Economic Placebos

By Zac Nickerson

Earlier last week American business magnate Steve Wynn was interviewed on Ralston Live, a show on Nevada’s KNPB Public Television channel 5. World Net Daily (WND) reported on the interview in an informative article which you can find in its entirety here. The article cited Wynn commenting on the state of the U.S. economy:

“Well, the idea that America is in the midst of a great recovery is pure fiction. It’s a lie. It’s a jobless recovery…Because recoveries are marked by the level of real employment. And if you count the people who have left the work force, real unemployment is 15 to 20 percent.”

Wynn is not the only one reporting less-than-mediocre growth in the economy.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) U.S. unemployment was 5.4% for the month of April. But a simple look into how this bureau defines ‘unemployment’ will show that the statistic does not by any means show a positive growth to the U. S. job market. According to the BLS;

“People are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work.”

This definition completely ignores anyone that has ‘given up’ on or has not actively looked for work longer than 4 weeks. Therefore a decline in this statistic could very well represent a growing number of truly unemployed people giving up on the system and not necessarily an increase in people finding jobs.

Yet some government officials continue to parrot that the official unemployment rate is steadily decreasing, hoping that force-feeding the American people this misinformed pill will somehow have a placebo effect on the overall approval of the otherwise ailing job market.

A better way to analyze the health of the national job market would be to look at employment. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) U.S. employment in 2014 was 68.1% of the working age population. (Compare this number to the employment rate at 72% in 2006.) This number includes part-time workers and the self-employed. So if unemployment is currently at 5.4%, what are the remaining 26.5% of eligible workers doing with their time? Yes there are some eligible workers retiring early, and other eligible workers going to school full-time, but not 26.5% of the whole!

The WND article goes on to cite Wynn commenting on the economy;

“If you take real inflation, and you’ve got to count energy and food and all that stuff, real inflation is much higher than they say it is…My employees’ take home pay, in spite of the increases we give them, their paychecks are 90-cent paychecks, 90 cents on the dollar. It’s very difficult for the middle class in America to keep up because of the inflationary pressure and the devaluation of the dollar.”

“It’s very difficult to explain to a normal working citizen the implications of what $18 trillion in debt means, and what it means when the Federal Reserve buys the U.S. Treasury bonds to finance our loss every month… it impacts every one of my employees, critically, every day…They notice when they sit down at the kitchen table, that after they pay the necessities, there just isn’t any money left.”

Unlike our fiat currency, the government can’t just make the economy better by declaring it so. So regardless of how they want to define unemployment to make it sound like people are getting jobs, we all know people that are still unemployed or underemployed. And Steve Wynn is smart enough to point out the underlying cause to it all; The Federal Reserve’s feckless tampering with our economy.

If your congressman or senator hasn't cosponsored their respective Audit the Fed bill, call them and urge them to do so today!

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