America's Sick Economy - by Stephen Lendman
Mainstream America is in a protracted depression.
Sooner or later the usual pundits and "experts" showing up on tout TV will buckle and admit what honest analysts have been saying all along:
America's economy is sick and getting sicker. Since 2008, working households have struggled through the early stages of a protracted global depression, getting worse.
While corporate profits recovered, workers experienced growing poverty, homelessness, hunger, and high unemployment.
At the same time, barely more than crumbs were offered for help. Now ended, austerity cuts are coming, not vitally needed stimulus, including an effective job creation program. More on that below.
In times of trouble, alcohol consumption increases. In fact, Bloomberg News said it's soaring. So are lottery ticket sales, according to USA Today and firearms purchases at a time more people either feel scared or very uneasy.
The latest consumer confidence survey shows why. The Economist called it "dreadful with the headline figure falling to a two-year low." It's similar to a late August EU measure, showing sentiment "experiencing its biggest fall since December 2008."
The dismal jobs picture explains. Economist David Rosenberg called August report "horrible." So did economist and regular Progressive Radio News Hour contributor Jack Rasmus in his latest article headlined, "August Jobs Report - Worse Than Zero," saying:
Monthly, the Labor Department releases two reports:
-- the headline Establishment Report Survey (Current Employment Statistics - CES), "over-represented by large businesses," and
-- "the more accurate Current Population Survey (CPS)", also called the Household Survey.
CPS "covers small business much better than the CES," so presents a more accurate jobs picture in its details, beyond the headline number that fluctuates up and down. In most recent months, it's mostly pointed south, showing job destruction, not gains.
Until recently, large companies created modest numbers of jobs. However, "smaller businesses (are) the source of more than half of (all) created or lost."
The latest headline CES number "showed no jobs created for the month of August. Zero," confirming the dire state of America's economy on track minimally for "relapse" or considerably worse because policy measures have done more harm than good.
CPS numbers best reflect the dire picture. They includes discouraged workers who've stopped looking and others "converted from full (to) involuntary part time jobs."