In these times our cable news system truly becomes irrelevant all the time. I will not pretend to know or understand exactly why Michael Jackson suddenly means so much for so many. I don't doubt the feelings are real and intense. I haven't the faintest idea why and how Jackson became the symbolic icon for national grief. But I do know that many missed a few very, very real news stories over the last two weeks.
The "green shoots" theory about imminent or arrived economic recovery has withered under the pounding rain of actual data. Last Thursday we learned that wages are completely stagnant, hours worked have fallen and 467,000 net jobs were lost in June 2009. Since December 2007 approximately 7 million Americans have lost their jobs and the total number of jobless Americans is just under 15million. Four and half million Americans have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks. Male unemployment is officially at 10%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics broad unemployment measure U-6 includes marginally attached workers and involuntary part-time workers. The June measure of U-6 unemployment stands at 16.5%. The average American work week declined to 33 hours in June. This is the lowest number recorded in the 45 year history of the measure. It is fair to think of the falling number of hours worked as another form of unemployment impacting millions. Perhaps this is part of the reason millions are interesting in grieving?
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Posted by lex dexter
At this point, the only thing annoying'er than MJ elegies're snobbish, lazy expressions of outrage re: the MJ coverage. But that doesn't change the fact that some way more serious shite is afoot then MJ's being dead -- even if, like MFW below, you think that MJ has become a symptom of the national anxiety re: the clearly worsening economy: