Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Lies We Tell Ourselves (Part 1): GOP Is Pondering How To Deal With An "Improving Economy"

image: Third World America - East St. Louis, Illinois

Many of us in the peak oil and "reality based" blogosphere have written time and again about the how the politicos and the mainstream media manipulate reality in a relentless effort to goose our ailing economy. For example, we look at the crowing over the most recent monthly jobs report and we shake our heads that anybody could be cheered by the way the Bureau of Labor Lying statistics mangles and massages the numbers to make the unemployment rate drop when in fact the U.S. is still millions of jobs short of even returning to the level of employment we had in December 2007, right before the beginning of the Great Recession.

Then you have housing sales continuing to bump at long at or near record lows, the number of food stamp recipients continuing to rise despite being 20 million above where they were in 2007, gasoline consumption plummeting, major companies like Borders closing up shop, other major retailers like Sears closing stores, and long time iconic firms like Hostess and American Airlines declaring bankruptcy. In fact, the only two indications of "improvement" in the economy are the manipulated employment figures and a stock market being pumped up by the loose money policies of the Federal Reserve and other central banks.

And yet, as shown by this story last week from Talking Points Memo, the consensus in official Washington and in the media is the economy is improving, even among those with the most to gain politically from continued economic distress:
GM is reporting record profits. Jobs numbers are looking up. Suddenly President Obama looks like an incumbent frontrunner again. So what do Republicans who have been planning to run on a dismal economy do now?

Well, there are a lot of suggestions but no consensus.

For Republicans looking to win over independents, one has to be careful not to sound bummed about objectively good news. But you don’t want to give the White House credit for it either, so instead the plan is to play backseat driver and brag that the GOP would have gotten there way faster. Let’s call this the Mitt Romney Approach.

On Thursday, Romney told voters that “thank heavens” the economy is getting better and Detroit is back on its feet — but quickly added that, hey, they both would be more awesome now if everyone had listened to me.

House Republicans, who were caught off guard by surprisingly strong jobs numbers earlier this month, took a similar approach as Speaker John Boehner said things were improving but “we must do better.”
Amazing. The lies we tell ourselves through the American Hologram are so pervasive that even the Republicans, those supposed implacable enemies of President Hopey-Changey, will not challenge them despite it being in their best interest that they do so. Incidentally, GM is doing so "great" that the company just announced that it was jettisoning its employees' defined pension plans, which will further dampen consumer spending going forward...but that factoid has no place within the official media narrative. Nor, it seems, does the reality of persistent triple-digit world oil prices and the drain soaring gasoline costs will place on consumer spending.

Right here you can see why there is no chance that we can possibly turn things around in this country. Doing so would require first and foremost that we be HONEST with ourselves. But like a hopeless drunk who thinks he can manage his drinking and not stop cold turkey, we absolutely refuse to face the fact that our current economic model is driving us over a cliff into an abyss of massive economic collapse. Soon, we'll all be living in East St. Louis.

Bonus: The Truth...from a band that got excoriated for telling the truth


  1. Is it just me or does that photo look dated- as in 1970's kind of dated?

  2. Could be...it was undated. I'll bet ESL doesn't look much better these days, though.

  3. That's East St. Louis!? It looks like Bosnia, or maybe the Sudan. At least there aren't brutal warlords fighting for control of it, yet.

    1. You don't live here do you "anonymous Feb/21 2012/ 1:23"?! Are you kidding me! Warlords and druglords are fighting day and night for territory here! We wake up to the smell of gun powder. Honestly, I don't know what fresh air smells like.

  4. Ode to the Dixie Chicks

    “The Truth...from a band that got excoriated for telling the truth”

    There was a great band called the Chicks
    Which was met by some damned dirty tricks;
    From a few words they said,
    They were suddenly dead,
    Destroyed by some hate-driven dicks.

    Take heed, little cowpoke, and hear
    Of the end of the Chicks’ career;
    They sure knew how to play,
    And they still make their way,
    Right into my welcoming ear.

    It’s sad that the world’s really so,
    That we lost maybe Dixie’s best show
    Since New Orleans blew
    Hot jazz which was new
    A full hundred long years ago.

    Perhaps it's the best thing to do,
    To speak your view, honest and true;
    But watch out, my young pup,
    Better STFU,
    Or the same thing might happen to you.

  5. Thank you, Bill. :) That whole thing really stunk. Arguably some kind of minor milestone on our road to doom.

  6. "Detroit is back on its feet"
    When I read that, an image popped unbidden into my head of a heavily bandaged person tottering toward a flight of stairs on crutches of unequal length... Ouch.