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Deceptive Economic Statistics: While the economists lied the US economy died

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On August 17, Bloomberg reported a US government release that industrial production rose twice as much as forecast, climbing 1 percent. Bloomberg interpreted this to mean that "increased business investment is propelling the gains in manufacturing, which accounts for 11 percent of the world's largest economy."

The stock market rose.

Let's look at this through the lens of statistician John Williams of shadowstats.com. Williams reports that "the primary driver of a 1.0% monthly gain in seasonally-adjusted July industrial production" was "warped seasonal factors" caused by "the irregular patterns in U.S. auto production in the last two years." Industrial production "shrank by 1.0% before seasonal adjustments."

If the government and Bloomberg had announced that industrial production fell by 1.0% in July, would the stock market have risen 104 points on August 17?

Notice that Bloomberg reports that manufacturing accounts for 11 percent of the US economy. I remember when manufacturing accounted for 18% of the US economy. The decline of 39% is due to jobs offshoring.

Think about that. Wall Street and shareholders and executives of transnational corporations have made billions by moving 39% of US manufacturing offshore to boost the GDP and employment of foreign countries, such as China, while impoverishing their former American work force. Congress and the economics profession have cheered this on as "the New Economy."

Bought-and-paid-for-economists told us that "the new economy" would make us all rich, and so did the financial press. We were well rid, they claimed, of the "old" industries and manufactures, the departure of which destroyed the tax base of so many American cities and states and the livelihood of millions of Americans.

The bought-and-paid-for-economists got all the media forums for a decade. While they lied, the US economy died.

Now, back to statistical deception. On August 17, the census Bureau reported a small gain in July 2010 residential construction housing starts. More hope orchestrated. In fact, the "gain," as John Williams reports, was due to a large downward revision" in June's reporting. The reported July "gain" would "have been a contraction" without the downward revision in June's "gain."

So, the overestimate of June housing not only made June look good, but also the downward correction of the June number makes July look good, because starts rose above the corrected June number. The same manipulation is likely to happen again next month.

If the government will lie to you about Iraqi weapons of mass production, Iranian nukes, and 9/11, why won't they lie to you about the economy?

We now have an all-time high of Americans on food stamps, 40.8 million people, about 14% of the population. By next year the government estimates that food stamp dependency will rise to 43 million Americans. So last week Congress cut food stamp benefits. Let them eat cake.

Wherever one looks -- food stamps, home foreclosures, bankrupted states, mounting joblessness -- the message to long-suffering Americans from "their government" is the same: go eat cake, while we fight wars for Israel that enrich the military/security complex, and while we bail out banksters whose annual incomes are in the tens of millions of dollars and up.

It is impossible to get any truth out of the US government about anything. If private companies used US government accounting, the executives would be prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated.

"Our government" is committed to fighting wars to enrich the military/security complex and Israel's territorial expansion at the expense of cuts in Social Security and Medicare. All most members of Congress, especially Republicans, want to do is to pay for the pointless wars by cutting Social Security and Medicare.

When they worry about the deficit, it is usually Social Security and Medicare -- so-called "entitlements" that are in the crosshairs.

You don't have to be smart to see that Wall Street's and the government's response to the amazing US budget deficit is not to stop the senseless wars and bailouts of mega-millionaires, but to cut "entitlements."

I will end this column on unemployment. "Our government" tells us that the unemployment rate is just under 10 percent, a figure that would have wrecked any post-Great Depression administration. But, again, "our government" is lying. The reported unemployment rate is just below 10% because the US government no longer, since the corrupt Clinton administration, counts Americans who have been unemployed for longer than one year. Once the unemployed hit one year and one day, they are dropped from the unemployment roles and no longer counted as unemployed.

Compare this fact with the number you read from the financial press. Right now, if measured according to the methodology of 1980, the US unemployment rate is about 22%. Thus, the reported rate of unemployment hides more than half of the unemployed.

And, in the August 2 New York Times, Secretary Treasury Tim Geithner welcomed us to "the recovery."

Utterly amazing.

 

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available here. His latest book,  How America Was Lost, has just been released and can be ordered here.

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The Stock Market has been used as the 'yardstick' ... by Dennis Kaiser on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 7:23:23 AM
The stock market is less important as an indicator... by Paul Kruger on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 1:51:44 PM
I was attempting to make. The market has never bee... by Dennis Kaiser on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 2:31:48 PM
The FIRE sectors - Finance, Insurance, Real Estate... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 5:57:14 PM
The US Government is a parasite. Living with less ... by Steven G. Erickson on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 7:51:28 AM
I'm sooo on this. Read some of my articles and dia... by FAITHCARR on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 8:17:28 AM
I sometimes wonder if the American people have the... by Marika on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 8:19:40 AM
The government can't keep growing and spending mon... by Steven G. Erickson on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 2:21:02 PM
And I completely agree. Ham radios are coming bac... by Laura Roberts on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 4:32:15 PM
There are times when I think we are living like bl... by Marika on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 8:06:43 AM
It is also like Steven says above. Regard the U.S.... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 8:23:33 AM
Joe Bageant recently writes a brilliant descriptio... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 8:15:51 AM
Paul,Everybody lies. Even lovers lie. The fact tha... by Paul from Potomac on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 11:31:05 AM
As the wise man says: "Be cleverly sincere." The g... by Robert Hoogenboom on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 10:30:37 PM
"...If private companies used US government accou... by Paul Kruger on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 1:44:42 PM
I wonder how much power a president really has onc... by Paul Kruger on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 1:47:38 PM
NONE!.... you saw what happened to the two preside... by Dennis Kaiser on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 4:44:47 PM
It's quite ironic to see Paul Craig Roberts writin... by Elaine Cullen on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 2:25:35 PM
And what I also see, he talks about government now... by BFalcon on Thursday, Aug 19, 2010 at 4:35:12 AM
Max Keiser 'splains what Roberts either glossed ov... by Charlene Richards on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 2:44:23 PM
Max Keiser 'splains what Roberts either glossed ov... by Charlene Richards on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 2:47:46 PM
Lie they must, in order to extend the game as long... by Guesswhotoo6 on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 2:58:45 PM
The following link takes you to anessay titled: "... by John Steinsvold on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 9:04:26 PM