From Volume 5, Issue Number 42 of EIR Online, Published Oct. 17, 2006

U.S. Economic/Financial News

BLS Issues Fraudulent Jobs Report for White House

The statistical fraud perpetrated around the September payroll employment report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), was worse than previously reported; yet, it has been accepted by every media outlet of every stripe in this country, though strongly doubted by the Financial Times and economists in both Germany and Argentina. Following a lead from one of those, the patent fraud became evident on the BLS site.

Every January, the BLS revises ("benchmarks") the 12 months of job-creation reports, using certain tax-return formulae, through the previous March. During the 1990s, these revisions moved in both directions; but during the Bush Administrations, each revision has been downward, by a total of 1.6 million jobs, up through the January 2006 revision. But having made all of those downward "benchmarks," it was a simple matter for the January 2007 revision (already "leaked" by BLS) to show a large upward revision based on payroll tax records. Whereas the previous downward revisions had gone without fanfare, this compensating upward revision—by 830,000 jobs for the period March 2005-March 2006—was put out as an "expectation" on Oct. 6, just a month before the national election. President Bush immediately flew to Pennsylvania to make a speech about the grand revision, and how it supposedly validated his entire tax-cut "economic policy" and showed an economy of incredible strength and vitality.

At the same time, the Social Security Agency (also an agency of professionals—and with a history of commitment to a crucial FDR legacy program) corrupted in 2004-05 into issuing standard letters to recipients lying that Social Security was running out of funds.

Economists Call for Increased Minimum Wage

Six hundred fifty-nine U.S. economists, including five Nobel Prize winners, have called for an increase in the Federal minimum wage. In their statement, released last week, they note that the real value of today's minimum wage is less than it was in 1951, and that 22 states and the District of Columbia, now have minimum wage levels above the Federal level.

"The Federal minimum wage has been at $5.15 an hour since 1997, which puts a working American earning that wage, even laboring 50 hours a week, at below the national poverty line," the economists wrote, adding that a Democratic plan to phase in a minimum wage increase to $7.25 "falls well within the range of options where the benefits to the labor market, workers, and the overall economy would be positive."

Wilbur Ross To Make 'Bigger Footprint' in U.S.

Corporate predator Wilbur Ross wants to make a bigger "footprint in the U.S." with his international automotive components group, "in the next several months," according to an interview he gave to Bloomberg News Oct. 9. Ross reported that he is in negotiations for the purchase of eight U.S.-based companies and two in other markets. In a strategy that Bloomberg News identifies as the same he has used in buying up steel, textile, and coal industries, Ross is planning to consolidate under his umbrella more and more of the U.S., and international, auto-parts industries. Among the eight U.S.-based companies are, likely, Collins & Aikman (U.S.), Lear Corp. (U.S.), and Tower Automotive. And also, Delphi is being stalked by two hedge funds which have past political and/or takeover ties to Ross. This is exactly what EIR said a year ago would happen. (See EIR, Oct. 21, 2005, "Delphi Bankruptcy: Congress Must Stop Global Vultures From Destroying Auto.")

Delta Wage Cuts May Provoke Strike by Flight Attendants

Delta Air Lines' Comair subsidiary will impose wage cuts and work-rule changes for its flight attendants, who are threatening to strike, the New York Times reported Oct. 8. This follows a ruling two months ago by the bankruptcy court, permitting Comair to tear up its contract with the flight attendants.

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