Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics, or the US Economy is Dead

Those reading alternative news sources, such as Zero Hedge among others, may already know that the US government produces a prodigious amount of lies, but a recent article in that publication by Jeff Nielsen underscores the extent of the deceit in economic matters.
We have maintained that the US economy never recovered from the Depression of 2008, an engineered disaster by America's leading plutocrats, politicians, and academicians to impoverish the nation so that a mass of working poor could serve their infantile control freak wants.
John Williams' Shadow Stats has been one of the vanguard companies exposing the lies of the US government, showing that the US economy has been contracting almost non-stop since 2000. The reason the liars in Washington can report growth is because they lie about the extent of inflation. Since inflation is subtracted from nominal figures to provide "real" values, its determination is critical to assessing economic growth.
As an example, and to vastly over simplify the "intellectual" acrobatics to generate the falsified data, suppose that nominal economic growth is 5%, but inflation is 8%. The "real" growth would be negative 3%. However, if the liars report that inflation is actually 2%, then they can claim economic growth as positive 3%. These are the lies which the establishment media promote ad infinitum, ad nauseum, world without end.
We have all heard the old saying that one must compare apples with apples to do a valid comparison. However, the definition and measurement of inflation has been changed so many times over the years by the US government that it is impossible to consider the US inflation time series, and consequently GDP figures, as anything but a little boys' delusional flight of fancy.
Williams attempts to correct this problem by using a standard definition of inflation across all time periods, and it shows a dramatic contraction of the US economy, a fact reconfirmed by the decline in labor force participation which now as low as it was in 1978. This decline helps the liars in the government and the deceitful news corps maintain that unemployment has been declining. It is the old shrink the denominator trick and hope that the math deficient American does not notice.
Another fact confirming the disintegration of the US economy is the complete collapse of gasoline consumption as reported by the US government. Should we believe the liars? We can use their data as an indicator of direction because it appears that the liars have not taken the time to obfuscate it as well as other data.
According to Nielsen, and the US government, gasoline consumption has declined 75% since its peak in 1998, and about 65% since the Great Depression started in 2007. He also explains how the liars cover up the decline. Rather than measuring gasoline consumption at the pump, the government measures it at the refinery. So when gasoline leaves the refineries and is placed into storage by the buyer - ie the distributor or wholesaler - it is considered retail consumption. But the storage facilities are filled to the gills, and they have no capacity for more, meaning that the demand has collapsed as the government's figures indicate. The loss of demand is so severe that refineries have begun slowing down and shuttering.
One could say that some of the evaporation of gasoline demand is due to more efficient cars, which might explain about 10% of the decline, but does anyone really think that aging cars are really that fuel efficient? The lengthening terms of car loans and aging of the automobile fleet is additional evidence that the US economy is in severe contraction. (We know the argument about buying more expensive luxury cars and it is a crock.)
One could also say that an aging population drives less, but demographics are not yet that bad, and certainly cannot explain a 75% decline in consumption in 15 years.
We know that many of dear readers live in a bubble, and can assert that the economy is booming. We have a friend, who lives in Atlanta's wealthy Buckhead community, who swears that the economy is improving because prices of 1 million dollar homes in her neighborhood are zooming, with one recent sale of 1.7 million USD confirming the housing recovery. Unfortunately such people do not have any credible explanation for the fact that 49% of all Americans receive some form of government financial assistance, or that general real estate numbers produced by the industry's pom pom team show a different picture.
But for those who step outside of the hermetically sealed confines of wealthy neighborhoods and suburbs, the economic destruction is horrific - and there is more on the way as the vast tracts of commercial real estate go begging for tenants at the same time that their loans come up for renewal. All is not well - we stand by our prediction of Financial Armageddon.

Jeff Nielsen, Guest Post: U.S. Gasoline Consumption Plummets By Nearly 75%, Zero Hedge, May 31, 2014, accessed 5/31/2014.

Copyright 2014 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.

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