Thursday, 22 August 2013


Comedy legends, Bud Abbot (R) and Lou Costello
COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.

ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It's 7.8%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that's 14.7%.

COSTELLO: You just said 7.8%.

ABBOTT: 7.8% unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right; 7.8% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that's 14.7%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it's 14.7% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that's 7.8%.

COSTELLO: Wait a minute. Is it 7.8% or 14.7%?

ABBOTT: 7.8% are unemployed. 14.7% are out of work.

COSTELLO: If you are out of work, you are unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, Congress said you can't count the "Out of Work" as unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.

COSTELLO: But they are out of work!!!

ABBOTT: No, you miss his point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesn't look for work can't be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn't be fair.

COSTELLO: To whom?

ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But all of them are out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work gave up looking, and if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you're off the unemployment rolls, that would count as less unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don't look for work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That's how it gets to 7.8%. Otherwise it would be 14.7%.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment  down, and the easier of the two is to have people stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like an economist.

COSTELLO: I don't even know what the hell I just said!

ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like Congress.

Sent to El Gringo Viejo's attention from the Ranch on Big Sandy Creek....somewhere in Extreme Central Texas.

     We have just returned from our little place on the side of Sierra Madre Oriental's massive slopes.   The drive is a bit exhausting and we were blessed with a minimal bridge line.  This was the last trip for our old 1992 Dodge Dynasty.   The last two weeks was an adventure.... first filled with the antics of slothful and negligent mechanics (first week)....and then with the services of a team of three mechanics who went  above and beyond (second week).
     The second team came out from Victoria (40 kilometres one way), on three occasions, doing difficult computer / electronic diagnosis, assembling and disassembling most of the top of the 3.3 V6 and tracking the "ghost" until finally finding the guilty part.   They then tracked down a used replacement that was in perfect working order.   The entire effort, including the replacement part, cost 1,600 pesos....which included 1,100 pesos for the replacement part.

     Most of my plans were interrupted by the lack of a vehicle and by the need to be close to the telephone to be able to take and give orders concerning the repair and schedule for the old Dynasty.   That, and just being to consarned lazy to walk a little distance to where a new, and much closer, chatroom has been established....about a mile from the Quinta.   Next time we shall avail ourselves of the facility and stay in better contact.

More to-morrow.
El Gringo Viejo