Saturday, March 14, 2015

One Last Look At The Economy Before It Impodes

via Brandon Smith at
Now, it is probably important to address the lies presented in the mainstream and by the BLS in terms of unemployment statistics because even after years of alternative analysts debunking establishment stats and how they are calculated, we STILL end up hearing the same arguments parroted by disinformation agents and unwitting useful idiots.
Such people continue to parade around boasting about the latest BLS reports on job creation claiming that “all is well” because the unemployment rate has dropped to 5.5% and all other talk to the contrary is “doom and gloom.” So, once again, I must relate the fact that the current BLS numbers are an utter sham.
Official unemployment stats are arrived at through disingenuous methods of calculation that were introduced in the 1990s, just before the bursting of the dot com bubble; the introduction of artificially low interest rates, which created the derivatives crisis; and the steady derailment of the U.S. financial system, which has occurred ever since.
So who is actually counted as employed and who is NOT counted as employed by the BLS?
Of the 102 million working-age Americans without work today, only 8.7 million are counted by the BLS as unemployed. Out of all working-age Americans, over 92 million are without jobs and are not counted by the BLS as unemployed. Why?
Well, if you ever read establishment-leaning propaganda websites like Factcheck or Poltifact, the argument is essentially that these 92 million Americans are not counted because they “refuse to participate,” not because they can’t find adequate employment and not because the government is misrepresenting the numbers. Yes, that’s right, 92 million Americans don’t count because they clearly must not want work.
So, first, I would ask how it is that the BLS comes to the conclusion that nearly one-third of the U.S. population does not want to work? Is it through its so called “household surveys?” Surveys, just like public polls, can be easily manipulated to affirm any particular bias merely by changing how questions are phrased. I would certainly love to see the raw data from such polls before the BLS adds its own spin.

Second, even if such claims were true and tens of millions of Americans did not want to work, why would this matter? Shouldn’t they still be counted as unemployed in order to draw the most accurate picture of our economic situation? Wouldn’t 92 million Americans apparently on a long-term labor and productivity strike have a severe negative effect on real GDP? And obviously, they must be surviving somehow. Wouldn’t 92 million people eventually require government assistance through food stamps and welfare? Does none of this matter to the BLS in terms of the overall economic picture?

Third, if the assertion is that 92 million people do not want jobs, then by extension the BLS would have to show that those millions of people could in fact get a job if they simply tried. Where are these tens of millions of jobs that Americans are refusing to apply for and what do they pay?

Fourth, a common misrepresentation attached to the claim of “refusal to participate” is that many of these Americans are teens in school (16 to 18) and possible “retirees” (55 or older). The BLS and the mainstream media simply assume these people do not want a job and should not be counted as unemployed. Of course, the BLS includes such people in its stats when they DO have jobs. So, according to the BLS, if you are 16 or 55 or 65 and you have a job, then you count. If you are 16 or 55 or 65 and don’t have a job, then you don’t count. See how that works?

Fifth, millions of Americans are losing long-term unemployment benefits every quarter and are being removed from BLS statistics. Many of them are not teens or retirees. These are average-working-age adults who now no longer have any real launch pad to progress in their career or life, and who should be fully motivated to obtain work if jobs are so readily available. Again, where are these jobs that said prime-working-age people refuse to accept?

The BLS also invariably discounts the number of working-age Americans who enter the market as well when boasting of jobs created to the public.Job growth numbers do not weigh the number of new participants each month with the number of supposed jobs made available, thus creating a misconception about how many new jobs are actually needed to keep the economy functional.

Another important factor to observe in government labor statistics is the issue of part-time work. When the BLS releases its monthly stats on unemployment, it does not widely promote or discuss the fact that 18 percent to 20 percent of those labeled “employed” are considered “part-time employed.” The BLS defines “part-time employed” as anyone who works 1 to 34 hours per week. Yes, if you work one hour per week, you have helped to bring down the overall unemployment rate of the U.S. to a fantastic 5.5 percent, even though you likely have zero ability to support yourself financially, let alone a family.
What does the 5.5 percent unemployment number actually represent on a fundamental level where the real world actually matters rather than the world of hypothetical calculations? Not a damn thing. The number is absolutely and unequivocally meaningless.
If one were to calculate unemployment using pre-1990s methods, as websites like do,counting U-6 measurements as well as the underemployed, you would come up with a U.S. jobless rate closer to 23 percent.
Many of those workers in the service sector on the higher end of the part-time and full-time spectrum still cannot support themselves adequately due to falling wages, rising prices and growing debt obligations, which brings me to the next problem at hand.
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