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View Diary: Top Sign That Austerity Doesn't Work (11 comments)

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  •  EU unemployment numbers include more people (3+ / 0-)
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    Words In Action, emal, TheLawnRanger

    than American numbers do, even our more generous and well-hidden U-6 unemployment numbers. They include unemployed spouses, returning college students and unemployed youth.  

    Try finding those numbers in the Bureau of labor statistics.

    So our 8-9% unemployment rate (U-3 measure) is worse than a 14% or higher unemployment rate in Europe.  

    Europeans all have better social safety nets, stronger labor laws, higher minimum wages and better housing support, child care and health coverage, even when they are at the margins of society.  They have better credit protections from predatory bankers, better schools and insignificant student debt when compared to Americans.  

    So austerity is an even more disastrous policy in America.

    •  Do you have a source for this? (0+ / 0-)

      BTW, IIRC, U-6 was even more well-hidden in the Bush administration and before.

      There are a few exceptions to your blanket statements about Western Europe's social superiority to the US, but basically you are right on the mark.

      I think you'll find this factoid interesting: Of 9 OECD members with higher minimum wage than the US, 7 had lower unemployment rates as of last Labor Day:

      Thanks for the comment?

      •  Thanks for the comment as well. (0+ / 0-)

        Yeah, drill down you can find the flaws in any blanket statement, my own included.  The overarching model comes from the International Labor Organization (ILO). The ILO measure was adopted - with minor variations - by most of western Europe. That's why their unemployment numbers often look worse than ours, they count more people in the measure.

        BLS has a long way to go to catch up to reality or do its job capturing an accurate picture of american employment/unemployment. But they aren't the worst at statistically measuring  economic crisis in America. That prize goes to the USDA and their absurdist poverty threshold.  Imagine living on 11,000 a year.  One look at housing rental and calculating those costs annually should disabuse everyone of the notion that statistic does anything but hide poverty and make life worse for the poor.

        •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

          I know the US only measures civilian unemployment, whereas the OECD counts the military in both the numerator and denominator. I'll have to check into the ILO definition.

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