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Unemployment Benefits and the Masters of the Universe

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The Masters of the Universe seem to have a vested interest in the death of 99 week unemployment benefits, which I’m just starting to realize.

There is a pretty substantial inverse relationship between the DJIA and unemployment rates. By “unemployment rates”, we’re not talking about the Bureau of Labor Statistics U-6 numbers, indicating our entire workforce, but rather the more limited U-3 numbers, which indicate “Total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force”. Let’s face it, it’s in the best interest of the ruling parties to keep the official unemployment rate low, to boost perception.

Shit, if I were to take a quick look at the DOL page on unemployment, it paints a bleaker picture than the rally in the DJIA which Bloomberg reports is tied to an “increase in job openings”. (Their “live ticker” for official unemployment numbers is here.)

What does this have to do with the “Masters of the Universe”? They’re going to be making a *killing* in the order of billions of dollars as stock prices predictably rise, of course. Doesn’t matter that we are losing manufacturing jobs due to globalization efforts and increased mechanization, or that stagnant wages and rising income disparity means you’ll die poorer and your upward mobility in terms of income is, for all intents and purposes, stalled. Even Ben Bernanke, money printer extraordinaire, says that we’re creating two separate societies this way.

So, why cut off extended unemployment benefits? I mean, unless you’re a brain-dead deficit hawk or a “I’ve got mine so fuck the rest of you” Libertarian, they actually have a pretty positive economic stimulus effect. More so than the pointless tax “cuts” that we’re going to extend until we’re ass-broke, at any rate. The only reason I can think of involves pumping up the stock market, which currently out-earns our manufacturing industry as a percentage of GDP.

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