AuthorTopic: The real economic numbers  (Read 744 times)

Offline Palloy2

  • Global Moderator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 6113
    • View Profile
    • Palloy's Blog
The real economic numbers
« on: June 13, 2018, 06:37:46 PM »
http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-real-economic-numbers-21-5-percent-unemployment-10-percent-inflation-and-negative-economic-growth
The 'Real' America: 21.5% Unemployment, 10% Inflation, And Negative Economic Growth
Michael Snyder
06/13/2018

Every time the mainstream media touts some “wonderful new economic numbers” I just want to cringe.  Yes, it is true that the economic numbers have gotten slightly better since Donald Trump entered the White House, but the rosy economic picture that the mainstream media is constantly painting for all of us is completely absurd.

As you are about to see, if honest numbers were being used all of our major economic numbers would be absolutely terrible.  Of course we can hope for a major economic turnaround for America under Donald Trump, but we certainly are not there yet.  Economist John Williams of shadowstats.com has been tracking what our key economic numbers would look like if honest numbers were being used for many years, and he has gained a sterling reputation for being accurate.  And according to him, it looks like the U.S. economy has been in a recession and/or depression for a very long time.

Let’s start by talking about unemployment.

We are being told that the unemployment rate in the United States is currently “3.8 percent”, which would be the lowest that it has been “in nearly 50 years”.

To support this claim, the mainstream media endlessly runs articles declaring how wonderful everything is.  For example, the following is from a recent New York Times article entitled “We Ran Out of Words to Describe How Good the Jobs Numbers Are”…

    The real question in analyzing the May jobs numbers released Friday is whether there are enough synonyms for “good” in an online thesaurus to describe them adequately.

    So, for example, “splendid” and “excellent” fit the bill. Those are the kinds of terms that are appropriate when the United States economy adds 223,000 jobs in a month, despite being nine years into an expansion, and when the unemployment rate falls to 3.8 percent, a new 18-year low.

Doesn’t that sound great?

It would be great, if the numbers that they were using were honest.

The truth, of course, is that the percentage of the population that is employed has barely budged since the depths of the last recession.  According to John Williams, if honest numbers were being used the unemployment rate would actually be 21.5 percent today.

So what is the reason for the gaping disparity?

As I have explained repeatedly, the government has simply been moving people from the “officially unemployed” category to the “not in the labor force” category for many, many years.

If we use the government’s own numbers, there are nearly 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.  That is higher than it was at any point during the last recession.

We are being conned.  I have a friend down in south Idaho that is a highly trained software engineer that has been out of work for two years.

If the unemployment rate is really “3.8 percent”, why can’t he find a decent job?

By the way, if you live in the Boise area and you know of an opening for a quality software engineer, please let me know and I will get the information to him.

Next, let’s talk about inflation.

According to Williams, the way inflation has been calculated in this country has been repeatedly changed over the decades…

    Williams argues that U.S. statistical agencies overestimate GDP data by underestimating the inflation deflator they use in the calculation.

    Manipulating the inflation rate, Williams argues in Public Comment on Inflation Measurement , also enables the US government to pay out pensioners less than they were promised, by fudging cost of living adjustments.

    This manipulation has ironically taken place quite openly over decades, as successive Republican and Democratic administrations made “improvements” in the way they calculated the data.

If inflation was still calculated the way that it was in 1990, the inflation rate would be 6 percent today instead of about 3 percent.

And if inflation was still calculated the way that it was in 1980, the inflation rate would be about 10 percent today.

Doesn’t that “feel” more accurate to you?  We have all seen how prices for housing, food and health care have soared in recent years.  After examining what has happened in your own life, do you believe that the official inflation rates of “2 percent” and “3 percent” that we have been given in recent years are anywhere near accurate?

Because inflation is massively understated, that has a tremendous effect on our GDP numbers as well.

If accurate inflation numbers were being used, we would still be in a recession right now.

In fact, John Williams insists that we would still be in a recession that started back in 2004.

And without a doubt, a whole host of other more independent indicators point in that direction too.  The following comes from an excellent piece by Peter Diekmeyer…

    Williams’ findings, while controversial, corroborate a variety of other data points. Median wage gains have been stagnant for decades. The U.S. labour force participation rate remains at multi-decade lows. Even our own light-hearted Big Mac deflator suggests that the U.S. economy is in a depression.

    Another clue is to evaluate the U.S. economy just as economists would a third world nation whose data they don’t trust. They do this by resorting to figures that are hard to fudge.

    There, too, by a variety of measures—ranging from petroleum consumption to consumer goods production to the Cass Freight Index—the U.S. economy appears to have not grown much, if at all, since the turn of the millennium.

In the end, all that any of us really need to do is to just open our eyes and look at what is happening all around us.  We are on pace for the worst year for retail store closings in American history, and this “retail apocalypse” is hitting rural areas harder than anywhere else…

    This city’s Target store is gone.

    So is Kmart, MC Sports, JCPenney, Vanity and soon Herberger’s, a department store.

    “The mall is pretty sad,” says Amanda Cain, a teacher and mother. “Once Herberger’s closes, we’ll have no anchors.”

    About two-thirds of Ottumwa’s Quincy Place Mall will be empty with Herberger’s loss.

Of course it isn’t just the U.S. economy that is troubled either.

We are living in the terminal phase of the greatest debt bubble in global history, many nations around the globe are already experiencing a very deep economic downturn, and our planet is literally in the process of dying.

So please don’t believe the hype.

Yes, we definitely hope that things will get better, but the truth is that things have not been “good” for the U.S. economy for a very, very long time.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 41788
    • View Profile
Re: The real economic numbers
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 06:46:42 PM »
Michael Snyder was a major Trumpovetsky supporter and is running for CONgress under the Donalditry banner.  He's also a major Christian Fundy who believes we are entering the Rapture and only Christians will be Saved.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline Eddie

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 19494
    • View Profile
Re: The real economic numbers
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2018, 07:05:28 PM »
Cheap debt is the opiate of the masses, I guess. That and fentanyl.

Taking cheap credit away will have more effect than 10% inflation. I think that estimate is on the high side, anyway, even though I understand where the number comes from. John Williams is a permabear, anyway.

Of course, interest rates are still pretty damn low, by historic standards.


Economic repression occurs when the interest rates are low.....below the rate of inflation, and banks are forced to buy government debt.

We're there, but it just seems like the squeeze is not as widespread as it should, or would be expected to be. Not enough widespread financial destruction. Maybe it's just hidden.



« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 07:09:47 PM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Palloy2

  • Global Moderator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 6113
    • View Profile
    • Palloy's Blog
Re: The real economic numbers
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 10:40:56 PM »
Quote
RE: Michael Snyder was a major Trumpovetsky supporter and is running for CONgress under the Donalditry banner.  He's also a major Christian Fundy who believes we are entering the Rapture and only Christians will be Saved.

Since all his article is based on Williams' https://shadowstats.com site, you can go there yourself and be free from Donalditry and Fundyism.  The numbers won't change.

Quote
Snyder: In fact, John Williams insists that we would still be in a recession that started back in 2004.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline Palloy2

  • Global Moderator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 6113
    • View Profile
    • Palloy's Blog
Re: The real economic numbers
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 10:46:27 PM »
Quote
Eddie: Cheap debt is the opiate of the masses, I guess. That and fentanyl.

Social Alienation is the result of poverty, and results in debt and drug addiction.  Let's all laugh at the poor idiots, shall we?  Much more fun than trying to help them.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 41788
    • View Profile
Re: The real economic numbers
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2018, 12:49:14 AM »
Quote
RE: Michael Snyder was a major Trumpovetsky supporter and is running for CONgress under the Donalditry banner.  He's also a major Christian Fundy who believes we are entering the Rapture and only Christians will be Saved.

Since all his article is based on Williams' https://shadowstats.com site, you can go there yourself and be free from Donalditry and Fundyism.  The numbers won't change.

Quote
Snyder: In fact, John Williams insists that we would still be in a recession that started back in 2004.

Actually, IMHO John Williams underestimates the numbers.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 41788
    • View Profile
Re: The real economic numbers
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2018, 12:51:52 AM »
Quote
Eddie: Cheap debt is the opiate of the masses, I guess. That and fentanyl.

Social Alienation is the result of poverty, and results in debt and drug addiction.  Let's all laugh at the poor idiots, shall we?  Much more fun than trying to help them.

I am unaware of any Diner prior to this advocating that we should all laugh at poor people.  Considering you are living ona generous amount of pension money in a 3rd World country surrounded by poor people, I am appalled you would make such a suggestion.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline Surly1

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 18654
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: The real economic numbers
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2018, 02:44:43 AM »
Michael Snyder was a major Trumpovetsky supporter and is running for CONgress under the Donalditry banner.  He's also a major Christian Fundy who believes we are entering the Rapture and only Christians will be Saved.

RE

That may well be true, and you know how I feel about funny Christopaths. But what he is stating are opinions which are often heard here, such that you could class them "mainstream Diner:"

Quote
Inflation is massively understated, which has a tremendous effect on our GDP numbers as well.

If accurate inflation numbers were being used, we would still be in a recession right now.

By a variety of measures the U.S. economy appears to have not grown much, if at all, since the turn of the millennium.

In the end, all that any of us really need to do is to just open our eyes and look at what is happening all around us.  We are on pace for the worst year for retail store closings in American history, and this “retail apocalypse” is hitting rural areas harder than anywhere else…

We are living in the terminal phase of the greatest debt bubble in global history, many nations around the globe are already experiencing a very deep economic downturn, and our planet is literally in the process of dying.

Don’t believe the hype.

Things have not been “good” for the U.S. economy for a very, very long time.

Each of these statements seems an obvious truth to the miscreants who somehow make their way to this corner of the internet. So what's the problem?
"...reprehensible lying communist..."

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 41788
    • View Profile
Re: The real economic numbers
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2018, 03:05:49 AM »
Michael Snyder was a major Trumpovetsky supporter and is running for CONgress under the Donalditry banner.  He's also a major Christian Fundy who believes we are entering the Rapture and only Christians will be Saved.

RE

That may well be true, and you know how I feel about funny Christopaths. But what he is stating are opinions which are often heard here, such that you could class them "mainstream Diner:"

I have no issue with the numbers, but they are from John Williams, not Michael Snyder.  As I said also, I think JW probably underestimates here.

However, if you read these numbers through the Michael Snyder lens, you'll be spun that Trumpovetsky will solve these problems, when in fact he will make them worse.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline Agent Graves

  • Rookie
  • Bussing Staff
  • *
  • Posts: 227
    • View Profile
Re: The real economic numbers
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2018, 04:44:28 AM »
MS has said for at least 7 yrs that the problems are unsolvable, thats why he said only that unemployment is slightly lower under DT. He seemed to support trump like many other doom pundits such as Stefan Molyneux in 2016, based mainly on promises of diffusing ww3. Whether he is still too invested to admit he was conned, I don't know. I read him religiously until his commentariat was swamped by religious fanatics.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 04:57:03 AM by Agent Graves »
Junior  Operative, FBI Counter-Doomsdaycult Taskforce

Offline Eddie

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 19494
    • View Profile
Re: The real economic numbers
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2018, 05:35:04 AM »
10% inflation?

Probably on some things, like fast food. Healthcare is off the charts. Cost of insurance, sure. Those things skew the overall picture.

The reason inflation doesn't grind most people into poverty and put them on th estreet is that it's possible to live without buying the things that have appreciated the most in cost. At least until one has a personal health catastrophe. A lot of people don't buy insurance, or pay for their healthcare personally.

Rent inflation is just over 3%. You can't fake those numbers. I like that as a reasonable benchmark.

https://www.officialdata.org/Rent-of-primary-residence/price-inflation

College tuition up about 6%. That's a decent benchmark.

Gas prices have been all over the place. Going up now, but not even back to where we were in 2010. Let me know if you figure that one out. I can't.



So, it just depends on what you throw in your index. The government figures are low. If you ignore certain areas that don't affect the population at large directly and constantly, Williams numbers have to be too high, imho.

John Williams gives his methodology, which is basically the way the government USED to calculate inflation in the 1970's. It's more believable to me than the current government numbers, but it is off.





What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Eddie

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 19494
    • View Profile
Re: The real economic numbers
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2018, 05:47:56 AM »
Quote
Eddie: Cheap debt is the opiate of the masses, I guess. That and fentanyl.

Social Alienation is the result of poverty, and results in debt and drug addiction.  Let's all laugh at the poor idiots, shall we?  Much more fun than trying to help them.

Social alienation is a result of a lot of things, of which poverty is just one. We had widespread poverty during the Great Depression, but nowhere near the social alienation we have now.



I don't laugh at anyone. I support polices that would help with drug addiction.

Like decriminalization, treatment, clinics with open doors and clean needles. I believe all drugs should be legalized and de-stigmatized,

Instead we get Jeff Sessions and zero tolerance and more private jails. What I want does not matter. What works does not matter.

Our policies are all aimed at managing public perceptions of the "drug problem", not actually helping people. Because our leaders want to make a buck off human misery, not fix it. And win elections. Those things determine policy, not good sense.



What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Palloy2

  • Global Moderator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 6113
    • View Profile
    • Palloy's Blog
Re: The real economic numbers
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2018, 07:09:58 AM »
Since the article and the comments didn't reference them at all, why did you mention cheap debt, fentanyl and the masses?  The implication was that the masses are themselves to blame because they use cheap debt and fentanyl.  When I point this out, you change your tune and become a caring leftie, but the original hard-hearted Eddie is on record.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline Eddie

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 19494
    • View Profile
Re: The real economic numbers
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2018, 08:32:25 AM »
I mentioned cheap debt specifically because my initial thought after I read your post was this:

"If things are really so bad economically, why is it that it doesn't really show that much here?"

I would expect to see more effects.

Everywhere I look I see what I'd describe as a reasonable prosperity. Lots of new cars everywhere. Business as usual.

So the next thought was:

 "The effects are being delayed because people take advantage of cheap debt to support their unsustainable lifestyles."


This seems pretty obvious.

I thought:

"Cheap debt is the opiate of the masses...."

and then I thought:


"Except is isn't the only opiate of the masses."


Real opiates are everywhere. So I mentioned fentanyl. Nowadays, cheap debt is the opiate of the middle class, and the opiate of the working class is fentanyl. And alcohol of course.

I know a fair amount about addiction. I was involved with AA to a greater or lesser degree for nearly 20 years, and I understand addicts. I've heard a million stories. Addicts have to find their own bottom and want help. Some people never get that far. But the real problem is that our policies around addiction are completely wrong. That is NOT because there aren't decent strategies. Portugal, for instance does it right. They're helping addicts.

We're helping billionaires make money on prisons.

One aspect of addiction that I think is worth understanding is that people are programmed in certain ways. I don't think this is ALL by design necessarily. But people in our culture grow up expecting life to be pain free and trouble free. They're taught that. It's learned behavior.

And they're taught that if you do certain things and follow the accepted path in life for working stiffs, that you should be able to do okay. And that, if it was ever true, is certainly NOT true now.

They are trained to be passive. Go to school and graduate and apply for a job. Wait to be given a job. If your not "given" a job, then life sucks, but there isn't anything you can do about it.

Passive people who live with constant cognitive dissonance between Unreality TV and shitty real life are easy prey for drugs, imho.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 12:48:19 PM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Agent Graves

  • Rookie
  • Bussing Staff
  • *
  • Posts: 227
    • View Profile
Re: The real economic numbers
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2018, 08:29:14 PM »
I agree except that 'given a job' should be given a SECURE job. Millenials mostly have casual positions where they can not apply for a loan so must rent forever. They cant keep up and meet their expectations for productivity if they take their unpaid lunch break or dont round down the last half hour on their time sheet. The companies continually juggle their shifts and locations so they cant claim after 6 months they are working equivalent to full time and qualify for a permanent position. There is such a thing as working poor out there.
Junior  Operative, FBI Counter-Doomsdaycult Taskforce

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
4 Replies
1652 Views
Last post September 23, 2014, 05:05:26 PM
by Petty Tyrant
1 Replies
652 Views
Last post June 25, 2016, 12:52:18 PM
by agelbert
0 Replies
38 Views
Last post June 05, 2020, 08:09:56 AM
by Eddie