We are at the beginning of a severe recession, depending on what we do as a people and what our government does, it could become another Great Depression. So far the government is not putting the brakes on the recession. In fact they are making things worse. Whether this is by accident or design, I don’t know, but I’m leaning towards the latter, especially what led up to the current situation.
I watched Kevin Phillips on BookTV this morning. He’s the author of Bad Money and this evening I just learned that the bailout oversight people have a website. I’m not sure they have offices yet. I’ll start with my rough notes on one of the oversight people, Elizabeth Warren.
When I heard Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor and author of the Two Income Trap, was appointed to the $700 billion oversight board I was very excited. She is quite capable of doing the job, but the real question is will she be really allowed to do her job. Elizabeth is honest enough and we’ll know whether or not she’ll be able to give real oversight with her cohorts.
Anyway, the oversight website is up, and she has a video report on Youtube. I learned she was from Tulsa when I read 2IT.
I saw Kevin Phillips on BookTV this morning. It was very depressing. He described Bernanke doing what is equivalent to what the French did after WWI, build the Maginot Line. We saw how well that stopped WWII. He was pimping his new article the Numbers racket over at Harper’s. He did not have kind words for the Democrats nor the Clintons. They were the ones who helped pass Phil Gramm’s deregulation of the futures markets. He had harsher words for the Republicans and that they deserved to be kicked off the bus, but he had the harshest words for the Bushes. Neither father nor son should have been President and that W. had done more damage to this country in his eight years than any other President.
He also said the unemployment numbers are really higher than reported. The reported number is over 6%. The real number is over 12%. In the 90’s the gov’t switched to a what is known as U3 criteria. They used to use U6 criteria. If they counted the number of unemployed by using 70’s standards we’d know the true number. They do not count those who’ve given up looking for work. Also, inflation is much higher than reported. It’s about 7%.
I’d highly recommend paying attention to both of these people and what they have to say.
Well Bush, Cheney, Gramm, Greenspan, et al. have finally driven the economy off the cliff. Now it’s up to their Republican croneys to obstruct Obama and the Democrats from accomplishing anything in the next two years so they can make their comeback in 2010.
We all knew we were heading into a rice & beans economy, but now it looks like we are skipping over the moist dogfood economy right into a dry dogfood economy. What I mean by that is it is all we’ll be able to afford to eat. I’m optimistic we won’t be heading into a soylent green economy.
The more I read about the economy and how it got that way it becomes clearer where it is actually heading. The guv’mint has finally admitted we’ve been in a recession since 2007. Actually it’s been in one since 2000. The bubbles that Greenspan helped to create, and the the unregulated financial evironment Phil Gramm helped to create masked that wages have been stagnant for the middle class and that more people were falling into poverty and the lower middle class.
Today I read that unemployment has hit a 34 year high. If I were being optimistic, the government is finally admitting how high unemployment really is and has been for a while. They don’t count the underemployed nor those who’ve given up looking for work or dropped off the unemployment rolls. If I were being pessimistic, they haven’t changed the way they count and the job market is even worse than what they are reporting. You know the economy has to be bad for record number of illegal immigrants to return home.
The sad thing is it doesn’t have to be this way. We have abundant resources. We have a talented labor pool. So the ten trillion dollar question is “How did we allow ourselves to be brought to our knees by parasites who produce nothing?”
Update— DailyKos has a front page story about how the unemployment situation is actually worse than the reported numbers. The author pointed out:
Back in 1994, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics changed how it gauged unemployment, choosing to exclude “discouraged workers.” That means people available and eager to work but who, after a year of looking, have given up because they cannot find a job. The Clinton administration just chopped these discouraged workers out of the most commonly reported statistic on unemployment.
I’m really sick and tired of the way government officials try to paint a rosier picture than things really are. Things aren’t rosy and haven’t been for a long time. We really need transparency back in government and officials need to stop lying.