It’s been years since we visited what I call “the Bistromath economy,” named after the starship Bistromath in Douglas Adams’ Life, the Universe, and Everything. The ship is propelled by a faster-than-light drive, based on the non-absolute numbers found when dining at a small Italian bistro.

Bistromathics itself is simply a revolutionary new way of understanding the behaviour of numbers. Just as Albert Einstein’s general relativity theory observed that space was not an absolute but depended on the observer’s movement in time, and that time was not an absolute, but depended on the observer’s movement in space, so it is now realized that numbers are not absolute, but depend on the observer’s movement in restaurants.

Or as the ship’s master, Slartibartfast, put it, “The numbers, they are awful.”

The U.S. economy has been functioning, as best as anyone can tell, by bistromathics for years now.

So without further ado, here are the awful numbers.

7.3 % — unemployment rate for October.

+0.1% — change in unemployment since September.

2.3 million — number of Americans “marginally attached” to the labor force.

-720,000 — change in civilian labor force in October.

815,000 — number of discouraged workers in October.

62.8% — labor force participation rate.

-0.4% — change since September.

13.8% — underemployment rate (U-6) in October.

More bistromathic mathematics:

+0.2% — change in U-6 since September.

14.2% — U-6 in January, 2009.

-0.4% — U-6 improvement after 52 months of economic recovery.

??? — actual unemployment rate, following revelations of data manipulation by Census Bureau during lead-up to 2012 election.

7949.09 — DJIA, January 20, 2009

16,064.77 — DJIA November 22, 2013

200% — increase of DJIA since January 20, 2009.

\$22.01 — U.S. average hourly wage, January, 2009.

\$24.10 — U.S. average hourly wage, October, 2013.

9% — increase in U.S. average hourly wage since January, 2009 (not adjusted for inflation).

10.61% — cumulative inflation since January, 2009.

< 0% — increase in average hourly wage since January, 2009

2.5% — second quarter U.S. GDP growth, annualized.

2.0% — third quarter U.S. GDP growth, annualized.

2.0% — fourth quarter US GDP growth, projected.

< 3.0% — 2014 U.S. GDP growth, projected.

1.67% — average U.S. GDP growth under George W. Bush, including 9/11 and 2008 financial meltdown.

Just over 1% — average U.S. GDP growth under Barack H. Obama, including stimulus and recovery.

\$1,020,000,000,000 — stimulus injected into U.S. economy by Federal Reserve in 2013 (planned).

\$313,695,000,000 — U.S. GDP growth in 2013 in dollars (projected).

3.25:1 — ratio of Fed stimulus dollars to each new dollar of economic growth.

\$17,219,867,300,000 — U.S. debt, total (approximate and at time of writing).

\$10,628,881,485,510 — U.S. debt, total, on January 20, 2009.

62% — percentage increase in U.S. debt since January 20, 2009.

56% — increase in U.S. debt after eight years of GW Bush.

\$6,590,985,814,490 — total increase of U.S. debt after 56 months of Obama administration.

\$4,899,000,000,000 — total increase of U.S. debt after 96 months of Bush administration (approximate).

38 — months remaining in Obama administration.

∞ — prayers issued from now until January 20, 2017.