Attn sheeple: U.S. economy is NOT improving

Design by Anthony Freda


Yesterday, I woke up to the news that Obama’s approval numbers are risen to 50% — 1 of every 2 Americans! The reporter attributes it to the improved economy.
What improved economy?
I know most Americans mainly rely on the MSM for their news, if they do even that. But sometimes I want to tear out my hair for their sheeple-ness (with apologies to sheep).
The plain truth is that the U.S. economy is NOT improving. Here are the reasons why:
1. That much ballyhooed news last week that U.S. unemployment has decreased to 8.3% in January (from 9%) is deceptive. See why, here. The 8.3% jobless rate also doesn’t include those 88 million (!) working-age Americans who are long-time unemployed and who no longer even try to find a job. Fewer and fewer Americans now work. The percentage of people participating in the labor market fell to 63.7% last month, the lowest level since May 1983. (H/t Joseph)
2. Foreclosures are on the rise again. A new report from RealtyTrac says 1 in every 624 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing in January, up 3% from the previous month.  Foreclosure activity froze in many states in 2011, due to processing delays after fraud, or so-called “Robo-signing,” were uncovered in the fall of 2010.  The thaw is now on.
3. Another city in California, Hercules, just went broke. The Hercules Redevelopment Agency, which as of February 1, 2012 no longer exists, went into technical default on its February 1 bond interest payment of approximately $2.4 million. Earlier in 2008, Vallejo, the largest city in Solano County of the S.F. Bay Area, had filed for bankruptcy. San Diego, San Jose and other California cities are on the verge–or already there but refuse to admit it.  LA and San Fran are running up a one billion deficit over 3-4 years.
4. The most troubling indicator of a not-improving economy is the drop in U.S. gasoline and other energy consumption. As pointed out by astute analyst Charles Hugh Smith:
“The basic thesis here is that petroleum consumption is a key proxy of economic activity. In periods of economic expansion, energy consumption rises. In periods of contraction, consumption levels off or declines.
This common sense correlation calls into question the Status Quo’s insistence that the U.S. economy has decoupled from the global ecoomy and is still growing. This growth will create more jobs, the story goes, and expand corporate profits which will power the stock market ever higher.”
But the chart below “shows the U.S. consumed about 21 million barrels a day (MBD) at the recent peak of economic activity 2005-07; from that peak, ‘product supplied’ has fallen to 18 MBD. The current decline is very steep and has not bottomed.
This recent drop mirrors the decline registered in 2009 as the wheels fell off the global debt-based bubble. Those arguing that the U.S. economy is growing smartly and sustainably have to explain why petroleum consumption looks like 2009 when the economy tipped into a sharp contraction…. [G]asoline has declined about 700,000 barrels per day from 2007, from 9.2 MBD to 8.5 MBD in November 2011. This represents about a 13% decline.

Consumption of other energy has also tanked. As seen in the chart below, “Not only has electrical consumption never recovered the levels of mid-2008, it peaked in mid-2011 and has begun a sharp decline in late 2011.”

Smith concludes: “Clearly, electrical consumption is in a downtrend with no recent historical precedent. Those claiming that U.S. growth is sustainable and the Dow is heading for 15,000 must square their rosy projections with sharply declining energy consumption. The two simply don’t match up.”
Which leads to the question of why the ginned-up rose-tinted view? Here’s Smith:
The task of the financial/political/media Status Quo is to convince Americans to overlook the abundant evidence of economic deterioration and focus on heavily juiced “evidence” of robust “growth.”
The game plan is this: if the Status Quo can convince you that the economy has righted itself and from here on in everything will get better and better, every day and in every way, then we will abandon financial rationality and start buying homes we can’t afford on credit, cars we can’t afford on credit and boatloads of stuff from China that we don’t need on credit….”
So there you have it:

  • 88 million Americans have dropped out of the job market and are not even included in the Obama administration’s unemployment statistics.
  • Home foreclosures are on the rise, again.
  • Another city in California has gone belly up.
  • America’s energy consumption is tanking.

That is not a picture of an improving economy!
See also “Many of You Will Not Believe Some of the Things Americans Are Doing Just to Survive.”
~Eowyn

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Rich Young
Guest

Neo-Slavery is being reborn. Some people do not understand Freedom, so they must always find it necessary subjugate themselves to new Masters.

walthe310
Guest

88 million have dropped out of the job market? I think that you left out a decimal point, maybe 8.8. The economy is improving slowly, not fast enough. The GOP wants it that way so that they can defeat Obama.

KhetaAmenti
Guest
KhetaAmenti

walthe310, you need to get your head out of the sand and look around. Instead of disputing facts with made up numbers, maybe you should do a little research. You will be all the better for it…

DCG
Guest
DCG

Facts are mucher harder to process. Just stick to DNC talking points.
So the GOP blocked Keystone? The GOP didn’t try to reign in Fannie & Freddie? The GOP shoved healthcare mandates down employers’ throats? Man, they sure are evil. /sarc

Tom in NC
Guest

Spoken like a true Obama kool-aid drinking stooge, do you realize that in all of your stupidity that 88 million Americans accounts for around 26% of the population. So do the math, add the 26% that are no longer even looking for work and the 8.3% unemployment rate that the DIC (Dictator IN Chief) is so so proud of, and the actual unemployment rate is right around 34% which means that under Obama our country has the highest unemployment rate ever in our history, even outdoing the 23.6% rate during the great depression. If you want to bury you head… Read more »

Dave
Editor
Dave

I just changed my definition of stoopid dumbMass sheep.
Now it’s you.
With bells on, even.
-Dave

dan
Guest
dan

My contention is that the price of gas and the political
propaganda in the summer of 2007 precipitated this depression
(I called it as a pseudo-recession,then) when the rapid rise of
fuel wiped out the savings of the ‘average’ household just so they
could get to work…then the belt-tightening down-sizing, canceled
projects and lay-offs began and then everything else started
sliding downhill.
A recession is when your neighbor loses his job…a depression
is when you lose yours.
https://www.shadowstats.com/ is an interesting resource,too

lowtechgrannie lowtechgrannie
Member
lowtechgrannie lowtechgrannie

Local CBS news in Seattle reported that gas prices at the pump have risen 37 cents a gallon in the past month.

Artist
Guest

I have been listening to this recently with incredulity. I have even gone so far as to ask myself if my loathing for Obama could be so pervasive and strong that it is clouding my vision…..I have thought about this and decided, ” no”, that my thinking is clear enough to separate my visceral reactions from my ability to see the economic reality that we currently live in. I have even asked myself the “would you rather be right than happy?” question and have decided that I would definitely rather be happy. I would rather that Obama’s actions ( or… Read more »

Doc's Wife
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Doc's Wife

Artist–my husband, as a Family Physician, is working harder and receiving much less pay. Thanks to Obama, he is staying up most nights until midnight working on converting to electronic medical records. We are too old for this–it’s like residency again!!

blackpowder
Guest
blackpowder

welcome to the new america comrade. or are you prepared for your own hope and change

-genofp-
Guest
-genofp-

i pulled this from newsvine …you’ll have to scroll to read it all……. 8.6% unemployment rate! WOW! That is such good news isn’t it? Not really when you consider that the rate plummeted because of people who quit looking for work–a fact that has finally been admitted in a Mainstream Media outlet (MSNBC). Combined with the hiring of seasonal workers, it is giving us a falsely rosy picture of the actual shape of the economy: More than half the jobs added last month were by retailers, restaurants and bars, a sign that holiday hiring has kicked in. Retailers added 50,000,… Read more »

Hujonwi
Guest
Hujonwi

Since Woodrow Wilson they have been…

Joan
Editor

Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this brilliant post! Furthermore, it is logically inconceivable for the economy to be all of a sudden improving! Idiots! Go to the grocery store and see the difference in the price of food rising, pay for gas and see the difference in the price of gas rising and the unemployment rate has never been higher, all from Obama’s kingship. Anyone can use statistics and exclude pertinent information-IT IS CALLED THE SIN OF OMISSION! Thank you, Dr. Eowyn, for once again announcing the truth to the world!