Jobless Recovery?

“Marital bliss” … “Military intelligence” … “Jumbo shrimp” … Those are some of the familiar, and humorous, oxymorons that we’ve joked about so often. The newest one isn’t so funny, though. “Jobless recovery” is the latest to be added to that list of inane utterances.

The most recent, and fudged, report from the Labor Department showed last week’s 500,000 job losses – what they like to call “initial claims” – were the highest in more than seven months.

In his August 18th column, “Deceptive Economic Statistics,” Paul Craig Roberts states that, “While the economists lied the US economy died.

“On August 17,” he tells us, “Bloomberg reported a US government release that industrial production rose twice as fast as forecast, climbing 1 percent. Bloomberg interpreted this to mean that ‘increased business investment is propelling the gain in manufacturing, which accounts for 11 percent of the world’s largest economy.’

“The stock market rose.

“Let’s look at this through the lens of statistician John Williams of Williams reports that the ‘primary driver of a 1.0% monthly gain in seasonally-adjusted July industrial production’ was ‘warped seasonal factors’ caused by ‘the irregular patterns in U.S. auto production in the last two years.’ Industrial production ‘shrank by 1.0% before seasonal adjustments’ …

“Notice that Bloomberg reports that manufacturing accounts for 11 percent of the US economy. I remember when manufacturing accounted for 18% of the US economy. The decline of 39% is due to jobs offshoring.

“Think about that. Wall Street and shareholders and executives of transnational corporations have made billions by moving 39% of US manufacturing offshore to boost the GDP and employment of foreign countries, such as China, while impoverishing their former American work force. Congress and the economics profession have cheered this on as ‘the New Economy.’

“Bought-and-paid-for-economists told us that ‘the new economy’ would make us all rich, and so did the financial press. We were well rid, they claimed, of the ‘old’ industries and manufacturers, the departure of which destroyed the tax base of so many American cities and states and the livelihood of millions of Americans.

“The bought-and-paid-for-economists got all the media forums for a decade. While they lied, the US economy died …

“If the government will lie to you about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, Iranian nukes, and 9/11, why won’t they lie to you about the economy?

“We now have an all-time high of Americans on food stamps, 40.8 million people, about 14% of the population. By next year the government estimates that food stamp dependency will rise to 43 million Americans. So last week Congress cut food stamp benefits. Let them eat cake.

“Wherever one looks – food stamps, home foreclosures, bankrupted states, mounting joblessness – the message to long-suffering Americans from ‘their government’ is the same: go eat cake, while we fight wars for Israel that enrich the military/security complex and while we bail out banksters whose annual incomes are in the tens of millions of dollars and up.

“It is impossible to get any truth out of the US government about anything. If private companies used US government accounting, the executives would be prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated.

“I will end this column on unemployment,” Mr. Roberts writes. “‘Our government’ tells us that the unemployment rate is just under 10 percent, a figure that would have wrecked any post-Great Depression administration. But, again, ‘our government’ is lying. The reported unemployment rate is just below 10 percent because the US government no longer, since the corrupt Clinton administration, counts Americans who have been unemployed for longer than one year. Once the unemployed hit one year and one day, they are dropped from the unemployment roles and no longer counted as unemployed.

“Compare this fact with the number you read from the financial press. Right now, if measured according to the methodology of 1980, the US unemployment rate is about 22%. Thus, the reported rate of unemployment hides more than half of the unemployed.

“And Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner welcomed us in the August New York Times to ‘the recovery’. Utterly amazing”. –

They’re lying, alright, because they’re trying to buy time. They’ve come up empty in all their efforts to create jobs, and as the economy continues in its death spiral they lie to us that all’s well.

Somehow, some day, it will occur to our leaders that none of their ideas could ever succeed until a way is found to confront, and overcome, the dire consequences of offshoring. But that’s impossible because whatever we can produce here – they can produce there. And better and cheaper. Right?

Wrong. Under PCT patent law, the inventor of an internationally patented item can restrict the production of that item to his/her own country. But what kind of an item could be so large – and unique – that its production would require the employment of millions of workers?

Cars, TV sets, electronic amenities? – nothing unique about those items. Wide open competition.

But a revolutionary (unique) container ship (large) that would prompt the US president to authorize the revitalization of several dozens of U.S. shipyards? That would do it. That would end the tailspin. It’s the only road to a recovery, and it worked for us already – once-upon-a-time.

And when we take that road this time,”jobless recovery”will be an oxymoron we can joke about.