The news was touting the new unemployment figures for which they reported was at about 5%. Which they then said was still a historical low. Yet can we really trust these numbers? We know that the fortune 500 companies like to “cook” the books so to speak but what about the government are they “cooking” the books when it comes to things such as unemployment, gross domestic product and the consumer price index. With the government playing fast and loose with the numbers we could be closer to a depression than any of us actually know.
When the government compiles the data for unemployment they count the people who are drawing unemployment checks currently. According to John Williams “Real unemployment right now — figured the way that the average person thinks of unemployment, meaning figured the way it was estimated back during the Great Depression — is running about 12%.” Thus the government is actually not counting people who have exhausted all of their available unemployment benefits nor people chronically unemployed stated to be at five million people.
Most people think that we are doing a lot worse than the numbers tell us and they are right. The lying doesn’t stop there they are also flubbing the numbers on gross domestic product in such a way that Williams talks about something called “imputations” which are “an outgrowth of the theoretical structure of the national income accounts. Any benefit a person receives has an imputed income component. If you’re a homeowner, the government assumes that you pay yourself rent on your house, so that’s rental income. … Imputed interest income, for instance, accounted for 21% of all personal interest income in 2002, and was growing at an annual rate of over 8%. Meanwhile, fully 62% of total rental income that year was the imputed variety.”
Williams points out that “folks really aren’t doing that well, which is why their incomes aren’t growing, which is why they’ve borrowed money.” People are going to be borrowing more money and thus getting into even more trouble. It looks pretty dismal to me yet I have seen this coming for a while now. It was said in the article that “Our financial condition is a ticking time bomb. What none of us knows is when it implodes.” Right now people are buying and practically living on credit. Yet, trying to convince themselves and others that they are living well just because they have a lot of material goods. These people are living on borrowed money and time. As we just heard that the dismal dollar is on its way down and who knows where or when it will stop.
This materialistic lifestyle that we have been getting sucked into, all too willingly, by the big business of advertising and marketing is what is driving this credit era. Businesses are spending millions if not billions to push their wares on hungry consumers. Apple has marketed the hell out of the IPOD even though the price of these things is out of control and not nearly worth it. People are paying thousands for computers that can be bought for hundreds. Yet this doesn’t stop people because it is no longer about the money, it is now about the wow, look at me factor. People aren’t buying a thousand dollar pair of shoes because they are the most comfortable and lasting. Nope, people buy these shoes because they can say “hey, I can afford a thousand dollar shoes, look at me.”
At this time of the year when spending on the holidays is probably putting some people into the poor house or at least out of a house all together, we are just as unconcerned as ever. What is it that we are teaching our children with this irresponsible behavior, that they can spend willy nilly and not have to worry about whether or not they even have the money? Just get a credit card and all your troubles are gone. The fact that people are getting these credit cards is in actuality just the beginning of all your troubles. We don’t have any credit cards and we don’t want any. We have had our share don’t get me wrong, but we can now see that it is the quickest way to burying yourself in the long run.
People are living pay check to pay check and still want to live the life of royalty. All the while these people are sucking in the propaganda that the nation is doing so much better like little hoover or dust busters. The government is banking on the fact that you will continue believing this tripe and helping to perpetuate our precarious situation by doling out the credit cards whenever you get the inclination to do so.