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Guest Post: The Grand Game Of Perception Management

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

The Grand Game of Perception Management

The economy will expand if you believe it is expanding--because you'll be "animal spirited" into buying a lot of stuff on credit that you can't afford.

It all boils down to perception--that's the insight at the heart of the Grand Game of Perception Management. Economists speak of magical "animal spirits" that fuel economic expansion, but this is simply a colorful term for perception management: when people perceive others reaping outsized gains in profits or pleasure from taking risky bets and freely spending borrowed money, then they will feel an overpowering urge to follow the herd and leverage their capital (if any) and disposable income (if any) into risky bets and zealous over-consumption, i.e. "animal spirits."

Conversely, when said risky bets blow up and participants have lost their ever-loving derrieres by following the herd, then "animal spirits" quickly dissipate as the herd thunders off a cliff to its financial demise.

The task of the financial/political/media Status Quo is to convince Americans to overlook the abundant evidence of economic deterioration and focus on heavily juiced "evidence" of robust "growth."

The game plan is this: if the Status Quo can convince you that the economy has righted itself and from here on in everything will get better and better, every day and in every way, then we will abandon financial rationality and start buying homes we can't afford on credit, cars we can't afford on credit and boatloads of stuff from China that we don't need on credit (of course looking cool is a "need," i.e. having an iPad to carry around).

In other words, believing it is so will make it so. That is the essence of the campaign to stimulate "animal spirits" confidence: though the economy is actually tanking, if they can only convince us the Dow is moving to 15,000 and then on to 20,000, jobs are being created left and right and things are looking up everywhere, then the resulting piranha-like shopping-feeding-frenzy will create the expansion that is currently chimerical.

This "feel-good" promotion of "growth" is also designed to persuade the millions of holdouts earning nothing on their IRA funds to drop all that cash back into the stock market, which is "breaking out to new highs." (Isn't that what they said in January 2000?)

And just in case this propaganda campaign fails to do the trick, the Federal Reserve has destroyed the return on savings and cash, all in the hope that the decimated, income-starved herd will turn from rationally avoiding risk to irrationally embracing it out of sheer desperation.

"Perception management" can be usefully shortened to a one-syllable word: "con." The confidence-man's most basic tool is to create the surface sheen of success with minimal investment of time and capital. Thus the con-man buys a couple of designer suits, rents a cubbyhole office with a prestigious address, leases a 500-series Mercedes vehicle, counterfeits some diplomas or other signifiers of Elite status and achievement, and then goes to work conning his credulous marks.

This exactly describes the strategy being pursued by Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, the financial media, and America's scabrous political class. Consider one of the Status Quo's most valuable cons, the unemployment rate as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

If we look at this chart from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, we see that employment--the actual number of people with jobs, as opposed to those who are without jobs--we see that the number of people with jobs has declined recently and is now at the same level of 3rd quarter 2009, a few months after it was officially declared that the recession had ended.

The official unemployment rate was 10% in October 2009, when about 140 million people were found to have some sort of job, and now that the same number of people have been found to have some sort of job (140 million), the unemployment rate is now only 8.3%, even though the nation has added roughly 6 million residents to the workforce.

Huh? How can 140 million jobs generate an unemployment rate of 10% in 2009 and 8.3% in 2012 while the workforce and population have grown by 6 million? If anything, the unemployment rate should be higher, since the number of people with jobs has held steady while the number of people without jobs has expanded.


Mish Shedlock has done many an autopsy on the unemployment rate, including this one from Feb. 3: Nonfarm Payroll +243,000; Unemployment Rate 8.3%; Those Not in Labor Force Rose an Amazing 1,177,000.

The labor force and the unemployed have magically declined by millions since the recession was declared over in mid-2009.

The Status Quo con-men are careful not to mention that $6 trillion in Federal borrowing has been squandered since 2009 just to return employment to 2004 levels. And that sum rises by $1.3-1.5 trillion every year as unprecedented quantities of money are borrowed to prop up the Status Quo.

A few years ago, deficits of $300 billion were considered unsustainable; now deficits of $1.3 trillion are accepted with little more than routine political jockeying. The con-men also never mention that this "official" deficit leaves out all supplemental appropriations which run into the hundreds of billions of dollars a year for expenditures such as war and bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--and now, FHA will be added to the taxpayer bailouts: Housing Agency's Reserves at Risk FHA losses require taxpayer bailout.

Then there's the con-men's masterwork of perception management, the U.S. stock market. As noted earlier this week, much of the stock rally since March 2009 has been attributed to rising corporate profits. Yet a significant share of those profits were smoke-and-mirror illusions created by the Federal Reserve actively depreciating the nation's currency. Now that the dollar is strengthening, that charade is wearing thin.

Another chunk of those fabulous profits resulted from household incomes declining--that is, people earning less from their labor and savings as corporations kept any net increases for management and shareholders. Since 2007, the year before the most recent recession, real median household income has declined 6.4%. The median household income in 2010 was $49,445, down from $49,777 in 2009 and $52,673 in 2007. In other words, all this "growth" in GDP and profits since mid-2009 has not resulted in any visible improvement in household income, healthcare coverage, or any other metric that has a basis in real life. (Please review ths Census Bureau link above for more.)

So believe the smooth talk about Dow 15,000, strong job growth and rising GDP at your own peril. Ignore declining income, empty storefronts, lower energy consumption and all the other real-world evidence of a contracting, enfeebled, precarious economy if it boosts your all-important "consumer confidence," but make sure you don't confuse the con with confidence: the Mercedes is leased, the office a front, the resume a fraud, and the smooth sales pitch a clever fabrication.

 

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Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:34 | 2166074 CPL
CPL's picture

Manufacturing consent is the idea you are looking for.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:37 | 2166087 Clueless Economist
Clueless Economist's picture

I am a world renown Economist and I am also very Clueless, but I am quite confident things are getting much better.

P. Krugman

Nobel Prize Winner

NY Times Blogger

Ivy Leaguer

Genius

Professer

All-Around Douchebag

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:52 | 2166150 American34
American34's picture

You mean you work for the currently corrupt system that dominates the world as a whole! Wow, what credentials. Please explain how things are getting much better. I am pretty sure common sense says whether it is a family or governmental budget you cannot borrow your way out of debt and social discord. Explain how Top Down Economics is going to solve a problem it has failed to solve since Reagan. Please fill us in on how an extraordinary wealth gap between the very few at the top and the educationless bottom third is going to be solved by throwing money at them through a "Welfare State." Please correct our wrong point of view for expecting all those who currently occupy positions of power and wealth to act responsibly when they have no incentive to do so. Please, please fill us in on these important issues.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 15:22 | 2166762 dlmaniac
dlmaniac's picture

"Perception management" can be usefully shortened to a one-syllable word: "con."

 

Long live the art of Joseph Goebbels.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:07 | 2166219 withnmeans
withnmeans's picture

Good piece, however "I know the general public would read this and be shocked", but to me and a select few of us with the gift of common sense (this is old news). The whole problem of our writings here on ZH, no offense to anyone here, is there needs to be more means of getting the word out to the mass's. We can write all we want and read related comments, don't get me wrong (some are down right hilarious, some are  informative, and some for a better term hmmm "miss there mark completely"). A few thousands of us read these on hourly, daily, weekly, and so on basis, not to mention Tyler is on his game "great reseach man".

To get to the point, this needs to hit the Main street !   CHEERS

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:18 | 2166269 American34
American34's picture

The problem is how along with why. I do not believe "the masses" want to hear it or give a rats butt about it. Hence the thousands rather than millions that read and post here. Very few are willing to be realists. Most of "the masses" are where they WANT to be, living on debt and government handouts and with their head in the sand. Although some in roads have been made. Santelli did mention ZH live on CNBC last week. That is a start. I agree whole heartedly with you, I just don't feel that "the masses" care enough to change their ways.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:47 | 2166374 withnmeans
withnmeans's picture

You may have a good point on the masses not really giving the proverbal RATS ASS about their ever increasing debt. It is sad that we live in a time of "wants" not "needs", you know the "I" era (pun not intended, as I don't find it funny). As for Mr. Santelli, he gets it, and I applaud him for trying to talk to the inherent deaf ears of society.

Just a curious question, where do you think this is heading?  As the greater part of our world spends beyond the realm of belief, I believe we are destine for a repeat of the 1930's.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 14:02 | 2166426 American34
American34's picture

Hard to say. Things seem to change by the day, or even hour at times. If the Dollar holds out as the worlds Reserve Currency we as in the "USA" will outlast "The World" by 6 months or so if things go to crap in the Sandbox and WWIII gets started thanks to us and Europe pigeon holing the Iranians. But in all honesty, I think we simply happen to be living in one of those periods of history where great changes take place. Thanks to ridiculous accounting techniques and imaginary "profits" and immense debt loads our standard of living has increased as fast as energy, from all sources, can be provided. Eventually we, as in "The Entire World," will be forced back into living within our means both monetarily and concerning energy needs. How this happens is anyone's guess but if history is a guide, and it usually is at least in a broad sense, we will come out better on the other side but only after a violent struggle and in a different social system. Kingdoms didn't last forever, neither did Monarchies and neither will "Democratic Soverign Nation States." Although I love America, the America in my head is no longer reality and of course all good things must come to an end. Except for Christ of course, that promise is still there. My best guess is a year or so more of this living Bond Sale to Bond Sale or paycheck to paycheck if your a family or person rather than Nation State. We will make it to the next election, or at least fairly close I think. 

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 15:10 | 2166706 mtomato2
mtomato2's picture

Great post, on all points.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 14:18 | 2166513 Spanish Lizard
Spanish Lizard's picture

I agree.  I have friends/co-workers who just don't want to hear it.  They joke and call me doom and gloom.  They prefer to not face or prepare for the possibility of the world repeating a 1930's collapse.  

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 14:36 | 2166578 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

I do my part.  I paste links, a synopsis and a picture of boobies on my facebook page.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 15:05 | 2166683 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

"Good piece, however "I know the general public would read this and be shocked", but to me and a select few of us with the gift of common sense (this is old news). The whole problem of our writings here on ZH, no offense to anyone here, is there needs to be more means of getting the word out to the mass's. We can write all we want and read related comments, don't get me wrong (some are down right hilarious, some are  informative, and some for a better term hmmm "miss there mark completely"). A few thousands of us read these on hourly, daily, weekly, and so on basis, not to mention Tyler is on his game "great reseach man".

To get to the point, this needs to hit the Main street !   CHEERS"

 

...Why bother?

The longer the rest of the world keeps the gears turning by running on their hamster wheels, the longer the rest of us have to prepare.  It's not like millions of us haven't been screaming at them for years!

I say:  Tun in, turn on, shrug out.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:35 | 2166076 Badabing
Badabing's picture

Just like my avetar

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:39 | 2166092 HD
HD's picture

They can spin it all they like. People without money can't spend it.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:42 | 2166111 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

People without money can't spend it.

 

Where's credit fit in?  If people without money couldn't spend, we'd be where we're going to end up.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:49 | 2166139 Dagny Taggart
Dagny Taggart's picture

People without money can't spend it.

I don't think Timmy Geithner got that memo.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:02 | 2166192 HarryM
HarryM's picture

This article is right on - THE SPIN WORKS!!!  AND THE DOW WILL PROBABLY HIT 15000 !!

So how do we make money in the market?

 

Gold has been moving up and down along with the market.

 

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 14:02 | 2166429 rayduh4life
rayduh4life's picture

Really?  Wanna buy a house?

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 14:42 | 2166603 HarryM
HarryM's picture

I bought 2 investment properties 40 cents on the dollar - rented them out with a positive cash flow - right out of the gate.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 15:07 | 2166699 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

Hope that works out for you and that your tenants can afford to keep paying rent.

But I have a feeling you and a lot of other people who did that are in for a very necessary awakening in about 1-2 years.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:39 | 2166093 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

"It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion."
Josph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:30 | 2166307 FlyoverCountryS...
FlyoverCountrySchmuck's picture

REMEMBER FOLKS...

This is the same media that convinced the Sheeple in 2006 that 4.8% unemployment and a 14,000 DOW was "The Worst Economy Since The Great Depression!". Remember that?

We are dealing with some real S.O.B.'s here, who care for NOTHING, other than POWER, (“He who controls the language controls the masses”. – Saul Alinsky in Rules for Radicals), The TRUTH no longer matters, just the narrative.

I’ll bet you thought “1984’ was just a book.
Socialist Democrats see it as an INSTRUCTION MANUAL.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:59 | 2166413 knightowl77
knightowl77's picture

Amen amen amen....

Yea, we won't hear the "truth" again until the other side is in the WH...then we will hear nonstop how bad things are...

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 14:19 | 2166521 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Socialist Democrats see it as an INSTRUCTION MANUAL.

Fascist Republicans, too.  That's why we end up with the same policies no matter who's in power in Congress and the White House.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 16:12 | 2166956 knightowl77
knightowl77's picture

ALL Big guvmint types need to GO & GO NOW

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:39 | 2166094 youngman
youngman's picture

Goebbels knows this very well....propaganda works...look at the political ads...

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 14:52 | 2166641 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Have you seen the MSNBC ads with Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, etc.?

Blatant propaganda from supposed "jounalists".

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:39 | 2166096 mktsrmanipulated
mktsrmanipulated's picture

whats the fucking bs rumor now

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:43 | 2166104 Comay Mierda
Comay Mierda's picture

greece deal being worked out. everything is ok now. seriously though its just the fucking skynet hft bots tracing out a fibonacci, commence downturn

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:45 | 2166122 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

US data good, Greece is fine, Europe is fine, terrists bad.  Rally on.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:41 | 2166105 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

US data good, terrists bad.  Rally on.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:46 | 2166125 HarryM
HarryM's picture

It's an election year, the numbers are being fudged etc. etc. etc. - go with the flow or get fucked

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:39 | 2166097 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is - infinite.

-William Blake

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:40 | 2166101 dumpster
dumpster's picture

MOPE    sinclair   circa 2009.. old news  now just beginning to be reailized by the dense .

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:40 | 2166102 taniquetil
taniquetil's picture

"We cannot and will not sustain deficits like this without end. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom in Washington we cannot simply spend as we please. [...] That's why today I'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office"

 

-Barack Obama, Feb. 2009

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:48 | 2166128 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

[Gasp!]

He lied?

Sarc/

But really, it is pretty funny to watch him say in one interview that the reason he needed to balloon the budget (what budget?  You ask....) was because they "didn't know how bad it would get" (meaning it is still bad) and then in speeches he touts recovery.  Maybe not funny actually.  Maybe sickening.  But hey, if you can't laugh about something, you know?  Ha ha!  Ha....aaah....fuck.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:41 | 2166103 American34
American34's picture

Oil is over $100 a barrel now for 2 days. What happened to the Saudi Prince "primising" to keep it under $100!! Lets get some news on pumping it out already. I am pretty sure this economy won't improve much until oil is considerably lower for a considerable amount of time.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:54 | 2166152 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

When the House of Saud came out and promised to keep the price below $100 when their production peaked two years ago I thought the game is over.  It is like when CEO after CEO came out in '07-'08 saying everything is fine!  Bear's fine!  Lehman's fine!  Real estate is fine!  It's fine, everybody!  Fine!  Fine!  Fine!

What's french for "end"?

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:34 | 2166324 pods
pods's picture

Prince Ben can print faster than Saudi can pump.

pods

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:00 | 2166112 TomGa
TomGa's picture

Yes, this is the "Growth & Recovery to pacify the masses" narrative spun by Washington. A lie repeated often enough....

But it could not occur except for the colusion of the main stream corporate propagandists, er, media. It does, however, demonstrate the rising power of the alternative media; for instance Geithner's "green shoots" was so lampooned outside of the MSM that it eventually lost any semblance of credibility and was quietly discarded.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:43 | 2166116 Theta_Burn
Theta_Burn's picture

At the risk of being labeled a "bull"

 Or coat-tailing certain non reality observing posters here.

Nice short squeeze forming up (DMND)

 

~runz~

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:45 | 2166124 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

So believe the smooth talk about Dow 15,000, strong job growth and rising GDP at your own peril. Ignore declining income, empty storefronts, lower energy consumption and all the other real-world evidence of a contracting, enfeebled, precarious economy if it boosts your all-important "consumer confidence," but make sure you don't confuse the con with confidence: the Mercedes is leased, the office a front, the resume a fraud, and the smooth sales pitch a clever fabrication.

This.  So this.

Really is funny to watch MSNBC, ox Business, or any other MSM outlets that keeps telling me, "The economy is improving".  ORly?  Despite my health insurance going up, public transport going up, food going up, Oil at its highest (and would be higher if the winter wasn't so warm), renting up....but homes sales/property values down, tax breaks for corporations, but tax hikes for working people (either via inflation or legislation).

Again, we live in two Americas.  Maybe even 3. 

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 16:23 | 2166988 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

"all roads lead to Rome" --- fast forward 2012 - "all financial market tranches be it paper, or gold, eventually are herded along the 'Neo-US Romanesque Trail',... slowly, methodically, and  selectively corralled into the banker's abattoir holding-pen's -  facilitating 'Prime-Time  Execution'!

bon`Appetit 

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:47 | 2166133 lotusblue
lotusblue's picture

Thanks for posting article.

The truth is-growth as it has been is Not sustainable.

The whole system is based on endless growth.

A colission is in the offing.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:48 | 2166137 Tense INDIAN
Tense INDIAN's picture

have you guys heard  of JOHN RENDON

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:04 | 2166190 tabasco71
tabasco71's picture

Writing in the New YorkerSeymour Hersh said the Rendon Group was "paid close to a hundred million dollars by the CIA" for its work with the INC.

 

I think David Baldacci also wrote a fiction based on perception management agencies... entertainingly informative in its own way.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:50 | 2166142 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

Perception Deception..almost like Conjunction Function..but more devious

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:52 | 2166151 sabra1
sabra1's picture

to anyone with student debts out there! pay as much off as possible using credit cards, (from the big 5) then claim bankruptcy! see, no more debts!!!

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:55 | 2166159 therearetoomany...
therearetoomanyidiots's picture

me likes.   As a matter of fact, why not just buy everything you want on credit. 

when the whole thing blows up...you still have everything you need.  

Well, there are those pesky Fema camps (or was that debtor's prison).

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:53 | 2166154 therearetoomany...
therearetoomanyidiots's picture

"The official unemployment rate was 10% in October 2009, when about 140 million people were found to have some sort of job, and now that the same number of people have been found to have some sort of job (140 million), the unemployment rate is now only 8.3%, even though the nation has added roughly 6 million residents to the workforce."

 

This is the type of math that leads one to believe that by spending every year 1.34 trillion more than you take in, you will save 4 trillion over 10 years.  

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:56 | 2166163 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

If Stars in the Universe can't growth to an infinite mass (until they explode into Supernovas), neither can GDP, money supply, or growth.

Its mathematically, impossible. 

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:57 | 2166171 onlooker
onlooker's picture

Many children have an imaginary friend. Now we have an imaginary economy and I have an imaginary job. I imagine that I am happy with it.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:41 | 2166352 pods
pods's picture

As long as the banksters get their slice, things will never change.

The Matrix becomes more and more of a documentary every day.  Except the tubes are metaphorical and the machines are the moneychangers.

Wonder if that guy in Montana wants a neighbor? I can tie flies quite well and cut up game.

pods

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:58 | 2166175 chinaguy
chinaguy's picture

Thank you.

Simple clear Unemployment Data even the sheeple can understand...if they cared too.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:59 | 2166179 yogibear
yogibear's picture

As long as the con men can convice for those on the sidelines to come in and donate their money it's a win for the con men.

It just widens the wealth gap again. I hear it constantly from those in the financial area, "If we could just get at that money on the sidelines and have them invest it I would make a lot of money",

Just play on the herd's greed and fear and you'll make out big.

 

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:45 | 2166368 pods
pods's picture

Of course, those of us who have reflections would like to be able to face them in the mirror.

pods

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:59 | 2166180 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

So believe the smooth talk about Dow 15,000, strong job growth and rising GDP at your own peril....

 

WHo the heck believes this?    Chuck, like Steven King, you need to throw yor PC in the river for a while till an ORIGINAL, non-REGURGITATED thought comes to you....

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:03 | 2166199 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

"It all boils down to perception..."

this is nothing new - this is the chairsatan's explanation for inflation - it's all in people's minds, having no reality in physical phenomena such as money....

but the idea did not originate with bernankula.....it was widely cited by "experts" in the 1970s and gerald "i altered physical evidence of an assassination to cover-up a murder" ford with his imbicilic whip inflation now horseshit....

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:04 | 2166201 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Well, the Con is working, so, "despite all our rage we are still just rats in their cage"

As my Dad likes to say, "Sometimes the truth hurts"

 

 

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:04 | 2166204 antidisestablis...
antidisestablishmentarianismishness's picture

Trade against the green shoots at your peril.  Just like you did in the spring of 2009.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:06 | 2166214 casey13
casey13's picture

They don't have to convince us the economy is improving. They just have to convince enough people that their paper money is not going to purchase as much in the future as it does now. I for one am convinced.   

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:42 | 2166356 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Great point.  "Get in the ground floor!" pitch.  A good con leverages half the truth to net 100% commitment from the rube.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:14 | 2166248 Pasadena Phil
Pasadena Phil's picture

I believe that the way to crack this phony "recovery" nut is to point out that the government is trying to sell the notion that we are "cycling" out of an economic "correction" (where yet again nothing gets corrected). The real narrative should be that there is nothing cyclical about this. We have run into a solid granite wall of reality that requires serious restructuring (including our own perceptions about standard of living) if we are ever going to move forward again.

That famous psycho-killer Mr. Reality will be paying us a visit eventually to sober us up.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:14 | 2166250 goldnguns
goldnguns's picture

a company just down the road is doing a booming business in personal automotive security - armored cars.  Now you just gotta wonder who is doing the buying?  It ain't Mexican drug lords or Saudi sheiks.  One of their guys said "all domestic consumption".  I'm betting all those Wall St talking heads already got theirs stashed in the garage.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:16 | 2166259 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

The job growth in the UK is booming.  People are getting jobs at Tesco (for free)!  What opportunity!

Work for free and 'be of benefit' to a multinational like Tesco

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/16/work-free-tesco-job-advert?INTCMP=SRCH

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:32 | 2166315 sbenard
sbenard's picture

"Perception management" Isn't that just another term for "propaganda"? Agitprop?

I remember 20 years ago, I was working for a company in CA where I was forced to pay union dues. The union was constantly using the term "positioning" to try to deceive us into believing that was bad for us, was really good for us!Too many bought the lie!

Too many Americans today buy the lie, too!

Really, it's just deception. Deceit! Let's call a spade a spade. It's deceit!

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:44 | 2166364 Jerry Maguire
Thu, 02/16/2012 - 14:07 | 2166452 vainamoinen
vainamoinen's picture

See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suJCvkazrTc

"Poor America" by the BBC for an antidote. People living in storm drains with their "stuff".

The D.S. conservative economist from the Heritage Foundation says they can't be "poor" because they still have "stuff", i.e. cell phones and flat plate TV's, etc. But, this is just the detritus left over from their former highly leveraged and unsustainable consumerist life styles and, as is said at this site over and over, you can't eat your I-Phone.

"Stuff" is not wealth, as has been previously sold and believed as part of "the god almighty con". All of the stuff will be simply left behind or sold for pennies on the dollar as necessity dictates.

The neo-cons want us to believe that, although you may be starving, as long as you have a cell phone with a charged battery and can still call the local homeless shelter you are doing just fine - and most people still believe it.

What A Country!!!

 

 

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 15:01 | 2166662 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

The neo-cons want us to believe that, although you may be starving, as long as you have a cell phone with a charged battery and can still call the local homeless shelter you are doing just fine - and most people still believe it.

Most of the people who seem to "believe it" aren't basing their knowledge of poverty in America on any real experience.  Look at how many posters *here* have made the claim that "no one is poor" because they have 50" teevees.

This is an audience that largely prides itself on seeing through bullshit, but unfortunately, a lot of times, you realize that it's just that we prefer DIFFERENT bullshit. 

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 16:33 | 2167061 Jason_1sandal
Jason_1sandal's picture

 "Look at how many posters *here* have made the claim that "no one is poor" because they have 50" teevees."

I must be fabuluosly wealthy.... mines 57"

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 14:23 | 2166481 Eric L. Prentis
Eric L. Prentis's picture

The status quo elite are greedy, selfish, psychopathic criminals who use more-and-more public debt, combined with spin, lies and propaganda, dished out by their corporate media TV stations, to try to convince the sheeple that all is well and the Wall Street criminals should remain in charge.

 

The US national debt is now so large that interest rates will never ever be able to rise to normal levels again, without tanking the economy. ZIRP is destroying savers, capital formation and consumer demand, people are finding it very difficult to retire. QE is pushing gasoline, food, clothing and medical prices through the roof. The OTC derivatives market is so large, $707 trillion dollars, that one false move will bring down the entire financial system. These forces are real, as opposed to the public relations tactics of doctoring economic statistics, used by President Obama, to try to convince Americans that everything is now fine.

 

Also, do not concern yourselves with the $1.6 billion dollars stolen from the segregated customer accounts at MF Global. After all, “banksters and conmen know best.”

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 14:39 | 2166583 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

"What a voluminous, healthy, nutrition laden meal this cotton candy is, eh kids?"

http://www.d-mom.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/cotton-candy.jpg

(Just paste "Stock Market" or "U.S.S.A. Economy" on that cotton candy stand)

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 14:44 | 2166609 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

ww.MOPE.con, BiCheZ!

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 14:51 | 2166638 Dermasolarapate...
Dermasolarapaterraphatrima's picture

"It's better to rent then own" says Berkeley Finance Porf:

 

Examining 250 properties around the U.S., and going through close to 40 client files to project the financial impact of owning real estate versus liquidating it, Arzaga, an adjunct professor in personal finance at the University of California at Berkeley, found that, "100 percent of the time it was better to rent, rather than own."

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/15/us-housing-americandream-idUST...

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 15:07 | 2166702 xcehn
xcehn's picture

The ability of the elitists to keep the game going until hyperinflation manifests itself is very good. You just saw that with a $1 trillion loan from the Fed to the ECB. They can make as many of these loans as they please until the system signals no more. How long will that take, who knows? All we know is that gold and silver will rise in that process.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29297


Thu, 02/16/2012 - 15:10 | 2166708 adr
adr's picture

I remember when we had two Mercedes and a BMW in our driveway and everyone in my school thought were rich. The cars were nice but were actually old cars that looked nice. My dad paid $10k for them used. One of the Benzes was just a parts car after it hit 250k miles. The german cars were the only ones that could take the abuse of 100k+ miles in a year my sales rep dad put on them.

Perception can sadly be reality in today's world. Even though the Benz was a 1982 model with 250k miles, worth $5 grand, we could test drive any car we wanted in 1994 because my dad wore a suit and had a business card. We could never afford the 911 we test drove, but it didn't matter.

The stupidest, ass kissing moron in your company probably has a better chance at finding a new job, than the most talented hard working guy. Real knoweldge is frowned upon because you might make an exectutive look bad someday if his boss asks you a question. In fact you might make the CEO look bad because he probably doesn't know a single thing about the company he runs.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 15:18 | 2166742 100pcDredge
100pcDredge's picture

So eh... ah... Now everything is fine again - isn't it?

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 16:08 | 2166916 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

Meanwhile, two of the largest and most prestigious residential project developers in my county just filed for bankruptcy this month. One is defaulting on $80 million in loans from B of A after collecting $60 million from individuals (most of which was also borrowed) for building lots which will now certainly remain unbuildable for some time. But don’t worry, they’ve worked out a deal to keep the golf courses open so all the locals remain sappily happy.

 

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:16 | 2168084 mrpxsytin
mrpxsytin's picture

*The following is serious

The main point of Orwell's '1984' was that the truth is what people believe it is, and that sanity is statistical. So if the masses believe that the economy is going into a boom and everything is fine then that is the truth! And the few who disagree with this are in the 'insane' category. 

Most of us here know that there is a 'discrepancy' between the official information and the real world. However, if it is possible to convince enough people that the DOW is going to boom, then what's stopping the DOW from booming? 

Here is a great experiment conducted on confromity. http://psychology.about.com/od/classicpsychologystudies/p/conformity.htm

People often say that theories fail to translate to the real world. But what if that is is reversible? IE. What if the real world fails to translate to the theory.

 

Sun, 02/19/2012 - 21:07 | 2176347 q5251355
q5251355's picture

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