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WhoDat!656 02-09-2012 12:42 PM

Abbott & Costello explain unemployment
COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.

ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. Itís 8.3%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, thatís 16%.

COSTELLO: You just said 8.3%.

ABBOTT: 8.3% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 8.3% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, thatís 16%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so itís 16% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, thatís 8.3%Ö

COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 8.3% or 16%?

ABBOTT: 8.3% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.

COSTELLO: IF you are out of work you are unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, you canít count the "Out of Work" as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.


ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesnít look for work, canít be counted with those who look for work. It wouldnít be fair.


ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for workÖ Those who are out of work stopped looking.

They gave up and if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if youíre off the unemployment rolls, that would count as less unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you donít look for work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. Thatís how you get to 8.3%. Otherwise it would be 16%. You donít want to read about 16% unemployment do ya?

COSTELLO: That would be frightening.

ABBOTT: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now youíre thinking like an economist.

COSTELLO: I donít even know what the hell I just said!

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