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News Link • Economy - Economics USA

Our "Let's Pretend" Economy

• OfTwoMinds.com/blog
 
Let's pretend that wages are rising. Except they aren't--household income is getting creamed. Real wages are back to the pre-dot-com bubble days of 1996--only the debt load on households and the nation have skyrocketed since then. There are two economies--the real one, which is in decline, and the "let's pretend" one touted by the State and corporate propaganda machines. Children love to play "let's pretend." Let's pretend the economy is "recovering." Why does this "recovery" remind me of an addict who's conning his caseworker? (Yes, I'm really in recovery--those aren't tracks, they're insect bites....) Let's play pretend that jobs are really really coming back, so please ignore this chart, or turn it upside down: Also ignore that Big U.S. Firms Are Shifting Hiring Abroad. Let's pretend that households, corporations and government are reducing their debt. To do that, we have to ignore that the debt-junkie (i.e. the U.S.A.) hasn't kicked the monkey off its back, it just keeps feeding it more debt. David Stockman dismantled all that propaganda about corporations sitting on trillions in cash--they're sitting on even bigger piles of debt: Federal Reserve’s path of destruction. He also takes out the claim that "consumers are deleveraging." Consumer debt has barely budged. Never mind, let's pretend we're deleveraging. So please ignore this chart: Excuse me but that cute little debt monkey on your back is actually an 800-pound gorilla. Let's pretend that wages are rising. Except they aren't--household income is getting creamed. Real wages are back to the pre-dot-com bubble days of 1996--only the debt load on households and the nation have skyrocketed since then. Put another way: this is your wage priced in gasoline. Notice how wages tanked when oil hit $140/barrel in the summer of 2008, and how the brief plunge in oil around Q1 2009 caused a spike in the ratio. Now that the Fed is destroying the U.S. dollar, then oil is back over $100 and well on its way to $120 and higher. Let's pretend your purchasing power isn't in a free-fall. Have you eaten an iPad recently? Yum, crunchy! Let's pretend unemployment is falling. The only way to make losing 7 million jobs look good is to ignore this chart of the ratio of civilian employment to population. The ratio is back to the 1970 level, back before Mom, Sis and Aunty all went to work. This means there are fewer people working to support the population. Fewer workers means higher taxes on those still standing, and higher debt loads on them, too, as they have to service household debt, student loans, underwater mortgages and a Federal debt that's exploded higher by $1 trillion a year just since the "end of the recession."

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