Thursday, February 5, 2015

(Libertarianism. Not. Really.)   Gallup CEO Fears He Might “Suddenly Disappear” for Questioning U.S. Jobs Data  (Or Is He Just Mad About Obama?)

Just to clear a few "misunderstandings" up (at top levels of the Republican Tank Thinkers). . . .

Libertarians likened to Marxists by the Conservatives of the Goldwater Age?

At least those guys could read.

With comprehension.

I'm going light here.

Read on for a heightened understanding of how they got into this "dumbed-down" non-conservative miasma. (Read it all at the link above.)

The intellectual heroes of economic libertarianism — Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich von Hayek and, for some, Ayn Rand — did not consider themselves conservatives.  On the contrary, they all rejected conservatism and tended to describe themselves as nineteenth-century classical liberals.  In the 19th century, by the way, classical liberals like the young J.S. Mill tended to be known as “Radicals,” and called their movement “philosophical radicalism,” which underlines how un-conservative the libertarian right really is. To compound the irony, the American Social Security system that these 19th-century radicals abominate is modeled on the public pension policy of Wilhelmine Germany’s conservative chancellor Otto von Bismarck.
How did libertarians come to dominate economic thinking on the right side of the political spectrum in America? In other English-speaking nations and Western Europe, non-libertarian traditions contest or dominate the center-right to this day.  Britain’s Conservative Party has its “Tory wet” wing, hostile to radical free-marketeers.  French Gaullists are not libertarians. Neither are Christian Democrats in Germany, where libertarians tend to cluster in the relatively unsuccessful Free Democrat party.  Japan?  Forget it.

Elsewhere in the world, conservatives are perfectly willing to regulate or sometimes socialize industries or rig markets in the pursuit of social objectives. Conservative social objectives, however, are different from those of the center-left. What distinguishes most conservative parties and movements in the advanced capitalist world is their greater degree of nationalism and familism, compared to center-left supra-nationalism and individualism
Nationalism has often led conservatives in Britain, France and Germany to support protectionism or the nationalization of strategic industries.  And conservative familism leads, in countries like Germany, to a preference for stay-at-home mothers, as opposed to the working mothers in Sweden and France whose careers are enabled by state-provided day-care.
Thus the puzzle:  Why is there no conservative economics tradition in America today?
The mystery deepens, when it is recalled that few of the post-1945 thinkers who influenced William F. Buckley’s "National Review," the flagship magazine of the Goldwater-Reagan movement, thought much of the free market as an end in itself.
The once-influential conservative historian Russell Kirk dismissed libertarians as “chirping sectaries” and declared that any genuine conservative would sooner be a socialist than a libertarian. From Kirk’s Burkean conservative perspective, libertarians or classical liberals were crazed, hyper-rationalist, utopian radicals, like Marxists.


It would have been easier for the "conservatives" of today if only they had read some history before they started writing their political/economic fantasy platforms.

I'm not too concerned because I know they are liable to change directions very quickly and claim that they've never moved an inch.

And, still, they'll be touted as Real Conservatives by the mainstream media (MSM).

Because there is an ideology. . .

And as I've written about for over a decade (and Paul Craig Roberts has documented its particulars) ideology triumphs over history and logic every time.

Gallup CEO Fears He Might “Suddenly Disappear” for Questioning U.S. Jobs Data

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

February 5, 2015

Gallup CEO, Jim Clifton, Worries Aloud on CNBC That He Might Disappear for Criticizing the Government's Job Numbers

Gallup CEO, Jim Clifton, Worries Aloud on CNBC That He Might Disappear for Criticizing the Government’s Job Numbers

Years of unending news stories on U.S. government programs of surveillance, rendition and torture have apparently chilled the speech of even top business executives in the United States.

Yesterday, Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, an iconic U.S. company dating back to 1935, told CNBC that he was worried he might “suddenly disappear” and not make it home that evening if he disputed the accuracy of what the U.S. government is reporting as unemployed Americans.

The CNBC interview came one day after Clifton had penned a gutsy opinion piece on Gallup’s web site, defiantly calling the government’s 5.6 percent unemployment figure “The Big Lie” in the article’s headline. His appearance on CNBC was apparently to walk back the “lie” part of the title and reframe the jobs data as just hopelessly deceptive.

Clifton stated the following on CNBC:

“I think that the number that comes out of BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] and the Department of Labor is very, very accurate. I need to make that very, very clear so that I don’t suddenly disappear. I need to make it home tonight.”

After getting that out of the way, Clifton went on to eviscerate the legitimacy of the cheerful spin given to the unemployment data, telling CNBC viewers that the percent of full time jobs in this country as a percent of the adult population “is the worst it’s been in 30 years.”

Clifton drilled down further in his on line opinion piece, writing as follows:

“Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is ‘down’ to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

“None of them will tell you this:  If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed.

That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast ‘falling’ unemployment.

“There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager:  If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

“Yet another figure of importance that doesn’t get much press:  those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.” (Read the full article here.)

Paul Craig Roberts Has Questioned the Government's Jobs Numbers for Years

Paul Craig Roberts Has Questioned the Government’s Jobs Numbers for Years

Another bold truth teller when it comes to the jobs data is Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, the former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and former Associate Editor of the "Wall Street Journal." For years Roberts has written about the lack of attention to the measurement known as U6 – which covers the unemployed, underemployed and those who are not looking but want a job. That figure stood at 11.2 percent in December of last year, exactly double the official unemployment rate known at U3.

The fact that hourly earnings are not improving with the improvement in the official unemployment rate and that the labor force participation rate of working age men (ages 25 to 54) now stands at the lowest level since the BLS started keeping records more than 60 years ago adds further fodder to “The Big Lie” theory.

And I'd like to point out that the verbiage in the rules about those not counted as "looking for employment" is bull because this is only due to a classification of "not looking" as being those not eligible for unemployment insurance any longer (or at all).

This little "gift" to the unemployed was added by the Reagan Deregulators in the 80's, which went largely unnoticed except by those then left off the rolls (many for years) of those still needing employment.


TONY @oakroyd said...

The employment figures in the UK have been massaged and falsified for decades. That means they got the idea from the US. Robert is right. He shouldn't be the first in the queue to disappear.

Cirze said...

I've been a little concerned about that myself, T.

Professor Roberts has been outspoken about all the war preparations concerning regime change and annexation of Ukraine and has supplied many details about the calling out of China as well as Russia by NATO.

This has got to breed big trouble.

Thanks for commenting!