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0 The Self-Inflicted Insanity of American Unemployment

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There are many costs associated with high unemployment, both economic and social. They include not only daily income losses, which are catastrophic for most Americans, but also increased crime rates, family breakdown, increased incidence of mental and physical health disorders, increased alcohol and substance abuse and a generalized misery. Those workers join the ranks of the discouraged or hidden unemployed and should reasonably be added back into the calculation to assess the true unemployment rate. The decline in the unemployment rate merely reflects a decline in participation rates. It's less a bellwether of economic strength and more a cri de coeur of despair. The terrible constellation of housing data, retail sales, and unemployment trends since the end of April suggests a downturn in the second half economic outlook will look very grim indeed.

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