Fed Raises Unemployment Rate by a Quarter Point

This article was originally published on Humorality, on May 31, 2010.

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The Federal Reserve, the mysterious quasi-governmental agency charged with distributing and managing the nation’s supply of pocket-sized presidential portraits, announced today that it is raising the national unemployment rate by a quarter point. This brings the percentage of unemployed Americans to 10.15 percent, a level not seen since 1983, unless you live in Michigan.

Fed Chairman Ben “Uncle Pennybags” Bernanke made the announcement after an emergency session of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. “We foresee substantial resource modifications and adjustments continuing to cause restrained cost pressures and short-term unrestricted subdued instability and calm,” said the chairman during a news conference. Bernard, Mr. Bernanke’s ventriloquist dummy, responded with his trademark “You and me both, buddy” retort.

The increase is bad news for the nation’s workers, already struggling with nearly two years of unemployment increases. “Adding nearly four million already struggling families to the public dole is not the way to bring growth to the economy,” said a US Senator who wished to remain unblamed, I mean, unnamed. “The good news is that Congress is hiring!”

Others in both the public and private sectors were equally talkative. Barack Obama, head of the nonpartisan Executive Branch of the United States Government, called the announcement, “Hilarious! I just love that Bernard.”

Joe Nichols, spokesman for Where’s the Gold, a financial think tank based in Kansas City, issued a statement condemning the increase. “This is more of what we’ve come to expect from the inept Federal Reserve System. It’s part of their ongoing plan to destroy the American economy. We must return to the gold standard. Think about it: When gold was found near Sutter’s Mill, everyone started working. Welfare and unemployment were unheard of.”

The increase in unemployed and underemployed workers is also not sitting well with elected officials. The House of Representatives is working on a law that would make it a felony to knowingly become unemployed anytime the national rate rises above six percent. “The rich and employed have tried to game the system for far too long,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a committee meeting addressing the bill. “They think that they can just walk out of their jobs anytime they wish and have the government come to their rescue. They’re right, of course. But making the practice illegal could increase federal involvement in people’s lives even more. This is fantastic.”

Despite the negative response, The Fed is upbeat about the increase. “People are suffering, but this is the best way to bring stability to the economy,” said Mr. Bernanke. “If we were to lower unemployment to, say, eight percent, it could cause a sudden burst of unstable money into incomes, savings accounts, and business production. We wouldn’t be able to manage it. Controlling unemployment: that’s easy. Just don’t ask us to take control of the money issue.”

Tim Patrick

Tim Patrick is an author, software developer, and the host of Japan Everyday. He has published a dozen books and hundreds of articles covering technology, current events, and life in Japan. Find his latest books at OwaniPress.com.

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