When your government lies to you
Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup lays out one of the biggest lies our government is party to each month.
The unemployment rate.
Right now the lie claims that only 5.6% of those who want to work aren’t working. That’s simply not true.
But it is a lie that banks on you not looking into how the government computes this number. It banks on you using a different definition – i.e. one that defines unemployment as I have above – the unemployed are those who want work but can’t find work.
However, the government uses an entirely different set of criteria to come up with their number and ignore a huge portion of the public which is out of work.
If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed.
Yet politicians and the media keep pushing that number out there without any caveat or qualifier. They too expect you to use your definition of unemployment while they knowingly push this lie.
And, it’s even worse than that. Here’s another way they pad that official number:
There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
Of course “few Americans know this”. It’s because our government goes out of its way to avoid telling us this. The official unemployment numbers is a fantasy number with very little basis in reality. It is aimed at serving the political resumes of our government masters. It is designed to pretend there has been progress in the employment field. There hasn’t. Period.
Yet another figure of importance that doesn’t get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
None of this gets much press. The politicians and bureaucrats glibly push this lie and the media dutifully publish it with little or no research into its efficacy. We have the lowest labor participation rate in about 40 years meaning huge numbers of Americans remain unemployed or grossly underemployed while our political betters celebrate false employment numbers and claim things are “getting better”. It is all about the next election instead of service to this country for them.
I hear all the time that “unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren’t feeling it.” When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth — the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real — then we will quit wondering why Americans aren’t “feeling” something that doesn’t remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.
The middle class is the real victim of these horrid economic conditions. Pretending that “all is well” on the employment front lets politicians off the hook when it comes to addressing the problems the middle class in this country are facing – like UNEMPLOYMENT! They simply point to the lie and claim that “historically” that rate signifies “full employment” and they’re the heroes that brought it down.
When your government purposely lies to you, any trust you may have in it vanishes. And it portends even worse problems. If it will lie about the unemployment rate, what else will it lie about? And what steps will it take to maintain those lies and protect those who tell them?
What was supposed to be a servant to the people is evolving quite rapidly into the people’s master. Government wasn’t envisioned like this at all at our founding. In fact, what we have today is anathema to what our founders envisioned. A huge, bloated, powerful, coercive and dishonest government which seems to think it has the right to intrude at all levels of our life. The particular lie Clifton exposes is only one of many it has pushed over the years. And unless something is done and done quickly it will only get worse.
Maybe it is time for a convention of the states.