Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This caviar tastes funny.

There is a nice article about the creator of the Shadow Government Statistics webpage, explaining how the US Government has manipulated official economic data released to benefit itself and various wall-street buddies and obfuscate the real situation. While this has worked for a while, the Average Joe is more and more realizing that all these supposed "green shoots" haven't brought any living wage jobs to his neighborhood, or stopped any of his friends (or his own) home from being foreclosed, or stopped grocery prices from rising each and every month in spite of the government's claim that there is "no inflation" - nor are the social security recipients (trying to support their unemployed children and grandchildren) who got no cost of living raises this year fooled, either. They know they have less money every month due to the steep rises in gas and grocery and utility prices and that their family members have sent out hundreds of resumes and filled out countless applications and have no prospect of getting living wage jobs.

Yet the US Government continues to feed people bull malarky and call it caviar - saying the recession is over, green shoots are everywhere, and pointing to the stock market as if it had anything to do with economic reality. Wall Street gurus can trade little pieces of paper all they like, it has NO MEANING and NO EFFECT on Main Street.

Alternet
Meet the Economist Who Says the Government's Economic Numbers Are Lies
Establishment economists think John Williams' numbers are off. But then, most of them also thought the economy was healthy.
May 8, 2010

This article contains the latest real unemployment and real inflation charts, which I post here for your contemplation:

Real Unemployment through April 2010



Real Inflation (CPI) through March 2010



As you can see, real unemployment is around 22% - that's one in five or so working age able-bodied adults who want living wage employment but are either completely unemployed or forced into inadequate part-time labour against their will while looking for real jobs that just aren't there.

Meanwhile, anyone who's been to a grocery store lately knows that food prices have certainly not been stable - they've been creeping up and up, not just for holidays but between holidays, too. And they show no sign of going down. People are having to pay a larger and larger percentage of their income to continue to buy the same products, or else have to downgrade to lower quality or lower quantities of products than they used to buy.

There doesn't seem to be any end in sight, either. Yet our government will say, with a straight face, that nothing's wrong. Really. It's just you being pessimistic and irrationally refusing to spend more money than you actually have that is causing the lack of jobs. There's not really any problem, but if there is, it's your fault.

That leaves a bad taste in my mouth - and it's a wonder they can swallow at all.

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