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Paul Craig Roberts On Our Economic Doom


Paul Craig Roberts, former U.S. Treasury Secretary bottom-lines the present economic doom of America’s working -- and non-working -- class in "Another Fraudulent Jobs Report." He writes:

Americans live in a matrix of total lies.

What can Americans do? Elections are pointless.

Presidents, Senators, and US Representatives represent the interest groups that provide their campaign funds, not the voters. In two decisions, the Republican Supreme Court has made it legal for corporations to purchase the government. Those who own the government will decide what it does, not those who vote.


Not even a jobs report as deceptive and fraudulent as the BLS payroll jobs report can hide the fact that Congress, the White House, and the American people have sat sucking their thumbs while corporations maximized profits for the one percent at the expense of everyone else in the United States.


All Americans can do is to accept the serfdom imposed on them or take to the streets and stay in the streets despite being clubbed, tasered, arrested, and shot by the police, who protect the power structure, not the public.


I’m thinking Roberts' pessimistic assessment is certainly justified. He calls the U.S., FORMER and proverbial “land of opportunity,” an ARISTOCRATIC ECONOMY” with income and wealth concentrated at the very top.

Years and years of jobs offshoring he explains transformed our salaries and wages into bonuses and skyrocketing capital gains for the corporatists. Financial deregulation, thanks to the pimped out collective of DC politicians, helped push the economy to a financial collapse. This financial collapse prompted the Fed to issue trillions of dollars in bail-outs to the very capitalist creators of the collapse, making them massively wealthy by creating an extraordinary inflation of stock prices.

As for the “new economy” that the pols and corporate shills promised the rest of us -- exciting and challenging jobs that were going to replace those offshored ones? WE’VE BEEN PUNKED. They are low-paying and largely part-time, often necessitating a supplementation with food stamps.

Roberts points out that offshoring of jobs destroys consumer income and thus demand. The short-run pursuit of profits by transnational corporations destroys their long-run American consumer base.

They are additionally destroying the U.S. university education system since it is not practical for one to incur a large student loan debt when there are no jobs to be secured upon graduation. Roberts laments also the loss of U.S. leadership in innovation and marketing.

Roberts claims that back in 2004 he predicted in 20 years the US would have a “third world work force”.

He declares:

Sooner or later the dollar’s value will suffer as a result of the massive creation of new dollars. When that occurs, the import-dependent American population will suffer a traumatic drop in living standards. The main cost of the bank bailout has yet to hit.

As for the “fraudulent jobs report”, Roberts exposes many levels of mendacious spin:

The unemployment figures are as deceptive as the employment figures. The headline unemployment rate of 6.7% does not include discouraged workers. When discouraged workers are included among the unemployed, the US rate of unemployment is 3.4 times higher than the announced rate.


The BLS jobs report says that 28,400 jobs were created in March in wholesale and retail sales. March is the month that Macy’s, Sears, JC Penny, Staples, Radio Shack, Office Depot, and other retailers announced combined closings of several thousand stores, but more retail clerks were hired.

The BLS payroll jobs report claims 57,000 jobs in “professional and business services.” Are these jobs for lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, and managers? No. The combined new jobs for these middle class professional skills totaled 10,400. Employment services accounted for 42,000 of the jobs in “professional and business services” of which temporary help accounted for 28,500.

“Education and health services” accounted for 34,000 jobs or which ambulatory and home health care services accounted for 28,000 of the jobs.

The other old standby, waitresses and bartenders, accounted for 30,400 jobs.

The number of Americans dependent on food stamps who cannot afford to go out to eat or to purchase a six-pack of beer has almost doubled, but the demand for restaurant meals and bar drinks keeps rising.

Roberts’ indictment of our U.S. government does not end with its present job report.

As I write I cannot think of one thing in the entire areas of foreign and domestic policy that the US government has told the truth about in the 21st century. Just as Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, Iran has no nukes, Assad did not use chemical weapons, and Putin did not invade and annex Crimea, the jobs numbers are fraudulent, the unemployment rate is deceptive, the inflation measures are understated, and the GDP growth rate is overstated.

[cross-posted on open salon]

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V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

...that governments essentially are scum. They must be handled as though playing with a cobra that has NOT been de-fanged. But the analogy fails because the cobras have escaped the cage and now present life/freedom threatening events at every turn.
We are now the caged/kettled due to a serious failure of due diligence; sort of a karmic justice for our sins...

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

...find/fight(?) our way out?
My rational side says no; based on past performance.
But, the future is not yet written...

Notorious P.A.T.'s picture
Submitted by Notorious P.A.T. on

Of course elections can make a difference. But people will have to stop voting for the cool guy, or the guy they'd like to have a beer with, and actually vote for the candidate that will try to help them. Even if that means--gasp!--voting for someone who doesn't win now and then.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

Today's Paul Craig Roberts was yesterday's champion of the Chicago Boys:

The international left loved Salvador Allende's socialist rhetoric and his policies against "the rich," policies that destroyed Chile's economy and led to public agitation for his overthrow. The left hates Pinochet for overthrowing Allende and for turning Chile's economy over to Harvard and University of Chicago educated economists, who privatized Chile's social security system and put in place the institutional basis for Chile's successful market economy. These are the real reasons for Pinochet's demonization.

paintedjaguar's picture
Submitted by paintedjaguar on

Right. I don't know what to think about Roberts except there's some massive cognitive dissonance going on somewhere. Here's Wikipedia:

Paul Craig Roberts (born April 3, 1939) is an American economist and a columnist for Creators Syndicate. He served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration and was noted as a co-founder of Reaganomics.[1] He is a former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Scripps Howard News Service.

Yes, he was against Shrub's war and often sounds like a lefty firebrand, but last I heard Roberts still thinks that Reagan was the bee's knees. Where the hell does he think all this bad stuff came from, anyway?

Submitted by lambert on

.... or Bruce Bartlett, or David Stockton, or Kevin P. Phillips are always interesting figures. Generally they've been horribly disfigured by their experiences, but have regained a measure of empathy and the ability to think critically.