Registered: May 2005
10-08-11 11:05 AM
October 8, 2011
SouthAmerica: When I was watching the discussions yesterday on CNBC about the latest data released by the US government related to the unemployment figures for September 2011, their discussions reminded me of one article that I wrote in October 2003 as follows:
Brazzil Magazine - October 2003
“How to reduce Unemployment”
Written by Ricardo C. Amaral
To improve the unemployment rate in Brazil overnight, the Brazilian government should adopt the same system of counting the unemployed being used by the United States government. It is a simple method that uses several techniques including lies, deception and misinformation.
Here is an easy strategy for the Brazilian government to adopt immediately, and reduce the Brazilian unemployment rate overnight from 13 percent to a more reasonable rate of 5 percent.
On September 25, 2003 Bloomberg News published an article by Guillermo Parra-Bernal saying: “Unemployment rate in Brazil hits 13 percent.” The article also said: “Analysts say the rising number puts pressure on President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to boost spending and create more jobs. Brazil's jobless rate rose in August, adding to evidence that South America's largest economy is failing to revive after four months of interest rate cuts.
…President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who won election last year on promises to create jobs and spur economic growth, appealed to Brazilians to have patience. ''We need to keep calm,'' Lula said at a press conference in New York. ``The economy will grow.''
…The jobless figures mean ''that the president will be under pressure to deliver on his campaign platform faster than expected,'' said Vitali Meschoulam, Latin America director for political risk advisors Eurasia Group in New York.
…August's unemployment rate matches June's rate, which was the highest since the government began keeping records of its new index in October 2001. Other evidence also points to a weakening economy: Industrial production fell for a fourth month in July and retail sales fell for a fifth month in August.”
The Easy Fix.
To improve the unemployment rate in Brazil overnight, the Brazilian government should adopt the same system of counting the unemployed as the system being used by the United States government today. It is a simple method of counting the unemployed, massaging the figures and various modern techniques, such as: “Lying, Deception, and Misinformation.”
Today, if the Brazilian government started using the same method of counting the unemployed as the method being used by the US Labor Department, the Brazilian rate of unemployment would go overnight from its current 13 percent rate to a more acceptable rate of 5 percent. And the country can even be losing and exporting millions of jobs to Asia as in the case of the US economy.
The financial markets in Brazil should accept the new rate with open arms, as Wall Street accepts the unemployment rate of 6.1 percent as reported by the US Labor Department.
I know there is an 8 percent difference between the two rates (from 13 percent to 5 percent), but that is easy to fix, the Brazilian government doesn’t need to lie; they just need to add a footnote to the report; saying that 8 percent of the population is not counted as unemployed because they are discouraged and have abandoned their job searches. (This type of misinformation works in the US, and should work in Brazil as well.)
If the people in the labor department in Brazil need an actual example of what I am saying, then they should check the US government’s unemployment report for July 2003. They just made a footnote to its unemployment report in July 2003 saying that the report did not include 556,000 unemployed people, because the government claims that these people left the labor force. They want people to believe that a large number of job seekers are discouraged and abandoned their searches.
Data from the US Labor Department shows that the current unemployment rate in the US is 6.1 percent. Wall Street commemorates the data by sending the stock market up, up and away.
But if you make some rational adjustments to the unemployment rate as reported by the US Labor Department, you get a different picture. It is estimated that at least 3 million people are hiding in the disability figures. They had an explosion in the number of people on disability in the last 2 and half years. Another 4 million are not counted because they left the labor force and are considered discouraged workers who abandoned their job searches. If we adjust the unemployment rate for these items, then the US unemployment rate jumps to over 12 percent.
If we make further adjustments for the over 2 million people in the prison system in the US, and for the over 6 million people who are underemployed or decided to further their education because they could not find a job, then a more realistic picture appears of the unemployment rate in the United States, with the actual unemployment rate increasing to over 18 percent.
There is something here for Brazilians to learn from the Americans, and the Brazilian Labor Department can use the same type of misinformation as the one being used in the US. The Brazilians can reduce the official unemployment rate in Brazil to 5 percent, or they can be even bolder and reduce to 3 percent; the financial markets will not know the difference. If they get away with that type of garbage in the US, the Brazilian government should be able to get away with it as well.
That type of misinformation also works for the local numbers as well. For example: the city of São Paulo should not make public that they have an unemployment rate of over 20 percent. They should use a number in the range of 7 to 8 percent. That type of lie works for New York City; I would not be surprised if the real rate of unemployment in New York City is closer or higher than 15 percent.
If you are an ethical person you might be thinking that I am a complete idiot for suggesting such a thing.
But that is how things work in the United States today, and as a major economic power, the US sets an example for the other countries of the world. The US government fudges their statistics, and they make footnotes to let everybody know that the figures published are not worth much. But people still use the data anyway, as if the data had any value. We have one fraud after another in Wall Street where trillions of dollars in investors’ money have been lost in the last few years, and trillions more will be lost in the future. Wall Street has become a fools’ paradise, and they have the record to back that up.
The US government has lost most of its credibility around the world since the Bush administration took office. It is not a secret that the current administration doesn’t make much distinction from good information and garbage; if it is useful information to further their agenda they’ll use it.
The United States Labor Department.
It is depressing to think of how far the United States declined in the last three years, it has been a steep decline for such a short time...