Special to Times of Oman
America's March payroll jobs report released on April 4 claims 192,000 new private sector jobs. Here is what John Williams has to say about the claim: "The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) deliberately publishes its seasonally-adjusted historical payroll-employment and household-survey (unemployment) data so that the numbers are neither consistent nor comparable with current headline reporting.
The upside revisions to the January and February monthly jobs gains, and the relatively strong March payroll showing, reflected nothing more than concealed, favourable shifts in underlying seasonal factors, hidden by the lack of consistent BLS reporting. In like manner, consistent month-to-month changes in the unemployment rate or labour force simply are not knowable, because the BLS cloaks the consistent and comparable numbers." Dave Kranzler says: "the employment report is probably the most deceptively fraudulent report produced by the Government." As I have pointed out for a decade, the "New Economy" jobs that we were promised in exchange for our manufacturing jobs and tradable professional service jobs that were offshored have never shown up. The transnational corporations and their hired shills among economists lied to us.
Not even a jobs report as deceptive and fraudulent as the BLS payroll jobs report can hide the fact that Congress, the White House, and the American people have sat sucking their thumbs while corporations maximised profits for the one per cent at the expense of everyone else in the United States. Let's look at where the alleged jobs are. The BLS jobs report says that 28,400 jobs were created in March in wholesale and retail sales. March is the month that Macy's, Sears, JC Penny, Staples, Radio Shack, Office Depot, and other retailers announced combined closings of several thousand stores, but more retail clerks were hired.
The BLS payroll jobs report claims 57,000 jobs in "professional and business services." Are these jobs for lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, and managers? No.
The combined new jobs for these middle class professional skills totalled 10,400. Employment services accounted for 42,000 of the jobs in "professional and business services" of which temporary help accounted for 28,500. "Education and health services" accounted for 34,000 jobs or which ambulatory and home health care services accounted for 28,000 of the jobs.
The other old standby, waitresses and bartenders, accounted for 30,400 jobs. The number of Americans dependent on food stamps who cannot afford to go out to eat has almost doubled, but the demand for restaurant meals keeps rising. There you have it. This is America's "New Economy." If the jobs exist at all, they consist of lowly paid, largely part-time employment that fails to produce enough income to prevent the food stamp rolls from doubling.
Without growth in consumer income, there is no growth in aggregate consumer demand. Offshoring jobs also offshores the income associated with the jobs, resulting in the decline in the domestic consumer market. The US transnational corporations, pursuing profits in the short-run, are destroying their long-run consumer base.
The transnational corporations are also destroying the outlook for US universities, as it makes no sense to incur large student loan debt when job prospects are poor.
The corporations are also destroying US leadership in innovation as US corporations increasingly become marketers of foreign-made goods and services. How many times has John Williams written his report? How many times have I written this article? Yet the government continues to issue false reports, and the financial media continues to ask no questions. The US, once a land of opportunity, has been transformed into an aristocratic economy in which income and wealth are concentrated at the very top.
What can Americans do? Well, all they can do is to accept the serfdom imposed on them or take to the streets and stay in the streets despite being clubbed, arrested, and shot by the police, who protect the power structure, not the public.
In America, nothing is done for the public. But everything is done to the public.
The author is the former US assistant secretary of the Treasury and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman.