Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Truth Emergency and the Emperor's New Clothes moment.


Re: the latest AP story on the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, April 11 2014:

So unemployment claims "plummet", "reversing sharp gains the previous two weeks," but the "four week average, a less volatile measure, rose 3000," and "employers added only 80,000 jobs".

Somewhere in there is something that "could signal that more solid hiring could return in April."

"The unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of 7.6 percent last month, ... However, the rate fell only because more people stopped looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed."  (At last a whiff of truth leaking in!)

It's like looking for signals in tea leaves or chicken entrails.

So now they regularly admit that there's a large pool of unemployed that their statistics leave out, why do they go on using them?

These official statistics are so deeply flawed they can't be used for serious economic modeling, which is why many corporations and economists turn to "shadowstats.com" instead. They can't be used for serious policy discussions.  How do we talk about the unemployment emergency when the statistics we use don't show it?

Yet these so-called "unemployment rate" statistics are built into the laws.  Because they're falling,  because job seekers are giving up, as of Sept. 1 Massachusetts unemployed will lose another "tier", another 10 weeks of Federal benefits!

These unemployment statistics are part of a larger "Truth Emergency". People with some control, some influence, money or security are living in one conversation about the world, one reality, while the rest of us, the 90% say, live in a different reality.  Out here no one much believes what we read in the newspapers or see on TV anymore, because it doesn't match the reality of our lives.

What's left is the illusion of "all those other stupid people out there" happily sitting on their couches playing video games who believe what they see and don't care.

With our unmet needs getting more and more urgent, we are rapidly approaching an "Emperor's New Clothes" moment when we shed that illusion.
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