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Guest Post: Does Believing In The "Recovery" Make It Real?

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Does Believing in the "Recovery" Make It Real?

Basing a "virtuous cycle" on lies and propaganda is self-defeating.

Does believing in the "recovery" make it real? The propaganda policies of the Federal Reserve and the Federal government are based on the hope that you'll answer "yes." The entire "recovery" is founded on the idea that if the Fed and Federal agencies can persuade the citizenry that down is up then people will hurry into their friendly "too big to fail" bank and borrow scads of money to bid up housing, buy new vehicles, and generally spend money they don't have in the delusional belief that inflation is low, wages are rising and the economy is growing.

In other words, the "virtuous cycle" of new debt feeding economic growth is based on conning (or brow-beating) the American public into believing that the "recovery" is real. Our "leaders" hope this baseless belief will spark a buying frenzy that then fuels a real recovery.

Perception may seem like everything to our Delusionol(tm)-soaked "leaders," but reality still trumps the con. Real wages are declining and debt loads are still crushing, so the new cycle of borrowing and consumption the Fed and Central State want to create requires trillions of dollars of free money, either guarantees or subsidies from Federal agencies or trillions in monetary printing via "quantitative easing."

Everybody loves free money, but once again reality trumps fantasy, for guaranteeing lenders from loss leads to moral hazard, and distributing free money leads people to gamble it on speculation or other forms of unproductive mal-investment.

So all the free money is squandered or gambled away, but the Federal government is left with the debt it took on to fund the trillions in give-aways. That means the cost of servicing all that new debt rises, which means either government spending on other programs has to be cut or taxes have to rise, reducing disposable income, savings and consumption.

Free money and guarantees incentivize speculation and mal-investment, so the money is squandered, leaving the immense debts behind to be serviced from now until Doomsday (December 21, 2021--the Mayan astronomer/sage was dyslexic.)

Here is precisely how the lies and propaganda are perpetrated. Rick Davis of the Consumer Metrics Institute pulls apart the massaged con-job of "official" GDP growth:

Once again the BEA has used "deflaters" that will strain the credibility of the public, especially if they buy gasoline. To correct the "nominal" data into "real" numbers the BEA assumed that the annualized inflation rate during 1Q-2012 was 1.54%. As a reminder, lower "deflaters" cause the reported "real" growth rates to increase -- and once again very low seasonally adjusted BEA inflation "deflaters" have been the headline number's best friend.


If the raw "nominal" numbers were instead "deflated" by using the seasonally corrected CPI-U calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the same time period, nearly the entire headline growth rate vanishes-- and the resulting growth rate would have been a minuscule 0.08% with "real final sales" contracting.


-- Real per-capita disposable income shrank at an annualized -0.27% rate during the quarter (from $32,699 per capita to $32,677 per capita) -- and it remains lower than it was five quarters ago.


-- "Real final sales" and factory production continued to be supported by inventory building -- which is unsustainable and must ultimately reverse (even if the cost of carrying the inventories has been kept artificially low by the Fed).

So GDP really didn't grow at all, disposable household income is declining and much of the "growth" was channel-stuffing inventory build. Yet this reality was spun into a headline 2.2% "growth" in GDP, in the hopes that would make us feel warm and fuzzy enough to go borrow a ton of money to blow on something or other (unless we've already borrowed tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, in which case we're now debt-serfs and unable to borrow more.)

Something else happens in the real world when the government massages, mis-states and flat-out lies to twist reality into fantasy: people no longer trust their government or their institutions. This loss of faith is a social-fractal death-spiral, as every strained, frantic attempt to persuade us that "all is well, the economy is growing nicely, unemployment is down," etc., only further strengthens the awareness that our government has lost the ability to report the truth, in matters large and small.

Our government is in effect a pathological liar--not just about wages, GDP and unemployment, but everything. Does any well-informed citizen believe anything the government claims is true, about Afghanistan, the budget, or future Federal liabilities?

Data is now massaged for political expediency, failure is spun into success, and consequences are shoved remorselessly onto the future generations. The entire policy of the Federal Reserve and the Federal government boils down to pushing propaganda in the hopes we'll all swallow the con and believe that down is now up and our "leadership" is a swell bunch of guys and gals instead of sociopaths who will say anything to evade the consequences of their actions and policy choices.

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Sat, 04/28/2012 - 13:58 | 2382429 Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

..looking for the website "Of Two Cocks"...

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 16:34 | 2382638 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

delusion only works in the short run, but without directive action, reality will bite back.


works like religion. you realize there is no heaven nor hell until you are dead after paying lifetime of 10% tithe into the church just to hear more of the delusion.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 20:40 | 2382896 ihedgemyhedges
ihedgemyhedges's picture

I'm not delusional, and belief in things are important.  Tonight, I believe I will have sex with my wife.  Just because I believed so last night and it didn't happen doesn't mean it won't tonight.  And just because I believed it for the last 7 weeks and it hasn't happened doesn't mean it won't tonight..................

So yes, I believe the recovery is real........



Sat, 04/28/2012 - 22:51 | 2383067 Mr.Really.Fed.Up
Mr.Really.Fed.Up's picture

Laughed so hard it hurt; thanks hedge; i needed that

Sun, 04/29/2012 - 10:44 | 2383551 RiverRoad
RiverRoad's picture

And we'll all keep clapping hard for Tinkerbell.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:01 | 2382432 yochananmichael
yochananmichael's picture

anyone else remember the "WIN BUTTONS"

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 15:29 | 2382538 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Yeah, but good old Gerry Ford got nothin' on Barak "WTF" Obama.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 16:34 | 2382639 Michael
Michael's picture

Our government is in effect a pathological liar--not just about wages, GDP and unemployment, but everything.

We have nothing less than a bunch of criminal lunatics running our country. When I hear the word "recovery", I add the word "artificial" in front of it.


Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:11 | 2382446 DavidC
DavidC's picture

Those to whom these figures are aimed don't understand them and those who do understand them are wise enough to know better.

I remember when the first round of QE was launched in the UK, the BBC's Newsnight programme went out on the street with a small placard that had 'Quantitative Easing' written on it. From recollection, not one of the people on the street approached could even say it, let alone describe what it is.


Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:15 | 2382452 Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

They must surely have recognized that it was a laxative advertisement.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:38 | 2382477 DavidC
DavidC's picture

Jack Sheet,
Ah bum, and there was me thinking it was something to do with money! That made me smile!

You're not related to Juan Sheet are you?


Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:44 | 2382487 Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

No, and unfortunately he's better looking than I am. Thanks for asking, though

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:21 | 2382457 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture


It took me a while to catch on over here. I was lucky ebough to catch Peter Schiff on CNBC a few times in '06 and he opened my eyes. Nobody I know can properly describe what QE is. None of them even really understand the concept of "money printing". My circle of friends are all college educated. Which speaks volumes about that.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:36 | 2382475 DavidC
DavidC's picture

I'm with you on that - I've spoken with similarly educated people here in the UK who have thought that currencies are still backed by something and have almost disbelieved it when I've described fractional banking.

My background isn't economics (my degree is in Microbiology) but I've developed a fascination for all that's been happening because I don't like the way we are being lied to, treating us as children. A lot of adults might be like children but I'm not, I want to know the truth so I can respond, or prepare, as an adult should.

If you haven't read it yet, Edward G Griffin's 'Jekyll Island' is a must read.


Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:40 | 2382480 Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

I always hear
"gold standard is a 19th century relic"
"there is not enough gold available to use as money or back paper"
"you need a flexible money supply otherwise there is no economic growth, that's what the central banks are for"

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 15:18 | 2382520 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

That's BARBAROUS relic to you.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 20:26 | 2382888 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

At $10,000 per ounce there is plenty of gold supply.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:46 | 2382490 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Thanks for the tip. I will read is asap.

You know I have a few friends who buy into the mindset presented here. They always ask me....so what happens if the currency (USD) does collapse? I wish I had a good answer for them.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 16:19 | 2382615 TN Jed
TN Jed's picture

Tell them....Gold/Silver are for what you know will happen, guns and food are for what they don't know about what you know.  If they answer "huh?" you just reply "exactly."


Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:34 | 2382473 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Dude, the genpop is disinterested and dumb.


Penn And Teller Get Hippies To Sign Water Banning Petition

There was another where the Bill of Rights was read to passing US citizens. The outrage and anger was disturbing.

The majority of people only understand what they are told. Tell them something like Organic food is the best thing since sliced bread and they beleive it. Tell them that the second ammendment is bad and they fall for it.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:51 | 2382496 DavidC
DavidC's picture

Gully Foyle
Thanks and crikey, astonishing!

Mind, it does confirm my point, surely, that those to whom these (manipulated) figures are aimed don't understand them?

For what it's worth I'm either cranky enough, curmudgeonly enough curious enough ('OK, so what, EXACTLY, is Dihydrogen Monoxide?') or smart enough ('What, you mean WATER?') not to have signed that petition!


Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:51 | 2382502 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

hey wtf I just got into the whole organic food thing. shit.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 16:00 | 2382582 FlyoverCountryS...
FlyoverCountrySchmuck's picture

I need to keep, maintain, and log, a Material Safety Data Sheet for using WATER in the Workplace, to remain compliant with OSHA federal Regulations.

And folks can't figure out why the jobs left America???

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 16:41 | 2382647 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

In that case, have some hexavalent chromium, benzene, and asbestos.

Mmmm boy!

Sun, 04/29/2012 - 03:23 | 2383255 CompassionateFascist
CompassionateFascist's picture

Really? the globalists and their politician-stooges - Soros, Bloomberg, Schumer, Feinstein, the entire NY/Hollywood axis -  have been attacking the 2nd Amendment for several decades now, and with increasing desperation. Their attacks have failed, and their debt Ponzi will soon fail. Civil War inevitable. ZOG doomed.  

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:19 | 2382454 Elwood P Suggins
Elwood P Suggins's picture

I BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:27 | 2382464 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

BERNANKE LIVES ON Delusionol (tm)

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 15:23 | 2382530 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I'm convinced he is not popping them, but he wants all of us to.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:28 | 2382466 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I believe in inflation, beer and taxes.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:52 | 2382504 DavidC
DavidC's picture

Beer will do just fine for me.


Sat, 04/28/2012 - 20:01 | 2382860 HomeBrewPrepper
HomeBrewPrepper's picture

Bottled 4 cases today for myself.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 20:01 | 2382861 HomeBrewPrepper
HomeBrewPrepper's picture

Bottled 4 cases today for myself.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 20:29 | 2382890 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

Wow.. that's 8 cases. Most excellent.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 21:23 | 2382945 lactam
lactam's picture

maybe the second case was Delusionol(tm).

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:45 | 2382467 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

John Williams of Shadowstats comments on the 2.2% growth in GDP in Q1 2012:

"The SGS-Alternate GDP estimate for first-quarter 2012 is an approximate annual contraction of 2.2% versus the official estimate of a 2.1% gain (sic).  Adjusted for gimmicked inflation and other methodological changes, the business downturn that began in 2006/2007 is ongoing; there has been no meaningful economic rebound.” 


John Williams has current real (inflation-adjusted) GDP 3.5% lower than in 2000 while the official real US GDP is 22% higher than 2000.  

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 15:21 | 2382525 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

The conductor John Williams? I mean his scoring for the movie Jaws was fantastic...but GDP? I'm not so sure...

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:30 | 2382469 Eric L. Prentis
Eric L. Prentis's picture

“Does any well-informed citizen believe anything the government claims is true, about Afghanistan, the budget, or future Federal liabilities?”


You can add the false-flag 9/11 attack.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:33 | 2382471 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Don't forget the upcoming anniversary of the "Osama slaying".

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:47 | 2382495 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

To Alcoholic:

Usama bin Laden has died a peaceful death due to an untreated lung complication, the Pakistan Observer reported, citing a Taliban leader who allegedly attended the funeral of the Al Qaeda leader. [Fox News. December 26, 2001]



Sat, 04/28/2012 - 15:25 | 2382533 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Yes. Unfortunately. "it costs trillions, people die, nothing is accomplished" saved for "coke and hookers in Columbia. Next stop Rio!" interestingly..."their regulations were improved upon." and to think all those rock star traders on Wall Street had that monopoly! (friggin whistleblowers. No coke and hookers? WTF?)

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 16:59 | 2382668 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

As long as we're creating a list of lies, might as well add:

Osama Bin Laden's body dumped at sea

No Radiation from Fukushima threatening U.S.

BP gusher capped/Matthew Simmons died of heart attack in hot tub

Gulf of Tonkin attack

Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, John F. Kennedy all killed by "lone nut"

Roswell was weather balloons, test dummies, swamp gas, etc.

Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 17:24 | 2382687 duncecap rack
duncecap rack's picture

Don't forget:

Land of the free, Home of the brave

Sun, 04/29/2012 - 10:47 | 2383558 Hey Assholes
Hey Assholes's picture

The correct saying is: Land of the scared, Home of the slave

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:30 | 2382470 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Hold on to that happy thought Peter!

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:38 | 2382476 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

"Now Dorothy, close your eyes, click your heels together three times, and say I want to go home, I want to go home, I want to go home."

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:40 | 2382481 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

Does recovering from false beliefs make the world any less real?

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 15:28 | 2382535 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

You mean like "booze is the answer?" i'll get back to you on that.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:42 | 2382482 falak pema
falak pema's picture

belief is what made christianity great : faith, blind faith. Why should it be different for state? 

I guess Erasmus had something to do with it; free will and critical thought. Damn, that spoilt it all! 

And Voltaire...now we blame it all on him!

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 14:43 | 2382483 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

Quote: This loss of faith is a social-fractal death-spiral, as every strained, frantic attempt to persuade us that "all is well, the economy is growing nicely, unemployment is down," etc., only further strengthens the awareness that our government has lost the ability to report the truth, in matters large and small. Unquote

For some of us this has been going on many decades. It's just the daily background noise of life. EVERY effing thing the government says is a lie, it's never-ending and it never will end until God will it and the government itself ends. Meanwhile, our civilization demands compliant slavery.

Sun, 04/29/2012 - 10:51 | 2383564 Hey Assholes
Hey Assholes's picture

Government is a gang of murderers, theives, thugs, and liars

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!