Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Lies, damned lies, and…

Phony, ginned-up, overmassaged, government-manipulated “statistics.”

Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you arenot counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.

There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

Yet another figure of importance that doesn’t get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

As Clifton notes above, all the various political power-branches of our national Ruling Class have a vested interest in maintaining the lie–because the truth is, the liberal-fascism that has dominated us for so long does not work, cannot work, has never worked, and never will work, and they are so wedded to the idea of top-down control and micromanagement of the lives of their subjects that they can’t allow the truth to be generally acknowledged. The laughable fiction (or delusion) that national elections amount to anything more worthwhile than a somewhat sordid form of entertainment is much the same, and must be maintained for the same reason.

“Liberalism” is, in short, a luxury only a truly rich nation can afford, and it totters precariously on a foundation of lies. And we’re a whole lot less rich now than we used to be…thanks, ironically, to that same “liberalism.”

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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