Numbers game If you look at the official unemployment numbers without questioning the data, unemployment seems to be sinking. In May, employers added 288,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points to 6.3 percent. It looks like the country is finally recovering from the recession. A deeper look into the unemployment statistics reveals not only that the “official” numbers are misleading, but also that the federal government’s attempt at controlling and managing the economy is an abject failure. In April, 800,000 people left the work force. Almost a million people simply stopped looking for work. Additionally, the number of jobs added is too little to keep up with the nearly 7 percent increase in population growth. In a crusade against common sense, government and media emphasize a statistic that makes everything look much less gloomy than it actually it is. This statistic that everyone refers to improves when the labor force drops.
The state demands unquestioning obedience. That’s why the administration touts this statistic and ignores other, less generous — but more accurate — unemployment measures. If people learned unemployment numbers were just propaganda, they would lose confidence in government’s ability to fix the economy. This would be a huge constraint on the kinds of policies the state could pursue. If people questioned the state, the state would lose all its power. Cory Massimino Sanford Not serious Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old, yet we think we know the weather patterns after recording weather data for 136 years. Seriously? The globe has been tropical and covered in ice, yet we think we know something. Here is what we know: cigarette butts are on the ground because ashtrays are an option; we water our lawns with drinking water; instead of walking, we drive 500 feet to the store. Please shut down the coal plants because that will make things much better. When people are freezing or dying from the heat, take a moment and explain it to them. Change is needed, but not based on ideological reasons. Robert Jonatzke New Port Richey