Author Topic: Who's on First? Abbott and Costello analyze unemployment figures  (Read 678 times)

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Offline Cincinnatus

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Who's on First? Abbott and Costello analyze unemployment figures
« on: November 09, 2013, 04:19:35 PM »
COSTELLO: I want to talk about  the unemployment rate in America .
ABBOTT: Good Subject.  Terrible Times. It's 7.8%.
COSTELLO: That many people  are out of work?
ABBOTT: No, that's 14.7%. 
COSTELLO: You just said 7.8%.
ABBOTT: 7.8%  Unemployed.
COSTELLO: Right 7.8% out of work. 
ABBOTT: No, that's 14.7%.
COSTELLO: Okay,  so it's 14.7% unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, that's 7.8%. 
COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 7.8% or 14.7%? 
ABBOTT: 7.8% are unemployed. 14.7% are out of work. 
COSTELLO: If you are out of work you are unemployed. 
ABBOTT: No, Congress said you can't count the "Out of  Work" as the unemployed.  You have to look for work to be  unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, you miss his point.
COSTELLO:  What point?
ABBOTT: Someone who doesn't look for work  can't be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn't be fair. 
COSTELLO: To whom?
ABBOTT: The unemployed. 
COSTELLO: But ALL of them are out of work. 
ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for  work. Those who are out of work gave up looking and if you give up,  you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed. 
COSTELLO: So if you're off the unemployment roles that  would count as less unemployment?
ABBOTT: Unemployment  would go down. Absolutely!
COSTELLO: The unemployment  just goes down because you don't look for work?
ABBOTT:  Absolutely it goes down. That's how it gets to 7.8%. Otherwise it  would be 14.7%.
COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That  means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number? 
ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.
COSTELLO:  Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?
ABBOTT:  Correct.
COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if  you stop looking for a job?
ABBOTT: Bingo. 
COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment  down, and the easier of the two is to have people stop looking for  work.
ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like an Economist. 
COSTELLO: I don't even know what the hell I just said! 
ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like a Politician.

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