Fools were out and about this week in an investing world jam-packed with actions and ideas. Here are three articles you might find useful as you decide how to invest your money.

The Popular Lunacy of Blaming Those Lazy Unemployed
Fool columnist Morgan Housel cut through politics and statistics to show how people can go astray when comparing today's jobless situation to the one caused by the brutal recession of the early 1980s.

"The '80s downturn was cyclical; today's is structural," Morgan wrote. "The original driver of our recession was the financial crisis of 2008, which by almost any metric is long over. Yet the economy is still a mess. Why? Because the financial crisis wasn't a short-term illness, but a symptom of deep structural problems, namely too many businesses that relied on debt and leverage."

Click to the article for more of Morgan's thoughts on unemployment and to read the lively comments posted by readers.

How High Can a Dead Cat Bounce?
Thursday's picture of the day came from the Institute of Supply Management's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which investors use to gauge the overall manufacturing economy. Fool contributor Rich Smith wanted to know if a 0.8-percentage-point increase from July to August was really enough to justify a big market boost.

Rich notes the good news that production swung to an increase. "This suggests that the boffo reports we saw from heavy industrials like Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), Textron (NYSE: TXT), and United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) for the latest quarter could repeat when these companies report again next month," he wrote. But the bad news trickled out in declining backlogs and rising inventories.

Click to the article to take a gander at the chart and see what Rich deems "the ugly truth."

Microsoft's Bold Plan to Reinvent Itself
Fool editor and writer Eric Bleeker this week helped investors get a handle on some of the changes at Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), most notably the company's recent purchase of a "microarchitecture" license from ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH) that lets Microsoft develop its own processor cores based on ARM's technology.

"[T]he most obvious conclusion is the right one: Microsoft wants to get more involved with designing the hardware that melds with its software," Eric wrote. This comes as main rival Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) has had tremendous success controlling both the hardware and software of the iPhone.

Click to the article for Eric's insight into why Microsoft should follow a more Apple-like path and why a strategy strictly like Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) isn't an option.

True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community.

Google and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers choice. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Google and has established a bear put spread position on Caterpillar.

Fool online editor Kris Eddy owns no shares of any stocks mentioned in this article. Try any of our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.