Prolapsed Proletarians?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts has analyzed the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on a regular basis, but he’s exasperated and feels that he’s been preaching to the choir, so he’s taking a rain check this month.

“I am not doing a payroll employment report this month,” he writes. “It is the same old thing. No goods producing jobs, just lowly paid nontradable domestic services: 44,000 in retail trade, 38,000 in health care and social assistance (primarily ambulatory health care services), 21,000 waitresses and bartenders.

“The decline in the rate of unemployment is not a result of more jobs. Actually fewer people are employed. The unemployment rate fell because the labor force shrank again as hundreds of thousands more Americans gave up looking for a job and, thus, are no longer counted as unemployed members of the labor force.

“If you want to read a bit more, here is Dave Kranzler’s report.

(Friday, September 6, 2013) “The Non-Farm Payroll Report: The BLS Outright Embarrasses Itself”

“I want to preface my comments today by stating that the Government’s monthly report is a complete work of fiction. This has been shown to be true ad nauseum (sic) by many analysts. What really amuses me is that these supposed highly educated, highly paid Wall Street ‘experts’ go on programs like CNBC and Bloomberg News and have a serious discussion about an economic report that is really more than a statistical comic book. It’s like watching a human version of ‘Family Guy’.

“Having said that, today’s particular report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was an outright embarrassment for the people working at the BLS – the few who actually put in a solid 30 hours per week not including their one hour lunch. The headline number reported that 169k jobs were added to the economy in August, well below the 180k expected Wall Street’s finest forecasters. But the real shocker was the downward revision to July’s report. The original report stated that 162k jobs were created in July. But today’s report showed a downward revision to just 104k jobs (please keep in mind that these numbers are purely fictitious). If you care, here’s a link to the actual report: No BS like BLS.

“Huh? The Phd Government statisticians and data-gatherers missed their original estimate by 38%? You can’t be serious. If an insurance company actuary missed his estimates on expected payouts over the next year by 38%, he would be fired on the spot. This is a tragedy and a comedy at the same time. But what’s most pathetic about the situation is that an error in estimation this egregious essentially means that everyone who works at the BLS on the employment report has been rendered of no use. They are working on the taxpayer payroll in order to produce reports that are completely useless. Their jobs are meaningless. Why even bother going into the office?

“What’s equally as astonishing is that the Government has the nerve to report that the unemployment rate actually fell to 7.3%. Again, this is a purely fictitious number. The reason that the unemployment rate fell in August is that 516,000 people left the labor force. Over half a million people either gave up looking for a job and crawled down some rabbit hole, took out massive student loans and enrolled at University of Phoenix online or went for the real money and decided to apply for social security disability and get paid by the taxpayer to stay at home and stare at reality tv.

“Recall that the unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of people not working, but appear to be looking for a job that’s not there, by the labor force. The labor force is defined as everyone working plus everyone who really wants to work. If you leave the ‘labor force’ for any of the three reasons I listed above, you are no longer considered part of the BLS statistic known as ‘the unemployment rate.’

“From this the labor force participation rate dropped to 63.2%. This rate is the number of people defined to be in the labor force divided by the working age population. With over a half million people dropping out of the BLS’s sight, the labor force participation is at its lowest level since 1978. Think about that for a minute. What were you doing in 1978? What was our country like? What was going on in our country?

“Think about what it means that our economic system can only support the same relative number of jobs now that it supported in 1978. That is truly an appalling fact. That’s even more mind-blowing than the revelation that everyone at the BLS who works on the monthly non-farm employment report is completely useless.” –

Now back to Dr. Roberts.

“Dave might be a bit hard on the BLS statisticians. The considerable independence that civil service professionals formerly had was destroyed when the Clinton regime encouraged and coerced early retirements in order to make room for women and minorities. The civil service’s professionalism and institutional memory was damaged by clearing out many of the people who represented both. The Bush-Cheney regime took advantage of the weakened position of the civil service and dispensed with fact altogether in order to aid the corporate takeover of the environmental regulatory agencies and to coerce the kind of false reports that Secretary of State Colin Powell was sent to deliver at the UN. –

Now think about this for a minute. What were you doing in 19 thirty 8? What was our country like? What was going on in our country? Those who were around back then, can’t help noting the similarities between the two eras. Then, as now, our country was in a severe depression (but at least we admitted it back then); then, as now, unemployment was devastating families; then, as now, war was on the drawing board and our military was being set up to kill innocent folks in foreign lands.

But there the similarity ends. Then, to end the Great Depression, President Roosevelt mandated Emergency Shipbuilding Programs and provided jobs for more than 30 million of our unemployed.

Now, to extend our Depression, President Obama just sits on his hands.