(Un)Employed

wordsI know that last blog entry about the word thing sucked bad. Talk about bottom of the barrel. I almost deleted it but I figure someday long after I’m gone these little gems are going to bring me the fame and recognition of greatness I never had in life and it would be a shame if even the Dminus efforts were not included in my ephemera and marginalia, seeing that they are still certainly better than most of the hot air out there today.

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Retirement

Let’s talk today about unemployment or as I like to refer to it: “coincidental early retirement.” I think the government should shift towards using this term and let the “unemployment” defined rate gradually fade to near zero. Everyone in our free and classless society would be pleased by this. Think about it, if the government would just assume that no one over 65 wanted to work anyway (drop them from the “unemployed”) and assume that anyone who has exhausted their benefits are just lazy and shiftless and wouldn’t work at any job no matter what, now we have the retired (over 65) and the early retired (the lazy and shiftless) off the unemployment statistics. If we go one step further and assume the disabled are going to forever be unable to work, then there you have another big chunk out of the “pie of idlers” as I like to call it.

UnemploymentOffice_Forwardstl_FlickrNow before we…, Whoa you over there, don’t get up out of that chair while I’m talking and don’t you dare heckle me. I’ll come right over there and smack you. Before we go any further, to avoid any misunderstanding here, I myself am currently in a temporary bout of “coincidental early retirement.” So there. Now sit back down and shut up. You know what happens when you assume…

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Where was I, oh yeah, like most things in the media, business, or government, we haven’t made any real changes to the physical world here. It’s all a matter of perspective (= spin). We’ve now got our new unemployment rate down way low, near zero (Somebody is going to start talking inflation now so we may have to add something back into our statistic. There’s always a pessimist around.). Voila! Everyone feels better. Okay maybe not everyone but a lot of people. Those that don’t feel better are just going to not really care and that doesn’t count. These are mostly the lazy and shiftless that I mentioned above and nobody listens to them anyway and most don’t vote. So now I’ve proven that either people don’t care or they are way happier about our new unemployment statistic now so on average (and remember 50% of people are always going to be above average!) I think we can agree that the day is just a little sunnier now. What’s so bad about feelin’ good? Isn’t that what we yearn for most in life, feelin’ good? If you can do it without moving anything, so much the better. Why work so hard (see the “Dminus Principle”)? Anyway I’m doing all the heavy lifting here so just pay attention.

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Here come the naysayers. I’ve got my usual on target answers for them. The first thing that is going to be said is it is “different” than what we do today. I say: “Is what we’re doing today working, huh?” The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I say: New Way, New Result, because what we have now obviously isn’t working. Second, the economists and statisticians are going to say that the new stat is going to skew things or under report the real situation. This is maybe the worst argument ever. The current old unemployment stat we use is a made up number too, I’m just offering a clearly better pretend number. A more optimistic made up number. Remember: perspective = spin.

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c = speed of light

Third unemployment statistics aren’t like physical constants like Avogadro’s Number or pi or the speed of light, they are just made up numbers by people to measure some thing in some way with a certain perspective (remember: spin). Why shouldn’t we use new ways of calculating statistics that put our current situation in a better, more optimistic light? I say change it again if circumstances change. Remember nothing has changed in the universe except a lot of people are a whole lot happier and the rest (the ones that don’t matter anyway) are just the same as they were before; net gain. Economists will squawk from both sides but when were economists ever right and therefore why would anyone pay any attention to them? When was the last time a tax cut “trickled down” to you or a tax hike created any jobs that the lazy and shiftless defined above would take? Huh? Never! QED!

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The other thing to remember in all this is even as the old unemployment statistic creeps down most of these jobs being taken are much lower paying than the ones people had before the crash. Most former auto workers in America are now slingin’ hash and they both count as employed but the latter just barely. Most former rice slingers in China are now making autos. But why rain on the parade? The new unemployment number takes care of all that. It is virtually unaffected by the quality of the jobs that the few outside of Wall Street work at. How better to measure a half-empty statistic?

I can see that some of you are still not on board with me.  How about this:  let’s measure the employment rate instead of unemployment rate.  Now we can crow about our 93% employment rate instead of pity-partying about the 7% unemployment rate and we haven’t even played the numbers game.  How ’bout dat?  I bet if you showed somebody a picture with 93 guys in it then showed them one with 100 guys in it they wouldn’t be able to tell which was which.  They sure would be able to tell the difference between 7 and zero.  Real life is the same.  Perspective and spin.  Is your day getting any better yet?

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The last argument will be that other countries don’t measure it that way. What? When did we ever worry about what foreigners, especially ones that don’t live here, think? Why would we behave like these lesser lights that we have to bail out globally like a drunk every New Year’s Eve? Remember WWI, WWII, Vietnam (France), Falklands (Great Britain), Kossovo, (remember that film Behind Enemy Lines with nutcase Owen Wilson as that downed NATO pilot) not to mention keeping their oil safe for them in the Middle East. We can measure unemployment any way we want. Besides when other countries see how low our unemployment is they’ll want to measure their’s the same better American way like they always do with things.

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Full Employment Pot ‘o’ Gold

I still apologize for that last post about words. It was really awful. I had a sort of writer’s block thing going on, but now the meds are starting to work. Hopefully this post will make up for it.

Pessimism

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As I said in my next to last post you are probably becoming by now the poster boy or girl for this blog. If you can send a picture of you in your new carefree, and most of all, leisurely lifestyle I might feature it here, anonymously of course (see below for what you should really expect to happen).

I really struggled with the title for this post.  Should I call it pessimism, optimism, hope, or despair because we’re going to hit all of these here?  I decided on the straight forward approach instead of the facetious one, again for reasons that will become evident.

But onward in our journey to nirvana. The subject for this day is Pessimism, pure and simple, and I’m going to show you how to apply this little word to your outlook about everything. It’s so simple: always expect the worst. That’s it, see what I mean? We’re trending towards the Zen of life. Life is so simple really that the truths about it are almost self-evident, but really expect life to be so complicated that you are never going to understand anything. There, we’ve already applied it.  Always expect to be disappointed. This is the only way to never be let down: always expect to be disappointed, then in the rare circumstance that something good does happen, you’ll be ecstatic, however when the more probable opposite occurs you won’t EVER be disappointed.

What a great way to live. If you can apply this along with the Dminus principle (see my earlier post) then life will become unbearable but essentially worry free.

Let’s see if we can find how you can apply this to a more practical situation. At work, always assume, even with a lack of evidence, that your co-workers are sniveling, back stabbing, over-ambitious weasels who are going to take the credit for all your work and get promoted a lot faster although they never deserved it. Now you cannot imagine a day when you are going to be let down in your expectations by the behavior of your co-workers. In the rare event that you are in a meeting and someone says: “Oh no, I didn’t do all this Shirley did some of it,” you are going to be on cloud nine. I would say happy enough to take the rest of the day off, go to a bar, and call in sick the next morning (again, see the Dminus principle). If the opposite happens and they take all the credit for what was mostly your work, well you expected as much and can’t really be disappointed. Either way, you weren’t disappointed. Voilà, life is actually the dreary drudge you thought it would be.  This applies to everything in your pathetic life:  your spouse, your job, your physical fitness plan (again, see earlier posts), your health, your finances, your family, your so-called friends and on and on.  The areas for application are endless.

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However, there are a number of hazards in this lifestyle: optimists and an attitude of hopefulness. Optimists are to be avoided at all costs. Assume they are possessed by a demon that wants to knock you off your currently successful downward slide and take advantage of you at the same time. They are never to be trusted. They will get you to read books by Norman Vincent Peale, Tony Robbins, and their ilk. They will tell you about the failed philosophy of positive thinking and that you are a good person with talents that are yet untapped, and we all know none of this is true as shown by past experience. What you do know is that they are waiting to swindle you and put you on a path that will leave you circling the drain without hope.

Which brings me to my second hazard: hope. Never ever hope for anything to get better. It won’t and you already know this. Hope leads to the ultimate disappointment unless it is hope for the worst to happen. If anything gives you even an inkling that things are going to work out, get as far away from it as possible, mentally and physically.  Again, avoid at all costs.

I apply this principle of unbroken pessimism as often as possible in my own life. If you look at some of my earlier posts, I expected the worst outcome in both the Dunbar and stock market situations. Was I disappointed? No way the worst outcome I had expected happened. I could go along in my already depressed state knowing that only something worse could still happen.  There you have it.

Oh, and have a lousy day.

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In my next to last post I told you I was going to tell you about Chicago Nice. Well I didn’t and you were on the edge of your seat waiting for what I was going to say. Now you’re disappointed. See how it would have been so much better to assume I was lying or forgetful and not have anticipated that I would reveal this other principle of a nirvana-like life.  I promise I’ll get to it in a later post, but you know what?  Don’t be disappointed if I don’t.