And, therein lies the rub: statistical garbage. To many, it is the increasing stench of this "garbage information" that we're hearing and reading--from just about everywhere--which conflcts with what many are observing around them.
On the other side of the "misinformation equation," there's the obfuscated QUALITATIVE story of a government so blatantly captured by the status quo that new evidence supporting this now appears on an almost daily basis. Unfortunately, what this all boils down to is that we're a nation that still buys into headlines and reality tv which accomplishes little more than to divert us from the ongoing pillaging of our middle and lower classes, while the foundations of our "Two-Track Economy"--one for the "haves" and the other for the "have-nots" in our society--are propped-up by our oligarchy as a direct result of the biggest public ripoff in the history of mankind. Hell, as much as they might try, even the Wall Street Journal can't totally ignore it: "Halting Recovery Divides America in Two."
But, I digress.
This post focuses upon my ongoing efforts to open readers' eyes to the gross distortions we mistake for fact and the societal myopia we collectively maintain as it relates to the QUANTITATIVE aspects of these economic issues. (As some reading this know, I've spent a great deal of time on our QUALITATIVE realities concerning these matters in scores of other diaries, which may be referenced HERE.) This time, like in a handful of other diaries I've posted over an extended period, tonight, it's about the most recent truths of which I've learned concerning the quantitative history of the numbers that most of us don't know.
While the emphasis of this update focuses more upon new information related to the employment/unemployment situation, I do discuss other sectors where we're having dysfunctional information issues, too. Hopefully, you'll find these newest realities to be as much of an eye-opener as I have.
As Harry Truman put it: "The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know." Borrowing from him, I'll paraphrase that as: "The only things new in our economy are the numbers you don't know." (And, that would include significant distortions relating to many of the important government statistics we currently accept as plausibe, today, too.)
# # #
Before I continue, I do wish to make a brief note of the sheer irony of four qualitative stories--all related in some way to Goldman Sachs--that are playing out before us, now and over the course of the next seven days and beyond. As the New York Times noted on Sunday, a week from tomorrow, on January 18th, Goldman--still the beneficiary of trillions of government dollars in taxpayer-funded backstop and guarantee programs as I write this--will handout well in excess of $20 billion in annual bonuses.
At the same time, as Bill Moyers just noted, (h/t to Barry Ritholtz at "The Big Picture") Goldman's actual corporate tax rate is approximately 1%. (No bold type or capital letters in that last sentence, but you might want to read it again, and then click upon the links.) This is all playing out amidst a couple of other major stories about this Wall Street behemoth relating to new truths that have managed to find some light of day concerning: a.) the fact that approximately $23 billion of the initial $80-billion AIG government bailout was directly-related to Goldman's liabilities, while Goldman claimed they had no exposure at the time relating to said bailout, in mid-September 2008; and, b.) since U.S. securities law requires 100% face-value compensation of securities proven to be fraudulently conveyed as such at time of sale, we're just now learning that individuals at the most senior level of our government, and at the Federal Reserve at the time of this transaction, were fully aware of these matters and were actively involved in obfuscating these truths from both our legislative branch and the public, at-large, [despite comments to the contrary denying same], IMHO!
# # #
THE ROOT CAUSES OF THE QUANTITATIVE MISINFORMATION ABOUT OUR ECONOMY
Returning to the "QUANTITATIVE pablum" fed to the masses which focuses upon grossly-flawed and/or blatantly incorrect government numbers, it is due in large part to:
I.) the narrative being fed by a myopic focus upon inaccurate, "blurry" and/or prematurely announced government statistics (general employment and unemployment metrics as well as our G.D.P. stats fall into this category, IMHO, among many other numbers, with some of them being acknowledged as inaccurate by our government, while D.C. is still reporting those incorrect figures to this day), with more accurate revisions to those numbers not being made, in some instances, up to almost a year after they're first announced. Yet, in other instances, such as the government's public gauges of consumer credit (despite appearances and claims by some to the contrary), the pertinent information isn't available from the folks in D.C., at all;
II.) the financial services sector manipulating data to their own advantage, with the most glaring reason for that being...because they can, legally, due to recent changes in accounting rules enabling this hocus pocus, and general governmental policies (many just recently reported) which encourage these misrepresentations due to legal loopholes relating to same; and,
III.) a failure on the part of many to acknowledge that this is not a garden-variety recession, with the meme being that "things are returning to normal," when nothing could be farther from the truth; and,
IV.) by focusing upon these "standard" measurements, in many ways (some more subtle than others), we're actually reinforcing this "return-to-normal" mentality (i.e.: "...if only we could see a reasonable drop in unemployment"), citing indicators which belie a much-needed urgency to address the fundamental problems which got us into this mess in the first place (i.e.: regulatory reform, etc). Ask yourself this: Do you really think the urgency--let alone the very initiative--to clean-up our financial services sector will be sustained the moment we hear a few consecutive, positive jobs reports?
IMHO (and in the opinion of many much more qualified to comment on these matters than yours truly, such as Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz and Simon Johnson), we are witnessing a structural change in our economy. It's what many, including economist Simon Johnson, referred to as "The Two-Track Economy." And, it is an over-arching reality which most in the MSM and in our government fail to acknowledge.
One exception to that last sentence would be Wall Street bailout Oversight Panel Chief Elizabeth Warren, who refers to it in great detail in: "America Without A Middle Class--It's Not As Far Away As You Might Think." And, I would go as far as to say that "the jobless recovery" we're in now, much like the jobless recoveries we experienced in our last two, so-called "recessions" (which were, in fact, bubbles much moreso than recessions), keeps getting longer and longer each time the bubble "bursts."
What economists like Johnson, Stiglitz and Krugman all agree upon, however, is that the old rules of measuring recessions no longer apply. Johnson succinctly tells us: "Conventional statistics are likely to become misleading." (See links above.)
Paul Krugman reminded us on Friday that he's been referring to this same phenomenon in the context of labelling it a "postmodern recession." As he sees it, as far as the downturn that we're experiencing now is concerned, there's simply no comparison to be made to other recessions, in: "Payrolls and paradigms."
Payrolls and paradigms
New York Times Blogs
January 8, 2010, 11:51 am
Disappointing job number this morning. Still, a month is just a month, right? Well, not quite.
From the beginning, there have been two schools of thought about the likely path of recovery. One school -- strongly represented among Wall Street economists -- said that the 2008-2009 recession should be compared with other deep US recessions: 1957 (the "Edsel" recession), 1974-5, 1981-2. These recessions were followed by rapid, V-shaped recoveries.
The other school of thought said that this was a postmodern recession, very different in character from those prior deep recessions, and that it was likely to be followed by a prolonged "jobless recovery." Added to that were worries based on the historical aftermath of financial crises, which tends to be prolonged and ugly.
With many forecasting--and rightfully so, since the overwhelming nature of the current situation dictates this from a simple math standpoint if nothing else--a "recovery" period lasting up to 8-10 years before we reach employment (acceptable unemployment) levels attained at the peak of the last bubble (around the third quarter of 2006), the truth is we're probably just as likely to fall into another recession before we get to 2018-2020 as we are to maintaining any semblance of an upward trajectory as far as employment is concerned during the next 8-10 years, too; at least as it relates to U.S. society recapturing those numbers that we experienced less than four years ago (i.e.: 4.9% unemployment, etc.).
This 8-10 year recovery period is the reality supported by none other than our own government, as published just a month ago in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' projections for the decade ahead! (See: "Employment Projections: 2008-2018 Summary.")
(Now, there is a number from our government that I hope we may DEFINITELY prove as being inaccurate!)
ONE LAST NOTE AND A CORRECTION REGARDING MY FRIDAY EVENING DIARY: "1% of Entire U.S. Labor Force 'Vanishes' In December."
I'd like to make a correction to the diary I posted early Friday night. Technically speaking, we did not see 1% of our labor force "vanish" in December. (As you'll see, below, and based upon a variety of factors, the number's actually much higher than this.) 661,000 jobs were eliminated from the marketplace--i.e. ongoing job destruction--and the labor force shrunk by 843,000 people. In other words, 843,000 individuals--for a variety of reasons--are no longer considered to be part of the labor force. This could be attributed to a variety of factors: people returning to school, retirement (voluntary, forced, early retirement), family issues (i.e.: caring for a family member), etc., etc.
If you add these two numbers together, the result is 1,504,000. As a numerator over the denominator equivalent to the total labor force of 153,000,000 people, the result is 0.983% (virtually 1%) of the workforce is no longer being counted in any unemployment statistic, going forward. (And, of course, this is just one month.) The truth here is I actually took some editorial license with this issue, but I was merely quoting another's observations. (Technically, what I was saying was true, since I was merely reporting.) While there was probably a very tiny bit of overlap in these two numbers, the fact is many folks that were fired/laid-off from "destroyed jobs" would be seeking unemployment, so they would be counted as doing such (they wouldn't "vanish"). Furthermore, while one or two individuals responded in my diary in quite an obnoxious manner to this observation, the reality is they didn't take into account that young people (if we're going to talk of folks retiring, we can't conveniently ignore folks attempting to enter the workforce) were also entering the labor force, and they're in one of the most severly impacted demographic groups in our country, with people between the ages of 16-24 experiencing depression-level (25%+, BLS' U6 Index) unemployment as I write this.
Perhaps trumping all of this, however, are the truths I reference/discuss below, which document how significantly our government underestimates unemployment on an ongoing basis, especially in times of severe economic downturns. (The diary I posted on Friday was, as I noted in it, a preliminary post related to this diary that you're reading now.) In fact, after you read this next section, I think you'll be inclined to agree with me that we regularly ignore at least 2% (if not significantly more than that) of our unemployed population every month, in ALL Bureau of Labor Statistics' published tallies. So, it may be argued--and quite strongly so as you'll see below--that I was actually understating the reality, as opposed to overstating it. (Again, the entire post that brief diary was in the context of it being a prelim to this diary.)
So, after all that, let's get busy supporting the QUANTITATIVE REALITIES as to why what many think they know about our economy is, simply, wrong.
This past Friday, the US Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics' December 2009 Employment Situation Report was publshed. The lede from it was:
Nonfarm payroll employment edged down (-85,000) in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 10.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today...
Frankly, as you're about to see, that is all pretty meaningless, since:
a.) Obama economics advisor Austan Goolsbee reminds us that folks on disability insurance aren't counted...at all;
b.) as investment firm Stifel, Nicolaus vividly illustrates it, the government's implementation of birth/death rates and seasonal adjustments are based upon long-term averages, and those averages encounter inherent discrepancies every time they hit a major economic downturn (since our major economic downturns generate employment/unemployment statistics which behave as outliers as far as these "modifying adjustments" are concerned). In other words, long-term seasonal averages have little to do with how the economy behaves during extremely difficult periods. And, truth be told, the last thing we should be doing is applying seasonal adjustments based upon overall averages during periods such as the one we're going through now, at least if we want an accurate reflection of what's occurring, as opposed to stats that are weighted towards downplaying the severity of the situation;
c.) the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has issued papers which tell us our country's unemployment/employment numbers are far from precise, in terms of their accuracy, especially with regard to the concepts of: i.) what constitutes the definition of the term "employed," and ii.) as a byproduct of that, determining at what point--exactly--some change status from employed to unemployed to off the charts.
Many other folks, above and beyond people like Krugman, Stiglitz and Johnson, have published papers on these realities. John Williams, over at Shadow Stats, is one of the better-known sources of this information.
But, I've found many different factors that provide quite sound support for my commentary. Here are three of the many reasons why we're underestimating the severity of the our nation's current jobless nightmares.
From a six-year-old New York Times Op-Ed piece by Obama administration economics advisor Austan Goolsbee (I also cited this in a diary in early 2009, btw), entitled: "The Unemployment Myth,"
The Unemployment Myth
By AUSTAN GOOLSBEE
Published: November 30, 2003
...the unemployment rate has been low only because government programs, especially Social Security disability, have effectively been buying people off the unemployment rolls and reclassifying them as "not in the labor force."
In other words, the government has cooked the books...
Research by the economists David Autor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Mark Duggan at the University of Maryland shows that once Congress began loosening the standards to qualify for disability payments in the late 1980's and early 1990's, people who would normally be counted as unemployed started moving in record numbers into the disability system -- a kind of invisible unemployment. Almost all of the increase came from hard-to-verify disabilities like back pain and mental disorders. As the rolls swelled, the meaning of the official unemployment rate changed as millions of people were left out.
By the end of the 1990's boom, this invisible unemployment seemed to have stabilized. With the arrival of this recession, it has exploded. From 1999 to 2003, applications for disability payments rose more than 50 percent and the number of people enrolled has grown by one million. Therefore, if you correctly accounted for all of these people, the peak unemployment rate in this recession would have probably pushed 8 percent.
The point is not whether every person on disability deserves payments. The point is that in previous recessions these people would have been called unemployed. They would have filed for unemployment insurance. They would have shown up in the statistics. They would have helped create a more accurate picture of national unemployment, a crucial barometer we use to measure the performance of the economy, the likelihood of inflation and the state of the job market.
...The situation has grown so dire, though, that we can't even tell whether the job market is recovering...Despite the blistering growth of the economy, the invisible unemployment problem continues...
So, let's see what's actually happening as far as the government's SSDI program is concerned...
Recession Slams SSDI Claims System
Life and Health Insurance News
...In fiscal year 2009, the Social Security Administration received 2.8 million initial SSDI claims, up 15% from the 2008 total, witnesses said.
But the recession probably will send 2010 SSDI claims soaring, warned Barbara Kennelly, acting chair of the Social Security Advisory Board.
SSDI already has been expecting rising claims levels because of the aging of the baby boomers.
But, today, "the most obvious factor impacting the volume of disability applications ... is the recession, with its significant increase in unemployment," Kennelly said, according to a written version of her testimony posted on the Social Security subcommittee website. "Recent history demonstrates that disability applications generally rise and fall in tandem with the unemployment rate. The DI application rate per 1,000 workers among non-elderly adults rose 37% from 1989 to 1993 (from 8.3 per 1,000 workers to 11.5), and by 49% from 1999 to 2003 (from 8.8 per 1,000 workers to 13.1)."
At 11.5 per 1,000 workers, that 1.15% of the workforce just applying for disability insurance, with that number expected to increased in 2010. What would Mr. Goolsbee have to say about that?
Stifel, Nicolaus' research team. Citigroup's Legg Mason operations and UBS' retail locations throughout the U.S. have recently become part of St. Louis-based Stifel. (More about them by clicking: HERE.)
Stifel expects that our nation's employment/unemployment reports "... for the next few weeks will paint a rosier picture of the employment market than is expected or warranted."
Unemployment Initial Weekly Claims are going up, not down, "as-reported." (They went up by 1,000, according to reports Thursday, but this was stated to be "trivial." The reality is this isn't the first time this has happened in the past month, and it's one of the most important indicators that is required to be present for the National Bureau of Economic Research to officially declare the economy to be out of recession.)
Stifel, Nicolaus via Zero Hedge, on Wednesday:
...the following chart that shows how these issues have impacted the reported data over the past six months. The bars show actual initial claims, the line shows the as-reported figures. The reported data has shown a steady decline since July while the actual initial claims have been on a steadily rising trend. In other words people have been losing jobs at a faster and faster pace since September, but the adjustment model expected job losses to rise even faster than this and thus turns the rising trend into a falling trend.
CHART: Unemployment Weekly Initial Claims
Source: Department of Labor
Diarist's emphasis in bold
Unemployment Total Ongoing Claims have been steadily rising, and are at an all-time peak. Meanwhile, we're told this number is steadily improving!
The following chart depicts the unadjusted and adjusted ongoing claims data.
The points we want to highlight are 1) the reported data (red line) has shown steady improvement since July, 2) the unadjusted sum of people collecting benefits (continuing claims plus those on extended benefits) has actually been steadily rising and is now at an all-time peak, and 3) the disparity between these trends is about to get much wider due to the adjustment methodology. We could conceivably have nearly 11M people collecting unemployment and see the data reported as a 3.something million figure.
Diarist's emphasis in bold
Non-Farm Payroll Seasonal Adjustment Factors By Month, wherein we learn that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been manipulating these month over month numbers at their discretion as they deemed fit! That being said, save the conspiracy theory stuff for another time because, by law, the BLS must adjust these numbers to make them reflect actual statistical results in their annual adjustment every February. (Based upon reports earlier in the 2009, it is anticipated that the BLS' annual revision, coming up next month, will add another, up-until-now-accounted-for 800,000-plus people to the unemployment lists. Again, I've posted multiple diaries on this reality, such as this: "Breaking: BLS, Fed, BEA et al Overstate Strength of Economy.")
The November point (end of the heavy red line in the chart) was oddly at an all-time low. Effectively the BLS attributed a higher percentage of the current workforce to seasonality last month than any time in the past 14 years. Which means they erased a record high number of people out of the headline non-farm payroll number.
Then there's a 2006 study by Katharine Bradbury, Senior Economist and Policy Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, entitled: "Measurement of Unemployment." In that, we learn the following...
From the very beginning of the report:
A continuum between unemployed and entirely inactive individuals indicates
that measures beyond unemployment may be useful in judging the state of the labor
And, from the end of the report:
IV. Measuring slack in the labor market
These measurement issues are of more than academic interest because unemployment is
the most widely used indicator of the degree of tightness or slack in the labor market
and, by extension, in the overall economy; as a consequence, it is used by policymakers
as a key signal of potential inflationary pressures. The research discussed above points
to a continuum of labor market attachment among the non-employed, from those
classified as unemployed, through various marginally attached groups, to people who
expressly do not want a job. Some of the research authors argue that unemployment
should be defined and measured more inclusively than it is currently. More generally, the arbitrariness of the dividing line between the states of being unemployed and out of
the labor force, together with the heterogeneity of subgroups within the "inactive"
population, implies that the relationship between the measured unemployment rate and
"true" economic slack and hence inflation may vary, depending on the specific
definitions used in measuring unemployment, potential labor market entrants, the age
and gender composition of the population, and labor market institutions. This suggests
that policymakers might gain useful information by looking at a range of measures--
along with the official unemployment rate--in judging the state of the labor market.
To address the challenge of measuring the degree of actual tightness in the labor market
as accurately as possible, researchers have developed and investigated a variety of
alternative indicators of labor market slack. One set of alternative measures sidesteps the
difficulty of choosing a dividing line between the unemployed and the inactive
population by concentrating on the distinction between employment and non-
Bold type is diarist's emphasis.
HOW THE RECORD HOUSING MARKET DOWNTURN HAS GREATLY EXACERBATED OUR NATION'S UNEMPLOYMENT/EMPLOYMENT PROBLEMS
Transitioning from the employment/unemployment topic to housing, I wanted to bring up a point which has been virtually overlooked (almost completely unmentioned, in fact) in most MSM overviews of the state of our economy, today: the concept of record-breaking, dramatically diminished worker mobility. There was an excellent story on this over at Bloomberg this past Thursday: "Job Growth Erodes as Housing Bust Pushes Mobility to Record Low."
Job Growth Erodes as Housing Bust Pushes Mobility to Record Low
By Steve Matthews, Mike Dorning and Daniel Taub
Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) --
The ability to relocate for employment, which helped the U.S. recover quickly after previous deep recessions, is the latest victim of the housing bust. About 12.5 percent of Americans moved in the year ended March 2009, the second-lowest ever, estimates Brookings Institution demographer William Frey, after a 60-year record low of 11.9 percent the previous year.
Some households are staying put because they owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth; others have trouble selling houses in depressed areas, economists say. The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas was down 29 percent in October from its July 2006 peak.
"One of the hallmarks of America's labor market is a high level of mobility," said Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, in a Jan. 3 interview in Atlanta, where he was speaking to an economics conference. "We are about to lose that."
The stagnant workforce may raise the long-term trend rate for unemployment by 1 percentage point and lower economic growth 0.3 percent a year through 2012, said Michael Feroli, an economist in New York for JPMorgan Chase & Co. It has already contributed to keeping the jobless rate as much as 1.5 percentage points higher than would have been suggested by the depth of the recession, Peter Orszag, director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, estimated in July.
Since the recession began in December 2007, and amidst what I can only refer to as the concept of irrational exuberance with regard to hopeful statements concerning a rebound in our nation's housing market, there has been a fairly-widely, underreported reality concerning the many millions of homes that have gone through foreclosure (or, that are being withheld from being fully foreclosed) that are yet to even hit our nation's real estate marketplace.
The investing community has been fully aware of this, all along, in fact, as is self-evident in the virtual obliteration of the asset-backed securitization marketplace for mortgages during this entire time. Between that and the reality that our federal government (that's the taxpayer, btw) is now, almost exclusively, the only entity financing home purchases in this country, you'd think the MSM would get a clue. But, the truth is this is barely mentioned to the general public, at all.
Kossack gjohnsit posted the latest diary underscoring these truths (along with some great graphics related to our population's payroll realities) just this past Wednesday afternoon, in: "Why Americans demand bald-faced lies about the economy."
From the housing and payroll population perspective, gjohnsit does an outstanding job explaining why the "recession" we're in is quite different from recession's past, too. He also explains it in the numbers and graphics, doing a particularly outstanding job with regard to what's happened with industry credit markets and related asset-backed securitization realities, and as it relates to overall statistics which clearly demonstrate that what we're dealing with now is unlike anything we've ever dealt with before...even though so many in the MSM and throughout the blogosphere attempt to explain all of this away as if it's just a garden-variety recession.
Again. It's not. (Read gjohnsit's diary by clicking on the link above.)
Depending upon whose stats you read and which economic pundits you favor, the reality is it is in this category where I would place my vote for the most underreported story of the entire recession: the massive evisceration of Main Street consumer credit by Wall Street.
These days, I earn my living running a small software business that provides consumer credit application processing for retailers. So, you could say I've had a front row seat to this debacle since day one.
What boggles my mind is the truth that our federal government only really focuses on the retail consumer credit utilization rate (i.e.: currently outstanding revolving credit, non-revolving credit, auto loans, etc.--see story/graphics links two paragraphs below), and then only in dollars. What's gone almost completely unreported throughout this entire recession is the real story. As Meredith Whitney accurately projected it over a year ago, from mid-2008 through the end of 2009, roughly 25% of all consumer credit lines were stripped from the marketplace. She projects another 25% of all remaining consumer credit availability will be gone by the end of this year. That's half of all available consumer credit folks! Gone! And, nary a word from the MSM about all of this until the past few days.
Finally, apart from press coverage of our government leaders feigning encouragement of Wall Street to lend more to Main Street (which is nothing short of our government talking out of both sides of their mouth[s], since they're insisting that banks maintain significantly higher loan loss reserves, too), could it be that the MSM is beginning to get a clue about the truths as to what's actually happened as it relates to the devastation of the consumer credit market during this time? (This is all covered in the links a few paragraphs above, at the top of this section.) But, here's the link to the latest "epiphany" from the blogosphere on this outrage, courtesy of Calculated Risk (but even now, they're still missing the story; check my diary links, a few paragraphs above, for the real scoop): "Consumer Credit Declines for Record 10th Straight Month."
Consumer Credit Declines for Record 10th Straight Month
Friday, January 08, 2010
by CalculatedRisk on 1/08/2010 03:00:00 PM
The Federal Reserve reports:
Consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 8-1/2 percent in November. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 18-1/2 percent, and nonrevolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 3 percent.
This graph shows the year-over-year (YoY) change in consumer credit. Consumer credit is off 3.9% over the last 12 months - and falling fast. The previous record YoY decline was 1.9% in 1991.
Consumer credit has declined for a record 10 straight months - and declined for 13 of the last 14 months and is now 4.5% below the peak in July 2008. It is difficult to get a robust recovery without an expansion of consumer credit - unless the recovery is built on business spending and exports (seems unlikely).
Zero Hedge was a little more emphatic about what they reported, but even their coverage was far from complete: "Consumer Credit Plunges $17.5 Billion On Consensus Of -$5 Billion, Largest Drop On Record."
The reason for these journalistic insufficiencies? By default (perhaps, less than intent), if nothing else, the government -- for whatever reason -- hasn't accurately reported what's actually occurred in this sector over the past 18 months!
Well, I could certainly continue on, about commercial real estate, the lack of solvency in the banking sector, inherent mistakes as to how we derive at our gross domestic product numbers, and much, much more. But, keeping it real, I'm just grateful you read this far!
Unfortunately, like so many other matters relating to our economy, we have to work and dig to get to the truth.
Hopefully, after reading this update, you are now at least a little more aware of the true extent of the travesties currently occurring throughout our government and in the MSM as it relates to the dearth of accurate information about what's really going on within our economy.
# # #
For much more information along these lines, mostly from the last quarter, here's some additional reading:
"Propaganda ≠ Jobs; Krugman: 'Provide Jobs'" (11/30/09)
"'Half A Recovery?' Or, A Half-Fast Recovery?" (11/29/09)
"...Tuesday's just as bad..." (11/17/09)
"NYT: Worst Unemployment Since Great Depression" (11/7/09)
"The past is never dead. It's not even past." (10/12/09)
"[http://www.dailykos.com/... More Gov't, Wall St. And MSM Lies: Consumer Credit, Savings" (10/8/09)
"A Tale of Two Economies" (8/20/09)