FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Job Report Mirage

by BOB HALL

I just ran for an hour wearing gym shorts in 14 degree weather.  Figured it would cool me off so’s I wouldn’t sit down to my laptop and start cussin’ a blue streak.

The Wall Street-Washington media multinationals can’t stop crowing about Friday’s 7% (U-3) unemployment report.  I love hearing, over and over and over again, how the economy is now so strong we gained 203,000 jobs in November — 27,000 in American manufacturing alone.

Now I ask you: what kind of person would repeat a story like this, much less believe a story like this?  Even more shameful: the very same November unemployment report included the unadjusted figures showing that we lost 3,000 jobs in American manufacturing last month.  (Good grief, we lost 7,800 jobs in food manufacturing.)  The jobs gain was in retail — 471,000 — but these are typically low-wage, part-time, and gone after Christmas.  Retail trade means foreign-made goods, mostly, anyhow.

A few things come to mind:

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance,” someone once said, and this is very good to remember.  I want to add that freedom, most importantly in the American context, is the exercise of responsibility over one’s existence — but this might leave me trapped having said that freedom and eternal vigilance are the same thing.

Hmmm. . . .

Also — back to the unemployment report, believe it or not — no matter what happens or who’s supposedly at the helm, our Nation’s central bank will do anything not to lose face.

It will be interesting to watch this play out:

Last month, former Federal Reserve official Andrew Huszar challenged the Fed with an insider’s “confession” in The Wall Street Journal (is this suspicious?) but his article was otherwise ignored by the media multinationals save Bloomberg, which treated Huszar with ridiculous sarcasm.

The Fed has tied its QE stimulus — “the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time,” in Huszar’s words — and “highly accommodative stance” (Fed’s words) to unemployment, with a target U-3 rate of 6.5%.  The Fed claims to be doing all this for the folks on Main Street.

After Huszar’s “confession” came a sharp drop in U-3 unemployment.  With the sharp drop in unemployment came renewed appreciation for the Fed’s wisdom and speculation about the future of QE stimulus now that the American economy can stand on its own feet — so the multinational media mania goes.

I don’t know exactly what will happen when, but I am predicting it won’t be good for our country.

Please:

Don’t let them lull you into a false sense of security — or anything.  Now is not a good time to lower your guard.

Bob Hall can be reached at: dollartothegiant@gmail.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 19, 2017
Melvin Goodman
America’s Russian Problem
Dave Lindorff
Right a Terrible Wrong: Why Obama Should Reverse Himself and Pardon Leonard Peltier
Laura Carlsen
Bringing Mexico to Its Knees Will Not “Make America Great Again”
John W. Whitehead
Nothing is Real: When Reality TV Programming Masquerades as Politics
Yoav Litvin
Time to Diss Obey: the Failure of Identity Politics and Protest
Mike Whitney
The Trump Speech That No One Heard 
Conn Hallinan
Is Europe Heading for a “Lexit”?
Stephen Cooper
Truth or Twitter? Why Donald Trump Is No John Steinbeck
Binoy Kampmark
Scoundrels of Patriotism: The Freeing of Chelsea Manning
Ramzy Baroud
The Balancing Act is Over: What Elor Azaria Taught Us about Israel
Josh Hoxie
Why Health Care Repeal is a Stealth Tax Break for Millionaires
Kim C. Domenico
It’s High Time for a Politics of Desire
Shamus Cooke
Inauguration Day and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
More and More Lousy
David Swanson
Samantha Power Can See Russia from Her Padded Cell
Kevin Carson
Right to Work and the Apartheid State
Malaika H. Kambon
Resisting the Lynching of Haitian Liberty!
January 18, 2017
Gary Leupp
The Extraordinary Array of Those Questioning Trump’s Legitimacy (and Their Various Reasons)
Charles Pierson
Drone Proliferation Ramps Up
Ajamu Baraka
Celebrating Dr. King with the Departure of Barack Obama
David Underhill
Trumpology With a Twist
Chris Floyd
Infinite Jest: Liberals Laughing All the Way to Hell
Stansfield Smith
Obama’s Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Ron Leighton
Trump is Not Hitler: How the Misuse of History Distorts the Present as Well as the Past
Ralph Nader
An Open Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump
Binoy Kampmark
NATO and Obsolescence: Donald Trump and the History of an Alliance
Zarefah Baroud
‘The Power to Create a New World’: Trump and the Environmental Challenge Ahead
Julian Vigo
Obama Must Pardon the Black Panthers in Prison or in Exile
Alfredo Lopez
The Whattsapp Scandal
Clancy Sigal
Russian Hacking and the Smell Test
Terry Simons
The Truth About Ethics and Condoms
January 17, 2017
John Pilger
The Issue is Not Trump, It is Us
John K. White
Is Equality Overrated, Too?
Michael J. Sainato
The DNC Hands the Democratic Party Over to David Brock and Billionaire Donors
John Davis
Landscapes of Shame: America’s National Parks
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Politicians and Rhetorical Tricks
Chris Busby
The Scientific Hero of Chernobyl: Alexey V. Yablokov, the Man Who Dared to Speak the Truth
David Macaray
Four Reasons Trump Will Quit
Chet Richards
The Vicissitudes of the Rural South
Clancy Sigal
“You Don’t Care About Jobs”: Why the Democrats Lost
Robert Dodge
Martin Luther King and U.S. Politics: Time for a U.S. Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Jack Sadat Lee
I Dream of Justice for All the Animal Kingdom
James McEnteer
Mourning Again in America
January 16, 2017
Paul Street
How Pure is Your Hate?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Did the Elites Have Martin Luther King Jr. Killed?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail