Calling Out Rachel Maddow on Unemployment Info

snapshot-unemplyment-by-industryWhen I first saw today’s Jobs Report I thought the same thing I have thought for at least the last year; not enough jobs created. For our economy to keep pace with population growth 150,000 to 160,000 new jobs need to be created every month. Seeing this month’s 157,000 says to me, break even. Whereas it is a good thing we are creating jobs rather than losing them the rate at which we are creating jobs it wont be until 2020 for us to have full employment. Soon after seeing the report a follower of mine tweeted me a link to Ms. Maddow’s blog, touting not only how great the jobs numbers were but also a revision showed an overall uptick in the number of jobs created in 2012. She went on to say that this amount, 2.1 million, was higher than many of the years of the Bush administration and implying Obama has been a better steward of the economy.

Rachel, you are missing the point and the bigger picture. The meager job growth we are seeing has not brought down the number of unemployed people in over 2 years. According to the Bureau  of Labor and Statistics there are 12.3 million unemployed people in the United States. That number has not lowered in years. The number of long-term unemployed is 4.7 million people, also unchanged; the employment – population ratio is at historic lows. We have a crisis on our hands and no one is talking about it. I usually enjoy watching your show, however, for you to paint a picture that todays numbers are good, and even compare them to Clinton and the Bushes is partisan, unnecessary and again missing the bigger picture. We need someone like you to bring to light the longterm unemployment problem. The public needs to be educated that the numbers we have seen over the last 2 or 3 years are just breaking even. Our main goal is to be getting the longterm unemployed back to work. I have a following on twitter of 26,000 or so and people around the world read my blog postings; you have a national voice that should be out there trying to help the needy. Unemployed people dont want another extension of unemployment insurance, unemployed people want work. My fear is whats going to happen to these people once they run out of money. There are millions who have passed the 99 weeks, what happens when their savings runs out. In a few years our country could face mass homelessness, a serious lack of demand which would further weaken the economy.

I want a national voice, like yours, to start a drive to get companies to start hiring again. We do need a major stimulus, tax incentives, creative thinking. But the public is not educated. People like you take todays dismal jobs figures and spin them into something that sounds good and go a step further for a partisan attack. I am glad President Obama was reelected since I think Mitt Romney would have been a horrible president. But I am deeply disappointed in Obama’s lack of a jobs initiative. To me its inexcusable. People like you, and the rest of the media, should be telling the whole story. The 12.3 million unemployed. If you take underemployment into the picture the figure is closer to 25 million people. And these figures havent changed in years. For you to say 2012 job growth of 2.1 million people is better than 7 out of  8 of the Bush years are you taking into account that the unemployment rate back then was around 4%? When the rate of unemployment is that low a smaller number of jobs being created doesnt seem like a big deal, the real question is how many jobs were there in 2005 and how many jobs are there now? What was the workforce participation back in those years; what was the number of unemployed people back then. Telling half a story and spinning it so it sounds like a win for Obama is not the way to educate your audience. Thats what Sean Hannity and the others at Fox News do. I didn’t expect this kind of misrepresentation and ignoring the crisis from you. Incidentally getting those 10 million people back to work will bring in a lot more revenue thus lowering the deficit.

This might be a ballsy thing for me to do, but I would like you to contact me personally so you and I can talk. I would like to draw as much attention as possible to getting people back to work, I would bet you have some great ideas and I’d love to hash them out with you. I’d also like you to take on the cause of the unemployed; did you know the longterm unemployed are discriminated against when they look for work?

With your help we could bring dignity and purpose back to millions of peoples lives and give them another chance. Please contact me.


4 thoughts on “Calling Out Rachel Maddow on Unemployment Info

  1. Wow! Andrew I sure hope Rachel or someone from her staff has sense enough to contact you. She often does correct herself whenever she’s found to be wrong. Maybe this time she will too.

  2. Even if companies didn’t hire new workers initially, but gave a one dollar raise to their lower wage employees, the subsequent spending surge would ignite the economy, driving up demand and encouraging employers to start highering once again. The most fundimental problem with our economy today is that wages are too low to support our productive capacity.

  3. Maddow is using the BLS definition of unemployment: those that are completely unemployed and who are actively engaged in seeking employment (any type of employment). The BLS numbers, while practically incomplete, are not as politically explosive. How unemployment is calculated and presented in this county has always been the most optimistic method. Europe does a more pragmatic *job.*

  4. Aloha Andrew. Another great piece. You are to be commended for sounding the alarm on this American tragedy. I know Rachel has many fans, I am not one of them. I enjoy watching her give interviews, but her show sounds like one very long sentence. Also UI is no longer 99 weeks, it was reduced by Congress last year to 62 weeks based on my state’s low unemployment rate, tho we have one of the highest homeless populations. It always amazes me which battles people choose to fight. Just as PBO assembled a task force for action on gun control following Sandy Hook, he should’ve done the same for job creation. That’s the table where you should have a seat! There’s so much discrimination against the unemployed. They’re looking for reasons NOT to hire people – that’s another part of the problem. At some point when I’m stable and secure I will document all my job search experience – something NEEDS to be done about hiring practices.

    Update: My landlord has not evicted me yet because he has a soul, a righteous human being. Am moving to another island where my consulting is valued and effective. Will be separated from my son for a few weeks until I can get settled.

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