Robert Reich says we have “two economies.” Talking like this, it’s a good thing he hasn’t had an affair.
Wouldn’t want his voice silenced, which is ironic since political A-holes like David Vitter, John Ensign, and Newt Gingrich remain free to lie after getting caught committing adultery. Newt Gingrich, who cheated on his 1st wife with is 2nd then his 2nd with his 3rd, all after issuing the first one divorce papers while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery, hasn’t been politically exiled like John Edwards has he? Instead, he’s preparing to run for President. David Vitter just got reelected to the Senate after getting caught wearing a diaper in a hotel room with a prostitute, but Elliot Spitzer was forced out. The FEC didn’t even bother investigating how John Ensign’s mistress-wife-of-a-campaign-aide ended up with $86,000, but a spectacle is being made of Edwards in federal court just so they can “find out” if he used campaign money as hush money.
I could care less who cheats on who. It’s their personal business, and last I checked, it didn’t hurt the job performances of FDR, Eisenhower, or JFK. But clearly there’s a double standard these days, as usual. Corporate-friendly, plutocracy-enabler…no one cares. Take on Wall Street or monetary rule, get banished.
But, not to take away from Reich’s op-ed. The real division in this country is clearly “top vs. bottom”, not “left vs. right.”
The Jobs Report, and America’s Two Economies
The U.S. economy added just 36,000 jobs in January, according to today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Remember, 125,000 are needed just to keep up with the increase in the population of Americans wanting and needing work. And 300,000 a month are needed — continuously, for five years — if we’re to get back to anything like the employment we had before the Great Recession.
In other words, today’s employment report should be sending alarm bells all over official Washington…
We have two economies. The first is in recovery. The second remains in a continuous depression…
Too bad the kind of obvious truth in Reich’s piece stands out so much when you hear it because you so rarely do. All our so-called “Representatives” should be saying the same thing…then maybe we’d go back to a time when the media wasn’t all tabloid journalism, and they couldn’t target politicians who do speak out when they aren’t doing any more than the rest of them.
A good thing happened yesterday. Many people became confused all at one. Great. This presents an opportunity for education, unless propagandists quickly seize the moment. People wondered, how can the unemployment rate see its largest drop since 1958 if only 36,000 jobs were added?
Simple answer. Because the official unemployment rate is a joke in how it’s calculated, and “phony” in how it’s promoted (i.e, “reported”). Statistics can be made to say whatever you want them to say, particularly when you feel like the public is dumber than you are and won’t realize they’re being fed bologna instead of steak.
The following article from a month ago is a great read. Points out a few of the flaws in how we calculate our ridiculous unemployment rate. It could say a lot more, but it’s a good start.
The Truth Behind the December Jobless Numbers
To understand the contradiction between these two surveys, it is necessary to understand how they are put together and the dubious assumptions they make, especially in the case of the CPS that determines the reported unemployment rate (the CES only shows the actual number of jobs gained or lost).First, unlike the CES, which is a ‘report’ by businesses directly to the Labor Department on how many jobs they added or reduced, the CPS is obtained by 50-60,000 phone interviews of households each month. The unemployment rate is obtained by these interviews.
However, the CPS method is not very reliable. Here are several reasons why.
To be considered ‘officially unemployed,’ the interviewee must indicate he or she is out of work but has looked for work sometime in the previous four weeks. This official unemployment rate—called the ‘U-3’ rate—in December was 9.4%, based on a total of 14.5 million officially unemployed. It’s what the press reports and is an extreme underestimation of the number of jobless.
If you haven’t ‘actively looked in the previous four weeks,’ you are not considered unemployed. You may be just as jobless as anyone else, may want to work as much as anyone else, and maybe would accept a job if offered, but you are not considered unemployed by the Labor Department. You are instead called ‘marginally attached.’…
Primarily relies on phone surveys then makes assumptions based on what people tell you, alone = laughable.
Great exposé in The Guardian UK on the role of Establishment Media in sustaining, and advancing, the perpetual war industry.
Documentary-maker John Pilger makes the point: “The public needs to know the truth about wars. So why have journalists colluded with governments to hoodwink us?”
A few clips from the piece:
[p1] In the US Army manual on counterinsurgency, the American commander General David Petraeus describes Afghanistan as a “war of perception … conducted continuously using the news media”. What really matters is not so much the day-to-day battles against the Taliban as the way the adventure is sold in America where “the media directly influence the attitude of key audiences”. Reading this, I was reminded of the Venezuelan general who led a coup against the democratic government in 2002. “We had a secret weapon,” he boasted. “We had the media, especially TV. You got to have the media.”
[p5] In the wake of this “war to end all wars”, Edward Bernays, a confidante of President Woodrow Wilson, coined the term “public relations” as a euphemism for propaganda “which was given a bad name in the war”. In his book, Propaganda (1928), Bernays described PR as “an invisible government which is the true ruling power in our country” thanks to “the intelligent manipulation of the masses”. This was achieved by “false realities” and their adoption by the media. (One of Bernays’s early successes was persuading women to smoke in public. By associating smoking with women’s liberation, he achieved headlines that lauded cigarettes as “torches of freedom”.)
[p12] Dan Rather, who was the CBS news anchor for 24 years, was less reticent. “There was a fear in every newsroom in America,” he told me, “a fear of losing your job … the fear of being stuck with some label, unpatriotic or otherwise.” Rather says war has made “stenographers out of us” and that had journalists questioned the deceptions that led to the Iraq war, instead of amplifying them, the invasion would not have happened. This is a view now shared by a number of senior journalists I interviewed in the US.
[p13] In Britain, David Rose, whose Observer articles played a major part in falsely linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida and 9/11, gave me a courageous interview in which he said, “I can make no excuses … What happened [in Iraq] was a crime, a crime on a very large scale …”
“Does that make journalists accomplices?” I asked him.
“Yes … unwitting perhaps, but yes.”
[p15] Cameron could not have imagined a modern phenomenon such as WikiLeaks but he would have surely approved. In the current avalanche of official documents, especially those that describe the secret machinations that lead to war – such as the American mania over Iran – the failure of journalism is rarely noted. And perhaps the reason Julian Assange seems to excite such hostility among journalists serving a variety of “lobbies”, those whom George Bush’s press spokesman once called “complicit enablers”, is that WikiLeaks and its truth-telling shames them…
A simple answer to Pilger’s primary question, at least in the United States is, the major news media (radio & network and cable television) is now more than ever the 4th Branch of Government. It is completely “Establishment”, comprised of wealthy celebrity wannabes on one side who cozy up to — instead of objectively challenge — the powerful in industry and government to increase their own personal value to the media conglomerates that write their paychecks, and ex-politicians and political strategists on the other who are still in their political prime, have political stake in what’s coming out of DC with all their connections, and make it clear that their primary role in media is *convincing* the public to support or reject policies from a purely ideological perspective.
I’m not just picking on Fox News. Turn on any so-called “news” show and this is clear. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann gets paid over $7 million a year, Chris Matthews a little less than $5 million. All are preaching, not reporting. All employ, or deploy, the same establishment cheerleaders.
That’s why news these days is all “commentary”, as if we can’t think for ourselves and need to rely on their “opinions.” They should be reporting “what happened” minus the opinion, and nothing more. Until they do, I have to turn them off.
When you check out Pilger’s piece, don’t limit your mind to war coverage. Allow it to roam to news media coverage of any major issue, be it healthcare or energy, education or Social Security, taxes, etc.
Establishment media doesn’t limit its propaganda to one issue. Corporate powers stand to make too much money off of legislation and provide too much in ad dollars to establishment media, to ever limit their brainwashing to one area.
The lessons here. Follow the money in every political “debate” and it’ll lead you to the “real” truth. And most importantly, look at the ones supposedly “informing” you, just as critically as you do those who wish to “rule” you.
Propaganda by Omission: “Children from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq [images you never see in the Establishment Media]”: