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Friday, October 22, 2010

Understanding Headlines- 10/22/10

 It is A&G's mission to take the lies and distortions of mainstream media and explain what they're really saying in a very direct way that laypeople can understand.  Those who are fortunate enough to visit and read this will benefit and be a leg up on the clueless.   Onto today's headlines...

Currencies Center Stage As G20 Gets Under Way:  "The U.S. pressed emerging nations to set targets to reduce their vast trade surpluses with the West, a plan that could see their currencies rise."-  AP

As I've said many times before, the US wants to purposely devalue the US dollar.. Yes Martha, it really wants the dollar weaker than other currencies even if it means its populace suffers by paying more for goods and services.  This reasoning is two-fold- 1)  It owes so much in debt to other nations, especially China that the weaker the dollar, the less it has to pay back;  2)  The Fed & Treasury believe the only way the US is going to rebound from this current small-d depression (that is really what we're in- not a recession or pretend 'recovery') is through trade exports; making our products as inexpensive as possible for foreign consumption.  The American people will suffer but that's 'OK' since the government really doesn't care about you and I anyways.

Unemployment Rate Drops In 23 States in September: "Unemployment fell in 23 states and Washington, D.C., rose in 11 states and was unchanged in 16 during September, the Labor Department said Friday...  Still, little hiring took place last month. A survey of employers found that payrolls decreased in 34 states and increased in only 16 states and Washington, D.C... Nationwide, the unemployment rate was unchanged last month at 9.6 percent"-  AP

This is the kind of bullshit 'news' item that mainstream news is famous for.  Someone writes an article.. Headline could have said 'Unemployment Rate Rose or Remained Unchanged in 27 States in September' and been factually accurate.  But that's not 'happy'- So a copy editor or the writer him/herself decides to focus on the 'positive'- unemployment drops in 23 states..Yay..  OK, now we read that payrolls increased in only 35% of the US States. Means payrolls decreased or remained unchanged in 65%- Hey that's over half- not too 'positive'.  Then we look at nationwide unemployment remaining the same at 9.6% (its really over 17% unemployed if U6 is taken into consideration).. hmm, that doesn't make for a 'cheery' headline..   

So you have nothing sincerely positive in the news story to match the header. But the AP was damn well determined to give a happy headline wasn't it.   Think of it this way- let's say a movie is released called "Blue Skies and Colorful Balloons" but when you go to the theater to see it, while there is blue skies and balloons in one scene, its really a film about haunted houses, devils and demons.--  this is American news.

Americans Dumbfounded As French Protest Increase in Retirement Age to... 62: "According to a recent news report, most people in France support the protests. But the cause is unlikely they'll get much sympathy in the United States--or anywhere else, for that matter."- Yahoo Tech Ticker

If Americans do not support the protests or show sympathy, it will be because they don't fully understand what they'll be facing soon down the road.   It may seem funny or odd that French people would protest the retirement age increasing to 62, but understand that the French people have amongst the highest quality of life of anyone in the world- they're paid well, have more paid vacation time than US workers and at this moment, get to retire at 60 instead of 66 which is the US retirement age.  And all these things they have won for themselves through protests and demonstrations.  

In other words, while we sit at home, eat cake & cookies, watch garbage on TV, and judge each other by asking "What do you do for a living?" as the first question uttered from our mouths, the French and others in Europe fight to protect and preserve their freedoms and rights. They also find the question of "What do you do?" to be deeply impolite for it matters more to a continental European who a person IS than what he/she 'does'.  And when the French people are successful and preserve their retirement age at 60, will Americans admire the French spirit or be more resentful of them?

There will be a time soon enough when the US faces austerity like in Greece- where social services and pensions are severely cut back to pay on the debts.  Taxes will be raised either through federal income tax, increases in sales tax and property taxes or even a Value-Added-Tax such as in Europe which would dramatically increase the cost to buy goods and services. All this while the government purposely devalues the dollar.  The US Govt may also need to raise retirement to 67.. or 69 to keep Social Security & Medicare solvent.   Will you be laughing still?  When that day comes, will you accept all this in a passive, docile way?

 Housing's Worse Case- "Yesterday the regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac put out a forecast of how much the two mortgage giants would cost taxpayers through 2013. After the news hit, there was much consternation at the Treasury Department because many news outlets went with that big worst case scenario headline of the big bailout costing $363 billion."

Quite simply, the Treasury was annoyed that the mainstream media did not do as it usually does- fudge and play with numbers to paint negative scenarios in the most rosy light. In the government's 'perfect world', we the people wouldn't be told anything on Freddie & Fannie Mae, much less any other aspect of this economic crisis.  But if we must be told.. if we have to be told something, then like the old song goes, 'You have Accentuate the positive.. Eliminate the negative'

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