You might have heard the following employment news already. In a screaming headline at the top of the MSNBC.com home page:
JOBLESS RATE FALLS TO 8.3%, LOWEST IN ALMOST 3 YEARS
FOX News is carrying the same story on its website. Although- not surprisingly- it’s tucked away further down their home page with a headline that simply reads:
Unemployment rate dips to 8.3 percent in January
Regardless, this morning’s news that U.S. employers added 243,000 jobs last month has some suggesting the economy has turned around. MSNBC.com new services wrote today:
Alan B. Krueger, President Obama’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, told CNBC Friday that January’s jobs report is “definitely indicating that the economy is improving.”
“I think that the trend is pointing in the right direction,” he added.
In addition, On the MSNBC website, a live poll is being held which asks:
Do you think the U.S. economy has turned the corner?
This is out of 10,002 votes that have already been cast the last time (10:44 AM Central Time) I visited the site.
So, 58% of respondents think the economy has turned the corner. As this is MSNBC.com and its particular audience we’re talking about here- again, no surprise.
Of course, Chicago-based readers could be voting multiple times by force of habit.
Now, I’d love to see the U.S. economy in great shape and humming along nicely, but it’s my belief that our financial health is more dire than those in power are letting on. You could say I’m in the same camp as legendary investor Jim Rogers and investment adviser Peter Schiff on this. Concerning Rogers, CNBC Associate Editor Shai Ahmed wrote earlier this week:
Turning to the broader US economy, Rogers said the United States looks and feels better because the government is throwing money at it.
“There is an election in November 2012. Every time there is an election, the government pumps as much money as it can so it can to win the election. Of course things are going to look and feel better because Bernanke is printing money and Obama is spending money,” Rogers said.
He added that the US public are essentially “saps,” being fooled by a government eager to harness as many votes as possible in an election year.
“They want to fool all of us saps and get us through the elections, and then they’ll say we’ll worry about those saps next year,” he said.
Peter Schiff recently talked about this printing and spending money in his latest entry on The Schiff Report YouTube video blog. In “The Real State of the Union” from January 25, Schiff told viewers:
We are borrowing and spending and printing ourselves over the edge of an economic cliff.
Referring back to President Obama’s State of the Union address from a day earlier, the president and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital added:
Unfortunately, the state of the Union is anything but sound. It is extremely precarious. We are teetering on the edge of a cliff. The Federal Reserve, this President, and Congress, are going to make sure to push it over the edge of the cliff. In the meantime, what we’ve got to do is protect ourselves…
We are pursuing the policies that caused the last financial crisis. The next financial crisis is much greater, and it’s going to inflict far more damage on the average American because of all the things that the Federal Reserve is doing, and the things that Congress and the President continue to do. In the meantime, we’ve got to protect ourselves.
Considering all the “bullets” Washington and the Federal Reserve have already spent just trying to keep this economy afloat and barely above water, what can we expect when their effects wear off and the next slowdown, black swan, or crisis inevitably comes along?
In the meantime, if employer hiring is as good as they say it is- and you are under/unemployed, looking to change occupations, or want extra income- you might want to try and take advantage of current conditions before the labor market takes a turn for the worse.
“Jobless rate drops to lowest level in almost three years.” MSNBC.com. 3 Feb. 2012. (http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/03/10309295-jobless-rate-drops-to-lowest-level-in-almost-three-years). 3 Feb. 2012.
Ahmed, Shai. “Jim Rogers: I Would Not Buy Facebook.” CNBC.com. 30 Jan. 2012. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/46186936/). 2 Feb. 2012.
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