Thursday, February 09, 2012

illusion of recovery - feelings vs. facts

Zero Hedge | The last week has offered an amusing display of the difference between the cheerleading corporate mainstream media, lying Wall Street shills and the critical thinking analysts like Zero Hedge, Mike Shedlock, Jesse, and John Hussman. What passes for journalism at CNBC and the rest of the mainstream print and TV media is beyond laughable. Their America is all about feelings. Are we confident? Are we bullish? Are we optimistic about the future? America has turned into a giant confidence game. The governing elite spend their time spinning stories about recovery and manipulating public opinion so people will feel good and spend money. Facts are inconvenient to their storyline. The truth is for suckers. They know what is best for us and will tell us what to do and when to do it.

The false storyline last week was the dramatic surge in new jobs. This fantastic news was utilized by the six banks that account for 80% of the stock market trading to propel the NASDAQ to an eleven year high and the Dow Jones to a four year high. The compliant corporate press did their part with blaring headlines of good cheer. The entire sham was designed to make Joe the Plumber pull out one of his 15 credit cards and buy a new 72 inch 3D HDTV for this weekend’s Super Bowl. When you watch a CNBC talking head interviewing a Wall Street shyster realize you have the 1% interviewing the .01% about how great things are.

What you most certainly did not hear from the MSM is that the NASDAQ is still down 42% from its 2000 high of 5,048. None of the brain dead twits on CNBC pointed out the S&P 500 is trading at the exact same level it reached on April 8, 1999. Twelve or thirteen years of zero or negative returns are meaningless when a story needs to be sold. On Friday the hyperbole utilized by the media mouthpieces was off the charts, leading to an all-out brawl between the critical thinking blogosphere and the non-thinking ”professionals” spouting the government sanctioned propaganda. Accusations flew back and forth about who was misinterpreting the data. I found it hysterical that anyone would debate the accuracy of BLS (Bureau of Lies & Swindles) data.

The drones at this government propaganda agency relentlessly massage the data until they achieve a happy ending. They use a birth/death model to create jobs out of thin air, later adjusting those phantom jobs away in a press release on a Friday night. They create new categories of Americans to pretend they aren’t really unemployed. They use more models to make adjustments for seasonality. Then they make massive one-time adjustments for the Census. Essentially, you can conclude that anything the BLS reports on a monthly basis is a wild ass guess, massaged to present the most optimistic view of the world. The government preferred unemployment rate of 8.3% is a terrible joke and the MSM dutifully spouts this drivel to a zombie-like public. If the governing elite were to report the truth, the public would realize we are in the midst of a 2nd Great Depression.

The unemployment rate during the Great Depression reached 25%. Without the BLS “adjustments” the real unemployment rate in this country is 23%. Cheerleading and packaging the data in a way to mislead the public does not change the facts:

There are 242 million working age Americans. Only 142 million Americans are working. For the math challenged, such as CNBC analysts, that means 100 million working age Americans (41.5%) are not working. But don’t worry, the BLS says the unemployment rate is only 8.3%. Things are going so swimmingly well in this country the other 33.2% are kicking back enjoying the good life.
The labor force participation rate and employment to population ratio are at 30 year lows. The number of Americans supposedly not in the labor force is at an all-time record of 87.9 million. A corporate MSM pundit like Steve Liesman would explain this away as the Baby Boomers beginning to retire. Great storyline, but the facts prove that old timers are so desperate for cash they have dramatically increased their participation in the labor market.

The data being dished out by the government on a daily basis does not pass the smell test. The working age population since 2000 has grown by 30 million people. The number of people working has grown by only 4.7 million. A critical thinker would conclude the unemployment rate should be dramatically higher than the reported 8.3%. But the government falsely reports the labor force has only increased by 11.8 million in the last eleven years. They have the gall to report that 17.9 million Americans just decided to leave the workforce. The economy was booming in 2000. It sucks today. Don’t more people need jobs when times are tougher? The Boomers retiring storyline has already proven to be false. The fact that 46 million (15% of total population) people are on food stamps is a testament to the BLS lie. A look at history proves how badly the current figures reek to high heaven:
2000 to 2011 - Not in Labor Force increased by 17.9 million.
1990?s – Not in Labor Force increased by 5 million.
1980?s – Not in Labor Force increased by 1.7 million.

The Not in the Labor Force category is utilized to hide how bad the employment situation in this country really is. They conclude that 17 million out of 38 million Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 are not in the labor force. That is complete bullshit. From the time I turned 16, I worked. Everyone I knew worked. I worked through high school and college. It is a lie that 45% of these people don’t want a job. If you dig into their data, you realize the horrific state of employment in this country:
74% of 16 to 19 year olds are not employed
85% of black 16 to 19 year olds are not employed
31% of black 25 to 54 year old men are not employed
40% of 20 to 24 year olds are not employed
22% of 25 to 29 year old males are not employed
22% of 50 to 54 year old males are not employed
According to the BLS, 11% of men between 25 and 54 are not in the labor force

Not only is real unemployment at Depressionary levels, but those that do have jobs are falling further and further behind. Wages have gone up less than 2% in the last year and have been rising at an annual rate below 3% for the last four years. According to our friends at the BLS, inflation has risen 3% in the last year. This is almost as ludicrous as their unemployment rate. Anyone living in the real world, as opposed to the BLS model world, knows that inflation on the things we need to live has been rising in excess of 10%. It is a fact that if you measure CPI exactly as it was measured in 1980, at the outset of our great debt inflation, it exceeds 10% versus the fake 3% reported without question by the MSM to a non-thinking public. A poor schmuck making the median salary of $25,000 who gets a 2% raise thinks he has $500 more to spend when in reality he has lost $2,000 of purchasing power. Federal Reserve created inflation is an insidious hidden tax that destroys the 99%, while enriching the 1%.


nanakwame said...

And Americans can still pay 2k a ticket to see the Super Bowl. As was stated years ago the level of superfluous people is growing with the increase of production and technological, a material force of why the notion of eugenics is back with vengeance. Labor should be able to go anywhere as Capital is allowed - an old idea that needs revisiting. Pray to see your complete collapse (culling) before I die Doc.  2050 I will be 100.

umbrarchist said...

Our economic theory is designed for the benefit of investors not the suckers the investors make money off of.  The suckers are supposed to believe in delusional crap.

John Kurman said...

My gut feeling (and I try not to listen too often to the gut, because mostly what it say is "I'm afraid!"), ever since the mid-80s is that we probably peaked around 1976 - and I was too stoned to enjoy it. Damn! Ah, well. Youth is supposed to wasted on the young.

But the "booms" have felt false. They are bubbles defense bubble, tech bubble, housing bubble, finance churn bubble, genetic defects of Anglo-Saxon capitalism, cocaine highs, and here are two interesting things. USA GDP growth has been slowing for the past 40 years, and has gone from around 3% in the'7os to, well ,basically nil to negative throughout the uh-ohs. Remembering back to my undergrad days when I dicked around with chaos theory (not yet called that), I vaguely remember some theorizing about how things start to slow down right before a regime change (you can call it 'collapse', I call it a different orbit around a new attractor), and now it appears there is enough empirical data to back it up. The items:

Ed Dunn said...

That statue(?) is fitting for the current state of African-Americans and for Black History Month..I might steal that image!

I believe the missing element is someone need to create something that can call out the MSM. I'm working on augmented reality and also was fascinated by the first Ghost in the Shell, the Laughing Man where the hacker was able to hack people cybernetic eyes to make them see what he wanted them to see. Maybe someone can create a program that overlays the MSM broadcast with a truth meter and counterintelligence...

CNu said...

 lol, I thought that's what we're doing already - just the very inexpensive, low-tech, asynchronous version of it...,

Makheru Bradley said...

Is that Al Sharpton, Tom Joyner, or Steve Harvey?

nanakwame said...

Thanks for that page, reading on consciousness page too, the brain was my first love. My first question was why we hated each other at a very early age. It is a given about 1973 recession (1946-1973) and slowing down (spent two years unemployed with kids, folks can't tell me about being unemployed). Does collapse = end of species or "life"? Can a new species be developed? That is my contention - Yes my magical thinking is based on faith and love

CNu said...

Yes my magical thinking is based on faith and love

or a self-calming rationalization of helplessness.

Evolution is predicated in struggle. Love the struggle as you love your enemy.

Everything else is merely conversation....,

CNu said...

The psychology of man's possible evolutionary development in a nutshell; It is only the relentless struggle with unanswerable questions that changes the brain - everything else is merely conversation...,

CNu said...

The swarm brings back the lupara

nanakwame said...

My friend - helpless RYFKM - materialism: I lived and I am successful, I despise helplessness except is those who truly are.  My personal goal is to a neutral being, and less burden on all other, even my children. Math and Science are tools we are getting better, but the audacity of our elites including technologist  has been documented since we created oral, textual and now computerized narrative.  Whether we die 500 million years from now or 2020.  I could give a fuck. Life is Life. 
I have been blogging since 1990.  And with the human race that I love Kindness is the first tradition that got us here. Science says as you shit for which some of the mofo, like as metaphors; so you emotive. They just made clean water out of toilet water in the SW. Kansas City boys are nuts sometimes, look at the history, they gave us Parker, though. And your College team is doing well.