The 'Real' America: 21.5% Unemployment, 10% Inflation, And Negative Economic Growth

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Every time the mainstream media touts some “wonderful new economic numbers” I just want to cringe.  Yes, it is true that the economic numbers have gotten slightly better since Donald Trump entered the White House, but the rosy economic picture that the mainstream media is constantly painting for all of us is completely absurd. 

As you are about to see, if honest numbers were being used all of our major economic numbers would be absolutely terrible.  Of course we can hope for a major economic turnaround for America under Donald Trump, but we certainly are not there yet.  Economist John Williams of shadowstats.com has been tracking what our key economic numbers would look like if honest numbers were being used for many years, and he has gained a sterling reputation for being accurate.  And according to him, it looks like the U.S. economy has been in a recession and/or depression for a very long time.

Let’s start by talking about unemployment. 

We are being told that the unemployment rate in the United States is currently “3.8 percent”, which would be the lowest that it has been “in nearly 50 years”.

To support this claim, the mainstream media endlessly runs articles declaring how wonderful everything is.  For example, the following is from a recent New York Times article entitled “We Ran Out of Words to Describe How Good the Jobs Numbers Are”

The real question in analyzing the May jobs numbers released Friday is whether there are enough synonyms for “good” in an online thesaurus to describe them adequately.

So, for example, “splendid” and “excellent” fit the bill. Those are the kinds of terms that are appropriate when the United States economy adds 223,000 jobs in a month, despite being nine years into an expansion, and when the unemployment rate falls to 3.8 percent, a new 18-year low.

Doesn’t that sound great?

It would be great, if the numbers that they were using were honest.

The truth, of course, is that the percentage of the population that is employed has barely budged since the depths of the last recession.  According to John Williams, if honest numbers were being used the unemployment rate would actually be 21.5 percent today.

So what is the reason for the gaping disparity?

As I have explained repeatedly, the government has simply been moving people from the “officially unemployed” category to the “not in the labor force” category for many, many years.

If we use the government’s own numbers, there are nearly 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.  That is higher than it was at any point during the last recession.

We are being conned.  I have a friend down in south Idaho that is a highly trained software engineer that has been out of work for two years.

If the unemployment rate is really “3.8 percent”, why can’t he find a decent job?

By the way, if you live in the Boise area and you know of an opening for a quality software engineer, please let me know and I will get the information to him.

Next, let’s talk about inflation.

According to Williams, the way inflation has been calculated in this country has been repeatedly changed over the decades

Williams argues that U.S. statistical agencies overestimate GDP data by underestimating the inflation deflator they use in the calculation.

Manipulating the inflation rate, Williams argues in Public Comment on Inflation Measurement , also enables the US government to pay out pensioners less than they were promised, by fudging cost of living adjustments.

This manipulation has ironically taken place quite openly over decades, as successive Republican and Democratic administrations made “improvements” in the way they calculated the data.

If inflation was still calculated the way that it was in 1990, the inflation rate would be 6 percent today instead of about 3 percent.

And if inflation was still calculated the way that it was in 1980, the inflation rate would be about 10 percent today.

Doesn’t that “feel” more accurate to you?  We have all seen how prices for housing, food and health care have soared in recent years.  After examining what has happened in your own life, do you believe that the official inflation rates of “2 percent” and “3 percent” that we have been given in recent years are anywhere near accurate?

Because inflation is massively understated, that has a tremendous effect on our GDP numbers as well.

If accurate inflation numbers were being used, we would still be in a recession right now.

In fact, John Williams insists that we would still be in a recession that started back in 2004.

And without a doubt, a whole host of other more independent indicators point in that direction too.  The following comes from an excellent piece by Peter Diekmeyer

Williams’ findings, while controversial, corroborate a variety of other data points. Median wage gains have been stagnant for decades. The U.S. labour force participation rate remains at multi-decade lows. Even our own light-hearted Big Mac deflator suggests that the U.S. economy is in a depression.

Another clue is to evaluate the U.S. economy just as economists would a third world nation whose data they don’t trust. They do this by resorting to figures that are hard to fudge.

There, too, by a variety of measures—ranging from petroleum consumption to consumer goods production to the Cass Freight Index—the U.S. economy appears to have not grown much, if at all, since the turn of the millennium.

In the end, all that any of us really need to do is to just open our eyes and look at what is happening all around us.  We are on pace for the worst year for retail store closings in American history, and this “retail apocalypse” is hitting rural areas harder than anywhere else

This city’s Target store is gone.

So is Kmart, MC Sports, JCPenney, Vanity and soon Herberger’s, a department store.

“The mall is pretty sad,” says Amanda Cain, a teacher and mother. “Once Herberger’s closes, we’ll have no anchors.”

About two-thirds of Ottumwa’s Quincy Place Mall will be empty with Herberger’s loss.

Of course it isn’t just the U.S. economy that is troubled either.

We are living in the terminal phase of the greatest debt bubble in global history, many nations around the globe are already experiencing a very deep economic downturn, and our planet is literally in the process of dying.

So please don’t believe the hype.

Yes, we definitely hope that things will get better, but the truth is that things have not been “good” for the U.S. economy for a very, very long time.

Comments

Rapunzal Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:12 Permalink

Soon the banksters cannot hide it anymore. They are working hard on excuses for the next epic collapse, that will dwarf the Great Depression.

Cognitive Dissonance Rapunzal Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:15 Permalink

Tell a lie consistently and often enough and soon it becomes the truth.

Ironically, sadly, as the lie slowly becomes exposed, many people will beg for more lies to help deny the on-rushing truth.

<Daddy, tell me another lie so I can believe it's the truth.>

<Don't worry honey bunny. Everything is going to be alright. Daddy's right here beside you.>

In reply to by Rapunzal

GeezerGeek NidStyles Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:35 Permalink

I have to admit I'm stumped by the MSM's continued proclamations of a great economy.

I understood the lies and half-truths when Obama was in office, because he had to continue being the long-awaited messiah of the progressive left. I fully expected the truth about a less robust economy to start coming out last fall (2017). Is it possible that they're waiting to get closer to the elections this fall before they start emphasizing all this bad news? Moreover, will average Americans even notice? If wages are up - something I can't personally attest to, being retired - and income taxes are down, will the typical working class American know or care about the lies and distortions they're besieged with? Perhaps years (if not decades) of being assaulted with both good news and bad news has rendered them numb.

Or perhaps this is all kabuki theater, designed to the great unwashed as clueless and passive as possible. Until it's too late, at least. I still look for TPTB to try pulling the rug out from under Trump before the elections get here.

In reply to by NidStyles

Michigander Team_Huli Wed, 06/13/2018 - 12:11 Permalink

"interviews have been difficult to get -- and I'm just a finance guy."

And that is the problem. I'm not intentionally stepping on your dick, but you need to wake up and smell the coffee. Being a finance guy is a no value skill set. Go learn something that has value. Be an engineer, a welder, something besides pushing 1's and 0' around.

A large client of mine just went bankrupt. Good workers, but the management sucked. Every front line person I knew there all had jobs within 2 weeks. Welders, welding inspectors, project managers, QA/QC, welding engineers.

There are lots of good paying jobs out there. No offense, but having a finance skill set these days is akin to being able to fog up a mirror when held under your nose and that's about it.

In reply to by Team_Huli

beemasters wadalt Wed, 06/13/2018 - 13:39 Permalink

When Pelosi said job numbers were meaningless, she really knew what she was talking about. They cooked the numbers exactly the same way before. And this is not to justify current administration's lie, but to highlight that the people have been fooled long enough. The jobless are likely quietly blaming themselves, thinking that there must be something wrong with them when the nation's unemployment number is so low.

In reply to by wadalt

ravolla brushhog Wed, 06/13/2018 - 18:44 Permalink

HELLO SPAM-LOVERS!!!   BIG UP from the SPAMMER BUNKHOUSE here in the Methfilled Valley Trailer Park in Methfilled Valley, PA.  Good to see my men Wadalt and   bobcatz and  cheoll and  Leakanthrophy and PrivetHedge  and our newbies  ll951983  and  gzcekkyret  out from under the couch sucking their own dicks and back on the threads SPAMMING like a Grease Fire!!!! 

Biblicism     AND    TodaysFox ("I made $7000 sucking cock on the Internet")  IT's ALL THE SAME SPAMMER!

THIS is an important week here in the SPAMMER's BUNKHOUSE (the leaking moldy single-wide in the trailer park).  This week I (we?) are celebrating SEVEN YEARS here on ZH, obsessively SPAMMING every thread we can with off-topic comments.  You see, there are dozens of "personalities" living in this one single sad SPAMMER's sick little mind, which he calls "Spammer's Bunkhouse."  How sick is that? 

Each of "us" (these innumerable fake log-on's) is represented by an ACTION FIGURE that Master Spammer ("DARWIN" is his name -- can you believe that?)  lines up on his kitchen counter and TALKS TO!!  WHACK JOB!!!

 

SAD BUT TRUE!!  I (we?) have wasted my (our) youth (or at least the last seven years) with at least one hand in my pants and the other hand SPAMMING ZH.  Yes, indeed.  DOZENS and DOZENS (maybe hundreds) of log-on's banned -- 
>>  "I made $7500 last week on the Internet sucking cock!": that's me.
>>  Biblicism: that's me.
>>  All the porn at Celebrity-leaks: that's me.
>>  Daily Westerner: that's me.

>>  "In the news....SPAMMER broomsticked by furious readers" -- registered in Nigeria) :: that's me TOO!! 

That's our life (all of us living in Master Spammer's Mind): mopping the floor at the Porn Cinema at 2am, working the French Frier at SONIC (demoted from the drive-thru window 'cuz my ZIT-covered face scared the customers), sucking cock on the Internet, and spamming ZH with an enormous Excel spreadsheet of the log-on's of dozens of "digital friends" who upvote one another and virtually suck my little micro penis..

MEET my current imaginary friends.  We all live in one SPAMMER's HEAD (and as ACTION FIGURES on his kitchen counter) but as for me, I have gone off the reservation.  These other "personalities" are pretty troubled.

ll951983  <<< NEWBIE  sucks cock on the Internet!
Wadalt
Leakanthrophy
PrivetHedge
bobcatz
Jumanji1959
Annunaki
Powow
  <<<  NEWBIE
Cheoll   <<<  NEWBIE

Mr Hankey  [R.I.P]   <<<  total utter WHACK JOB  -- joined "The Fallen"
gzcekkyret     <<<  NEWBIE

You know SPAMMERS never die on ZH -- here's just a sampling of the banned log-on's ("The Fallen Spammers") ---

 beepbop, pier, lloll, loebster, ergatz, armada, Mtnrunnr, Anonymous, luky luke, Cjgipper, winged, moimeme, macki mack, tchubby, sincerely_yours, HillaryOdor, winged, lexxus, kavlar, lhomme, letsit, tazs, techies-r-us, stizazz, lock-stock, beauticelli, Mano-A-Mano, mofio, santafe, Aristotle of Greece, Gargoyle, bleu, oops, lance-a-lot, Loftie, toro, Yippee Kiyay, lonnng, Nekoti, SumTing Wong, King Tut, evoila, rp2016, alt right dude, altright-girl, alt-right girl, Blufin, Schlomo Scheklestein, BraveForce, Mr Hankey, sandraloopz0, enf83

In reply to by brushhog

Automatic Choke brushhog Thu, 06/14/2018 - 02:31 Permalink

The software engineer that can't get a job is most likely a mediocre programmer who knows a little javascript and python.   These folks are worse than a dime a dozen.   Give them a PRODUCT that needs real ENGINEERING....something that is robust and reliable and doesn't need to run on windows, and they curl up and die. 

Look at the marketplace.    Web designers are plentiful.   Engineers who can design power circuitry, switching power supplies, embedded controls, and robust systems are worth their weight in gold.

 

In reply to by brushhog

Faeriedust brushhog Wed, 06/13/2018 - 20:02 Permalink

Because the price increases are in very specific industries, it matters a lot what your personal situation is.  Gas has mostly stayed about even until a couple months ago, and that's very important.  Food has hovered, with some items up and some actually down, so it depends on what you're eating.  NEW housing contracts, whether to rent or to buy, have exploded over the last two years.  But if you had rent locked in/controlled or a fixed-rate mortgage, you'd never notice, and that's up to 50% of an ordinary worker's expenses.  Medical insurance has gone up on average 15% or more a year, but not if you're on Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VA, or an Obamacare subsidy.  Or if you have a government "menu" of options and choose basic coverage instead of one of the Cadillac plans.  Costs of higher education have soared, but most people pay for that through loans, so they don't start really paying for four to six years.  And of course, computer hardware tends to go down over time, and due to a little salutary competition, even internet provider rates have been easing lower -- if you don't keep increasing the amount of downloads, which most customers have been doing so their bills keep going up with their increasing consumption. 

All in all I find a 5% increase likely.  But I have a fixed-rate mortgage.

In reply to by brushhog

brushhog Faeriedust Wed, 06/13/2018 - 21:24 Permalink

Yes I hear you, everybody's situation is different but few things have DOUBLED in price over the past 7 years. If you had 10% inflation, then the average cost of living, which would include an average of many items, would have had to have doubled. Education has gone up alot in 7 years but it hasnt doubled, same with food, housing, and fuel. Healthcare may have doubled for some people because of O'care but it still hasnt been enough to double the total, average cost of living.

I hate inflation, I think the numbers are higher than what they claim, but realistically its nowhere near 10%. That would mean a person making 40k a year in 2011 would have to make 80k now to have the same standard of living. Thats just not even remotely true.

In reply to by Faeriedust

Endgame Napoleon Team_Huli Wed, 06/13/2018 - 12:51 Permalink

He even mentioned an underemployed programmer, although that is supposed to be a safe area, where the jobs are plentiful and high paying. 

Makes you wonder if the medical field—the other career pool that people regard as foolproof—is as reliable for job applicants as sold. Due to an aging population, it might be the only one. 

 

In reply to by Team_Huli

Winston Churchill the crow Wed, 06/13/2018 - 18:10 Permalink

There are still area's and skill-sets that cannot be boted,where its an art as much as a science.

I used to get a lot of specialized engineering work when something that was fine in theory and on paper,

just would not work when made.These bots are going to be programmed the same way those failed prototypes

were made.The fuckups will be much much bigger though.I can almost guarantee it.

To err is human, to truly fuckup....

In reply to by the crow

DocBerg Team_Huli Wed, 06/13/2018 - 13:37 Permalink

The software engineer cited in this article cannot get a job because he is most likely an American, and the firms only want to hire H1B visa holders. The late Irwin Feerst ran for the presidency of the IEEE back in the 1980s with this as his main theme. He was smeared as a racist, a xenophobe, and the like, and was handily defeated despite my voting for him. Now the vultures have come home to feed on what Feerst predicted. This is going on in STEM fields, and most of the university faculties are made up of foreigners in STEM fields, too. American First is a good antidote to this crap!

In reply to by Team_Huli

Logonaut SumTingWongJr Wed, 06/13/2018 - 20:31 Permalink

If the legitimate grievances of highly-skilled, local people are dismissed and denigrated, SumTingWong, then people like you and your kindred might get seriously hurt when the steam finally finds another way out of the boiler... kapisch?

I do not WANT this anymore than I WANT the boiler to explode. I want people to listen to the engineers and programmers before they are driven to constructing their own precision-guided munitions in their basements.

In reply to by SumTingWongJr

Giant Meteor DocBerg Wed, 06/13/2018 - 18:50 Permalink

American First is a slogan, a platitude, used to fire up folks that were sold out 40 fucking years ago (thanks George Carlin.)

America first cannot ever happen when the bullshit is stacked to the rafters. Americans are drowning in bullshit .. as the article points out.

Both teams play the stack the bullshit taller game .. and turn the plebians on one another in the process, providing more hope through more bullshit ..

The republic was lost .. done in from within ..

In reply to by DocBerg

Logonaut Vendetta Wed, 06/13/2018 - 20:39 Permalink

I'm sorry that you were left out to dry, but why don't you know how the oligarchy brainwashed so many so easily? All they had to do is blitz the media with stories about how evil Gaddafi is for two frigging weeks in order to reduce Libya to rubble! Oligarchic media can destroy a reputation in a single day! And the oligarchy has been reducing skilled workers to "rubble" over the course of many years.

In reply to by Vendetta

PrayingMantis Adolfsteinbergovitch Wed, 06/13/2018 - 10:03 Permalink

 

@adolf ... “... only 21.5% unemployed? ... “ ...

   ... more likely double that ... or perhaps, even higher ? ...

    ... here’s a most-likely scenario  ... approx 327 million population ... approx. 1/3 minors and retirees not eligible to work ... approx. 90 million adults “out of the labor force” (those eligible to work including welfare recipients ) ...

   ... that would be closer to only about one-third employed? ...  well, that can’t be right either, no? ...

 

   ... so, if according to the report ... “ ... there are nearly 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now. ... “ 

          ... therefore, ... out of 327 million, and a third are minors and retirees not eligible to work, that would leave about 30 to 40% unemployed ...

 

    .... sorry, I forgot to mention the growing “homeless” population (totally ignored in any .gov stats) ... sub-consciously, I got them included in my “unemployed” equation ...

 

In reply to by Adolfsteinbergovitch

ravolla wadalt Wed, 06/13/2018 - 11:03 Permalink

HELLO SPAM-LOVERS!!!   BIG UP from the SPAMMER BUNKHOUSE here in the Methfilled Valley Trailer Park in Methfilled Valley, PA.  Good to see my men Leakanthrophy and Wadalt and  PrivetHedge  and our newbies  ll951983  and  gzcekkyret  out from under the couch sucking their own dicks and back on the threads SPAMMING like a Grease Fire!!!! 

Biblicism     AND    TodaysFox ("I made $7000 sucking cock on the Internet")  IT's ALL THE SAME SPAMMER!

THIS is an important week here in the SPAMMER's BUNKHOUSE (the leaking moldy single-wide in the trailer park).  This week I (we?) are celebrating SEVEN YEARS here on ZH, obsessively SPAMMING every thread we can with off-topic comments.  You see, there are dozens of "personalities" living in this one single sad SPAMMER's sick little mind, which he calls "Spammer's Bunkhouse."  How sick is that? 

Each of "us" (these innumerable fake log-on's) is represented by an ACTION FIGURE that Master Spammer ("DARWIN" is his name -- can you believe that?)  lines up on his kitchen counter and TALKS TO!!  WHACK JOB!!!

 

SAD BUT TRUE!!  I (we?) have wasted my (our) youth (or at least the last seven years) with at least one hand in my pants and the other hand SPAMMING ZH.  Yes, indeed.  DOZENS and DOZENS (maybe hundreds) of log-on's banned -- 
>>  "I made $7500 last week on the Internet sucking cock!": that's me.
>>  Biblicism: that's me.
>>  All the porn at Celebrity-leaks: that's me.
>>  Daily Westerner: that's me.

>>  "In the news....SPAMMER broomsticked by furious readers" -- registered in Nigeria) :: that's me TOO!! 

That's our life (all of us living in Master Spammer's Mind): mopping the floor at the Porn Cinema at 2am, working the French Frier at SONIC (demoted from the drive-thru window 'cuz my ZIT-covered face scared the customers), sucking cock on the Internet, and spamming ZH with an enormous Excel spreadsheet of the log-on's of dozens of "digital friends" who upvote one another and virtually suck my little micro penis..

MEET my current imaginary friends.  We all live in one SPAMMER's HEAD (and as ACTION FIGURES on his kitchen counter) but as for me, I have gone off the reservation.  These other "personalities" are pretty troubled.

ll951983  <<< NEWBIE  sucks cock on the Internet!
Wadalt
Leakanthrophy
PrivetHedge
bobcatz
Jumanji1959
Annunaki
Powow
  <<<  NEWBIE
Cheoll   <<<  NEWBIE

Mr Hankey  [R.I.P]   <<<  total utter WHACK JOB  -- joined "The Fallen"
gzcekkyret     <<<  NEWBIE

You know SPAMMERS never die on ZH -- here's just a sampling of the banned log-on's ("The Fallen Spammers") ---

 beepbop, pier, lloll, loebster, ergatz, armada, Mtnrunnr, Anonymous, luky luke, Cjgipper, winged, moimeme, macki mack, tchubby, sincerely_yours, HillaryOdor, winged, lexxus, kavlar, lhomme, letsit, tazs, techies-r-us, stizazz, lock-stock, beauticelli, Mano-A-Mano, mofio, santafe, Aristotle of Greece, Gargoyle, bleu, oops, lance-a-lot, Loftie, toro, Yippee Kiyay, lonnng, Nekoti, SumTing Wong, King Tut, evoila, rp2016, alt right dude, altright-girl, alt-right girl, Blufin, Schlomo Scheklestein, BraveForce, Mr Hankey, sandraloopz0, enf83

In reply to by wadalt