Friday, February 21, 2014

Hey Brother Can You Spare a Dime

West Baden, Indiana – Unemployment. If the percentage gets too high, the ruling party of any nation can be relatively sure they are on their way out of office. It is a large factor in many races, and parties talk about their record of job creation as an attempt to win voters.

There are entire branches of economics dealing unemployment, and there are many different categories given to it. Structural, personal, real, etc. Books have been written and documentaries made, and there is even an economic law, Orkun’s, dealing with it.
But it can occasionally be forgotten that the unemployed are not just numbers, they are people. People with other people who depend on them. If there are one million people out of work, there could be twice that suffering for it. President’s that lower unemployment to 4% look good. But as the New York Times said, 4% unemployment only looks good to 96% of the population.
As Ronald Reagan said, if it is not personal, we tend to forget. “Rescission is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours.” He then added “Recovery is when Carter loses his.”
The Great Depression is remembered mainly because of the lack of employment. If the stock market had just crashed and nothing else had happened, it might not have even made the history books. Stock markets go up and down all the time. The Japanese Index is down almost 4,000 points currently from previous, short term in terms of years, high.
Reminding countries that there are people out of work often works well in election time. And we have elections coming this year. It may be possible that this will be made an issue by one side or another.
In the election of 1932, for the American President, according to the book Hard Times, there was one song that made sure Herbert Hoover lost his job. Brother can you spare a dime? The song was about an American Man. He had “built a railroad” but now the railroad was done, and he was out of work. He had fought, but now the war was over. He had “built a tower” but now the tower was done, “brother can you spare a dime?” It was sung, according to the author, on every street corner and on every soup kitchen in the country. Because the truth was, nobody could spare a dime, because they were out of work to. The people voted out the president over that.

Andrew C. Abbott

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