Kyla, as unusual I am fascinated by and in awe of your capacity to pull so many ideas together in support of a theme. I am one of the people who have written to you asking if the Fed raising of interest rates was a blunt instrument for the job they are trying to accomplish. And, were not pandemic correlated high oil prices and high transportation costs (above and beyond relation to fuel prices) prods to broader inflation? You agreed. Chevron and Maersk shipping both earned about the same last year, 36 billion USD. Gouging? Addressing the causes of inflation would seem better than treating with a touriquet held on too long on a simple bleed, risking the limb.

Your argument that "we" are disconnected from the origins of our food and other goods rang true for me. 30 years ago, my wife and I chose to live off-the-grid, despite the powerline running along the street 40 feet from our house; generated (solar) electricity, collected water, composted waste, a garden, everything has required more intention and to be paid for up front. I had not thought of our decision in the specific terms you presented, here. Thank you.

Thinking of Mr. Musk and non-woke AI, is he trying to create AI in his image, that is, not picking up on social cues? (Emotional intelligence?) I am related to and work with many people on "the spectrum". But, none of them have the wealth and power to create whatever they want like Mr. Musk.

Much of what attracts me to your analysis and writing is trying to bring the human back into the economic equation and discussion. Following my understanding of your argument in this piece, and theme of many of your others, I question how AI is going to help us be better consumer geographers, more connected to the origins and processes of what we consume. Maybe I am just afraid of Hal.

Thank you for putting your thoughts out there for us to consider, to help us understand.

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Thank you, Kyla. I hope you can spend some time drawing and/or painting. Thanks for highlighting shareholder rights versus civil rights. It's a big gnarly issue. Take a look at "The Man Who Broke Capitalism" if you haven't already.

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Thanks for writing great read as usual

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Mar 2, 2023Liked by kyla scanlon

Love Kyla's wonderful reach into the depths of philosophy to explain so many complex economic phenomena we are experiencing right now. It is definitely worth the perusal of her link to Debord!

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Mar 2, 2023·edited Mar 2, 2023

Contrary to popular belief, the unemployment rate is not calculated by counting the number of people collecting unemployment insurance. It's done more like the census. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) surveys a random sampling of 60,000 households and asks them questions about their employment status. It defines the "labor force" as people who have jobs or are actively looking for jobs. Someone who is unemployed but not looking for work is not counted in the unemployment rate (they are called discouraged workers). The unemployment rate is the percentage of unemployed people in the labor force; or, put differently, the percentage of people in this survey looking for work but who don't have it.

What's interesting about that methodology is that people not looking for work can simultaneously increase the labor shortage and lower the unemployment rate. Weird, huh?

Consider this example: Say 100,000 people were surveyed in 2019. 10,000 of those were not looking for work. Of the 90,000 remaining in the labor force, 80,000 had jobs, and 10,000 were unemployed and looking for work. That would mean roughly 88.9% (80,000 out of 90,000) of the labor force was employed, for an unemployment rate of 11.1%.

Now take that same 100,000 people in 2023. This time, let’s say 25,000 people were not looking for work. Of the 75,000 remaining, say 70,000 had jobs. Now 93.3% of the workforce has a job, for an unemployment rate of 6.7%. So even though 10,000 fewer people actually have jobs, the unemployment rate has gone down while simultaneously there are 15,000 fewer people for employers to hire. Now you have a labor shortage and lower unemployment.

In many ways that's what we have now, paired with a surprisingly healthy job market. Covid-19 led to an unexpected wave of retirements, a drop in legal immigration, loss of workers due to Covid-19 deaths and illnesses, and tons of people reexamining their career choices by taking time off or transitioning to part-time work. All of this has impacted those numbers, while the economic growth has remained surprisingly strong. So, today, we have both a labor shortage and historically low unemployment.

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The data makes no sense because it's intentionally bad, or worse, fraudulent.

I can't wait to see how they game the CPI when inflation explodes.

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Pretty concise analysis

The "analysts" are looking at the wrong data,

The Fed is a one-trick pony,

And everything is going to the gutter, and no one has a clue what to do

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Is there a link for "Elon Musk is recruiting a team to build an “anti-woke” AI" ?

Woke refers to the ideology that says “gender is a social construct,” capitalism is bad, orange man bad, “BIPOC” good and censorship will fix wrongthink. Among other things.. like blue hair dye.

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Thanks for writing!

"Things are really weird right now."

They are always really weird. I can't think of a time when they weren't.

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year fo the water rabbit guaranties that things are going to get weirder than you can have imagined. and yes it is time to start really thinking about our agreements that dictate our everyday as well as our relationship to resources. I love reading your perspective, albeit written with a different language while in the same framework


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