There is an old joke that goes something like this: A guy calls his bookie and says, “Okay, how’d I do on the baseball game?”
"Terrible," says the bookie. "You lost ten grand."
"Ten grand? Shit. Well, I must have broken even on football."
"No way," says the bookie. "There was an interception that totally screwed you on the spread."
"SHIT SHIT SHIT" screams the guy. "What about the basketball game?"
"Don’t even ask," says the bookie.
The guy starts weeping. “Where am I gonna find thirty frigging grand? What am I gonna tell my wife? What the hell am I gonna do?”
"Well," says the bookie, "you can always [...]
It is fascinating to consider the gigantic omissions mainstream media makes in recapping the past year with delicious “Best of [insert year].” These are omissions of substance, but they are not often included in the discourse of popular culture. They are experiences about losing. Losing jobs, lovers, apartments. The losers’ agency—or lack thereof—is manifested in perhaps deciding a preference to “lose,” guesstimating the long-term result will be worth the sacrifice. Of course, other times exogenous factors create a shared reality where you—and this certainly includes me—have limited power in changing one’s conditions. These are the stories about getting broken up with, getting evicted from a home and—by far the worst [...]
Do you want to be able to talk knowledgeably at fancy dinner parties with the ruling class about employment in America? Sure you do! So here are just a few simple graphs from our pals at the St. Louis Fed with a longer view—going back to either 2000 or to the early 90s, depending on data available—that explaining the trending in employment, hiring, unemployment and workforce participation in America. Above: what they call the "U6" number. That's the combined percentage of unemployed and underemployed, essentially.