atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4879: Making up data to fit the desired story

Bureau of Lies and Scams is up to its usual tricks. This time, it's adjustered some 600,000 jobs to the unemployment figures because otherwise November would have seen a decrease in employment of 300,000.

Media uncritically reports the fake number, without digging into the report.

So far, I have seen no discussion of why BLS makes these adjustments to their statistics. I see them referred to as "seasonal adjustments" but I never see any justification for them, and because the adjustments are always in favor of getting a favorable headline out of the report I am suspicious that is the sole reason they do it.

The desired story is "the economy is improving" and a decrease in employment is incompatible with that story, so of course we must generate reports that show the economy in expansion.

I would love to see the Fed raise interest rates right now. I'd love to see it because that would mean the economy actually was improving. But the Fed won't raise interest rates because--at least, I hope this is so--there are people there who are smart enough to realize that junk numbers are useless and the economy is emphatically NOT expanding.

Interest rates have been in a general and gradual decline since they hit double-digit highs during the Carter administration, and they've done that primarily because the federal government required it. Make no mistake about it: all those guys are Keynesians, and they think massive government spending is the key to prosperity--only you can't spend that kind of money if you're drowning in interest payments.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if interest rates were to rise. For damned sure the feds would be unable to afford it; it would mean drastic cuts across the board and although they would try to limit the cuts to discretionary spending it would be impossible to do so. And when the EBT cards stop working, the cities burn.

("Interesting", I said. I did not say "desirable". There's a difference.)

Interest rates cannot rise as long as the US government is spending more than $1,000 billion a year that it doesn't have. With the debt-to-GDP ratio now in excess of unity, the feds can't afford the interest payment on the debt if the interest rate is very much above zero, and everyone knows it.

* * *

Gonna stop right there, because I'm depressed enough right now as it is; I don't need to add to it.

* * *

In news that is absolutely unsurprising to anyone with a brain, Illinois S.S.R. is the worst-run state in the US, bar none. I.S.S.R. is ranked 50 out of 50.

Our sitting President came from Illinois. He famously said he'd visited all 57 states. That being the case, it's easy to understand why ISSR is the worst-run state: our politicians fail at math.

Worse than Michigan, worse than New Jersey, Illinois, "Land of Lincoln", has been ranked 50th out of 50. Yeah! We're number one at sucking!

As I said, it's news that will come as a surprise to NOBODY.

* * *

A rare Saturday off. It was nice to sleep in today, to be able just to lay in bed and enjoy the comfortable warmth of the blankets.

It's 40 outside, and the winter weather that visited us in October and mid-November has failed to remain. I find myself hoping for a mild winter with little snow, because as things stand right now I don't have the energy to deal with it.

I don't expect this winter to be like the last one. We won't get that kind of snow for a few years at least, because that's not how weather in the Fungal Vale operates.

Right now I am struggling to think of a reason to be awake, and failing to find any. I guess I know what that means.

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