With the Dow recently tying a historic record for consecutive all-time high closings, this exposes, in sharp contrast, how badly the public is truly suffering.
A portion of today’s note from legend Art Cashin: Commentary Causes Commentary – There’s an article in the current Commentary Magazine that’s causing a bit of a stir in some Wall Street watering holes. It is authored by Nicholas Eberstadt and is titled “Our Miserable 21st Century”. It details some remarkable shifts since the year 2000. Here’s a bit:
On Wall Street and in some parts of Washington these days, one hears that America has gotten back to “near full employment.” For Americans outside the bubble, such talk must seem nonsensical. It is true that the oft-cited “civilian unemployment rate” looked pretty good by the end of the Obama era—in December 2016, it was down to 4.7 percent, about the same as it had been back in 1965, at a time of genuine full employment. The problem here is that the unemployment rate only tracks joblessness for those still in the labor force; it takes no account of workforce dropouts. Alas, the exodus out of the workforce has been the big labor-market story for America’s new century. (At this writing, for every unemployed American man between 25 and 55 years of age, there are another three who are neither working nor looking for work.) Thus the “unemployment rate” increasingly looks like an antique index devised for some earlier and increasingly distant war: the economic equivalent of a musket inventory or a cavalry count.
Art Cashin continues: That thought is stunning. For every unemployed guy looking for work there are three who can’t be bothered. The author tells us they just sit at home and watch TV or social media. And, in one survey nearly 50% admitted to have taken an opioid in the last 24 hours. The problem appears not to be confined to male workers only. Here a bit more:
What is perhaps more startling is the unexpected and largely unnoticed fall-off in work rates for prime- age women. In the U.S. and all other Western societies, postwar labor markets underwent an epochal transformation. After World War II, work rates for prime women surged, and continued to rise—until the year 2000. Since then, they too have declined. Current work rates for prime-age women are back to where they were a generation ago, in the late 1980s. The 21st-century U.S. economy has been brutal for male and female laborers alike—and the wreckage in the labor market has been sufficiently powerful to cancel, and even reverse, one of our society’s most distinctive postwar trends: the rise of paid work for women outside the household.
The Big Lie
King World News note: If you look closely at the chart below, it exposes the so-called “U.S. economic recovery” as pure propaganda.
Notice that the true unemployment rate in the United States is still hovering near a staggering 23 percent, which can only be compared to what was seen during The Great Depression of the 1930s. This was, of course, an era of great suffering for a very large segment of the population of the United States as well as many other countries.
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