Pop Quiz

With the Democratic campaigns spending a solid month wooing Pennsylvanians, the Keystone State is getting the kind of treatment usually reserved for New Hampshire and South Carolina. So here’s a Penn Pop Quiz:

What is the unemployment rate of Pennsylvania?

Hint: the national unemployment rate is 4.8%. Michigan has it worst at 7.1% while only 2.7% are jobless in Wyoming.

Post your answer in the comments, and then get the answer here.

Posted by Chops at March 27, 2008 7:16 PM
Comment #249399

And this relates to the price of tea in China, how, Chops?

Are you alluding to a prescient outcome based on the single variable of unemployment? I personally don’t find this article informative like others you have here and other writer’s articles.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 28, 2008 6:43 AM
Comment #249401

David - obviously a failure, this post was an attempt at a rhetorical device: counteracting the media’s stereotype of Penna as a rust belt wasteland destroyed by NAFTA. The reality is that, like much of America, Penna has done pretty well for itself as it has moved from a dirty-industry base to a tech-industry base.

Political campaigns profit from misinformation; citizens profit from facts.

Posted by: Chops at March 28, 2008 9:44 AM
Comment #249417

Yes, unemployment at 4.9% in Pennsylvania does not sound too bad.

However, those historically low unemployment rates do not reveal the entire economic picture either.
The big picture reveals some cracks in the foundation.
If ignored much longer, a significant economic down-turn is not far-fetched.
Looking at the big picture, consider the following factors …

  • Real Median HouseHold Income (adjusted for inflation, in 2004 Dollars):
  • $46K |——————————————————-
  • $45K |———————————————o———
  • $44K |——————————————o—-o——
  • $43K |—————————————o———-o—
  • $43K
  • $42K |————————o———-o——————
  • $41K |———————o—-o—-o———————
  • $40K |o-o————-o———-o————————
  • $40K
  • $39K |——o——-o—————————————
  • $38K |———o-o——————————————
  • $37K |——————————————————-
  • 100% |(1978)_______________________(2006)YEAR
  • An increase from $40,000 in year 1978 to $43,066 in year 2006 is not great when also considering there are now more workers per household than 30 years ago)

(02) Nation-wide debt is $53 Trillion (private domestic financial sector debt: $15.8 Trillion, househould debt: $13.88 Trillion, business debt: $10.16 Trillion, other private sector foreign debt: $1.8 Trillion, federal government national debt: $9.4 Trillion, state and local government debt: $2.2 Trillion, and that $53 Trillion does not even include the $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby-boomer bubble approaching) has never been larger (both in size and as a percentage of the $13.86 Trillion GDP, which would bring the total nation-wide debt to $65.8 Trillion).

(03) Total federal government debt of $22.2 Trillion (national debt of $9.4 Trillion and the $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security) is 160% of the $13.86 Trillion GDP, which has never been larger ever (both in size and as a percentage of the $13.86 Trillion GDP).

(04) Healthcare is not only increasingly unaffordable, but dangerous too! Perhaps unaffordability is a good thing? HealthGrades.com reported (27-July-2004) that “An average of 195,000 people in the U.S. died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a new study of 37 million patient records”. While government is not necessarily responsible for providing universal health care, it is responsible for protecting consumers from some greedy corporations that will do anything for a buck. Also, illegal immigration is placing huge burdens on the healthcare system. Illegal aliens are over-running our ERs, hospitals, Medicaid, and welfare. Hundreds of hospitals have closed (84 in California alone).

(05) Forclosures are at the highest rates in 23 years (since year 1985).
The 4th quarter of 2007 saw the biggest one-year drop (1.1%) since tracking began in year 1965, as current mortgage problems and rising foreclosures take their toll.
As of 06-Mar-2008, the mortgage delinquency rate of 5.82% was the highest rate in 23 years (since year 1985).

  • JAN-2008: 250,000 foreclosures

  • JAN-2007: 145,000 foreclosures

  • JAN-2006: 105,000 foreclosures

  • JAN-2005: 70,000 foreclosures
  • (06) Incessant positive inflation since year 1956.
    While 3% to 5% may not sound so bad, it is when it is every year (becoming exponential).
    The U.S. Dollar has been falling significantly against all major international currencies since year 1999.
    The monetary system is a usurious, dishonest, inflationary, and economically destabilizing pyramid scheme, and it will finally collapse when Americans can no longer take on any more debt. Where will the money come from to pay the INTEREST on the $53 Trillion of nation-wide debt, much less the money to reduce the principal $53 Trillion of nation-wide debt (3.81 times the $13.9 Trillion GDP), when that money does NOT yet exist, and 80% of the U.S. population only owns 17% of all wealth?

    (07) Illegal Immigration has never been worse, and is costing Americans $70 to $338 Brillion per year in annual net losses. Compare that to the $150 Billion economic stimulous package. And that does not even include the untold cost of crime, disease, and millions of jobs displacemed.

    (08) Trade deficits have never been larger. Hundreds of billion$ are leaving the country annually (China: www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html#2008).

    (09) Weatlh disparity gap has never been larger since year 1930.
    The gap was shrinking up to year 1976, but reversed and has been growing since year 1976.
    1% of the wealthiest owned 20% of all wealth in year 1976.
    1% of the wealthiest owns 40% of all wealth today.
    80% of the U.S. population owns only 17% of all wealth in the U.S.
    While GDP has been growing, the wealth for most Americans has been decreasing for many years.

    (10) Home equities are at the lowest level (50%) in 62 years (since year 1945).

    (11) Savings rates have been negative since year 2005, and have reached the largest negative rate (-0.5 to -1.5%) since year 1933.

    • Savings Rate (percent of disposable income):

    • +3.66% |————————————————————————————

    • +3.33% |——————o—————————————————————-

    • +3.00% |————————o-o——————————————————-

    • +2.66% |——o—————————————————————————-

    • +2.33% |o-o———————————-o-o-o———-o————————-

    • +2.00% |———o-o—————-o-o-o———-o-o——————————-

    • +1.66% |——————————————————o—————————-

    • +1.33% |—————o——————————————————————-

    • +1.00% |————————————————————————————

    • +0.66% |————————————————————————————

    • +0.33% |———————o————————————-o———————-

    • +0.00% +——————————————————————————————

    • -0.33% |—————————————————————o—-o-o———-

    • -0.66% |————————————————————————————

    • -1.00% |———————————————————————————o-

    • -1.33% |—————————————————————————o-o—-

    • -1.66% |——————————————————————o—————-

    • -2.00% |————————————————————————————

    • -2.33% |(2000)______________________________________(2007)YEAR

    • An increase from $40,000 in year 1978 to $43,066 in year 2006 is not great when also considering there are now more workers per household than 30 years ago)

    (12) Two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (costly in lives, limbs: over 4000 U.S. troops killed and 13,000 seriously injured; and monetarily, $340 to $720 Million per day).

    (13) Declining quality and increasing cost of education (a problem exacerbated by massive illegal immigration; California is now being forced to lay off teachers, and a large part of the problem is illegal immigration). The U.S. also has falling numbers of college students pursuing engineering and science. Our own universities are graduating more foreign students in engineering and science.

    (14) Numerous, and growing constitutional violations (one-simple-idea.com/ConstitutionalViolations.htm), eminent domain abuse, election problems, energy vulnerabilities, regressive taxation, unfair trade policies, government corruption and waste.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 28, 2008 1:59 PM
    Comment #249427

    I don’t think people, in general, like pop quizes.

    Posted by: googlumpus at March 28, 2008 3:43 PM
    Comment #249435

    One of the factors that should be considered into the employent figures is the amount that it costs the employed to get to the employment. Chicago is becoming more and more residential. People live in apartments in former office, store and factory buildings. New housing is being built all over former industrial districts, and there is more reverse commuting to the suburbs for work than ever before. People often work in places where there are not even sufficient roads to handle the traffic, because companies have located there to reduce their costs, regardless of the transportation cost to their employees.

    Posted by: ohrealy at March 28, 2008 5:30 PM
    Comment #249536

    Let’s take a lesson from this article. Trying to artifically protect industries blows up in your face.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at March 30, 2008 11:46 AM
    Comment #249551

    Texas has very little mass transit, and urban sprawl is very bad here, with a metroplex population of over 6.1 million.

    And it is exacerbated by some people having trouble moving closer to work, because houses are harder to sell in this current mortgage melt-down.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 30, 2008 2:26 PM
    Comment #378427

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