Monday, July 9, 2012
Lies about unemployment
We've examined before the ways in which our government and our politicians lie to us concerning the unemployment rate. Both sides of the political aisle do so with equal enthusiasm and lack of shame. Neither the Democratic nor Republican parties want us to know the truth about the unemployment rate . . . because if the entire electorate did know, we'd be so outraged by their mendacity and duplicity that we'd vote the lot of them out of office. I still hope against hope that Americans will one day wake from their political apathy and do just that . . .
Be that as it may, last week's unemployment report for June tried to persuade us that the 'official' U3 unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2%. This is, of course, a bare-faced lie. The data have been 'massaged' to produce this result. Here's the most important evidence of that, from no less a source than the Federal Reserve's official statistics.
You can see that the proportion of employed persons as a percentage of the total US population has dropped precipitously since the start of the recession in 2008. It's never recovered. What's happened in terms of the unemployment rate is that most of those who've lost their jobs have simply been officially erased from the ranks of the unemployed. If you haven't applied for a job recently, or have given up trying, or you're underemployed and desperately looking for more work to earn more money to make ends meet, as far as the US government is concerned, you don't count. You're not considered 'unemployed'. The broader measure of unemployment, known as U6, does take such people into account - and it's showing an unemployment rate of about 15%, not 8.2%!
Even the U6 rate has been 'massaged' to reflect the best possible picture. John Williams of Shadowstats, who calculates unemployment using the broad measures that were employed before 'politically correct' adjustments were made to the calculations, believes that the actual unemployment rate right now is about 23%. It's the blue line marked as 'SGS Alternate' in the chart below.
So, when you hear politicians pontificating that so many tens of thousands of jobs have been created, and the economy's improving, and yada yada yada . . . remember that they're cynically, callously and deliberately lying to you. The truth is not in them. If you doubt that, ask the unemployed!