by Paul Craig Roberts
June 25, 2014

A final number for real US GDP growth in the first quarter of 2014 was released today. The number is not the 2.6% growth rate predicted by the know-nothing economists in January of this year. The number is a decline in GDP of -2.9 percent.

The negative growth rate of -2.9 percent is itself an understatement. This number was achieved by deflating nominal GDP with an understated measure of inflation. During the Clinton regime, the Boskin Commission rigged the inflation measure in order to cheat Social Security recipients out of their cost-of-living adjustments. Anyone who purchases food, fuel, or anything knows that inflation is much higher than the officially reported number.

It is possible that the drop in first quarter real GDP is three times the official number.

Regardless, the difference is large between the January forecast of +2.6 percent growth and the decline as of the end of March of -2.9 percent.

Any economist who is real and unpaid by Wall Street, the government, or the Establishment knew that the +2.6 percent forecast was a crock. Americans’ incomes have not grown except for the one percent, and the only credit growth is in student loans, as those many who cannot find jobs mistakenly turn to “education is the answer.” In an economy based on consumer demand, the absence of income and credit growth means no economic growth.

The US economy cannot grow because corporations pushed by Wall Street have moved the US economy offshore. US manufactured products are made offshore. Look at the labels on your clothes, your shoes, your eating and cooking utensils, your computers, whatever. US professional jobs such as software engineering have been moved offshore. An economy with an offshored economy is not an economy. All of this happened in full view, while well-paid free market shills declared that Americans were benefiting from giving America’s middle class jobs to China and India.

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