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Friday, April 29, 2011

Random Musings...

I've wondered for some time why people in the US continue to tolerate 'official' unemployment around 9% and unofficial unemployment closer to 17% of the population?   

I guess the answer is if people of other nations peaceably tolerate unemployment of over 21%,we'll tolerate figures that are less so

From CNN:  "Spain's unemployment rate rose nearly a point to 21.29%, with 4.9 million jobless for the first quarter of 2011, the government reported Friday"

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I've been reading and hearing a lot of pundits declaring re-election victory for President Obama,  a full 19 months before people actually vote..   

Maybe he will win.. maybe he wont..  but here's something to think about:

In 1991, Pres. George Bush, Sr had an Gallop Poll approval rating of 89% after the Persian Gulf War ended

In 1992, Bush's ratings were 29%, due mainly to breaking his pledge of 'Read my lips: No New Taxes' and the nation entering a recession at the time.

This economy has improved only for the financial sector and Wall Street and if you think otherwise, you're watching too much 'American Idol' and 'Glee'.

Moral of story-  When it comes to elections, never assume anything.
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Most people believe they know propaganda when they see it- that its something very overt and obvious; that it is exaggerative and forced upon.  While this is true when it comes to advertising products, it is actually extremely subtle when infiltrating news stories.

Here's a example using two headlines from today's Financial Times-- 

1-  Jobless claims spark recovery worries
2-  Growth data cast doubt over US recovery

Innocent looking words that seem straightforward-  but is it?

Let's delve deeper- this is what the headline is saying--

1)  America IS in a Recovery- we and others say it, so its a FACT- ignore your personal economic reality.. everything is getting better children.

2)  Rising jobless claims and weak growth date are problems we can't ignore (though believe us, we'd like to). But instead of acknowledging it as part of an ongoing, never ending recession, we choose to alter the context to fit the more upbeat narrative. A 'negative' has not happened- it is simply a threat of one.  Our advertisers are much pleased...

A different way of explaining this:

You're in a loveless marriage which has been getting progressively worse for 27months. Both you and your spouse are unhappy but he/she wishes to put a happy face on it..  You see it as "irrevocably broken" but your spouse is continually referring to the marriage as an "eventual reconciliation"


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