It appears that each day we can find some website publishing an intellectually embarrassing screed from someone who tries to pretend they actually know something about economic or statistics. For today, I would like to highlight this piece by Charles Hugh Smith that is featured on CNNFN. Not only (as I will show) does Mr. Smith have no idea what he is talking about, but his conclusions show that he was much more interested in pushing his (wrong) worldview than pursuing any actual academic rigor with this opinion piece (it has to be called an opinion piece because it is almost completely bereft of facts).
Let us begin with Mr. Smith's complete misunderstanding of the Household Survey , which is exactly as the name implies, a survey of households (60,000 to be precise) from which the BLS gets the numbers for the labor force, unemployed, employed, the unemployment rate, etc. Mr. Smith states:
"This ongoing adjustment of who gets counted as part of the labor force leads statisticians to lower the unemployment rate -- even though the number of employed people has barely ticked up."