Gee, we wonder what could account for the marked increase in long-term unemployment that has occurred during President Obama’s presidency? Liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias clearly has no clue, but here’s what President Obama’s former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers wrote in The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics:

To fully understand unemployment, we must consider the causes of recorded long-term unemployment. Empirical evidence shows that two causes are welfare payments and unemployment insurance.

Unemployment insurance also extends the time a person stays off the job. [Kim] Clark and I estimated that the existence of unemployment insurance almost doubles the number of unemployment spells lasting more than three months. If unemployment insurance were eliminated, the unemployment rate would drop by more than half a percentage point, which means that the number of unemployed people would fall by about 750,000. This is all the more significant in light of the fact that less than half of the unemployed receive insurance benefits, largely because many have not worked enough to qualify.


Unemployment Insurance To Be Extended, $30 Billion Cost Won’t Be Offset

Generous Benefits Raise Long-Term Unemployment

  • Tony Lima

    Prof. Summers is correct, but that’s only half the story. My blog entry from 3 years ago has the rest:

  • ChampionCapua

    To add to your really unserious long-term unexamined belief system problem

  • Spatial Awareness

    OMG??? Really? NO!!!! .@mattyglesias <== LATE to the table as usual.

  • Adela Wagner

    Gee,Matty, looks like you need to re-evaluate your news sources. FAR MORE than a day late…brain short.

  • Smiley

    Yglesi-ass really is the model “neo-progressive”. Not only is he this dense, but like all neoprogs, he believes anything done for the “greater good” is fair game, including outright lying as he once tweeted.

  • ceemack

    Yglesias doesn’t look a thing like Claude Rains, but he’s shocked…shocked!…to find there is long-term unemployment in America.

    He really needs to change the pic in his profile. He should be wearing greasepaint and a red nose.

    • Billie Slash

      And idiots like him think they can take down Bob Woodward. Twinkies vs. a Ribeye steak…….

  • darthlevin

    THIS JUST IN… there’s this new website where you can interact with people, it’s called “MySpace”

  • SpinMeNot

    Can’t get anything past this guy, he’s as sharp as the bowling ball that had this information engraved on it, that just fell on his foot.

  • Soquel by the Creek

    Do we have a long-term unemployment problem?

    The percentage of people working in the civilian job market is near a 30-year low and appears to be relatively flat-lined.

    The average duration of unemployment remains stubbornly high at a 30-year high of roughly 40 weeks. Don’t forget, we now provide up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits.

    If you subtract the median unemployment duration (half had shorter duration, half had longer duration) from the average, you can see that we have a number of people who’ve been unemployed for a long time.

    • Weygand

      Saw your handle and wanted to give a shout as I also am from Soquel. I’ll definitely be following your blog

  • Herman LaClair

    what a friggin Potsie this guy is.

  • Danny Wheeler

    Here’s your sign, as Bill Engvall would say.

  • Silenttype78

    Huh,who knew?
    (Psst…we did.)

  • tdpwells

    He’s really showing off his smarticles.

    • eddodt

      don’t go there …please!

    • Karin_A

      LOL! I am so stealing that!

  • Frank Drebin

    U.S. Park Service bans feeding animals because they
    “will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of

    • SpinMeNot

      Wait, are you saying that Mitt Romney was right about what he said about the 47% of this country that is dependent on government voting to keep their handouts?

      And yes, for the more observant among you, I am trying to provoke @salvagessalvage.

    • Mike55_Mahoney

      Yes, but the bear won’t starve or lose his home if the bear welfare stops. He may eat kitty, puppy and lamb chops in which case you’ll shoot him.

      • gtwreck

        But But But the human is supposed to find work he is capable of doing. Right now Welfare pays too much for work fare to be able to compete with it but if welfare is reduced or eliminated then that workfare would start to look more enticing. It may not pay as much as welfare does today but would sure pay enough to put food on the table and a roof over your head specially if government stopped being so greedy and grabbing every dollar in sight.

  • TugboatPhil

    What’s the big deal, Matt? Can’t these folks just get unemployment and go paint or write books like San Fran Nan said? Their unemployment dollars put $1.78 each back into the economy.

  • traffic_robot

    HAHA, his very brief analysis, no, really, just thoughts, on the subject is hilarious. “Their skills may just be inappropriate or they’ve been out of the
    workforce for so long that their skills have deteriorated or some kind
    of irrational prejudice is making them unemployable.” It’s just that irrational prejudice that is keeping millions from even looking for a job. How does this guy even manage to not eyeball the elephants in the long-term unemployment room?

    • Karin_A

      Something else the funemployment folks never think about is how awful the resume gap looks with each passing day. Tick tock.

  • garygramscom

    #mattyglesiasmysteries #nogoodanswers

  • InformNow

    “welfare payments and unemployment insurance” the causes of recorded long-term unemployment… Then end the first and reduce the second. Why are we governed by complete id-iots???

  • Adi

    Now if could only add more people on foodstamps…

    • Rich Knudsen

      Foodvisa,not stamps. Don’t use stamps anymore.

  • Aine

    Genius. Though I am not a brilliant economist or journalist, I could have given Matty a clue when our primary wage earner’s entire department (in a major US corporation) was eliminated 15 months ago. Guess who’s been unemployed ever since…?

  • GoSellCrazySomeplaceElse

    So, people on welfare don’t want to work…huh.

    • Rich Knudsen

      Figures don’t lie and liers don’t figure.Or work.

  • Thomas Cox

    Could be that there is a relationship between the greatest accumulation of idle capital and the duration of unemployment.

    Why is so much capital idle? Well all those cke-crazed wall streeters are waiting for returns on the order of 50-100%/year. They got used to making money by doing nothing and taking no risks. They figure they really don’t need to invest, especially not if there is any risk and the returns aren’t what they were like during the bubble years.

    So are most people just laying around collecting unemployment benefits and living the good life? Ridiculous. Most people can’t live on unemployment benefits, without health insurance and other employment related benefits. At best unemployment pays about half what low end workers were earning before their jobs were eliminated.

    So, what would really make a difference in (un)employment rates? An idle capital tax. If you don’t invest in creating jobs you pay taxes on your idle wealth. That will have a lot more impact and a lot more immediate impact than cutting unemployment benefits.

    • Big Meanie

      What part of “It’s not your FUCKING money!!!” do you not understand?

      • Rich Knudsen

        WHAT? Can’t hear you over the sound of us here in DC sucking the life out of the economy.Can you speak a little louder Please.

  • Lady 12

    My forehead is becoming very familiar with my desk. At least this time I put a pillow in my desk before reading the article.

  • anjullyn

    Wow. Does this guy really think he’s tweeted something profound?

  • SJ’s Dad

    [email protected]:
    WOW, even when refrigerated, milk turns sour . . . who knew?!?!?!?!?!

  • BackwardsBoy

    Funny, I could’ve sworn it was a depressed economy that caused funemployment. Maybe we could start electing people who understand how a free market economy actually works, stop the wild orgy of government regulations strangling the economy, and possibly get back to 5% unemployment like we once had.
    Just a thought…

  • Rich Knudsen

    My God, what an Acute understanding of such an elementary Issue. Sign this guy up for your economic council of advisors President Clown Shoes.

  • BeevaloBill

    Matt Yglesias, rarely right, never uncertain

  • Constitution First

    Anyone who hasn’t read “The Cloward – Piven Strategy” are fatally uninformed.
    Voting RINO or Socialist Democrat after reading CPS is a betrayal of your country and your children.

    • skhpcola

      I’ve tried to get some progtards that I know to read about the CPS, but they think that it is actually a great framework to implement their preferred ideology. That’s one of the primary reasons that I refer to D-ooshbags and their constituents as “filth” frequently. Ridicule and denigrate them and their ideals, turn it around on them. Civility is wasted on people that pine for the destruction of our nation and culture. And, really, willful ignorance while advocating for the progtard plank is no excuse. Liberalism is a mental disorder, so let’s point that out.


    He’ll find a way to blame G.W.Bush

  • [email protected]

    is there a blog that is composed of mostly long-term unemployed individuals expressing what their lives have become post-recession?

  • c2

    “When a donkey flies, you don’t blame him for not staying up that long.” – Murray Slaughter