…the U.S. economy has been losing jobs at the fastest rate in recorded history – for every year of this so-called recovery.
Ignore the fantasy-numbers. Ignore the inane hype which accompanies them. There is only one Truth with respect to the U.S. labor market and employment. It is contained in the chart below, produced by the Federal Reserve itself.
The picture is unequivocal. During the four years which the U.S. government has dubbed “an economic recovery”, the U.S. economy has been losing jobs at the fastest rate in recorded history – for every year of this so-called recovery.
Having a background in economics and statistics, I’ve explained in numerous previous commentaries precisely how/why the concocted “statistics” claiming to show “new jobs” have no basis in reality. The problem is that unless readers themselves have a reasonably sophisticated understanding of the mathematics involved, it may be difficult for them to follow such reasoning.
However, everyone can “understand” a line going straight down. This is the U.S. labor market (and has been for the past four years): a line going straight down. There is no “reality”; no set of conditions where a line going straight down can translate into “more jobs.”
This is the only “unadjusted” labor statistic produced by the U.S. government, therefore it must represent the Truth. What does that make all of the “adjusted” numbers which purport to show the U.S. economy “adding jobs” month after month after month? That’s right: lies.
But don’t take my word for it. Hear it from a friendly source: Forbes Magazine:
…Our analysis of U.S. withheld income and employment taxes [on 2012] tells us that…job growth has been around 100,000 per month less than being reported by the BLS.
However, lest any of the more-naïve readers assume that Forbes’ numbers themselves represent any bottom-line “reality”, the Forbes writer goes on to add:
…last year  we reported better job and wage and salary growth numbers than the BLS and BEA.
Yes, in 2011 Forbes Magazine claimed that the line going straight down (U.S. employment) wasgoing up at even a steeper angle than the fiction-writers at the BLS. The salient point here is that even Forbes Magazine (a producer of its own fantasy-job numbers) acknowledges that reported “job gains” by the BLS cannot be reconciled with actual taxation records.
Note that both the BLS and Forbes (and the rest of the mainstream media) have been claiming that there has been growth in jobs and wages during this so-called “recovery.” Below is a chart showing food-stamp usage in the U.S.
[courtesy of trivisonno.com]
While U.S. employment has been a line going straight down during this “recovery”, food-stamp usage has been a line going straight up. There is no possible reality where there could be gains in both jobs and wages, and yet there are still millions more Americans qualifying for food stamps. Indeed, on many previous occasions regular readers have seen a chart showing that adjusted for actual inflation, U.S. wages have fallen all the way back to Great Depression levels.
[courtesy of nowandfutures.com]
The “good news” is that (for the moment at least) U.S. wages have stopped falling. The bad news is that with workers being paid Great Depression wages they can’t fall any lower…unless the minimum-wage laws are repealed.
This is reality in the United States. Unemployment going straight up. Wages as low as they can go. Over 15% of the population already requiring food stamps just to survive, and that number keeps going higher too. By any possible (rational) definition this is an economic depression, not a “recovery.”
Understand what is necessarily implied when we see the U.S. government (and mainstream media) peddling numbers which are literally the mirror-opposite of reality. There are no rational/legitimate/honest “adjustments” which can be made that will transform a line going straight down (U.S. employment) into a line going steadily higher.
As a proposition of mathematics, such a perversion of reality can only be achieved through a deliberate attempt to deceive.
Note that there are several “Big Picture” indicators which corroborate the fact that the U.S. economy is plummeting lower in a Greater Depression: the collapse in U.S. energy consumption; the collapse in U.S. retail sales (adjusted for inflation); and the on-going train-wreck known as the housing sector are three examples.
However proof of this Grand Deception comes in much simpler form: permanent 0% interest rates. Readers need to know that no government in economic history has ever engaged in such utterly reckless monetary policy before – even on a temporary basis. Indeed, prior to our current collapse; no governments had ever allowed interest rates to approach 0%, except in the most-dire of economic emergencies, and only for the briefest of durations.
There is a very good reason why governments have refused to engage in such recklessness before. This is the most-extreme form of economic stimulus possible: “free money”. In any remotely healthy economy it would (must) cause that economy to radically overheat, and then quickly explode into sector-after-sector of asset bubbles.
Zero-percent interest rates are literally the economic equivalent of a defibrillator: the most-extreme (economic) desperation measure, and thus only intended to be used on a “patient” (i.e. an economy) on the verge of death. The analogy here is as obvious as it is precise.
We have a doctor claiming to “treat” his patient by using a defibrillator. For the next four years; day after day the doctor claims that the patient is “recovering” (but yet never pronounces the patient is healthy). However, throughout this entire four-year period the doctor has continuously been shocking the patient with his defibrillator.
When we witness a doctor shocking a patient with a defibrillator again and again and again relentlessly/continuously for four years, are we witnessing a “medical recovery”? No, we are watching someone char a corpse.
There is one ultimate, conclusive action which the U.S. government (and Federal Reserve) could engage in to show that the U.S. economy is anything other than a “charred corpse”: normalize interest rates; even set the benchmark interest at the lower end of normal, roughly 3%.
If the United States is a “recovering economy” with four years of GDP gains, and wage and jobs growth; then surely Dr. Bernanke can (finally) disconnect the defibrillator? Indeed, Dr. Bernanke began talking about his “exit strategy” (i.e. disconnecting the defibrillator) all the way back in 2009.
And then something unprecedented in economic history took place. At the end of 2012, three years after Dr. Bernanke began promising his “exit strategy”; the good doctor announced that he would keep shocking the U.S. economy with his defibrillator until at least 2015.
What kind of doctor “knows” he will need to keep shocking his patient (continuously) with a defibrillator for at least two (more), full years? Dr. Frankenstein required only a tiny fraction of that time to create life.
To anyone with a modicum of economic literacy, Bernanke’s declaration at the end of 2012 of at least two more years of his 0% defibrillator was nothing less than an open confession that the U.S. economy is nothing but a charred corpse. Whatever fantasy-number is released by the BLS on Friday will be another lie.
There were less Americans working in February than in January. And there will be less still working in March. Corpses don’t “grow.”
March 6th, 2013 – ETF Daily News