STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
US Failing Again: Never Ending Downturn
By Staff News & Analysis - April 19, 2013

Jobs, factory data point to slowing economy … Economic data for January and February suggested that growth accelerated in the first quarter after activity almost stalled in the final three months of 2012. But in a replay of the prior two years, the economy appeared to have hit a speed bump at the end of the quarter, with data ranging from employment to retail sales and manufacturing weakening significantly in March. – Reuters

Dominant Social Theme: The US is getting better all the time.

Free-Market Analysis: Keynesianism doesn't work.

Printing oodles of debt money does not inflate the real economy but merely further distorts it.

While the above excerpt was posted in February, things have not improved in the US since then. As NBC recently reported, "For the third year in a row, the nation's economic recovery has hit a springtime soft spot … Reflecting that weakness, only 1 in 4 Americans now expects his or her own financial situation to improve over the next year, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows."

Try to visualize what is really going on. The Western world, led by the United States, is suffering from a kind of clinical dementia. We often refer to this syndrome by mentioning the fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson, "The Emperor's New Clothes."

In this tale, an emperor is tricked into believing he is splendidly dressed when, in fact, he is naked. No one dares to tell him the truth until finally one day there is a big parade and a child blurts out what is evident and obvious.

In this case, the "child" is the Internet and its alternative 'Net media that has been explaining in increasingly resonant tones that monopoly central-bank price fixing of the value and volume of money is not a feasible solution to the current economic crisis.

And every now and then the truth breaks through. Here's some more from the article:

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 352,000, the Labor Department said. The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, rose 2,750 to 361,250.

While claims rose last week, they were still at levels economists normally associate with average monthly job gains of more than 150,000. That helped ease concerns of a deterioration in labor market conditions after an increase in nonfarm payrolls in March was the smallest in nine months.

"Labor market conditions still appear to be grinding forward, but pushing against the weight of a slowing economy and subdued confidence," said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

In separate report, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index fell to 1.3 in April from 2.0 in March. A reading above zero indicates expansion in the region's manufacturing.

It came on the heels of data this week showing a sharp slowdown in factory activity in New York state in April and a dip in national manufacturing output last month.

Of course, there will be many who will claim the current bad news is overstated but if anything is overstated, it is the "good" news. The US has far more underemployed and unemployed than the government admits and inflation is far higher, as well.

It is indeed like a fairytale, and one actively aided and abetted by the mainstream media and its reporters and editors who take government statistics at face value and apparently without question.

A little investigative reporting would reveal the truth about the state of the US economy and the general disrepair of the West's economic engine generally.

But if this sort of reporting were done, it would have to question the insanity of the endless pump-priming by Western governments and central banks. It doesn't ever work and merely distorts economies further. The only thing it is good for is propping up failing financial firms and blowing up securities markets that respond to this sort of monetary inflation.

But as the volume of money swells, creating further bubbles, the distortions in the larger economy expand, as well. No one knows what to invest in because it is impossible to tell a healthy enterprise from one that that is merely being inflated by money printing.

Like war itself, this enterprise is a racket imposed on us by high-class con men in slick suits. Look … you can't create wealth by printing bits of paper within a monopoly monetary context. All you are really doing is participating in a degeneration of the currency.

The middle class, losing employment and savings, is increasingly ruined. Culture shatters and the economy itself is irreparably damaged. Gradually, chaos creeps into everyday living and social pathologies expand.

The upshot is a further centralization of wealth; as nation-states fail, the din of further globalization grows louder.

After Thoughts

No doubt that is the point.

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