The word for 2023, too.

The word for 2023, too.

Image by Peter Timmerhues from Pixabay


“‘Gaslighting’ is Merriam-Webster’s 2022 word of the year”

They should just make it the word for 2023 as well.


“BlackRock expects economy to flatline for a year before inflation returns in 2024. Get ready for a generational shift to ‘full-employment stagnation’”


Uh, OK.


“In December, BlackRock’s top minds told their clients that a U.S. recession was ‘foretold.’ The Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes, although meant to merely tame inflation, would ultimately lead to a wave of job losses and falling GDP, they warned. But now with inflation fading, GDP growth continuing, and the labor market remaining resilient, experts at the world’s largest asset manager have become a bit more optimistic about the future—at least in the near term.”

-Yahoo Finance, Ibid.

Ah yes, one of the magical words we hear: resilient. Resilient economy. Resilient labor market. Resilient consumer. 😵‍💫

I’ve yet to see inflation fading when we go to the grocery store or the gas pump. Or open the utility bills. Go check out LinkedIn Jobs when you have a free minute. Poke around and look at how many applicants are applying these days.

A temporary recruiting job with 666 applicants in 2 days! Does that sound like a robust labor market? It doesn’t to me. A number like that during the actual Great Resignation would have been unfathomable. HR and Talent Acquisition often bear the initial brunt of a slowing labor market because if a company is not hiring and onboarding new people, why have a large personnel-related department?

As for the GDP:

The U.S. stock market showed impressive gains in 2023, and the latest gross domestic product (GDP) figure exceeded expectations. But according to “Rich Dad Poor Dad” author Robert Kiyosaki, the picture might not be as rosy as it appears.

“Don’t they know the stock market is up because Biden raised debt ceiling. America’s debt is going up … so stock market going up,” he wrote in a recent tweet. “America is broke.”

The author’s concern about America’s escalating debt was echoed by Fitch Ratings. Shortly after that tweet, Fitch downgraded the United States’ long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating from its highest AAA rating to AA+. The credit rating agency pointed to “expected fiscal deterioration over the next three years,” a “high and growing general government debt burden” and an “erosion of governance” as reasons behind the decision.

America is broke and its citizens are, too. But shhhhh. We’re not supposed to actually say that out loud. The markets are good, churnin’ and burnin’ and people’r’doin’ great. 😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫


Boivin and Brazier also argue that a “big structural shift” is underway that could cause problems for the U.S. in the long term. Changing demographics and a rise in early retirements are increasing the share of retirees in the U.S. population. That could lead to labor force shortages, which would slow the economy and have the potential to reignite inflation.

“Our assessment is that we are set for ‘full-employment stagnation,’” the pair wrote Monday, arguing that as labor shortages start to “bind” in 2024, inflation will go on a “roller-coaster ride” and reemerge.


Full-employment stagnation and more inflation. The second part is no surprise. I mean, LinkedIn already let the cat outta that bag:

After months of price increases, what’s next for consumer goods? Executives are mixed on the answer. McDonald’s CFO Ian Borden said that as inflation cools, he expects “our pricing levels to also start to come down.” Linda Rendle, CEO of Clorox — which increased prices 16% in the most recent quarter — said the company didn’t intend to drop prices if its costs came down. The price hikes allowed many food and household goods companies to increase profits last quarter, despite selling fewer products.  emphasis mine

Once these companies realized you’ll bend over and pay a high price, what real motivation do they have to make a reduction? If they can sell fewer products yet make more money for themselves, they’ll continue to do so.


As for a full-employment stagflation, time will tell. We’re still getting hoo-ha about the Baby Boomers retiring and leaving a gap in the workforce. Color me skeptical. People are unretiring and plenty of us Xers are smart enough to know that traditional retirement just ain’t in the cards for us anyway.


But job growth is down and “the economy has experienced very tepid growth over those three years,” so they think that “the workforce will grow by only 0.5% on average each year, compared to 1.5% before the pandemic.”

The smaller workforce will hold economic growth to about 1%, rather than the 2% experts had previously expected. The authors think that the demographic shift will sustain only 70,000 additional jobs a month “to avoid ever-growing pressure on the labor market and wages rising unsustainably quickly.”

Scarce labor will likely shift the balance of profit division between labor on one side and companies and their shareholders on the other. Now, the pendulum had swung dramatically in the other direction from the 1970s on, so this might be more of a rebalancing toward an older state.

Ultimately, the co-authors expect that while a number of outcomes are possible, the most likely result is “full-employment stagnation.” That is, low growth with steady employment.


I see. So their prediction only works if you assume there are older workers willing to leave the funnel once they hit “retirement age,” whatever the hell that even is anymore, so that younger workers can enter the funnel.

But pay attention to the finer points: the workforce only growing 1/3 of what it was before C*v!d. It’ll be OK for Corpo America though because it’ll keep the job market from overheating and it’ll keep wages from going up too high too fast. 😒 Then you have a reference to the 1970s with the assertion that the pendulum went too far to the other side since then, so it’s OK if it swings back because it’s a rebalancing. LOL. What language!


  • Stagflation in the 1970s combined high inflation with uneven economic growth.

  • High budget deficits, lower interest rates, the oil embargo, and the collapse of managed currency rates contributed to stagflation.

  • Under Federal Reserve Board Chair, Paul Volcker, the prime lending rate was above 21% to reduce inflation.

  • Inflationary pressures eased as oil prices and union employment fell, limiting the growth of costs and wages.


Looky there. Union employment fell and the growth of wages was limited. DO YOU THINK THAT’S A COINCIDENCE? Cause I don’t.


If you take a look at the misery index, you’ll see steep increases from the 1930s and the 1970s, which isn’t surprising. The problem is when you have stubborn and/or delusional people who say, “Oh, well, it happened then but it would just NEVER happen today.” Mmhmm. Sure.


Resurgent growth is another possibility, but while that’s typically considered good, things are more complicated this time around.

“It would quickly put pressure on the labor market, amplifying the upswing in the inflation rollercoaster next year,” they said. “Employment already needs to slow sharply to avoid too much pressure on the labor market, and stronger growth would make that nigh on impossible. As Fed Chair Powell said: ‘Reducing inflation is likely to require a period of below-trend growth.’ A reacceleration would tell the Fed that its current policy isn’t restricting the economy as much as it thought. So, it would likely respond by raising rates further, and keeping them there for longer.”

-Globest, Ibid.


I’m gonna drop this yet again:


In my mind, you’ve got your choices. You can listen to linguistic gymnastics and economic commentary or you can open your eyes and ears and look around. If you go to freelancing sites, you will find people looking to hire a recruiter not for a brick-and-mortar company, but to go out and try to drum up interest for their resume because they’re having zero luck on their own. Again, that would have been unfathomable during the actual Great Resignation.

Why the gaslighting? My best guess is so you’ll be unprepared for a crisis and boom! – it becomes easier for the hyper elites to take your stuff. If your head is in the clouds and you’re listening to how great – no, excuse me – how ROBUST and RESILIENT the economy is, you’re not prepping. You’re not as fiscally conservative as you would be in a downturn. These fat cats don’t give a tinker’s damn if you default on your debts, lose your house, get evicted, have no food, etc. In fact, they don’t even allow a wildfire to go to waste. This downturn could happen slowly until it happens very fast or it could be like the proverbial frog in the pot of hot water. Time will tell. One thing I feel confident of is that the billionaires will continue to enrich themselves.

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