September 23, 2010
Orwellian DoubleThink Series, part 5
When the National Bureau of Economic Research announced, after much deliberation apparently, that the economic recession ended in June, 2009, it was as if the news were broadcast from some other planet. It is Orwellian DoubleThink at its finest, where a compartmentalized think-tank uses some off-world calculus to come up with a conclusion that flies right in the face of observable reality and real-world experience here on Earth.
Here are just a few of the key stories of the week for those who prefer real analysis to pure propaganda:
• Foreclosures Rise, Repossessions Set Record — Rick Sharga, Vice President of RealtyTrac talks about a “managed slowdown” by banks, where “underlying conditions haven’t improved.” High unemployment and falling home prices do not mean a recovery is underway.
• Home Prices Drop in 36 States . . . Prices to Stagnate for a Decade — Among other sources, CoreLogic methodology, which incorporates more than 30 years of transactions, representing 55 million observations from property information databases does not conclude that the outlook is anywhere close to recovery.
• Gerald Celente Says “U.S Economy = Depression” — One of the world’s leading trend forecasters goes beyond simple recession. In a recent interview with Russia Today, he was asked to respond with one word that defines the U.S. Economy — that word was not recovery.
• 20 Signs That The Economic Collapse Has Already Begun For One Out of Every Seven Americans — Even though “most Americans haven’t felt it yet” there are some undeniable signs of economic collapse. To believe otherwise, as the NBER suggests, is willful ignorance.
• Income Poverty: One in Three Americans Lacks the Income to “Make Ends Meet” — This is the real-world measure that goes beyond all statistics. This study suggests that “young adults are among the hardest hit.” In other words, the pillars for future success of the country are not finding that there are sufficient jobs, or that those jobs are paying wages that can support the basic cost of living. There is an increasing number of working poor and the outright destitute — not people jumping for joy over real signs of a recovery.
Perhaps one of the articles that best summarized the results from the NBER came from renown economist David Rosenberg: “Here’s Why The NBER’s Declaration of a Recovery is a Joke” where he pointedly states, “So, the recession technically ended 15 months ago; tell that to the 15 million unemployed and the 42% share of these ranks that have been looking for a job fruitlessly for at least six months.”