Kevin Phillips summarizes some of his main conclusions in an article in the current issue of Harper’s Magazine.
The article focuses primarily on three measures: the monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI), the quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the monthly figure for the unemployment rate. Phillips convincingly demonstrates that the real unemployment rate in the United States is between 9 and 12 percent, not the 5 percent or less that is officially claimed. The real rate of inflation is not 2 or 3 percent, but instead, between 7 and 10 percent. And real economic growth has been about 1 percent, not the 3-4 percent officially claimed during the most recent Wall Street and housing bubble that has burst.
Phillips’s background makes his statements all the more significant. He was a prime strategist for Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign and one of the main architects of the notorious “Southern strategy,” through which the old Republican Party of Wall Street and Main Street refashioned itself with a right-wing populist appeal, stoking racial antagonisms while above all capitalizing on the bankruptcy of American liberalism to shift the political spectrum sharply to the right.
The corruption of official statistics is not the work of one administration, and Phillips traces it back nearly 50 years.