I agree the media should be reporting U5 and U6, not just the very limited U3 figure. Yes the Government has been using U3 for 45 years (and issuing U4 and U5) so in that sense it isn't "cooking the books", but the media knows better and should stop U3 is a valid measure of the pain and misery out here!
This problem has been building under both Republican and Democratic Presidents and Congresses. It was not created by Republicans or Democrats, and neither can solve it without taking on the power of the big banks, which trashed the economy, wrecked the housing market and got off scott free. Or the power of the War Industry and the New American Century crowd pushing us ever deeper into foreign wars we can't afford.
Some of you pointed out that wages and household income have been dropping sharply. That is critically important. Combined with the collapse of home equity and the housing market, there just isn't the purchasing power out here to fuel a real recovery. What we are seeing now is just new bubbles - student loans, derivatives again, carbon credits, and the mother of all bubbles, the Federal Reserve Bank. Like all bubbles, they will burst.
Folks, this isn't getting better until we get our government to seriously stand up to the bankers and the 0.01% and commit to full employment! And a Congress that's more afraid of losing the people than of losing their corporate sponsors!
Perhaps you or someone you know is out of work. Perhaps your kid graduated and never got a first job and now all they do is play computer games. Or you got laid off in mid career and never got rehired; or you got let go because you're too old and not stupid enough. If so, you should come to the next meeting and forum on Unemployment on Saturday March 17 (St. Patrick's Day), 2 pm, St. John's Church basement, 44 Temple St. We will share stories and facts about what's going on with jobs and unemployment, and talk about how we can make ourselves and our needs impossible ignore!