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Gold, Silver, Tin

February 22, 2012

More BS from the BLS

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lie with statisticsIn 1954, Darrell Huff wrote his classic book How to Lie with Statistics, which covered many popular ways people use and abuse statistics to make them say anything they want.  Well, it appears that our good friends at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are no stranger to these techniques.  Last Friday they released their new jobs number that said the employment rate had fallen to 8.3% on a net addition 243,000 new jobs.

While everyone in the mainstream media and the White House were busy celebrating the recovery of the American economy, Zerohedge dug into the numbers over the following days to reveal a much different picture of what was really happening.

The big problem they noticed was: how do you reconcile a reduction in the unemployment number with the fact that the labor force participation rate has been dropping for the last 12 years and is now at the lowest point in 30 years?

Labor Force Participation Rate

As it turns out, this is one of the primary tools by which the BLS manipulates its employment numbers. One of the easiest ways to get the unemploment figure to drop is to simply stop counting some of the unemployed as folks who are still looking for a job.  And that’s exactly what the BLS did, to the tune of almost 1.2 million people last month.

Persons not in labor force

More abuses of statistics lay in the BLS’s definition of employment.  For example, if 100 engineers get laid off and then found jobs working part time at McDonalds, would you consider that a full recovery of the employment situation?  Of course not.  But the BLS does.  The most shocking part of the jobs report was that of all the new jobs the BLS claims were created, only 10% were full time positions.

Part time workers

Certainly not the picture of economic health that we have been led to believe.

Gold, Silver, Tin

October 18, 2011

Is there any gold in Fort Knox?

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US For Knox GoldLast week, the History Channel’s series Decoded, took on the question of whether Fort Knox actually contains any gold.  It is available on Youtube in three parts, in case you missed it.  Admittedly I had pretty low expectations for the mainstream media’s treatment of the topic.  Of course the question is never answered, but by the time it was over I was reasonably impressed at to how well they managed to communicate the crux of the issue at hand.  Namely that our entire economic and financial systems are kept afloat by nothing more than confidence that the dollar will hold some future value. Confidence that would likely be shattered if it were revealed that the United States was not the largest holder of gold in the world.

It was interesting to watch the progression of reactions by the hosts as they gradually came to understand the precarious nature of our current situation.  What initially began as quirky bemusement in reaction to claims of gold market rigging by GATA’s Chris Powell, eventually transform into a round table discussion in which they voice genuine fear and concern over the implications of the missing gold.

It’s good to see the topic being presented to the public, because the problem, and solution, are easily grasped by even the most casual observer.  If the gold exists then show us.  What could be simpler?  The fact that there exists a clandestine body of control that steadfastly refuses any oversight, begs the question:  What are they hiding?