A Tale of Two Obama Graphics

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These are two Obama graphs that I got from Facebook. They are interesting because they obviously say completely different things. I don’t know which came first, though obviously they are parodies of each other. And so, which is true? Well, they both are, in a way … but it’s the reasons they are both different and true that is the fascinating part. Let’s take a look.

The Dow is indeed up above 16,000 – why? Well, one reason is inflation – for with a steady growth of the money supply by the Federal Reserve Banks shoveling between $40 and $80 billion a month to “stimulate” the economy – it has done that by simply inflating all the numbers. So, a good percentage of the 16,000 is merely extra numbers with no real value. That is, if the Dow as near 8,000 in 2009, with inflation, even if the Dow hadn’t gone up, it would be, oh, 11,000. Much as the price of a block of cheese or a pound of beef has gone from $2 and $7 respectively to $3 and $9 … the value of the items hasn’t increased, but the dollar amount has … it’s just zeros. But because the price is up, so are the corporate incomes, and thus things look rosier when you can say “a company earned $1 million in 2009 and now you can say it earned $1.4 million today … the $.4 is not “growth” but “inflation.” Indeed, the amount of things sold hasn’t gone up, and if anything declined … but the “income” appears higher in absolute numbers, in the ratio that is inflation the company has made the same amount of money.

Another reason the Dow is up is that the stimulus money to banks and the financial sector are just being plowed into the stock market for the lack of anything else to put it in. What is a bank or finance firm supposed to do with $1 billion? Eh, by stocks – pushing up the price. In sense, however, this is taking money from your average Joe and Jane and giving it to big banks … which is the very opposite of what the Democrats pretend to do. So, Obama is helping big banks at the expense of the people.

Still another reason the Dow is up is that foreign money is pouring into the place. For instance, because of the Russian-Ukraine near-war some $200 billion in capital has fled Russia – well, it has to go somewhere? So, it went into the stock market. Meanwhile, France raised its taxes on the wealthy sky high, so, capital is fleeing France – to the point of the French trying to pass yet another tax to prevent the capital outflows. Most of Europe is taxing more, thus, people there are moving their money here. They are, in a sense, outsourcing cash. Instead of putting it into European markets, they are putting that money here. I’m sure the fracases in Thailand, China, Venezuela, Nigeria, Iraq and sundry other places in the world is also pushing anyone with movable wealth to move it to New York. Well, that will drive the market up. Indeed, even though the US economy is moribund, it has more life than the mordant economies of the rest of the world. Thus, capital flows to the market, pushing the price up.

The “unemployment,” “full time workers” and “workforce participation” are all true … so, how does the first go down … and the other two also? Well the government doesn’t count people who have left the workforce as “unemployed.” That is, if you’re one of the 8 million people newly on disability you are no longer “unemployed.” How exactly 8 million people all of a sudden are disabled is not answered … nor do people seem to question it. But, apparently Americans are becoming disabled at an alarming rate – and yet, there is no press and news coverage of this epidemic of disability. The number of workers is down – the number of layoffs up. The numbers seeking new unemployment claims is up, the numbers of people on seemingly permanent “unemployment” is up … how? Well, it seems everybody is becoming “disabled” or simply gave up looking. How does one count that? They don’t really, they just surmise it while comparing the numbers of people “working” and the number of able bodied people that used to be available for work. So, with all these newly disabled people, and people who no longer wish to work – “unemployment” is down. But, all three of these figures must be counted at once, and compared, for a true picture to emerge. In a sense, the “unemployment” rate is a ruse and lie.

The GDP “growth” is a myth – partially fueled by inflation. The same way that a storm which sweeps through say, Miami, will be “more expensive” this year than last – because the “value” of the homes are higher, because of inflation. For most economic figures show a contracting economy in “real dollar terms” – that is, “adjusted for inflation” and well.

Oddly, the Right, you know, “Conservatives” – think that by touting that homeownership is down, and poverty is up, and the median income is down – they are showing Obama to be bad – and the Left, you know, “Liberals” – will use those figures to show that the rich get richer at the expense of the poor – after all, the Left argue that evil mean Wall Street which they prop up with stimulus money and the Ex-Im Bank are up, ergo, the average fellow is poorer. In a way, the right is helping the left push the “income inequality” nonsense. Not brilliant politics, but, that’s what they’re doing.

The numbers on food stamps has nearly doubled – but this is also a sign of “income inequality” – in a sense, the Right is giving ammo to the Left to call for more government leveling of the playing field, mostly by plowing the rich under. And of course, the Left uses this number to say “ooh, look, we care, and the heartless Right does not.” And then the Left blames the corporations for laying people off and not doing enough hiring and “outsourcing” – which is the supposed evil of sending jobs overseas.

One graphic compares the Debt to GDP and the other the Deficit – well, the Debt is that which is held already – and if you inflate an economy, as we have – then the Debt will “fall” because the Debt is a static number from the past, and is not inflated. Basically, if you owed a billion bucks and your economy is 10 billion you get a 1-10 ration, but if you still owed the same billion bucks but inflate your economy to 20 billion you get 1-20 – which makes it appear that the “debt to GDP” has indeed fallen – and in fact, this is exactly how governments throughout the ages have cheapened their debt. They inflated the economy. How much better to pay back a dollar with a “dollar” that is now worth 50 cents?

Meanwhile, the “deficit to GDP” if the amount of money not spent yet – but that will be spent, that we don’t have – because there’s less workers paying less taxes – and less real corporate income and a contracting economy. So, the Deficit to GDP is up because of a falling economy.

“Consumer Confidence” is measured in numerous ways – and if you ask the questions right, you wind up with a rosy picture. If you ask the right people, you get a rosy picture. In a sense it’s a mush number. The popularity of the president, congress, courts and media has tumbled to historic lows – which is not showing “confidence” at all. The numbers of people who say the country is going in the “wrong direction” is up … but, well, people feel like shopping, so, “confidence” is up. How so many people can proclaim so many problems – and there’s no shortage of them, either complainers or problems – and yet still have a heightened confidence is symbolic of the way the number can be created to be whatever one wishes. Whoever made this number – for which there is no source – wanted a happy picture.

Anyway – there’s still more that could be developed on this theme, but I really have no time – it is, however, as I said, fascinating how two graphics can show so much, especially when compared to each other – and so that each side can vindicate themselves and call for more measures which they think will right the problem – except avoid changing the measuring of it all – which doesn’t express the problems as they really are.

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