no third solution

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When Is a Recovery Not a Recovery?

October 3rd, 2009

When it’s a jobless recovery, i.e., that fiction by which the Politicians and Fat-Cats pretend that everything is A-OK, in order to trick the rest of us into following their marching orders off the next goddamn cliff, next year or next decade.

But it’s worse than “jobless”, which suggests job neutrality.  In reality, jobs are disappearing.

Last November it was big news when the FT reported[1] that the world’s economies lost 80,000 jobs. Now, we learn that the American economy shed 263,000 jobs in the month of September[2] alone, sending the national unemployment rate close to 10%. Adding insult to injury, people are remaining unemployed longer than ever: more than 50% of them have recently exhausted their public benefits. What happens to these people?

Even though young college graduates with a few years of work experience have suffered the least (so far), they’ve still been relatively hammered over the past year. Ihe unemployment rate among college graduates 25 years old has nearly doubled since 2008, approaching 5% for 2009[3].

Unemployment rates are increasing

If the aggregate unemployment rate for people 25-34 is 10.1%, and college grads are pacing 4.5%, what’s happening to those without a degree?  Do the math: they’re faring far worse.  These people are supposed to be just starting out, but how will they ever get out of their own way when they start with such a severe handicap? They’ll be 26, 27, 28 years old with no relevant work experience. If and when the economy recovers, there will be a new class of college graduates, competing with the classes of 2006 through 2009, who have been diligently pumping gas and waiting tables at TGIFriday’s for the last five years, patiently waiting for an opportunity to toil for the same people now responsible for their collective misfortune.

Fifteen million people want to work (more precisely, they want to earn), but can’t find employment. I’ve previously written that whenever resources are idle and needs are unsatisfied, there is something fundamentally wrong. But it goes beyond fundamentals when this amount of dis-coordination persists for any measurable amount of time. It is evidence that errors have not been corrected, malinvestments have not been liquidated, resources and labor have not been reallocated towards valuable output, etc.  This amount of disequilibrium can only be effected force, suppression, and exploitation.  People aren’t working because they’re not allowed to work.

Economic crises are part of State capitalism.  Crises, their concomitant mass-unemployments, discoordination and idleness of capital resources, are the means by which the power structure is sustained by the few, subjugating the many to lingering fears of total collapse and destitution.  Without widespread economic crises, the hierarchy flattens and power disperses.  Individuals retain their wealth, they retain control of their lives and livelihood.

Now, individuals need to take the power back.  We’ve been waiting for orders our entire lives, and where has it gotten us?

Don’t ask for permission, don’t wait for orders. Take life into your own hands.  As long as there are needs yet unment (and there are), there are jobs that need to be done.  People need to do these jobs.   We can wait for the jobs to come back, or we can create them ourselves.  Withdraw, as much as possible, from the slave economy.  Pay fewer taxes (or none at all).  Ignore stupid regulations. Take care of your neighbor and your neighbors take care of you.  Grow community.

The only sustainable recovery occurs when people no longer fear “the economy”, when people realize that they, in their individual capacities are “the economy”.


  1. More than 80,000 jobs cut in just five days. (Permalink from, may no longer be active)

  2. Jobless Report Is Worse Than Expected; Rate Rises to 9.8%

  3. BLS data: Series LNS14027662 – Seasonal unemployment, 25yrs+, BS or higher education, Series LNS14000000 – Seasonal unemployment (Total) [link] and BLS Table A-13 Employment status of the civilian non-institutional population by age, sex, and race.

no third solution

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