Peak Optimism, or Peak Propaganda?

Posted on by

Yves here. Ilargi is mighty vexed by the unseemly display of optimism in the media over today’s jobs reports, since the continuing cheerleading is every more at odds with the outlook for most consumers and businesses. It’s easy to view this chipper barrage as a mainstay of the financial media, but as Ilargi implies, this looks like an effort to redefine collective expectations downward, so that ordinary citizens are conditioned to see the “new normal” of a tepid recovery as the best they can expect.

By Raúl Ilargi Meijer, editor-in-chief of The Automatic Earth. Originally published at Automatic Earth

Oh yeah, sure, optimism is oozing from every single one of America’s pores. Or so they’ll have you believe. 281,000 new jobs says the ADP report, most since December 2012. Of which small business added 117,000 and medium sized business 115,000. And the media are just besides themselves with joy. Shame that the markets react lukewarm at best. Then again, they do better the worse the news gets, all they reflect anymore these days is the level of distortion and convolution that they obey (or is that the other way around?).

One might be inclined to think US small and medium business owners were so busy hiring those new employees that they had no time to read last month that US GDP plunged that -2.96% in Q1. But maybe that’s not quite true, because three weeks ago, the National Federation of Independent Business issued this news release:

NFIB Optimism Index rose 1.4 points in May to 96.6, the highest reading since September 2007. However, while May is the third up month in a row, the Index is still far below readings that have normally accompanied an expansion and there have been similar gains in the past that haven’t panned out in this recovery period. Five Index components improved, one was unchanged and four fell, although not by much.

“May’s numbers bring the Index to it’s highest level since September 2007. However, the four components most closely related to GDP and employment growth (job openings, job creation plans, inventory and capital spending plans) collectively fell 1 point in May. So the entire gain in optimism was driven by soft components such as expectations about sales and business conditions,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “With prices being raised more frequently in response to rising labor and higher energy costs it is clear that small businesses are unwilling to invest in an uncertain future. As long as this is the case the economy will continue to be “bifurcated”, with the small business sector not pulling its historical weight in the GDP numbers.”

‘The entire gain in optimism’ was based on nothing but .. optimism bias. That news release does not make small busniess sound anywhere near as optimistic as today’s news reports. How you get from that to a way above expectations hiring spree is not immediately clear. Isn’t it perhaps true that America is so desperate for that recovery to finally materialize that it’s now damn the truth and the torpedoes time?

Things like this from Bloomberg, written earlier today before the ADP report came out, sound as if they’ve been written solely to create a mood in the country. Some people tell some survey they plan something. Thing is, how do you get from there to journalism?

Americans on the Road Again as Economic Recovery Gains Traction

About 34.8 million people plan to drive 50 miles or more from home during the five days ending July 6, up from 34.1 million last year and the most since 2007, AAA, the biggest U.S. motoring organization, said June 26. The travel recovery is boosting sales for hotels and attractions, a sign that consumer confidence and consumer spending are on the mend, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “Stronger business travel and tourism is a very good barometer of the health of the broader economy,” Zandi said. “Spending on travel is more discretionary and expensive. The revival in travel is thus a good sign that the economic recovery is gaining traction.”

What recovery? How is -2.96 Q1 GDP growth a recovery? In what universe? This next one is also from Bloomberg and written before the ADP report came out:

U.S. Companies Show Broad Recovery as Hiring Pace Surges

Industries from construction to autos to oil and gas are increasing jobs as growth accelerates after a harsh winter stunted business. As some sectors, such as floor retail sales, have yet to rebound and wages have been kept in check, the recovery is likely to be a steady climb rather than a boom, according to Jeffrey Joerres, executive chairman of Manpowergroup Inc. Nonfarm payrolls may rise by 215,000 in June, which would mark a fifth straight month of increases topping 200,000, according to the median of 89 economists. That also would be the longest streak of monthly gains since September 1999-January 2000. [..]

The U.S. economy is forecast to accelerate after year-on-year growth slowed to 1.5% in the first quarter when severe snowstorms battered the U.S. and kept customers away from stores, shut factories and gummed up transportation of goods. With consumer spending still tepid, companies aren’t hiring in anticipation demand will rise, as in other recoveries, Joerres said. Instead they are they are expanding when they have orders in hand, he said. “We’re not seeing wage inflation at the rate you would think and we’re not seeing increased hours worked at the rate you would think,” said Joerres, whose firm has more than 400,000 clients worldwide.

What is this, a charm offensive? “Year-on-year growth slowed to 1.5% in the first quarter”? You sure that’s all? We have numbers that say otherwise. Plus, wages are not rising, hours are not increasing, but still ‘U.S. Companies Show Broad Recovery as Hiring Pace Surges’? Got a sneak peek at the ADP numbers perhaps?

I can’t help wondering what a reporter or editor expect from publishing nonsense like this. What use is it exactly to make people feel better about a lousy economy? It only lasts for a day. Factory orders just come in, down 0.5%. Guess they’re going to lay off all those 281,00 new hires again over the summer. The thing for me is, I’m getting so tired of all this empty fluff.

What I would want to see from well-paid journalists at Bloomberg and other main media is research into the effects of QE on the US economy, what the price is the American public has to pay to have stock markets rally to new records, what those markets would look like without QE, what home prices are expected to do without it, what the effects of rising interest rates will be on the man in the street and his home in that same street. And don’t go ask the usual expert suspects at Bloomberg or Reuters, they’re the most biased clowns in the crowd.

We live in the age of triggering responses from people’s unconsciousness, where they are most vulnerable, both individual and collective, almost 100 years after Freud and his nephew Edward Bernays, for very different reasons, figured out how to do that. The best proof we live in that age is probably that we never talk about it.

This means that unless you want to be a clueless victim of advertizing and other, more sinister, sorts of manipulation, you need to be awake and alert. And even then. And what better place to start than to write to your Congressman and to your newspaper and tell them you’re a grown up and you can take quite a bit of truth, and if they don’t stop incessantly bullshitting you, you’re not going to vote for them or buy their paper anymore.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Badtux

    This reminds me of the Clinton administration where Clinton took over with a fairly weak economy and basically talked it up (along with some Internet luck) with the help of a sycophantic press that is a sucker for good news (even if it isn’t real). Of course we now know that the dot-com boom, while having some worthwhile real outcomes (such as all the dark fiber that got put underground that we spent the next ten years building out for much less than it cost to put the fiber underground thanks to the wonders of bankruptcy law), was really just smoke and mirrors for the most part. Which would be the scary thing if that was what was happening with the current happy happy nonsense, but we’re not even getting the smoke and mirrors. We’re getting hand waving and shoulder shrugs.

    Bill Clinton isn’t President anymore, and the damage done during the Bush years and the first Obama term isn’t going to get fixed by hand-waving and shoulder shrugs. Sigh. We Are So F’ed.

    1. Eeyores enigma

      Yes…because its all about who is behind the wheel right? Lets make this one scoot over and let someone else drive for a while because there has to be SOMEONE who can drive…right????

      Can we please stop talking about individuals, presidents or otherwise, as if all we need do is switch them out in order to solve things?

      1. Jim Shannon

        CentaMillionaire$ and Billionaire$ own ALL politicians! Until the voters realize that FACT it is all smoke and mirrors! If you want someone to blame, look in the mirror because we continue to accept the government that clearly does not represent our collective interests!

    2. Stelios Theoharidis

      So I would just like to parse these figures a little. It seems to go both ways but I would like to keep us all honest.

      1) The -2.9% figure, that is a quarterly figure that has been annualize correct? Meaning it is -0.725% rate of growth for that quarter technically.

      2) The jobs figures, I have seen time and time again that the preponderance of jobs that are being created are barely covering the replacement rate and are a majority jobs that are low wage service jobs (home healthcare workers and service industry).

      So I am less concerned about the first point that was beleaguered in this post than I am about the second point that the long term trend is towards low wage jobs and a permanent low rate of labor participation. I wonder if we can extrapolate from that trend what things will be looking like in the next 10-15 years.

  2. Ignacio

    From Spain I can tell that the same occurs here, no matter the political bias of the news outlet. My opinion is that this optimism is based on a profound belief in the confidence fairy. If you say all the time everithing is okay, everything will be okay. You must believe that the ultimate factor, the profound reason determining the crisis is lack of confidence. Optimism will spur confidence that, in turn, will spur demand.

    Instead what we are experiencing is reduced confidence in media outlets.

  3. Banger

    In an economy interwoven with a complex social and political situation I’m not sure there is any way to measure what is going on—but, the confidence fairy is real and optimism does make a difference. Will it be enough to move us away from the reality that our “leaders” have programmed the economy for stagnation for various reason? The question to ask of course is, if people are spending more travelling or other things–where is the money coming from?

  4. Jim Haygood

    For each bad data point, one can also cite positive ones, such as:

    ‘Industry-wide auto sales rose 1.2% to 1.4 million in June, pushing the annualized selling rate to 16.98 million, its highest pace since July 2006, according to market research firm, Autodata Corp.

    ‘For the first half of the year, auto makers sold a total of 8.2 million vehicles in the U.S., up 4.3% over the same year-ago period.’


    Yes, this is a slow, subpar recovery. But Conference Board leading indicators, the ISM survey, and the NFIB survey give no clue of recession. Proceed accordingly.

    1. James Levy

      The issue has to be the preponderance of evidence. What we need in a better world is a set of indicators that people can agree on and confidence that the numbers plugged into those indicators are real. We have, at this time, neither of those two things. I care most about workforce participation rates. I also want to know real housing inventories (you know, adjusted for the several million homes the banks are keeping off the market to game the prices) and real mortgage delinquency rates. Plus, what is the real rate of inflation, what are the real hourly wage rates, and how much credit card and home equity debt is out there (again, plus the student loan debt).

      We need a more holistic imagine beyond a few free-floating data points. And the recession-no recession dichotomy is meaningless for most people–a misery index says more about their lives than whether or not we are technically in a national recession (which in itself may be meaningless because people don’t live in a nation, they live in towns and cities with profound regional differences in levels of economic well-being).

      As for confidence, it is a lot like self-esteem: way better earned than manufactured from whole clothe for the benefit of the person or society. And remember, sociopaths think very highly of themselves. As is so often the case, George Carlin said it best:

    2. Jim Haygood

      And another brick in the wall:

      WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The U.S. added 288,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate fell to a nearly six-year low of 6.1% as more people entered the labor force and found work, the government reported Thursday. The strong jobs report suggests the economy is gaining momentum and could force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates sooner than it had planned unless growth cools off.


      Sure, the 6.1% U-rate is distorted by excluding ‘discouraged workers.’ But the +288,000 jobs count probably is significant, despite the month-to-month noise in this series.

      1. Banger

        I agree with you these indicators do show us we are in a recovery that is very gradually picking up steam but it is doing so on what basis? One, is basic froth which the Fed has been counting on to keep the economy at least stagnant and that has worked. Now we see, I believe, an expansion of credit and borrowing which is the ONLY way a recovery can be maintained. As the average American starts loading up on debt this will, presumably offer new opportunities for business investment which will, in turn, finally create real movement–or will it? Is the debt sustainable? Is demand for goods and services really that high? We’ll see. But ultimately, over the next few years we will see the effects of increasing debt peonage which makes people more fearful of change (thus inhibits innovation) and easily moved to panic should the economy turn down a couple of years from now. We still see a shrinking middle-class and, as robotics, becomes a greater feature of the economy (as it will) what happens to those who lose jobs?

        1. wbgonne

          The only good jobs are in the fracking fields that are literally destroying our nation. We ourselves are now one of Amerika’s neo-colonial conquests. The Shock Doctrine comes home.

          The twin “pillars” of the economic “recovery” are: 1) asset bubbles; and 2) “cheap” carbon fuel (which is only cheap because none of the gargantuan externalities are costed). Sound familiar? It’s as if we are living in a time warp.

          1. Banger

            Because no one seems to want to do anything else, it seems. Where are the alternate visions? They are out there but completely ignored by the mainstream media and “leaders” including those on the “left.”

            1. wbgonne

              Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the decimation of Marxism/Socialism as a viable competitive philosophy, we have been living in a world of virulent capitalism so complete and so encompassing that no one near power even envisions any alternative. I have pretty much resigned myself to this: We will not change voluntarily but we will be changed nonetheless because the real world doesn’t care about our neoliberal delusions.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          “… should the economy turn down a couple of years from now. “

          Huh??? What part of -2.9% “growth” do you not understand?

      2. Eeyores enigma

        How much do they pay you post this crap?

        There is not a single positive indicator that is not totally manipulated.

        Recovery???? recover to what??? …to where???? Back to totally unsustainable. inequitable, despotic, sociopathic, self destructive?????

        Who are you and why do you talk as if things are OK and getting better?

        1. Jim Haygood

          ‘There is not a single positive indicator that is not totally manipulated.’

          So auto sales, counted in units, are fake?

          As Banger hinted above, these near-record auto sales are financed by sub-prime debt.

          It isn’t sustainable, but meanwhile, it is what it is. That’s not my doing or yours.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Sub-prime auto contracts with 125% or 150% LTVs are not “sales,” they are very expensive rentals.

            So yes, they are “fake.”

      3. RUKidding

        What kind of jobs are those? How much do they pay? Where are they located?

        And did this “count” include all of those jobs that have been subtracted from our economy? If not, why not?

  5. Worker-Owner

    The Optimism will continue for at least 24 hours after the bubble bursts, maybe a week or two even. It is useful to keep the gullible in “The Market” while the late-comers to the “jump ship” contingent get what they can amongst the shambles. Take a walk with me down Main Street and help me count the empty commercial space. Two extremely highly qualified friends of mine spent months/years looking for work and got lucky … one only days from foreclosure.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The MSM needs the happy talk because happy customers buy more. Yes, ratings are up for disaster porn, but it produces burnout and no one watches those commercials or cares. Given the declining reputation of the msm, quantity is out except for reassuring background noise and coffee table usage. No one wants the Abu Graib issue of a magazine on display for company.

      They want their viewers to be optimistic and not worried about the future or advertisers will run. Even now, it’s almost wall to wall financial services and energy companies because its about lobbying as the consumer has died. I can’t stand the 630 network anchors, so I have no idea what is on those. The MSM was deranged when W. was President and is deranged today because advertisers are their concern. Olbermann, Moyers, and Donahue were television exceptions because of the nature’s of the shows, and Fox represents certain wings of the GOP (they don’t like the 41-Romney GOP) and has a consistent anti Democratic message (it’s their bailiwick).

      We will get happy talk until the next round of eyeball bleeding, and they try to pretend to be news sources. They are selling to advertisers.

  6. wbgonne

    “this looks like an effort to redefine collective expectations downward, so that ordinary citizens are conditioned to see the “new normal” of a tepid recovery as the best they can expect”

    I have been observing this phenomenon for some time now. I think this miserable-is-good propaganda constitutes a concerted effort by the global corporatists who run the United States to redefine what it means to be Middle Class in America. The American Middle Class, once the envy of the world and the essence of the American Dream, has been ruined. The American Middle Class was once where a person could work at a typical job for ordinary hours and earn enough to save, vacation and help send the children to college. That is gone. So much that was once in the commons has been privatized and taken from the Middle Class. Unions have been decimated and collective bargaining power is eviscerated. Regulations that forced the corporatists to absorb their costs have been systematically stricken and those costs — environmental degradation, etc. — have been borne by the Middle Class.

    Vicious global capitalism pounds the world’s people into dust. For their own sake, the plutocrats need the people to maintain their illusions of security and freedom. But propaganda and lies are all they have left. How long will that work? We’ll see.

    1. wbgonne

      I will add this: the plutocrats have never accepted the American Middle Class. The Super Rich have always believed that the Middle Class lives too lavishly and deserves far less. Globalism and rapacious transnational corporatism have given the plutocrats the opening they needed to attack the American Middle Class. The American corporatists have been severed from the Middle Class and no longer care how the American People fare economically. Why haven’t the American People rebelled politically and called to account those elected leaders who have — and continue to – grease the skids for the collapsing American Dream? Deflecting notions like that, I think, is also one of the purposes of the miserable-is-good propaganda campaign.

      1. RUKidding

        Spot on. You wrote very eloquently what I’ve been thinking. I hear the Confidence Fairy nonsense on the radio, and I figure it’s just yet more propaganda sent forth to mollify the rabble & possibly lull some into thinking everything’s great. I would argue that it’s not just about the USA middle class, albeit we’re perhaps viewed as the “head of the class.” But it seems to me that similar is happening across the westernized industrial nations – former first worlders now trending towards third world status, which is the goal of the 1%.

        The stock market seems to be this delusional weird thing anymore, to which I cannot relate; yet somehow it’s supposed to signify great things ahead for all concerned. We hear about alleged new jobs “added” to the economy, which is “nice,” I guess, but how often do we hear about all the jobs that have been “subtracted”? I have several friends over the past 9 months or so who have been laid off previously “good” jobs because there’s no money to pay them anymore. Their jobs were erased from the books & no one will ever be hired in that position again. What about THOSE jobs? Where are they counted?

        I am doing well – in today’s world, probably exceptionally well – but even though I’ve enjoyed some COLA increases in my salary, my income has basically either been stagnant or reduced in terms of how far my dollars stretch anymore. I live ever more frugally, which is ok for me, but what about those who dollars are stretched so far that they have to do without basics? It’s happening more and more, yet the M$M pretends that everything’s great, and the propaganda shills are still blaming the victims as much as they can. And Boobus Americanus goes along with it.

        As long as citizens remain complacent about this sorry state of affairs, it will continue apace and get worse. When I see citizens saying stuff like “ultimately there will be a revolt,” I just shake my head. I’m not that confident in that. I don’t see it happening. I’m battening down the hatches and preparing as best I can for the worst bc I don’t see how things won’t get worse for the 99s. Sorry to be Debbie Downer today.

        1. RUKidding

          Just briefly add that the people I know who’ve been laid off jobs – jobs/departments that have been forevermore erased from the books & not coming back – have all been higher level prof white collar good pay jobs. Usually in the brief blurbs I read or hear about the miraculous jobs that have been “added” to our failing/flailing economy, I don’t see what type of job these are. My guess, though, is that most are low level service sector jobs at minimum wage or not much more.

          So yeah: get your confidence today! Thousands of good paying jobs gone, but they’ve been replaced by wage-slave jobs! Woot!

          1. William C

            Barry had it right.
            Every time a child says they do not believe in confidence fairies, a confidence fairy dies.
            We must clap very loudly to keep the confidence fairies alive and Tinkerbell will be saved.

            Sorry, I just came over all whimsical.

      2. Jim Shannon

        “new normal” makes me want to set my hair on fire! There is absolutely nothing “NEW” about the Rich screwing the poor! The poor have no power to stop the abuse! CentaMillionaire$ and billionaire$ have sent a clear message! Get used to it because they have no intention of even trying to make things better for anyone except themselves!

  7. diptherio

    Perhaps the “journalists” at Bloomberg have been reading The Secret and they’re just trying to help everyone think positively. Hell, the “Law of Attraction” is about as rational as the “Efficient Markets Hypothesis”…more so, actually.

    1. Banger

      I honestly believe many of them do believe that positive thinking will save the day…. I don’t know what to say about that–but what do we mean by “positive”? Even if positive thinking worked–would I like their “positive” world?

  8. mmckinl

    “…as Ilargi implies, this looks like an effort to redefine collective expectations downward, so that ordinary citizens are conditioned to see the “new normal” of a tepid recovery as the best they can expect.”

    Spot on analysis by Ilargi … We shall see how long the Fed can keep all their balls in the air once oil prices begin rising steeply. Look at 2015 for that bump in the road.

    Then there are the geopolitical risks … As long as TPTB can keep suppressing demand for oil prices for food and fuel will remain contained. Once oil prices rise all bets are off …

  9. Ed

    The “jobs added by small businesses” component of the report Illargi was referring to is made up, OK estimated, as has been pointed out by a number of analysts.

    “…as Ilargi implies, this looks like an effort to redefine collective expectations downward, so that ordinary citizens are conditioned to see the “new normal” of a tepid recovery as the best they can expect.”

    One recurring theme of the first half of “1984” is Winston Smith’s efforts to find definitive proof, at least for himself, that although the Party is having everyone celebrate the increase in the weekly coffee ration, its actually just been cut.

    1. RUKidding

      The defenders of the practice of water shut off say that they’re “concerned” with those citizens who haven’t paid for their water just because they “don’t feel like it.” The propaganda is spun such that allegedly the “truly needy” – go figure out what that means! – will get their water turned back on. From what I can find out, it appears yet another chapter in ye olde “Pit the 99s against one another for fun & profit of the 1s.”

      NPR had a story on this that quite baldly stated that Detroit was claiming to the ‘burbs that they had turned off water bc the lousy lazy freeloading slackers in the city limits simply felt like not paying. Of course, the white-flight ‘burbs predictably got “mad” at those freeloading _______ and don’t care if the water is turned off. They deserve it! EFF ’em! Get a jawb ya Loser! And so forth blah blah….

      And that’s how it’s done. Sell it to those clinging ever more desperately to their declining middle class status that the Losers, esp those dusky hued, who are starving, cold in the winter/hot in the summer, now Deserve not to have running water because they’re lazy & don’t feel like working.

      I’ve traveled and lived in several third world countries… this is what it’s like. And believe me, the small amount of middle class residents of those nations mostly don’t give a stuff about the poor that they see daily.

      1. Patricia

        Yeah, the nasty divide between the city and suburbs has always been here but it is heating up again since dictatorship-by-financial-manager and forced bankruptcy. Now the old problems are sitting out for all to see, including suburban greed, neglect, and prejudice. And predicably, they simply double/triple down.

        As it has been increasing, this white woman in the city is again receiving (for the first time in decades), people treating me badly simply because I am white. It’s understandable but dang, it’s hard to conclude that many humans will never stop establishing bias by the first thing they see in the other. And that’s just depressing on top of depressing.

        Not everyone, though. There are some fine people here.

        1. craazyman

          I would never do something like that and I live in The City (what other city is there? haha). Keep hope alive!

          The Doom & Gloom Fairy sometimes flits around the periphery of vision sprinkling the dust of despair on the mind vibrations. People think it’s them! They think they have some special insight into human affairs, some gift for trenchant analysis and self-edification, an ability for fusing observation into theory that places them well to the right on the bell curve so they alone on a peak of thought see things as they really are. But they’re just plain old average folks and all it is is the dust of despair from the Doom & Gloom fairy sprinkled on their dangeriously raw and exposed mind.

          I find that red wine and Xanax helps, but not enough to avoid the ill-timed short sale or Hail Mary lurch into some precious metals speculation — banking (no pun intended) on “the crash that never comes'”

          Despair Dust floats like moiling moats in the exhausted wake of the dark dream working it’s diabolical enchantment. And people think somehow that the thoughts in their mind are their own.

          1. Patricia

            You are indubitably one of the fine ones, craazyman. You’d like it in this cracked mirror reflection of your City of Cities, because all of us are triple-A crazyman to stay.

            No fairy needed here for sprinkling the dust in the wind, what we are too, made from and returning to. In between the one and the other, I prefer a little clonazepam with my wine, which my sissy the sommelier regularly brings over and thus I cannot remember any of their labels but only the colors, tastes and smells, ah. And when things get worse, a little pot is legal in this grand town.

            I put in a veg garden between sidewalk and road and people roll down their windows to say yay and ask what/how, or that they’re doing it too. Gardening’s in the air everywhere, gathering up that dust and majicking it into tomatoes and thai peppers.

            A family down the road has been using my hose and has kindly decided to turn the whole thing into an ongoing joke which makes it good for me.

            Anyway, a smidge of occasional despair is nutritional. It’s a precious mineral, a little goes a long way, from China to here, as needed. Can build up in the system, though, like over-dosing on vitamins, so intake needs watching.

    2. RUKidding

      Also: Detroit is the experiment to see what the 1s can get away with. More of the same coming soon to a city, county or township near you!

  10. Deloss

    Yes and no. Some of the numbers above are better, but there is a vast general pessimism among the population. The reluctance to spend money (which most of us don’t have anyway) has spread to the point where it becomes difficult to give stuff away for free. Why should Shakespeare in the Park have to advertise? Because people have gotten out of the habit of consuming, even if it costs nothing.

    And the pessimism has odd results. Obama was recently voted “worst President since World War II.” But it is hard to put much belief in this poll, since it also found that people believe that Ronald Reagan is the best President since World War II. Well–he was the cheeriest, most destructive, dumbest, any number of superlatives. But that’s not what I’d mean by “best.” I can only figure that those polled 1. are too young to remember what Reagan was like, and too uncomprehending to notice what damage he continues to do; or 2. have, as Reagan himself did, passed into some form of senile dementia and don’t remember the first nor understand the second.

    Obama–who I know is not a great favorite here at NC–has at last realized that he will get NO cooperation from Republicans, and, finally becoming irritated, has decided to govern by fiat. We’ll see if he can make things better. The fact that things are as bad as they are is more Reagan’s fault than his.

    Confusion to our enemies.

    1. wbgonne

      Obama is the worst president since WWII without doubt. The squandered opportunity is beyond imaging and, when it comes to global warming at least, the chance for genuine orderly change is probably gone for good. And Bush is close behind as the worst, as the polls demonstrates. Obama was supposed to provide the correction to Bush and the rapacious corporatism that Bush represented. Instead, Obama deceived the American People (and the world) and has simply adopted Bush’s policies. Asset bubble and “cheap” carbon fuel are what Obama has given us for an economy, same as Bush. Not to mention the other Bushian policies Obama has embraced. If Obama didn’t want to end up considered the worst president, he probably should not have modeled his policies on the prior worst president.

      1. Banger

        Obama s not the worst POTUS, but he may go down in history as one of the greatest deceivers in recent history at least even more that Clinton. He was a center-right politician who branded himself as center-left and has been more right-wing than centrist–ACA was about as anti-leftist a “reform” as could have been imagined and his deference to the national security state has been stunning to watch. Still, he has avoided bombing Iran and Syria and seems to be soft pedaling a major confrontation with Russia so it could be far worse with Bishop Romney at the helm.

        1. Nathanael

          Rather than rating “better” or “worse”, there’s another point.

          I think Obama is the most politically incompetent President in a very long time. He has repeatedly missed *golden*, *obvious* political opportunities to gain more political power, in favor of alienating his own voters, and done so in circumstances which give him no upside. *This* I find *bizarre*. Who does the wrong thing, pissing off his own supporters, for no benefit? It’s insane behavior.

    2. RUKidding

      Citizens are pessimistic bc they’re seeing people all around them losing good jobs (I can list at 20 people I know off the top of my head), or their college-grad kids can barely get a service sector job, or their aged parents lost what little they had in the 2008 heist, so they have to take care of them, as well as their kids, and so on. And those that have decent jobs see our wages not covering our costs quite as effectively as before and so, have to cut back in order to attempt to save – with no interest rate – for some kind of retirement.

      As for that poll: I saw it, too. I would state that we need to get away with identifying wins/losses/whatevers with a figurehead, albeit that’s the framing that we’re given and encouraged to believe in. I have no love for almost any Pres during the entire span of my life, and the current office-holder inspires in me nothing but contempt. I won’t detail why, but I do agree with you that the crest of the crushing wave of economic clusterf*ck (and unbridled War without end) began under the reign of the Alzheimer’s-riddled Reagan.

      GenX typically loves Reagan bc times were good then, and most of them are clueless about all the Deep State chicanery & shenanigans that went on (Iran Contra anyone?) and anyway could care less about that stuff. I’d say that citizens really & truly are extolling Reagan, it’s bc they don’t really get what happened and/or they are elderly and don’t get what really happened. At any rate, the current Emperor in the White House ruling by fiat duly declared that his hero and role model was Reagan, so uh…

    3. Jackrabbit

      It appears that you have not yet recovered from the Obama reality distortion field. Sadly, there are many with the same condition. This condition is characterized by the holding of opposing beliefs.

      Here’s an example (please be seated before you read this): Obama is really, really smart, right? Then how could he have only now “realized that he will get NO cooperation from Republicans”? Its OK, that dizzy feeling is natural. You may feel nauseous in a minute also.

      Now, to complete the detox procedure, meditate using the list below. It may take a few hours. Do not operate heavy machinery as you do so. Don’t be ashamed to cry. Its for your country.

      Our Constitutional lawyer President . . .

      > May be involved in election fraud: Benghazi and IRS scandals (and now the scandal of the IRS emails!) –
      > Has continued signing statements, secret interpretations, a war on whistle-blowers, and signed NDAA
      > Supports NSA spying to such an extent that he refuses to fire people that have lied to Congress
      > Claimed he would have the most transparent administration ever but negotiates trade rules in secret
      > Blatently LIED to the American people on multiple occasions saying: “if you like your insurance, you can keep it”

      Our Nobel Peace Prize-winning President . . .

      > Expanded a UN mandate for a ‘No-fly zone’ into a bombing campaign
      > Drones wedding parties
      > Supports Muslim extremists in Syria and Iraq
      > As undermined America’s position in the world and energized enemies via: downing a Presidential plane; supporting “F@#k the EU” Nuland’s neocon dreams; goof-ball initiatives that were never serious like: “reset with russia” and “new beginning” with the Arab world

      Our “Change You Can Believe In” President . . .

      > Extended the Bush tax cuts, then made most permanent
      > Never closed the ‘carried interest’ tax deduction (as he promised)
      > Gave Wall Street ‘Fat Cats’ a Free Pass, and ‘foamed the runway’ for them
      > Forgave Bush Administration warmongers and torturers (‘no drama’ Obama!)
      > Lost $500 million in Solyndra scandal, and ‘bundler’ Corsine has never been charged

      H O P

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The one thing people hate more than cons and con men is being the who were conned. In the case of Obama, he didn’t even try that hard. People made excuses because they wanted to believe, and they attacked everyone who dared question dear leader instead of addressing concerns or demanding Obama behave.

        The LGBT community never stopped their DADT campaign despite Obama clearly thinking they are yucky, and when Obama was embarrassed by a federal judge on DADT, they had what they needed to force Obama to get a repeal. It’s actually pretty easy to get Obama to behave, he just can’t be praised every time he blames Bo for that obnoxious odor. The Obama defenders don’t want to recognize that despite Obama’s petulant nature he could have been tolerable if the Obots demanded he act like he was a decent human being instead of just lavishing devotion on him.

        1. Nathanael

          It’s been quite hard to get the criminal Obama to behave when it comes to the illegal NSA dragnet spying.

          Apparently he really, really cares about spying on innocent Americans, much more than he cared about DADT.

  11. TedWa

    US creates 288,000 jobs reads the headline, as if some victory were being proclaimed.

    These kinds of hollow “victories” reminds me that more people were committing suicide in the military than were getting killed in combat.

    Just place “disenfranchised worker” in the first part of that sentence and low wage jobs in the second part and you’ll see there is nothing to cheer.

  12. shinola

    Kinda puts things into perspective.

    1. RUKidding

      Thanks. THAT’s the kind of info I wanted to know… and it’s just as I thought.

    2. Doug

      Also, monthly and yearly hourly wage growth negative. Labor participation rate at 35 year lows.

  13. fresno dan

    The establishment survey reported a gain of 288,000 jobs while the household survey sported a gain in employment of 407,000. In addition, May was revised up from +217,000 to + 224,000, and April revised up from +282,000 to +304,000.

    Digging deeper into the details, strength was entirely part-time (and then some).

    Voluntary part-time employment rose by a whopping 840,000 and involuntary part-time employment rose by 275,000.

    Compared to a total gain of employment of 407,000, the gain in total part-time employment was 1,115,000. I confirmed with the BLS that one cannot directly subtract those numbers because of seasonal reporting.

    However, one can compare full-time employment this month to last month. Doing so shows a DECLINE in FULL-TIME employment of 523,000!”

    Capitalization added.
    Do people think the decline in full time employment portends something, or is merely a blip???

  14. kevinearick

    Loving Your Enemies, Nazis, & Self

    Behavior reflects relationships, and laws reflect behavior. Constants are relative to the mirror employed. The laws of gravity did not create the universe, nor do they limit it. Life is what you make of it, and labor employs gravity to produce work. Adjust time, perception, to make the gate. Be the needle.

    The Nazis were not born instantaneously as casual History would suggest, but by decision, by expedient decision, of, by and for fear, to fight fear with fear. The manufactured majority votes tyranny against the minority in the mirror, and is shocked to find itself subject to tyranny.

    Getting a license is to work is not your problem. State issuance of monopoly licenses to maximize tax tribute, rent to wages, is the State’s problem. America has become the enemy, its own worst enemy, in fear of manufactured enemies. Problem solved.

    You are always and everywhere your own worst enemy, and your enemies are simply reflections of your assumptions. It is not individuals practicing faith that join peer pressure groups to assuage their fear and guilt, to short circuit their own conscience, dressing themselves with material possessions to hide depravity, from themselves, through group normalization.

    Enough is never enough for the consumer, because possession exists in a positive feedback loop with depravity. A landslide closes the overpass, which can be cleared in two days, but on the third day the grocery shelves are empty. Scarcity is always and everywhere artificial, a product of false assumptions, fear to look.

    History is not the story of this planet failing humanity, and contrary to popular drive-by religionism, you do not have infinite do-overs. Climate variability is increasing due to State behavior, majority vote in places like Las Vegas, and accounting is once again proffered as the solution to its own problem. Ask any honest biologist; variability is the solution.

    There are many artificial dams in the human artifice, physical, mental and spiritual, all based upon fear, all built to the end of monopolizing energy, by consumers, and all have been addressed, yet nothing changes the direction of the empire, which is crumbling, while the participants watch TV, conjecture, and order toys on the Internet.

    Equilibrium is the natural order, from and to disorder, yet humanity always finds a way and an excuse to hoard from the future and spend today, expecting something other than catastrophe. Income inequality grows as the percentage participating in the debt ponzi grows, all screaming for freedom and equality, trapped in a prison of their own making.

    You can walk across any town in this country, or any other, and find the old-timer with what you need at a price you can pay, simply by recognizing and avoiding the stupidity of peer pressure. The problem of course is that you cannot fool an old-timer, who has been subjected to every form devised by man and woman alike.

    You might think that critters would see that increasing human order is creating increasing natural disorder, that big cities full of critters that cannot feed themselves is collapsing the middle, but you would be wrong, because the momentum of human behavior cannot be changed in real time. Only you can do that.

    The stock market is just a bankruptcy ponzi, feeding a bankrupt bond structure, for critters on the way to the DNA churn pool, built on sand, RE price inflation, to keep themselves busy, but make it out to be rocket science if you like, playing along on the Internet, with robocode.

    Intelligent labor creates jobs, not the derivative capital consumers fight over, but go ahead and prove otherwise, complaining about the lack of jobs. Or, roll up when the old-timer rolls up and follow. You are not going to be asked. You are expected, in the truck before daylight.

    Single people are single for a reason; they don’t show up, preferring to hang back and watch the sh-show, until it’s far too late, when there is nothing left but civil marriage, always a scam in a sewer, creating jobs for slaves in the debt ponzi, until it collapses.

    You are only bound by gravity to the extent you are bound by assumptions, convenient bridges which become prisons if not recycled regularly. Reacting to derivatives is no way to run your life, and certainly no way to attract intelligent labor to your cause.

    Build just as much SMART infrastructure as you like, in the head of a committee, for committees, in a building dependent upon an elevator, with SMART technology to replace labor, and expect not to be trapped, by yourself, in a building collapsing on itself.

    The universe is a mirror, which you can adjust, to go wherever you want to go, if you think about it, instead of yourself, which, by no coincidence, is how you grow self, itself a mirror in a feedback loop. Each event horizon has characteristic gravity. Choose your time.

    Productive patience is the test of time, which the majority always fails, by its own design. You learn to navigate by doing, exploring, not by studying what others say about what others do, dying day by day in a ponzi cave. Whether the State has you surrounded, or vice versa, is a matter of perspective, entirely under your control.

  15. Jim

    “Whether the State has you surrounded, or vice versa, is a matter of perspective, entirely under your control.”

    How would you stimulate the belief in the vice versa?

  16. ian

    Didn’t they get the 300K by netting a loss of 500K full time jobs and a gain of 800K part time jobs?
    If so, this is supposed to be good?

  17. mellon

    Natural gas in the US costs around a third to a fifth of what it costs elsewhere.

    There are negotiations (again secret) in TTIP to vastly expand fracking and pair it up with a dropping of restrictions on exporting natural gas, which could increase the price of heat and electricity a LOT, for many people in the US, in 2016, that’s when the exporting would begin. Anyway, I don’t think this is a good time to be increasing facking due to all the methane – it may be worse for the environment than anything else. Also, I think a lot of urban landlords are looking for an excuse to get out of landlording and sell. A sudden jump in heating/gas/electricity prices would give them a constitutionally protected excuse to leave the business.

  18. pissed younger baby boomer

    I am disabled and no longer count as unemployed . I,m erased from the economy . I live 14 miles from the Oregon state capital Salem,OR. Every time I travel to Salem I see more and more homeless people .It is the 1 PERCENT LIKE IT AND THE SICK SOCIAL PATHS all of them are:( . They gloat ,with there evil laughter .we won lets though a party. I hate to say it this country might fall like the roman empire may in a few years : ( .

  19. chris a

    Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a very strong change in the reporting from the cnbc, but especially bloomberg. The cheerleader has become way over the top.

Comments are closed.