The Art of Government Lying

Crude, ordinary governments in other parts of the world just simply flat out lie to their citizens. How boorish!

But here in the United States our government, with great pride, brazenly lies to its citizens through the subtle art of telling the truth!

Lies are found in U.S. government press releases having sensitive political overtones. Its just like 19th century Russian literature. You have to know how to read between the lines.

Today lets examine just one recent truthing lie in one document.

Exhibit A

Job Openings and Labor Turnover – November 2011
– Press Office, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 1/10/2012

Covering last November, this month’s press release contains an uplifting 3rd sentence:

The job openings rate has trended upward since the end of the recession in June 2009. (Recession dates are determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research)

Whoopy! The recession is over! The press release author must be thinking… I’ve proven that the President, who I work for and who could fire my unnamed behind on a whim, has conquered the great recession! Its celebration time.

Notice how they credit recession dates to a non-government outside source for plausible deniability?

The BLS is a Trendy Place

Seasonally Adjusted Hires and Separations for November 2011

At the BLS everything trends one way or another.

“Trend” is an insider term that savvy Net users on Twitter and Facebook use to describe how an inane comment or silly video is getting a lot of viewers.

They say, “That way cool video of the guy in South Carolina boffing a horse is trending!”.  If it gets enough views its said to go “viral” on the Internet.

The BLS tries to be hip; cool… it”trends”. But the BLS is in no danger of ever going viral on the Internet and doesn’t seem to see the irony in calling their department that tracks job separations – JOLT!

With two charts and one sentence the BLS provides us not one, but two pieces of great news:

  • The recession ended in June 2009
  • Jobs have trended upward ever since

They don’t but could attach an “Obama-Biden 2012” bumper sticker to the press release.

The Art of Truthful Lying

Its easy… tell the truth; just leave out humongous stacks of contrary data!

Average Annual Employment by Year (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

For example, take this chart built with annualized data from the very same Bureau of Labor Statistics who just cheerfully informed us the recession was over a year and a half ago and everything is looking up.

You can’t see it well on this graph, but since the end of 2009 the United States has still had a net LOSS of 8,000 jobs, not a gain!

When you add in the 5 million or so eligible new workers who’ve come into the workforce but can’t find jobs we have about 11 million workers who want work but can’t find it. That number also comes from the BLS.

And that doesn’t include the underemployed or workers who gave up and dropped out of the workforce.

THAT, friends, is the real world Americans know from their own experience!


All the data presented here is real. It all even comes from the same source. Nobody is lying.

What the BLS said in their press release is correct. Its also true the economy is heading back up in the right direction.

What they fail to tell you in their rosy assessment is that the improvement, though real, is insignificant compared to the sledge hammer that whacked the economy down!

When you step back and look at the big picture everything becomes crystal clear.

Ya gotta admire how government bean counters can doctor a bad economy.

But then, they learned from a master.

Way back in August 2009 the President said:

In the last few months, the economy has done measurably better than expected. And many economists suggest that part of this progress is directly attributable to the Recovery Act. (Reuters 8/1/2009)

Now there is a guy who can spin a yarn!!


About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Jan 14, 2012, in Bureau of Labor Statistics, economics, Economy, Job Creation, Jobs, Jobs Reports, Monthly Jobs Report, news, Politics, U.S. Economy. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Great assessment. The Media does a piss poor job at reporting the whole story. They are quite skilled at doctoring the truth. I love the 19th century Russian analogy. As a fellow truth seeker, I applaud you and follow your blog. Follow my blog , as I think you will enjoy my satirical analysis on the current economic climate.
    God bless
    Mr. Progress

    • The media today seems more interested in sound bytes than actual journalism.

      They typically take the first line or two off a government press release and go with that without ever digging any deeper.

      I was a physics major required to take a literature course to graduate, so I took 19th century Russian literature.

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