Economic Propaganda / by kevin murray

Our government would have us believe that America has recovered strongly from its great recession, witnessed by the drop of unemployment down to 5.8% as of November of 2014, and GDP growth of 5% in the 3rd quarter of the same year, along with stock prices consistently breaking records in calendar year 2014.  This would seem to imply that America is once again enjoying good economic times and consequently has risen like a Phoenix from the ashes of our economic meltdown.  While it is most certainly true that America's economy is in a much better state than it was in 2008-09, it is deceptive to believe that America and its people as a whole have recovered strongly from those days, as there are three types of lies, "lies, damned lies, and statistics".


The fact of the matter is that there are a multitude of ways to look at statistics and thereby myriad ways to mix in estimates, adjustments, historical numbers, and so forth, to obtain a witch's brew of numbers that can serve the purpose of the media outlet or government agency that is disseminating the story.  Government and its media outlets are very much motivated in keeping the general population quiescent and satisfied that everything is okay, that everything is getting better, and that if your personal prosperity isn't happening right here and now, it will be, as it is just around the corner, just have patience and believe.  The one thing that our government does get done right, as opposed to failed or failing socialistic and totalitarian States, is that our government does an excellent job of distributing food and shelter to all comers in one form or another, because a full belly with access to a warm hearth of some sort, isn't too likely to have the stomach to engage in much revolutionary action.


Unfortunately, America is in rather poor straits, and has fallen far from the path of upward mobility since the turn of the 21st century.  We know this by looking at real and meaningful statistics such as reported by the that of those aged 25-54 years, "…28.9 million people, or 23.2 percent of the total—is not currently employed." reports that in 2014 our workplace participation rate dropped to 62.7% which is the lowest rate it has been since 1978.  To add even more fuel to the fire, reports that "As many as 22 million U.S. workers can be considered “underemployed”."   This means, in essence, millions of Americans are either working at occupations that do not give them as many hours as they desire to work, or in positions that they are overqualified for by either experience or by education or both.


Finally, when American pundits talk about our current "robust economy", they fail to disclose the precipitous decline in home ownership in America. reports that "The homeownership rate in the U.S. declined to the lowest in almost 19 years."   This statistic is very meaningful, as the asset distribution of the middle 60% of Americans, clearly shows that home ownership is their most prized asset, typically making up more than 60% of their net worth.  Additionally, when you do not own your own home, you are to a certain degree, no longer master of your own ship, instead you are subject to the vicissitudes of the true property owner, for better or for much worst.