John Wiliams, ShadowStats and Jobs for Jan 2015

Comment has been made on duffminster's Times to the effect that job statistics do not add up. Employment gains are listed on a monthly basis and "New Applications for Unemployment compensation" are reported on a weekly basis. It is a mismatch to report that 186.000 new jobs were created last month but the last four weekly reports average about 280,000 to 300,000 and the headlines blast the news that the job situation is "firming up".

There may be a gradual increase in job openings and they may be filled but the raw numbers as presented are not encouraging. Just who the Bureau of Labor Statistics is trying to deceive is difficult to tell. I know the personnel at the White House includes accountants and they are presumed to understand arithmetic if not statistics. Some lawyers do have trouble with numbers, O&G can attest to that from experience.

However, John Williams of "shadowstats.com" has been tracking Federal numbers for years and he goes well beyond the point of providing reliable numbers, he explains the Governments switching between standards and modifications of statistical models so frequently, that only a persistent and dedicated tracker can understand when and how they switch methods or modify numbers to satisfy one government party or another.

The big announcement on his home page at this time is

The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Rate for January 2015 is 23.2%.

That is located at this site -

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

But, as startling as those figures are, O&G finds John Williams explanation of BLS presentation of stats even more interesting. The process used is labeled ARIMA. Acronym or not, the process is quite involved and has a shifting mode to it which satisfies one purpose or another, but in the end contributes nothing but confusion to the reading public, which may be the underlying purpose from the start. The justification for the use is the storied "seasonally adjusted" tag which often accompanies job statistics but is never explained to my understanding.

The stats are adjusted on a three month basis but the actual period subject to adjustment is the five years past. If figures come in higher or lower consistently over that longer period the actual variation could well be greater than if the variation is simply reported from raw numbers reported for the past three months. Mr.Williams provides interactive charts to demonstrate a consistent difference between the reported BLS figures and the stats developed by a conscientious statistician abiding by the method as intended. That plus adding in those who are no longer eligible for unemployment compensation but are still without a job permits him to offer his figures in good conscience to peg the unemployment rate at a blistering 23.2% for the moth of January, 2015.

He follows these ins and outs carefully and presents figures to supplement or correct those offered for "feel-good" reasons. (O&G can think of no other reason why the government should misrepresent actual conditions but to assure the citizens that their tax dollars are at work and doing a GOOD! job!)

It may be an eye opener to look at some of his charts on employment or money matters if they are still available. The Fed no longer provides figures for the M-3 category of money. That practice was suspended in 2006. However, Mr. Williams and one some-time-contributor-to-these-pages - biMet - are two of those who feel the data is important and continue to track these numbers.

It may be a wake-up call to take a quick look at his site. Most of it is restricted to subscribers but there is enough accessible to show the fine and absolutely necessary work Williams does. O&G has been following him for years and has commented on what's current almost every time he visits.

This is one of those times. 23.2% unemployed certainly qualifies our current crisis as a depression which prods politicians never to fail to whistle bravely while passing by the ShadowStats site.

Suddenly, John Wiliams feels under the gun.

This month's report on new jobs fell to 128,000, nearly half of what had been projected! John was interviewed by several reporters and at one point commented to the effect that he expected to disappear under questioning some day. . . hinting at a retaliatory measure by the authorities for disclosing the truth.

And the fall off in jobs was cited as a reason that Wall Street is doing so poorly by a Reuters reporter. O&G would prefer to hear that the job market is doing so poorly for the true reason: due to the short-comings of the economy. That the only thing inflating about the stories of recovery is the hot air that propels them. Everything must be tailing off in the global slowdown now.

We cannot support the third world if other advanced nations are unable to buy our products. One nation - even it does represent 16% of global activity - is not enough to keep the ball rolling. Especially not if the only product they have to offer are electronic amusement devices which serve no function other than separating purchasers from money.

We might also assume that the U$D will lose most of its driving force and fall back off the false high that supported it recently. That will open the gate for some less-than-welcome news.

"Emerging markets" do well only if there is sufficient wealth outside their nation to support them. They must sell their product to the "haves". One of the distinguishing characteristics of the third world is similar to what our ex-middle class is now facing; they do not earn enough to buy the product they make - that is, if what our labor force would have purchased if they had a decently paying job, which is less of a certainty now that we know there are enough unemployed in the nation to categorize us as in a depression!

But, John's revelation is well-known now. Many a reporter is shining the spotlight on him. This may be the time for the uncomfortable bearers of false tidings from the central commissions to come clean and start telling the truth instead of being trapped by their fabrications periodically. It will all "out" eventually.

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By the way, if anyone has looked lately, the embarrassing figures released this AM are no longer on display on the WSJ Market Data Center. Every bit of data released this week and the margin of error in the ambitious speculation has been erased. Up for consideration at this time are next week's list of projections. Is the weekend sufficient time for everyone to forget all about the embarrassment - or was today just a late April Fool's joke?

What Appeared Unstoppable Is Breaking Badly

Suddenly sales from foreign countries... confirms the Dollar is falling off it's high and is viable.
Jobs-- I'm heading to Chicago in 2 weeks. A good source says the whole market is in real trouble.
Yes, it's about water: There is now not enough water in the southern US states to support it. You should know about this, O&G... 7 states are seeking early emergency relief. California shut water off the sprawl areas and there isn't enough commercially-provided water to replace it. I've seen some photographs of post-shut-off areas... islands of subdivisions without lawns. According to reports, CA AZ TX LA MS AL GA FL SC NC (may be more) are in trouble. Watch the jobs reports. Watch the housing values fall off sharply.
The one thing New World Order didn't count on when it arrogantly changed the playing field was-- Chaos. What good is owning the box if no one and nothing except what you say (and your say is becoming meaningless) fits in it?

One Sip Of Water Cannot Quench Your Thirst

Indigenous people know how the Earth runs. Slowly we others are realising that we can't own the Earth, or the water, the air, the forests and plains, or the fish in the sea. The Earth does not belong to us. The reverse is true. We belong to it.
Corporate interests still dictate our future and we are deaf to the indigenous voices.
Rivers run dry while seas rise. While the Earth weeps and begs for our attention, the world of men is silent in its selfishness.

At The Current Course...

... the United States is on track to compromise coal-burning power with wind and solar. The delivery mechanism is trying to sabotage the advance. It can't. Several states want to tax off-the-grid citizens for: driving battery-powered vehicles and generating power that utilities must buy. A group of students in China recently built a cluster battery that would be vital as storage for randomly-generated energy and sent it's details out to universities all over the world. We would-- have a shed-like power plant attached to our homes that actually powered our usage, that would accept recharges from any source. Theoretically, an Israeli firm added to that invention- a decentralization flow chart or elimination of utility plants everywhere in favor of localized storage and delivery of power.
It's a race... thwarting exploitation moguls until everything is reliant on something other than fossil fuels and destruction of resources.

Revisiting Marx

What we need is an economy rebuild around the needs of labor, not around the rationale designs of capital which prioritizes unilateral economic self-interest and profit maximation. Solidarity, in this sense, prioritizes a democratically controlled economic policy that allocates resources and other necessities, such as food, housing, healthcare, education, etc.
At the same time, this democratically collectiving trend must prioritize the decentralization of capital, the break-up of giant corporations and also the promotion of alternative models of economic development, which make economic rights the most significant priority. Such a society is based on solidarity and human dignity.

Without a solution to the problems of the poor, we will not solve the problems of the world.

If Marxist theory has developed a radical analysis and strategy through its principle of solidarity, then it stands to reason that monetarism, neoliberal trade-agreement and international economic dependency experienced by Third World peoples must be rejected because they are integral parts of modern day capitalism. Consequently, if capitalism- understood as monopoly capital, or the globalization of capital- should be rejected.
A collectivist system should be implemented, one that prioritizes labor over capital and people over profits in support of fundamental human dignity.

That Is What's Happening...

Do you think "either side" are winning? I don't. Clearly it is Big Money that wakes up everyday to discover that a bit more of their Shangri-la has eroded away. Every arrogant righteous move is coming back to sting them. That said, to bring fresh water to a barren dust land in Africa so the poor can now be quenched but still not sustain, is just arrogant and righteous too. The modern global pacesetter model isn't a cycle or circle, cannot sustain, serves a few selected recipients and drivers, and isn't good for Earth.
Both the Far Right and Far Left harbor one glaring attribute-- to take what others earned and be irresponsible with it. We are quickly approaching the threshold for war. The premise is simple... billions want their lives back and a minority prefer they do not. The pimple that is arrogant and righteous is simply popped. No, the majority of people on Earth will not be destroyed by drones, nuclear bombs, gasses, asses, or drown in over-supply, they will prevail. The Meek shall inherit the Earth. The meek may well be defined as anyone not artificially privileged. I am meek when excluded from Twitter.
The air has changed. The sweeter smell of Spring is in it and I live where there is plenty of water and nature using it. While in Indiana last week, I got a direct job offer in my old field. It simply read-- we cannot afford to keep losing money on this. I certainly would not relish my remaining years in a cubicle, I am the age I once projected I would early-retire at and start my own business. I have successful businesses now. That said, having someone else pay for my benefits, add to my retirement funds and be back in the game are appealing prospects. The possibility of fewer hours, more flexibility came in the second e-mail. Think about what "they" are willing to do now, as opposed to what "they" have been doing for 6+ years now.
In a nutshell, the model each of us here on Duffminster have been saying is unsustainable, really is. That said, the migration backward to fuel up on competence and ability again will be daunting for the majority. There were two roads to take come the turn of the century and while most acknowledged the sustainable path, the reigning few in key places today conspired to change Fate with greedy needs. We respect History here and know this story all to well.
The shift will hurt. Damage will be done. Many will lose more before hitting ground. All that said, resilient Earth will tolerate us further and commonsense will take over. Some thoughts... the Governor of Indiana will not keep his position. Likely- anyone who does not run Right or Left, regardless of campaign build-up, will win. The people will not vote "brand" next election. Hillary is apparently faltering, so word is-- Bill Clinton will jump into the game. Commonsense sees a finite group refusing to include the masses on the Left, and a finite group of corrupt pledgers on the Right. Again... 2016, could be the election of the Dark Horse (Nostradamus) who ushers in 1,000 years of Peace. These times they are a'changin'.

Promising April

Promising because it marks the end of winter's discomfort. Yet real comfort and signs of new growth remain elusive.
Warmer days assure us winter is ending. Taking the air temperature as our cue, we enthusiastically pack away woolens and boots.
Temperatures plummet and we awaken to spring now. We search the landscape for color. That corner patch of earth catching some midday sun? Alas, a budding crocus. I recognise emerging green leaves that might release a blossom tomorrow.

Newly arrived birds bring color too: blue of blue jays, red of robin and rust of merganser ducks. With these flecks of color we become more assured that spring is really here. Our confidence grows when we detect new smells: the unmistakable aroma of rotting earth, tree bark falling away to release the odors of new growth. I inhale deeply.

Water and other shortages

Yes, Floridians are aware of water shortages. It must be at least twenty years since we've gone on restricted use of water for lawn use. Still on it, but three things conspire against the best laid plans. .

  • The population growth over the past hundred years;
  • The brutal sun; and,
  • Carelessness of the past catching up to us.

The rainy seasons of the past have disappeared. Before develop mania became the Floridian land grab panic of a lifetime, Florida was a lush tangle of vegetation and the rainy season was nearly twice every day for most of the year. Ten AM and two PM rain was expected - followed by mosquitoes at five. Then roads cut into the jungles, parking lots eventually became a necessity and the new reflections changed air currents and the condensate remained in the clouds and moved offshore. Vegetation suffered. About the same thing happening in Brazilian rain forests now.

Swamp land was reclaimed from the jungle, wasteland was turned into profit and fresh water supply diminished. Now developers contend with the nuisance of mediation and reclamation and the prices of land and houses have climbed exponentially. A 1980's $20,000 to $25,000 house was selling for a minimum of 10 times that amount at the peak of the mad scramble for houses prior to the Bust - now, down about a quarter to a third off the 2007 price.

And, off course potable water was always in short supply here. Swamp and salt water were in plentiful supply, rainfall was converted to one or the other in short order as it percolated and mixed in. Despite the exodus underway (we are losing more residents each year, a reversal of conditions prior to 2007) we are still running into shortages of water, both potable and that used to irrigate crops and lawns. And the average cost of fresh water supplies probably start somewhere around $800 per year for a two resident household. But, cost in no way makes up for shortages.

My geologist son is now in the middle of conducting a state sponsored study of rainfall and its effects. This after spending much of his career in assessing the residue of contamination carelessly thrown out in what may have been rural or undeveloped areas thirty or forty years ago. That petroleum or chemical product has steadily seeped down through the soil, chemically unchanged, remained in the subsurface water for all that time, leached into clay linings - occasionally seeping out - but always contaminating that water and threatening more of the potable supply.

Now the US has the profligate use of millions of gallons of water for the fracking process in areas where water supplies were not a problem until the search for shale oil was seriously under way. If they had to pay for water at prices Florida homeowners carry, fracking would be an unprofitable venture from the start.

[Just an illustration in passing of another way that business generates profit at the hands of a beneficent paternal government oversight.]

Question about Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and other heavily populated Great Lakes states: what happens when the Great Lakes run dry? or water level reaches down to silt? Of the fracking process diverts the contaminated water back into the supply chain? Will developers ay for the cost of refining the water? Or, rush in and build great metropolises for select sectors of the populace in the newly discovered barren space? And how much will Canada charge to supply fresh water?

Does that suggest another pipeline controversy?

Oh, yes, aren't we in the middle of a controversy of sorts about diverting Great Lakes fresh water to central and southern states now?

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V-L: short trip to Chi or a more or less serious move? If it's the latter, do you prefer the fire to the frying pan? Your opinion should also tell us which is which.

A Lot Of Different Responses...

Florida-- to your Geologist son-- I am one who looks down and sees more than ground. Always have. Florida is a state build on top of remnant limestone from a cataclysmic event. The rock is riddled with holes, passages and archaeology. Early Man lived 150 feet lower than you do now. In the Gulf there are bubbles of fresh water that can scuttle a submarine passing through them. The average depth of Florida lakes is less than 12 feet. The state cannot retain water so those old tropical jungles thrived more on the constant moisture hanging in the density while the Sun beat down on the tops. The Amazon was the same way. A relative runs the St. John River Water Authority. The one constantly sued by Georgia (who loses repeatedly). By 2020, it is likely that those who remain in Florida and other fresh water-less states will do so without government support.
Housing-- you are astute as always, sir. Simply watching what falls, what rises and the state of the asset is really what real estate speculation is all about. I bought a right-sized wreck last year and fixed it up. I will finish it this year and sit on it until it's 2nd anniversary to surpass capital gains tax on it. By then, millions from the South will be relocating north. They will find big homes in dire need of everything. They will try to move urban to avoid maintenance and discover obsolete infrastructure. They will try plenty of things none will have a clue to or about. Right-sized renovated homes will see lift. Savvy sets an exit price in advance. Could I would I buy a bunch and try to make a fortune? Nope. The coming shift will require consistency, not hoarded or speculated wealth.
The Great Lakes-- water levels are up not down. Think the opposite about the near future. If it rained and melted heavily into Lake Superior, it would take a couple of years to see that increase reach Lake Erie. Winters have been brutal of late and we are due for 50 and 100 year coastal flooding. The challenge will be around 2040 when lows are realized but by then we will know extreme destruction from oil mogul ravage. Pray the Great Lakes can survive their exploitation.
Metropolises... be vigilant to the next generation currently around 19-21 years old. They refuse to work 40 hours or in offices or obey psychopaths or a lot of things. Inspect them closely and they aren't simply defiant. They are shifting and it is more harmonious with what they will be handed than exploitation of finite resources. My daughter isn't a fan of vehicles at all, she thinks particle transports can be created and is in her third stage of education trying to be the inventor. She took my "BUTTONS" concept Botanical Underground Tropically Temperate Organic Nutritional Systems and theorized it. Every component can be reclaimed from garbage- our greatest asset during her time. When you talk to those kids soberly-- they chuckle at "our" bastions. Every exploitation mogul will be dead by the time they reach 35. Think about that.
Me-- Chicago. Observational visit. Deep pockets are buying Detroit real estate thinking the South will just move in and become vital. That's genuine ignorance. Chicago is actually more likely to sustain mass migration but all I know is what I remember of it. Friends there suggested being a tourist to weather the cost of being there as a component of judging viability. They believe the current debt, taxes and investor-fixed prices will curtail such migration there. I will likely be relocating myself in advance of the migration to capture a portion of windfall opportunity. Another friend joked with me over the weekend to relocate to Indiana after the RFRA debacle and run for Governor. She thinks no one in the state will vote either recognized party again there. Places like Muncie, Anderson and other dried-up formerly vital middle-America towns are ripe for renaissance. They offer- very low cost of living, ample resources including water and 4 seasons. I also see Ohio as a boon opportunity but it has to grab a strangle hold on religious fanaticism before blind masses will see it as a destination. Bizarrely, the 50th anniversary of the peak of flower children occurs in 2017. We're 180 degrees from those philosophies and mired in secular stagnation. The pendulum always swings back so-- what do YOU see coming at us?
A reminder that I can relocate the active part of my enterprises overnight and move completely in a week without any compromise. There is massive opportunity straight ahead for the savvy.

Final--- you have to recognize that organized financial has overplayed every single card there is now. LOOK at the internal structure and how perfectly aligned it all is with 1983 structure. In 1983, 99% of businesses collapsed from excessive downsizing in an economic vacuum. I recently paged through "Business Plans for an Uncertain Future" Amara and Lipinski, because I thought I recognized the scenario. Failure will be more than 20%. History repeats for the greedy.