Adding MORE Insult to Injury…

On March 5th, in an OpEd piece, Robert Reich asked, “Are we making progress on the jobs front?” The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)had just reported that 192,000 new jobs were created in February – dropping the imagined unemployment rate from 9.00 percent to 8.9 percent – and even though Professor Reich doesn’t buy that line, he uses those numbers to make his point.

You must dig under those job numbers and look at what kind of jobs are being created. That’s where the big problem is, he states, and that’s exactly what the National Employment Law Project did. Its recent data shows that most of the new jobs created since February 2010 pay significantly lower wages than the jobs lost between January 2008 and February 2010. In other words, Mr. Reich states, the big news isn’t the new jobs that the BLS brags about, it’s the lower wages they’re covering up.

Even assuming the fudged 8.9 percent figure to be the truth, he calculates that to get the unemployment rate down from a fudged 8.9 percent to a fudged 6 percent by the year 2014, the country would have to come up with more than 300,000 new jobs every single month between now and then. And that ain’t gonna happen.

What no one seems to be considering is the fact that more than 100,000 youngsters are coming of age every single month, and if that number was ever thrown into the equation, even the bean counters in the Labor Department couldn’t come up with a number that would keep the fat, dumb and happy semi-literate Americans off the street.

That American majority breathed a sigh of relief when the 192,000 new job announcement was released. But it was all smoke and mirrors. According to the BLS, 11,700 jobs were in wholesale trade, 22,000 were in transportation and warehousing, 36,400 were in administration and waste services (of which 15,500 are temporary help services), and 36,200 were in ambulatory health care services and nursing and residential care facilities. Entertainment, waitresses and bartenders accounted for 20,000. Repair and maintenance, laundry services, and membership associations accounted for 14,000.

But how can this be? How can Americans – who have had no growth in their real incomes and are being foreclosed in their homes and maxed out by credit card debt, car payments and student loans – how can they spend that kind of money in bars, night spots and restaurants? How can these few service areas grow when everything else is going south?

The answer is that there were not 192,000 new jobs created after all. Statistician John Williams spilled the beans by reporting that the gain was overstated by some 230,000 jobs, and about 38,000 jobs were actually lost in February. Smoke and mirrors, fudge, spinnage … call it whatever you like. The government will say anything to dupe gullible Americans, and when P.T. Barnum said there was a sucker born every minute, he must have known something about the country’s annual birth rate.

The sad truth is, if container ships were weapons of war, we’d all be gainfully employed.