February 6th, 2012
In one of the most shamefully disingenuous reports we’ve seen in years, the US Labor Department released the latest employment figures on Friday showing that the headline US unemployment rate had fallen to 8.3%.
Champagne and sound bites were pre-positioned in Washington as the self-congratulatory praise flowed like the bubbly. President Obama, beaming like he’d just caught the winning touchdown pass, told the American people on Sunday that he ‘deserved’ a second term.
They call it the headline unemployment rate for a reason… it’s the only number that the papers tend to run. All weekend long, mainstream press ran headlines like:
“Unemployment rate falls to 8.3%; fifth straight monthly decline” (LA Times)
“Jobless rate drops to lowest level in almost three years” (MSNBC.com)
“Unemployment rate drops to 8.3 percent” (Christian Science Monitor)
“Hiring surges in January; jobless rate at 8.3 pct.” (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
“Jobless Rate Falls to 8.3%, Altering Face of Campaign” (New York Times)
“Unemployment report: January job gains have economists rethinking outlooks” (Washington Post)
Needless to say, few outlets with any meaningful reach covered the real story behind the employment figures– the Labor Department simply took 1.2 million Americans out of the labor force. In other words, the unemployment rate fell because the Labor Department deliberately did not count 1.2 million unemployed people.[Note: I highly recommend that you read ZeroHedge.com, one of the only sources of undistorted economic reality on the Internet.]
It’s the same Orwellian style logic (WAR IS PEACE. DEBT IS WEALTH.) that prevailed during the Soviet Union– outright lies and deceitful reports painting a rosy picture of the economy and its glorious leaders, masking a dismal reality. It’s nothing but propaganda in the worst form.
This has been going on for years in the United States, as evidenced by the chart below:
The blue line shows the steady, upward trend of Americans who are no longer counted in the labor force since the onset of the financial crisis. The pink bars (and black line) show the steady decline in the proportion of society that is included in the work force (i.e. either employed or unemployed).
Two months ago, President Obama sat down with Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes for a chat about the economy. At one point, Kroft asked, “You think you might have the unemployment rate down to 8% by the time the election rolls around?”
Obama replied: “I think it’s possible. But I’m not in the job of prognosticating on the economy. I’m in the job of putting in place the tools that allow the economy to thrive and Americans to succeed.”
Or if that doesn’t work, fraud and propaganda are apparently just as effective. Have you hit your breaking point yet?