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June 18, 2008

Written From A Desk In DC

-- by Dave Johnson

Here's another illustration of the reasons people are turning away from corporate media and toward blogs, YouTube, etc.

Why We're Gloomier Than The Economy - washingtonpost.com,

Ask Americans how the economy is doing, and their answer is stark: It is not just bad, it is run-for-the-hills terrible. Consumer confidence is at its lowest level in almost 30 years. Only 12 percent of Americans think the economy is in good shape. On the Internet, comparisons to the Great Depression are widespread.

But the reality is different. According to most broad measures of how the economy is doing, it's not all that grim.

. . . But so far, the economy is holding up better than it did during the last two recessions in 1990 and 2001. Employers haven't shed as many jobs, the unemployment rate is still relatively low, and gross domestic product has kept rising. Things are nowhere near as bad as they were in the Great Depression, or even during the severe recession of 1982-83. The last time consumers were this miserable, in May 1980, the jobless rate was 7.5 percent and inflation was 14.4 percent. Now those numbers are 5.5 percent and 4.2 percent respectively.

OK. First, the jobs lost in the last recession never came back, so we're just starting from where that one left off.

Second, if you read blogs you know that the ACTUAL inflation and jobless rates -- if measured the way they were in 1980 -- are much higher than 5.5 and 4.2 percent. MUCH higher.

This has left economists trying to figure out why Americans' perceptions are so much more negative than the data analysts use to measure how things are going.
So the well-paid economists and Wall Streeters and Washington Post reporters are sitting behind their desks wondering why all those people out in the real world are yelling that tings are bad. THEY just don't see it, so things must be fine, and all those people out in the real world are just making shit up.

I mean, THEY don't get told every day to accept longer hours for less money because their jobs could be outsourced in a minute if the boss gets even slightly displeased with the amount of "Yes, Sir!" you're putting out. THEY certainly don't care if bread is approaching $5 a loaf.

Posted by Dave Johnson at June 18, 2008 9:44 AM

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Comments

NPR has been driving me crazy the past few days with its helpful little addenda to reports on the most recent infaltion numbers. Such as, if the volative food and energy numbers are taken our of the inflations numbers, then there really hasn't been much inflation at all!

Wow, NPR, like you can't see the impact of $4+/gal milk and gas? Heating oil? Diesel going crazy? and affecting transportation of just about everything and messing up big time the JIT (just in time) non-warehousing of inventory?

Why can't the proles understand real economics?

Thanks for the post.

Posted by: jawbone at June 18, 2008 2:15 PM

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