News & Analysis
US Unemployment Approaches Reality?
Unemployment falls to 9 percent, lowest since 2009 ... The unemployment rate is suddenly sinking at the fastest pace in a half-century, falling to 9 percent from 9.8 percent in just two months — the most encouraging sign for the job market since the recession ended. More than half a million people found work in January. A government survey found weak hiring by big companies. But more people appear to be working for themselves or finding jobs at small businesses ... Eisenhower administration is the latest sign that the economic recovery is picking up speed. The service sector and manufacturing are growing again at pre-recession rates. The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 12,000 this week for the first time since mid-2008. And retail sales have reached a five-year high. – Yahoo
Dominant Social Theme: After tough times, the magnificent "can do" spirit of Americans is beginning to pull the country out of recession. Americans are a proud and productive race. You can't keep them down.
Free-Market Analysis: We are glad that the terrible unemployment that America is facing has subsided. This is what happens when the vital energies of the most innovative country in the world are challenged: American citizens respond magnificently. The country's largest, dynamic corporations – Boeing, General Electric and General Motors – use recessions to discipline costs and create new, streamlined product. Fat is cut and muscle is strengthened.
No less a publication than the Economist has noted the beginning of the end of the jobless recession. In a recent article, this august tome explained the following: "There's still a lot of misinterpretation of the drop in the unemployment rate from 9.4% in December to 9.0% in January. Some on Wall Street say it's a bad sign, attributing it to a decline in the labor force as people gave up looking for work. But that decline in the labor force is a statistical illusion. When you remove that illusion, the entire drop in the unemployment rate can be attributed to the unemployed finding jobs."
This is great news. A publication apparently affiliated with the Rothschild banking family – a self-described newspaper that proudly presents itself as one of the most trusted periodicals in the West – has made the determination that US unemployment is down. The figures released by the US government can be trusted after all.
OK, sarcasm off. In fact, the unemployment situation in the US – and in the West generally – remains disastrous. Alternative ‘Net news organizations estimate US unemployment to be in the area of 20 percent; and we believe it is likely much higher than that. Even some mainstream media voices cannot keep up the pretense that the economy is turning positive again. The website and news organization BMI informs of us the following:
[Chief among the less trusting] is CNBC's floor reporter Rick Santelli, who recently criticized 'kool-aid drinkers' [on-air] for trying to find good news in the 'disappointing.' Jobs are heading up and down at the same time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the morning of Feb. 4 that only 36,000 jobs were added in the month of January, but the unemployment rate dropped from 9.4 percent to 9.0 percent.
Santelli even lashed out at some of the CNBC "Squawk Box" panel that were discussing the latest jobs report. "[W]e have overwhelming evidence the jobs market is disappointing, and all of you are trying to look for that one half of spaghetti in a 50 lb. spaghetti bowl. This is not great data," Santelli claimed. "In terms of jobs ... if you work just one day. If you stay home but you get paid you're counted in the data."
Santelli is being as honest as he is allowed to be (and maybe pushing the boundaries besides) but what he isn't explaining is WHY the numbers remain stubbornly slow, going into either the third or fourth year of America's longest "recession" since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The reason, as we've explained before on numerous occasions has to do with the US economy's larger distortion. 20th century central banking, especially after its removal from the remnants of the gold standard, was hugely expansive (and still remains so, to less and less effect). Money printing bloats every kind of industrial activity and in the past has caused a huge upswelling in white-collar jobs (complete with degree inflation as well) – mostly for lawyers, accountants and corporate bankers (commercial and investing).
The result in America was a faux economy that still has not subsided. America, more than any other country, was able to build such an economy because the dollar was the world's reserve currency. This meant that America's central bankers could virtually print dollars at will and the rest of the world had to absorb them in order to be able to buy Middle East oil that was priced in dollars.
The American economy of the late 20th century recycled cars and white ware regularly, built ever-more massive McMansions, cultivated an impossibly large military industrial complex complete with increasingly useless weapons systems, expanded a kind of domestic STASI complete with 16 spy agencies, warrantless wiretapping and rendition abroad for purposes of torture. None of this contributed to the "productive economy" and all of it is quite questionable in terms of the evolution of a real economy, unencumbered by fiat money stimulation.
Eventually, in such cases, economic distortions simply grow too much to bear. The dollar-reserve system crashed in 2008 and has not yet recovered. In fact, it cannot recover because the same central bankers that caused the crash have pumped an unholy amount – US$20 trillion or more – back into the economy to "restimulate" it. This has merely had the perverse effect of propping up the very parts of the US economy (and the West's) that most need deflating: the military and intel-industrial complex, automobile companies, green energy, etc.
As we've pointed out, it is even hard to tell what a real Western economy would look like because there has been so much money stimulation for so long. All sorts of extraneous businesses of great size have been built up. And the gigantism that has taken place as a result of fiat money has been buttressed by the West's legal system that has created an entire fictitious class of economic actors called corporations.
The combination of corporate empowerment and vast, endless monetary stimulation has virtually created an entirely inefficient – and even useless – top-down economy. What likely would be an economy of partnerships and entrepreneurial shops; and various kinds of interlinked family businesses including family farms has been replaced by inefficient and unsustainable industrial bloat.
The current economic policies of recessionary West remain unsustainable because they have been created within the current failed paradigm. Vast nationalized companies run on alternative energy that costs two or three times as much as traditional power sources. Equally vast quasi-statist enterprises plow hundreds of millions into producing "low carbon" efficiencies that are as ephemeral as they are wasteful. All of this is the result of the West's impossibly distorted monetary system and equally perverse legal system. No wonder employment isn't recovering.
Recently we noted a sign that some of this was beginning to reverse – as it should given the length and depth of the West's recession. According to a recent article in the LA Times, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (desperate to find a silver lining amidst recessionary lead) added "incorporated self-employed workers" into the mix.
Presumably this new category merely rejiggered previous numbers, but nonetheless it begins to show a trend emerging in our view. According to the Times, the new numbers reveal that 14 million Americans are self-employed, up from the 9 million derived via previous data analysis. The Times explains that many workers find themselves "making their own jobs once they become frustrated with employers' reticence to hire."
The newspaper quotes Sara Horowitz, founder and executive director of the Freelancers Union, as saying she hopes the new numbers draw attention to the situation that many Americans are in today. "People are not just waiting for companies to hire them, they are getting out on their own, starting their own work."
Ms. Horowitz also points out that such individuals do not receive corporate benefits such as health care but that nonetheless their number is growing. Contract workers and freelancers form a kind of flexible, working network that we have often predicted the economy in the West – and especially in the US – would revert back to as the swollen fiat economy gradually subsided.
Of course it has a long way to go and Horowitz herself (along with the Times) doesn't understand the implications. She worries aloud in the article that the independent agents she represents are doing without corporate perks such as health care. Horowitz will no doubt begin to lobby government for such "protections." In fact, she will be campaigning for exactly the wrong solutions. What she and others should be agitating for is a private-market health care system and generally for deconstructing the legal and regulatory environment that has facilitated serial Western industrial catastrophes.
We don't expect a reversion anytime soon to a rational economic and political system in the West. The power elite that has organized the current central banking economy and profits from it, uses its intricate, predictable ruin to drain first one continental economy and then another of productivity and wealth. Each regional economy in turn is stimulated anew – its industrial capacity revved hotter and hotter – until the inevitable collapse comes.
In this way, bankers maintain the fiction that the current Western system "reduces poverty." In fact it does no such thing. It is like giving prescribing pituitary growth stimulants that produce a giant's frame and a child's mentality. The larger the poor creature grows, the weaker and more malformed it becomes. Eventually it collapses altogether, paralyzed.
The entire West has been paralyzed by this kind of economic gambit – just as Argentina and the Asian Tigers were paralyzed in the past. China will come next, its titanic economy imploding as the ravages of fiat money eventually take their toll. Of course, those invested in the current Western banking system will claim credit for lifting the Chinese out of poverty – and like locusts they will head to Africa, which is next in line for the "business." We're not sure the locusts will get that far however.
Too many people are starting to understand the grandiose and meretricious manipulation that has been created in the name of the modern Western economy. The Internet in particular is helping to show people other, less exploitative ways of creating economic progress (via real free markets and honest money). In fact, the current system carries within it the seeds of its own destruction. It destroys too much and leaves behind too much human wreckage. People grow increasingly angry and their anger is directed nowadays not at "bankers" or "tycoons" but at the system itself.
Conclusion: This is what the power elite fears above all, but in our view it is too late to stop the increased knowledge of what is going on along with a realization of the correct targets. Eventually, Western economies will begin to stabilize, and when they do a new era may emerge, one based on the Invisible Hand rather than the merciless grip of the Anglosphere.
Posted by Ingo Bischoff on 02/09/11 10:35 PM
@ William Fallberg
When the house of cards our corporations have erected comes down do we want to be known as "collaborators"? We ARE going to be held responsible? Fictitious persons; indeed!
Our mistake is to consider "fictitious persons" able to act as if they were "actual" citizens. They are not. A "corporate" citizen is not a "citizen" under the U.S. Constitution.
This fact should be reflected in the political process. Politcal contribution should only be permitted by individual citizens with voting rights or persons that potentially will have voting rights. All political contribution over a certain small amount should be public record.
The destructive nature of the "big corporation" lies in its corruptive influence on politicians. If the 17th Amendment were repealed, the pool of lobbyist in Washington, DC would melt away.
Remember, there were no lobbyists in Washington, DC before 1913. You may have them instead at the State capitols, but I rather have them split fifty ways than have them all concentrated to work their "magic" on the U.S. Congress.
Posted by Lyn on 02/09/11 07:39 PM
For better or worse, I enjoy reading the feedback on this website usually more than the articles themselves. Everyone in their own way contributes something for me to digest. Some cast a light, others a doubt and some leave a question to linger in my mind afterwards.
I, like others here, also miss those that seemed to have departed, and especially Lila. I wish I knew one woman as a neighbor as intelligent and intuitive as she. I keep watching for her every day, waiting.
I know everyone has a choice but I surely wish you all wouldn't just up and leave. You are a very large part of what makes this website worth visiting with your own unique insights and information. And there will always be some detractors somewhere. If not here, then somewhere else. At least here, I think it's safe to assume your in intelligent company. Some websites on the other hand, are like visiting what I would imagine to be a whorehouse. One feels the need to take a bath afterwards!
I wish now I had left replies to more of the feedback than I did and how much it was appreciated. But I would always wind up shrugging it off, thinking "who cares anyway". I did.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Lila is still writing, you know, just not here ...
Posted by William Falberg on 02/09/11 06:00 PM
@ Bill Ross
In a way, I'm glad to hear you're not American, it makes your perspective even more valuable. In your country you have corporations though, yes? If so, how are they set up? – the corporation writes its own charter and goes at it, without hindrance? Like we in the USA? What I'm getting at is: are corporations an exclusively American evil?
A fine point I'd like to make here also is that the American people, for the most part, are not aware of the damage our corporations are doing to the world's opinion of us. According to our corporate-owned media the world hates us because we're rich (not at all true BTW) and imposing economic slavery on the world is advertised (to us) as "spreading democracy"; which couldn't be further from the truth.
The America that I love is not the one that our corporations have turned us into. I think the same holds true for England but I don't know that for fact. I'm listening to anyone who cares to enlighten me on foreign versions of "personhood". It must exist elsewhere or US Globaltech would have conquered the world by now.
Be it known hereafter my calls to action are intended for American ears. We're responsible. It's our political mistake to correct. When the house of cards our corporations have erected comes down do we want to be known as "collaborators"? Accused as war criminals?
We ARE going to be held responsible ! Fictitious persons; indeed!
"I was only taking orders." "It was my job" Really weak.
Posted by John Blenkins on 02/09/11 05:03 PM
Gentlemen I will reply here tomorrow, as fully as i can.
Very busy, some great interaction going on.
Posted by Bill Ross on 02/09/11 04:46 PM
"but where is your support for an Art. 5 Constitutional Convention?"
Not being a Yank, my support is irrelevant as pertains to the US political process and the methodology of how YOU deal with YOUR problems, which you have allowed to be OUR problem. BUT, outlining the FACTS is something I am well equipped to do.
I suggest the US citizenry consider the fact that they, independent of opinions regarding "manifest destiny" are five percent of the planetary population, whom, universally, they have wronged.
Now, opposition, I can do...
Posted by William Falberg on 02/09/11 03:24 PM
@ Bill Ross:
You speak of a "determined and principled blowback", but where is your support for an Art. 5 Constitutional Convention? Have you, yourself, become so "immune to manipulation" by "discernible fact" that your only "remedy" is "learning to think"? I'm beginning to wonder if you'd know the Truth if it sat on your face. If this is not a time to "personally take on some very evil forces", then when will that day arrive for you?
Independent thinkers (you might say alarmists) have railed against corporate personhood for over two hundred years. Circumstances have PROVEN they were right all along ! How much "human action as chronicled by objective history." do you need to "consume the forbidden fruit of truth (red pill)"?
Rather than intellectualizing ad nauseam about the irrelevant consequences of government-chartered incorporated entities, why are you (rhetorically " not singling you out- it's almost a universal post-brainwash paradigm) not picketing for a [CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION NOW !!!] movement. I'll be happy to print the posters for you.
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
--Thomas Jefferson, letter to to George Logan, 1816
"Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people's masters."
--Grover Cleveland, 1888
If you need further stimulation go to:
Click to view link
There are many, many more historical references but, being the intellectual you are, I'm sure you'll find them. If you bother to look.
Posted by Old Geezer on 02/09/11 03:08 PM
Sorry for the omission. Please place the word "next" to the figure 18. Fat fingers and slow brain.
Posted by Old Geezer on 02/09/11 03:05 PM
Your article was interesting to say the least. I agree somewhat with George Sign is his comments on DB. My many decades on this planet has taught me that nothing is as it seems. From Mayberry to Paul there are differing opinions then you can shake a stick at.
As far as the unemployment figures are concerned one of the places that should be on everyone's weekly check list is the BLS. Their chart of the six unemployment catagories reveals some interesting resutls. Unemployment can be explained, depending on what your agenda is and what you want to accomplish.
It can range all the way from 9.0 to 16.0. This is a very wide range when most people are asking for a definite figure. Therefore it is wise to understand that most information presented to the public is spiced with droplets of whipped cream to make the bad news easier to digest.
Take the politics out of the equation and you have a very bleak and unapetising dish to consume. Load up on Tums as it is going to be a bumpy ride for the 18 to 24 months. "and the beat goes on".
Posted by Ingo Bischoff on 02/09/11 10:06 AM
I have nothing against passing on information and links in support of an argument or in making a point. What I meant by "kool-aid" drinkers are those few who don't have a personal conviction on a point, but instead intimate that they have one by stearing you to some link.
I have nothing against sharing. To the contrary, that is exactly why I appreciate this forum. However, I like a "feedbacker" to share his philosophy with me, not steer me to some website where I am left to figure out why I was referred to it.
Posted by Gavin on 02/09/11 08:58 AM
@ Ingo Bischoff
"What is difficult to take are the "cool aid" drinkers. Those are the ones who only agree with the DB or cite some web site link in lieu of their opinion."
I guess I would be included in the cool aid drinkers category since I generally give links and agree with the DB for the most part. I'm not in the same league as many of the feedbackers here so I see nothing wrong with copying the relevant part of a related article and adding a short blurb. Obviously it's good to get as many viewpoints as possible, even if happens to be passing on someone else's ideas or experience. If someone on this site gets something from the link or the copied section then it might even do something to make the world a better place no matter how small. Share and share alike is my philosophy.
Posted by Agent Weebley on 02/09/11 08:52 AM
@ Bill Ross
In your angst, you said: "Argh" to one of my postings. I noticed that the other day, Bill, but I am not sure what you meant by the "H."
Is it like: "Je*us H Chri*t, Agent Weebley? Why do you berate me so?"
It's like this Bill Ross: you are set in your ways in this place, and my most favourite person. You are dirty and sweet, oh yeah.
Now, Bill Ross, you need to go to my site, just for a minute. You need to see what I think the "H" means. Once you go there, the "H" will be upon you.
Click to view link
Have a great day!
Posted by Agent Weebley on 02/09/11 08:46 AM
Thanks for hosting yesterday. You the mang . . . it is a Sign of things to come!
Posted by Agent Weebley on 02/09/11 08:46 AM
@ John Blenkins
Thanks for the Chinese info. It sent me off looking for Dragons on my sleigh. I don't think that article was a complete snow job, by the way.
One thing though: it was such an action-packed listing that some facts seemed a little odd. Feb 3 was the Chinese New Year, so this must have already happened, plus, and here's the biggie . . . if the Princess Cruise Lines lost all electronics, then we would have heard about the ensuing food riot, as food "needs" to be consumed every waking minute while on a cruise.
All in all, the Chinese "families" and metals still being the international "settler" of all "settlers," seems to be ringing true.
Posted by AmanfromMars on 02/09/11 08:37 AM
Bill, Don't worry. Intelligence is on the job, putting in fixes and embedding catastrophic repercussions for the decidedly idiotic and belligerent.
Posted by Bill Ross on 02/09/11 07:42 AM
It is ALL alarmist. The conflict is between the "alarmists" (mystics) who use falsely framed speculation of "necessity" (Machiavelli) within false intellectual paradigms to collectively mobilize (terrorize and impoverish) us in pursuit of pre-emptive justice (war of X), the initiation of aggression and preying on those who "might" be a threat...
...those who look at matters in terms of measurable action / consequence within the PROVEN knowledge paradigm of physical action relating to consequence, especially "human action" as chronicled by objective history.
The remedy to this insanity is to learn to discern fact from fiction, the real from the impossible by learning to think and thus, becoming immune to manipulation:
Click to view link
Consumer warning: Should you consume the forbidden fruit of truth (red pill), there is no going back and, you will no longer be able to tolerate the lies or liars. Your comfortable and secure life of delusions is OVER and, some very powerful elements will consider your intolerance of their crimes to be a survival threat which, in their paradigm means that you must be destroyed. Your personal delusion of peace is the cost.
It is roll over and die versus personally take on some very evil forces. Duck and cover may alter your position downwards on the predators list, but, all of us are on the list. Our collective demise is an inevitable matter of time, without determined and principled blowback.
Posted by AmanfromMars on 02/09/11 07:32 AM
Gentlemen struggling with John Blenkins' link,
Do you not read the information which is freely supplied to you on the Daily Bell? There is an occasional bug/gremlin in the code which requires that you inspect the address rendered by the hyperlink and remove whatever extraneous symbols may be there if it doesn't provide you with what you were expecting.
In the case we are presently discussing, please remove everything after .mp3 and press Enter on your keyboard. In other cases can there be an arrow and br to remove. It is just a quirk we are presently living with whilst we get on with saving the world.
Good Day, and have a nice one.
Posted by Bruce C. on 02/09/11 07:24 AM
Maybe I'm just having a bad day, but I don't think the US has a prayer of creating millions of "good" high paying jobs in the foreseeable future.
First of all, our infrastructure is old and failing, largely due to misappropriated tax revenues.
Secondly, our educational system sucks, because most of our teachers are stupid and/or hopelessly indoctrinated with mind-numbing BS.
Thirdly, there are now billions of people who are willing to do the same work for a much lower pay rate and lifestyle. Fourthly, as the DB article explains, the entire US economy is distorted so most "good" jobs are fundamentally non-productive (e.g., lawyers and their lawsuits and regulations, bureaucrats and their procedures and administrations, subsidized and otherwise uneconomic enterprises, the accounting and financial industries, etc.).
I think it's ironic that the most stable, intelligent, educated, balanced and healthy people are the least likely to enter politics or bureaucratic administration or the highest levels of political power, etc. On the other hand it's no wonder. I've never met a parent that would want such a thing for their children (or, to word it differently, would think that those careers would be fulfilling.) Therefore, we are subject to the delusions and ideologies and mandates/policies of nurds " the Greenspans, Geitners, Paulsons, Bernankes, et al. Even the "elites" that the DB likes to refer are probably quite bizarre and miserable.
Humble, focused productivity of real tangible stuff is what will revive this economy. I'm not holding my breath though. Unfortunately, I think the US economy needs to be purged of al its
Posted by John Blenkins on 02/09/11 06:09 AM
I know William I can't work it out myself as it's fine when i sent
it to friends? Bear in mind i started post with "I am not sure what to make of this." DB may well be right that it is perhaps alarmist.
Posted by William Falberg on 02/09/11 05:38 AM
"Internal Server Error" whatever that is.
Posted by John Blenkins on 02/09/11 04:13 AM
Funny that link wont work!? received it last night all was fine. just prior to above post i sent to my Sister and myself,not dead at all. So i dont know why it is not working Funny that.