Friday's headline number
belies dire economic reality. Main Street's in protracted Depression.
Nearly 25 million Americans are jobless.
Real unemployment approaches 23%. On November 6, Americans vote. Neither
candidate proposed ways to create jobs. Obama's done more to destroy
them than create them. More on that below.
Hours worked and income gains were missing in Friday's report. Average
weekly hours for production and nonsupervisory workers declined 0.3%.
Weekly manufacturing hours dropped by the same amount. So did average
Aggregate weekly hours represents total labor input. It edged up a meager
0.1% for private sectors workers. At the same time, it fell that amount
for production and nonsupervisory ones. Doing so shows weakness, not
Unemployment duration rose to 40.2 weeks. It represents a 10-month high.
Moreover, recently laid off workers are hard-pressed to find jobs. Hardest
hit are African Americans, Latinos and 20 - 24 year olds.
Sandy's impact is also adverse. Expect income and spending to suffer.
So will job creation. Most affected homeowners have no flood insurance.
During hard times, their ability to rebuild and recoup is hampered.
One economist assessed conditions this way. Don't mistake headline jobs
figures for economic health. Productivity, top and bottom line erosion
signify decline, not growth.
Economist Jack Rasmus analyzes monthly jobs figures. He questions BLS
data accuracy. He told Progressive Radio News Hour listeners that something
is very wrong with the numbers.
Each fall and winter, well above trend job gains are reported. In contrast,
every spring/early summer gains "collapse. There is indeed something
going on with the jobs numbers, though it's not falsification," says
At the same time, employers are replacing full-time workers with part-time/temp
ones. They're paid less with lower benefits. In addition, fictitious
new business formations exaggerate job creation.
Something indeed is wrong with BLS reports. With elections days away,
Friday's was very suspect. Later downward revisions may erase November
Moreover, Rasmus and other independent economists expect protracted
hard times. Layoff notices are increasing. Throughout 2012, business
investment declined precipitously.
Q III equipment and software numbers collapsed to zero. Business spending
on buildings declined 4.4%. These figures represent rapid deceleration.
Nothing ahead looks promising. So-called evidence that housing is recovering
Expect consumers to run out of steam. Around 90% of households are maxing
out on credit cards and drawing down savings. Watch for that to end
ahead. What can't go on forever won't.
Moreover, global growth is contracting rapidly. Spillover will impact
America. In 2013, expect reality to arrive with a bang. In Q III, US
exports declined for the first time in three years.
Global trade overall is contracting. So is US manufacturing. In mid-October,
the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin (GEAB) maintains "Red Alert"
"Economic shock" could arrive any time, it says. Global conditions are
rapidly deteriorating. Western economies, the Middle East, North Africa,
East and Central Asia are affected.
GEAB said, "Remember Lehman Brothers….in a few hours the world moved
from 'normal' to 'Red Alert' mode!" Some analysts expect Lehman on steroids
ahead. The fullness of time will tell.
Counterproductive Euroland/US policies may hasten its arrival.
Economies don't prosper by prioritizing militarism over domestic needs,
destroying their middle class, denying young workers future opportunities,
letting unemployment rise, and substituting low pay/poor benefit/part-time
or temp jobs for higher paying/good benefit full-time ones.
Bad policies beget bad results. Substituting short-term gains for what's
vital longer-term assures economies in decline. Prosperity depends on
job creation, income growth, and governments serving everyone equitably.
America and Europe are being third-worldized. It may arrive sooner than
most expect. Expect conditions ahead to be worse than 2008. China's
heading for a hard landing.
Europe's in recession. Insolvent banks may collapse. Sovereign crisis
conditions make things worse. A potential Euroland breakup may follow.
Money creation madness solves nothing. At most, it creates the illusion
of all's well. Reality always has the last word.
Summing up conditions overall, one analyst said half the world's in
recession, Europe's in big trouble, and major central banks are running
out of bullets. Potentially, a perfect storm awaits.
Greece and Spain are canaries in the coal mine. They're doing everything
wrong and heading for collapse. It's just a matter of time.
What happens to them affects the continent. As Europe goes, America
follows or vice versa. Paul Craig Roberts headlined his latest assessment
"The Virtual Economic Recovery," saying:
Rigged inflation numbers created it since mid-2009. Everyone who eats,
drives a car, heat and/or air conditions a home, has health insurance
and other medical expenses, pays college tuitions, and travels "knows
that low inflation is" illusory.
Based on how calculated in the 1980s, it's 9%. Coverup suppresses truth,
and not just on inflation. "Everything is a lie to serve power-brokers,"
Officially, recession ended in mid-2009. If fact, it continues. Distorted
GDP reporting masks it. Reliable economic measures show decline, not
recovery. Hard times are worsening.
Official numbers are statistical illusions. Fake inflation numbers create
the deception. Media scoundrels report them like gospel. They claim
economic recovery instead of explaining a protracted Main Street Depression.
More on that below.
"(G)government propaganda produces a make-believe virtual reality that
bears no relationship to" what ordinary people experience day to day.
"As long as Americans believe" what Washington tells them, "they are
doomed." Official reports turn reality on its head. Joe Sixpack can
explain economic conditions better than talking-head economists.
"Americans are far more oppressed by the power brokers in Washington
than statistics display. Moreover, the young are born into the oppressive,
exploitative American system and do not know any different."
"They are fed by the Presstitute media with endless propaganda about
how fortunate they are and how indispensable their wonderful country
"Americans are kept in a constant state of amusement, and many never
grasp" the true state of things. Eventually it'll hit home like a hammer.
"America is on the path to collapse or tyranny." Perhaps both.
At the same time, US dominance will wane. People everywhere "will sigh
with relief." It can't happen a moment too soon.
America's "newspaper of record" fronts for Obama. It backs the worst
of his policies. Instead of condemning what causes so much harm to so
many, it praises his domestic and foreign agenda.
On November 2, its editorial headlined "Jobs Are Growing, Not Stagnating."
Obama "was right (claiming) 'real progress.' "
"In fact, the jobs recovery has not been derailed; it is showing signs
Twenty-five million without jobs say where's the recovery. Nearly one-fourth
of working age Americans without employment signifies decline, not growth.
Rotten jobs replacing good ones highlights it.
Waging war on humanity instead of rebuilding America and prioritizing
equitable government for everyone accentuates it. Longstanding NYT policy
supports wealth, power and privilege. Ordinary people have no friend
in Times Square.
Instead of reporting accurately on Obama's record, The Times claims
he "asserted his employment agenda, including school and infrastructure
rebuilding and aid to states to hire teachers."
He also adopted "a responsible approach to deficit reduction, including
preserving tax cuts for most Americans while letting the high-end Bush
tax cuts expire."
Obama is more jobs destroyer than creator. He appointed corporate predator/GE
chairman/CEO Jeff Immelt as Council on Jobs and Competitiveness head.
His idea of jobs creation is corporate and high-end earner tax cuts,
more deregulation, and unfair/one-sided "free" trade in return for small
numbers of low pay/poor benefit part-time or temp jobs.
Obama's done nothing to stop massive teacher layoffs. His Race to the
Top is a dagger in the heart of public education and harmful fallout
from privatizing it.
His notion of deficit reduction is make ordinary people pay. Cut programs
they need most. Prioritize military spending, generous corporate handouts
and tax cuts, as well as special benefits for America's rich.
He didn't let "high-end Bush tax cuts expire." He extended them. "Romney
has no good ideas and Mr. Obama has plenty," said The Times.
On issues mattering most, not a dime's worth of difference separates
them. Supporting either assures the worst of hard, repressive times.
Sandy sufferers got an early taste.
For good reason, another article said vote independent or stay home.
There's no in between.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized
Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News
Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time
and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy