As Harry Frankfurt duly noted (pdf), “One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit.” Obama’s awkward relationship with the truth consists, in part, of bluffing, bullshitting, and lying his way deeper into our economic morass.
If we cannot trust what the government tells us about weapons of mass destruction, terrorist events, and the reasons for its wars and bailouts, can we trust the government’s statement last Friday that the US economy gained 151,000 payroll jobs during October?
Apparently not. After examining the government’s report, statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) reported that the jobs were “phantom jobs” created by “concurrent seasonal factor adjustments.” In other words, the 151,000 jobs cannot be found in the unadjusted underlying data. The jobs were the product of seasonal adjustments concocted by the BLS.
As usual, the financial press did no investigation and simply reported the number handed to the media by the government.