That CBO Report: “Six Million Jobs Are Already Missing”

Good catch by John Cassidy, at the New Yorker:

[S]omething the C.B.O. said that you probably missed, which is based on actual facts rather than on informed speculation: in the past five years or so—and this has nothing to do with Obamacare—some six million jobs (and workers) have already gone missing from the U.S. economy.

That figure was in a separate report that the C.B.O. released on Tuesday, titled, “The Slow Recovery of the Labor Market.” As someone who has written several times about the “missing millions” of workers in this recovery, I was, naturally, drawn to the new report, particularly to the estimate that the missing number is six million, which is about the population of Missouri.

Based on history, all these people should be earning a living and paying taxes. Instead, they’ve dropped out of the work force, and … well, the truth is, we don’t know exactly what they’ve done. Some of them have probably taken early retirement. Others may be working part time in the black economy. Many of them are almost certainly sitting at home, doing nothing. A few may be glad they’re no longer working, but, from studies of how being jobless affects people, we know that many of them are feeling depressed and worthless. Their inactivity represents a tragic human and economic waste, but, for some reason, it’s not one that the G.O.P. seems particularly indignant about.

For some time now, there has been a debate about why the labor-force participation rate has fallen so far. Some analysts point to demographics: the aging of baby boomers. Others blame low levels of demand and hiring, which have prompted some of the unemployed to give up on looking for work. The C.B.O. study splits things down the middle. Of the roughly three-percentage-point fall in the participation rate since 2007, the study attributes 1.5 percentage points to “long term trends (particularly the aging of the population)” and the other 1.5 percentage points to “weak employment prospects” and other “unusual aspects of the slow recovery.”

One can quibble with these figures. At least one other study, by the Economic Policy Institute, found that weak demand accounted for two-thirds of the fall in the participation rate. But, even if we accept the C.B.O.’s conclusions, they imply that about three million Americans who should be working have vanished from the labor force.

Since 2008, the Republicans have been fighting policy efforts to stimulate spending and hiring. In part, they are responsible for the millions of missing workers…

77 replies
  1. 1
    srv says:

    When will all these boomers die already?

    Should do a one-time full SS benefits at 60 offering, subject to them dropping out of the job market.

  2. 2
    DFH says:

    Other studies show that a high percentage of people are not “actively engaged” in their work, so I’m not surprised about the dropouts, factoring that in. I know the ACA was not up and running for the survey period, but could be some folks found health insurance and are living off the 401k until they croak.

  3. 3
    jl says:

    @srv: Actually, the reduction in labor supply induced by ACA will help with those who want to work, or to work more, but cannot find a job. People who are hanging onto a job, or extra hours, to maintain employer health insurance eligibility will move on, providing more openings for others who really need the work income more badly.

    Also, CBO analysis implies that a viable alternative to, if not a complete replacement of employer based health insurance, will soon start increasing real money wages slightly. Krugman and Dean Baker (Beat the Press at CEPR) discussed these points today.

    But, go ahead GOP sit back, do absolutely nothing on immigration or anything else, and bank on win in 2014 because the nation rises as one in outrage over the fascist Nobummer-care. See how that works out for you.

  4. 4

    @jl: They believe that polls are skewed and that the earth is 6000 years old, and cutting taxes decreases the deficit. They believe most of their BS, me thinks.

  5. 5
    Ash Can says:

    Nice to see this getting coverage in a place like the New Yorker. People can’t dismiss it as the ravings of some disgruntled anonymous blogger, and it can’t be swept under the rug as easily as it would be if it had turned up in a smaller media outlet.

  6. 6
    different-church-lady says:

    Many of them are almost certainly sitting at home, doing nothing.

    Quite unwillingly, I might add…

  7. 7
    jl says:

    With regard to the shameless politicking the House GOP is doing on the California drought, one GOPer said (close paraphrase here) The hell with the California salmon and steelhead, they’re going extinct anyway, just make the money you can now and forget about it.

    They have become such total shameless and committed grifters who will exploit anything at all, no matter how short sighted (including mining any and all resources to extinction and exhaustion for ready cash and advantage now now now!), maybe they are starting to have the same attitude towards their own political party. Aw hell, our GOP is going away, or won’t be back for at least 100 years, so ride that sucker for all its worth now.

  8. 8
    mzrad says:

    Does that count someone like me who lost my teaching job at a California university in December 2008 but who has now started my own business (blog/index: CentralCoastFoodie.com)? I’m not officially on the roles as an employee anywhere because I created my own job (and platform to discuss exceptional & sustainable food & drink). Do you think I’m considered one of the missing? Hmm.

  9. 9
    Keith G says:

    @jl:

    But, go ahead GOP sit back, do absolutely nothing on immigration or anything else, and bank on win in 2014 because the nation rises as one in outrage over the fascist Nobummer-care. See how that works out for you.

    I like where you are going with this. What worries me, is not seeing an effort to create a messaging regime that gets the word out early, often, everywhere, and in the most efficacious style. Idiots and outlaws can remain powerful to the extent that they are not vigorously and continuously confronted.

  10. 10
    GregB says:

    The GOP is so outraged about the 2 million people in the CBO report who actually aren’t losing their jobs that they went out today and fucked over 2 million people who are actually unemployed.

    What a pack of assholes.

  11. 11

    2M > 6M because arglebargle sheriff is near.

  12. 12
    jl says:

    @Keith G: I didn’t suggest the Democrats do nothing. For example, I was glad to hear John Garamendi get up in the House and call out the GOP cynical ‘Farmers not Fish” exploitation of the CA drought fro exactly what it was, cynical political exploitation of natural disaster that did nothing to help the situation and violated their own principles. And was stupid incompetent policy crap thought up in less than a week.

    So, I want the GOP to do nothing, and the Democrats to do something.

    Edit: And I don’t think ‘Farmers not Fish’ will work with Salmon and Steelhead the way it would with, say, some funny looking crawdad out in a corner of the delta. Too many people still work in some aspect of fishing industry, and so many consumers eat the stuff, or like to go fishing.

  13. 13
    aimai says:

    @GregB: Thats about the size of it.

  14. 14
    Chat Noir says:

    My job was one of those that disappeared. I can confirm that feelings of depression and worthlessness are real. I don’t know how anyone finds a job anymore, unless you have some personal connection to someone who’s hiring. I’ve given up applying online because the application goes into a black hole. I’ve read enough jobs-related threads here at Balloon Juice to know this is common.

  15. 15
    brettvk says:

    @srv: I’ll be 60 this year. I have a dead-end, part-time, low wage job that I would happily relinquish to some other unlucky (younger) schmoe, if I could afford to retire. But I never will retire, because SS doen’t pay enough to live on if you’ve worked in a low-wage town all your life. Not that my present employers won’t dump me at some point when YOY sales haven’t risen the requisite 15% — but that will just put me out on the street competing with the millenials for that opening at McDonald’s. There aren’t enough fucking jobs.

  16. 16
    srv says:

    @jl: My hope was that some older folks tied to work insurance would be in a position to go independent and mop the startup floor with shrieking ycombinator glibertarians.

    Hopefully, it will be easier for people to take risks like mzrad now.

  17. 17
    Keith G says:

    @jl:

    I didn’t suggest the Democrats do nothing.

    Oh no, that is not what I was implying. For some number of year now, Democrats have had important, powerful, and I bet, winning arguments to make – and as often as not they have not engaged with any coordination or conviction.

  18. 18
    Mike in NC says:

    Back in October the last job I tried to apply for was as a part-time delivery driver at the local Sherwin-Williams paint store. I asked for an application and they handed it to me, but added that I couldn’t take it out of the store. It was about ten pages long and required the usual BS: every school I had ever attended, with dates, location, GPA, etc. Even better was the section where I needed to list every job I had worked dating back to high school, with the name of the company, address, supervisor’s name and phone number, dates, starting salary, final salary, why I left, responsibilities, etc. Periods of unemployment had to be documented as well. I decided to stop playing that game and simply attached my three-page resume to the application using a paper clip.

    Applying for a scholarship to an Ivy League university would have been simpler.

  19. 19
    russ says:

    Nothing will change until we have both parties in DC at least in aggregate pulling in one direction.

  20. 20
    srv says:

    @Chat Noir: You know well from all this there are millions who are in the same boat as you – so I hope all of you can find the support to not let this job market damage your self worth.

    I don’t care what the economists say, I will always refer to this as a depression.

  21. 21
    kindness says:

    Republicans only care about the economy when their Puppet Masters are losing their shirts or if they are in charge. Since the Masters are doing OK and Republicans aren’t in charge we are all SOOL.

  22. 22
    Gene108 says:

    @Keith G:

    Democrats hold press conference that gets a 30 second mention on the news.

    It is hard to get the message out, when the other side controls the media outlets.

  23. 23
    Gene108 says:

    @kindness:

    Congressional Republicans voted against TARP funds. I think they function solely to oppose Democrats.

  24. 24
    Trollhattan says:

    @Gene108:

    Cleek’s Law, sadly, shall not be violated.

  25. 25
    Trollhattan says:

    O/T but too mindboggling not to share. Evidently, Fox took today’s CVS announcement about no longer selling tobacco and an overreach of the nanny state. Or something, it’s a little hard to parse all those chatty blonde ladies.

    host Gretchen Carlson approached the CVS decision with suspicion and a remarkably uninformed premise, asking, “Is it OK legally … to restrict tobacco availability in a private store like this?” She questioned her guests as to whether they would continue shopping at CVS and observed that, “For people who smoke, you know, they have a right to buy cigarettes. It’s not illegal.”

    Just try unpacking that without acquiring brain damage.

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2.....cco/197947

  26. 26
    Trollhattan says:

    @Trollhattan:
    Grr “as an overreach”

  27. 27
    Zam says:

    @Gene108: It’s a lot easier to control the message time if all of your messages are sensationalist crap. Pushing for a plan to fix an ongoing problem gets little, making up a “huge” scandal or claiming impending doom gets the headlines. It works but is sure as fuck isn’t responsible.

  28. 28
    Zam says:

    @Trollhattan: Well with that logic, I guess every store and business everywhere in the fucking country has to have a ready supply of cigarettes. Wonder what she’ll say when she hears about dry counties and no liquor on Sunday laws.

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @Zam:

    Well with that logic,

    The purpose isn’t to be logical. The purpose is to confuse their dumb-ass viewers into believing that the government a/k/a Obama is responsible for CVS’s decision.

  30. 30

    @Baud: Why won’t Obama quit smoking? Why is Obama forcing CVS not to sell cigarettes? What do you mean these memes don’t dovetail?

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    OT: Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!

    The new journalism venture backed by millions from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and involving Glenn Greenwald — the journalist to whom Edward Snowden entrusted many of his purloined NSA documents — is set to launch its first publication early next week.

    The digital magazine’s “initial focus will be in-depth reporting on the classified documents previously provided” by Snowden,….

    The blog item posted Thursday also announces three new crew members: investigative journalist Peter Maass, who’s written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and The Washington Post; independent journalist Marcy Wheeler, who blogs about national security and civil liberties at Emptywheel.net; and Scottish journalist Ryan Gallagher, who’s focused on surveillance technologies and has written for Slate, The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Financial Times.

  32. 32
    scav says:

    @Baud: And because it is a government over-reach all y’all should boycott CVS. QID.

    ETA: “quod idiot demonstrandum”

  33. 33
    jl says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Thanks for that link.

    Sounds like Carlson is confused and thinks that the dictator Obama ordered CVS to stop selling cigarettes, instead of it being a voluntary business decision by CVS. CVS and other pharmacies have to make all sorts of voluntary business decisions all the time. Like, I guess at one point they made the decision not to put all the alcohols on one shelf right next to each other, and require very clear warnings and descriptions of what kind of alcohol each is.

    Now, is that fair? So I go in to Walgreens and I find they’ve raised their prices on wine, and I can’t afford any. Maybe I want a little buzz and figure slightly dimmer eyesight is no price at all to pay. I have to wander around looking for cheaper alcohol someplace on the other side of the store. Is that fair? Thanks, Obama!

    The link discusses a business angle to the CVS decision that I thought about when I heard the news. Providers are scrambling around trying to find cheaper ways to provide primary care. One of the stumbling blocs is that the AMA and stingy governments are not going to help with the relatively low ratio of primary care docs in the U.S. (compared to most other high income industrial countries). So, how to make inadequate supply of primary care docs go farther?

    People have their eye on pharmacies. Billable codes for pharmacist reimbursement are in place now and more being developed, but no practical practice model has developed for them to get used much yet.

    But that is changing. Build a little private consultation room (Most Safeways have them now). Arrange for a primary provider (doc or nurse practitioner) for phone consults when something comes up out of scope of pharmacist provider licensing, and you start doing more primary care at pharmacies. Stuff like immunizations, medication review, basic screenings, taking vial signs, report adverse medication reactions, etc. (edit: in some states, ‘phone consults’ will have to with an appropriate provider who can get on site quick for unexpected issues. depends on definition of ‘available’, and I am not an expert on that).

    CVS was probably thinking ahead on looking pretty for expanded business opportunities for providing, and getting reimbursed for, some basic primary care.

    Selling smokes and chew down the aisle doesn’t go very well with that. You probably won’t see them selling ‘smokin’ pot’ or hash pipes, when that goes legal either.

  34. 34
    LanceThruster says:

    Remember the 6 million!

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @scav:

    QID is a useful term when dealing with wingnuts.

  36. 36
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Trollhattan: Re Gretchen Carlson:

    And if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste a lot more like prunes than rhubarb does.*

    * Groucho**

    ** of course

  37. 37
    Tripod says:

    @jl:

    Yea, I got my flu shot at CVS.

    Drug stores dropping film processing must be Obama’s fault.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    Hahahahahaha

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) job approval rating is almost the same as President Barack Obama’s in Kentucky, a new poll found.

    The Herald-Leader/WKYT Bluegross poll released Thursday evening found 32 percent of those surveyed said they approve of McConnell’s job performance while 60 percent said they disapproved of the job the top Senate Republican has done. That rating is almost the same as Obama’s approval rating in the state, which is 34 percent and his disapproval is about 60 percent.

    What’s more, the poll found Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) holds a small 4-point lead over McConnell in the Kentucky Senate race. The poll found Grimes with 46 percent support among Kentucky voters while McConnell has 42 percent support. That finding though is essentially within the poll’s plus or minus 3-point margin of error.

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    No differences between the parties (via BooMan)

    Welcome to today’s Congress, which in 2013 was more polarized than any Congress since National Journal began calculating its ratings in 1982.

    For the fourth straight year, no Senate Democrat was more conservative than a Senate Republican—and no Senate Republican was more liberal than a Senate Democrat. In the House, only two Democrats were more conservative than a Republican—and only two Republicans were more liberal than a Democrat. The ideological overlap between the parties in the House was less than in any previous index.

  40. 40
    mai naem says:

    What I found disgusting was the “why should people stop working? They should be working forever and ever.” WTF. In another country, there would be a hallelujah but not here. Yeah, there’s going to be a few people out there who may reduce their hours/stop working to become stay at home parents or, nowadays, become caregivers for their own parents. Isn’t that what family values is about? There’s some folks starting their own businesses which the GOP normally tells us is a good thing. Besides that, the other people are people in their sixties hanging onto their jobs for their insurance. People who can afford to retire but not be able to get decent insurance. Why is the assumption that these people will get subsidies? I find it hard to believe that somebody’s going to retire at sixty unless they’re going to have a decent income i.e. above the subsidy level.
    I just wish the Dems had been as awful to Dubya as the GOP has been to Obama. Maybe we wouldn’t have the NSA crap and the wars to deal with currently. I listened to a piece of Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast this AM with Goober Gohmert. What morons on the GOP side thought it was a good idea to have Goober be the GOP leader at the event? Why? If the Dems had Alan Grayson on with Dubya, FOX would have had a fit and Grayson doesn’t even come close to Goober’s level.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    CVS is already doing more than that — they offer their Minute Clinic staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians assistants (presumably with an MD available for consultation). It’s really basic stuff like school physicals, vaccinations, etc., but they are offering actually healthcare on-site while you shop.

    Also, one of the reasons CVS made this decision was because of Big Gummint … of San Francisco. But CVS decided to expand the ban nationwide rather than only in SF and other cities that have banned cigarette sales inside pharmacies.

  42. 42
    efgoldman says:

    …we know that many of them are feeling depressed and worthless.

    Of course they’re worthless! [/1% wingnut asshat]

  43. 43
    Trollhattan says:

    @Baud:

    “Heckofajob, Turtle.”

    Raylan Givens for Senate! (Not that Boyd Crowder feller, neither.)

  44. 44
    🎂 Martin says:

    CNN is being surprisingly non-partisan at the moment. Front page, large headline:

    Voter beware
    GOP using phony Dem websites
    The National Republican Congressional Committee’s digital team has what they think is a great idea: get out the Republican message through fake Democrat sites.

  45. 45
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the other big chains also drop tobacco products in the near future. Not sure what supermarkets with pharmacy units will do.

    There has been a lot of effort to stretch supply of primary care providers. Some of them seem kind of goofy to me (automated kiosks, with remote tele- and video-medicine consults are an example).

    But pharmacies are a natural place for expanding basic primary care, and stretching primary care doc and nurse practitioner supply.

  46. 46
    kdaug says:

    Late to the conversation.

    My experience is more people are freelancing.

  47. 47
    Baud says:

    @🎂 Martin:

    That’s unexpectedly journalistic.

  48. 48
    JGabriel says:

    John Cassidy @ The New Yorker:

    Since 2008, the Republicans have been fighting policy efforts to stimulate spending and hiring. In part, they are responsible for the millions of missing workers…

    You know the GOP is going to jump all over this story of missing jobs and say it’s the President’s fault.

  49. 49
    jl says:

    Amazing I got a comment up with naughty D r * 6 words in it last time. WP was on the job this time. Try again:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the other big chains also drop tobacco products in the near future. Not sure what supermarkets with ph_rm _seee units will do.

    There has been a lot of research and pilot projects on how to stretch supply of primary care providers. Some of them seem kind of goofy to me (automated kiosks, with remote tele- and video-medicine consults are an example).

    But ph_rm_sees are a natural place for expanding basic primary care, and stretching primary care doc and nurse practitioner supply.

  50. 50
    Baud says:

    @JGabriel:

    Let ’em. Obama’s not on the ballot. The Republicans are.

  51. 51
    JGabriel says:

    CNN via 🎂 Martin:

    The National Republican Congressional Committee’s digital team has what they think is a great idea: get out the Republican message through fake Democrat sites.

    Even when CNN is reporting Republican fraud, they still cling to the GOP’s preferred trick of using the adjective Democrat instead of Democratic.

    Assholes.

  52. 52

    I saw that report because I was going to do a post about the deficit falling and I was asking, where are the jobs? Aren’t Republicans always telling us the national deficit is a “job killer”? Yet the deficit is lower than it’s been since 2007 and the jobs haven’t exactly magically reappeared.

  53. 53
    Baud says:

    @JGabriel:

    Oh, good catch. I missed that.

  54. 54
    JGabriel says:

    @srv:

    Should do a one-time full SS benefits at 60 offering …

    No, really, it should be a permanent adjustment, not a one-off.

    .

  55. 55
    KG says:

    @Baud: 46-42 is actually within the margin of error of +/-3, it isn’t “essentially” within the margin of error. The margin of error means that the 46 can be as high as 49 or as low as 43 while the 42 can be as high as 45 or as low as 39. that shouldn’t bother me, but it does, though not much – because unfortunately, most people don’t quite know how polling works.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @KG:

    The polls were skewed anyhow.

  57. 57
    kdaug says:

    @mzrad:

    Does that count someone like me who lost my teaching job at a California university in December 2008 but who has now started my own business?

    Precisely what I’m talking about.

  58. 58
    JustRuss says:

    Where are the 6 million? What, does no one watch Breaking Bad?

  59. 59
    Tokyokie says:

    @Chat Noir: I can second what Chat Noir said. I lost my newspaper job in July 2012, and after several months of looking and hardly getting a sniff, I decided my best bet was accepting a spot in the incoming class of the nursing program at the local junior college. A couple of times, I had leads on jobs where I knew somebody who knew somebody, but I didn’t even get an interview. I thought I was a shoo-in for a job for which I was supremely qualified and the person making the hiring decision was a former work colleague, but I never heard back about the second interview, not even a courtesy correspondence saying they’d gone a different direction. Because MBA types have moved most concerns’ hiring processes online, computer algorithms now scan applicants’ résumés and kick out any that aren’t perfect fits, and I suspect that résumés that show too much experience are kicked out because the applicant is considered too old. (I challenge anybody who doubts this and who’s over 50 or 55 to apply for jobs via computer and see how often they hear back.) And if you get kicked in the teeth often enough, you get depressed and feel worthless, even if you’ve figured out that the game is rigged.

    But make no mistake, it’s not that Republicans feel no urgency to improve the economy while a Democrat is in the White House, this tepid economy is exactly what they prefer. When jobs are this scarce, wages stay low — I remember seeing an ad for a contract job (i.e., no benefits) in my field that required some computer code-editing skills that I don’t have, yet the pay was about 60% of what I was pulling down when I began my first big-city newspaper job 20 years ago — and those at the top pocket the difference. Sure, expanding the economic base would make everybody wealthier, but it would mean reducing the 1%’s cut, and they’re not going to do that.

  60. 60
    dww44 says:

    @Keith G: by way of this:

    What worries me, is not seeing an effort to create a messaging regime that gets the word out early, often, everywhere, and in the most efficacious style. Idiots and outlaws can remain powerful to the extent that they are not vigorously and continuously confronted.

    Exactly. On Colbert’s show last nite ( which I watch at 7 p.m. next day on a replay) he showed an example of exactly this. The quote about lost jobs as part of the GOP election year messaging versus the not-so-quotable explanation of an Obama economic advisor speaking to the press. Too erudite and no sound bite potential.

    Plus Mort Zuckerman was on and decried Obama’s job growth efforts as being solely focused on the political and not the substance. Zuckerman is no liberal of course, but he is sane on economic and politics. The real problem is the lack of jobs, but not sure what this President can do about it. It seems to me not losing control of the Senate and fighting for control of the House next fall is the only real answer.

  61. 61
    dww44 says:

    @Tokyokie: Thanks for this. Ought to be on lots of billboards around D.C. and elsewhere.

  62. 62
    Fort Geek says:

    If someone at the CBO is looking for me, I “dropped out” of the workforce in 2010. Got myself messed up and had to uh…medically retire. Sounds better than disabled.

    So, that’s 1. Only 5,999,999 more for them to find.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dww44:

    The quote about lost jobs as part of the GOP election year messaging versus the not-so-quotable explanation of an Obama economic advisor speaking to the press.

    It’s easy to come up with a simple, succinct message when you’re lying. Republicans won in 2010 with a simple message of Obama is killing your Medicare with death panels! and old people turned out in droves to vote for them.

    I have yet to see a complaint about “messaging” that explains how to counter the fact that our opponents are willing to outright lie about, well, everything.

  64. 64
    dww44 says:

    @Mnemosyne: It seems to me Democrats have to make a good effort to come up with more sound bite like, yet substantive responses to the lying GOP. When we don’t, what happened in 2010 will happen again in 2014. We have to be clear and forceful and we have to counter punch. It seems to me that we, (Dems and liberals) have long been not very good at that. And that effort has to be led by President and his administration.

  65. 65
    dww44 says:

    @dww44: P.S.as one who believes also in doing and not just complaining, I was set up for an OFA call 1/2 hour ago and the person came on the phone and cancelled it. Said something came up, but not what. Rescheduled for next week.

  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dww44:

    It seems to me Democrats have to make a good effort to come up with more sound bite like, yet substantive responses to the lying GOP.

    But how do you convince people that the GOP is lying? People still believe there were “death panels” in PPACA. Hell, people still believe the president was born in Kenya. How do you convince people they’ve been lied to?

  67. 67
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne: I must be really tired, because I am just skimming the posts. When I got to this:

    “But how do you convince people that the GOP is lying?”

    I was thinking you were suggesting something like this as the sound bite for Democrats:
    How do you know when he GOP is lying? Their lips are moving.

    It might even fit on a bumper sticker!

  68. 68
    Tokyokie says:

    @dww44: Well, I’d need to make it punchier to fit on a billboard. Maybe:

    A stagnant economy favors the very wealthy.
    Republicans only care about the very wealthy.
    Republicans want to keep the economy stagnant.

  69. 69
    Chris says:

    @Mike in NC:

    The application process for minimum-wage, bottom-of-the-barrel jobs frequently infuriates me as much as the jobs themselves. You’d think you were applying to guard ICBM command codes from the number of hoops they make you jump through. (Will forego the comments on the asinine “lie to me” questions like “why do you want this job,” “where do you see yourself in ten years,” etc).

    For fuck’s sake, assholes. I have a pulse, and I’m here because I want to work. Yes, I want to be one of the underpaid serfs performing the very great honor of spinning the Masters’ already burgeoning piles of money into even bigger piles in exchange for enough scraps from their table to pay for my rent, food and health. What the fuck more do you want?

  70. 70
    Chris says:

    @Tokyokie:

    Because MBA types have moved most concerns’ hiring processes online, computer algorithms now scan applicants’ résumés and kick out any that aren’t perfect fits

    This.

    I hear parental advice (and others of that generation) about “go to stores, knock on doors, make yourself known, see if you can talk to someone” and it’s like something out of another world. You can’t go to stores and make human contact like that anymore – 99% of the times you try that, even with a huge NOW HIRING sign in the window, they’ll tell you to go online and apply, and if you come back afterwards to try to check up on the status, they’ll tell you some variation of “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” It really does feel like banging your head against a wall after a certain point.

    On the other hand, what I have learned from them is that above a certain age, you’re also ludicrously hard to hire – you’re right about that. So I suppose I have something to look forward to in thirty years or so.

    Ahhh. TL/DR: fuck the economy. And fuck the rich, their poodles in the government, and their paid jesters in the media for fighting every inch of the way to make it this way.

  71. 71
    karen says:

    @Gene108:

    Congressional Republicans voted against TARP funds. I think they function solely to oppose Democrats.

    If Obama talked about how horrible child rape was, they’d be passing bills to make it legal. That’s how reflexive and zombie-like they are.

  72. 72
    dww44 says:

    @WaterGirl: Been gone for a while. But agree this could be a winning bumper sticker.

  73. 73
    dww44 says:

    @Tokyokie: I like this. Logical progression, a quality that the GOP seems to have lost somewhere over the last couple of decades. Along about the time they went full bore on being anti the Democratic party and every single policy proposal it put forth.

  74. 74
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Chris:

    The application process for minimum-wage, bottom-of-the-barrel jobs frequently infuriates me as much as the jobs themselves

    I noticed that when I was looking for a job last year. Go to the agency and they would be all “Hello Mr, EVT, how are you today?” because I have a profession in demand while they would be humiliating the unskilled guys right next to me. Beyond double standards and more than a little disturbing.

  75. 75
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Tokyokie:

    Because MBA types have moved most concerns’ hiring processes online, computer algorithms now scan applicants’ résumés and kick out any that aren’t perfect fits, and I suspect that résumés that show too much experience are kicked out because the applicant is considered too old. (I challenge anybody who doubts this and who’s over 50 or 55 to apply for jobs via computer and see how often they hear back.)

    I am 50, got my current job 24 hours after applying for it on line. Depends on the profession. Beyond that you have to play the on line application thing like a damn computer game – if you don’t have the right phrase in your resume then it drops you. I am pretty sure they don’t care about to much/to little experience, to young/to old. It’s mainly to do you have the correct buzzwords. It seemed like once I got passed the application filter and the clueless, English is a second language, idiots at the agency the actually hiring managers were to desperate to play games about how old I was because so few applicants can make it that far.

  76. 76
    boatboy_srq says:

    I can’t help asking why, after two “jobless recoveries” in a row, getting people who really should be out of the workforce is such a big deal. There was a time when the GOTea relied heavily on the senior vote: those seniors have seen their net worth plummet, their retiremenent benefits nearly collapse and their living conditions reduced substantially – and instead of “protecting seniors” the current crop of dumbasses Teapublicans whinge incessantly about how bad it is that Grampa isn’t holding down a job to support his independence.

  77. 77
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: There’s a very real bias in many professions against mature skilled labor. Online application processes are just one facet of that, and it’s a reason resources like TheLadders and LinkedIn are so popular since they leverage the human “who you know” factor to offset the age bias. But there’s also a very real dearth of HR people reading applications and making intelligent decisions about candidates, and there’s no guarantee that the folks who are left in HR are feeding the automated systems accurate criteria. One DBA who ran into the latter problem listed a number of disqualifiers s/he was given for not being hired (a sadly hilarious litany of boneheadedness): one that stuck in my mind was ‘We see you have several years’ experince with SQL – but we need someone who knows Sequel.” Resume filtering software is only as good as the criteria it’s given, and too much detail or too many long-term positions is often translated as not “too old” precisely, but definitely “too expensive” or “unable to mesh with the corporate culture” which are polite business-speak for the same thing. Younger translates to business as demanding less compensation, placing a lower burden on the company health insurance policy (assuming there is one) and more likely to tolerate less employee-friendly (i.e. sweatshop) environments in order to get ahead.

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