What would an ideal election in a functioning democracy look like? As soon as we ask the question, we realize that it would look something like the opposite of what we've witnessed over these last 21 months. Issues of consequence to the people would be discussed, workable solutions proposed, and so on. We are reminded every day that none of this is happening.
Obama has been working the crowds, crowing about the phony 7.8% jobless rate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has been accused of bias by former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, who one assumes is acting as point man for Republican movers & shakers like Karl Rove.
It is important to remember that this nonsense has been going on for a long time now. Here's what I wrote back on February 5, 2012, after a particularly rosy BLS report, in The Rapture (And The Left Behind)—
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says we added an astonishing 243,000 non-farm payroll jobs in January, a number well north of what we're used to. More importantly, the unemployment rate fell to 8.3%, a new post-recession low. The Good News was widely celebrated. It did not matter that after the population adjustment, the annual benchmark adjustment, the Birth-Death model adjustment, the seasonal adjustment and the often overlooked adjustment adjustment that 1,177,000 American citizens were adjusted out of the civilian labor force...
The government bureaucrats who conduct the Household and Establishment surveys, and then massage the shit out of the monthly data until it is almost wholly divorced from anything that may be happening the Real World, were not unduly influenced by Obama's toadies. Nobody leaned on the BLS.
These BLS bureaucrats don't require anybody's help to fuck things up; they do that just fine on their own. Their methodology went to shit when the world changed in 2008. They don't know what they're doing in 2012, don't have the first clue. Somebody should call up these lame nincompoops—whoops! I meant "dedicated public servants"—to tell them it's not 1994 anymore. There's no need to posit a pre-election conspiracy to bring down the unemployment rate a month before people go to the polls. That's just more insanity.
This country has never been crazier than it is right now. That's saying something.
As I alluded to in the introduction, the real crime in this election, the real deception, the real fraud, occurs every day with hardly anyone noticing it. Few notice it because it is deception by omission. The focus is on Jobs, Jobs, Jobs—look at our obsession with the bogus BLS report—but the underlying problem is Income, Income, Income. Here's what I wrote on December 19, 2011, in Benevolent Space Aliens Visit Earth—We're Saved!
You see, I have a problem. Today's story is actually about the recent finding Census Finds Nearly Half Of Americans Are Poor Or Low-Income. The problem is that few Americans in the upper half of our society seem to care that the other half—146.4 million people, 48% to be precise—are living within 200% of the poverty line. I thought the aliens might help get the word out.
Most Americans don't have a pot to piss in. Let's get real. Is that still permitted in the United States?
As 4.5 million jobs were added over the last 4 years, Census data shows that incomes fell, both during the recession and during the "recovery." See my post Krugman Blows. The obscene wealth & income gap between the Haves and the Have-Nots just gets wider and wider, but neither candidate talks about that gap, or falling wages. That's the real fraud. Of the 873,000 jobs added by the always volatile Household Survey in this most recent BLS report, 582,000 were part-time jobs. Jesus Fucking Christ!
If Americans would take their heads out of their asses for just a moment, and wonder why they are screwed, and forget all about those incompetent bureaucrats at the BLS, they might be able to see what the fuck is going on around here.
Well, this post is turning into a rant, and that's OK because no rant could possibly do justice to the unmitigated bullshit we've had to endure day after day for as long as I can remember now. I was reminded of all this when the Daily Ticker published the story Wealth Gap Between Congress and Average Americans Widens (video below).
According to a new report in The Washington Post, the median net worth of the current Congress rose 5% during the recession while it fell 39% for the average American. The wealthiest one-third of lawmakers saw their net worth rise 14%.
The Washington Post disclosed these statistics in a recent story on the wealth gap between Congressional members and the American public.
"These are supposed to be our representatives," says The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task. "If they're not living the same lives or understanding the lives that the average American is living, how can they really represent our interests?"
The Post analyzed the financial disclosure forms and public records for all Congressional members from 2004 to 2010. Some key findings of the report are:
- By 2010, the median estimated wealth for members of the House of Representatives was $746,000; for senators it was $2.6 million.
- There was virtually no difference between the wealth of Republicans and Democrats in 2010. Just six years earlier, the net worth of Republicans was 44% higher than the net worth of Democrats.
- 28% of Congress, or 150 members, reported earning more income from outside jobs and investments than from their Congressional salary of $174,000.
- 27% of Congressional members saw a decline in their net worth between 2004 and 2010...
This Post report ought to be Front Page News in every newspaper and on every TV channel in the country, but for obvious reasons, you're not going to hear much about it.
So while everybody wastes their time on the most recent display of feckless incompetence by the BLS, I prefer to stay focused on the real fraud of the 2012 election. If you focus on this jobs bullshit, and overlook growing wealth & income inequality in the United States, you are playing their game. That's precisely what the assholes who run this country want you to do.
So, there, that's the goddamned truth of the matter. That's why you read here, right?
Bonus Video — Fuck this rich Comedy Channel dildo. Who needs this shit?