Friday, March 9, 2012

Mike Gimbel: BLS unemplyment data analyzed

The BLS unemployment data for February, 2012 was released this morning.
The jobs situation improved very slightly, but we remain in a serious economic depression. The February 'Official' BLS unemployment rate, which is seriously under-reporting the actual unemployment situation, remained steady at 8.3% from January. 
My data analysis shows a slight improvement from the real unemployment rate of 17.40% for January, 2012 to an unemployment rate of 17.22% for February, 2012.
When one includes the underemployed (those seeking full-time work but only working part-time), the unemployed + underemployed rate fell to 21.95% in February from 22.20% in January, 2012.
The 'boom & bust' capitalist economy has a 'peak to peak' cycle of about every 9 or 10 years. This current depression had its earliest beginnings in January, 2007 because the peak of the last boom was in December, 2006. That would mean that this current, extremely weak 'recovery' has already passed the halfway point towards the next economic 'bust'. This means that when that 'bust' comes, due to the fact that this 'recovery' is so pathetically weak, that most of the unemployed will still be unemployed at the start of that future downturn. That portends an incredible economic disaster that is approaching rapidly.
The question for the labor movement and the progressive movement, in view of the already ferocious attack by big business on the 99%, is: How are we preparing for this impending catastrophe? Are we going to work in the same old way? That way has led to a disaster for the labor and progressive movement. Unions are now down to 6.9% in the private sector and unions everywhere are on the defensive. Can we turn this situation around? Yes, but only if we start to get out of our narrow view of the struggle as something totally 'local'. As long as we view each of our struggles as separate, we will all pay a huge cost. Unity and solidarity are now vital slogans for our survival. We have to make those slogans real through our future actions.
This past Wednesday I was at a well-attended unity meeting calling for a mass demonstration on May 1st in Union Square, in New York City. The meeting was held at Local 1199, SEIU's Martin Luther King auditorium, near Times Square. It was a joint organizing meeting comprised of the May 1st Coalition for Worker & Immigrant Rights, together with labor unions & the Occupy Wall Street movement. It is planning a demonstration that will march to Wall Street, the international symbol of the 1%.
This May 1st, therefore, represents the beginning of an alliance that can, hopefully spark that movement of unity of all the forces of the 99% against the attacks on the community emanating from the 1%'s desire to protect their ill-gotten profits, by destroying our standard of living.
One million immigrants have been deported since the 2008 election. This is a catastrope for the immigrant community that is not being reported in the corporate controlled media. 200,000 postal workers are being threatened with losing their jobs and many poor communities are threatened with the closing of their post offices. Housing foreclosures are continuing to rise and millions more homeowners are increasingly underwater. The corporate answer is to whip up a war fever, so as to justify the unjustifiable: a military attack on Iran. The 'jobs program' of the corporate rulers is to send working and poor youth off to die in wars overseas for the purpose of re-colonizing countries that have dared to try to maintain some semblence of independence and ownership of their own resources, especially oil.
What will you be doing to promote that unity and solidarity that May 1st represents? Will you organize people to come to the event on May Day at Union Square, if you are close enough to NYC to get there? If you are not within driving distance of NYC, what will you be doing in your local area so as to display that unity and solidarity?
Every day that passes is a day wasted, if we have done nothing to promote that unity and solidarity!
Hope to see you all on May 1st in Union Square!
--Mike Gimbel, author of "Dialectical Materialism vs. The New Physics" which is for sale on at:
The stupidities and absurdities by which mathematicians have rather excused than explained their mode of procedure, which remarkably enough always lead to correct results, exceed the worst and real fantasies of the Hegelian philosophy of nature.
                                                                  --Frederick Engels

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