Saturday, August 13, 2011

Employment to Food Stamp Participation Ratio (Musical Tribute)

Click to enlarge.

There are now just 3 civilian workers for every person on food stamps.

It would seem that we're not yet back on the road to prosperity. We're certainly headed somewhere though. Sigh.

Source Data:
St. Louis Fed: Civilian Employment
USDA: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program


Troy said...

The flip side of the Jetson's economy is 16% U-6 I guess.

The housing bubble papered over a lot of problems, 2003-2006.

YOY private debt take-on peaked $2T/yr then.

Push $2T of funny money through this economy and we'd get some life, too.

Not that "stimulus" is the right approach. We basically need a welfare state a la panem et circenses I think.

1% of the population clearing 25% of the income is rather unstable if not unsustainable.

nilys said...

There is too much capital and too few investment opportunities; there is also too much potential supply, and no demand. IMHO, either we reset – aka an “expropriation” of the creditors, or capitalism ends and we transition to a different system of production. Right now Soros and others are buying up land and renting it out to farmers. In some years from now, they could change the rental contract with the farmers in such a way that if the latter have a bad year, they become indentured peasants. Pass a law that only land-owning citizens have a right to vote, and you are back to the future. Our elite does not want an empire anymore. It wants a manor house, a butler and servants. It's content to be irrelevant. At the turn of the Twentieth century, it was widely thought that the destiny of America is to become an agricultural commodities and natural resources exporter. In 1880s, 2/3 of US oil was exported, and petroleum was the 4th largest export, behind agricultural commodities. The biggest importer of kerosine was … China. Today fastest growing exports: petroleum products and agro commodities. Destiny delayed, but not denied.

Jazzbumpa said...

Once again - analysis that you will only find here.

Good thoughtful points by Troy and nilys.

I can't wait for conservative pundits and Bernanke dissenters like Kotcherlakota to construct a model in which food stamps cause unemployment.


fried said...

Agreed, Mark's work is great.

Stagflationary Mark said...


The flip side of the Jetson's economy is 16% U-6 I guess.

Indeed! Sigh.

Stagflationary Mark said...


There is too much capital and too few investment opportunities...


IMHO, either we reset...

In my opinion, world war seemed to serve that purpose in the past. It was a horrible solution, but it definitely created a reset. If nothing else, productive capacity was physically bombed.

That solution would prove even more effective these days. Sigh.

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. - Albert Einstein

Stagflationary Mark said...


I definitely see this as a symptom of the disease and not the cause. I most certainly would not blame the people on food stamps as being the problem.

My main complaint with Bernanke's monetary efforts to fix the economy is that the inflation he so desperately wants appears where we least want it (commodity speculation). If only he had a way of generating wage inflation instead of commodity inflation. Put another way, we have an ample supply of commodity speculators but very few wage speculators. Sigh.

I would also add that what we really needed was a fiscal effort to create sustainable jobs. If people had work then they'd stand a much better chance paying their debts.

Stagflationary Mark said...


You are too kind. :)

Stagflationary Mark said...

One more thought.

The Jetson's economy requires that "productivity miracles" eliminate jobs (if only to be more globally competitive).

Makes it a bit hard to see a way out of the mess we're in.

Jazzbumpa said...

Mark -

We are in total agreement. (I knew this would happen some day)


Stagflationary Mark said...


It happens. ;)