Christmas 2009: Santa Still Laid Off

Christmas 2009: Santa Still Laid Off

For 107 years, Santa Claus had a steady seasonal job on the sidewalks of New York City, ringing a bell and collecting donations for the Volunteers of America charity. Last year, he got laid off. Santa is still unemployed.

On the bright side, New York’s Fox News used our graphic this year. For free.

As they say in the Big Apple, Merry Freakin’ Christmas.


Yes, Virginia (and New York, New Jersey, et al.). You can still donate to VOA. Look here.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,, just like Fox did.

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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6 Responses to “Christmas 2009: Santa Still Laid Off”

  1. MrDoughnut Says:

    The false optimistic reports [that] the unemployment rate is dropping does not make it so. Numbers get fudged when people start dropping off the radar screen in surveys, when they run out of benefits or move on to extended benefts. Many people have tried to enter the work force but could not after the real economy was exposed by the fraud loans in the housing market.

    As reality hit the news, people who had been looking for work finally had their suspicions confirmed as to why there was a lack of jobs. Outsourcing had crippled this nation’s good jobs, causing the housing market to be floated on bad loans, which eventually began collapsing, taking even the low wage jobs down the tubes.

    Now it is clear the negative actions by those who were optimistic on [sic] becoming rich off the back of the workers has brought the most negative employment enviroment this nation has ever known.

  2. MrDoughnut Says:

    It is the patriotic duty of this nation’s lawyers to play Santa Claus this year and make right the unlawful actions of Walmart Stores Inc by aiding all the former older associates who were wrongfully terminated in order to cut costs and deny them unemployment compensation.

    Although some of the victims of the rogue managers of Walmart Stores Inc have been vindicated by the employment tribunals of the Labor Department, Walmart has not rescinded the actions of its rogue managers, nor has it compensated the victims.

    Soon the evidence will be presented to the court system of this land and it will be too late for Walmart to right a wrong and too late to prevent millions of customers from hearing of the unlawful acts of Walmart Stores Inc.

    Merry Christmas and happy Chanukah to all.

  3. Mike Licht Says:


    Outsourcing is inevitable, so scapegoating the practice gets us nowhere. As to the housing bubble, the proximate cause was the so-called “deregulation” of the financial system, which made default credit swaps and other con games possible. The underlying cause is an absurd tax system that treats mortgaged and rented residences differently.

    You are correct about misleading employment statistics. The government knows better, and so do some reporters. The Bureau of Labor Statistics differentiates between U-3 unemployment (the useless crapola reported by the press) and U-6 unemployment rates. The latter captures “Marginally attached workers,” burned-out “discouraged workers” who have given up on finding jobs, and people who want full-time work but can only find part-time jobs.

    There’s a pretty good summary here.

  4. Mike Licht Says:

    MrDoughnut wrote (at length) about “Walmart this” and “Walmart that.” Has Walmart done anything that Target hasn’t? Or Macy’s, and so on?

    That doesn’t make it right, of course, but using Walmart as a symbol for a broader inequity serves no one.

    And Santa is still jobless.

  5. Matthias Wayland Says:

    The U-6 and the employment-to-population ratio are probably the two best measures of how bad things have gotten. At the end of December the underemployment rate (U-6) jumped to 17.3% and the employment-to-population ratio fell to 58.2%, which is the lowest it has been in 27 years.

    Santa might want to file for unemployment benefits now, before the funds are exhausted.

  6. Mike Licht Says:

    Matthias Wayland wrote: The U-6 and the employment-to-population ratio are probably the two best measures of how bad things have gotten.

    Couldn’t agree more. Why the media persist in reporting the U-3 I’ll never know.

    Santa might want to file for unemployment benefits now, before the funds are exhausted.
    The North Pole unemployment office is closed at night. It’s night there all winter long.

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