Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Great, Great, Great, Great Depression

That opening sentence, like 8.3 percent of the U.S. population in January, isn't working. You don't have to dig any deeper into the numbers to learn why. The numbers are correct; it's the words (one word, actually) that have created unimaginable economic horrors and relegated the Great Depression to a hiccup.

The photo below shows the intro to an article about whether the age of 16 is too soon to drop out of school. (In almost 20 states, students have to stay in school only until they're 16; most states require students to remain in school until 17 or 18.) In general, the longer you stay in school, the more likely you are to be employed as an adult. If you're employed, the unemployment rate is lower.

That's unemployment rate, not employment rate.

The un-, following in the footsteps of many high school students across the country, dropped out. As a result, we have a 91.7 percent unemployment rate. Yikes! The 8.3 percent unemployment rate is bad enough (believe me, I have first-hand knowledge), but 91.7 percent is catastrophic. If it were 91.7 percent, we'd all be clamoring for the, by comparison, halcyon days of the 1930s, when unemployment rates were "only" 20 to 25 percent. Every day would be black, not just Monday.

Unbeknownst to the writer, he uncorked an unacceptable fact error. This article has been undone by a missing un-, the result of which is unfathomable unemployment. That's unfortunate. We've got to get to work undoing this error. Look at me, creating jobs during an unusual economic downturn! I'm believable. I mean unbelievable. (Did I go too far? I can't help it. I'm unable to stop. In other words, I'm unstoppable.)

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