Wilderness Wally's Americana
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Thursday, 24th of May 2018


 

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Abbott and Costello on Unemployment

If Abbott & Costello were alive today, it would sound something like this:

LOU COSTELLO:
I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America .
BUD ABBOTT:
Good Subject. Terrible Times. It's 9%
COSTELLO:
That many people are out of work?
ABBOTT:
No, that's 17%
COSTELLO:
You just said 9%.
ABBOTT:
9% Unemployed.
COSTELLO:
Right 9% out of work.
ABBOTT:
No, that's 17%.
COSTELLO:
Okay, so it's 17% unemployed.
ABBOTT:
No, that's 9%...
COSTELLO:
WAIT A MINUTE! Is it 9% or 17%?
ABBOTT:
9% are unemployed. 17% are out of work.
COSTELLO:
If you are out of work you are unemployed?
ABBOTT:
No, you can't count the "Out of Work" as the unemployed. You have to look
for work to be unemployed.
COSTELLO:
BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!
ABBOTT:
No, you miss my 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 who?
ABBOTT:
The unemployed.
COSTELLO:
But they are ALL out of work.
ABBOTT:
No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of
work stopped looking. They gave up. 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 you get to 9%. Otherwise it would be
17%. You don't want to read about 17% unemployment do ya?
COSTELLO:
That would be frightening.
ABBOTT:
Absolutely.
COSTELLO:
Wait, I got a question for you. That means they're 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 just stop looking for work.
ABBOTT:
Now you're thinking like a government economist.
COSTELLO:
I don't even know what I just said!

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