Brad Plumer recently posted an article at the Washington Post's Wonkblog entitled "July jobs report: Why the unemployment rate just won't budge."
Plumer was responding to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that the US economy added a disappointing 163,000 jobs in July. The unemployment rate traveled up from 8.2 percent to about 8.3 percent.
This set off a flood of articles in the mainstream media that interpreted this figure as negative, inconsequential or possibly "good news" for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.
In this article, I want to show why a much deeper discussion should be taking place.
But first, I'll examine several issues around which the current "mainstream" debate is occurring.
It is, to be sure, a kind of dominant social theme, of course … that the White House is engaged in frantic efforts to reduce the unemployment problem in the United States and that Obama's re-election chances hang in the balance.
Plumer has decided, presumably with the approval of his editors, that Congress and government are not doing enough to help the economy. That's why unemployment remains "stubbornly" high.
In fact, he wouldn't be working for the Intel-influenced Washington Post if he didn't believe deep down that government has at least some of the answers, probably more of them than not. He concludes the article as follows:
Congress, for its part, isn't expected to pass any further policies to bolster the economy before the November elections. And Federal Reserve officials are still poring over data, watching and waiting. The central bank will meet again in September to decide whether to take further action to try and stimulate the economy (say, another round of quantitative easing). Jobs reports from July and August will weigh heavily in the Fed's decision making. They'll have to decide whether the current pace of job growth is good enough.
Plumer accepts government figures as accurate; that's one issue. Some of his feedbackers have identified a deeper issue. Here's a comment from one feedbacker in the middle of the response thread:
Here's the real jobs info. In June, according to [the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there had been 142,415,000 people employed in the United States. In July, that dropped to 142,220,000–a decline of 195,000. So, essentially 350,000 were retired, died, or fired since the end of June. And businesses only hired to replace about 60% of them. That's almost 200,000 fewer people with a paycheck to spend. Tell me the economy isn't tanking.
Even this doesn't bring us to the heart of what SHOULD be the debate, though, in my opinion.
The heart of the unemployment issue has to do with monopoly central banking and the distortions that it introduces into the larger economy.
It is hard if not impossible for more people to fully comprehend how even their core belief systems, along with every part of their daily lives, have been manipulated by what we call directed history.
It is monopoly central banking that via the boom/bust cycle creates first euphorias and then recessions and depressions. In doing so, the constant monetary stimulation actually changes the way society evolves.
During boom times most everyone who wants a job can have one. During the bust part of the cycle, jobs are hard to come by at any price.
People may think they have chosen their occupation wisely in the good times and reproach themselves during the bad times. But in reality, much of what people do to support themselves is out of their control.
It is Money Power that has set up the current paradigm, conflating "civilized society" with what is evidently and obviously a kind of directed history.
The idea is to create a dysfunction that gives the power elite more control over government and therefore more leverage when it comes to creating global governance. This process is called mercantilism.
Public schools don't work very well, for instance, and public school teachers know they are trapped in a lousy process. The same thing goes for government workers, including civil policing and military authorities.
Those who work for multinationals, who labor in the legal and accounting professions, often become aware at some point that they are in a sense supporting a dysfunctional system that benefits a very few at the expense of the many.
Even those who work in the medical and agricultural sectors of society must know by now that a portion of their labor is given over to counter-productive, even deadly practices. The entire argument about "unemployment" is a misleading one.
The idea is that modern society can gainfully employ millions and even billions. But in fact, Elder Man probably worked only a few hours a day to gain his livelihood. The current paradigm that creates scenarios in which both husband and wife work two jobs to create a tolerable lifestyle is a deeply dysfunctional one.
Instead of hoping for "fuller employment" within the confines of the current social structure, we ought to be discussing what current employment actually DOES.
Is full employment within the context of the modern warfare/welfare state even desirable?
Such questions are not going to be answered any time soon and are certainly not going to be part of the current campaign scene. But the Internet Reformation, as we call it, is real and so is the dawning understanding among many of how manipulated society really is and why.
Eventually, if I am correct, the discussion will shift from how we arrive at "full employment" to whether much of what passes for employment in the modern world is even desirable in the first place.
The real debate has yet to be joined.