Sunday, February 19, 2012

Joke of the week

*The Abbott and Costello Routine on Unemployment*

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.
ABBOTT: Good subject. Terrible times. It's about 9%.
COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?
ABBOTT: No, that's 16%.
COSTELLO: You just said 9%.
ABBOTT: 9% unemployed.
COSTELLO: Right: 9% out of work.
ABBOTT: No, that's 16%.
COSTELLO: Okay, so it's 16% unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, that's 9%.
COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE! Is it 9% or 16%?
ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.
COSTELLO: If you're out of work you're unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, you can't count the "Out of Work" as the unemployed. You have
to look for work to be unemployed.
COSTELLO: But ... they're out of work!
ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.
COSTELLO: What point?
ABBOTT: Someone who doesn't look for work can't be counted with those who
look for work. It wouldn't be fair.
COSTELLO: To whom?
ABBOTT: The unemployed.
COSTELLO: But they're ALL out of work.
ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work... Those who are
out of work stopped looking. They gave up. If you give up, you're no
longer in the ranks of the unemployed.
COSTELLO: So if you're off the unemployment roles, that would count as
less unemployment?
ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!
COSTELLO: The unemployment goes down just because you don't look for work?
ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That's how you get to 9%. Otherwise it
would be 16%. You don't want to read about 16% unemployment do ya?
COSTELLO: That would be frightening.
ABBOTT: Absolutely.
COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to
bring down the unemployment number?
ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.
COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?
ABBOTT: Correct.
COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?
ABBOTT: Bingo.
COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier
of the two is to just stop looking for work.
ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like an economist.
COSTELLO: I don't even know what I just said!

And now you know why President Obama's unemployment figures are improving.

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