I have been keeping track of the economic news, particularly the unemployment figures, on various television outlets, in addition to print and radio shows for several years now and am wondering where I can find an honest journalist.
Perhaps that is too harsh a judgment of my former profession, but still, how often do you hear the real unemployment figures versus the government spin?
According to the US Debt Clock, which shows real time figures on our escalating national debt, state debt, personal debt, and a gazillion other statistics, the real number of unemployed in the US and the reported unemployed in the US are off by nearly 11 million workers – this week.
The government's latest propaganda says the unemployment rate has risen to 9.2 percent of the workforce of 139,811,815 which would be 12 million people. Now, already we have an issue with the numbers because the Debt Clock says the official number of unemployed is 14,059,706, so either the number reported is wrong or the total workforce number is wrong.
Either way is irrelevant however, because the government figures only reflect those unemployed people who are collecting benefits. Even though unemployment benefits now extend for nearly two years, there are millions of people who aren't collecting benefits, either because time ran out, or they weren't eligible in the first place.
The debt clock says the actual number of unemployed people is 24,820,067 which is nearly 18 percent of the workforce, which is double what the government and just about every news outlet in the country is reporting.
And when the media does refer to those 11 million people, without actually mentioning that there are 11 million of them, they call them "underemployed!" What the hell does underemployed mean?
Can someone tell me? I realize that the phrase usually defines people who are not working full time, or are working at jobs which pay significantly less than the jobs they are qualified for or would be working at in a full economy.
But I have a question regarding these underemployed people; how do you know how many of them there are if they are off the grid?
How do you know how many of the 11 million non-reported unemployed or underemployed are in which category. How many are sweeping floors and cleaning bathrooms at fast food restaurants versus the number that have moved in with relatives and spend their days sitting in the basement muttering and sipping cheap wine?
How many are living under bridges? How many former hippies turned yuppies are living out in the woods, sleeping in hollow logs, surrounding by warning devices to alert them when census takers are in the vicinity?
All kidding aside, this is a propaganda scam that rivals the communists, the Nazis and any other totalitarian form of government that attempts to pacify its citizens by generating a non-stop stream of "good" news or news that at least isn't as bad as the real news. We are fed this garbage every single month.
And you know what really frosts me? Every time the news is bad, the Government Accounting Office or some other official organization scales it back using accounting methods that wouldn't pass a Grade Five math course, and then two weeks later they revise the figures!
And the revised figures are always a lot worse than the "official" figures that were released a couple of weeks earlier! But you hear about it on a scale that is exponentially less than the original announcement of the so-called good news.
It really bothers me that so many news anchors and reporters take the liberty of inserting snide comments into their coverage – especially of political matters – when they want to slam some office holder or candidate. But when they are handed information that is so easy to disprove – no opinions, just hard cold facts – they regurgitate the "official" spin without so much as a nod to the fact that it is off by at least half!
I have a question for the bureaucrats, politicians and journalists who regularly spew out these half-truths looking at the public with innocent, nearly angelic visages, expecting that if they look sincere we'll buy it: DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE PRESIDENT OBAMA'S CLAIM THAT WE'RE ALL STUPID????
News flash! We aren't. People have it figured out. And even if they aren't doing the math or watching the Debt Clock they know if they are out of work, and how many of their friends are out of work, and how much hot air they hear coming from Washington and their state capitals.
The best statistic of all will come on Election Day 2012 and that will be the one that says how many B.S. artists posing as concerned politicians find that the Debt Clock numbers now reflect them joining the real ranks of the unemployed. Maybe a president too! Unfortunately, I fear that it will be a long hard journey to find someone who reports the truth, meaning the whole truth between now and then.
Maybe I'll go down the street to visit my friend Diogenes. He'll probably be sitting in his hot tub this time of day, and if I explain this to him, he might let me borrow his lantern.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011