Protracted US Main Street Depression Ignored

8th August 2016 / United States

By Stephen Lendman – Economic conditions for ordinary Americans are by far the worst in my lifetime since the Great Depression years of my early childhood when I was too young to understand what was happening.

Government data are rigged like elections. The latest monthly jobs report out Friday hid the harsh reality of economic weakness – manufacturing nonexistent jobs out of thin air – the vast majority of them rotten part-time or temp ones with few or no benefits.

The reported quarter million jobs created was phony – based on a “Birth-Death Model that new business ventures create more unreported new jobs than the unreported job losses from business failures,” Paul Craig Roberts explained.

Reengineering government data for accuracy Washington suppresses, economist John Williams called the headlined 255,000 new jobs created “gimmick(ry).” The reported employment gain “more realistically should have come in below zero, net of built-in upside biases,” he said.

The real unemployment rate isn’t the phony reported 4.9%. It’s 23% – nearly the same percentage without work during the Great Depression. For tens of millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans, conditions are as bad now as then.

Yet headlines tout economic strength. Reality indicates otherwise. Most working households are one missed paycheck from homelessness, hunger and despair.

On Chicago’s Magnificent Mile near where I live, I’ve never seen so many so many destitute, homeless men and women quietly or silently asking for help.

When I’m out at times pre-dawn, I see them huddled wherever they can find a spot to sleep or rest. How many millions in America suffer out of sight and mind, an uncaring nation not giving a damn if they live, die, starve or endure other forms of pain, torment and anguish?

Market manipulation along with outsized Fed and other central bank liquidity lifted financial markets to record highs – creating the illusion of prosperity and economic growth.

For the nation’s privileged, things are better than ever. For most others, it’s dystopian hell.

Whether Clinton or Trump succeeds Obama, powerful wealthy interests will continue being served at the expense of the great majority – America’s most vulnerable harmed most.

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Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Visit his blog site at

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