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America's Transition To A Part-Time Worker Society Accelerates As Part-Time Jobs Hit Record

Tyler Durden's picture


Back in December 2010 Zero Hedge was the first to point out what is easily the most troubling characteristic within America's evaporating labor force: its gradual transition to a part-time worker society. We elaborated on this back in February when we noted that the quality assessment of US jobs indicates that this most disturbing trend is accelerating. Finally, yesterday, the BLS' latest jobs report confirmed that our concerns have been valid all along: as of May, part-time jobs just as disclosed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics hit an all time high, over 28 million! These are people who traditionally have zero job benefits, including healthcare and retirement, and which according to the BLS "work less than 35 hours per week." In other words, as little as one hour per week of "work" is enough to classify one a part-time worker. More disturbing: the increase in part-time jobs in May compared to April: 618,000, or the fifth highest on record. It gets better: when added with the 508,000 increase in part-time jobs in April, this is the largest two month increase in part time-jobs in history. Which means of course that full time jobs in May must have declined: sure enough, at a -266,000 drop in full time jobs, the quality composition of the NFP report was just abysmal and makes any reported "increase" in those employed into a sad farce.

Part-time jobs:


Full-time jobs:


And the punchline: Part-time vs Full-time jobs:

Source: BLS

The chart above hardly needs further clarification: since the December 2007 start of the depression, full time jobs have declined by 6.9 million while part-time jobs have increased by 3.1 million.



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Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:13 | 2487549 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Just like Germany... Germans are forced, by law, to work a maximum of 35 hours a week. Won't be long before that comes to America... part time work... forced by law...

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:38 | 2487602 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Uh, I know plenty of Germans who work more than 35 hours per week and get paid for it.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:51 | 2487625 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

They're not living in Germany if they are.  I have had people need to call me back from their home office because they couldn't be in their factory office after official work hours.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:17 | 2487663 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

A quick word about Germany and its future.

They will be vassals of Russia within 2 years.  Germany is shutting down all its nuke power plants and will be hugely dependent on Russia for the replacement nat gas required.

Russia will wait until the nukes are sufficiently dismantled to be past the point of no return and then simply instruct Germany in policy choices.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:33 | 2487704 Motorhead
Motorhead's picture

Much to the delight of Gerhard Schroeder.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:48 | 2487720 Cast Iron Skillet
Cast Iron Skillet's picture

There was an article in a German newspaper the other day that photovoltaic installations in Germany recently produced a record 22,000 Megawatts (roughly the equivalent fo 22 nuclear power plants) of electric power. Germany also has coal and wind power plants, and it purchases electricity as needed from France.

I don't think Germans are going to become the vassals of anyone.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:21 | 2487785 toady
toady's picture


I was lumping the Germans in with the rest of Northern Europe, saying they would be at the Mercy of Russia for heat in the winter, but a little research showed your comments.

The rest of Northern and Eastern Europe is another story...

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 18:42 | 2487906 montana1978
montana1978's picture

It looks like Germany will be taking over Europe again after the EU collapses.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 10:05 | 2488912 uhb
uhb's picture

We lost the wars , but we just might win the peace ;) !

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:22 | 2487786 StormShadow
StormShadow's picture

Just wait, the Russians will load their rplanes and make chemtrails to alter the weather to produce hail to smash the solar panels ;)

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 10:22 | 2488941 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

I don't think Germans are going to become the vassals of anyone.

The way they could become of Russia is if Russia becomes a vassal to the US and the US transfers vasselage of Germany from the US to Russia.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 10:40 | 2488965 Overfed
Overfed's picture

To rely on power generation that is dependent on the weather is the height of stupidty.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 13:15 | 2489325 rayduh4life
rayduh4life's picture

Ever hear of hydro electric? 

Mon, 06/04/2012 - 14:55 | 2492939 miszczuk
miszczuk's picture

Yes. Ever calculated the necessary area for this? When you finished this task then please consider that it took around 15 years before the new train station in Stuttgart/Germany could be build.

Mon, 06/04/2012 - 14:46 | 2492904 miszczuk
miszczuk's picture

This was during a bright summer day, the avarage power within a year is around 1500 MW. As long there is no way to store the energy in an efficient manner photovoltaic and wind power are great ways to waste ressources and shovel money into the pockets of they so called environmentalists. The consumer will pay for this lunacy 55 billion € in the next 25 years for photovoltaic alone. It get's 10 years for the owner of a company which produces windmills to become a billionaire - all the money coming from the consumers paying for something they will get cheaper without the benefit of green energy.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:12 | 2487771 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Well, I guess that's a business opportunity for... er, IG Farben.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 20:58 | 2488076 potlatch
potlatch's picture

you rock dude.  but you are forgetting: the Black Forest.  These have for centuries been set aside as emergency fuel reserves.  These reserves are designed and maintained to provide just enough fuel for the Fatherland until every angry German kid in the world zombie marches and face eats his way to Moscow or Moscow realizes the foolishness of its ways, which ever comes first. 


Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:21 | 2487676 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Uh, I've seen plenty of German offices lit up and occupied as late as midnight, and people were actually making phone calls, but some places do shut off heat and lights after a certain hour. Really, folks, you should check your facts before making these sweeping generalisations.

Tariff workers do occasionally work overtime, but get paid overtime, so it is generally frowned upon both for cost purposes as well as labour relations, since booking too many overtime hours makes the Unions' case for more workers to be added. Non-Tariff workers and Leitender (management) might have official office hours, but many of them work well in excess of 35 hours per week, in most cases if they feel like having a career.

France, on the other hand, did have legally mandated 35 hour work week, which was even extended to management. I know plenty of French managers who still worked more than 35 hours in a given week, who made up for it by taking comp days at some other point in the year, though the comp days still went unused.

You do what you have to do.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:39 | 2487713 Cast Iron Skillet
Cast Iron Skillet's picture

I work as a manager in a German office every day. My contract requires a 40 hr work week. Some of the others in the group have a 37.5 hr work week, but that is in no way a mandatory maximum, it's more of a minimum. Most work overtime as required by the job.

The German labor LAW (rather than the union tariff agreement) is not that tight. It calls for 10-hour maximum work days with 14 hours of rest between work periods, and a maximum of 6-day work weeks. Exceptions to these maximums (to allow workers to work MORE, not less) can be made under special circumstances.

The tariff agreements that many companies have with the unions are generally much more restrictive.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 22:39 | 2488285 johnnynaps
johnnynaps's picture

Damn, I knew that living in Germany would have been nice 12 years ago. Meanwhile, I was raped here in the states with 70 hour workweeks. Free......ha.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:46 | 2488546 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

And watch Temps do the job and leave when it's done at 10 AM leaving you to ride the clock.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 20:17 | 2488018 GOSPLAN HERO
GOSPLAN HERO's picture


Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:47 | 2487616 timbo_em
timbo_em's picture

35h/week forced by law? Are you referring to the mid 90s? A lot has changed since then. Today, labour agreements are far more flexible. And it was never forced by law. By law labour agreements are up to the unions and the employer associations.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:51 | 2487628 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



America 2 day:  Full-Time Part-Time until Half-Time.  Then it's Bud-Time.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:44 | 2487823 Michael
Michael's picture

Just watch this shit if you want to know everything that is fucking wrong with our country and the rest of the fucking world.

best of walstreetpro2 (greatest fuckin hits) - 1 of 3

best of walstreetpro2 (greatest fuckin hits) - 2 of 3

best of walstreetpro2 (greatest fuckin hits) - 3 of 3

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 20:39 | 2488046 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

More likely the reversal of trend. Working 80 hours a week for a piece of bread. Good luck feeding your family.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:48 | 2488548 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

I tell you what.

9 to 5 only for everything except Mission Critical Facilities and Hospitals.

Yes that means Taco Bell closes at 6 PM every day. Not stay open until 3 am.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:05 | 2488086 potlatch
potlatch's picture

your reasoning is unsound. For a fee, I can advise.  Cash only, USD only.  Limited time offer; will barter for food thereafter.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:26 | 2488122 Landrew
Landrew's picture

You are so clueless it's hard to know where to start or if you could even understand. It's about wages moron! Wages went up hours went down. More employment. You should really get  out of your mothers basement now and then and see how the world lives.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:17 | 2487557 RmcAZ
RmcAZ's picture

But more part time jobs mean that more full time jobs are coming soon, right? Bullish.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:52 | 2487832 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

Obama gave an executive order that all part time jobs should pay $200/hr. 

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:12 | 2488504 potlatch
potlatch's picture

Robin Williams just called me into his office and kept repeating "You're gonna get a job. You're gonna get a job," then we had a moment, now I feel hopeful

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:17 | 2487558 yabyum
yabyum's picture

Part time work no benefits, no future. Welcome to America. The people who bitch about unions the most, need them the most.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:32 | 2487588 LasVegasDave
LasVegasDave's picture

Your Unions are one of the main causes of the problem, friendo

Why risk being held hostage to parasitic unions (and Obama care, mandatory pensions, unemployment/workers comp, etc.. ) when you can

a. outsource

b. hire temps

c. use part timers

See a problem, thank a union

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:41 | 2487605 JR
JR's picture

It’s called “crony socialism.”

‘…pension benefits for Wisconsin public employees are roughly 4.5 times more valuable than private sector levels while health benefits are about twice as generous as those paid by larger private sector Wisconsin employers. This difference results in a combined salary-benefits compensation premium of around 22 percent for state workers over private sector workers, with varying but often larger pay advantages for local government employees. ‘

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:54 | 2487636 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

But given those figures--the reason why there's disparity between public and private has less to do with unions (which have been losing power since the 1970s) and much more to do with "a system that threw everyone overboard 30 fuckin years ago..."

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:24 | 2487690 Sluggo91
Sluggo91's picture

Unions in the private sector have been declining for decades but there is still a very prominent union presence in the public sector (teachers, fire fighters, etc.)  Explain how California can sustain a system where firefighters are retiring at 50 with $125k/yr pensions until they die?  Can't be done.  Don't disagree with Mr Carlin about the system.  But public sector unions seem quite content to stick it to the rest of us in order to keep their benefits and pensions.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:33 | 2487705 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

I don't think anyone can sustain pensions like that, and I don't disagree with that point. But on the other hand, those are not the most common pensions in the public sector. For example, State employees average around $2100.00 a month, and they had to pay into that for 20 years to get it (almost all the big firefighter/police pensions are negotiated and paid at the local level, since fire and police are local hires--and some of those deals have been pretty generous--too generous in some places.)

Given all that, it's not out of the question to question the pensions. Something has to change, otherwise we're going to see more cities and counties go bankrupt. Just need to keep in mind not all public pensions are the same--and I think it was a huge mistake to let local gov'ts enroll their employees in CalPERS. That fund should have been for state employees only.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:39 | 2487714 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I knew I should have majored in garbage collecting in college...

7 years... Down the drain!

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 18:20 | 2487873 Ranger4564
Ranger4564's picture

Fail.  Sanitation Engineer, please. 

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:08 | 2488090 potlatch
potlatch's picture

Street beautician.  Civil cosmetology school degree required, MA minimum, Ph.D preferred.  Inquire at desk.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:49 | 2488552 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

We used to have those come up pushing a barrel on wheels along the curb with broom and dustpan.

Every morning 7 am without fail.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 22:42 | 2488291 stocktivity
stocktivity's picture

There are no more garbage collectors in the US. Now they are called garbage technicians. Every job is a "technician"...even minimum wage fast food employees. It just sounds better to the part time work force with no hope.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:16 | 2488506 potlatch
potlatch's picture

If they thought that, someday, they could retire to a nice modest cottage in the woods, they would gladly work as garbage collectors.  It's not the lack of future in the job that is killing us, because bus drivers and such have been around forever: it's the growing feeling that, there is no payoff, and eventually, I will get too old, and I will have nothing.


A cottage.  A lake.  Maybe a little fishing boat.  Are you kidding me?


That is all 99% of the citizenry want "at the end of the day."  That's not hope; that's just called not fucking workers up the ass.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:51 | 2488554 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Need a 50K boat, 40K trailer, 60K SUV and about 70K of Garage and 30K of dock to keep it all.

You can conserve money buy a house boat and keep a Fortwo on the public ramp.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 11:33 | 2489085 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

Every job is a "technician"...even minimum wage fast food employees.

Every worker is a "team member".

It's like the old joke, instead of getting a raise, you get a "title".

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 18:33 | 2487890 Michael
Michael's picture

25% of workers are eligible for a government pension and the 75% of workers who don't get a pension when they retire have to guarantee pension payments to those 25% who do get a pension. Great fucking system.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 19:03 | 2487928 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

You do know that gov't pensions are deferred compensation for work performed today, right?

Pay now or pay later.

I bet most gov't employees would prefer to be paid now--they could invest as they see fit. It'd also give the public a better leg up on negotiating overall compensation.

The problem? The gov't wouldn't have a pension piggy bank to raid whenever revenues fell and they had to cut services.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 20:12 | 2488010 spooz
spooz's picture

Right.  They'd rather have 401K in this economy over defined benefits.  I don't think so.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 20:40 | 2488041 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

No--the ones I know want 50% physical PM in small denominations (good for barter--no need for a hacksaw) and the rest to pay off debt. Maybe even stock up on ammo.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:12 | 2488095 potlatch
potlatch's picture

You know doctor, people either are thinking on the time scale you are, or they are not.  You are correctly observing, that the collapse of the wage world is not due to public sector employees, but rather a much broader trend of wage depression, in which the public sector workers have merely managed to escape either by hook or by crook.


I find it funny, because on the one hand lots of posters to this site understand, you cannot just squeeze the workers forever, or they will revolt.  On the other hand, some of these same posters piddle around with recent term symtoms such as public sector exceptionalism.  They aren't connecting the dots.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:34 | 2488136 Landrew
Landrew's picture

Well said my friend! Now if those who hate teachers could read what you wrote they would learn something!

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:53 | 2488560 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

You cannot compete with one who sits in the Government making 120K a year and expects at least that much in insurance, life ins etc for free.

Just try paying for a private sector worker those kinds of wages.

Aint happening.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 11:35 | 2489095 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

That would be true if government jobs paid less than similar private sector jobs, which used to be the case in NJ. But now, government jobs pay as well, or better, plus the pension and full retirement benefits.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:59 | 2487751 JR
JR's picture

It is the power of the public employee unions that have destroyed the union image. They represent a political pressure group and they apply pressure to the legislators and the supervisors and city councils and other officials who would rather meet their demands than to spar with them at election time.

It was never intended that public employees form unions; it was bound to create all kinds of problems, and the problems they created are here now. And the problem is that public service unions negotiating for their benefits don’t negotiate with their employer - the public. Instead, the negotiator is the politician who has no skin in the game; to give public employees more money and more benefits doesn’t come out of his pocket; he’s not the employer. Whereas when Ford Motor Co. negotiates with the auto workers, the more benefits it gives, the more it has to pay; it is negotiating with its own money. This is a totally different situation.

Many states previously outlawed public employee unions because of the power of these unions to hold the public hostage to extortionist demands by threatening power outages, lack of police and fire protection, arbitrary shutdown of schools while parents are at work…  Size also is power. For instance: the top employers in the city of San Jose, California, according to the 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, and listed by number of employees are: 1)  County of Santa Clara, 15,360; 2) Cisco Systems, 11,600; 3) IBM, 7,460; 4) City of San Jose, 6,620; 5) San Jose State University, 3,100; 6) eBay, 3,000; 7) Hitachi, 2,900; 8) San Jose Unified School District, 2,690; 9) Xilinx, 2,340; 10) Sanmina-SCI, 2,170; 11) Kaiser Permanente, 2,120; 12) Adobe Systems, 2,000; 13) Good Samaritan Hospital, 1,850; 14) KLA Tencor, 1,770; 15) Cadence Design Systems, 1,516.,_California

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:13 | 2487772 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

I don't think they're as powerful as they're painted to be--certainly not at the state level, otherwise there'd be no furloughs or pay cuts or increases in medical contributions, and they would have seen regular raises over the past 15 years instead of being tossed another hoilday every now and then in exchange for no raise. BTW--did you know it is illegal in California for a state employee union to go on strike?

So if they can't strike, where is the power?

You do hear about financial power--but I doubt that it comes close to the corporate power exercised over politicos. You know why California has no severence tax on oil extraction? (unlike Alaska and Texas) Because the oil companies contribute heavily to every politician in the state. It gets squashed everytime it's brought up.

Unions aren't perfect. But if those who labor can't get together and negotiate for their wages, then you have what we have today in the private sector. Is that a good alternative?

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 19:48 | 2487987 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

The power is here:   Forced dues on forced members is funneled to the Dem pols who featherbed for public unions.    See also "California, Governor Moonbeam"

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 20:52 | 2488051 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

Dude that is so frickin Koch Bros talking point. Gov 'Moonbeam' just got the unions to agree to pay cut in the middle of a contract and no one is going to court over it, unlike old Schwartzyhummer. And they expect major cuts and layoffs--no battle.

But watch carefully when they start cancelling all the private contracts with the state--the contractors will scream bloody murder about the sanctity of contracts, the loss of services to the public etc.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:37 | 2488143 Landrew
Landrew's picture

Well said! In fact I would love to read your thoughts in an article? Bravo! Bravo!

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 23:12 | 2488363 JR
JR's picture

Dr. K, I am not aware of any cut in teachers’ salaries by Jerry Brown. In fact,” Brown announced that K-12 education (i.e., the teachers’ unions) will be spared budget cuts in his budget proposal. Pleas site your sources.

And, according to California’s San Luis Obispo Tribune May 31: “State employees temporarily lost pay through furloughs ordered by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger." BUT "The cut was about 14 percent but pay has since been restored and relatively few state workers have lost their jobs to layoffs.”

Read more here:

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:57 | 2488564 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

And you will never be aware of any cuts to teachers pay by Jerry Brown. They don't work for him. They work at the school district level and are not state employees.

With regard to prior furloughs, most state employees lost thousands of dollars in wages over two years (in addition to paying state income taxes--what a treat. You work for the state, you get to contribute more to gov't than the average taxpayer.) They were restored during the third year of the current contract and supposedly there would be no further cuts--but less than a year in to the final year, another 5% cut.

Everyone knows that this isn't the last cut. It's the first cut of the new 'normal'--meaning if you plan to stay on, plan on earning far less than you started with.

But enough of the boo-hoo-hoo. Given what's going on in Europe and Wall street, pretty soon we're all going to be scrounging--public or private. Unions wil be gone. So will the middle class.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 22:53 | 2488312 JR
JR's picture

The power of the public sector unions comes from the money they raise through their dues which can be used on the negotiators, namely the politicians, to support or reject them. And speaking of California, Governor Jerry Brown is a perfect example of how powerful these public unions are because he is crossed with $16 billion in debt facing a tax increase to save the unions. He’s caught between the public and the powerful unions who are trying to hold onto their obscene wage and benefit packages that are literally bankrupting the cities and the state.

Taxpayers not only have to pay for these above average salaries, but now have to guarantee them 8% or more earnings on their Big Retirements. Already government salaries are 30 percent higher than those in the private sector and their benefits 70 percent higher, according to BLS.

To say that these public sector unions don’t have any power in the face of these development is not to be paying attention.

And btw, it was Jerry Brown who allowed the teachers in California to unionize during his 1975–83 term and they are a major reason why he is once again the governor of California.  The 325,000 member California Teachers Association also is a supporter of Mexican immigration, using Mexican immigration into the California school systsem to increase their power and income.  Hispanics now make up close to 50% of California’s student population; whites comprise only 31% of California’s students.

And, in answer to your claim that "it is illegal in California for a state employee union to go on strike," according to the 2.1 million Service Employees International Union (SEIU): “In a case brought to the California Supreme Court by SEIU in 1985, the court held that strikes by public employees are legal in California….  state law provides that the strike can be legal even if a contract contains a ‘No Strike’ clause...”

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:24 | 2488520 potlatch
potlatch's picture

Those ratios will only widen.  If it can't be automated and reduced to a turnkey, capital wants nothing to do with it.  I do not think there is some evil municpal dragon somewhere gobbling up economic sectors; much rather, capital sheds that which it loathes to have to work for capital, to the public sector.  If you get a rumble somewhere, it is not the governmental dragon, but capital, wanting a sector to be given to it.  If they want it, it is because they have seen profit in it, ie, automation and eventual turnkey.


dragons are rhetorical devices used by wizards to scare children: they do not exist.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:06 | 2488088 potlatch
potlatch's picture

agree sir

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:25 | 2487608 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

"See a problem, thank a union."


uh huh...


Perhaps you've logged into the wrong news website? CNN is that way ---->



To clarify: if you're down on unions, fine, but make your case and ditch the MSM talking points. This is the Fight Club. We like it because it isn't full of unsupported BS like the other media blogs.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:30 | 2487699 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Try making your case for unions.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:43 | 2487718 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

Sure. If you want to earn a living and support a family without having a college degree, and you don't have the wherewithal to start your own business, you'd want to join a trade union and earn a living wage with benefits. Otherwise, you won't earn shit, you'll retire into poverty, and you're likely to end up on public assistence sooner or later, especially if you have a family and need medical help.

This was true 30 years ago, and it's still true today. The diff is now about 50% of the population is now poor or near poor and there are not enough jobs to get them out of the hole. Are unions responsible for that? I don't see how, but hey, I don't know everything.

I do know that through the mechanations of the Fed, real earnings across the board have declined by about 25%-30% over the same period of time


How's that?

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:13 | 2487777 LasVegasDave
LasVegasDave's picture

Its always easier to be a parasite than a producer

Unions only exist through the use of force.


Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:31 | 2487806 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

"Its always easier to be a parasite than a producer"


No doubt about it. The slimy bastards over at the Teamsters are trying to offload a large part of their 52 trillion dollar derivatives portfolio onto a FDIC insured bank as we speak. They're about to get downgraded by Moodys by about three pegs and when that happens they'll lose all their contracts if they can't get someone else to insure their bullshit holdings, which means they'll fold like a fucking house of cards and bring down the economy. The bill will probably end up in the taxpayers lap--which would be bad, since 52 trillion is also the entire GDP of the US.

Oops. Did I say Teamsters? Sorry. I meant Morgan Stanley.


Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:36 | 2487816 LasVegasDave
LasVegasDave's picture

It's a tough choice who has done more harm to the US economy, Morgan Stanley or the Teamsters.  Hard to defend either.

Nice that you recognize they are both parasites.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:51 | 2487827 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

Everyone is a parasite in a fiat based economy, whether they want to be or not.

But some parasites are MUCH bigger.



Got my figures mixed up. 52 trillion is not the GDP of the US.

It's the GDP of the entire world.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 20:47 | 2488058 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

"But some parasites are MUCH bigger."


You must be talking about the corrupt union leaders...

Good diagnosis, Doc.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 20:58 | 2488077 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

Yeah, because the union bosses have made it impossible to discover prices on Wall Street, which has led to the malinvestment of trillions of dollars around the globe and the corruption of our entire political and economic infrastructure, not to mention the fact that with every fed note we gleefully put into circulation we are borrowing from our grandchildren's grandchildren, since they'll be paying that loan off long after we turn to dust (check your pocket--that's a loan from a private bank, not money.) Bastards.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:08 | 2488091 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

I refuse to give corrupt union leaders a pass because corrupt bankers appear larger.

There are many bastards, Dr...
That's exactly why we're here.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:22 | 2488116 potlatch
potlatch's picture

ratio = latin.  related: reason = English.  pertaining to proportion, or the capacity to see proportion, or to be proportionate.  Yes sir.  Lots of bastards.  Let's be rational about it.  I'm long reason, despite the idjits.  But sir, and I am not accusing you of this, just stating my position, to argue that the union system is or has been a greater destructive force to the economic world in toto that the world of high finance, that is an irrational seeing of things.  Someone has cataracts, and it ain't me.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:45 | 2488157 Landrew
Landrew's picture

Yeah you are right higer wages are the worst! We should give more to the rich, they will know how what is good for us. Higher wages are a sin. We should all work for less if you are not part of the 1% that is!

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 23:39 | 2488406 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

It is appropriate to not blindly trust.
You appear to place your trust in those who you assume are doing you a favor.

Paying your union dues is feeding the rich.
And depending on your particular situation, by extension perhaps even putting your livelihood in peril.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:26 | 2487797 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

So either way you depend on the public teat.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:18 | 2488105 potlatch
potlatch's picture

It is not difficult to arrange so an honest man can retire to a modest cottage at the end of a productive life.  it really isn't.  It just takes a sense of conscience./

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:55 | 2488562 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Your Company cannot last that long.

You can expect to either faceplant the whole thing aka facebook style in a decade or become a Union/Govt Contractor to survive.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:21 | 2487688 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

a,b,c are widely done in industries where there are no unions and never have been any unions.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 10:24 | 2488942 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Why risk being held hostage to parasitic unions (and Obama care, mandatory pensions, unemployment/workers comp, etc.. ) when you can

a. outsource

b. hire temps

c. use part timers

See a problem, thank a union

Well, kicking out unions does not kick out outsourcing, hire temps, use part timers.

So... Another fallacy from US citizens as per usual.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:26 | 2487693 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Fuck. You.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:25 | 2487795 StormShadow
StormShadow's picture

Unions are NOT the answer.  That's like amputating my arm because I have a hangnail.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:26 | 2488120 potlatch
potlatch's picture

I get it!  Wow. 



For a fee, I will disclose what the Oracle above has said.  All fees to go through legal firm of Whyohwhy, Cantourschools, Teachourkids, and Tonotbemorons

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:32 | 2487807 narnia
narnia's picture

The problem isn't part time work. The problem is that we cannot afford the $6.5 trillion + of involuntary transactions and all of the other lags on productivity and related inflation governments throw in our laps with total compensation from part time work.

I'm one who believes the end game of a free society is so much deflation in what we need & want that a couple days a week is all we need to contribute support ourselves & family.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:36 | 2487814 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture



I remember back in the 1970s that the futurists thought our biggest problem would be finding things to do with all our spare time, as computers were going to radically increase productivity and we'd all be working part-time. Of course they assumed that workers would see most of the benefit of that increase in productivity...

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 22:25 | 2488251 Binko
Binko's picture

Damn, I'm glad to see somebody else mention this. It was hugely accepted in the 60s and 70s that the benefits of automation would be shared throughout society and we would all be working fewer hours while also enjoying a higher standard of living.

But nobody imagined the kind of wealth accumulation that we see today. Nobody imagined something like a Walmart where one family acquires $100 billion in wealth on the backs of millions of minimum wage workers.

Also that was a more idealistic time. Back then we didn't know just how cold-blooded and greedy people can be. Most rich people are perfectly happy to put the screws down on workers and drive wages down below a subsistence level if it means they can buy a 10th luxery car or a 5th mansion or whatever. There are no limits to the greed of those who are already well off it seems.


Sat, 06/02/2012 - 23:29 | 2488393 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

"There are no limits to the greed of those who are already well off it seems."

So then, you find these people exempt from your philosophy:

Among the Top 10 unions, dozens of top officials have salary-and-benefit packages that rank them among the top percentage of income-earners in the country.

Or do you pick and choose your definition of greed?


Sun, 06/03/2012 - 04:55 | 2488687 JuicedGamma
JuicedGamma's picture

I guess no one thought to play Parker Bros. Monopoly as an economic model.

The only way out is a full reset, coming to a continent near you.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 11:30 | 2489076 narnia
narnia's picture

$100 billion is about 4.5 days of federal, state & local direct spending. Productivity has been more than stripped by inflation & taxation.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:56 | 2488563 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

And eliminate pencil/paper.

But no... they increase the paper load by the Triplicate.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 18:01 | 2487847 Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture

Unions, the all time best money maker for the Mafia.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 19:29 | 2487961 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

If you've looked around lately, you'll notice the MafIA is pretty much gone. All their best talent has gone over to the bigger and badder IA, the C-IA. Much better protection of the rackets and drug trade than under the MafIA.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:30 | 2488527 potlatch
potlatch's picture

The CIA works with Luca Brasi now?  I woulda thought that a bit.... hamfisted.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:19 | 2487560 duo
duo's picture

A third of the workforce in Japan is part time, living on the equivalent of $18-20K a year.  With their parents, of course.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:22 | 2487566 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

= US college graduates

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:12 | 2487670 JR
JR's picture

Fed policies, recognized by the wafting of economic bubbles blowing and bursting, have consequences. For instance, this by Architecture Lab:

The Death of Architecture

“The last few years haven’t been kind to architects. The once-booming construction sector has been brought to a near-standstill by the housing bubble’s burst and the economic downturn that followed.

“’New study shows architecture, arts degrees yield highest unemployment,” a Washington Post headline announced in January. Based on 2009 and 2010 Census Bureau data, the Georgetown University study showed a nearly 14 percent unemployment rate among architecture school graduates…

And, according to Benson's Economic & Market Trends in January: The latest statistics show a vast swarm of newly minted law degrees, and virtually no need for new corporate counsels or ambulance chasers.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:44 | 2487722 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

Sign(s) of the Times. 

My sister attends a liberal arts college and is pursuing a creative writing degree.  It is her life and I support whatever will make her happy, but she knows that the job prospects are bad and she is terribly out of shape physically.  Sadly, she is a typical American college student. 

I tell her to learn a trade and get in the best shape possible.  Even if you don't have any farming knowledge or experience as a carpenter, you can always grab a shovel or carry some lumber.  Earn your keep with an honest days work. 

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:05 | 2487757 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture



Even if you don't have any farming knowledge or experience as a carpenter, you can always grab a shovel or carry some lumber.....

So.... you told your college-aged sister that she needs to learn farming, carpentry or be strong enough to carry lumber?  Do you know what a GIRL is? 


Doomer hillbillies are hilarious! You should encourage her to become a tractor mechanic. 



Sat, 06/02/2012 - 18:01 | 2487843 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Finally I agree with Max Fischer (somewhat)...

My only issue is with becoming a tractor mechanic... Any half-wit can learn that (trust me ~ I know)...

Buy her a pole & give her dancing lessons... (francis_sawyer offers workable solutions for any economy)......

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 18:36 | 2487897 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

Does your mother give lessons? I can pass along her info.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 19:51 | 2487990 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

This is the same old shopworn "you're sitting on a fortune" category of advice.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:58 | 2488566 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture


You are either still hanging onto that War Emergency Farmall and unaware that today's tractors combine the best of technology.

Best to convert to a Horse Farm... at least any halfwit can be made to clean stalls given enough alcohol to ease the pain.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 16:59 | 2489854 kekekekekekeke
kekekekekekeke's picture

dude, what the fuck?


Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:17 | 2487782 JR
JR's picture

Yes; because of offshoring and outsourcing by the globalists, the American worker is fast becoming an endangered species; it’s a bleak year for many grads. Here is the full list of Georgetown’s 10 college majors with highest unemployment rates:

 1. Architecture, 13.9 percent; 2. Film, video and photographic arts, 12.9 percent; 3. Fine Arts, 12.6 percent; 4. Commercial art and graphic design, 11.8 percent; 5. Information systems, 11.7 percent;  6. Philosophy and Religious Studies, 10.8 percent; 7. Anthropology, 10.5 percent; 8. History, 10.2 percent; 9. Area Ethnic and Civilization Studies, 10.1 percent; 10. Economics, 9.4 percent.

Incidentally, architecture had a starting salary of $36,000. Film, video and photographic arts, a starting salary of just $30,000.

Per the study: Undergrads who majored in education, health care, business and professional services have the most stable employment, according to the Georgetown study which was based on 2009 and 2010 Census Bureau data.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 19:09 | 2487937 duo
duo's picture

Still looking for a mechanical engineer that can package optics.  I can hire contractors, but the good ones get $300/friggin hour!

Thing is, I can teach someone who knows Solidworks how to do this kind of work in 4 months.  I've already done it twice.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 10:34 | 2488956 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Yes; because of offshoring and outsourcing by the globalists, the American worker is fast becoming an endangered species;


US citizens are globalists by design.

Globalization has helped the US market by increasing the inputs to the US territory and therefore increasing the level of activity the US of A society could generate.

Globalization has little to do with outsourcing/off shoring. It has to do with concentration of wealth.

Accumulating wealth on a territory makes it more expensive to live on. The way it is. Globalization or not.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 22:18 | 2488229 Flying Tiger Comics
Flying Tiger Comics's picture

You don't need a degree to be a creative writer. You need to be creative, and be able to write. Wasting time at a college getting a worthless piece of paper is a way of hiding out from being an adult. Far too many people do that.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 22:52 | 2488309 stocktivity
stocktivity's picture

Seems to me if the college professors in creative writing were that good, they'd be creative writers...but what do I know.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:34 | 2488528 potlatch
potlatch's picture

literacy is a bubble; grade inflation has hidden it so far.


i'm a college prof......  and stocktivity, you do realize, teaching is a very rewarding occupation?  Not everyone is on a "journey of discovering the most awesome thing in the world, me."


Just sayin

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 02:00 | 2488568 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

And some are pernament students... building a life revolving around the 4 year, doctorate and whatever else they are chasing.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 17:03 | 2489860 kekekekekekeke
kekekekekekeke's picture

shit that's sad :[ it sucks enough being fat but fat and unemployed?

As a woman several years out of college I think you're dead-on with your advice.  Can you get her a pass to zumba or hot yoga (my drug of choice) or to get her thinking about getting into shape? go hiking with her? maybe a sewing machine (idk about y'all but I'm thinking it's a good skill for me to cultivate and should be easy and ~appeal~ to college-aged women)

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 02:11 | 2488589 prodigious_idea
prodigious_idea's picture

My son is about to start his Sophomore year in college.  He's very interested in Architecture, Urban Planning, etc.  And save the jokes about the need for Urban Planning as most here would agree that the type of urban planning we'll need given the current economic trajectory is very different from what the schools are teaching.  I have my concerns and plan to work with him on the tough decisions he should make in light of the rapidly-changing (i.e. deteriorating) economic climate.  Did I overstate that? <sarc>.  My research will commence momentarily, but my first Google search yielded this - I would say flowery - outlook:

$72k, 24% growth.  No I don't believe the numbers, but why wouldn't some hopeful 19 year old pursue a career given this type of information.  You know the colleges aren't presenting the opposing view.  Kind of hard on the revenue stream.  I am trying to gather and present information to him so that he reaches these decisions on his own.  To that end I would appreciate anything ZHers can offer in the career areas mentioned.  Carrying lumber he already knows.


Sun, 06/03/2012 - 04:03 | 2488661 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

Right there with ya PI, and thank you. Constructive ideas about this (and everything else) will give us much strength that we will need in the coming years, much of the reason I come to fight club.

I'm not anything of an architecture know how, but I'll gladly share any info I can muster. Cheers to you and your son.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 05:09 | 2488697 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

A Cat D9 would be a good future tool.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 11:18 | 2489047 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

If he's interested in planning/architecture, he may want to explore the issues and opportunities that are going to arise with an aging population (I presume he's either in the US or Europe.) McMansions and suburbs and long roads and supermalls are out. Small, walkable with public transit, easy to maintain, clustered mixed use and higher density kinds of thinking are likely to be the next thing (assuming that the zombie apocalypse is on hold.)

+1 for carrying lumber. If possible, anyone going to college should also know a manual labor kind of trade. Could come in handy someday. Good luck.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 13:56 | 2489398 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

There will always be room for people who are truly good at their job.  He should hedge with more construction mgmt/proj mgmt courses and take a class or two in marketing so that if he has the oppty, he can start his own business sooner than later.  


The key is self-employment.  I think this post might be missing a paradigm shift with respect to full time employment.  I think there is some noise in the data with respect to those who are part-timing while building their own business.  Not all of the data, just a notable portion.


Tell your kid to think about self-employment/freelancing and the liberty of taking care of your own benefits.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:27 | 2488123 potlatch
potlatch's picture


Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:33 | 2487591 JR
JR's picture

The employment tragedy is a consequence of a fascist banker-controlled economy. And there’s no end to the lies that support the system.

Even Chairman Bernanke would not have had the nerve to say it so boldly; but Simon Johnson did: “We should be strengthening the power of the New York Fed and other institutions to constrain reckless risk-taking. … Undermining the ‘integrity, dignity, and reputation of the Federal Reserve System’ in current fashion poses grave risks.”

In his major article this week, Johnson talks the talk (identifying a full range of dangerous banking practices) but he does not walk the walk. He makes a major case of selecting a symbolic perpetrator of our current crisis, namely Jamie Dimon who already is a popular Wall Street candidate for taking the fall, and appears to suggest that removing Dimon as a director from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York would curtail the criminal activity that abounds at the top of the system.

Johnson obviously knows but chooses to ignore that Fed policy is controlled, not by its committees or even its chairman but, hello, by the owners of the Federal Reserve. Johnson details the history of how elites gaining increasing power in nations has been extremely detrimental to the success of nations: “The historical evidence is overwhelming. Many societies have done well for a while – until powerful people get out of hand… and given the long history of institutions in the United Sates, it appears particularly difficult for some people to acknowledge that we have serious governance issues that need to be addressed.”

The reason that the cartel of international bankers created the Federal Reserve System in the first place was so that they could control the American economy to their personal benefit. It was an end run around the constitutional guarantees that the people’s treasury should be managed by Congress. But in a startling analysis, Johnson suggests that the Congress will not be handling the crisis of too much power in the hands of elites and suggests the role should be handled by the NY Fed: “Legislative action to further adjust the governance of the New York Fed,” writes Johnson, “will not happen this year and is not likely in the near future. Frankly, saying it in this context ‘we’ll wait for Congress’ is the functional equivalent of saying ‘let’s not fix it.’”

Translation: Because of the troubles in Congress, let’s let the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers slap their own fingers and say sternly to themselves, Behave!

So much for cleaning out this banker-owned Congress and re-establishing a government of the people and by the people and for the people …. But it does make you wonder just who Simon Johnson is.

If America is to survive as a society of justice and a land of opportunity, the people must have its control in their hands. That means that their representatives either act on their behalf or need to be replaced; for it is the Congress that raises the money, pays the bills, and is at the constitutional core of our freedom or lack thereof.

Simon Johnson’s May 31 article is Jamie Dimon And The Fall Of Nations.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 10:30 | 2488950 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

If America is to survive as a society of justice and a land of opportunity,


But 'America' survives a society of 'Justice'. US citizenism is not endangered in the US.

'Justice' will go as.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:35 | 2487598 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

Job creation, even apes don't do that.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 19:31 | 2487965 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Sure they do. One gets another one pregnant, voila, more jobs.

It's like magic.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:34 | 2488135 potlatch
potlatch's picture

good lord man, think before you write, or before you rush to make a weak joke.


the ape economy is one based on grooming.  Read up dude.  They groom each other, and feast on the nits.


It's a living.  I grow the nits you eat, you grow the nits I eat.



Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:36 | 2488140 potlatch
potlatch's picture

I'm long Empire School of Cosmetology, is all I'm sayin

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 23:10 | 2488358 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

Nits make lice. Lice make typhoid. So, we need a fedgov support program for nitpicking.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:38 | 2488533 potlatch
potlatch's picture

see, we are innovating and fresh-making jobs as we speak.  it's like the industrial fuckin revolution in here

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:36 | 2487599 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

This article pairs nicely with a radio story I heard last night on NPR (National Petroleum Radio) about how the job growth in states with the lowest unemployment rates consist mostly of part-time, minimum wage, positions in service industries (you want fries wid dat?) and that most of the newly employed people are holding two or more part time jobs to get by. They also have peculiar ways of counting. In Arizona, for example, they count two part time jobs separately, even though they may be held by one person.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:13 | 2487773 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

Why the f*ck do people need a social 'security' number then?


Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:33 | 2487808 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

Because the gov't hasn't figured out how to sneak RFID implants into everyone, silly. Though smartphones seem to work pretty well right now. :)

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 02:01 | 2488569 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

They can simply jam it into a baby's butt these days.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 13:59 | 2489409 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

I junked you because ass-rape is not a joke. It's a hate crime.  ;p

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 17:04 | 2489865 kekekekekekeke
kekekekekekeke's picture

post more plz


Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:42 | 2488146 potlatch
potlatch's picture

Since a part time job is flex time, technically each day is a new hire, because one has to agree to come in, etc.


So, I see no reason why we can't tally each day's PT labor as a new job.  Of course, at the end of the day it has to be tallied as a "lost job"


Would spice up the data a bit.  things are boring: "The US economy lost 17 billion jobs in July, but rebounded nicely with 17 billion jobs added.  Signs of a resilient labor market, wouldn't you say Jane?"


Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:38 | 2487600 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

High unemployment among the young combined with part time work, will create a longer term and irreversible demographic tsunami. At that point the debt mountain will well and truly be blown off the map and the expectations of retirees will meet a brick wll. Nothing like a shrinking future.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:21 | 2487686 Christoph830
Christoph830's picture

Yup, that's why I drink

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:47 | 2488161 potlatch
potlatch's picture

The human side of this fiasco is what not only makes it a fiasco, but also is the key to turning it around.  Human capital: it's not just for debt-slavery anymore!


I teach for a living: these kids deservebetter dudes.  Don't forget that.  They did not ask to be born. 


Do it for the kids, man, the kids.  I'm serious, actually.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 14:06 | 2489413 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture




I dont have kids.  Who cares how super serial you are.  So fuck them.


Take care of your kids.  Dont look for society to give you what you're supposed to provide; for yourself or your family.  Get up off your knees and do something about your life. 

Your kids are stupid?  Teach them.  Your family is hungry?  Feed them. ....or wait for someone else to do it.


This is social justice, neo-commie, bullshit and I won't stand for it.  This whole post is commented by Cass Sunstein part-time social media provacateurs.


Zero Hedge = Fuck Society

Fuck Society = Take Responsibility for your own Life

Take Responsibility for your own Life = Just Do It

Just Do It = Zero Hedge

Hence, Zero Hedge = Zero Hedge.  Get a life because you're going to die someday and it would be a shame to waste it waiting on society to give you a life.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:46 | 2487615 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

The boomers were fortunate to grow up in a world where distortions to the labor market made it feasible to offer compensation partly in the form of benefits that, it turns out, were grossly under-priced out of shear ignorance of the actual longer-term costs, and also had the effect of further destroying supply-demand and other economic relationships in the underlying markets. The boomers were also fortunate to work in a country that had few competitors in a number of areas for at least two decades. Sorry to be so blunt about this, but the America you harken back to was a historical fluke, and this is the reversion to the mean.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 15:55 | 2487639 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

The boomers were able to double dip into their social security benefits.

They paid into social security during their working years but at the same time elected politicians in 80s and on that raided social security in order to spend without increasing taxes.

Now the boomers are collecting "their" social security a second time because their contributions have already been spent on them.

Us, post boomers get to pay into the same system but will never receive a fucking dime of it.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 16:02 | 2487650 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

insanelysane Your generation gotta do something about that, for your own sakes. Choose wisely what that something (or several things) might be. Don't make it about yourselves paying more taxes!

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:18 | 2487765 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Maybe you are unaware of how top tax rates have changed with time...


For example from

1925 to 1931 the top tax rate was 25% (on the eve of the depression.....)

1932 to 1935 the top tax rate was 63%

1936  to 1939 the top tax rate was 79%

1940 to 1941 it was 81%

1942 to 1943 it was 88%

1944 to 1945 it was 94%

1946 to 1947 it was 88.4%

1948 to 1949 it was 82%

1950 to 1963 it was a whopping 91% yes that is right for every dollar you earned to turned over 91 cents to the government... note the years, boomer years....

1964 to 1980 it was in the 70% range..

1982 to 1986 it was 50%

1987 38.5%

1988 to 1989 it was 28%

1990 to 1992 to was 31%

1993 to 2000 it was 39.6%

2001 to 2002 38.6%

2003 to 2012 35%


It looks to me like someone is trying to "starve the beast"....

For the most part, the US deficit has not increased because of increased government spending but because of decreased tax revenue.....






Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:49 | 2487829 Spacemoose
Spacemoose's picture

as one who has been paying taxes since 1966 and who has been paying higher bracket taxes since the mid 70's i can tell you from personal experience that comparing top rates is meaningless without also taking into account what was deductable (permissable deductions were been massively cut back in step with the reduction in rates) and what tax shelters were available to the upper middle class during those years.  for example, i bet you've never even heard of income averaging.  i'm not saying that many are not escaping their "fair" share (like GE) but this comparison of rates that someone drags out every now and then is worse than misleading.  it borders on a lie as presented to those who are unaware of the full story because it misleads them into believing something which is just not true.  to wit; that there has been a substantial reduction in net tax liability to individuals in certain brackets.  as i said before, i know this from (painful) personal experience.     

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 18:07 | 2487856 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

There's a joke in Europe that the Germans laugh at the Italians for having such high tax rates, and the Italians laugh at the Germans for actually paying their own high tax rates.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:56 | 2488180 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Another way to look at it is to review the historical data for the total federal receipts for those years.  Setting aside the discussion of whose pocket the tax revenue was coming from.....

The data that is readily available online is in the form of "percentage of GDP". (and yes I appreciate that this data too has "distortions" built into it we could "parse"....)

Between 1940 to 2007 the government revenue was been between 20 to 17 percent of GDP, however from 2008 to current it has been  around 15 of GDP.

My point stands.... "the beast is being starved"......

If you don't like the Brooking s Institutes numbers this is another good source


Further, Jesse's Cafe Americain has excellent article on the  price of widening inequality.....

"This long developing imbalance and erosion of equitable economic justice has led to a chasm of wealth and power, a distortion of the political system, and dangerously unstable social conditions in the developed world more usually seen in the Third World."

"It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of the truth."  John Locke

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:29 | 2488524 jcmjr
jcmjr's picture

Labor participation rate at a 30 year low, U6 is 15%, tax holiday for 2% of all payroll, and 3 million more people receiving SSI. No shit revenue is down!! Looking at spending and not revenue, because today's spending is tomorrows tax rate!! We are fucked!!

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:46 | 2488543 potlatch
potlatch's picture

If we passed regulation, that all exchanges >1 million USD cannot be financed, but must be paid or bartered for in full, paper or good transferred at a notary discharging all further responsibility for both parties, it would do wonders for existent home owners.  Then we can all take out second mortgages again, because every house in the US will overnight be worth $999,999.99


I'm wit it, if you are

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 02:03 | 2488574 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture


When you fire someone and they sit home for 99 weeks, they have discovered how to live slowly and enjoy each day. Not frantically multitasking under your iron fist and whip.

They will be damned if they work for you again.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 02:49 | 2488607 prodigious_idea
prodigious_idea's picture

Exactly. Ceteris paribus, the loss of deductions=effective tax increases.  It's pointless to just quote tax rates unless they're "effective"ly adjusted for deductions.  And those numbers don't fit into nice brackets which the politicians and the media like to report.  Student loans are a perfect example of lost deductions.  TRA '86 effectively eliminated the deduction although there is some relief in current law.  AMT and other current complex tax regs (particularly for the self-employed) create tax impacts that aren't reflected in the tables.

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 17:54 | 2487831 toady
toady's picture

Thank you! I point to this every time I hear about the 'good old days' In the 'good old days' corporations PAID for access to the American consumer by paying those tax rates AND providing stable union employment. Now they don't.

Are you, the economy, or the country better off?

If the corporations don't wise up and rebuild the previous systems it's game over. They think they can build similar systems 'globally'. I think not. I guess we will see.

Every American that doesn't like the way things are going needs to stop buying icrap until we get the corporations attention

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