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

May 24, 2017
Binoy Kampmark
Return to Realpolitik: Trump in Saudi Arabia
Vern Loomis
The NRA: the Dragon in Our Midst
May 23, 2017
John Wight
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
Patrick Cockburn
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
Shamus Cooke
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
Thomas S. Harrington
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
Josh White
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
Mike Whitney
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
Jan Oberg
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
Susan Babbitt
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
Rannie Amiri
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
Laura Leigh
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
Hervé Kempf
Macron, Old World President
Michael J. Sainato
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
L. Ali Khan
I’m a Human and I’m a Cartoon
May 22, 2017
Diana Johnstone
All Power to the Banks! The Winners-Take-All Regime of Emmanuel Macron
Robert Fisk
Hypocrisy and Condescension: Trump’s Speech to the Middle East
John Grant
Jeff Sessions, Jesus Christ and the Return of Reefer Madness
Nozomi Hayase
Trump and the Resurgence of Colonial Racism
Rev. William Alberts
The Normalizing of Authoritarianism in America
Frank Stricker
Getting Full Employment: the Fake Way and the Right Way 
Jamie Davidson
Red Terror: Anti-Corbynism and Double Standards
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, Sweden, and Continuing Battles
Robert Jensen
Beyond Liberal Pieties: the Radical Challenge for Journalism
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Extravagant Saudi Trip Distracts from His Crisis at Home
Angie Beeman
Gig Economy or Odd Jobs: What May Seem Trendy to Privileged City Dwellers and Suburbanites is as Old as Poverty
Colin Todhunter
The Public Or The Agrochemical Industry: Who Does The European Chemicals Agency Serve?
Jerrod A. Laber
Somalia’s Worsening Drought: Blowback From US Policy
Michael J. Sainato
Police Claimed Black Man Who Died in Custody Was Faking It
Clancy Sigal
I’m a Trump Guy, So What?
Gerry Condon
In Defense of Tulsi Gabbard
Weekend Edition
May 19, 2017
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Getting Assange: the Untold Story
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Secret Sharer
Charles Pierson
Trump’s First Hundred Days of War Crimes
Paul Street
How Russia Became “Our Adversary” Again
Andrew Levine
Legitimation Crises
Mike Whitney
Seth Rich, Craig Murray and the Sinister Stewards of the National Security State 
Robert Hunziker
Early-Stage Antarctica Death Rattle Sparks NY Times Journalists Trip
Ken Levy
Why – How – Do They Still Love Trump?
Bruce E. Levine
“Hegemony How-To”: Rethinking Activism and Embracing Power
Robert Fisk
The Real Aim of Trump’s Trip to Saudi Arabia
Christiane Saliba
Slavery Now: Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia
Chris Gilbert
The Chávez Hypothesis: Vicissitudes of a Strategic Project
Howard Lisnoff
Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail