econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 25 September 2016

What If We're In A Depression But Don't Know It?

by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds

If it isn't a Depression, it's a very close relative of a Depression.

Just for the sake of argument, let's ask: what if we're in a Depression but don't know it? How could we possibly be in a Depression and not know it, you ask? Well, there are several ways we could be in a Depression and not know it:

  1. The official statistics for "growth" (GDP), inflation, unemployment, and household income/ wealth have been engineered to mask the reality

  2. The top 5% of households that dominate government, Corporate America, finance, the Deep State and the media have been doing extraordinarily well during the past eight years of stock market bubble (oops, I mean boom) and "recovery," and so they report that the economy is doing splendidly because they've done splendidly.

I have explained exactly how official metrics are engineered to reflect a rosy picture that is far from reality.:

What's the Real Unemployment Rate? That's the Wrong Question September 14, 2016

Fun with Fake Statistics: The 5% "Increase" in Median Household Income Is Pure Illusion September 19, 2016

Here's Why Wages Have Stagnated--and Will Continue to Stagnate August 15, 2016

Could Inflation Break the Back of the Status Quo? August 5, 2016

What Happens When Rampant Asset Inflation Ends? August 4, 2016

Revealing the Real Rate of Inflation Would Crash the System August 3, 2016

Inflation Hidden in Plain Sight

I also also asked a series of questions that sought experiential evidence rather than easily gamed statistics for the notion that this "recovery" is more like a recession or Depression than an actual expansion:

If Everything Is So Great, How Come I'm Not Doing So Great? September 12, 2016

Rather than accept official assurances that we're in the eighth year of a "recovery," let's look at a few charts and reach our own conclusion. Let's start with the civilian labor force participation rate--the percentage of the civilian work force that is employed (realizing that many of the jobs are low-paying gigs or part-time work).

Does the participation rate today look anything like the dot-com boom that actually raised almost everyone's boat at least a bit? Short answer: No., it doesn't. Today's labor force participation rate is a complete catastrophe that can only be described by one word: Depression.

Wages as a percentage of GDP has been in a 45-year freefall that can only be described as Depression for wage earners:

Notice what happened when the Federal Reserve started blowing serial asset bubbles in 2000: GDP went up but wages went down. Is this a recession or depression? It's your call, but if you're the recipient of the stagnating wages, it's depressing.

Meanwhile, the top 5% who own most of the assets that have been bubbling higher have been doing great. The Depression is only a phenomenon of the bottom 95%:

Look at the rocket ship of corporate profits. What happened around 2001 to send corporate profits on a rocket ride higher? The Fed happened, that's what:

Here's the Fed balance sheet: to the moon!

Free money for financiers and corporations fueled the stock market buyback boom:

Which fueled the stock market bubble:

Is the economy in a Depression? Not if you're a corporate bigwig skimming vast gains from corporate buybacks funded by the Fed's free money for financiers.

But if you're a wage earner who's seen your pay, hours and benefits cut while your healthcare costs have skyrocketed--well, if it isn't a Depression, it's a very close relative of a Depression.

Recent interviews:

The Entire Economic System Is One Big Illusion (X22 Report) (37:41 min)

Optimizing Bad Policy Guaranteed to Fail (Financial Sense Newshour podcast) (24:35 min)


My new book is #6 on Kindle short reads -> politics and social science: Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform ($3.95 Kindle ebook, $8.95 print edition) For more, please visit the book's website.


>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical Opinion Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted. You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.




Econintersect Opinion


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Angst in America, Part 5: The Crisis We Can’t Muddle Through
Was Marx Right?
News Blog
Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Down, Dollar, Oil, And Gold All Up, Trump Will Pay ACA $, State Dept To Cut 9%, Trump Tax Plan, UK House Prices Drop, France GDP Growth Slows, And More
What Americans Shop For With Coupons Online
Fact Check: Are A Million African Migrants Already On Their Way To Europe?
Doctor Google Will See You Now
What We Read Today 27 April 2017
March 2017 Philly Fed Coincident Index Ticks Marginally Up
What Is 5G
April 2017 Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Remains Positive But Declines
March 2017 Pending Home Sales Seasonally Adjusted Index Declines
Durable Goods New Orders Improved in March 2017
22 April 2017 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Marginally Improves
Infographic Of The Day: These Are The Countries Most and Least Prepared For Cyber Attacks
Documentary Of The Week: History Of The World From The Beginning Of 'Time'
Investing Blog
Think Differently For Better Trading Results
Facebook Is Coming After Snapchat From All Sides
Opinion Blog
Trump's Tax Plan Is Brilliant Politics And Even Better Economics
Facts Are Not Always More Important Than Opinions: Here's Why
Precious Metals Blog
A New Age For Gold
Live Markets
27Apr2017 Market Close: Wall Street Closes In The Green With Nasdaq Grabbing The 'Golden Ring' Crossing 6,000, WTI Crude Climbs Back Into The 49 Handle, US Dollar Slips Off Session Highs
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government































 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2017 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved