Maybe It Is a Problem, But History Says…

2014 September 7
by drdog09

After years of ignoring the obvious, the Federal Reserve has been finally forced to admit that the labor force participation rate matters, and in fact has started to point it out as a clear negative when it comes to Yellen’s “dashboard” of thresholds which will allow the Fed to raise rates (for the obvious reason that the Fed is desperate to delay ZIRP as long as possible and is now highlighting all that is wrong with the economy, contrary to Obama who is still focusing on all the rigged greatness of the US recovery) and to do so is going through Zero Hedge archives to note all those things which everyone had ignored for years and which we have pointed out as structural failures of the so-called recovery.

So while we are happy to oblige the Fed with our tens of thousands of articles summarizing what is broken with the US economy thanks to, well, the Fed, here is another one: one which the Fed can use next year when the time to hike rates has come and gone, and when the Fed is once again scratching its head what to blame it on.

The chart below shows the civilian employment to population ratio: a convenient indicator of the real state of the US labor market which does away with the labor force entirely, and the associated rhetoric of why it may or may not be plunging, and merely focuses on two simple things: total population and the total civilian population of the US. One thing is clear: the ratio crashed when the depression started and has flatlined since. Which, incidentally, may be all you, and the Fed, needs to know about the recovery.


Oh and here is a chart of white male participtation —

Yes I agree the economy is down right horrible and there appears to be no end in sight. That is just the way it is right now.

But something about this article kept gnawing at me. Then it hit me. I have lived the contingency lifestyle in some form or fashion for a considerable period.

My father for a long period of his career was in construction wholesale sales. Nearly all of it base draws against commission. Yes. I remember lean times and rich times as the construction industry waxed and waned in our household. The point is the entire family lived a minor roller coaster economically. I worked Real Estate sales which is straight commission for many years.

The point is this. Being a freelancer is a stressful situation. Not like doing the 9-5 grind. Always working to find the next gig before finishing the current one. One also has to prepare for that eventual dry spell and have the resources to weather it.

The economy has shifted. Freelancing is going to continue to expand (Yeah you can call it temp work.) But this is not a new concept. Anyone who worked construction knew every job site was a temp job. Same with much of the manafacturing base. This shift requires a new suite of skills above just having a certification. One has to develop the hunter-gatherer skills to feed off the economic savanah. Be able to sell ones’ personna and know how to pitch a track record of success.

Not everyone has the golden tongue to do that. But unlike what the article intones, we have been here before.

12 Responses leave one →
  1. 2014 September 7 3:36 am
    drdog09 permalink

    It would be to my detriment if I did not point out certain individuals won’t make it in this new economic environment —

    Not that I have any issue with tats, but there is a limit. Imagine if you will that any of these folks apply for a job as customer service rep or outside computer sales. Don’t think so Tim.

  2. 2014 September 7 6:07 am
    IndyOldMan44 permalink

    We had the greatest generation, now we have at least 2 loser generations. The 60’s was the being, and each year we produce more losers. Just take a walk around your town and looking at the people and their kids! We once were a Christian nation, now just a pagan third world country. I do find my peace because I believe in Christ, but it get’s hard to see how far we have fallen.

  3. 2014 September 7 6:11 am

    A nation of vipers.

  4. 2014 September 7 6:39 am
    justrand permalink

    drdog, considering the state of American life/society/politics, the people in your photos will running for office soon…and using THOSE photos in their own campaign ads!!

  5. 2014 September 7 6:55 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Indy, IP,

    Two generations of losers? Well I see results of it every day. Walking into a WalMart supercenter is like living in the movie Idiotoracy. But I also teach post HS. Alot of smart kids out there. What some of them can do with a computer is down right scary.

    But in defense of the Millenials, they do have ambitions. Least the ones I meet. But many are rejecting the `corporate grind` our generation ran thru. They might be right too. Entire corporate industries are crumbling to dust (autos, steel for example). Wealth generation these days can be more the result of virtual implementations rather than physical items. They look around at guys like Zuckerberg and Gates and see that as `the path`.

  6. 2014 September 7 6:56 am
    drdog09 permalink

    4, Oh my, I hope not!

  7. 2014 September 7 7:47 am
    drdog09 permalink

    VZ set to become a oil importing country! — — Amazing how successful socialism is.

  8. 2014 September 7 9:00 am
    gnqanq permalink

    Indy – amen.

    I am firm believer in the second coming of Christ and I firmly believe we are on the cusp of the end of days (read your headlines and compare it to the bible). Thus all one can do is prepare the best one can. We must go from this point (here and now) to that moment of his coming. The problem is we don’t know the length of time that it is. Could be a week, a month, a year or years. But we do know it is going to get worse NOT better.

    Good news, bad news.

    Rosh Hashanah (September 14) is a time of judgment and remembrance, on which God reviews and judges a person’s deeds in the past year.

    Yom Kimpur (October 4) Many Jewish Americans believe that God seals their fate for the coming year.

  9. 2014 September 7 9:29 am
    bc3b permalink

    I guess white males have discovered what their black brethren have long known – you can make a decent living on the government dole.

    The 1960 represent the real beginning of “dumbing down” of public education, when schools started teaching about self-esteem and stopped teaching about individual responsibility.

  10. 2014 September 7 9:35 am
    bc3b permalink

    Last chance to enter the BJG NFL Division. Indicate the teams you thing will win and email to by 1 PM Eastern Time

    Saints @ Falcons
    Vikings @ Rams
    Raiders @ Jets
    Bengals @ Ravens
    Redskins @ Texans
    Patriots @ Dolphins
    Panthers @ Buccaneers
    49ers @ Cowboys
    Giants @ Lions
    Chargers @ Cardinals

  11. 2014 September 7 9:37 am
    bc3b permalink

    Let’s use this thread for serious political discussion and the NFL thread for discussion about football, sexist comments about cheerleaders, etc.

  12. 2014 September 7 10:41 am

    Yellen just being racist, everyone knows everything is awesome. 🙄

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