Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Report: Politicians, media distort economic data

A new report painstakingly details how some politicians and their media allies deliberately distort employment and other economic data for political purposes.

Katy Grimes writes in the California Political Review:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of the U.S. labor force “that is employed” has continually fallen since 2006.

But it gets worse.

The number of Americans “not in the labor force” more than tripled during Barack Obama’s first term in office. This number is particularly interesting because it is larger than the increase in the number of Americans “not in the labor force” during the entire decade of 1980-1990.

The mainstream media have been giddy reporting 157,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in January. But it’s the “non-seasonally adjusted” numbers — the number of Americans with a job — which actually decreased by 1,446,000 between December and January, according to Michael Snyder, an economist, attorney and author of the Economic Collapse blog. These numbers are even more important.
The situation is even worse here in the Golden State. Writes Grimes:
California’s poverty rate of 23.5 percent is the highest in the nation — much higher than the national average of 16.1 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
If California's 23.5 percent poverty rate represents the state as a whole, you have to figure the rate in many rural areas is much higher. But what local news outlets have done recent stories detailing the plight of the more than one in four people in their communities who are poor?

I can recall that stories about folks who've been "hurt by this economy" were all the rage back in 2007 and 2008, but we don't seem to see them nowadays, and there's a reason. They don't fit the narrative.

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