Friday, August 14, 2015
U.S. Wages Have Fallen EVERY Quarter of the 'Recovery'
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For 6 ½ long years, we have been bombarded with the mythology known as “the U.S. economic recovery” by the mainstream media. Exposing this fantasy is simple, since the gulf between myth and reality has grown to such absurd proportions.
There is no better starting point than the farcical claim by Barack Obama that “10 million new jobs” have been created during this non-existent recovery. In fact, the U.S. government’s own numbers show that thetotal number of employed Americans has fallen by more than 3 million over that span, in spite of the population growth over those past 6 ½ years.
The chart above is now somewhat dated, as the St Louis Fed has deliberately changed the format of this chart in order to make it harder to reproduce. Updated, the U.S. civilian participation rate has now fallen to a 36-year low, and as the chart clearly shows, it has fallen at a faster rate since the start of this mythical recovery.
The lie: “10 million new jobs created”. The fact: more than 3 million jobs lost. This is a reality-gap of 13 million jobs, or exactly 2 million jobs per year. The U.S. economy hasn’t been “creating” 1.5 million new jobs per year. It’s been losing roughly ½ million jobs every year of this fantasy-recovery.
Then we have the “heartbeat” of the U.S. economy, its velocity of money. A chart of this heartbeat shows that it has plummeted far lower than at any other time in the 56-year history of this data series. This doesn’t merely show a dying economy, it shows a dead economy.
As for the supposed “GDP growth” over this 6 ½ year span, falsifying this statistic requires nothing more than lying about the rate of inflation. Here again, the lie is obvious. The U.S. (and other Western governments) pretend that inflation is near-zero, while in the real world, food and housing prices have been soaring at the fastest rate in our lifetime over the past 10 – 15 years.
Then we have U.S. energy consumption. Again the picture is clear. Overall U.S. energy consumption peaked in 2007 and has been falling since then, while official gasoline consumption has been plummeting for several years. Growing economies use more energy. Shrinking economies use less energy. Case closed.
All this is old news to regular readers, however. What has been less easy to document in any sort of definitive way has been the fall in U.S. wages. The problem is that to express wages meaningfully, we must use “real dollars”, i.e. we must adjust these wages for inflation. With the U.S. government only providingnominal data about U.S. wages, and consistently lying about the actual inflation rate; we have lacked the data to make any conclusive statement.
A recent boast by the U.S. government/Corporate media (i.e. another false claim) has now provided us with a clearer picture here, going back to the beginning of this imaginary recovery. In trying to downplay the absence of any wage-growth in the U.S. in Q2 of this year; the propaganda machine made this claim:
…That is down from a 2.6 percent increase in the first quarter [of 2015], which was the biggest in 6 ½ years. [emphasis mine]
The claim is that nominal wages in the U.S. rose at the fastest rate “in 6 ½ years” in the first quarter of 2015, i.e. the highest rate during the entire pseudo-recovery. Now let’s discount that number with the (real) rate of inflation, in order to get a real-dollar number for U.S. wages.
A recent commentary pegged U.S. inflation at a conservative level of 12% per year. That number is substantially higher for the Working Poor (and poor), who now comprise the majority of nearly all Western societies. Translating that to a quarterly number (i.e. dividing it by four), we get a quarterly inflation-rate in the U.S. of 3% -- significantly higher than the supposed “growth” in wages of 2.6%.
Thus the U.S. government itself has now provided us with a definitive picture on U.S. wages. During Q1 of this year, the high-water mark for U.S. wage “growth” during the entire Recovery; U.S. wages were still falling. Ipso facto, U.S. wages have been falling every quarter of this recovery.
Now we begin to see the whole truth in the U.S. labour market, versus the absurd, official claim of lots of “new jobs” and “rising wages”. U.S. employment has been falling, not rising, every quarter, every year. U.S. wages have been falling, not rising, every quarter, every year. But that picture is still incomplete.
The total number of hours worked by the Working Poor is also falling, and in 18 out of 20 of the U.S.’s industrial sectors, total number of hours worked is still lower than during the so-called Great Recession. This is also reflected in the fall in the percentage of full-time employees.
To summarize: since the beginning of the imaginary U.S. economic recovery, there are millions fewer Americans who are now employed. Their wages have been falling for every quarter of the “recovery”, and they are also working fewer hours. Growing economies create more jobs; shrinking economies lose jobs. Strong economies have rising (real) wages; weak economies have falling wages. Once again we see the supposed U.S. recovery is pure mythology.
However, with respect to the destruction of the U.S. standard of living, to truly appreciate what has been done to the U.S. population (and the populations of nearly all of the Corrupt West), we must look at the picture over a much longer term. In the 40 years before the beginning of this imaginary recovery, the wages of the Average American fell by roughly 50% (in real dollars).
Now the descent of the majority of the U.S. population to Third World status becomes crystal clear. From 1970 to the beginning of 2009 (i.e. the current “recovery”), U.S. wages fell roughly 50%. Then came the mythical Recovery, and U.S. wages have continued to fall, quarter after quarter after quarter. The Great Recovery has been worse than the Great Recession which came before it.
What do we call it when a nation experiences a “great recession”, and then the economy continues to crumble at an even faster rate after that, year after year? We call it a Greater Depression.
Shrinking economy. Losing jobs. Falling wages. Declining energy consumption. No “heartbeat”. Has anything been left out, in describing this U.S. economic Armageddon? Certainly.
The U.S. government is obviously bankrupt. The U.S. dollar is obviously worthless. The U.S. economy has been run completely into the ground. When the current, assorted bubbles are deliberately popped (almost certainly in 2016, or late-2015), and Old-Man Buffett goes on a massive shopping spree with the $60+ billion he is now currently hoarding; there will be nothing left but economic rubble. And Milton Friedman will be smiling, from (way) down in his final, resting place.