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A Quarter Of Jobs In America Pay Below The Federal Poverty Line

Tyler Durden's picture


Over two years ago (and reiterated last year) Zero Hedge first wrote on what was and is an undisputed transition within the US labor force: a shift from full-time to temp, or part-time labor, with virtually no contractual or welfare benefits, and where workers are lucky to get minimum wage. This is because in the "New Normal" where copious amounts of structural slack are pervasive due precisely to the Fed's constant flawed micromanagement of the economy, the US has now become an "employers' market."

Furthermore, we were the first to make the critical distinction that it is absolutely not all about the quantity of jobs, but much more importantly, the quality of the new jobs being created. However, just like 99% of the general public, and all of the mainstream media, has an inborn genetic disorder preventing it from grasping the distinction between nominal and real, so these two critical aspects of the US jobs market languished unperturbed. Until now, two years later, when we are happy to see that the mainstream media has finally caught up with what our readers knew in December 2010.

From the NYT, and long overdue:

Politicians across the political spectrum herald “job creation,” but frightfully few of them talk about what kinds of jobs are being created. Yet this clearly matters: According to the Census Bureau, one-third of adults who live in poverty are working but do not earn enough to support themselves and their families.


A quarter of jobs in America pay below the federal poverty line for a family of four ($23,050). Not only are many jobs low-wage, they are also temporary and insecure. Over the last three years, the temp industry added more jobs in the United States than any other, according to the American Staffing Association, the trade group representing temp recruitment agencies, outsourcing specialists and the like.


Low-wage, temporary jobs have become so widespread that they threaten to become the norm. But for some reason this isn’t causing a scandal. At least in the business press, we are more likely to hear plaudits for “lean and mean” companies than angst about the changing nature of work for ordinary Americans.

The "some reason" is that absent from the occasional mention here and there, few if any are aware of what is truly going on beneath the surface of America's (part-time) jobs (non) recovery. 

Sadly, while the NYT is accurate up to this point, from here on out they too lose the narrative:

How did we arrive at this state of affairs? Many argue that it was the inevitable result of macroeconomic forces — globalization, deindustrialization and technological change — beyond our political control. Yet employers had (and have) choices. Rather than squeezing workers, they could have invested in workers and boosted product quality, taking what economists call the high road toward more advanced manufacturing and skilled service work. But this hasn’t happened. Instead, American employers have generally taken the low road: lowering wages and cutting benefits, converting permanent employees into part-time and contingent workers, busting unions and subcontracting and outsourcing jobs. They have done so, in part, because of the extraordinary evangelizing of the temp industry, which rose from humble origins to become a global behemoth.

Actually, the primary reason for the surge in part-time jobs over the past 4 years has everything to do with the ongoing Depression, which few are willing to call it for what it is, and, you guessed it, the Fedeal Reserve. Why? We once again refer readers to an article posted nearly a year ago "How The Fed's Visible Hand Is Forcing Corporate Cash Mismanagement" in which we explained that since the advent of ZIRP culture, companies have proceed to i) hoard cash as corporate management is well aware the current artificial economy is a temporary blip on an otherwise inevitable decline back into global economy purgatory and ii) spend what little cash can be disposed off to generate immediate shareholder returns, in the form of stock buybacks, dividends, and when these are impossible, M&A. Alas, the last thing corporations spend capital on is actual organic growth, so desperately needed if they are to be able to afford a viable employee base. Alas, as we showed two days ago, core capital spending has now been declining virtually non stop since posting a modest Y/Y rebound after the Lehman failure.

It is the chart above that shows in no uncertain terms what the corporate vote of confidence in the US economy is. With the consolidated CapEx trendline decidedly lower and to the right, one thing is certain: the part-time normal is here to stay, as more and more people make the minimum part-time wage their daily routine, all the while the BLS, and the administration both lie in broad daylight that the US economy is currently in a recovery.

And while the rest of the NYT piece is mostly fluff, the conclusion is relatively accurate:

The temp industry’s continued growth even in a boom economy was a testament to its success in helping to forge a new cultural consensus about work and workers. Its model of expendable labor became so entrenched, in fact, that it became “common sense,” leaching into nearly every sector of the economy and allowing the newly renamed “staffing industry” to become sought-after experts on employment and work force development. Outsourcing, insourcing, offshoring and many other hallmarks of the global economy (including the use of “adjuncts” in academia, my own corner of the world) owe no small debt to the ideas developed by the temp industry in the last half-century.


A growing number of people call for bringing outsourced jobs back to America. But if they return as shoddy, poverty-wage jobs — jobs designed for “Never-Never Girls” rather than valued employees — we won’t be better off for having them. If we want good jobs rather than just any jobs, we need to figure out how to preserve what is useful and innovative about temporary employment while jettisoning the anti-worker ideology that has come to accompany it.

And that means differentiating the US work force and making it highly specialized, and attuned to a new world in which increasingly more unskilled labor is being outsourced or outright replaced by conveyer automation and robotics. Alas, that means providing incentives for people to get off the couch, learn a skill, and specialize. And that, courtesy of that other central planning tenet, namely providing each and everyone with just the barely sustainable minimum of welfare entitlement to keep people satisfied and voting for the same person over and over, guarantees that more will fall into the trap of having no marketable skills, and be without even part-time opportunities.

At least, until the welfare funding runs out. Then things get really ugly.


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Wed, 01/30/2013 - 17:54 | 3200382 hedgeless_horseman
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Build the Death Star.  It is our only hope.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 17:57 | 3200390 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

Then, build a bigger and badder Deathier Star to destroy the Death Star. Then build a bigger and badder Deathiest Star to...

It is our only hope.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:07 | 3200430 Silver Bully
Silver Bully's picture

'It is our only hope.'

To infinity, AND BEYOND!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:21 | 3200473 Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler's picture

Lower the poverty line.

Our poor would be considered rich in most of India and China and Africa and South America, as well as many other places.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:26 | 3200496 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Now you're thinking like a DC spinster.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:44 | 3200547 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Not a big deal. Wages will magically rise above Federal poverty line. Inflation will take care of. CPI is just an artificial number.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:40 | 3200735 mmanvil74
mmanvil74's picture

Another big part of the overall employment picture that is ignored in this article is the low quality of education in the US.  There are all kinds of studies that show how kids in other countries (mainly in Asia) far outperform American kids on math and science exams.   Not only are grades 1-12 in the US a complete joke, in which literacy alone gets you a passing grade, but the majority of all college educations are utterly useless.

In addition to a massive debt burden, most college students graduate with few if any employable skills.  The idea that a traditional college degree is the way ahead should be largely abandoned.  Either get a job with a company who is willing to train you for what they need, or go to a highly specialized tech school that teaches valid skill sets.  

Heck, you'd be better off paying a company to train you for a role they might need than you are paying to go to college.  If I was CEO of a large company in the US, I would offer high school grads an opportunity to pay for training in the areas jobs are being created, and if they perform well during training, hire them on full time with benefits.  If we don't hire you after your training, we'll give you a reference letter and at least you can go out and look for a job with some real training under your belt.

The FED of course plays a role by providing easy money financing for college, but it is still the parents/kids fault for falling into the trap, in the same way it was the borrowers fault for buying more homes than they could afford prior to the housing bust.  Unfortunately, college is so deeply ingrained in American culture, along with TV and McDonald's, it is somewhat pointless to debate the issue.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:01 | 3200786 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

a shift from full-time to temp, or part-time labor, with virtually no contractual or welfare benefits, and where workers are lucky to get minimum wage


Quick! Import more 3rd world peasants! (i mean, '"Immigrants")

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:12 | 3200811 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Somebodies got to do the jobs welfare dependent Americans won't do.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:46 | 3200872 knowless
knowless's picture

like what?

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 22:10 | 3201066 trav777
trav777's picture

look at all those people in that line for handouts.

Orderly.  Well-dressed.  Well-behaved.  Polite.  Manners.

Now go onto youtube and take a look at lines for Section 8 vouchers (even when it's just a rumor that there were gonna be some).  And by lines I mean "black mobs dressed like fucking cretins and behaving like apes."

Those old pictures should be thrown away, torn up, rightfully consigned to the dustbin.  Because they are from Old America, which was racist.  That entire society and way of being was illegitimate because of racism.  Those people had separate drinking fountains therefore we should reject everything about them.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 22:53 | 3201188 Angus McHugepenis
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Trav - Tyler must have reinstated your former status. Your current profile shows you as a member for 3 years, 10 weeks. How does that happen when you had to create a new profile after you disappeared for several months and knocked a 7 off your name? Your profile should show you as being a few weeks old... a newbie. Care to explain?

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 23:50 | 3201343 ronaldawg
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Or he made more than one account three years ago.

Leave him alone - he is on a roll.  I want to see him twist like a pretzel to clarify calling people "apes" in one sentence and then saying the country is "raaaaacist" in the next.


Thu, 01/31/2013 - 00:23 | 3201440 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

Yeah, I was just curious. I never expected a reply. And yeah, Trav is on a roll. Release the hounds!

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 07:48 | 3201885 Lost My Shorts
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It is funny hearing talk about polite and manners from someone whose avatar is giving the finger.

Trav has apparently never heard of (reliable conservative) Charles Murray's book "Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010".  Trav is totally convinced that the ugliness of the black underclass is due to their blackness, not their underclass-ness.  But Murray's tale of the white underclass suggests an alternate theory.  Something about the American combination of individualist culture (increasing detachment from family, church, and community) combined with the disappearance of middle class jobs leads to a lot of ugliness in every color scheme.  At the time Murray's book came out, I saw a fascinating article about white welfare-dependent meth-heads in West Virginia who weren't too pretty either; I wish I could remember the link.  Just like blacks used to have a respectable middle class in places like DC and Harlem; whites in WV used to be salt of the earth working people who would no sooner take drugs and welfare than eat poison.

But Trav's mind is open as a brick.  It's all about black.  They're black.  Get rid of the blacks, and happy days are here again.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 21:25 | 3200957 Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture

Krugman told me if we would distribute more colored pieces of paper, there is no need to fix anything, ever.  He said proof of this is in plainview with the TBTF bank bailouts.  He said that if we were to have practiced real economics that these banks would have failed.  But they did not fail.  Therefore it is only intuitive that the solution is to print moar, and obviously there will be no more failure again, ever.  We have solved the riddle, the men with guns and printing press have negated the need for intelligence an hard work.  This is MIT level knowledge right here.  Consider yourselves lucky that you did not have to pay for this, some spend six figures to gain this knowledge.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:46 | 3200562 akak
akak's picture


Lower the poverty line.

Our poor would be considered rich in most of India and China and Africa and South America, as well as many other places.

The only problem with that is that our poor do not LIVE in India or China or Africa, but here in the USA/Canada/Europe, with a much higher cost of living, even if one were to live, or even COULD live, the exact same lifestyle as the poor in those places.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:21 | 3200680 ptolemy_newit
ptolemy_newit's picture

not sure about India but here in China the cost of living is high!  a 140 meter home is 200,000 $  food is the same as anywhere (kfc, mcdonalds).

average engineers salary is 1000 $ per month!

You can place 100% of the blame on the UAW, reallly where can you get paid 80,000 a year for mondane routine manual labour with better retirement and beneffits than a tradesman.

The west lost its manufacturing from the pure greed of the unions.  Hussien wants to get the manufacturing back but 10 years of debasement and labor afjustments are required.




Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:41 | 3200731 Landrew
Landrew's picture

Where do we start? I guess the perfect comment to your ill informed thought. You are a clueless fuck that repeats the Cock brother lies about 80k a year unskilled labor! A tradesman, electrician, toolmaker, plumber working at GM with some modest overtime did make those dollars. Unskilled not even close! You are a clueless fuck!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:13 | 3200812 defender
defender's picture

Just because a person has worked for the same company for 5 years, does not make them a tradesman or skilled labor.  Why don't you look into how much the UAW requires the auto plants to pay people not to work.  That's right, paying people not to work.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 21:22 | 3200951 mumbo_jumbo
mumbo_jumbo's picture

thank you landrew, when someone starts spewing that $80K unskilled auto worker bullshit they out themselves as a clueless sheeple...

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 09:06 | 3201981 MillionDollarBoner_
MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

Hey guys - why bicker when the facts are just a click away?

Golden hello, piss easy work, early retirement with golden parachute.

Think I'll sign up meself, heh :O)

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:31 | 3200851 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

Touche Akak. It always bugs me when people say this person made $10/day in Narniastan. Doesn't mean a hill of bean if you don't know how much it costs to live THERE.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 21:14 | 3200939 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

And why don't the cops in these poor countries fine their "citizens" for vagrancy, loitering, jaywalking, speeding, or various other "legal" violations of ACTS, STATUTES, & BYLAWS? Simple... they can't collect.

Here's a simple remedy. NEVER own anything in your name (example, Queen of England). Nothing is in HER name nor any of their families. You ZH'ers should all know that a corporation is a "person", right?

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 22:21 | 3201107 trav777
trav777's picture

those people in those countries aren't saddled with the costs of an artificial black middle class or a police state or a DoD that gobbles up a trillion a year.  This shit ain't cheap.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:09 | 3200624 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

Don't worry the government bureaucrats have already been doing that by passing on inflation to you and telling you there is very little of it in their CPI and PPI reporting.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:13 | 3200813 bunnyswanson
bunnyswanson's picture

This does not make slicing the "pie" inequally right.  How many millions of dollars does it take for one person to feel like a success?  They once counted on customers for their business.  Customers tend to be the employees.  For the people to be consumers, the need a decent income.  Investing, trading/selling stocks/shares seems to be the path to a profit lately.  Prices are going up, especially food.  Local taxes have all been risen and every year, they go up.

December 28, 2010 12:47 pm

Beijing city to raise minimum wage 21%

Beijing city is to raise its minimum wage 21 per cent next year, the second such rise in barely six months, amid rising inflationary pressure and growing concern over China’s widening wealth gap.

The increase, which will come into effect on New Year's day, raises the statutory minimum monthly wage in the Chinese capital to Rmb1,160 ($175) and the hourly rate to Rmb6.7. It follows a 20 per cent rise in June.

Despite the brutal global recession that has gripped the world economy over the last few years, many countries have moved to increase the statutorily mandated minimum wage for workers. The countries raising the minimum wage cut across geographies and economic systems to include China, Brazil, Spain, Bolivia, Turkey and seven individual states in the United States. These increases range from 1% to as high as 21%. (For more, see The Minimum Wage: Does It Matter?)

Read more:

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:38 | 3200861 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

Shouldn't the "poverty line" be well below what a minimum wage job pays ?

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:49 | 3200889 knowless
knowless's picture

well, inflation. but yeah.

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 00:21 | 3201428 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

I think you just defined slavery in modern terms.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:50 | 3200485 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

So this means "Green card" to all illegals, doing DDD (dirty, dangerous and difficult ) jobs cannot stop them going back.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:14 | 3200654 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Wait til all the illegals start having taxes taken out of their check after all these years of cash. Wait til they have to join obamacare. This will be interesting, stampede to the border to exit

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:20 | 3200832 iDealMeat
iDealMeat's picture

I bet many employers already take out State and Fed tx...    And pocket it...


What's the illegal going to do about it? 



Wed, 01/30/2013 - 21:07 | 3200919 de3de8
de3de8's picture

Dreamy on.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:20 | 3200668 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

Whatdya think the immigration reform is about? No more skilled construction workers for the big boom. 

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:26 | 3200497 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

Let the dollar crash, minimum pay will rise to US$ 150,000

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:20 | 3200468 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

"Then, build a bigger and badder Deathier Star to destroy the Death Star"


the solution is as simple as it is obvious

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:57 | 3200577 EmmittFitzhume
EmmittFitzhume's picture

Ahh the olde "Broken Death Stars" theory!!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:16 | 3200454 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Why would you want to build a quadrillion type project that one guy in a orange jumpsuit, who has father issues and who talks to a little green guy who calls himself "master", can destroy in 15 minutes by dropping a little bomb into a shaft that no engineer thought of securing against crap like that and that can destroy the entire star?!

sure!!! It was a good analogy to "MADE IN AMERIKA" but THAT'S IT!!!


kookook! :)

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:21 | 3200474 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Yes, but then Palpatine could go back to the Imperial Senate and ask for more money from the systems to build ANOTHER Death Star!

Do your part everyone - break some windows!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:32 | 3200509 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture


Nop... a deathstar isn't the sollution... We need battlestar galectica's so we can go to the first colony once the centurions take over the planet...

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:36 | 3200524 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Why choose!?! Let's build every battle fleet in every scifii television series, movie, and book!!! Infinite jobs for everyone!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:41 | 3200542 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Star trek
Buck Rogers
Battlestar Galectica
Babylon 5

AND MOONBASE! We also need a moonbase!

Damn! We're really getting somewhere here! It's like this plan is all planned out!

I just wonder how many days the fed would need to print to fund it all...

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:57 | 3200591 Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

it takes about 10 seconds to enter that many zeros and check it for accuracy

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:06 | 3200617 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

Starwars Star trek Buck Rogers Battlestar Galectica Babylon 5 AND MOONBASE! We also need a moonbase! Damn! We're really getting somewhere here! It's like this plan is all planned out! I just wonder how many days the fed would need to print to fund it all...




That's even better because as in the TV series after we blast the moon to the outer regions of the universe from a massive nuclear waste dump explosion ( now even 20% BETTER with a Fukushima infusion) we can go about with asteroid mining ready jobs in order to rebuild a new and improved Moon !!!

GDP to the Moon, Alice.....TO THE MOON !!!!!!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 22:23 | 3201118 trav777
trav777's picture

SeaLab 2025

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:12 | 3200643 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

We also need a moonbase!

That would be Space 1999 with Martin Landau.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:21 | 3200673 Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

I'll command the Firefly. The on-board companion alone is worth it, and I'd be free from the Federation.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:00 | 3200598 johnconnor
johnconnor's picture

No man, Palpatine disolved the Senate.. not a bad idea to disolve the Senate and the House if you ask me, a few less parisites and lobbiest sucking off the system

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:48 | 3200879 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

You have a much more twisted imagination than I do. And you look like a running, screaming, cartoon potato.

Fucking brilliant the correlation you just made to Darth Vader and Barecrack Openbagma. Now I'm wondering if George Lucas is the sire of Barecrack.

Edit: I am LOL'ing by the way.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 22:23 | 3201112 trav777
trav777's picture

dude, the Challenger blew up because fucking rubber O rings couldn't take the fucking COLD.

Odd failure modes are a HALLMARK of complex systems.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 22:44 | 3201159 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

"Odd failure modes are a HALLMARK of complex systems".

That's the technical way of saying; "We're winging it, and we won't know if it's safe until it blows up". Hey, I'm a fucking MIT Engineer bitchez! Trust Me!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:35 | 3200529 giddy
giddy's picture

...ummm...just as James Burnham describes in The Managerial Revolution...

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:44 | 3200555 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Thx, just found a few pdf's to read this weekend :)

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:43 | 3200548 Deacon Frost
Deacon Frost's picture

The Death Star is almost completed.

Fiat money creation without limit

Expansive government regulations



The ‘cost structure’ for businesses in the US makes no sense.

That is, the expenses that a firm must take into account when manufacturing a product or providing a service. Types of cost structures include transaction costs, marginal costs and fixed costs. Combining fixed costs with variable costs make up the total cost of production.

And in the end, it comes down to the ROI.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:48 | 3200564 daxtonbrown
daxtonbrown's picture

The solution to too many part time minimum wage jobs is to simply outlaw them.

Like Duh Tylers, Zerohedge is always making things so difficult.

And break some windows too, that's another one of those Duh moments.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 23:02 | 3201215 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

Did you spend your requisite 2 years READING ZH before commenting?

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:11 | 3200637 bobthehorse
bobthehorse's picture

Post-industrial America.

What a shithole.

The kings have capitalism have reduced us to slaves.


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:33 | 3200718 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

Already done and in place. It's call the Bernanke Death Print Star.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 21:25 | 3200956 Tango in the Blight
Tango in the Blight's picture

No build a Death Star and let Luke destroy it. Then build another Death Star and let Lando destroy it. It's the ultimate stimulus, so sayeth Obi Wan Bernanke.


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 17:56 | 3200387 outamyeffinway
outamyeffinway's picture

From the Death Star we can branch out and mine asteroids.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:18 | 3200465 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Just think of all the Stormtrooper positions!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:40 | 3200537 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

And we can sell Death Star shares to the Chinese upfront.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 21:42 | 3200992 scrappy
scrappy's picture

I loved to play Astroids in the day...


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 17:57 | 3200388 localsavage
localsavage's picture

Fuck it .....make the poverty level 15k and Obama can talk about how many he has lifted from poverty.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:03 | 3200412 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

The whole employment picture is very bleak.  We will not be growing jobs or growing the economy.


N N Taleb says in his new book that education FOLLOWS a nation's wealth.  That is, a country gets rich, THEN improves its education (I cannot provide collaborating info though).  He says there is NO EVIDENCE that improved education makes a country get richer.  Of course a degree sure does help MANY individuals do better...

If what Taleb says is true, then ALL MONEY spent by .gov on education is not only wasted, but a big negative.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:10 | 3200439 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

We will be growing weed to deal on the corners of the street

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:23 | 3200481 Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler's picture

"They" already do that in California.

Check out Mendocino County.

Any other ideas?

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:34 | 3200523 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Well than Americans should grow some balls to do something about their problems and get out of their fucking cough!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 22:33 | 3201143 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

"get out of their fucking cough"!

I think you meant couch, as in sofa, as in sofucking good to sit on as my ass gets bigger with every ton of Cheetohs I eat watching DWTS, NASCAR, football, etc.

My doctor once asked me to turn my head an "cough". That's the last time I ever went to him. I started seeing his wife after that.

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 03:34 | 3201726 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:28 | 3200706 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

Beautiful place. Ask Barbie, Hugh & Sir Douglas.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:18 | 3200827 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Yes, everyone becomes employed in some phase of the entertainment industry. Sports, movies, television, and porn.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:23 | 3200484 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

And the way things are going we will be smoking our own inventory since nobody can afford to buy it. I don't take EBT's or SNAP or whatever they call it these days. And I most certainly WILL NOT accept a blow job from a toothless hobo as payment either!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:26 | 3200540 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Education is subject to the same Demand/Supply as the rest of the market. If there is no demand for higher education or intelligent workers, then guess what, there will be no supply created for that demand. Doesn't matter if you given millions of degrees out a year, the demand from the market defines what those graduates actually need to know, and it creates the environment that teaches them how to think by putting them in realistic situations for those fields.


You can not educate people on how to think, or what they should think about. Only by actual experience and demanded ability can they learn these things.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:16 | 3200660 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Because wealth is created by actually producing something, not consuming it. These "well" educated kids today think life is just sitting around circle jerking for a big salary. You know, like CNBC pundits.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 17:57 | 3200389 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

and NOT ONE of those quarter jobs, is a public employee

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:26 | 3200501 DOT
DOT's picture

Not True !

States and public bodies such as universities are notorious abusers of the "limited term" employment agreement. No benefits, the guy working next to you makes $68K with all the perks, and you are out on your ass after 5 months.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:40 | 3200543 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Odd, the same people that I went through school with as my teachers are all still there in those schools.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:28 | 3200697 DOT
DOT's picture

Who runs the networks and makes sure all your old school chums (indoctrinators) get paid ?

edit: forgot my s








Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:36 | 3200724 Teamtc321
Teamtc321's picture

You should have checked native american even though you are probably not and wrote in progressive in your Bio. You would be sitting right in there still with the rest of the eater's. 

Problem solved eh...........Simple enough.


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:26 | 3200502 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Soon, we'll all be Public Servants, Comrade!

Forward, Soviet!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 17:58 | 3200395 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

Let's see..........a consumer based society that has 1/4 of the population below the poverty line meaning those in realistic poverty is a much higher %.  And what seems to be the problem????  It's hard to sell people stuff beyond rent and food.  Maybe that's why food is high?  They'll get all your money and then force you into borrowing it as well. Fuck them all this collapse is well deserved.  Of course it won't really hurt the rich they'll still have all that nasty gold they warn us about and the poor will just die.  End of story.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:00 | 3200399 clagr
clagr's picture

This is not suprising since the 'poverty level' is a function of the average earnings measure. It automatically goes up as incomes go up. It is calculated to be roughly at the 1/4 point.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:13 | 3200450 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

According to the Census Bureau..

"Poverty thresholds were originally derived in 1963-1964, using:

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture food budgets designed for families under economic stress.
  • Data about what portion of their income families spent on food."   


"..... updated for inflation using Consumer Price Index (CPI-U)."

I call bullshit on your statement......" It is calculated to be roughly at the 1/4 point."




Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:45 | 3200552 secret_sam
secret_sam's picture

That's not true.  Why would you make something like that up?

The poverty level was initially "asserted" by some arcane calculation mechanism in 1963, and has been calculated ever since by adding CPI adjustments.

Since FEDGOV completely distorts CPI, it's bound to be on the low side.

An individual qualifies as being "in poverty" if his/her household income is below $11,170, unless over the age of 65, in which case it's below $10,800.  I guess old folks don't need to eat as much.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:24 | 3200690 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Ha! We simply couldn't afford using the real poverty level.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:01 | 3200407 syntaxterror
syntaxterror's picture

get to work mr. chairman!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:12 | 3200446 Getting Old Sucks
Getting Old Sucks's picture

Chuckie's back!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:14 | 3200409 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

And the FED buying $85 Billion per month in MBS's and other financial deriviatives is supposed to help employment.

And Obamacare is going to encourage employers to hire full time career employees.

And the mountainous debt and deficit and unfunded liabilities won't crush the buying power of the ever shrinking amount of dollars made (or cause stagflation, bi-flation, or hyper-inflation).

I never realized a PhD in Economics included an emphasis in Fairy Tale Construction.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:24 | 3200489 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

well..  the Fed IS keeeping bankers employed........ (and very well compensated as well)

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:26 | 3200494 Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler's picture

"And the FED buying $85 Billion per month in MBS's and other financial deriviatives is supposed to help employment."

Yes.  Those employed at Goldman Sachs and other primary dealers.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:02 | 3200411 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Good thing...

Study: Nearly Half In U.S. Lack Financial Safety Net

Nearly 44 percent of Americans don't have enough savings or other liquid assets to stay out of poverty for more than three months if they lose their income, according to Wednesday's report by the Corporation for Enterprise Development. Almost a third have no savings accounts at all.

Recovery indeed.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:10 | 3200441 blabam
blabam's picture

We. are. fucked. 

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:11 | 3200444 Getting Old Sucks
Getting Old Sucks's picture

I don't even believe the 44% figure.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:21 | 3200836 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Yeah, it's more like 60-70%.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:25 | 3200492 azengrcat
azengrcat's picture

LOL why would you save money where creditors could get it?  Leverage to the max and jam all your savings in your retirement account(s).  If something bad happens go bankrupt and play the routlette wheel again.  If you don't have a job you can earn your EBT, cell phone, and free medical while sitting on fat 401K stacks.  If the printer keeps printing you gotta keep dancing.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:27 | 3200498 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

How the hell do you build a safety net when both hands are hanging onto a limb?

And those that did build one got holes cut in half of it in 2008, and since then are getting 0.35% interest, and are going to get reamed again by the next crash and the draconian taxes that CONgress will slap onto any and every IRA and 401K (if they don't just confiscate the money outright).

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:04 | 3200416 PAWNMAN
PAWNMAN's picture

It worked for Barack Hussein Obama. He assured himself a reliable voting block.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:05 | 3200417 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Start your own sweatshop!
what did you expect?

people want to pay as little as possible for stuff.
so people will earn as little as possible.

and now people are getting more poor, so they'll take even cheaper stuff...
causing.... even lesser pay
causing... them to pay even.... you fill in the rest...

next time you go to wallmart
next time you decide to buy on ebay because it's 5 bucks cheaper than in a store....
next time you buy the chinese crap version that costs half....

you do it to yourselves!
Not that I care. I go to the store and only buy what I need so I'm petty much a mightmare kind of guy for our consumption society :)

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:09 | 3200431 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

okay, this month I cheated.... I bought a drone on Ebay because... god knows why...
and I did buy some survival gear and some knives.... god knows why...
and I did order 4 boxes of MRE's... god knows why...
and I bought for about 4k silver coins.... Bernanke knows why :)

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:18 | 3200464 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

That's nothing... I'm in negotiations to purchase a used B-52. I'll show those fucking drones who's the boss!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:23 | 3200480 camaro68ss
camaro68ss's picture

as the ww2 boys use to slap on Swastikas for every german they shot down, you can slap on Obama "O" for all the reaper drowns you shoot down.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:26 | 3200495 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

with mine I can take of myself pilotting my drone from a height!!
427$ well spend!!!

A b52 sound cool but without a atomic bomb and clearence to fly over Hiroshima it's just a fuel gusler... just saying...

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:33 | 3200516 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

Forgot to mention it comes fully "loaded". I'll just fly it around daring somebody to shoot me down with live cargo on board. When fuel starts getting low I'll demand to be gassed up at the nearest Exxon station... or else...

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:42 | 3200532 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

You really figured this one out he.... you wouldn't be needing anybody to man the guns now would ya?
I'm a pro in Call of Duty!!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:48 | 3200568 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

Bring your drone. I'll load her in with the rest of the stuff and we can launch your drone out the rear cargo door from 40,000 feet.

America... fuck yeah!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:20 | 3200829 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

You guys know where I can get a F-16? I heard Egypt had a couple fall into their lap. Drones are cool too, but the garage won't fit a B-52....then there is the problem of taking off. Anywho, Abrams tanks are being looked into too, but I'd need a gunner. My daughter says she will only commandeer a drone so she's outta the question. She is more into the "death from above" thing.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:35 | 3200858 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

I've got a used Egyptian F-4 Phantom for sale at $25. You arrange shipping and repairing of existing bullet holes in the fuselage.

You must live in a nice town if your daughter won't pick up a rifle and start sniping from the roof of your ghetto. Kids... they shoot the darnedest things via drones in good neighborhoods.

Tanks and aircraft carriers are nothing more than sitting ducks these days. Fly it, fire it, or fuck it... the new recruiting strategy for the military.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 23:15 | 3201249 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

There's a dude selling a powered-parachute on Craigslist..................

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:43 | 3200551 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Sound to me like you've got size inferiority issues.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:46 | 3200560 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

Yes, I do. I'm worried about how small you are.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:06 | 3200615 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture


Now that's a reply I'll remember :)

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:37 | 3200726 strangeglove
strangeglove's picture

Gosh Sudden, we hardy knew ya!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 22:03 | 3201049 scrappy
Thu, 01/31/2013 - 00:12 | 3201397 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

scrappy: Is that why you smell like a fish?

(I know you've been reading Survivalblog). Keep stacking.

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 01:07 | 3201549 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Popping antibiotics indiscriminately is very risky and, just FYI, amox is pretty useless these days due to the rise of superbugs ( which arose due to the indiscriminate use of antibiotics!). Might as well use a pea shooter against a tank... But hey, if it makes you feel safer go for it.


Thu, 01/31/2013 - 03:02 | 3201704 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

Hey Miffed - The prepper community seems to think all sorts of fish mox and other animal anti-b's are the way to go without consulting a doctor. They don't want the hassle of getting an actual scrip from a family doctor. Can't blame them really.

I won't tell you how to weld or write computer code, but I sure would like you to stick around and edu-macate us simpletons about basic stuff you can write about in your field of expertise. Seriously, somebody needs to speak up about the antibiotic situation that knows something about it. I've always had the feeling that all the prepper talk about animal/fish anti-b's was not very informative, and perhaps dangerous.

You might just save some of us drug newbies some grief if you can help us look out for the dangers of using non scrip meds that were meant to treat animals.

Cheers - Angus

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 21:44 | 3204674 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Dear Angus,
You are a sharp cookie to know when to ask for advice. Guard that skill, it may save your life. Just because I have slept with a programmer for 30 years I would never presume to have any knowledge in that area, though I have been privy to some fascinating info about the construction of Skynet most average Joes never see. He and his colleagues would never delve into the clinical microbiological world without picking my brain as well.

I have been tempted to self medicate in the past when I was severely ill with the flu. I had a stash of Augmentin ( enhanced Amox) but I cultured my sputum before I took it. I had a bacteria called Moraxella catarrhalis which tested Beta lactamase positive. In essence that bacteria could destroy that antibiotic as fast as I could take it. I would have taken a lot of it before I had realized it was not working. During that time, that antibiotic would be killing the good bacteria that populate my body which act as sentries to make it hard for the bad bacteria to take hold. You see the precarious position you put yourself in. Now you are MORE likely to get a so called super bug. It is sad to watch people fall for this out of sheer fear and the magical belief popping some antibiotic will cure all ills. If that were so, I wouldn't have a job. I once had a patient who had a severe CSF infection and nearly died. We gave her a very dangerous antibiotic called Chloramphenicol. It did save her life. She came back a year later with an infection in her arm. She demanded the same antibiotic. We refused because the bacteria infecting her would not be sensitive to Chloramphenicol nor would it be ever used in anything but an infection in CSF. She left the hospital AMA (against medical advice) drove to Tijuana and got the antibiotic. She got aplastic anemia (common side effect ) and died about 6 months later. Sometimes you just can't save people from themselves. So, I urge everyone who has these delusions to look carefully at buying animal or fish antibiotics. Even if the purity is adequate there are many other issues like proper dosage and what bug is causing the infection, some have innate resistance so it's futile to randomly treat. Think of it this way. Say I tell you there is a bad person in a dark room full of people. Would you go in and start shooting randomly? Of course not because the number one rule firing a gun is identifying your target. The same holds true in my field and heaven help you if you violate it.

Any questions from the ZH community are very welcome. I am not a Dr but I will answer in my area of expertise. ZH has given me so much I am honored to pay back the debt I have to so many here for posting such valuable info I have found no where else.

Best wishes always and stay well!


Sat, 02/02/2013 - 22:02 | 3210147 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

Thanks Miffed - Sorry for the delayed reply. My "spidey senses" go on red alert when it comes to preppers giving medical or legal advice.
I'm just gonna stockpile garlic and eat a ton of it every day if the SHTF. Unless you have some observations about that???

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:38 | 3200534 RebelDevil
RebelDevil's picture

It all tracks back to one thing: OIL.
To blame the people for these high prices is a Randian view. The fact that no one in power wants a cheaper energy source is to blame for the increase of overall costs, regardless of inflation!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:04 | 3200418 joego1
joego1's picture

The only thing that keeps me from getting depressed about all this that I shedded my sheeple outfit and decoupled from the system a few years ago. Now I'm a prepped out fly on the wall watching it all go down.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:05 | 3200420 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Why is this not news to me?

Oh, that's right.  I read Zero HEdge.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:26 | 3200422 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

This NYT article is a 'seed'. Planted to start a narrative about the controls that will need to be put in place so that 'businesses' don't take the low road

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:45 | 3200553 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

I was thinking the same thing. Preempting and prepping people for wage and price controls.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:08 | 3200434 joego1
joego1's picture

These jobs don't count the under the table immigrant work force of course. Another option for employers to avoid having full time employees on the books.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:46 | 3200556 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

I'll work under the table, and I'm not an Immigrant. I also speak great English. Better to starve the beast than keep feeding it it so it can gobble me up.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 21:37 | 3200982 DosZap
DosZap's picture

These jobs don't count the under the table immigrant work force of course.

New stats out today, there are an estimated 40.4 Million undocs in the USA.(not just Hispanics).

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:09 | 3200437 Wilcat Dafoe
Wilcat Dafoe's picture

sorry if this is off thread - but doesn't thsi make it more likely that 'they' want to quickly start a nice world war?

I used to be very skeptical that WWI and WWII were planned by "bankers" well in advance, but it does seem a great way for those in power to escape a monetary crisis, as many of the posters there have suggested.

Posted this link already, hope that's forgiveable, but I think this is really... just an important article out of Iran:

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:22 | 3200475 ihedgemyhedges
ihedgemyhedges's picture

"sorry if this is off thread..."

What do you mean "if"?  Moron..................

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:26 | 3200703 frankthomaswhite59
frankthomaswhite59's picture

thanks wilcat

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:10 | 3200442 Motorhead
Motorhead's picture

But, hey, Dick "Oy Vey" Bove' sees banks going on a 14-year tear.


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:14 | 3200451 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

Poverty is the squeeze between capitalism and socialism. Most people can't float because the puppet masters have agenda's with just 2 pages: power & profit.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:15 | 3200456 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

My first thought is this where Unions should be making a comeback.  But who can even bother the time or the dues to get organized in this part-time scenario.  Rather expect some sort of "flashmob union efforts" via social media to become the norm where business are shut down for hours or days based on twitter organization. 

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:11 | 3200810 espirit
espirit's picture

That's worthy of a "Twit".

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:17 | 3200462 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

"Shovel ready jobs are in the wings."

"The green economy will be a game changer."

"Education is what is needed to prepare the future workforce."

"Free phones are necessary for everyone in today's workforce."


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:24 | 3200483 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:27 | 3200504 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

"You didn't build that."

"Housing has never dropped on a nationwide scale."

"There are no solvency issues."

"We are trasitioning to a service economy."

"Deficits don't matter."

"If I only had a trillion dollar platinum coin none of this would have happened."

"Would you like fries with that?"

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:01 | 3200788 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Hard pivot on jobs."

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:39 | 3200864 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

"We have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it."

"Read my lips - no new taxes."

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

"I believe that children are our future."

"When it becomes serious you have to lie."


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 21:10 | 3200932 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Eat your peas!"

"I can't guarantee Granny will get her check."


"Posted on-line at least 72hrs before a vote so the people can comment."


"Bitterly clinging..."

"If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon."

"If I had a son, I'm not sure I would let him play football."

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:19 | 3200469 Salt
Salt's picture

Watch your street corners. When certain job seekers start to get numerous and pretty you'll know you're really in the shit.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:23 | 3200476 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

"Yes, minion?"

"Your Imamness, we have 25% of the People below poverty."

"Not enough! Give me 100% or it's your head, minion!"

"Yes, your High-Ness."

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:23 | 3200482 jplotinus
jplotinus's picture

Tylers, would you please take into consideration that in America it is forbidden to say, publicize, print or publicly disseminate any fundamental criticism of capitalism.

You might be able to get away with saying, as you have, that "the US has now become an "employers' market." But, you are not allowed to say that capitalism actually seeks, covets and strives to pay people as little as possible and to keep them insecure and dependent.

ZH posters love to bandy about terms like "private sector this" and " free market that." However, they do not acknowledge, let alone take responsibility for the logical outcomes of what they purport to support.

Capitalism is the culprit here, pure and simple.

That is what must be overthrown if people in America are ever to be restored to a place where secure jobs with living wages and decent benefits and a secure retirement are to be had.

Capitalism is manifestly incapable of doing that. In fact, good jobs are not even a goal of capitalism. Good jobs mean it's an employees market, something that is anathema to capitalism where employers markets are the desired outcome.

The article is a good one. It becomes a better one when its observations are used to think the matter through to the root source of the problem.

That would be capitalism.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:32 | 3200513 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Did your mother ride a mule when she was pregnant or just sleep with one?

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:33 | 3200514 akak
akak's picture

I liked you better when you were condemning "US 'american' citizenism" in mangled Engrish.

Now it's on to "capitalism", eh?

I guess "capitalism" is the new mattering thing, the crustiest bit of it.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:43 | 3200550 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

Oh Noes... did AnAnonymous get booted by Tyler and have to sign up for a new name? If so, good catch akak.
Now, please step away from the roadside shitting scene while forensics tries to get a DNA match.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 18:56 | 3200569 akak
akak's picture


Now, please step away from the roadside shitting scene while forensics tries to get a DNA match.

Won't work --- it will mostly just show post-wok canine and feline DNA anyway.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!