Central planners face an impossible task. They must compel people to behave in ways that go contrary to freedom of choice. Only those full of conceit and having an outsized ego would make a career out of this line of work. You know the types…

Thou shalt only take public transportation. Thou shalt pay income taxes. Thou shalt consume bugs. Thou shalt use electric leaf blowers. Thou shalt own nothing and be happy. Thou shalt have a permit to sell lemonade. Thou shalt do as I say, not as I do.

Yet even when the plebs go along, the plans of central planners never work out as intended. They’re costly. They create unnecessary work. They can also be extraordinarily destructive.

Rather than accepting their limitations, however, central planners redouble their efforts. They create complicated incentive programs. They reward one industry at the expense of another.

And when their promises of the more abundant life don’t square with reality, what do they do? They fabricate lies to deny the truth.

Take Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, for instance. She must have exceptional vision. She sees what no one else can. In particular, she sees a path for avoiding a U.S. recession.

Yellen’s path involves a decline in the rate of inflation and a strong U.S. labor market. She was even kind enough to describe what it looks like on ABC’s Good Morning America:

You don’t have a recession when you have 500,000 jobs and the lowest unemployment rate in more than 50 years. What I see is a path in which inflation is declining significantly and the economy is remaining strong.

Yellen pointed to the recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment report. The propaganda machine’s January data was a real leg slapper. It showed an increase in nonfarm payrolls of 517,000 jobs. Consequently, the unemployment rate fell to 3.4% — a 53-year low.

Baseless Disinformation

What Yellen didn’t mention is that her path for avoiding a recession doesn’t exist. For starters, the BLS data is baseless disinformation. When the bogus “adjustments” the bureaucrats added are taken out it’s revealed that the U.S. economy actually lost 2.5 million jobs in January.

The roughly 3 million jobs that were added to show a positive increase of 517,000 jobs were completely fictitious. In reality, the economy is hemorrhaging jobs.

Dell Technologies, for example, is cutting 6,650 jobs. They’re doing so because the demand for personal computers has abruptly evaporated. These reductions in force (RIFs) will reduce Dell’s global payroll by about 5%, bringing it to a six-year low.

This comes as Boeing and Zoom announced layoffs of 2,000 and 1,300 employees, respectively.  Similarly, Meta, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Opendoor and Amazon have all had recent layoffs.

These are high-paying technology jobs that are disappearing. Adding low-paying health care jobs at nursing homes won’t drive economic prosperity.  Nor will adding government jobs, which are financed with debt.

According to tech job tracker layoffs.fyi, there have been nearly 260,000 technology jobs lost since the start of last year. What’s more, as of early February, technology companies have laid off over 98,100 employees in 2023 alone.

Clearly, the BLS report is utter nonsense. As for Yellen’s inflation claim?

The consumer price index (CPI) report for January will be released next week. We anticipate the number fabricators will show that the rate of consumer price inflation continues to slow.

Does this propaganda even remotely jive with the total price you pay when buying your weekly groceries? What about your recent utility bills?

The prices Americans are paying for these essentials are off the charts.

Does anyone care that you can now buy shares of GOOG for 27% less than you could one year ago? You can’t eat GOOG, and there’s no dividend. And even if you could, it’s still a terrible deal.

Yellen, through BLS lies, is denying the truth. Should we expect any different…

Arrested Development

Yellen, if you don’t remember, was chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018. She’s only the second bureaucrat to be both Fed chair and then secretary of treasury. The first was G. William Miller way back when Jimmy Carter was President.

Miller was a poor steward of the dollar. Inflation went Richter on his watch.

Yellen, like Miller, has had the unique opportunity to authorize money using credit she previously issued. The consequences under Yellen have been equally destructive for the dollar. In fact, they may even be worse.

Prior to her time as chair, Yellen held various positions with the Fed over a 20-year run. We don’t really know much about what she did. But, at a minimum, she participated in an era of unprecedented Fed activism.

Certainly, Yellen has spent hours squinting at graphs and charts while contemplating how central planners can compel them to appear more to their liking. She also believes monetary policy is a moral issue.

In fact, back in 1995, at a Federal Open Market Committee meeting, Yellen argued in favor of allowing inflation to exceed inflation targets for moral reasons. The late Robert Wenzel documented the discussion in his Economic Policy Journal:

Ms. Yellen told the committee that ‘the moral’ of all this is ‘that the Fed should pursue multiple goals.’  She said that ‘when the goals conflict and it comes to calling for tough trade-offs, to me, a wise and humane policy is occasionally to let inflation rise even when inflation is running above target.’

We’re now living with the result of the wise and humane policies of central planners…

Living the Lie

Inflation, in a practical sense, acts as a hidden tax on savers and wage earners. It devalues the purchasing power of their savings and paychecks. Moreover, inflation robs them of the time and sacrifices they made to earn it.

Ask any retiree living on a fixed income or a hardworking prudent individual skimping to squirrel away some nuts for retirement. Policies of inflation are not wise and humane; they are deceptive and cruel.

Yellen, no doubt, wakes each morning, sips her coffee, and gazes out across the economic landscape. What she sees, if she’s honest, is an absolute cluster. But with the propaganda machine on her side, she can get to work elaborating ideas, rationalizations and justifications for why everyone — including you — is living the dream.

The unemployment rate is low. Jobs are being created in abundance. Inflation is moderating. There’s a clear path to avoiding a recession. So long as we walk down it together. Yellen says so. CNN says so too.

The problem with government propaganda, among many, is that it denies the truth. It attempts to induce people, through repeated justifications, to accept an official narrative that anyone with a small modicum of curiosity knows to be a lie.

By denying the truth, these state actors are disrespecting the truth. And by disrespecting the truth, they open a Pandora’s box full of moral obscenities. The means become blurred with the ends. The world becomes something much different than what’s advertised.

And the remnants of a free society slip beneath the lies layered upon lies.

[Editor’s note: Don’t believe the lies of central planners.  The economy’s cracking up.  Financial markets are at an extremely dangerous place.  Discover how to use the Financial First Aid Kit to protect your wealth and profit as the global economy slips into a worldwide depression.]