Bureau of Labor Statistics
How can the government be telling us that we are nearly at “full employment” when so many people can’t find work? Could it be possible that the government numbers are misleading? It is our contention that the official “unemployment rate” has become so politicized and so manipulated that it is essentially meaningless at this point.
The consequence will not be eternal virtual prosperity, but rather a wrecked accounting system for the operations of civilized human life. We’ve stepped across the event horizon of that consequence, but we just don’t know it yet. Our bet is that we start feeling the effects sooner rather than later; and when it is finally felt, all the Kardashian videos in this universe and a trillion universes like it will not avail to distract us...
The divergence is not just between the US and Europe/Japan, but also China.
The US population grew from February 2008 to February 2015 by 16.8 million persons, or a 5.5% increase in total population, and on a net basis, not a single one of those 16.8 million persons got a FT (full time) job… while a net 2.7 million were lucky enough to get a (or multiple) PT (part time) job.
The growing dilemma we now face is private police officers outnumber public officers (more than two to one), as the corporate elite transforms the face of policing in America into a privatized affair that operates beyond the reach of the Fourth Amendment. What we’re finding ourselves faced with is a government of mercenaries, bought and paid for with our tax dollars, all the while claiming to be beyond the reach of the Constitution’s dictates. When all is said and done, privatization in the American police state amounts to little more than the corporate elite providing cover for government wrong-doing. Either way, the American citizen loses.
Who should you believe? Record stock market valuations and consensus spouting, highly paid economists who tell you all as is well...or oil, negative economic indicators, and your own eyes that this is just one more artificial boom desperately trying to run from the inevitable bust?
Beginning at the time of Disney World’s grand opening in 1971 when Magic Kingdom tickets cost only $3.50, Magic Kingdom ticket prices have increased at a compound annual growth rate of 8.04% – nearly double the U.S. CPI’s compound annual growth rate of 4.13%. The U.S. CPI no longer accounts for the cost of maintaining the same standard of living in America. The Magic Kingdom Price Inflation Rate provides a much more accurate view of real U.S. price inflation.
Most Americans just assume that the economic numbers that we are being given accurately reflect reality. That is why it is so refreshing to have men like Gallup CEO Jim Clifton step forward and tell the truth. Don’t be fooled by all the happy talk from the mainstream media and from politicians like Barack Obama. The truth is that the percentage of U.S. adults that do have “good jobs” is actually far lower than 44 percent.
We can certainly "hope" that the markets will continue to march endlessly higher. However, "hope" has never been an effective portfolio management strategy. Considering that the decline in oil prices is supposed to good for the consumer, even though personal spending declined in the most recently reported period, the decline in dividends will certainly have a negative effect on those depending on those dividends. The current detachment between spending and the stock market will likely be corrected rather harshly at some point.
The last time 41% of the ISM respondents, and rising, saw "lower" prices was in October 2008. We can't quite put our finger on what had just happened the month prior.
The latest corporate scam is to blame workers for the high unemployment rate. They say there is a skills gap. Even President Obama is in on the joke. The real skills gap is the other way around: too many skills for the low-wage menial jobs that pervade the labor market. The person who makes your coffee or your Big Mac might be able to design the next major bridge or write for The New York Times. Instead of high school kids cooking up your lunch, true professionals are behind the counter, and the future of the country is behind it too. The longer they stay there, the odds increase that America will take a permanent backseat in global power. In one short century, we have gone from superpower to super size me, a plutocracy, a nation that wasted its most valuable resource: the energy and innovation of its own people.
2015 will be a year of shattered illusions; social, political, as well as economic. The common claim today is that the QE of Japan and now the ECB are meant to take up the slack left behind in the manipulation of markets by the Fed. I disagree. As I have been saying since the announcement of the taper, stimulus measures have a shelf life, and central banks are not capable of propping up markets for much longer, even if that is their intention (which it is not). Why? Because even though market fundamentals have been obscured by a fog of manipulation, they unquestionably still apply. Real supply and demand will ALWAYS matter – they are like gravity, and we are forced to deal with them eventually. The elites hope that this will be enough to condition the public to support centralized financial control as the only option for survival... It is hard to say what kind of Black Swans and false flags will be conjured in the meantime, but I highly doubt the shift away from the US Dollar will take place without considerable geopolitical turmoil.
Is the BLS overstating employment growth? I guess it depends on whose data set you choose to believe. However, there is little denying the fact that with over 60% of the population living paycheck-to-paycheck, stagnant wage growth and declining net worth over the last five years, there is something that simply does not add up. If employment growth were indeed growing as strongly as in the late 90's, it would seem logical to expect that many of the disparities in the economic landscape should be starting to equalize somewhat. Unfortunately, that has yet to be the case.
The majority of the jobs "created" since the financial crisis have been lower wage paying jobs in retail, healthcare and other service sectors of the economy. Conversely, the jobs created within the energy space are some of the highest wage paying opportunities available in engineering, technology, accounting, legal, etc. In fact, each job created in energy related areas has had a "ripple effect" of creating 2.8 jobs elsewhere in the economy from piping to coatings, trucking and transportation, restaurants and retail. Simply put, lower oil and gasoline prices may have a bigger detraction on the economy that the "savings" provided to consumers.
It is that time of the year when the President of the United States delivers his annual "State Of The Union" address. Despite the nation's voting choice in November, President Obama's retooled message is, "The American resurgence is real... Don't let anybody tell you otherwise." The question is whether the majority of the voting public will agree with the President's new message? Before he takes to the podium with his bullish optimism, he might want to consider the following charts...