by Brandon Smith, Alt Market:
There are a few important rules you have to follow if you want to join the consortium of mainstream economic con-men/analysts. Take special note if you plan on becoming one of these very “special” people:
1) Never discuss the reality that government fiscal statistics are not the true picture of the health of the economy. Just present the stats at face value to the public and quickly move on.
2) Almost always focus on false positives. Give the masses a delusional sense of recovery by pointing desperately at the few indicators that paint a rosier picture. Always mention a higher stock market as a symbol of an improving economy even though the stock market is irrelevant to the fundamentals of the economy. In fact, pretend the stock market is the ONLY thing that matters. Period.
3) Never talk about falling demand. Avoid mention of this at all costs. Instead, bring up “rising supply” and pretend as if demand is not a factor even worth considering.
4) Call any article that discusses the numerous and substantial negatives in the economy “doom porn.” Ask “where is the collapse?” a lot, when the collapse in fundamentals is right in front of your face.
5) Avoid debate on the health of the economy when you can, but if cornered, misrepresent the data whenever possible. Muddle the discussion with minutia and circular logic.
6) When a crash occurs, act like you had been the one warning about the danger all along. For good measure, make sure alternative economic analysts do not get credit for correct examinations of the fiscal system.
7) Argue that there was nothing special about their warnings and predictions and that “everyone else saw it coming too;” otherwise you might be out of a job.
Now, if you follow these rules most of the time, or religiously, then you have a good shot at becoming the next Paul Krugman or one of the many hucksters at Forbes, Bloomberg or Reuters. A cushy job and comfortable salary await you. Good luck and Godspeed!
However, say you are one of those weird people cursed with a conscience; becoming a vapid mouthpiece for the establishment may not sound very appealing. Or, maybe you just have OCD and you can’t stand the idea of “creative math” when it comes to economic data. Whatever the case may be, you want to outline the deeper facts of the economy because the economy is life — it is the structure which holds together our civilization, and if we lie about it in the short term, then we only set ourselves up for catastrophe in the long run. Welcome to another dimension. Welcome to the world of alternative economics.
Every aspect of the U.S. economy or the global economy can be presented two very different ways depending on whether you “interpret” the data to fit a preconceived conclusion, or simply relay it to the public as it really is. Let’s use oil and the petrodollar as an example…
To illustrate the mainstream establishment reaction to legitimate economic concerns on oil, I highly suggest going back and reading an article by Foreign Policy, the official magazine of the Council On Foreign Relations, titled “Debunking The Dumping-The-Dollar Conspiracy,” published in 2009. The idiocy of this article was truly bewildering at the time it was released, but even more so now in retrospect.
First, it is important to note that Foreign Policy refused to even acknowledge the issue of the dollar losing petro-currency status until Robert Fisk of The Independent, someone closer to mainstream exposure, dared to broach the topic, warning that a trend was in play to dump the dollar as the petro-currency by 2018. The alternative economic community had been warning about the world moving away from U.S. oil dominance for some time beforehand.
Second, the CFR uses a typical circular fallacy when confronting the potential end of the dollar’s world reserve status; the fallacy that the dollar is the world reserve currency because “the U.S. is the preeminent world economic power.” Actually, the reverse is true — the U.S. is the world’s preeminent economic power only because the dollar has world reserve status. It was also once an industrial powerhouse after WWII, but this was ONLY because the U.S. was one of the few manufacturing hubs in the world that wasn’t demolished by years of kinetic destruction. When you are the only game in town, of course you reap huge economic benefits including massive international investment, but not forever.
Today, obviously, the U.S. is far surpassed by other nations in the area of manufacturing and production, and has also been surpassed as the largest global importer and exporter. The “preeminence” argument is unmitigated garbage.
Third, almost every danger Foreign Policy dismissed as “conspiracy” back in 2009 is now coming true. Just as Robert Fisk warned, and just as the alternative economic community warned long before him, numerous shifts in the world of oil as well as geopolitical relationships have created a spiraling nexus of anti-dollar sentiment. Is it possible that the dollar will lose petro-status by 2018? Absolutely, and here is why…
While the U.S. remains the world’s largest oil consumer according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), American consumption of petroleum products has greatly diminished over the past few years; falling demand by increasingly destitute U.S. consumers has left oil producers searching for buyers elsewhere. The World Economic Forum noted in 2015 the drastic fall in U.S. demand since the 2008 debt crisis, but this admission went largely unnoticed in the mainstream media. Interestingly, while demand was crashing, the price per barrel continued to skyrocket because of the Federal Reserve’s inflationary QE policies. Almost immediately after the Fed began tapering QE, oil prices drastically declined in line with the lack of existing demand.
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