High Unemployment, or Normal Employment? It Depends On The Scope Of History You’re Considering.

Over on Questions and Observations, Bruce McQuain questions whether we’re having another “Great Depression” or just a very slow recovery. An unnamed visitor pointed to a graphic from The Atlantic and commented:

“The median duration of unemployment is higher today than any time in the last 50 years. That’s an understatement. It is more than twice as high today than any time in the last 50 years.”

Which is a true statement that leads to false conclusions. Instead, how about you increase the period of time you’re considering even further and say, that:

“The unnaturally low rate of employment for the past century, and in particular the past fifty years, has been largely do to the combination of selling off north america to immigrants and their children, the increase in consumer products consumed by these people, the collapse of european war economies, followed by the results of the monopolization of the world monetary system. The current unemployment level is the natural consequence of the loss of the US’s temporary economic advantage, as europe caught up, and china, india, russia and other developing countries have developed similar economic models and levels of production.”

That’s the analysis that has meaning. Not medium term unemployment.

The monetary policy since Reagan was an attempt to revitalize american entrepreneurship and individualism by using the US’s unique position in world history to borrow against future production. However, the winning of the war against ideological managed-economies made that borrowing impossible to maintain. Furthermore, the unregulated use of that credit to fund unproductive investment (housing) rather than relative competitive investment (innovation) led to a bubble, which has now compounded the overall problem.

This is not to say that we had an alternative to the revitalization of the country. Or that the european model would have yielded better results in the domestic american empire than it did in the homogenous nation states.

But we are now headed toward the south american model : the exact opposite of what both the left and right desired.

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