[OPE] Hillel Ticktin, "Notes on the Last Few Months"

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date: Mon Jan 19 2009 - 01:56:37 EST

Paul Z,

I agree, if you want more meaningful precision in the comparison you would need a more comprehensive statistical analysis.

My argument is only that if there are circa 200 million unemployed globally now, this group would represent a magnitude similar to the total unemployed at the worst moment of the 1930s depression, through "relatively" speaking the current proportion represents only about a quarter in total. Of course, unemployment peaked in different years in different countries in the 1930s, as Paul Bairoch and others have demonstrated.

The "unemployment rate" is generally struck as a percentage of the "labour force", the latter which comprises the total of paid workers (fultime and parttime) and unemployed members of the resident civilian (non-institutionalized) population, where a criterion for "unemployment" is "actively looking for work". Normally excluded are: the military, prisoners, institutionalised patients, the under-employed, the discouraged, the long-term sick people and the disabled.

Marxists often sneer at the statistics, but the linked statistical definitions were designed among other things to capture all facets of the working-age population internationally so that aggregates can be meaningfully compared internationally. However the ILO has few resources to provide comprehensive and detailed international comparisons - we can compute world GDP, but we know very little about the workers who produce that GDP.

Hillel Ticktin has a propensity for pronouncing all sorts of grandiose claims about world history without providing any evidence, and so I thought I would relativise what he says with a few elementary empirical calculations.

However, if I were to make any substantive, comprehensive analysis to support my hypothesis, I would only be throwing pearls at the swine anyway.

The Marxists would only snigger at my conscientious work, and reiterate their quasi-religious dogmas with an air of "radicality", disregarding the evidence.

Or, if not, they'd just be using my ideas to advance their own career.


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Received on Mon Jan 19 01:58:30 2009

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