Saturday, October 03, 2009

Friends, we have not hit bottom yet

Paul Craig Roberts, Former Assistant Treasury Secretary under Ronald Reagan:
The unemployment rate, as reported, is a fiction and has been since the Clinton administration. The unemployment rate does not include jobless Americans who have been unemployed for more than a year and have given up on finding work. The reported 10% unemployment rate is understated by the millions of Americans who are suffering long-term unemployment and are no longer counted as unemployed. As each month passes, unemployed Americans drop off the unemployment role due to nothing except the passing of time.

The inflation rate, especially "core inflation," is another fiction. "Core inflation" does not include food and energy, two of Americans' biggest budget items. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) assumes, ever since the Boskin Commission during the Clinton administration, that if prices of items go up consumers substitute cheaper items. This is certainly the case, but this way of measuring inflation means that the CPI is no longer comparable to past years, because the basket of goods in the index is variable...


If measured according to the methodology used when I was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, the unemployment rate today in the US is above 20%. Moreover, there is no obvious way of reducing it. There are no factories, with work forces temporarily laid off by high interest rates, waiting for a lower interest rate policy to call their workforces back into production...
[Emphasis mine]

h/t to bobswern at Daily Kos

Prayer for commerce and industry (BCP):
Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ in his earthly life shared our toil and hallowed our labor: Be present with your people where they work; make those who carry on the industries and commerce of this land responsive to your will; and give to us all a pride in what we do, and a just return for our labor; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Prayer for the unemployed et aliis:
God of compassion, look with pity on those who seek work and cannot find it, those who lose their jobs, those who are underpaid and miserable in the work they have, and those who have given up. Move the hearts in this and every land to marshal resources, to plan and innovate, to dream and dare that work may be found and those now in want may have the means to meet their necessities. Deliver us from the plans of the wicked who would thwart honest work and just recompense and guide us in the ways of justice and the common good. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Labor Day (BCP):
Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
--the BB


Göran Koch-Swahne said...

These manipulations with statistics are well known here too, and since longtime.

Grandmère Mimi said...

And certain of the wise TV and newspaper pundits tell us that the recession is over. Oh, that they were forced to stand before those without jobs and those who have given up looking for jobs and look them in the eye and speak those same words.

Amen to all your prayers.