Macedonia makes it on CNN, but there is a catch

Who says we need to pay for advertisement on CNN, in the past week we were on Comedy Central, and now on CNN, on each occasion for Free!
Ok, this is not necessarily positive news, but we are already in the Christmas spirit, so this is positive for us! 


On Fareed Zakaria's GPS program, he spoke of world's unemployment, and guess who came up on top! That's right, Macedonia did! Take that Greece and Spain who overtook Macedonia in June!
In all fairness though, Fareed Zakaria's 'data' based on the IMF is almost a decade old. Zakaria was comparing US unemployment versus other countries in the world whose unemployment can reach as much as 30%.  Macedonia's unemployment was at 30% in 2003-05. Fareed, we all know you transferred to CNN from the defunct Newsweek, but lets work with fresh data, instead of post WW2.

Granted, Macedonia is over the top strict with its unemployment numbers. If the US for instance calculated their unemployment numbers using the Macedonian formula, the US would currently have a 25% unemployment rate, at minimum.


In Macedonia, every individual with no income is inserted into the Government's database. Unlike in the US, in Macedonia the only determinant is "have or don't have a job" regardless whether you have or don't have the ability to work.   It is of no importance if the individual is unemployed for a day, a month or a year, they are in the database until a job is found (a legal job). Many Macedonians work in the gray economy and receive social benefits as unemployed. It is up to the individual who gets a job to inform the unemployment office they are working. Many simply do not and remain on the unemployment list for as long as they can. Some are not even in the country and still count as "unemployed".

In the US, the unemployment is calculated as a function of the number of employed and the number of people in the workforce. There are 115m households in the US. The US Labor Department calls a sample of 60,000 households (0.0005%) and asks "who works at your home". Based on this, they come up with 'unemployment rate' for the country. At least they have a sense of humor. Excluded from the report are people who have given up looking for a job, disabled people who can't work, people who work part time and can't support themselves, self employed with no income... As a result, even though a staggering 92m Americans are not in the labor force, the US unemployment rate is 6%. While Greece fudges their numbers consistently, the US is practically mocking Americans with their calculations.

Macedonia's true unemployment rate is likely 12-14%, however due to its system, the current rate is 26.5%. 
Thanks to recent technology improvements the Taxation office has caught hundreds of individuals who received social insurance and at the same time paid taxes for income earned! Macedonians don't realize the unemployment database is now connected to the taxation database. The most bizarre case was in the Skopje suburb of Chair where a man received unemployment benefits for years, while earning 7,000 euros per month for renting multiple commercial properties. He was caught once attempting to pay small business tax on the property.

For now, we made CNN again, free advertising, but we dodged a bullet, Americans can't afford cable. 

Did anyone notice CNN showed Solun while discussing Macedonia? 


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