Epic Fail: when normal, run-of-the-mill failure just isn’t enough.

There’s a difference between a failure and a fiasco. A failure is simply the non-presence of success. Any fool can accomplish failure. But a fiasco, a fiasco is a disaster of mythic proportions. A fiasco is a folk tale told to others that makes other people feel more alive because it didn’t happen to them.
— Opening narration of Elizabethtown

But the fiasco IS happening to us.

Mad Cover September 2008
That cover came out in September, 2008.
This is 2012.

Desperate for jobs, youth flee Obama

America’s youth vote, which turned out in record numbers in 2008 and gave a historically high percentage of their support to President Obama, has soured on him because they are having a hard time finding work and, as a result, are putting off major decisions like getting married and starting a family.

Obama, who won 66 percent of the 24 million voters age 18-29 in 2008, has seen that support slashed. And in a new poll from Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit that seeks to engage younger voters, only 31 percent approve of Obama’s handling of youth unemployment, a number that threatens to rob him of the voter group that pushed him to victory.

“Ironically for President Obama,” said the group’s president, Paul Conway, “the hardcore reality is that young voters are now very dissatisfied with the direction of the country and are becoming more vocal in their demands for real jobs rather than promises of more unpaid internships and unproven programs.”

And, he added, their anger coupled with their social media savvy could be a threat to Obama. “These vocal young voters are even more digitally connected–and politically potent–for 2012 than they were in 2008,” Conway told Washington Secrets…

CBO: Real Unemployment Is 15 Percent

The Congressional Budget Office released a report Thursday that showed real unemployment in America at 15 percent for the month of January, a figure considerably higher than the White House’s oft-cited 8.3 percent figure that does not include part-time workers seeking full-time work or those who have given up hope of finding a job altogether.

From the CBO:

Many people would like to work but have not searched for a job in the past four weeks, or are working part-time but would prefer full-time work. If those people were counted among the unemployed, the unemployment rate in January 2012 would have been about 15 percent.

Furthermore, the CBO reported that the “United States is experiencing the longest stretch of high unemployment since the Great Depression” with no end in sight through 2014.

Worse, the CBO reports that the ravages of the Obama Economy have created an unprecedentedly high rate of long-term unemployment, which the CBO defines as a person who has been seeking work for over 26 months.

Over 40 percent of people who are currently unemployed have been out of work for more than half a year, as compared with about one-quarter during the 1981–1982 recession.  The extent of long-term unemployment is much greater than would be expected on the basis of its historical relationship with the overall unemployment rate.

That means that during the 1981-1982 recession President Ronald Reagan led America out of–which was the only other time in the post-World War II era that unemployment rose above 10 percent as it did in October 2009 under Barack Obama–long-term unemployment was 15 percent less than it presently is today under Barack Obama.

The CBO report was issued at the request of Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI).

Federal Government Cooks the Unemployment Books

Keep in mind that the Congressional Budget Office is (obviously) part of the government, so even those figures won’t be as bad as things actually are in real life.

  • Not included are young people who can’t even get into the labor force, some of whom are kicking the can down the road by going to college instead and accumulating debt that they won’t be able to pay off.
  • Not included are the older Baby Boomers who reluctantly took early retirement, on very skimpy financial resources, because they lost their jobs and couldn’t find other employment.
  • Not included are workers with disabilities, who had nonetheless been productive members of the labor force, but lost both their jobs and their medical coverage, and had no alternative but to go on Social Security disability.
  • Not included are people who simply lost their jobs, lost heart, then lost their health and died prematurely.

The labor force participation rate tells the real story, especially when you look at the continuing downward trend. If this is supposed to be a “recovery,” then the term itself is misleading.

Zero Hedge: Labor Force Participation Plunges To Fresh 26 Year Low

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/04/2011 09:57 -0400

At 64.2%, the labor force participation rate (as a percentage of the total civilian noninstitutional population) is now at a fresh 26 year low, the lowest since March 1984, and is the only reason why the unemployment rate dropped to 9% (labor force declined from 153,690 to 153,186). Those not in the Labor Force has increased from 83.9 million to 86.2 million, or 2.2 million in one year! As for the numerator in the fraction, the number of unemployed, it has plunged from 15 million to 13.9 million in two months! The only reason for this is due to the increasing disenchantment of those who completely fall off the BLS rolls and no longer even try to look for a job. Lastly, we won’t even show what the labor force is as a percentage of total population. It is a vertical plunge.

Labor Force Participation Rate

Yes We Can't Get Out Of Debt

“Monetizing the debt” means inflating (debasing) the currency to deal with skyrocketing national debt. In other words, the Federal Reserve, in effect, “prints money” (perhaps under the guise of “quantitative easing” or whatever they call it these days). Because it’s the Federal Reserve doing the dirty work, we don’t call them counterfeiters. Inflation is bad policy (to say the least) and it is a cruel tax on YOUR savings.

Soon we will find that there is only so much money governments can print before the Weimar Republic scenario repeats itself. And when pennies and nickles are worth less than the metal that makes them up, I suggest it is time to stop coining them.

Obama wants cheaper pennies, nickles

The U.S. Mint is facing a problem — especially during these penny-pinching times. It turns out it costs more to make pennies and nickels than the coins are worth.

And because of that, the Obama administration this week asked Congress for permission to change the mix of metal that goes to make pennies and nickels, an expensive recipe that has remained unchanged for more than 30 years.

To be precise, it cost 2.4 cents to make one penny in 2011 and about 11.2 cents for each nickel.

Given the number of coins that the mint produces — 4.3 billion pennies and 914 million nickels last year alone, those costs add up pretty quickly: a little more than $100 million for each coin.

But even though Treasury has been studying new metals since 2010, it has yet to come up with a workable mix that would definitely be cheaper, and it has no details yet as to what metals should be used or how much it would save to do so.

Even if a cheaper metal can be used, it might not take the cost of a penny down to less than a penny.

Just the administrative cost of minting 4.3 billion pennies costs almost a half-cent per coin by itself, leaving precious little room to make a penny for less than a cent, no matter the raw material used.

The raw material cost of the metals used in a current penny is only about 0.6 cents per coin, according to prices quoted on the London Metal Exchange, and a breakdown of a penny’s composition from the mint. The mint paid 1.1 cents on average for the metal used in a penny in 2011, but that is the cost of ready-to-stamp blanks from the supplier, not raw material traded on commodity markets…

Incompetence Demotivator

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