This morning, the Labor Department released another report on unemployment figures in the U.S., and, as if the news weren’t depressing enough, Bloomberg News managed to relay it in a way that made it uniquely terrifying.
It was a three-step process.
1. First, they informed us that the unemployment rate has hit 9.8 percent.
2. Then, they quoted economist John Silvia matter-of-factly saying that, technically, it’s probably much higher. “The reason the unemployment rate is not going up faster is because you have a lot off people dropping out,” he explained.
3. Then, he added: “People are just disappearing.”
What does that mean? Does he mean that many unemployed people are, like, retreating to their sofas to wait things out and/or have joined an Internet community of unstable and ultimately impotent lunatics with the nihilistic desire to bring down the rest of the economy? Or that they are literally ceasing to exist? Either way, that’s pretty scary.