Berlin plans ‘center of defense against fake news’ ahead of elections – report

© Dado Ruvic
The German government is seeking to create a center of defense against disinformation ahead of next year’s elections, in the wake of ongoing “fake news” and “Russian hackers” hysteria generated during the election cycle in the United States.

The Federal Press Office in the Chancellery, which has a staff of over 500 professionals, will take the leading role in establishing the fake news defense center, Der Spiegel reported quoting a note from an anonymous Interior Ministry staff member.

According to the Interior Ministry plan, the center will focus on offering “intensification of political education work” with groups susceptible to “fake news” – namely “Russian-Germans” as well as “Turkish-speaking people.”

The creation of the center “should be negotiated very quickly,” the magazine said quoting the note, which also urged that political parties establish ground rules for the 2017 election campaigns. According to report, the Interior Ministry also urged politicians not to use social bots and disinformation techniques during the election cycle.

Earlier, German lawmakers called on new laws and tougher new measures against social media platforms which disseminate fake news. Justice Minister Heiko Maas called on the government to set “legal consequences” for internet giants.

“We expect clear improvements in Facebook’s removal practice. The standard must be German law,” Maas told Suddeutsche Zeitung.

Social Democratic Party parliamentary chairman Thomas Oppermann called for social media outlets to be prosecuted for their role in validating fake news.

“If, after the relevant checks, Facebook does not immediately, within 24 hours, delete the offending post then [it] must reckon with severe penalties of up to 500,000 euros,” Oppermann told Der Spiegel.


700 Million Androids Pre-Installed with Chinese Spyware

PowerSpy can determine an Android  user movement with 90% accuracy.

A Chinese software company called Adups, whose firmware comes pre-installed on some 700 million Android devices, has been found to be able to collect personal information from users without their knowledge or consent.

Security analyst firm Kryptowire first discovered the privacy breach in November 2016. Adups data mining was revealed almost by accident by a Kryptowire employee who discovered a backdoor allowing information to be leaked. After that, antivirus manufacturer Trustlook dug deeper and the scope of the privacy violations facilitated by Adups was quickly shown to be significant. The Adups data collector was found to collect text messages, call history, and device information from phones upon which it is installed.

Adups denied that the software is used to collect private user data, but was instead put in place “to identify junk text messages and calls.” They then referred to the installation of it on US phones as a “mistake.”

The majority of Android phones that use Adups are smaller companies that only release devices in Asia. However, BLU Products (which claims to have sold 35 million devices in the Western hemisphere) and several other well-known manufacturers including Lenovo and ZTE also install Adups firmware on their smartphones. BLU announced that they will no longer use Adups firmware on their phones, switching it out for one made by Google. Lenovo, ZTE, and others have followed suit.

Another endangered piece of hardware? Barnes and Noble’s NOOK Tablet 7, which, unlike a mobile phone, cannot remove its Adups firmware with a software update. Fred Argir, Barnes and Noble chief digital officer, issued a statement that Adups does not collect personal information from any of their users. He also said that the bookseller is working on a way to remove Adups from NOOK.

Trustlook advises Android users to upgrade their firmware to the latest version as soon as possible if they believe their phone may have privacy-violating software such as Adups installed.

Android devices typically rely on third party hardware and software, and thus are seen as more vulnerable to security breaches than their Apple counterparts. A piece of malware called “Gooligan” infected over a million Android devices in late November, putting control of the devices into the hands of hackers. Most of the compromised phones were in Asia. In August, mobile security experts found that the 900 million Android phones made with circuits from the component maker Qualcomm were highly vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Your Church and the Globalists Are Best Friends -Celebrate Christmas at Home

christians persecuted 1

nwo and the church

As this Christmas Sunday comes and goes, I will not be attending my former church. With a scant few exceptions the church has been invaded in the same manner that our Constitution has been obliterated. Why won’t I be attending my church? Because I want to save my soul for eternity and Satan is in charge of the church. Use your Good Gopher search engine and research the Clergy Response Team and Pastor Walter amnsfield who, as an insider told the world about how your Pastor has more than likely been trained by DHS to get their flock to accept their coming FEMA camp incarceration. And we are giving our money and soul to organizations such as these?

I will be celebrating Christmas but not with people who have contributed to the demise of the Church.

Refusing to Stand Up to Satan’s Evil

As the country struggles to come to grip with the unscreened immigrant invasion, which includes the importation of an unknown amount of Muslim terrorists, our economy is threatened like never before, our collective health and our national security is at extreme risk, and yet, we are unable to look to our churches to provide the leadership needed in this time of crisis. Most concerning is the fact that our country is being overrun by unscreened Muslims from areas of the world that hate Americans. Our FBI says 10% are likely terrorists. As a result, we are staring down the real possiblity that we are going to be facing multiple San Bernardino incidents. Yet, your pastor is silent. Christians are not being admitted as immigrants under the refugee/resettlement program from the Middle East. Christians are being beheaded, yet the Obama administration has condemned our Christian brothers, in certain parts of the Middle East, to a certain and brutal death, often by beheading. We admit many of the executioners to our country, but not the persecuted. In some parts of the world, being a Christian is a death sentence. If your pastor does not speak about this on Sunday. he is complicit with his silence.



 Christians Usually Meet An Untimely End

Maybe it is the fate of the modern Christian to die a martyrs death.

Most of the disciples of  Jesus were martyred for their uncompromising views towards corrupt civilian authority, except for John, who died of extreme old age and Judas, who committed suicide after betraying Jesus. Many of Jesus’ followers met an untimely end. For example, Peter was crucified, head downward, during the persecution of Nero. James, was thrown from a pinnacle of the Temple, and then beaten to death with a club. Thomas, the doubter, was run through the body with a lance at Coromandel, in the East Indies. Yet, today, most of our 501 C3 tax exempt churches have embraced the suicidal course of Judas as they have made a deal with the devil by espousing government doctrine even when it violates the word of God.

In opposition to the early founders of the church and in opposition to the teachings of Jesus Christ, today’s church bends over in the face of evil. It acquiesces to the evil and drags its followers to the gates of hell by demanding compliance to the illegitimate authority and decidedly non Christian forces which are subjugating this country. Today’s pastors are doing so under the guise and bastardization of Romans 13. Yes, that’s right, obey the corrupt government that allows the Clinton crime family to steal billions while they unleaash untold suffering upon the world, while this mafia tells us that God demands that we obey these criminals.

Case In Point

Today’s churches have been bought off by embracing a false interpretation of Romans 13.  IF these churches care so much for these recent immigrants, then let them pay for the health screening physicals along with the national security checks that the FBI says they cannot afford, or have the manpower to execute. Churches in America are complicit in helping to transport potential terrorists into the heartland of country. WHY WOULD ANY CHRISTIAN GIVE THEIR HARD EARNED MONEY TO SUCH A CORRUPT ORGANIZATION?

Americans need to withdraw their spiritual and financial support from these churches that are part of the equation of putting every American citizen at risk. Start your own home Bible study. Let the churches die on the vine. You can still worship Christ without contributing to your own demise. When the churches go broke, DHS and Attorney General, Lorreta Lynchmob, are going to have to find their minions in other places.

The Church and the Constitution Have Both Been Conquered

There are other reasons to leave your church beside the fact that most support the importation of an unknown number of terrorists to our country.

According to the Pope, Allah and God are equals because the government says so and Romans 13 commands you to obey.  However, the words I just wrote puts me in violation of the new interpretation of Romans 13. I am a sinner if I speak out about the forces who perpetrated the San Bernardino massacre.

The modern interpretation of Romans 13 is pure blasphemy. This scripture has been morphed into a doctrine espousing the “Divine Right of Kings” in which God has somehow chosen a king to ruthlessly rule over a people and it is incumbent upon the people to accept their “God-given fate”,  The flock are commanded to “…submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.”  This false interpretation is nothing but a divine coronation of a ruthless, self-serving government and Christians are expected to capitulate and honor the same kind of thievery, lawlessness and murder which inspired Jesus to expel the moneychangers from the Temple.


The Great American Holocaust just reach new lows in depravity through the sale of fetal body parts and organs.

As I contemplate what many of the churches will be like as they embrace a perverted interpretation of Romans 13 this Christmas, I am left wondering what kind of God would condone the horrific abuses being perpetrated by the Obama administration? What kind of God would command its religious leaders to simply ignore the American Holocaust which has witnessed the murder of over 60 million American babies, since Roe vWade, in 1973? What kind of God would have us ignore Planned Parenthood’s selling of fetal body parts? Has your pastor said anything about this in your Sunday services?

What Kind of God Would Do This?

JESUS money chANGERSAsk yourself, what kind of God would fail to command his clergy to not speak out and to condemn the actions of the criminal money changers on Wall Street, who are inspired only by the love of money as they continue their heinous assaults upon humanity in the form of unlabeled poisonous GMO’s, the theft of solvent home mortgages by the mega banks, and the secret detentions and the murder of American citizens under the NDAA. What kind of God would order his followers to remain silent as the bankster controlled government plans to commence a world war starting with Syria in order to support the preservation of the Petrodollar which will result in the potential death of billions of human beings?

In actuality, no God of the Bible would ever command his followers to both enable and to serve the evil which permeates our government. Wait a minute, you say that Trump will drain the swamp. That swamp would take a generation of longer to drain. Trump can only hope to slow it down and for any church that encourages complete obedience to a corrupt administration has taken a big step towards accepting the Mark of the Beast (i.e. the National ID Card that will soon be a part of every wallet). This is a very dangerous precedent, and this could potentially imperil the salvation of millions if Christians allow this false doctrine to further expand across our nation’s churches. WHERE IS YOUR PASTOR ON THIS ISSUE?




Obama Administration Finalizes Social Security Gun Ban

AWR Hawkins

PUBLISHED by catsmob.comÿ

On Monday the Obama administration finalized a Social Security gun ban that could prevent “tens of thousands” of law-abiding elderly citizens from purchasing guns for self-defense.

Breitbart News reported this ban on July 18, 2015, when it was learned that the Obama administration was creating a ban on gun purchases that would apply to Social Security recipients who needed help managing their finances. The Los Angeles Times reported that the ban would be sweeping; that it would cover those who are unable to manage their own affairs for a multitude of reasons–from “subnormal intelligence or mental illness” to “incompetency,” an unspecified “condition,” or “disease.”

In January, Obama incorporated the ban into his executive gun controls. A White House preview of those controls explained that the Social Security Administration (SSA) was putting together rules for how/when to enforce the ban:

Current law prohibits individuals from buying a gun if, because of a mental health issue, they are either a danger to themselves or others or are unable to manage their own affairs. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has indicated that it will begin the rulemaking process to ensure that appropriate information in its records is reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The reporting that SSA, in consultation with the Department of Justice, is expected to require will cover appropriate records of the approximately 75,000 people each year who have a documented mental health issue, receive disability benefits, and are unable to manage those benefits because of their mental impairment, or who have been found by a state or federal court to be legally incompetent. The rulemaking will also provide a mechanism for people to seek relief from the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm for reasons related to mental health.

In early May 2016 the SSA released more information on the ban in a 41-page preview. Page 19 said:

Under our representative payee policy, unless direct payment is prohibited, we presume that an adult beneficiary is capable of managing or directing the management of benefits. However, if we have information that the beneficiary has a mental or physical impairment that prevents him or her from managing or directing the management of benefits, we will develop the issue of capability. If a beneficiary has a mental impairment, we will develop the capability issue if there is an indication that the beneficiary may lack the ability to reason properly, is disoriented, has seriously impaired judgment, or is unable to communicate with others.

In other words, once the beneficiary has the SSA’s attention–by having someone help with finances–the process of determining mental health status begins, becoming incrementally intrusive. And if a ruling of mental illness sufficient to meet the reporting threshold is handed down, then the beneficiary will be reported to NICS and prohibited from purchasing firearms.

Despite public outcry, the rules have now been finalized. The NRA-ILA reports:

Barack Obama’s Social Security Administration (SSA) issued the final version of a rule that will doom tens of thousands of law-abiding (and vulnerable) disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients to a loss of Second Amendment rights under the guise of re-characterizing them as “mental defectives.” The SSA, for the first time in its history, will be coopted into the federal government’s gun control apparatus, effectively requiring Social Security applicants to weigh their need for benefits against their fundamental rights when applying for assistance based on mental health problems.

Propaganda War Exposed In Aleppo: “About To Die, Saying Goodbye… But Available for Interview”

Mac Slavo


At some point, we have to question what’s going on.

Each new event brings questions about what is real, and what is perception. When did the “media” bring an eye to action of war in Syria, etc. and the attacks of terrorism in Ankara, in Berlin, etc., and when did the “media” create stories and stage crisis for audiences?

Somebody is wagging the dog, and there are plenty of questions to be answered about what is really going on.

Obviously there are many pivotal, deadly events taking place in hotspots across the globe; obviously not all news is manufactured.

But someone is, indeed, wagging the dog. If you haven’t ever heard of, or seen the 1997 film “Wag the Dog,” with Dustin Hoffman and Robert Deniro, it is well worth the watch – because it contains a lesson worth knowing.

Hoffman plays a successful Hollywood producer who is recruited by a senior aide of the president to anonymously stage-manage a made-up war in Albania, complete with green screens and actors playing refugees fleeing bombs. Though no conflict was actually taking place at all in reality, the team successfully sold the American public on the phony story in order to draw attention away from a sex scandal.

How closely it resembles the modern state of war remains up for debate… but the implications are clear. Technology makes this deception possible.

Again and again, the coverage of Aleppo, and the humanitarian crisis of the Syrian war has defied credibility and shown many aspects of complete falsities. White Helmets have been disingenuous in “rescuing” small children from rubble only to feature prominently in photo ops. Twitter has been flooded with a constant stream of images of victims, etc. that were later proven to have taken place at a completely different time and under a completely different circumstance – in other words, faked for the propaganda effect.

Propaganda, by the way, has been officially legalized inside the United States – and entities both obvious and covert inside the media, State Dept. and government have been shoveling into the minds of the American people non-stop.

The real connections between terrorist groups like al Nusra and ISIS to the “moderate rebels” that have been backed by the U.S. and other Western proxies are deliberately obscured, while the perceived crimes and misdemeanors of Assad and Putin are circulated for maximum effect, in spite of a lack of evidence or a firm grasp on the facts.

For years now, reality has been completely contorted to fit the “mirror, mirror, whose the most beautiful empire of all” narrative that the U.S. wishes to uphold… truth has been a complete casualty, and every official channel has warped good strategy, moral high ground and common sense to create war death, destruction and chaos, and tempt Americans and their allies into ever more war and conflict.

And now, as the rebels are being driven out of Aleppo altogether, CNN and other mainstream U.S. news outlets have been featuring reports from embedded individuals who have all been broadcasting their “final reports,” announcing that they death is imminent, and regurgitating talking points about how they are being exterminated, systematically killed, etc.

The only problem is… these reporters are still alive. And they keep reporting, dramatizing, and even glamorizing terrorists suicide bombers.

This is truly too much to believe… this is perhaps the most blatant and forceful propaganda ever seen in warfare. The 21st Century digital media stream is being used in ways never before attempted in live format.

In this powerful piece of journalistic blowback from state-run media outlet RT – who have been categorically beaten up and ostracized as “fake news” trendsetters for Putin’s agenda – now turning the lens around the total bullsh–– being broadcast as truth over the television and Internet:

People extensively cited by the Western media last week as saying their last goodbyes from eastern Aleppo appear to be well and still reporting. Among the latest videos, one of the ‘departed’ is showing off a rebel fighter wearing a suicide vest.

Last week, as the fighting became intensive for the remaining pockets of insurgent-held areas of eastern Aleppo in Syria, numerous reports in the mainstream media cited activists on the ground. Their message was more or less the same: we are about to die under bombs, so we are saying our last goodbyes.

The 10 days of rebel evacuation from eastern Aleppo is wrapping up, and the journalists and activists appear to have survived quite well the ‘Russian bunker busters’ and other threats they reported.

Journalist who sent ‘last message from Aleppo’ alive & well with suicide bomber

A few weeks ago, SHTF reported on the bizarre case of a 7-year old girl and her mother who were on a tweeting spree while fleeing from rubble and bombed out homes in Aleppo – they, too, kept describing their every move as being their last for death; their final message; their goodbyes before death, etc.

After so many repeated tweets warning of their imminent demise, it became apparent that it was something more like a propaganda campaign – picked up by Western media as “real news” when it isn’t. The girl’s most recent tweet was yesterday… alive and well like these other bizarre ‘activist reporters’ featured by CNN and co.

Perhaps Americans have a great deal to fear from Putin’s forceful Russian agenda, and perhaps they do not.

But one thing is certain. the people of America have a major problem in that they CANNOT trust their media. They are broadcasting propaganda and outright lies on behalf of a very lopsided agenda – and yet have had the audacity to initiate a witch hunt against alternative media outlets and independent publishers for what has been so crudely termed “fake news” (WTF ever happened to “op-ed,” critique and analysis anyway?).

CNN is now a clear and apparent propaganda arm of the U.S. government… and there is much wagging of the dog.

h/t David Icke


Read more:

Did A 7 Year Old Really Tweet This – Or Is “Fake News” Driving the Syrian War?

As Terror Attacks Hit Home, U.S. Caught “Bombing Syria to Aid ISIS”

New Patch for U.S. Troops Fighting ISIS… Looks Like ISIS Logo

US Complains As Putin Bombs its Terrorists: “ISIS Is An Intentional Creation of U.S.”

ISIS Fires American-Made Missiles At Syrian Army: “U.S. Funding, Arming ISIS From the Beginning”

US Congress Reforms Foreign Broadcasting: Preparing for Propaganda War


US Congress Reforms Foreign Broadcasting: Preparing for Propaganda War

US Congress has passed an amendment to the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to modify the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994. The amendment would change the leadership of those broadcasts by placing the five broadcast networks under the control of a chief executive officer (CEO) – a permanent position held by an official with expanded powers who is appointed by the president and requires Senate confirmation.

The CEO will become the head of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) — the federal agency that oversees all US-funded non-military international broadcasting. The nine-member bipartisan Board — which consists of four Republicans and four Democrats appointed by the president, as well as the secretary of state — will be removed. The legislation also gives the president the power to appoint an advisory board — which will consist of five members, including the secretary of state — but it has no statutory power.

The BBG currently oversees the VOA and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, taxpayer-funded federal broadcasting entities, as well as three grantee organizations: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN). The networks under the BBG control reach a weekly global audience of 226 million people, broadcasting in 100 countries and 61 languages.

The CEO responsible directly to the president makes the position a partisan appointment, with the agency becoming a tool of the executive power. The executive branch will fully control several news networks funded by the taxpayers.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the lawmaker who introduced the amendment, said the goal of international broadcasting revamp is «to tackle new threats, including the weaponization of information by ISIS (Islamic State-IS) and Russia». He believes that «Our agencies that helped take down the Iron Curtain with accurate and timely broadcasting have lost their edge. They must be revitalized to effectively carry out their mission in this age of viral terrorism and digital propaganda».

With no bipartisan control, the broadcasting entities will become tools of unfettered propaganda spread around by the government. The information offensive will also encompass Americans as modifications were introduced into the Smith-Mundt Act in 2013 lifting the ban on reaching the audience on American soil. Since then, BBG networks began to aim Russian audiences in the continental USA.

The Russian RT and Sputnik have been many times rebuked for getting money from the Russian government. Sounds hypocritical enough against the background of passing a legislation to make US government media outlets move under the direct and unchecked control of the executive power. But unlike the BBG’s outlets, RT operates in compliance with the laws of the countries it broadcasts to.

Congress has long been frustrated over the inefficiency of US government-funded networks, especially when compared to media outlets of other nations. According to the congressional testimony from Helle Dale, senior fellow for public diplomacy at the Heritage Foundation, US government-funded media has no influence on Russians: the VOA’s Russian service website ranks 3,828 in Russia and 44,415 in the world, according to the Internet service Alexa. This compares to RT’s website, which ranks 61 in Russia, 443 in the world, and it should be added, 1,007 in the United States.

Despite its relatively meager budget, RT reports that its weekly audience reached 70 million, and half of those watch RT daily. In the US alone, 2.8 million people in major cities watch RT weekly, according to 2014 Neilsen ratings. In the United Kingdom, RT viewership tops even Fox News TV channel. Across the Middle East, RT in Arabic is watched by 6.7 million people every day. Russia Today is leading in the «new media» with three billion views across its YouTube channels, which made it the world’s top TV news network on the platform.

It should be noted that an annual BBG budget is roughly $780 million a year ($778 in for fiscal year 2017). For comparison, the Russian government allocated just over $300 million to RT ((including its English, Spanish, Arabic television channels, as well as French and German web-based projects) in the 2016 federal budget. MIA Rossiya Segodnya, the parent company of Sputnik News, operates on a budget of $75 million, including both domestic and foreign media — 10 times less than the BBG.

The international broadcasting reform is just part of the ongoing effort to intensify the propaganda warfare offensive the US Congress is paying so much attention to.

On December 8 the Senate passed the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act – the legislation designed «to help American allies counter foreign government propaganda from Russia, China, and other nations». The measure could reach President Obama in December.

The bill passed the Senate as part of the FY 2017 NDAA Conference Report. It was passed by the House of Representatives in late November. According to the Act, an interagency Global Engagement Center will be established to coordinate and synchronize counter-propaganda efforts throughout the US government. The center will be led by the State Department, but with the participation of the Department of Defense, USAID, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the intelligence community, and other relevant agencies.

The measure also creates a grant program for NGOs, think tanks, civil society and other experts outside government who are engaged in propaganda related efforts. The fund will complement and support the Center’s role by integrating capabilities and expertise available outside the US government into the strategy-making process, including private sector experts.

Becoming a law, the act will allow the government to crack down against any outlet it does not like and use American taxpayers’ money for hiring journalists to spread around what the US government believes to be the right information for the people to know. Many outlets will have to look back at the government with powers to take action against them as there is no way to prove they have no relation to Russia or China. The administration would be fully in charge of running the media.

With all the efforts to boost the effectiveness of propaganda efforts, Americans are skeptical about what they read in social networks. Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions. «Over the last two decades, research shows the public has grown increasingly skeptical of the news industry,» the report from the American Press Institute reads. «The study reaffirms that consumers do value broad concepts of trust like fairness, balance, accuracy, and completeness. At least two-thirds of Americans cite each of these four general principles as very important to them».

Trust in the news media is being eroded by perceptions of inaccuracy and bias. Only 12 percent of those who use Facebook say they have a lot of trust in the news and information they see on the site. Twitter attracts smaller numbers for news than Facebook, and about 18 percent have a good deal of trust in what they read there. With the above mentioned viewer skepticism of other social media sites, no wonder Americans target alternative media, like RT and Sputnik.

The abovementioned developments demonstrate the US lawmakers’ resolve to start and win information wars. With mainstream media going through crisis, the focus shifts on government-funded propaganda outlets. In an amazing demonstration of hypocrisy, the US officials and congressmen raise hue and cry over the Russian media being sponsored by state while boosting the government–funded propaganda effort in the their country. A pot calling the kettle black!

Perhaps, the gist of the problem is not the laws regulating the effort or agencies in place and their budgets but rather the quality of information and its truthfulness to earn the trust of the audience. So far, the US has been definitely losing the fight for people’s hearts and minds.

Picture: Wall Street Journal

Top Ex-White House Economist Admits 94% Of All New Jobs Under Obama Were Part-Time

Tyler Durden

Just over six years ago, in December of 2010, we wrote “Charting America’s Transformation To A Part-Time Worker Society“, in which we predicted – and showed – that in light of the underlying changes resulting from the second great depression, whose full impacts remain masked by trillions in monetary stimulus and soon, perhaps fiscal, America is shifting from a traditional work force, one where the majority of new employment is retained on a full-time basis, to a “gig” economy, where workers are severely disenfranchised, and enjoy far less employment leverage, job stability and perks than their pre-crash peers. It also explains why despite the 4.5% unemployment rate, which the Fed has erroneously assumed is indicative of job market at “capacity”, wage growth not only refuses to materialize, but as we showed yesterday, the growth in real disposable personal income was the lowest since 2014.


When we first penned our article, it was dubbed “fringe” tinfoil hattery, or in the latest vernacular, “fake news.”

Fast forward 6 years, when a report by Harvard and Princeton economists Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger, confirms exactly what we warned. In their study, the duo show that from 2005 to 2015, the proportion of Americans workers engaged in what they refer to as “alternative work” soared during the Obama era, from 10.7% in 2005 to 15.8% in 2015. Alternative, or “gig” work is defined as “temporary help agency workers, on-call workers, contract company workers, independent contractors or freelancers”, and is generally unsteady, without a fixed paycheck and with virtually no benefits.

The two economists also found that each of the common types of alternative work increased from 2005 to 2015—with the largest changes in the number of independent contractors and workers provided by contract firms, such as janitors that work full-time at a particular office, but are paid by a janitorial services firm.

Krueger, who until 2013 was also the top White House economist serving as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Obama, was “surprised” by the finding.

Quoted by quartz, he said “We find that 94% of net job growth in the past decade was in the alternative work category,” said Krueger. “And over 60% was due to the [the rise] of independent contractors, freelancers and contract company workers.” In other words, nearly all of the 10 million jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were not traditional nine-to-five employment.

While the finding is good news for some, such as graphic designers and lawyers who hate going to an office, for whom new technology and Obamacare has made it more appealing to become an independent contractor. But for those seeking a steady administrative assistant office job, the market is grim. It also explains why despite an apparent recovery in the labor market, wage growth has been non-existant, due to the lack of career advancement and salary increase options for this vast cohort which was hired over the past decade.

The decline of conventional full-time work has impacted every demographic. Whether this change is good or bad depends on what kinds of jobs people want. “Workers seeking full-time, steady work have lost,” said Krueger. He then added, perhaps sarcastically, that “while many of those who value flexibility and have a spouse with a steady job have probably gained.”

Yes, well, spousal support aside, it also confirms another troubling finding this website reported first earlier this month, namely that the number of multiple jobholders has recently hit the highest number this century.


Not surprisingly, the study found that young workers represented the largest growth of contractors who frequently do not receive any kind of benefits, even when they are working full-time. The issue is particularly frustrating to employees in the entertainment industry where media conglomerates rely on freelancers for long periods of time without offering benefits, an arrangement frequently referred to as “permalance.”

None of these “qualitative” aspects, however, matter to the outgoing president, who believes his administration was a net positive for workers.

“Since I signed Obamacare into law (in 2010), our businesses have added more than 15 million new jobs,” said Obama, during his farewell press conference last Friday.

He did not delve into the details of just what those 15 million new jobs were. Now we know; and we also know why the Fed is making a huge mistake in thinking it can hike rates and tighten financial conditions, to reverse engineer wage growth, when corporations are guaranteed to not increase wages even in response to higher rates, as the data above confirms that the amount of slack in the economy is vastly greater than virtually all economists are willing to admit.

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