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Record 91.5 million Americans not in labor force…
While I agree that this is appalling news given the current state of affairs – basically, that all but a few of us need to work to live or belong to a family of people who need to work to live – I’ve often wondered why no distinction is made between those who are able to stop working by choice and those who want a job but can’t get one. it may only be a tiny portion of the population that is able to choose not to be wage slaves, but it is an important portion in this sense: isn’t economic self-sufficiency a goal for most reasonable people?
Implicit in the reporting of workforce participation numbers is the very un-Catholic notion that we’re only valuable if we’re working for wages, that it’s a clear disaster when people aren’t beholden to a paycheck. Wouldn’t it in fact be good thing if, in addition to all the doom and gloom economic numbers, the number of people able to free themselves from the rat race was routinely reported?
This observation probably falls in the ‘up to your neck in alligators/drain the swamp’ less than immediately useful category.
It would also be useful to know how many people 16 and over who are not in the labour force are still in school or college, and how many are stay-at-home parents. In addition, it seems to me that there is a deeply erroneous concept that has taken over, the idea that “working” and “holding a job” are the same thing. A person can do volunteer work, raise her or his own children, spend a lot of time keeping a garden that feeds the family, help the neighbour fix his house, all of this outside of what is considered “employment” and none of it showing up in the statistics or the “gross national product”, which can lead some less-informed people to conclude that this person is not contributing to the economy (and is considered a “taker” by randian standards – or maybe a “useless eater”?).
While the oligarchy continues to take care of its own, the rest of us be damned: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303763804579183680751473884.
Of course there is high unemployment: our ruling elites allowed most of our manufacturing base to be outsourced to China. Now even the chip sets in our F-22s are made in China as well.
Sam Walton got a congressional medal of honor from GHB for creating China made products biggest vendor. But hey, the stocks are at an all time high.