Abbott & Costello Explain The Unemployment Situation

Tyler Durden's picture

Sometimes you just have to laugh!!

h/t Feral Irishman via Jim Quinn's Burning Platform blog,

COSTELLO:  I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America  .
ABBOTT: Good Subject.  Terrible Times.  It’s 5.6%.
COSTELLO:  That many people are out of work?
ABBOTT: No, that’s 23%.  
COSTELLO: You just said 5.6%.
ABBOTT:  5.6% Unemployed.
COSTELLO:  Right 5.6% out of work. 
ABBOTT: No, that’s 23%.
COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s  23% unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 5.6%. 
COSTELLOWAIT A MINUTE. Is it 5.6% or 23%? 
ABBOTT: 5.6% are unemployed.  23% are out of work. 
COSTELLO: If you are out of work you are unemployed. 
ABBOTTNo, Congress said you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed.  You have to look for work to be unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, you miss his point.
COSTELLO:  What point?
ABBOTTSomeone who doesn’t look for work can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair. 
COSTELLO: To whom?
ABBOTT: The unemployed.  
COSTELLO: But ALL of them are out of work.  
ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work gave up looking 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 it gets to 5.6%. Otherwise it would be 23%.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are 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 have people stop looking for work.
ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like an Economist. 
COSTELLO:  I don’t even know what the hell I just said!  
ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like a Politician.


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JoeSexPack's picture

I know what Joo mean...

booboo's picture

So when Joos gets paid Joos pick up his check?

Joos wife.

that what I want to know.

Thats right

Whats Right

No, Whats on third




Model T's picture

Perfect; I"m going to print that out and hang it on the wall above my computer monitor; right next to the print out of the Market Watch front pag e with the banner headline; "Worldwide Wreckage", from Oct. 6,2008  I"m saving the space on the right of that page for whatever they print when the real worldwide wreckage occurs; soon; now.

JustObserving's picture

David Stockman looks at 5.5% unemployment:

At the present time, there are 210 million adult Americans between the ages of 16 and 68—to take a plausible measure of the potential work force. That amounts to 420 billion potential labor hours, if we accept the convention that all adults are at least theoretically capable of holding a full-time job (2,000 hours/year) and pulling their share of society’s need for production and work effort.

By contrast, during 2014 only 240 billion hours were actually supplied to the US economy, according to the BLS estimates. Technically, therefore, there were 180 billion unemployed labor hours, meaning that the real unemployment rate was 42.9%, not 5.5%!

WTFUD's picture

It's sad, so sad, it's a sad sad situation and it's getting more and more absurd. . .

q99x2's picture

This has really been one of the best times to live. You get "free" money (not to participate in a revolution) and you get to go to college for "free."

That is of course if you are not one of the 2 million mid-easterners that have been murdered by the fascists.

kowalli's picture

free money will stop next year

Model T's picture

Laughter is the Best Medicine; according to t he 'Readers' Digest' ; seems to be taking a while to take effect, tho.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Actually, it's even easier if you don't count people going on disability as unemployed either. In Cali unemployment is $450/week. Disability is $1075/week for a $100k salary. It's not too hard to see what will happen.


suteibu's picture

Ridicule is a powerful tool against these people.  They should be mocked and harangued at every opportunity.

Dr. Engali's picture

Isn't there a law against carrying sticks in a public place? I heard they were dangerous.

Dr. Engali's picture

Got news for you Georgie porgie..... WWIII started years ago, we're just getting to the fireworks.

JustObserving's picture

Soros has done more than his share in starting WW III with his rabid hate of Putin and support for arming Ukraine with the most lethal of US weapons.

If Soros had died 10 years ago, it would still have been 50 years too late.

NuYawkFrankie's picture

Any WW3 - and Soros is gonna be one of the very first on the receiving-end.  Guaranteed.  Count on it.

1stepcloser's picture

its a Finger Bang Abbott...

manhattanexile's picture

I'm an excelent driver!!


Three minutes to Wapner!!

I-am-not-one-of-them's picture

plus ça change PAS, plus c'est la même chose

NuYawkFrankie's picture

Good Ol' Lou Costello - one of the All Time Greats!

Done more for humanity than that Congress Of Creeps has ever done - or will ever do.

Troy Ounce's picture



Unemployment would shoot up to 23% again if it was politically correct to include unemployed who gave up looking for work but actually wanted to work again.



Ancient Landmark's picture

You forgot about those who go to jail.