I think most people are simply oblivious to the enormous dangers the world economy faces.
Oh, I think we will all get through Christmas and New Years without a meltdown, but all bets are off in 2012.
A new acquaintance of mine told me last Friday, “Isn’t the economy getting better?” I just looked at her and shook my head in the negative. Then she said, “I guess if it was getting bad, the media wouldn’t tell us the truth.” I shook my head in the affirmative. My new friend is 75 years old and gets a Social Security check every month. She’s pretty sharp, but I don’t blame her for being misinformed. She gets her news the old fashioned way—from the mainstream media (MSM).
The article said, “The economic signs are encouraging, but we’re a long way from a comeback.” It covered recent upticks in auto and home sales. It also said the unemployment rate recently fell to “8.6%.”
The USA TODAY story went on to say, “Although the decline was partly due to a 315,000 drop in the labor force as discouraged job seekers simply gave up, employment is up an average 321,000 a month since August, according to the Labor Department’s household survey. Most encouraging: Much of the hiring appears to be by small businesses, which typically fuel job growth in a recovery.” Wow, the fact that 315,000 people “simply gave up” seemed completely glossed over.
Why did more than 300,000 people give up? Maybe it’s because there are precious few jobs. And what about the 400,000 people every week filing unemployment claims? Never let the facts get in the way of positive spin to please the advertisers. The USA TODAY story closes with a business professor who said, “I have a lot of confidence in the future.” (Click here for the complete USA TODAY story.)
I am happy for him, but for a little balance and more accurate reporting, maybe the newspaper could have also quoted an economist who wasn’t so optimistic? John Williams of Shadowstats.com can provide that balance. In his latest report, Williams calls the recent unemployment numbers “nonsensical hype,” and “. . . help-wanted advertising has been in monthly decline since May of this year.”
The report goes on to say, “November retail sales and industrial production both showed renewed faltering in the U.S. economy, reflecting the impact of the structural impairment of consumer liquidity. Although the headline CPI inflation number was flat for November, underlying detail showed the still spreading impact of high oil prices. Inflationary pressures continue to be from Federal Reserve polices, not from strong economic activity. As the Fed increasingly is pushed to support the banking system, the central bank’s actions should accelerate the pace of U.S. dollar debasement, as well as the pace of rising U.S. inflation and precious metals prices.” (Click here for the Shadowstats.com home page.)
Inflation, by the way, is running at 11% annually. (According to Williams, that would be the true inflation rate if it were calculated the way Bureau of Labor Statistics did it in 1980 or earlier.)