Sunday, January 11, 2015

Creation of Lots of Crappy Part-time Jobs Signal of U.S. Greatness?   (Fracked? Authoritarian Country Obeys All Rules)   World Destruction Imminent

“Usury centralises money wealth.” It does not alter the mode of production, but attaches itself to it as a parasite and makes it miserable. It sucks its blood, kills its nerve, and compels reproduction to proceed under even more disheartening conditions. … usurer’s capital does not confront the laborer as industrial capital,” but “impoverishes this mode of production, paralyzes the productive forces instead of developing them." - Karl Marx

Everyone who is literate should read Karl Marx.

If you read any of his books, you'll be better read than anyone you know.

Because no one in the U.S. (outside of those in academia) has read Karl Marx.

Paul Craig Roberts explains the latest jobs report numbers through the reporting of John Williams at

John Williams ( on the December payroll jobs report and unemployment rate

As increasingly has become the common circumstance, the upside revisions in headline monthly numbers simply are constructs of highly unstable, inconsistent and questionable seasonal adjustments being shifted between months.  The unadjusted data do not revise, but the adjusted data pick up bogus growth from gimmicked reporting . . .
Counting All Discouraged Workers, December 2014 Unemployment Was 23.0%. . . . More than anything else, though, what removes headline-unemployment reporting from broad underlying economic reality and common experience simply is definitional.

To be counted among the headline unemployed (U.3), an individual has to have looked for work actively within the four weeks prior to the unemployment survey.  If the active search for work was in the last year, but not in the last four weeks, the individual is considered a “discouraged worker” by the BLS [and not counted in the U.3 measure].
  ShadowStats defines that group as “short-term discouraged workers,” as opposed to those who become “long-term discouraged workers” after one year.

Moving on top of U.3, the broader U.6 unemployment measure includes only the short-term discouraged workers.  The still-broader ShadowStats-Alternate Unemployment Measure includes an estimate of all discouraged workers, including those discouraged for one year or more, as the BLS used to measure the series pre-1994, and as Statistics Canada still does.
When the headline unemployed [U.3 measure] become “discouraged,” they are rolled over from U.3 to U.6.  As the short-term discouraged workers roll over into long-term discouraged status, they move into the ShadowStats measure, where they remain.  Aside from attrition, they are not defined out of existence for political convenience, hence the longer-term divergence between the various unemployment rates.  Further detail is discussed in the Reporting Detail section. 
The resulting difference here is between a headline December 2014 unemployment rates of 5.6% (U.3) and 23.0% (ShadowStats). [The U.6 unemployment rate containing the short-term discouraged workers is 11.2%.]
[The 23% unemployment rate is consistent with the declining Civilian Employment-Population Ratio and the declining Labor Force Participation Rate. The rise in discouraged workers is reflected in the decline in these ratios.]
[Are you surprised that the government lies about the number of new jobs and the unemployment rate? Why are you surprised? The government lies about everything –”Iraqi weapons of mass destruction,” “Iranian nukes,” “Assad’s use of chemical weapons,” “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” etc.]
[John Williams also reports that the Birth/Death Model used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics assumes that more jobs are created each month by new startups than are lost by companies going out of business. The excess of new startups over closures currently adds an average of 61,000 jobs each month. In other words, these jobs are spun off of the assumptions of a model and are likely to be phantom jobs.]
[There is also the issue of data falsification by the Census Bureau reported in the New York Post by John Crudele and under congressional investigation. ]
Note:  brackets indicate my comments.
- Paul Craig Roberts

Are you ready for some fracking?

And in N.C., not ready to see its effects? (The N.C. General Assembly made it a crime last year to divulge to the citizens what chemicals are used during the drilling and what their effects are.)

This Fix Is (Almost) In on the Keystone XL Pipeline

By Charles Pierce, Esquire
09 January 2015
n Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court torched one of the fig-leafs concealing the president's real position on our old friend, the Keystone XL pipeline, the continent spanning death-funnel designed to bring the world's dirtiest fossil fuel down through our country's most arable farmlands from the environmental hell spout of northern Alberta to the refineries on the Gulf Coast, and thence to the world. It reversed a lower court ruling regarding the law that was used to re-route the death funnel. The decision, it should be said, was subject to a procedural rule of the Nebraska courts, the majority of the justices having lined up behind the people fighting the death funnel.

In a 4-3 split ruling, the high court vacated the lower court ruling and upheld the constitutionality of the law used to route the oil pipeline in Nebraska. Four of the judges sided with landowners who brought the lawsuit, but a super-majority of five judges is required to declare a law unconstitutional.
The only thing left is the State Department review, which can now resume after having been suspended pending a ruling by the Nebraska court. If the State Department recommends the project, which I think it will, the president then will have the final decision on the pipeline, one way or the other. (Pay no attention to the kabuki bill that's going to come out of the new Congress.) It's getting very close to nut-cutting time on this issue.
The way you know that is that people in support of the project are scaling the heights of dudgeon, and it is not only Republicans who are making the ascent. Senator Joe Manchin (D-Bituminous) fit himself with a lovely hissy yesterday on the topic of the president's possible veto of the Death Funnel Appreciation Act of 2015 that will be sent to his desk.

"I would have thought the president would say, ‘Listen, being a former legislator, I'm going to wait until this process unfolds. And at the end of the day, I'll tell you, do I like what they came up with, or do I not like what they came out with, and this is my reason for veto,' " Manchin said. "[He] never even gave it a chance, never even gave it a chance. Now, that's just not the way you do legislation. It's not the way a democracy works. And it's not the way the ... three branches of government should work."
Here with a response is Mr. J. Madison of Orange, Virginia.

Article I; Section 7: All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills. Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it.
If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively.
If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law. Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
And then there's "Washington Post" fact-checker Glenn Kessler, bestower of Pinocchios, whose job it is to make sure that political debate doesn't wake the nation from its nappy-nap. He is willing to admit that the "42,000 jobs" argument is something of a barefaced non-fact, but he also points out that, because Both Sides Do It, the opposition to the pipeline likely is overstating its environmental damage. Two Pinocchios apiece! Journalism!
Except that his assessment of what constitutes environmental damage is incredibly limited, not to say almost completely fanciful.

Oil sands extraction certainly has higher levels of greenhouse emissions than other sources of crude, but the State Department concluded the impact of building the pipeline would be minimal; the material is going to be extracted anyway. Critics of the project say the State Department report is already outdated, given the decrease in oil prices, but the impact on production remains unclear. While the pipeline might offer some cost advantage over rail, if the price of oil keeps dropping, the incentive to mine oil sands will diminish as well.
Let Kessler go up to the hell spout on northern Alberta if he wants to see the environmental damage done by the excavation of tar-sands even before they get sent down the death funnel. The first leak in the death funnel -- and it will leak, because pipelines leak and because the people who build them generally don't give a damn if they do -- will be catastrophic.

The very fact of tar-sands production is an environmental disaster.
Kessler also glibly ignores the very real opposition in Canada to the other pipelines he mentions, one to British Columbia and the other one to the east, an opposition that is strong enough that the Keystone project has become the priority that it has become. Nevertheless, the decision is going to come down to whether or not the president approves this project. He has kept his options open, but the Nebraska Supreme Court sank one of his lifeboats today.

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