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Trump Still Doesn’t Understand the Unemployment Rate

This is a discussion on Trump Still Doesn’t Understand the Unemployment Rate within the Current Events forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Back when he was still on the campaign trail, President Trump consistently displayed what seemed like a radical disregard for


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Old 04-05-2017, 08:16 AM   #1
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Back when he was still on the campaign trail, President Trump consistently displayed what seemed like a radical disregard for the facts about unemployment in the United States. He repeatedly insisted that the “real” unemployment rate was actually somewhere around 40 percent and that the Bureau of Labor Statistics — widely respected by economists and policymakers across the country — was perpetrating a fraud against the American people.

At the time, most political reporters assumed that Trump was just cynically manipulating the crowds at his rallies — that a self-professed “smart person” who graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania actually possessed at least a basic understanding of how unemployment figures are calculated.

Turns out...not so much.

At a “CEO Town Hall” hosted by the White House on Tuesday, Trump appeared on stage for a brief question-and-answer session. Sitting in front of a room full of business leaders — people he plainly considers his peers — the president displayed pretty remarkable ignorance of how one of the country’s most watched economic indicators is measured.

“You know, one of the statistics that, to me, is just ridiculous...when you look for a job, you can't find it and you give up. You are now considered statistically employed,” he said.

That is spectacularly wrong. When someone looking for a job gives up, the BLS considers them to have left the workforce. It absolutely does not consider them as employed, though it no longer counts them in the ranks of the unemployed either.

If Trump had stopped there, it might have been glossed over as a slip of the tongue at a live event. But he didn’t. He decided to emphasize his disagreement with BLS, adding, “But I don't consider those people employed,” thus making it certain that he believes discouraged workers are counted as having jobs for purposes of the unemployment rate.

The comments about discouraged workers came just seconds after Trump let loose another howler in front of the crowd of businesspeople. He was discussing the actual unemployment rate, which came in at 4.6 percent last month, when he replayed one of his hits from the campaign trail.

“We have 100 million people if you look,” he said. “You know, the real number's not 4.6 percent. They told me I had 4.6 percent last month. I'm doing great. I said, ‘Yeah, but what about the hundred million people?’ A lot of those people came out and voted for me. I call them the forgotten man, the forgotten woman. But a lot of those people — a good percentage of them would like to have jobs and they don’t.”

The idea that 100 million people are out of work is also wildly incorrect, and something one would have expected White House economists to brief the president on once he took office. Here’s where Trump appears to be deriving his figure:

The BLS reports that there are about 253 million Americans in what’s known as the civilian noninstitutional population — that is, people 16 years of age or older who are not in the military or in jail, mental hospitals, retirement homes or other facilities. The agency also reports that there are about 150 million Americans currently employed. That leaves roughly 100 million people unaccounted for.

Trump is treating those 100 million as though all of them are job seekers unable to find work. However, a vast number are high school, college and graduate school students. Others are stay-at-home parents and still others are retirees. A couple of lines down the table that BLS produces every month is the actual number of people the agency believes are looking for a job. It’s not 100 million, but 5.9 million.

It’s hard to imagine that there was a single person invited to attend the event who didn’t realize how laughably uninformed the president — who talks constantly about jobs — was on the actual details of the employment situation in the U.S.

The only one in the room who didn’t know what Trump didn’t know was the man himself.
Donald Trump Still Doesn’t Understand the Unemployment Rate | The Fiscal Times

The things this mans' supporters let him get away with saying are just amazing! I know first year college student ho know this is nonsense!
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:25 AM   #2
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The "Unemployment Rate" became a meaningless figure when a person's desire to be employed was factored in to the calculus. These are the seeds being sown for the purpose of growing a permanent underclass of government dependent parasites, much like a rootkit that hides it's existance from the system, it nevertheless consumes resources and increases in size and malevolence. With a 20 Trillion dollar debt and 120 Trillion dollars in unfunded mandates, the question of the United States economic collapse is not of "if" but instead it is WHEN. Mandatory population control measures will be necessary after the inevitable Civil War. The current (unconstitutional) Government is unsustainable.

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Old 05-18-2017, 06:45 AM   #3
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It is a meaningless number indeed when you do not understand the use of that metric.

Think about it . . If the goal is to measure the rate of employment among those looking for work (U3), why include those not looking for work(U6)?

All the numbers are reported every month, and have been for decades.
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:09 PM   #4
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Think about it . . If the goal is to measure the rate of employment among those looking for work (U3), why include those not looking for work(U6)?
Because the unemployment rate used to be an objective indicator of the overall health of the country. Before fuzzy-minded leftists took over the media and started indoctrinating people to believe in the importance of their feelings (and also started mandating how they should feel about various political issues, and rewarding them for feeling things in the right way, and punishing them for feeling things in the wrong way), people used to be held together by the common denominator of objectively definable facts. When the unemployment rate was 7%, everyone knew exactly what they meant. And no one cared that some of those people didn't "feel" like working.

But now our State-manufactured facts are fuzzy. They include all the various feelings that the various sub-segments of our society have. We negotiate, behind closed doors, which group's feelings have value and which group's do not, and we incorporate those "valued feelings" into community standards and require everyone to adhere to those standards.

Or else.

So a 7% unemployment rate is meaningless, because one person could argue that all 7% of those unemployed people are busy working the phones and pounding the pavement and desperately searching for any means of honorable employment, in order to accomplish political objective "X", while someone else might argue that all 7% of those people are quite content to not work, having decided that for whatever reason they are content to not work, in order to accomplish political objective "Y".

Same meaningless "fact" used to accomplish two mutually contradictory political objectives, satisfying two different political demographics, and persuading them that the State is busy working hard on behalf of their best interests.

When in fact the exact opposite is the case. The State is hurtling towards an economic cliff and bankruptcy and catastrophic doom are inevitable.

One of the most horrifying moments of my life happened one night while listening to a late night a.m. radio talk show. The guest speaker was talking about bacteria populations and the relationship between their exponential growth curve and their static food and oxygen resources. In the beginning of the bacteria's growth curve, there is oxygen and nutrition in ample supply and one might assume that the bacteria could survive forever.

(and this is where IQ becomes important, and why polynomial equations and other high-level mathematics education is only given to certain elements of our society)

Because if you understand the nature of the exponential curve, it's easy to see how quickly the bacteria's demand on it's food and oxygen supply can go from nominal to extreme in a very short time.

From the bacteria's perspective, they go from having plenty of both food and oxygen, to being dead of starvation almost instantly. They never see it coming. They go, almost instantaneously, from thriving to dead. And would never see it coming. And neither will we. We're on an exponential growth curve in terms of our ability to sustain our population, and we're on an inverse exponential curve with regard to our ability to borrow money in order to sustain our economy. Both are doomed. It's just a matter of time, and we'll never see it coming. We'll go from having plenty, to being dead, almost instantly. But that's not the worst part. The worst part is that the presumably well-educated leftists (who control our social policies), also know this to be true, but due to decades of mental illness, drug use, and highly specialized government programming, they are able to maintain this awareness in a highly compartmentalized fashion. They know it's true, but that awareness has ZERO effect on their day-to-day political decision making, and opinions. They know it to be true, but live their lives as if it is not true, holding both, mutually contradictory realities in their awareness, and never attempting to reconcile them.

It's just too terrifying, and threatens the very meaning of their existance.

Just like the unemployment statistic; it is merely a piece of "data" used to justify doing whatever it is that they want to do, at the moment that they want to do it, and once that desire has been satisfied, that meaningless piece of data is recompartmentalized and put into safe storage, until it is needed again to satisfy some short-term goal or desire.
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:42 PM   #5
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Two points:

1. The unemployment metrics have not changed in over 50 years so the ranting about "Before fuzzy-minded leftists " is just nonsensical.

2. Metrics like the unemployment rates are a snapshot in time. Single data points, which, while interesting, are only meaningful when viewed as a trend
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Old 05-24-2017, 11:54 PM   #6
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The things this mans' supporters let him get away with saying are just amazing! I know first year college student ho know this is nonsense!
They have all been brainwashed Richee.. They cant see anything negative about him!! (And if you try to put it in thier faces,they start yelling @ you or they start ignoring you... ITS REALLY QUITE BIZARRE)
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Old 05-25-2017, 11:13 AM   #7
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This Mitty character is far from the first to whine that the Unemployment rate calculation had been changed when the previous administration started making marked improvement in unemployment!

We had a whole host of clowns on here for a while who espoused that nonsense, only because they had no idea how long U6 rates have been published. In fact, they did not even know that multiple measurements have been published by BLS for over 50 years now!
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Old 05-25-2017, 02:09 PM   #8
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Today on Cavuto he mentioned that trick that the pro-government Statists use to lie to the American People, so I thought I'd mention it here in this thread. It's similar to the way that the Government lies about the unemployment rate; where they talk about "decreasing the rate" at which government spending increases. Example if the budget has increased 3% for the last 5 years and this year it only increases 2%, they all gush with joy over this "decrease" in spending.

The Government takes the money that you have earned, despite it's interference, and despite having to compete with foreigners who are in your country illegally (allowed to be there, and sometimes deliberately imported by your unconstitutional government) and gives it to parasites that use the money to manipulate and indoctrinate you into believing in a reality that does not exist.

And you will lose your government-dependent job if you refuse to pretend to believe in the false reality.
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Old 05-25-2017, 02:33 PM   #9
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False reality is something you seem intimately familiar with . .
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Old 05-25-2017, 02:39 PM   #10
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False reality is something you seem intimately familiar with . .
And you seem completely oblivious to it's existance.

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The worst part is that the presumably well-educated leftists (who control our social policies), also know this to be true, but due to decades of mental illness, drug use, and highly specialized government programming, they are able to maintain this awareness in a highly compartmentalized fashion. They know it's true, but that awareness has ZERO effect on their day-to-day political decision making, and opinions. They know it to be true, but live their lives as if it is not true, holding both, mutually contradictory realities in their awareness, and never attempting to reconcile them.
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Old 05-25-2017, 02:55 PM   #11
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And you seem completely oblivious to it's existance.
O I know of its' existence. It's commonly referred to as "Lunatic Conspiracy Theory" and I am quite proud of the fact that I can tell the difference . . I am quite happy with reality thank you!
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Old 05-25-2017, 03:33 PM   #12
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O I know of its' existence. It's commonly referred to as "Lunatic Conspiracy Theory" and I am quite proud of the fact that I can tell the difference . . I am quite happy with reality thank you!
In contrast, I am not "proud" of the fact that I'm constantly having to evaluate every single thing every single politician ever says, and constantly having to sift the half-truths from the lies. And sometimes I can't tell the difference.

Sometimes I think I understand something and then I discover that I'm wrong. It's a constant battle, trying to determine the truth of things, and separating out the lies and the half-truths. We've adopted the red pill/blue pill idea from "The Matrix" for a reason. It's to indicate that discerning lie from truth is not simple, or easy, and anyone that thinks it is, is obviously delusional. As I have already mentioned previously. You've just made my point.

And I'm not happy with "reality" either, and it concerns me that you are. That 20 Trillion dollars in ever-increasing national debt is real, and the 120 Trillion in unfunded mandates is also real. It's LUNACY to ignore all of that, advocate in favor of continuing the same actions that have brought us to this point, and also to feel "quite happy" about it. However I am glad that you have put yourself, and your belief system, on display here for others to evaluate.
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Old 05-25-2017, 04:46 PM   #13
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Poor baby . . being responsible to evaluate every single thing every single politician ever says, and constantly having to sift the half-truths from the lies must be a terrible burden!

Who advocated ignoring the debt ? . .

I put nothing out for others to evaluate . . and have absolutely no interest in how others might evaluate my comments . . yet another figment of a warped mind!
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Old 05-25-2017, 08:15 PM   #14
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Who advocated ignoring the debt ? . .
As I've mentioned before, at some point in the degeneracy, the Leftist mind becomes completely compartmentalized, and mutually exclusive truths are allowed to co-exist, with no need to reconcile.

The very existance of a $20 Trillion dollar debt, and another $120 Trillion in unfunded mandates is enough to prove all that needs to be proven. The answer is that EVERYONE is "ignoring the debt", but that's not really an accurate characterization because the truth of the matter is the everyone is ignoring the inevitable economic collapse and Civil War that will naturally result from it.

It's not the fall that kills you; it's the landing.

The only people that are NOT "ignoring" this inevitable future are the "lunatic conspiracy theorists" with presumed mental health issues and other unacceptable and heretic political beliefs. Please note the fusion of "mental health issues" and political beliefs deemed unacceptable to pro-government Statists. This was the Soviet response to it's inevitable economic collapse also, and it worked for a short time, until all the bacteria died, and the fact of a non-sustainable economy and self-serving government was impossible to deny or ignore.
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Old 05-26-2017, 04:05 AM   #15
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Focus is a terrible thing to lose!
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Old 05-26-2017, 03:16 PM   #16
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Focus is a terrible thing to lose!
The natural result of founding one's identity on boilerplate communist propaganda. As one ages, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember all the various components of the Official Narrative, and recite them with the same level of unfounded self-confidence and optimism. Also, as the truth of the long history of failures (as well as the censored genocides) becomes more prevalent among the population (as a result of the advent of the internet and independent information distribution outside the control of the centrally-controlled globalist media), people are less willing to simply believe in the Official Narrative. Merely because one delusional Leftist sincerely believes it to be true.

There's too much information that indicates it's all a big lie, and it's too easy to find it.

So two dynamics are in play, both the internal breakdown as the fuzzy-minded Leftist degenerates, as well as the uptick in access to information resources and the resultant uptick in awareness in the general population.

We know, now. We didn't use to, but now we know.

So minor outlyer "facts" like the unemployment rate, and certain people's dogged determination to deny the lies that they convey, are relatively minor pixels in an infinitely larger jpg. We don't really care about this lie, or that. We're more concerned about the entire, self-supporting system of lies and the institutions that require their propagation in order to 1) survive and 2) eventually effect the destruction of the United States.
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Old 05-26-2017, 04:52 PM   #17
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Lincoln/Douglas have been superseded by Walter/Rich.
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Old 05-26-2017, 05:25 PM   #18
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Lincoln/Douglas have been superseded by Walter/Rich.
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Old 05-27-2017, 11:24 AM   #19
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Good point Rick but one simple fact remains and that is what started all this i.e.
"Re: Trump Still Doesn’t Understand the Unemployment Rate" has been lost in the psycho babble and the facts in the title are still somewhat amazing to me. I for one have been trying for months to decide of Mr Trump is a really stupid man who has an unusually extreme amount of luck in what he does, or he is just so totally unexposed to certain areas and just can't see past the importance of his own aura to be able to learn any more because he has never needed to to be successful.
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:47 PM   #20
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Trump Still Doesn’t Understand the Unemployment Rate has been lost in the psycho babble and the facts in the title are still somewhat amazing to me. I for one have been trying for months to decide of Mr Trump is a really stupid man who has an unusually extreme amount of luck in what he does, or he is just so totally unexposed to certain areas and just can't see past the importance of his own aura to be able to learn any more because he has never needed to to be successful.
There's some truth to the use of this term. When attempting to explain the reasons why some people prefer to spend the entirety of their lives believing in, and promoting a lie, must necessarily attempt to delve into trying to understand the workings of their minds. They start out as self-centered narcissists that see the State is the means of forcibly establishing their socialist dystopia, and as they age and the hard-wired and genetically encoded failures of their philosophy become impossible to ignore, they must either admit they've been wrong their whole lives, or "something else". It's the something else I attempt to describe. "Psycho Babble" is as good a phrase as any to describe both the reaction of the fuzzy-minded Leftist to the undeniable institutional and systemic failures of all the variations of communism (like Linux Distros, the kernel remains the same, it's just a matter of personal preference for "flavor"), as well as my attempts at explaining that fuzzy-minded Leftists persistence in believe as he has always believed, despite the overwhelming and condemnatory evidence that it's doomed to failure.

As an aside, I think people should consider the motivations for some of the more extreme members of the "alt-right" to at least pretend to embrace fascism, and at least claim to be out-right Nazis. (I use weasel words like "pretend" and "claim to be" because a good number of the alt-right are hard-core trolls who will claim to be anything if it puts someone else's underwear in a wad, so it's best to always leave the door open to the possibility that the entirety of the existance of the recent "American Nazi" movement is one giant attempt at provoking the Leftist oldsters before they finally die off and hitchhike towards that giant Woodstock in the sky.)

But let's say those "Nazis" are real. WHY are they real? I believe that one component that causes the average (usually male, but not always) young american to even be willing to play with that identity is their visceral and instinctive reaction to institutionally protected and accepted existance of communists. They censor speech, just like communists. The presume to tell others what ideologies, thoughts and ideas are acceptable and what are not, just like communists, and they commit violence against those that violate their dogmatic standards, just like communists.

Did you know that communists killed more people just in WWII, than Hitler did. Those 6 Gorillions are NOTHING compared to the millions of people that have been genocided by communists world-wide over the last 75 years. And yet "Nazis" are what everyone is supposed to worry about, and the 6 Gorillion are the only group of victims anyone is allowed to care or talk about.

That's not by accident; that's by communist design.

So to the point of the topic, the point is irrelevant and stupid. Trump doesn't understand the unemployment rate because there's nothing to understand besides the fact that it's a very small part of the FALSE NARRATIVE aka THE BIG LIE. Trump was elected by those of us that were tired of being coerced into believing in the The Big Lie. He's our weapon. Or was, actually. Not sure how effective he is now, or is going to be, but back in the day the people that elected him knew that the Unemployment Rate was a lie, and Fast and Furious was a lie, and Lois Lerner was lying, and Hillary Clinton's Server was part of the lie, and Hillary Clinton selling access to foreign governments in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation was part of the lie, and now Seth Rich's murder is part of the lie.

I think Seth Rich was the source of the Wikileak data and I think "Guccifer 2.0" is a DNC construction to give fuzzy-minded Leftists something else to blame besides themselves and their crooked, morally and ethically bankrupt and doomed-to-failure ideology.

This whole notion that there is something to "understand" about the unemployment rate is also part of the lie, and to pretend to conversational engage in that conversation is to voluntarily perpetuate that lie. Another part of the lie is the notion that Seth Rich was murdered as punishment for leaking to Wikileaks, when it's more likely that he was murdered as a preventative. They didn't want him talking to government investigators, or testifying under oath.

Someone should ask former FBI Director Comey if he thinks there is a connection between the Wikileaks data from the DNC, and Seth Rich's murder.
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