Guest Post: iDepression 2.0

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jim Quinn of the Burning Platform

iDepression 2.0


            Depression 1.0


            iDepression 2.0

As I listen to pundits, politicians and populists expound on the jobs
situation in our country day after day, as if they knew what they were
talking about, I’m reminded of the Seinfeld episode where
George quits his job as a real estate agent. He sits in Jerry’s
apartment and ponders whether he could become the general manager of the
Yankees, a sportscaster, getting paid to watch movies, or a talk show
host. After the discussion with Jerry, he realizes that he has
absolutely no skills that are transferable to another career. Everyone
in America would like to be the General Manager of the Yankees or get
paid for watching movies, but that isn’t how it works in the real world.

A little reality about the job situation in this country is in order.
The unemployment rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and
parroted by the mainstream media is currently 9.6%. Once you stop
counting people who have given up looking for jobs and “left the
workforce”, discouraged workers, marginally attached workers and workers
forced to work part-time, you magically get a 9.6% rate. Using the
method of measuring unemployment used during the Great Depression and
reproduced by,
the real unemployment rate is a depression-like 22.5%. The peak
unemployment rate during the Great Depression was 25%. There is no doubt
that we are in the midst of 2nd Great Depression, but where are the
bread lines and the lines of unemployed winding around the corner? No
need. This is the electronic Great Depression – iDepression 2.0. Your 99
weeks of unemployment and food stamps are direct deposited into your
bank account so that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your
McMansion that you haven’t made a mortgage payment on in the last 14
months. There were no credit cards in 1933. Without a job or a house,
you needed to move to where there might be a job. Hence the mass
migration from the Midwest to California – ala The Grapes of Wrath. Today,
a neighbor in a matching McMansion down the street, with the perfectly
manicured lawn, could be unemployed for three years and no one would
ever know. They could sustain themselves on unemployment payments, food
stamps, and credit cards. Welcome to the iDepression 2.0.

Dude, Where’s My Job?

Every politician in the U.S. is running for election on a platform of
“creating” new good paying jobs for Americans. Only one problem.
Politicians don’t create jobs. Businesses create jobs. When politicians
and the Federal Reserve get involved in the job market, bad things
happen. The excessively low interest rates put in place by the Federal
Reserve created a housing bubble that led to the “creation” of 1 million
new construction jobs between 2002 and 2006. Of course, the bubble
burst has led to the loss of 2 million construction jobs since 2007.
What the myopic pundits on CNBC don’t realize, because they aren’t
programmed to think, is that the Greenspan Housing Bubble “created”
millions of other jobs that had no chance of being sustained. The number
of realtors grew from 750,000 in 2000 to 1.3 million in 2006. We needed
hundreds of thousands of new mortgage brokers and appraisers to falsify
documents and not conduct proper due diligence. Wall Street needed to
hire thousands of new MBA shysters to create fraudulent packages of
toxic mortgages and the rating agencies needed to hire thousands of
Burger King level thinkers to stamp AAA on the packages of toxic
mortgages. These were just the direct jobs created by Easy Al. Home
Depot, Lowes and a myriad of other home retailers built thousands of
stores to service the needs of all these new “homeowners” and hired
hundreds of thousands of clerks, installers, and cashiers. Once the
delusion really got going, the “equity” from the homes generated jobs at
car dealers, restaurants, cosmetic surgery centers, cruise lines, and
yacht retailers.

Barry Ritholtz described how the Federal Reserve provoked housing
bubble further warped an already unbalanced American job market:

Job creation has taken place across a wide swath of industries –
much more than just residential construction. Sure, developers,
builders, and subcontractors saw job growth explode. But it was far more
than that. From real estate agents to mortgage brokers, from designers
to contractors, plus the many employees of stores like Home Depot (HD)
and Lowes (LOW), the Real Estate industrial complex was responsible for a
disproportionate percentage of new job creation. From 2001, to the
housing peak in 2005, the total number of Realtors, as a percentage of
the Total Labor Force, gained nearly 50%.

The reality is that Greenspan, Bernanke, and the rest of the Federal
Reserve Governors “created” millions of jobs that were not sustainable.
Their policies distorted an already tenuous economic model, dependent
upon consumer spending, no savings, and delusions of home wealth. The
chart below paints the picture of sorrow. The key points are:

  • The number of employed Americans has declined by 7.4 million since 2007.
  • Goods producing jobs have declined by 19% since 2007, while service jobs have only declined by 2.8%.
  • Luckily, Government jobs have actually increased since 2007.
  • The population of the US has increased by 10.8 million since 2007.
  • The working age population has increased by 6.5 million since 2007, while the work force has only increased by 1 million.
  • Only 58.5% of the working age population in the U.S. is currently employed versus 64.4% in 2000, a lower level than in 1978.

Type of Jobs 2007 Today Change % Change
Manufacturing 13,879 11,670 -2,209 -15.9%
Construction 7,630 5,604 -2,026 -26.6%
Mining & Logging 724 745 21 2.9%
      TOTAL GOODS PRODUCING 22,233 18,019 -4,214 -19.0%
Trade & Transportation 26,630 24,785 -1,845 -6.9%
Education & Health Services 18,322 19,611 1,289 7.0%
Professional & Business Services 17,942 16,734 -1,208 -6.7%
Government 22,218 22,231 13 0.1%
Financial Services 8,301 7,577 -724 -8.7%
Leisure & Hospitality 13,427 13,169 -258 -1.9%
Information Services 3,032 2,711 -321 -10.6%
Other Services 5,494 5,364 -130 -2.4%
      TOTAL SERVICES 115,366 112,182 -3,184 -2.8%
ALL JOBS 137,599 130,201 -7,398 -5.4%
U.S. Population 299,398 310,233 10,835 3.6%
% of Population Employed 46.0% 42.0%    


When I hear Obama and his minions blather on about the jobs we have
added in the last six months, I want to break something. The truth is
that the country should still have 64.4% of the working age population
employed today as we did 10 years ago. That means we should have 153.5
million employed Americans today. Instead, we have 130.2 million
employed Americans. That is a 23.3 million job deficit and the Obama
administration crows when we add 50,000 new jobs in a month. Welcome to
iDepression 2.0.  

No Way Out

The United States of America is a hollowed out shell of the great
industrial machine that dominated the world after World War II. The BLS
data unequivocally proves this is so. The chart below compares American
jobs in 1970 versus today. The storyline about good paying manufacturing
jobs being shipped overseas is absolutely true. The population of the
United States in 1970 was 203 million. Today, the population of 310
million is 53% higher. During this same time frame manufacturing jobs
have declined from 17.8 million to 11.7 million, a 34% decrease. The
corporate oligarchs that run this country will tell you this is due to
efficiency. The truth is that these jobs were shipped to China in order
to enrich the oligarch CEOs and their MBA efficiency “experts”. The key
disturbing facts from this data are as follows:

  • Goods producing jobs as a percentage of all jobs have declined from 31.2% in 1970 to 13.8% today.
  • Lawyers, accountants, financial advisors and other paper pushing
    professions made up 12.4% of jobs in 1970 versus 18.7% of all jobs
  • Obese Americans love to go out to restaurants and be served.
    Hospitality employees now make up 10.1% of the workforce versus 6.7% in
  • Obese, vain, stupid Americans have also benefitted the Health
    Services and Education industries as the number of nurses,
    proctologists, teachers, school administrators and Beverly Hills TV
    surgeons has surged from 6.4% of the workforce to 15.1%. You’d think we
    would be healthier and smarter with these figures. We’re not.

Type of Jobs 1970 % of Total Today % of Total
Manufacturing 17,848 25.1% 11,670 9.0%
Construction 3,654 5.1% 5,604 4.3%
Mining & Logging 677 1.0% 745 0.6%
      TOTAL GOODS PRODUCING 22,179 31.2% 18,019 13.8%
Trade & Transportation 14,144 19.9% 24,785 19.0%
Education & Health Services 4,577 6.4% 19,611 15.1%
Professional & Business Services 5,267 7.4% 16,734 12.9%
Government 12,687 17.9% 22,231 17.1%
Financial Services 3,532 5.0% 7,577 5.8%
Leisure & Hospitality 4,789 6.7% 13,169 10.1%
Information Services 2,041 2.9% 2,711 2.1%
Other Services 1,789 2.5% 5,364 4.1%
      TOTAL SERVICES 48,826 68.8% 112,182 86.2%
                          ALL JOBS 71,005 100.0% 130,201 100.0%


The politicians attempting to buy your vote today are promising new
good jobs. One side is going to impose 100% tariffs on all Chinese crap
coming into the country. This will revive domestic manufacturing.
Another side is going to create millions of “green” jobs. Imagine all
the solar panel jobs coming our way. Someone else is going to rebuild
the infrastructure of the country, generating millions of made in
America jobs. Too bad there are only 7 million people in the whole
country that have a construction background. The Federal Reserve is
going to print our way to millions of new jobs by reducing the value of
the dollar, again reviving our dormant manufacturing sector. I can see
Bethlehem, PA firing up the steel mills that have been dead for 20 years
and closing down their casinos. Maybe if we hire some more government
bureaucrats to administer the implementation of Obamacare and the
financial regulations that are eliminating free checking accounts, the
economy will miraculously revive. Paper pushers don’t morph into
construction workers. Criminal Wall Street MBAs don’t become petroleum
engineers. Unemployed waitresses in Riverside, California aren’t moving
to Washington DC to get a great job at Ruby Tuesdays.

The delusions continue. Unless American union workers are willing to
work for $7 per hour with no benefits, the manufacturing jobs are not
coming back from China. The corporate oligarchs and their bought off
cronies in Congress sold the country down the river over the last 40
years. Mega-Corporation profits are at record levels as goods are
produced by slave labor in the Far East at 80% lower costs than they
could be produced in the U.S. With 86% of the U.S. workforce in the
service industry, introducing tariffs on imported goods and devaluing
the dollar will further put the squeeze on the American middle class who
already have been systematically screwed by the ruling elite over the
last 40 years. Our society took 40 years to dig this hole. It is now so
deep, there is no way out. But, look at the bright side. At least we
don’t have to watch bread lines stretching down the block when we are
watching our 52 inch HDTV, holed up in our 5,000 sq ft McMansions,
ignoring the monthly mortgage payment bill, and waiting for our
unemployment funds to be direct deposited into our bank accounts. I get
all teary thinking about it. This is the iDepression 2.0.

The real people of this country who have worked and saved and done
the right things have been beaten down. It is time to stand up to those
in power and take this country back. We need the moral backbone of  Ma
Joad at the end of  The Grapes of Wrath:

I ain’t never gonna be scared no more. I was, though. For a while
it looked as though we was beat. Good and beat. Looked like we didn’t
have nobody in the whole wide world but enemies. Like nobody was
friendly no more. Made me feel kinda bad and scared too, like we was
lost and nobody cared…. Rich fellas come up and they die, and their kids
ain’t no good and they die out, but we keep on coming. We’re the people
that live. They can’t wipe us out, they can’t lick us. We’ll go on
forever, Pa, cos we’re the people

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NOTW777's picture

cool, now stop voting for more obamas

Edmon Plume's picture

... and bushs, mccains, gingrichs, gores, kerrys,clintons, reagans, carters, nixons, etc. etc ad infinitum.  Some are better than others, but they differ not in kind but in degree.

This is a game, and citizens are the pieces.

The USA needs a return to simple governance with simple laws.  She needs Statesmen, not selfish pansies.

NOTW777's picture

really? so you want anarchy and believe NO ONE can lead

what the hell is "simple governance?"

what is a 'simple law?"

Conrad Murray's picture

A federal government explicitly restricted by the Constitution, let the States do their thing.  Or Leviticus.

Hump Day playlist, enjoy the music!


High Plains Drifter's picture

What happens when some silly little man approaches you and offers to lend you money for interest?   What then?  Will we ever learn our lesssons?

G-R-U-N-T's picture

“Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a
democracy yet that did not commit suicide…” John Adams 1814

Picked this quote up from TedBits Commentary October 19, 2010 Newsletter.

G-R-U-N-T's picture

Great Post....I am in commercial manufacturing and have commented before about James Goldsmith who predicted exactly what would happen back in 94'. Among the wisest of businessmen...He knew how business worked. Unfortunately he predicted America's impoverishment via GATT residue, destabilizing western society where we end up serving economic indices.

I recommend his book "The Trap", and this great interview on the Charlie Rose Show. He debates with Laura Tyson who is as dumb as a fence post when it comes to trade and business and still is. Warning...You might find Tyson's high pitch whinny voice a bit disurbing.



scaleindependent's picture

True, but so depressing.

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Horatio Beanblower's picture

Leviticus?  But those crabs are just so darn tasty.

Glass Steagall's picture

And let's not forget the boneless pork shoulder...

1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

Power back to the states.... About the only thing the Federal government need to worry about is National security, Which is Wall St. and the boarder....Keep the criminals beat back & let the people handle the rest...

tmosley's picture

Considering he said a "return" to simple "governance", it's pretty clear that he is not advocating anarchy.

At most, he is advocating a return to the Articles of Confederation.

MichaelG's picture

Oh FFS. The Constitution is one of the most amazing pieces of paper ever written. It just needs to be observed.

tmosley's picture

I guess you don't understand what the words "at most" mean.

MichaelG's picture

That said, I _would_ actually advocate anarchy, as long as we're talking, e.g:  

"No rulership or enforced authority."  

"A social state in which there is no governing person or group of people, but each individual has absolute liberty (without the implication of disorder)."  

but I think it's more likely I'll be on the no-return mission to Mars.

In short: sorry.

MichaelG's picture

That said, I _would_ actually advocate anarchy, as long as we're talking, e.g:  

"No rulership or enforced authority."  

"A social state in which there is no governing person or group of people, but each individual has absolute liberty (without the implication of disorder)."  

but I think it's more likely I'll be on the no-return mission to Mars.

In short: sorry.

MichaelG's picture

I don't know what the Bernanke is going on here, but I keep trying to post this with no success:

No indeed; well, at least not after a shedload of ales.  I just fired that off because I wanted to big up the Constitution.  I'd not want to argue with you, tmosley: I've read many of your posts and like where you are coming from.  Had I been sober enough to check the username I would also have put a check on any response.  

That said, I _would_ actually advocate anarchy, as long as we're talking, e.g:  

"No rulership or enforced authority."  

"A social state in which there is no governing person or group of people, but each individual has absolute liberty (without the implication of disorder)."  

but I think it's more likely I'll be on the no-return mission to Mars.

In short: sorry.

tmosley's picture

No problem.  

I'll be with you on the one way trip to Mars.

TheDriver's picture

I've added "what the Bernanke" to my vocabulary. Thanks for this.

SteveNYC's picture

You're right, Obama is a completely unqualified leader. So were the war mongerers (criminals?) preceding him.

Edmon Plume's picture

That's not what I said.  I clearly stated that Statesmen are needed, instead of representatives who represent their own interests (which is the status quo).

Go read the USC, and if you can even read it - much less comprehend it - before you die, then you'll know what simple law isn't.

There's a reason why the founding documents consume mere pages.  There's also a reason why the Ten Commandments are, well, ten commands long.  It's simple.  It restricts control over citizens to things that really matter, such as "thou shalt not kill".  As an added bonus, simple law helps keep citizens from being whisked away in the middle of the night for breaking nebulous, obscure laws.

It's a problem when everyone is breaking some law every waking hour, and most aren't even aware.  That's the sign of a top-heavy republic.  And a dangerous one insofar as government control over people is concerned.

A Nanny Moose's picture

"The more laws, the less justice." - Cicero

sgt_doom's picture

Negative, dunce boy.

What Edmon Plume is stating is that it is time for an actual statesman, as opposed to a long string of Wall Street representatives in the White House.

That should be rather obvious to anyone with even the most meager complement of neurons.

Anyone who forgets, or is ignorant of, Carter's main financial backer, David Rockefeller, and that it was Carter who first signed that directive to destabilize the secular government of Afghanistan by creating the mujahadeen, which led to the Soviet invasion of that country, is a lazy brained clown, not worthy of any comments.  (Beginning with the Carter Administration, Wahabist Isalmic extremists were relocated from Saudi Arabia to the northern border of Afghanistan, fomenting religious revolution --- originally the occupants there were the milder Sufi Islamic people.)

From Nixon to the present White House occupant, we have been cursed with nothing but the Yes Men from Wall Street.

End of discussion.

"Anarchy" - as you so glibly mentioned, is what occurs when the imperialistic predatory capitalist empire of the USA finances the murder of countless Afghanistani secularists, academics, intellectuals, artists, and just decent folk, as happened back in the late '70s and early '80s.

Shame, shame on your kind.....

centerline's picture

Statesmen?  What are those?  (/sarcasm)

MichaelG's picture

These days there is no way those are rhetorical questions. Who was the last US statesman? The last one we had in Britain was Margaret Effing Thatcher, and it is in large part because of her that we are where we are.

Questionmark's picture

You should have stopped at Reagan. He's the father of modern partisan politics and the first really shit President. Nixon managed to do a lot of good despite being a paranoid wreck and Carter knew what we should have done but was unable to be re elected because of the recession that hit during his presidency.

myshadow's picture

The tawdry shits that got reagan in are now the heads of fox news, and attend symposiums funded by the koch's.


Calmyourself's picture

The watery shits that got Obama collectively elected give a million bucks a pop to Media matters, religiously watch MSNBC and attend Kos meetings.. Your point is what?

i-dog's picture

You can thank Nixon for introducing the "neocons" into the Republican party!!

Prior to Nixon, they operated under the Democrat flag under LBJ (wherein they introduced "The Great Society", Medicare, Medicaid, escalating war in Vietnam, proposed dropping gold-convertibility of USD, and some other "great ideas"). They were a young power group under the wing of LBJ's vice-president Humphrey -- then jumped ship to support Nixon as soon as they saw that Humphrey was going to lose to Nixon in the next election (Johnson had decided not to seek re-election). If they hadn't jumped ship to Nixon, they would have become sidelined.

They have grown in power and influence -- and have effectively controlled BOTH parties -- ever since. One of their first successes as Republicans was getting Nixon to drop the gold-USD convertibility in 1971 (which they had first got Johnson to propose in 1968).

G-R-U-N-T's picture

Hopefully America will wake up out of their malaise.

sethco's picture

also stop voting for corporatist globalist shills who appoint corporatist globalist shills to the supreme court and regulatory agencies.

Fearless Rick's picture

Just stop voting. If you want to do something constructive, throw a brick through the window of you local mega-bank branch. You know the ones.

Fuckit, bitchez.

sgt_doom's picture

To Fearless Rick:

Finally, a cogent and intelligent suggestion.

FEDbuster's picture

One of the few brave men who was willing to take the blue pill and share the reality of our plight, Mr. George Carlin (and yes I am serious).  Take the time to watch and listen:

Don't look to the Whores of Washington to save our sorry asses.  Listen to what Max Keiser says about American "pussies" with all their guns compared to the French whom fight for their freedom and liberty:

Here is a blast from the past, the best economic commentator of our time (I think they killed him. No really, no uploads in the past year):

TheGoodDoctor's picture

Yeah ole Max Keiser sure lost his shit yesterday on AJ's show. I had to laugh. I have been there and done that.

Conrad Murray's picture

Junked you for the "stop voting" nonsense.  Vote for a third party, or at the very least vote for yourself.  And don't give me that "waste a vote" bullshit, especially if you're only willing to sit on your ass.  If you're not voting or running for office, you are part of the problem because you sure as shit aren't in the streets getting it done.

Pants McPants's picture

I beg you to watch, Mr. Murray:


Disclosure: I have cast three ballots in my lifetime - Ross Perot, Jesse Ventura, and Ron Paul.  I will never vote again as I believe voting grants legitimacy to a corrupt institution.  Plus I am not an aggressive person.

Glass Steagall's picture

I will never vote again as I believe voting grants legitimacy to a corrupt institution.

I'm with ya man. Only voted twice: Perot and then Buchanan (can't believe I just admitted that).

I'm done. Fuck this system.

And BTW: anarchy isn't about bandannas and Molotov cocktails. The nut jobs at Alcoholics Anonymous have no governing body. It is effective anarchy - and it works. And these loons are alcoholics.

FFS, if they can do it, why can't we?

Pants McPants's picture

I agree completely.  On my more cynical days I think people embrace government only because they're afraid they cannot make it on their own.  Responsibility's a pain.  AA has more collective courage in that room than the (drunk) zombies we "choose" to rule us.


Voting endorses one's own slavery.  Would you like a red chain or a blue chain?  Theeerrre's a good citizen.

chopper read's picture

fellas, I think we are splitting hairs on some levels, but I will say: VOTE.

It may seem trivial, but VOTING is what has kept Ron Paul in the national conversation.  Ron Paul is ever-so-slightly beginning to multiply.  VOTING will create more Ron Paul's.

Either we are gaining ground on them, or they are on us.  I do not need to remind anyone that our ancestors died so that we could vote (however you gauge its impact).  When they finally get to our doorstep to take our guns and gold, then we have no other choice but to unleash the furry of whatever arsenal we have.  Until then, VOTE.  

...just my two cents, friends.  

Glass Steagall's picture

I like you Chopper. Truely. I've read your posts - your heart is in the right place.

This link is for you:

chopper read's picture

fantastic.  thank you for posting.  

Anna Nicole Smith's picture

Yes, voting may well grant legitimacy to a corrupt institution. I understand the predicament, but sitting back and not voting also grants legitimacy to a corrupt institution. The latter method is just a passive way of doing it.

You're not helping to end the corruption by not voting.

Calmyourself's picture

Jesse Ventura, who immediately ran to the Democrats and started spending.. Thanks for inflicting him on us..  You are right you should not vote..