THREE Charts That Prove We’re in a Depression and That the Federal Reserve and Washington Are Wasting Money

Phoenix Capital Research's picture

Wall Street and mainstream economists are abuzz that we’re seeing a recovery in the US due to the latest jobs data. These folks are not only missing the big picture, but they’re not even reading the fine print (more on this in a moment).


The reality is that what’s happening in the US today is not a cyclical recession, but a one in 100 year, secular economic shift.


See for yourself. Here’s duration of unemployment. Official recessions are marked with gray columns. The Fed has spent over $4 trillion…. and this has barely dropped by a month or two .



Here’s the labor participation rate with recessions again market by gray columns:




Another way to look at this chart is to say that since the Tech Crash, a smaller and smaller percentage of the US population has been working. Today, the same percentage of the US population are working as in the late 1970s.


Here’s average hours worked per week for the private sector.



This number is of extreme importance. The reason is because companies don’t just start laying people off en masse when the economy is weak. Instead they start cutting work hours bit by bit. The mass layoffs don't come until the official numbers announce that we're in a full-blown recession.

Indeed, when you account for population growth and the drop in average hours worked per week, the US has created net ZERO jobs in the last five years. Put another way, there has been literally ZERO job growth since the recession “ended.”


Again, what’s happening in the US is NOT a garden-variety cyclical recession. It is a STRUCTURAL SECULAR DEPRESSION.  


Folks, this is a DE-pression. And those who claim we’ve turned a corner are going by “adjusted” AKA “massaged” data. The actual data (which is provided by the Federal Reserve and Federal Government by the way) does not support these claims at all. In fact, if anything they prove we’ve wasted money by not permitted the proper debt restructuring/ cleaning of house needed in the financial system.


It all boils down to the same simple sentence repeated by myself and others: you cannot solve a debt problem by issuing more debt (even if it’s at better rates).


This concludes this article. If you’re looking for the means of protecting yourself from what’s coming, you can pick up a FREE investment report titled Protect Your Portfolio at


This report outlines a number of strategies you can implement to prepare yourself and your loved ones from the coming market carnage.


Best Regards


Phoenix Capital Research

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Nico Bellik's picture

penis capital research trolling for clients again!

Sandy15's picture

I've been saying for years we are in a DE-pression.  I don't need charts telling me this.  I have 2 business's and those spending money in them right now are getting governement funding in some format and/or they have their heads in the sand.  I want government to reduce, and when they do I know my business's will not last.  However I will not be the only one in that situation. 


**Before the market crash in 2008, I had 30 employees, today I have 4.  Trying my best to hang on to them at the moment because not enough of me to go around.

AdvancingTime's picture

The economic recovery that the media and talking heads have been bantering around does not exist and is just a myth. A manipulated stock market distorted by recent economic policy hides and mask the real truth, in many ways it is ground zero in the war to convince us all is well.

The American people and Main Street will tell you they are far from convinced that it is smooth sailing ahead. Huge weakness in the economy has been shown by numbers that barely get by even after record amounts of stimulus. Fact is if QE or the massive government deficit spending that props up our economy is removed it will fold like a cheap umbrella.

Recent changes in how the GDP is figured , which boosted growth thus reducing the debt to growth ratio, and attempts to spin poor numbers regarding employment have been met with skepticism. More on this subject in the article below.

kurt's picture

Handy Tip!

To sound erudite (smaat like Fredo) all you have to do is add this word to any sentence, any sentence! And, the word is:                                                           secular 

Absolutely nobody understands the word, how it fits, what it means, what nuance it adds. Furthermore, you can add it anywhere at any point. But one thing is guaranteed. You will seem smarter.

The materials sector is experiencing contraction

The materials sector is experiencing a SECULAR contraction!

Apply as needed.

Colonel Klink's picture

Secular, kinda rhymes with NUCULAR.  I is smaat now!

SameAsItEverWas's picture

Herds, as in humankind, never ever "figure anything out."  All they are capable of doing is deciding which "leader" to follow.

All the revolutionary social changes in history were started by just one or a handful of dissidents, e.g. Jesus, Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, etc. get noticed who are extraordinary and in the right place at the right time to start a change a happening and then when a few lemmings start to follow them it builds, and then more lemmings following those first-adopter lemmings, and that's when rapid social changes occur.

It's all laid out very clearly by Harry E. Barnes in his books on historical sociology and the history of sociology, but then again you've never heard of him because the 1984-system of the book originally titled 1948 as being a critique of CONTEMPORARY times ensures that 99.99% of the people right here at ZH have absolutely no original ideas of their own and are the very same lemmings that they laught at, failing to see that they have never done anything original in their entire life.

You won't read the books of Barnes because there's no "leader" telling you to do so.  They're available, and dirt cheap, in unused condition reprints, from a place in Brooklyn you can find through Alibris.

Start with Cato Paper #12 and then History and Social Intelligence, a somewhat facetious title given the incessant stupidities he chronicled.

Didja know that FDR destroyed more books than anyone in history when his "Brain Trust" came up with a wartime order for all US publishers to destroy all their existing metal plates for printing books unless the book was being issued in new printings and in quantity.  They ware carrying out the "1984 System" of rewriting history by destroying all old books so they could start with a clean slate.  Brilliant!

When our WWII soldiers grew up and had families and sent their kids to college they had no idea that the 1984 System had been made fully operational but it was done so carefully that only a handful of people as smart as Harry Barnes would write about it.  And Barnes died in 1968.

IT advances and the dumbing-down, or pacification, of what used to be a freedom-loving people has allowed this repressive system  to go way beyond the Alien & Sedition Acts of 1798 and 1799 in a way that Hitler and Stalin would cream in their pants at the merest hope of having such power.

All of you who are lemmings who do nothing and know nothing unless you get the idea from someone else are ... THE SAME AS IT EVER WAS.


ChopperReid's picture

Get fucked you pooftah! I say that with the kindness of me bloody heart

Tall Tom's picture





You have not a clue about what I have read, or, what I have not read.


What a crock of arrogant tripe...otherwise known as SHIT.



TheReplacement's picture

So if we do as you say and read those books then we are all original and unique?

The points you make about 1984 and all that is nothing new here on ZH.  In fact, besides the cheap books I'm not sure that anything you mentioned hasn't been literally beaten to death, resurrected, and rebeaten to death again and again here on ZH.  I say that and I've not been on ZH very long.

As for the metal plates being destroyed, that is not the same as destroying books.  I'm not going to look up but work with the logic that is apparent here.  The metal was needed for tanks, ships, planes, bombs, rifles,...  What were pennies made of during WWII?  How plentiful was fuel and food?  Yeah, that was an all in kinda war and everyone was materially affected, even publishers.  I can see someone saying, 'let them print new books.  Old books have already been printed and are already available.  New stuff isn't.  We can make do with the old and new until the war is over.  Use the material for things we really NEED.'  I'm going to guess that reprinting old books was not at the top of the list of survival necessities.

Cheap used books are everywhere.  I buy boxes of books for pennies at yard sales as long as I can identify at least one that will pay me back if sold online.  The rest can be read/kept, burned, given away, or sold for profit.  Cheap books are not special.  If people wanted the old books then they could share via books clubs and libraries.

BTW, I especially agree about being the key factor in how things are playing out.  In fact it is the driving factor.  Human greed and despotism has always been with us.  Most of our history is filled with illiteracy.  The thing that has changed is technology.  I'm going to leave that thought unfinished.  Now that must be original.


Don't take it personally.  I'm just venting at you because you come off all holier than thou and say nothing new.  Then again...

moneybots's picture

"Again, what’s happening in the US is NOT a garden-variety cyclical recession. It is a STRUCTURAL SECULAR DEPRESSION."


We haven't had the final collapse yet, either.

shovelhead's picture

If you don't pay taxes you can afford to lay back and take it.

The best of both worlds.

Some of us consider inertness an art form best left to professionals.

teslaberry's picture

if you need charts to prove we are wasting money and in depression, you're fucking retarded or a slave dealer.


Shed Boy's picture

does John have a brother? Did he fuck over a bunch of people too?

atthelake's picture

I hope I live long enough to see what the people of America, and the world, do when they figure out they've been sold out by the politicians they elected. I wonder if we'll (my money is here) lay back and take it or have a French revolution.

TheReplacement's picture

No way Jose' on the French Revolution thing.  There are too many people who make a living off this system and will fight for it.

NoWayJose's picture

While I agree with the DE-pression part, these charts are not the best examples to use.  The unemployment duration is up this much because the government has extended long term unemployment benefits mulltiple times well beyond the original intention.  The Percent of workers has been declining since 2000 - so are you implying a 14 year DE-pression?  The average hours worked is back to a high not seen since 2008 - that isn't a DE-pression chart.

If you want some DE-pression charts then look at the number of layoffs (which is stealthily up in 2014), the number of people on food stamps and unemployment and disability, the declines in the average salaries, the number of people with part-time jobs, the number of homes built that are bought by real mortgage buyers, etc, etc

Never_Put_Down's picture

Blowing up bridges and rebuilding them would be a better use of this wait...we are doing that, just not in the USA

roadhazard's picture

If man had started for Mars after landing on the Moon we would be in colony there now = more jobs in and out of space then you could shake a stick at.

cynicalskeptic's picture

Our alien overlords don't want us off the planet - that's why we haven't been back to the moon.


Baby Eating Dingo22's picture

Is it true our alien overlords have installed one of those invisible fences to keep us in our yard?

Those two little things ain't testicles.

Don't believe me?

Go ahead, put a signal detector down your pants

I Write Code's picture

3 charts, QED: QE!

But of course if the Fed wasn't printing trillions things would be even worse, someone will say right?

More like, they're using this excuse to steal trillions, which has no direct effects on employment at all, it's not even SUPPOSED to have any *direct* effects, it's supposed to have "indirect" effects.  Gonna show up any day now, you just wait and see.  Meanwhile finish washing my Ferrari or I'll ship your kids back to Guatemala.

Never_Put_Down's picture

Right on. Trillions into the economy and little to show for it is the definition of theft - all that money went into peoples pocket somewhere

Hohum's picture

The real story about labor is that there are tens of millions of us employed in the USA whose jobs could disappear tomorrow and society wouldn't know the difference.

JRobby's picture

Anyone who busts that 34.5 hour per week ceiling is out, do you understand? I mean you are out of the club forever.

Shad_ow's picture

Seriously?  You need charts to tell you this?

tempo's picture

eliminate 1 full time job, create 2 part-time jobs, successful as well as compassionate!! Go teacher unions working 7 months per year, 6 hours per day, for $75K w guarantee job for life.

Baby Eating Dingo22's picture

I know very few teachers who devote less than 10-12 hours a day to their jobs, at least ten months a year. Summers are spent preparing for the next semester

Very dedicated and filling in the voids the kids selfish parents leave

Additionally, teachers are often forced to incur more out of pocket expenses to fill the voids the banksters stole



Accounting101's picture

Fuck you! Seven months my ass. Try 10 months with the remaining two months spent at universities at master tuition rates continually updating certifications on their own dime. Teachers help to raise, they educate and sometimes die for other people's children.

If you think teaching is such an easy profession, walk down to your local public school and volunteer in a first grade classroom. You'll piss your pants within an hour and run out the door like the bitch you are.

What an ass!

Baby Eating Dingo22's picture

I recently did just that, volunteering at an elementary school

The controlled chaos and the patience teachers must have is remarkable

I have also watched high school teachers exhibit incredible dedication

Yes, there are a few bad apples like anywhere else

Amazing that 8 shmucks down voted your post


failure to perform's picture

Teachers are union whores these days. Most surf the internet while giving out busy work in our blue ribbon district. They teach for testing, I do a decent job at home making sure they become a person and not a parrot.

Farqued Up's picture

Where are these educated superstars teaching? Why is the average American student ranked about 27th in the world? Below 27 the countries are hunter-gatherers drinking water out of a stream. Some teachers are as you describe, but I don't know any so I'll take your word for it.

Also, how long must these superstars work before 100% vested in the trough? I'll bet no more than 25 years which would put them in their late 40s max. Superstars should max out earlier.

One last data point, the USA literacy rate is somewhere between 80-85% (and dropping) whereas every English speaking country in the Caribbean with better than 50% minorities, some 95%, all have literacy rates above 90%. I've run the streets in most of them and I may not be accurate with Jamaica. Don't know.

Please go look it up but only after you calm down. :-)






Colonel Klink's picture

Sound the alerts, impact imminent!!!

ThroxxOfVron's picture

Impact WHAT, Commedangt?


doctor10's picture

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

minosgal's picture

Psychosis is not even realizing it.

TVP's picture

And sociopathy is doing the same thing over and over in order to deliberately impoverish and torture the millions of clueless masses for the benefit of the thousands of rich, bentely and mazzarati driving f#cks who live in a narcissistic bubble.  END THE FED, ELECT THIRD-PARTY CANDIDATES.  Ross Perot was right.  

Jethro's picture

Aye Aye! Full steam ahead Cap'n Yellen

stormsailor's picture



so stop trying to cheer us up

kchrisc's picture

It will end, as there is a brickwall somewhere up ahead.

TheMerryPrankster's picture

you can't have economic growth without cheap oil.

There is no cheap oil left.

There is no more spectacular growth left

The future will be downward in dribs and drabs and massive drops, all mixed together and blamed on everything but cheap oil.

Coal and oil were the basis of the industrial revolution. The revolution is over now we have to bury the dead.

Stagnation is the new reality.

o2sd's picture

Wrong, wrong and wrong. By item.

you can't have economic growth without cheap oil.

Wrong. You can have economic growth with cheap electricity, even if oil is becoming more expensive. You can also have economic growth through creating technological solutions to using oil more efficiently.

There is no cheap oil left.

Wrong. The price of oil is a function of demand and supply.Supply has peaked, BUT SO HAS DEMAND! At a high enough price, energy is fungible. There have been cars made that ran on WOOD!

There is no more spectacular growth left

Wrong. The most spectacular growth yet is still on the horizon. The world's economies need to make a structural adjustment, which is a euphemism for "the world's owners of capital need to extract the last of the returns from their industrial age investments before they will redeploy capital to technological age companies".

The future will be downward in dribs and drabs and massive drops, all mixed together and blamed on everything but cheap oil.

The words "The future" mean from now to the rest of eternity, making your statement above nonsense. When our star super novas in some billions of years time, oil, cheap or otherwise will be irrelevant to us. The next 5-10 years will be very disruptive. The next 10 years after that less so. The world will change a lot. It will become unrecognisable for some people, others less so.

PT's picture

In order to save their children from a minimum wage existence (or to keep them out of jail), the powerful are parachuting their children into jobs that are above their skill level and above their attention span. As a result, innovation is being replaced by rationing, because any idiot can sign a piece of paper to tell people to use less.  It takes money, brains and effort to actually solve problems and produce more.  All the true innovators are up to their eyeballs in student debt, or outside of the education system so that they can avoid debt, or they are busy "innovating" in the industry that returns the most bang for the buck - financial "services".

No brain power is currently being directed towards solving our energy crises.  But we are paying anyone and everyone to have more babies. 

I could be wrong about all of the above.  Feel free to tell me all about it.

And OT:  have we finally started to overflow Tyler's hard drive?  I was trying to look up an "old" ( 28 May 2014 ) story and it is already archived and comments stripped out of it.

I swear we used to be able to go further back in history.  Anyone else notice anything?

o2sd's picture

Your first assertion is correct, your second is not. There is a huge amount of brain power directed to solving the "energy crises". Both (nepotism/corruption/kleptocracy and research/innovation)  are existing simultaneously. In fact, so much brain power has been directed at energy innovation, many in the field now consider it to be a 'solved problem', it is just that most of the solutions haven't been widely implemented yet.

However, as the cost of energy rises (which it inevitably will), the market will take care of the problem of implementation, because those who haven't implemented will go broke, and those that have will buy their assets implement those savings. In the same way that the whales were saved by profit maximising capitalists and technical innovators when coal gas displaced whale oil in the market for energy.

As long as you have free markets, you can solve your energy problems. The real danger is when you have an oligarchy whose energy inefficient businesses are paid for by the people through their taxes. If you have THAT, then those energy innovations will leave the US and will be implemented somewhere else (energy productivity=>economic success=>military power). If you are worried about the US becoming a military junta or a communist dictatorship, you might want to look at acquiring a skill or some knowledge that will get you employed somewhere else. Maybe learn Chinese? Or Korean?


Stuck on Zero's picture

There won't be any economic growth, oil, electricity, or anything if the kleptocrats aren't removed from office.  As it is, government will expand to suck up any technological innovations in the future.



Rat Race Winner's picture

THAT's why Obummer is forcing us to sit on our coal deposits!!

cynicalskeptic's picture

We could afford a surplus uneducated population when energy was cheap - and even let many of them live a pretty good 'middle class' life.  

Without cheap energy we go back to what we had for millenium - a very few lords ruling over a multitude of slaves and serfs whose labor kept things going.