What's the Real Unemployment Rate? That's the Wrong Question

by Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds

Numbers like gross domestic product (GDP) and the unemployment rate no longer provide insight into how our economy works.

As the status quo narratives and metrics lose their explanatory value, defenders of the status quo frantically leap into attack mode, declaring any skeptical inquiry as a “conspiracy” or “hoax.” A recent example can be found in that high-brow defender of the privileged status quo, The New Yorker.

(We can identify a new socio-pathological syndrome called The New Yorker Syndrome: if all is right on the Upper West Side, all is right with the world. In other words: since me and my top 2% pals are doing great, everything’s going great.)

The New Yorker writer defended the way the unemployment rate is calculated by saying “we’ve got top people on this–top people:” we should accept the official metrics as meaningful because they’re the work of PhD economists– you know, “top people” who are far above peasants’ non-expert skepticism.

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