Me and My Old ‘Gray Lady’

Posted on May 3, 2013

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Your’s truly and the New York Times are on the same page with regard to the economy??? I suppose the next story will be about glacial conditions in Hell!

I seldom give myself an ‘attaboy’ when an argument that I’ve made here is vindicated by another notable media source.  But when the media source is one that historically has carried water for Democrat office holders, it seems like a special occasion.   Special occasion it may be, but it is no cause for celebration in this case.

The New York Times has explicitly stated, for virtually the same reasons, the objection I have to the government’s misleading reporting of the jobs numbers and the irrational reactions to them by investors, economists and the press.   Similar to the arguments I made in the post, ‘The Fed Feeds the Bull‘, the New York Times reporter Binyamin Appelbaum, observes:

“The American economy continues to add jobs in proportion to population growth.  Nothing less, nothing more.  The share of American adults with jobs has barely changed since 2010, hovering between 58.2 percent and 58.7 percent. This employment-to-population ratio stood at 58.6 percent in April.  That is about four percentage points lower than the employment rate before the recession, a difference of roughly 10 million jobs.  In other words, the United States economy is not getting any closer to recreating the jobs lost during the recession.”

Likewise, Mr. Appelbaum’s assessment of the deceptive nature of government jobs reports aligns with mine.  As I noted that the rate of unemployment dispensed by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics is a very limited analysis of the joblessness picture, due to the millions not surveyed in the system, Appelbaum agrees:

“But the unemployment rate is easily misunderstood. The government counts as unemployed only those who are actively looking for new jobs. As people have given up, the unemployment rate has declined – not because more people are working, but because more people have stopped looking for work.”

None of the sobriety challenged mass media economic reporters and Obama cheerleaders, think it advantageous to their bubbly narrative to mention the Labor Force Participation Rate.  The Times however, reminds us that the decline of labor force participation – the technical term for the share of adults working or searching – is primarily the result of a bad economy.” 

Eureka!  A normally compliant ally in the Obama Media Collective, is breaking ranks and flatly endorsing the reality that we naysayers and skeptics in Purple drink rehab, have been shouting from the top of our lungs – the economy still sucks!

And it’s not just the New York Times that is refusing to go along with the rest of the hype, including the Dow Jones Industrials hitting 15,000 today.  NPR – yes, National Public Radio is telling us that all this glitter is not really Gold!

“Yes, this was better than people were expecting. That’s the source of the breathless, happy responses that come out right away,” says Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute.  “But as you sit back and say, ‘What does this say about the labor market,’ it’s not so good, because it remains more of the same.”

The actual change in unemployment, she notes, was from 7.57 to 7.51 percent. At this rate of jobs growth, Shierholz says, it would take more than five years to get back to the pre-recession unemployment rate.

If other media outlets and bandwagon investors think that the jobs report for May signifies success, I hate to think what they’d consider failure!

The New York Times goes on to warn that -

“Even before the recession, the government projected in 2007 that participation would decline to 65.5 percent by 2016, from 66 percent.  But the April rate of 63.3 percent means the labor force has lost roughly five million additional workers.”

That’s where we go back to the original assertion of Mr. Appelbaum.  If the jobs being ‘created’ are not enough to sustain merely the incremental growth in population, they certainly are not going to deal with the employment needs of those who are technically in retirement age, but not able to make ends meet, nor much less the needs of those of working age seeking re-employment.

The Labor Force Participation Rate among working age adults.

And perhaps the most damning assessment of the transparency of the Emperor’s new threads, is the Times’ rejoinder to the Obama Administration’s obvious perjury with regard to the health of the jobs picture:

“The federal government counts 11.7 million Americans as unemployed.  The real  number, it follows, is more like 17 million.”

Something strange indeed, is in the water there at 620 Eighth Avenue.  The NY Times has been contradicting the Obama Administration’s version of facts on any number of events and issues lately, not the least of which are the disclosures of the authorities involved in the Boston Marathon terror bombing.  I wonder when the truth serum will wear off.

I ardently hope it never does.

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Posted in: Glasnost, Reality