About that unemployment rate *UPDATED*

This morning’s headline in the on-line New York Times was that the “Jobless rate soars to 6.7% in November.”  I am really sorry about that.  I know people who have lost jobs, I know people whose jobs are on the line, and I give thanks daily that both my husband and I seem to have stable jobs for the time being.  A high unemployment rate is a bad thing for the nation as a whole and for each unemployed individual.  But (with me, there’s always a but) . . . but:

It’s worthwhile checking out the statistics for a few major Western countries, the ones that the Democrats are so desperate to have us emulate (especially when it comes to increased government control over the economy and ever-higher taxes).

In 2007, Britain had a fairly low unemployment rate at 5.3%.  However, since I keep up very closely with British news, even though I don’t have statistics, I suspect that the unemployment rate reflects the fact that the government itself employs a lot of people, so the numbers may reflect an unemployment rate a la the former Soviet Union in which everyone worked — for the state.

Other major European countries, during an average, non-recessionary year, weren’t doing so well.  In France, the 2007 unemployment rate was 7.9%; in Canada it was 6%; and in Germany, the low estimate for 2007 was 9%, with the high estimate at 10.8%.

I don’t pretend to have any understanding of economics.  I just know that it’s worth thinking about the fact that, even when our jobless rate is soaring, it’s still about the same as (or even much lower than), the regular jobless rate in those countries our new Democratic Congress will seek to emulate.

UPDATE:  Although not quite on point, Jonah Goldberg’s excellent article about the fallacy of “planned” economies (that is, those subject to government, not market, control), seems very apropos when it comes to the Dems thinking, with typical Progressive optimism, that this time they can get government interference to work out right (never mind that it has never, in the past, done so).

UPDATE IIGordon Chang pessimistically throws out a reminder that the worst is yet to come.

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  • rockdalian

    Thomas Sowell is, to me, much more trustworthy when the topic is economics.

    Amid all the political and media hysteria, national output has declined by less than one-half of one percent. In fact, it may not have declined even that much — or at all — when the statistics are revised later, as they very often are.

    We are not talking about the Great Depression, when output dropped by one-third and unemployment soared to 25 percent.

    What we are talking about is a golden political opportunity for politicians to use the current financial crisis to fundamentally change an economy that has been successful for more than two centuries, so that politicians can henceforth micro-manage all sorts of businesses and play Robin Hood, taking from those who are not likely to vote for them and transferring part of their earnings to those who will vote for them.

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell112508.php3

    At the beginning of this column Sowell asks

    ….but should the media be taken seriously?

    This is yet another crisis being driven by the media.

  • Ymarsakar

    http://www.villainouscompany.com/vcblog/archives/2008/12/nanny_statism.html

    Check this out for another example of biomedical “welfare” the state provides for you.