When the December 2013 unemployment rate came out on January 10, some news sources were glad to see that it decreased to 6.7% from 7%. Sounds good, right? In reality, it doesn’t explain everything. Actually, it hardly explains anything. That number only captures people who are still in the job market, who are also still actively searching for a job. So when you hear “unemployment rate,” feel suspicious. Who doesn’t it include?
It doesn’t include the long term unemployed, or even the new (or not so new) college graduates who were never able to find a job. Or the college graduates who kept their college jobs cashiering or working other low wage, low-skilled jobs. They didn’t remind us of the bad news that the newly created jobs are lower paying. Everywhere you look, there are underemployed people living in their parents’ basements. So how can the media tell us this 6.7% unemployment number as if it’s a welcome improvement?
Can we trust the media to tell us the full truth?
It’s part of their job. But not in the way you realize. Do you ever wonder why you hear about anti-Monsanto protests on Facebook or private blogs, but it’s not covered by any major news networks? It’s because the media depends on these large companies for ad support. So they’re afraid to speak out against them or say anything that might cause ill will towards them.
Many mainstream media outlets are increasingly owned, and therefore controlled, by business moguls. Doesn’t this cause a conflict of interest? They’ll want to further their business causes, which can conflict with unbiased news reporting.
Actually, major American news networks have become more of a method to keep Americans complacent. You don’t hear them reporting the increased number of kids and pets dying from cancer, the number of unemployed people in this country, or companies shutting down factories and outsourcing American jobs. We’re kept from the fact that the Chinese and Indian middle classes are booming, while we’re suffering from our lost jobs that were outsourced to them. If more Americans realized the severity of our situation, they might have an uprising.
What happened in Spain and Greece when they told them the truth about unemployment?
Look what happened in Spain and Greece when they reported the unemployment numbers as 20-40%. People freaked out and protested in the streets. But since most Americans are oblivious about the severity of our situation, this isn’t happening here. We haven’t protested. Instead, we keep buying from those same companies who outsourced our jobs overseas.
The worst we do is blame Obama, while the media keeps telling us that things will get better in the next two years. And when it doesn’t, they just repeat the same two year BS again. And people believe this because they want to cling to hope. (In reality, people should blame Reagan for starting this outsourcing trend in the 1980s by encouraging this anti-American behavior with tax breaks for outsourcers.)
Does the unemployment formula work in their favor, or ours?
So that’s why the unemployment rate continues to be reported as 6.7%. The formula works in the favor of those in charge who don’t want mass panic. People who have no idea what they’re talking about can lob a few generalized insults at the president. They stay content knowing they’re a pro-business American who thinks the tides will turn with the election of the next president.
Since our job situation is only likely to get worse in America, people will eventually realize it. Eventually, the media will run out of excuses.
What can you do about it?
Email your state politicians to stop encouraging this anti-American outsourcing. Meanwhile, the American people continue to empty our pockets and our country racks up debt — while trying to pay out social welfare money to keep displaced workers from starving.
Tariffs on imports would ensure that corporations who make products overseas pay some part in taxes.
This will be a little harder to do, but try to buy American made products. That way, the money stays in the economy, ie- the multiplier effect, further improving conditions in America.
If you want to buy cheap foreign products, don’t go through an American company who outsourced our jobs. Go straight to the source and buy directly from a foreign company:
1) This will send the message that you don’t support their outsourcing behavior and lost American jobs.
2) The products will be cheaper anyway, since you’re skipping the middle man — the American company’s executive board, who pay themselves handsomely.
Photo via Flickr user PIAZZA del POPOLO