Several times in the last few days, I have read stories off of this Brookings paper on the question “where did all the workers go?”. American’ workforce labor participation rates are back to where they were before women were liberated from housework. As you might have expected, the answers are reassuring.
The reasons you should have expected the answers to be reassuring is that Brookings gets its funds from all of the Status Quo institutions, so it has Status Quo interests at heart, and the Status Quo just now needs the economy to be at least OK, and that jobs figure was screwing up the story.
As expected by me at least, the paper makes the case for the low labor market participation rate being a normal evolution of OK or even positive trends. No particular reason to do more than worry a bit, mostly OK, is the impression you can take away. I was amazed at how contrary to my general understanding it was. Doesn’t mean their conclusions are wrong, and would be a good explanation about why we haven’t had mass demonstrations yet. The economy in our area is great, lots of building going on, house sales still hot, the freeways are crowded all the time.
If you look at MSM’s economic headlines, you could think things are OK. Stock market is volatile, hasn’t lost huge amounts, although some hedgies are having problems. Some markets for real-estate are still bubbly.
But nobody can believe that is reality, read zerohedge.com headlines for a week. Most of the posts there at least try to be factual, and the comments there are often insightful and on the whole, mostly positive, so I take that as the wide-spread understanding. * Personal communications with family confirms some of it.
The wheels are clearly coming off the bus. This is where the Fed has to go.
Our Fed already realizes it has hit the wall, and this is now happening. So the economy will now begin a steep downward slide, and the Fed has to keep enough $ in the country and not have to admit it sold all our gold long ago.
This is another example of how very managed the ‘news’ is, it is best viewed as overlapping PR campaigns from many sponsors, some coordinating their campaigns. We are still seeing the left-over campaign of the cops trying to sell the idea there is a trend in killings of police, I guess as excuse for the so very obvious trend of police killings, not being killed.
Every story has a frame, an answer not to “What is this story about?”, rather “What does this story want you to believe?”. Asking what that frame is and checking who funded it, wrote the press release, who it benefits is a very useful habit to develop as our system dissolves around us and we citizens have to rebuild everything, community up.
Maybe next cycle of eras we will be skeptical enough to avoid the crash stage.
Meanwhile, every story has its meta-story to tell us about the structure and controls in the systems around us, if we think to ask it.
*There are some people pretending to be racists, and some actual racists, they are ignored or voted down, and are also shown to be foolish and ignorant in argument after argument, they don’t hang around long, it seems to me. The significant thing is that most of them don’t get many upvotes. Look at the voting patterns, very commonly, comments deeply skeptical of government have huge upvotes, and comments racist or pro-war or other dumb policy, only a few upvotes.
Also, looking at this again, this was a waste of a good title. Sorry if it suckered you in with its promise.