, must allow the very best to rise at the expense of the mediocre and the weak who are being allowed, pushed, crushed through the cracks?

  42. But the truth is, we don’t “trade” stuff for the dollar. We borrow the dollar. That is not a trade. And in buying cheap imports with strong borrowed dollars, we destroy our own manufacturing base.

  43. I have a BSME from a school that has been compared to MIT based on its competitiveness and the succes of its graduates, yet I have experienced long term unemployment.

    My brother has a degree and 25 years experience in IT. Yet he has been forced to take salary cuts because of competition from H1B immigrants from Asia. He is currently working as a consultant (not by choice) and has also experience long term unemployment and loss of healthcare benefits.

    Unfortunately, these days, a diploma, even from a top school is not a union card guaranting employment.

    You sound like someone with not a lot of experience.

  44. Been reading Ayn Rand have you?

    Borrowing money for education is fine, but it just ties you in to a broken system. It is a lie to encourage people to go into debt to get a “high tech” education without fostering the innovation that creates jobs.

    I’m talking about energy independence, sustainable energy, infrasturcture repair, high speed rail and even manned spaceflight. Oh, I forgot we can’t borrow the money we need to get ahead of the curve, because we are over our head in debt to China from bying cheap junk at WalMart.

  45. Where do you get your “facts”? White collar job destruction has been almost as extensive as blue collar job destruction. And if your job is wiped out after you are 50 or more years old the chances are you will never fully recover, let alone match your former wages. And it won’t make much difference where you went to school or what you majored in.

    The Bush recovery was jobless. That is a fact. Educated folks are out of work and will continue to lose jobs. That’s a fact. So far there is no recovery except on Wall Street and that has been government financed.

    And don’t talk about what jobs are “worth” these days until labor has real power in the labor market.

  46. Sir, something is wrong with your story. I am in contact with many people I graduated with ( Engineering ), and nearly all have good jobs. I think you are telling stories.

  47. More trash. This is a recession that is fixing what is wrong in America. The problem is the undereducated were overpaid, and overspent. The recession if fixing this problem. This is the beauty of capitalism. This recession will not end until the labor unions are finished. The recession will take care of this.

  48. So it was the fault of the poor. I knew it. It just had to be. Once these overfed and overpaid poor know their place, everything will be just fine.

  49. “How else to explain the Joe Plumbers who support policies that keep them down…”

    Thomas Frank explores this question in depth: _What’s the Matter with Kansas_ http://www.amazon.com/Whats-Matter-Kansas-Conservatives-America/dp/0805073396

    “[T]he American Dream, to function, must allow the very best to rise at the expense of the mediocre and the weak…”

    It wouldn’t be so bad if it were actually a meritocracy. Instead, the lucky and the initially well-positioned rise to the top (but believe that they got there by their own hard work, and so are unwilling to share their good fortune).

  50. You are the most ignorant responder i have seen on any site.
    Jimmy you dont have a clue, judging by your comments.

  51. Just what we needed. Another post that puts the blame solely on the job creators.

    Please keep in mind that the US already has one of the most progressive tax rates in the world and most people who complain about the whole “tax cuts to the rich” are individuals who pay almost zero federal taxes. Heck, just in the last year alone, I’ve lost 48% of my earnings to just taxes. And when you take into the account that I operate in one of the most anti business states in the US (California)…. well you get the picture.

    I empathize with you on a lot of things. But for crying out loud, enough of this class warfare instigation.

  52. Surprisingly, having an education in science, math, engineering, or computer science isn’t a sure shot path to stability either. Even during the “boom years” following the dot com bust, I knew several individuals with science degrees who had to switch to the business track because they couldn’t find work in those areas.

    Heck, do a random search on a number of the job search sites. Fact is, admin/finance/accounting gigs are still a bit more ubiquitous than R&D based science jobs.

    I’ll save how many of these factors came about for discussion some other day.

  53. We are in a downward spiral, have not had free markets or true capitalism for some time.
    A sleeping bag and a meal from salvation army saw me pass many a day under a bridge looking at the world as an outsider. Now most of us are out siders.
    We have no appt. to keep and no shedule. There are over 6 million of us without jobs who will sooner or later migrate to farms and to the warmer climates as it saves on rent. Sleeping outside will be all the rage.

  54. Wow, if you lost 48% of your earnings to taxes, you must have the world’s most incompetent tax accountant.

  55. Right, neither we nor anybody else has had a “free market” since at least 1933. An why? Because before that date, the economy was in recession 41% of the time. Since then, it has been in recession 16%. So guess which system most people and all nations have chosen?

  56. Welcome to California.

    Not to mention, I’ve heard worst. A former manager of mine who has connections with partners at 2 of the Big 4 accounting firms still had to fork over 50%+ this year.

    The biggest mistake I made here was incorporating in this sad excuse of a socialist state.

  57. We haven’t had a free market since at least 1873. The market under the Robber Barons was hardly free.

  58. Although the Robber Barons did give us true capitalism, I guess. Now Goldman gives it to us.

  59. Craig Federhen

    Is that the same Jim Coffman who used to run The Underground in Boston back in 1980?

  60. Nope, but it sounds like fun.

  61. As a self-employed consultant I pay 48% and more. I ain’t complaining about what I pay but I am complaining about how it is used.

    When comparing tax rates with other countries, don’t forget to count VAT and similar taxes. The fact is, there are many in this country who can afford to be, and should be taxed more. They aren’t the job creators. Rather, they are the job destroyers. Unfortunately the latter are much better compensated than the former.

  62. The recession may have been minor jimmy to a small group of wealth people, – but the rest of the nation is suffering very real stress, trauma, and hardship, and it’s not about education. From your lofty perch, – you can easily look down on those who are less advantaged, and have less access to the privilege you obviously enjoy. Good for you homey. We’re so impressed that you were so fortunate to attend and pay for a “top 100” college. Many of your fellow Americans with all the brainpower and skillset you so obdurately vaunt, will NEVER have the opportunity to attend or pay for higher education at all, and certainly not the prohibitive crippling costs of a top 100 school. Enjoy your greed and heartlessness (a gop badge of honor) brother, but know this, – you are no better than any other human being walking this earth. You may imagine so in your closed mind and cold hard heart, but you have no eyes, – you have no ears, and no compassion, – so from my pedestrian perspective you, and people who think like you are souless ghouls feeding off the blood and tears of those less fortunate. May the goddess have mercy on you, because you and your predatorclass ilk, are something less than human.

  63. I hate that U of C guy. I wish he could experience the fun of unemployment firsthand. Hey, dude, live on half your pay, experience sleepless nights and panica attackes, and then take a job that pays less that what you make now (that is if you can find one…lots of unemployed PHDs)! Fun for all.

  64. sorry about typos :) wish i could edit.

  65. [i] test [/i]