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"Jobless rate falls to 9.7% - Payrolls Drop by 20,000" Huh?

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Recent headlines on bloomberg.com finally reveal the fallacy and lies of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the complete contradiction contained within the unemployment accounting methods used by the government to measure and report unemployment levels. It was only a matter of time before this contradiction became obvious and undeniable, before the heinous lies perpetrated by our government on the people were exposed.

On its face the notion that the unemployment rate can fall while job losses increase is preposterous. That these headlines portray the actual reporting from the government sources attests to the treachery of our political institutions and the misinformation that has become a normal part of Washington politics and mainstream media. If their credibility has not already been damaged beyond repair this latest round of so-called "news' eliminates any remaining vestige of confidence we might have had in our nation's political establishment and mainstream media "outlets.' (Isn't an "outlet' a large retail operation that operates from a big-box warehouse promising huge discounts from standard retail prices? Are the media pundits the same, offering "discount news' using economies of scale?)

It is nothing less than an egregious insult to our common sense that our own government continues to spew lies and distortions in order to make them look good. Only an ignoramus would trust the information published by government resources. Today, if one believes the contradictory government figures, the opposing facts will cause a short circuit in our cognitive processes much like the robots in "I, Robot" are confused when their "prime directive' requires them to protect every humans at all cost but humans are destroying one another. Which instruction are we to follow?

To understand how these two apparently contradictory "facts' can co-exist it is necessary to understand how the government distorts unemployment figures. It is really quite simple. Since Clinton changed the way unemployment is calculated in 1993 (in order to make himself and the Democrats look good while the true facts indicated otherwise) we no longer have any idea of the true level of unemployment that exists in our nation. Most are familiar with the notion that underemployed workers are counted as "employed' even though they only have part-time jobs or are employed beneath their skill level. However, few people understand the other half of the equation. When an employee is sacked he or she typically will request unemployment compensation. If that employee is not entitled to unemployment compensation, or does not apply for it, or uses up all that he or she is entitled to, that unemployed person is not longer considered unemployed. This legerdemain is a cheap trick at best, reminiscent of snake oil salesmen and street hustlers that offer you a dollar if you can "find the pea'. Only the ignorant are inveigled by this nonsensical illogic. When a person does not have a job that person is unemployed, end of story. No amount of re-classifying an unemployed worker can result in that worker being employed or earning an income. The only way an unemployed worker can no longer be called unemployed is when they have a new job. However, our government together with the corporate news media, has so confused the English language and our perception of reality that "unemployed' no longer means "unemployed.' Sadly, most citizens have either not paid attention to this disinformation scheme or are simply too ignorant to understand how they have been duped.

The unemployment figures over the past year have hidden the truth about unemployment. In the past, before the "newspeak' distortions prevailed, this was referred to as a lie. As laid off employees have remained unemployed for long periods their names fall off the unemployment count for a variety of reasons, even though they remain unemployed. The effect of this bamboozlement is to create the impression that unemployment has been slowing down and is preparing for a turn-around. Combined with the very odd stock market undulations it has been easy to claim that the economic downturn has "bottomed out' and is in a recovery mode. Of course nothing could be further from the truth.

A year ago, according to the BLS, jobs were being lost at the rate of approximately a half million a month. Slowly this number reduced to under a hundred thousand. Does that mean unemployment was being reduced? Did that mean jobs were not being lost at such a frightening rate as a year ago? Of course not! In the "new math' used by the BLS is just another in a long series of deceits that our politicians and their complicit media have perpetrated upon us.

The real figures, based on the common definition of the word "unemployed' as defined in the Random House Dictionary, i.e. "to be without a job," have remained the same as a year ago. We are still losing about a half million jobs a month without any relief in sight. Effectively, as a half a million jobs are lost each month, another half million unemployed persons are "reclassified' and no longer counted in unemployment figures. It is a pretty neat trick if the BLS and our politicians can get away with it. It provides excellent cover for the next lie: the economy is recovering. Unfortunately, by not knowing the real truth, people act upon false knowledge and lies. If people really knew the true unemployment facts we would all be behaving in a much different manner. If we realized that our jobs have been hemorrhaging a blood curdling rates for approximately seventeen months we would likely be much more vocal in our opposition to the neo-economic policies of the past thirty years. But since this truth has been hidden and will only be revealed as 2010 marches on, it will be much easier for the mainstream news to lay this circumstance at the feet of the Obama administration. One would think that Obama and his Washington cohorts would be savvy to this potential problem and head it off before it becomes their own. However, this wishful thinking is infantile. Obama is part of the problem and has done nothing whatsoever to stem the tide of job loss and economic collapse. He may have delayed the inevitable for a short while but soon we will all see the fallacy of trickle down economics for what it really is, the greatest rip-off in the history of the United States.

Sooner or later all these "facts and figures' catch up with one another. Today was that day for the unemployment count scam. The headlines reported by Bloomberg are undeniable. Only those who are steeped in the dogma, who have imbibed the kool-aid, can report such trash with a straight face. Thus it was probably of no concern to Bloomberg journalists that their news was patently contradictory, so accustomed they are to newspeak misinformation.

But the truth is far more bone chilling. We continue to lose jobs at startling rates and no one is putting a tourniquet on the open wound. So far there is no politician or pundit that has identified the true root cause of our job losses and collapsing economy, let alone begun to address it with legislative reform. By the time the root cause is recognized and the Congress (at its normal snail pace) can act, it will be far too late to save another ten million jobs that will be lost before 2012. And the future projections are still daunting. Most economists predict that the job market will not recover until 2012. However, 2012 is far away and none of them have any idea whatsoever what the heck will happen then. They can only foresee that no jobs will be created in the foreseeable future and they "assume' eventually the economy will recover and jobs will be created. Placing these events out in the year 2012 is just a way of putting off recognition of the truth. When 2012 arrives jobs will continue to be lost and no new jobs will be created at all.

Americans do not recognize that the root cause of our job losses are founded in the free trade agreements that allow (indeed encourage) corporations to locate their manufacturing facilities in third world nations where cheap labor and lack of environmental protection result in lower costs of production than can be achieved here in the US. And to make matters far worse, our politicians say the solution to this problem is not to require foreign nations to implement decent wage laws or environmental protections but instead they use our own job losses to insist that we remove minimum wage laws here and eliminate environmental protection. In other words, they tell us, the only way for us to get jobs back here is for workers to accept $2.50 per day in wages and allow our rivers, air, land and natural resources to become polluted beyond repair. That is their solution.

As long as Americans keep voting into office Democrats and Republicans this situation will continue to accelerate. Employment will never recover until we all have jobs paying slave wages. This circumstance is so horrific that Americans simply refuse to acknowledge the truth. The price we will eventually pay for our forced ignorance will be far higher than we can ever imagine today. To get a glimpse into our own economic future just take a trip to third world nations in Vietnam, China, Africa, South America and other similar places and check out the working and living conditions of the average citizen. Take a good long look and know that is where American is headed. The go to the voting booth and vote your conscience, not your party affiliation.

 

An economist for 34 years I have remained committed to social justice and economic equality for as long. As long as we keep voting in Tweedly-Demos and Tweedly-Repugs nothing will change. The only way we can affect the political structure is to (more...)
 
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It is useful to look at the BLS data on employment... by Harold Hellickson on Saturday, Feb 6, 2010 at 1:20:33 PM
Thanks for those numbers. They really paint a cle... by Jeffrey Rock on Saturday, Feb 6, 2010 at 6:43:41 PM
Are upwards of 22% right now. Armchair economists ... by jason on Monday, Feb 8, 2010 at 12:18:36 AM
Sears/Kmart is cutting hours. All part time employ... by siriusss on Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 3:50:29 PM
I am always sorry to hear about another victim of ... by Jeffrey Rock on Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 6:33:59 PM