Letter to the Editor: Concerning unemployment

First off, I am no longer a Democrat or a Republican. Both parties have to woo me until the last debate. There are Democrats who don’t believe in the bailouts and believe the only way to enter The United States of America is the front door. There are Republicans that believe in a woman’s right to choose and that trickle down is a bunch of baloney. The discussion concerning unemployment, however, ignores the obvious.

First, think of how long it took America to reach a population of 180 million in 1968. Realize that we have doubled that population in the last 40 years. Let that sink in for a minute.

Now think of the labor saving and job eliminating devices created in the last 40 years. Yet, in these unprecedented times we cling to this eight percent unemployment rate.

You pump your own gas; you eliminate the cashier with your credit card at the pump. You need to purchase an item but, instead of visiting a local retail store that employs salespeople, people that stock the shelves, people that clean the floors, etc., you instead look up the item on the Internet, push a button, and without any contact except maybe a truck driver, the item magically appears at your front door. You go to the bank but instead of going inside and talking to a banker, you use the ATM outside. When books are replaced by computerized tablets, you can say goodbye to the librarian, etc., etc.

So, as the population explodes, employers find ways to eliminate employees. Computers don’t call in sick or take paid vacations.

What does an eight percent unemployment rate mean anymore? ‘A lot’ to the unemployed who want to work, but as far as the election is concerned it means nothing.

I’ve developed a formula to explain this amazing phenomenon. It’s easier than understanding my above editorial. More people plus labor saving devices equal increased unemployment.

John Tolliver

Marco Island

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