Keynesian Fail

Your Rate of Hope and Change
Your Rate of Hope and Change

Your economic prospects could be worse. You could be a delivery driver for Memories Pizza. Either that, or a vocal homosexual activist in many of the countries where Apple Computer sells its watches and I-Phones. But instead, it’s statistically likely you have the more run-of-the-mill problems that persist in America’s mundane, work-a-day economy. How is this possible? We’ve had numerous recovery summers and unemployment has been eliminated by executive order.

Well, that only covered officially calculated unemployment which currently stands at 5.5%. The type of employment where you actually wake up in the morning and go to your job hasn’t been doing quite so well. This month’s report was a downturn. It was, wait for it…., wait for it…. *WORSE THAN EXPECTED.* In case you thought it was just the Jobless Recovery thing again, nope. It’s just job-less. The Atlanta Fed has downgraded their projection for US economic growth to near zero.

Revised On Down Like An IPCC Climate Change Prediction
Revised On Down Like An IPCC Climate Change Prediction

And, in case you walked around still believing your corporate overlords cared because they demanded that Indiana be nicer to gay people, you’re dumb. They profoundly don’t care whether you fall off the trolley and die in the ditch. Here’s precisely what I mean.

Much has been made of last Friday’s speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. The key takeaway was that the pace of rate hikes — expected to start in June or September — could be reversed, stopped or slowed should the economy falter or inflation fail to recover. The latter is looking more and more likely, increasing the odds that the Fed will have to be satisfied with a “one-and-done” or “none-and-done” policy tightening cycle this year. Part of the problem — which was reflected in modifications to the Fed’s estimate of “full employment” in its latest forecast — is that it’s taking longer than usual for wage inflation to show up. As a result, the Fed’s forecasters knocked down the full employment level of the unemployment rate to a range of 5.0 percent to 5.2 percent, down from 5.2 percent to 5.5 percent previously…

So let me translate this GoldmanStanleySpeak to plain, old Standard American English. Caring, enlightened and wonderful corporations like Apple, Starbucks, and Salesforce do better when the Fed Rate is pegged at ZIRP. Bad jobs reports are like disingenuous H1B Visas to the American Corporatist. It allows them to better underpay their workforces and avoid that dirty, nasty wage inflation that could make the Fed raise the price on capital above the ROI on Treasury Notes. So low unemployment and strong GDP growth bother the modern, politically connected American Corporatist. It means they have to work for a living rather than live off of free QE money.

So this brings to where we address the utter fail that is the Post-modern practice of Keynesian Economics. We have pegged are Federal Reserve Lending Rate to zero so that now only about 30% of our GDP growth by 2013 was coming from real bricks and mortar. The remainder was just financialization and money games. What this means is that every dollar issued has less legitimate value behind it.* Once that dollar is less well supported, it becomes less efficient as either a store of value or a medium of exchange**.

This is the epic fail of the Keynesian Theory of economic growth. You cannot spur an economy by artificially spurring demand for goods that nobody really wants. You can claim to have introduced “stimulus” all you want. You cannot argue against the reality of record numbers of people not in the workforce as they are splashed atop the Drudgereport all day long.

Record 12,202,000 Blacks Not In Labor Force…
Record 56,131,000 Women…

If people are not working, they are not earning. If they are not earning, they are not in the market to buy. If nobody is producing or consuming anything of real world value, you do not have real economic growth. The commodities prices will escalate absent technological breakthroughs. The workforce participation rate will continue to crater. There are some things in life that you just can’t fix with Febreeze.

*-And don’t regale me with any agricultural fertilizer regarding the philosophical differences between the source of value of a Fiat currency versus an Asset-backed currency versus a Full-Bodied Money. The bottom line remains unchanged. Just ask Nino Brown. “Money talks. …….runs the marathon. See ya’ but I wouldn’t want to be ya’!”

**-This is the rough data content of the infamous Bacon-Cheeseburger Index.