Cutting up news of the economy exposes the essence
by Jon Rappoport
January 30, 2014
Government and media periodically release reports about the state of the economy. It’s up, it’s sideways, it’s recovering, and so on.
Reading such reports is like reading background information on the weather. Lots of data, dubious value, and twisted truth.
For example, today the NY Times published a piece headlined, “Brisk 4th Quarter Lifts Hopes for Economy in 2014.”
I’ll give you an excerpt. Warning: reading it may put you to sleep, so pinch yourself, because the punch line comes later.
“‘What’s encouraging is that consumer spending and business investment improved, showing healthier underlying growth in the economy,’ said Michelle Meyer, senior United States economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. ‘The fundamental story for 2014 is still positive.’
“While the headline number was encouraging, the details of Thursday’s report neatly illustrate the crosscurrents that have been buffeting the economy, and have prevented it from achieving more sustained gains.
“For example, although consumer spending grew by 3.3 percent in October, November and December, up from a 2 percent increase in the third quarter, government expenditures plunged 12.6 percent because of the shutdown and automatic budget cuts imposed by Congress at the start of 2013.
“Over all, the government pullback lowered fourth-quarter growth by 0.9 percentage points, with the shutdown itself shaving off 0.3 percentage points. In addition, the residential housing sector was also a source of weakness, cutting overall growth by 0.3 percentage points.
“Some of that drop was weather-related, as construction activity halted, but it also represents a slowing of housing gains as mortgage interest rates rose and the sector’s postrecession rebound cooled. The fourth quarter of 2013 was the first time that housing was a drag on overall growth since 2010.
“As was the case in the third quarter, inventory additions by businesses lifted growth, adding 0.4 percentage points. Those stockpiles will most likely be drawn down in the first quarter of 2014, slowing the expansion a bit in the current quarter, economists said.”
Okay. Still here?
In 1958, in Paris, artist Brion Gysin developed Cut-Up; techniques for cutting and pasting and rearranging text. He and William Burroughs explored this approach together.
Now you can find, online, “cut-up machines” that will instantly and randomly transform text for you. I entered the above Times excerpt and got something that made a lot more sense to me.
Here are the (slightly edited) most interesting parts.
Of course, when I say “made more sense” and “interesting,” I mean that the basic insanity of these state-of-the-economy assessments is revealed. Instead of merely knowing they’re insane, the craziness hits you in the face.
If the Times published THIS stuff every day, I’d buy the paper:
“the growth overall encouraging the shutdown by growth is crosscurrents and 0 since that that automatic 3 2010 consumer have budget percentage”
“Some the business the by of case investment economy Congress that in improved and at drop the showing have the was third healthier prevented start weather-related quarter underlying it of as inventory growth from 2013 construction additions”
“Over activity by the more all halted businesses economy sustained the but lifted gains”
“United spending by of points States grew 0 housing Those economist by 9 gains stockpiles at 3 percentage as will Bank 3 points mortgage most of percent with interest likely America in the rates be Merrill October shutdown rose drawn Lynch”
“postrecession first for from 3 rebound quarter 2014 a percentage cooled of is 2 points The 2014 still percent In fourth slowing positive increase addition quarter”
“While in the of expansion the the residential 2013 a headline third housing was bit number quarter sector the in was government was first the encouraging expenditures also time current the plunged a that quarter details 12 source housing economists of 6 of was said Thursday’s percent weakness a report because cutting drag neatly of overall”
Isn’t that better?
I suggest economics professors at Harvard and MIT change their courses. Present THIS stuff and let the students finally enjoy themselves.
A few kids would go crazy, but that would be a positive outcome. In future years, they wouldn’t be around to write reports on the economy.
The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com