When is a Lie the Same as the Truth? When it Involves Jobs and this Economy

Posted: Sep 21, 2013 12:02 AM

Last week at this time I wrote the column below that covered unemployment claims which fell to the "lowest level since 2006" because two states, a large one and a small one, didn't process all their claims due to a glitch in upgrading their computer system.

And guess what?

This week they had the same glitch. It worked so well last time, I guess Obama asked the to do it again.

The likely culprits are Nevada and California judging by media reports of people upset because they didn't get unemployment checks.

For the record unemployment has risen in about a third of the states during this last period. And if you thought the economy was rosy, you missed the Federal Reserve announcement that active monetary stimulus measures are still in operation indefinitely.

Of course if you read the MSM, you'd know none of this, which is the point I make below:

Initial unemployment claims came out and, boy, there is great news.

Two states had upgrades to their computer systems and that likely caused them to under report claims, according to Bloomberg.

That means the media can report that “[j]obless claims in the U.S. declined last week to the lowest level since April 2006.”


“Jobless claims in the U.S.,” writes Bloomberg, “declined last week to the lowest level since April 2006 as work on computer systems in two states caused those employment agencies to report fewer applications.”


Now if the Obama administration could just figure out how to get all fifty states to upgrade their computer systems EVERY month...then...


I’m extremely grateful that Bloomberg choose this moment to tell us the truth that several states under reported claims.

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Too bad they buried in the 7th paragraph:

No states estimated jobless claims last week, the Labor Department spokesman said as the report was released to the press. A larger state and a smaller one that retooled their computer networks still provided the Labor Department with applications counts, though those tallies were smaller than typical. He also said that the decrease in filings probably didn’t signal a change in labor-market conditions.

Also, it would have been nice had Bloomberg not lied about jobless claims declining “to the lowest level since April 2006.” While that may be true in the technical sense, it certainly not true in the personal sense.

You know? Like in the sense of real people not losing jobs? Because isn't this what it's all about?


Bloomberg, in the same story, reported gravely that the “jobless rate dropped to 7.3 percent in August, the lowest since December 2008,” although they did acknowledge more people left the workforce only implying, not saying, that it resulted in a lower rate.

The big problem with stories like these, besides the big lies they tell, is it shows how institutionalized our country has become.

The institution of joblessness is the important thing, not what that institution means for real people who have real hardships.

Because these makeshifts, stratagems and dodges allow both Republicans and Democrats to ignore what’s really going on in the economy.

The headlines say that everything is going swimmingly for the liberals and their New Age economy. But the bottom line says their economy isn’t new and is actually quite aged.

Legendary investor Stanley Druckenmiller, for example, has almost no long positions in the US stock market. He’s waiting for the will-they-or-won’t-they tapering decision to happen. And then he’s waiting to figure out who the next Federal Reserve Chairman will be.

“How in the world does anyone think when the actual exit happens that prices are not going to respond?” Druckenmiller said on Bloomberg Television’s Market Makers. The sell-off in bonds and emerging markets in the past few months on the mere hint that the Fed might taper its purchases is proof enough that in the absence of fiscal policy, monetary policy is all we have.

Fiscal policy isn’t the only failure however that needs to be bolstered by the Federal Reserve.

He didn’t mention Syria that I heard, but like the rest of us he's probably waiting to see what happens with that and plus the debt ceiling and taxes and job creation and the Keystone pipeline and every other decision that politicians of been putting off for what seems like the last 1,000 years-- give or take a century.

Politicians have been playing the political and economic equivalent of Theodoric Medieval Barber for the last number of years, bleeding the economy, and employing leeches wherever necessary.

I realize that it’s not fair to compare leeches to lobbyists; so before I get any hate mail, I would like to apologize to all the leeches out there. You will not show up in a Sunday Comrade column no matter what you write.

The country would be well advised however to take to heart the real problems that are going on in the economy. And so would politicos.

It’s not just that broken computer systems help politicians make it appear like the recovery is a larger than it is.

It’s that the broken economy helps make the government loom larger than it should.

And broken political, cultural and press systems help each party to arrange applause in all the right spots.

For the very wrong reasons.

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