A PERSONAL BAROMETER OF ECONOMIC HEALTH

You have your TV talking heads, you have the economists that are on the Sunday talk shows, you have the Think Tanks (right and left) , you have the big names that everybody quotes, you have the economic gurus that are placed on pedestals (think Alan Greenspan) (Milton Friedman) (Friedman and Krugman) to name a few.  When you have listened to all of them in a particular week you have no idea where we are really at.  You can pretty well bet if they all are upbeat the downturn is upon us.

All you really need is your own common sense.  I call that Checkbook Economics.  If you can’t do it then the country can’t do it, period.  Take the current mess as an example.  Start with the Dot Com bubble, the talking heads of the day would tell you “Hey the old rules don’t apply”  you don’t need to show income just bet that it’s a hell of an idea and throw your money in.  The rules did apply, and a few of the ventures actually made it , but most did not.  In the end “Crash” it all came down like rain on a parade.  A lot of money was lost so how do we recover from than ?  Hell , get out the bubble pipe and blow baby blow.  Walla , the Real Estate bubble was started. What were the talking heads saying “Housing will never go down”  demand says that 20% increase in housing prices per year is just the free market at work.  Now you knew better than that, houses are a place to hang your hat not a speculation device, you knew that and yet you wanted to believe you were among the rich now you had lots of equity in your house and the good hearted banks would give you a huge equity line so you could go buy that SUV or yacht you wanted, a trip around the world , no problem , write a check.  “Let the good times roll” was the cry of the day.  “Crash” it all came down with a bang.  Either you lost your home or you know somebody that did or is going to loose it.  By next year those left with homes 50% will owe more on it then it is worth.

Meantime in the job market, starting in 1980 , our beloved companies started outsourcing our manufacturing jobs.  ” NO PROBLEM ” talking heads screamed , we are moving into a new era,” A Service Economy” we”ll all get our education levels booted up and we’ll have nice cushy white collar jobs (cooks wear white) but most were burger flippers, or worked at Walmart.  The high tech jobs we all trained for suddenly were also sent overseas, then it’s customer service, bookkeeping, and on and on and on.  Wages are falling , unemployment is rising to near depression levels (22% if you count them right) 10 or 11 if you believe the company bullshit.  But ‘HELL CHECK OUT THE GREENSHOOTS” the talking heads scream.  There are Green Shoots , but look close they are noxious weeds that will encircle the earth and choke us till we find the proper weed killer and eradicate the pesky bastards.

So here we are.  As readers of this blog know for years I have been saying we are going to have the Second Great Depression.  What was I looking at that convinced me it would happen.  It’s the little things that add up over time that turn your head to the truth. Here’s a partial list off the top of my head of my clues.

  1. Milton Friedman and Ronnie Reagan’s Free Market theory from the git go to me was a giant world wide race to the bottom for all working people everywhere.  There is no way in hell a US worker can compete with a 1o cent an hour foreign worker.  No God Dam way and you knew it.  Yet we all ran to our local Walmart and bought all the cheap imported junk.  Till nothing much is made in the good ole USA.
  2. Deregulation and Privatization will make everything more efficient and cheaper for you and me.  Show me one example where that is true.  I can show you pictures of lots of companies that no longer exist as part of the fix.  A perfect example in the electrical grid which when partially deregulated fell apart in grand fashion. Or a simpler grid problem ” The California Power Crisis” , which now we know was not a problem at all , but a bunch of Enron crooks gaming the market.  You can add to the list of things that deregulation made worse and you don’t even have to think hard to do it. Then President Clinton passes NAFTA, GATT , WTO a death sentence for the American worker.
  3. Tax cuts!  Another favourite of the  Free Market Freaks.  Nobody like to pay taxes, but somebody has to and it use to be that those who did better paid more.  Those that did better scream we pay too much when in fact they pay less of a percentage of adjusted gross then you do.  Were sitting here today with probably a 2 Trillion dollar deficit staring us in the face and they are still screaming for more tax cuts.
  4. Wars!  and particularly ones we didn’t need to fight.   You might make a case for bombing Afghanistan, but you can’t make a case for occupying the country (one that nobody in history ) has ever been able to do for long.  Then there is Iraq.  A war any thinking human with a brain knew we were being lied into, a war costing us Trillions of bucks, and thousands of lives, and god knows how many GI’s crippled or maimed for the rest of their lives.  A war you knew would drive us into economic ruin because it was being run off the books.  A war where your volunteer army wasn’t big enough , so you hired the Blackwater’s of the world at ten times the cost of a regular GI, this too carried off the books.
  5. The Oil Shock.  Not many of the talking heads would tell you that $4 gasoline would send us into recession yet we all knew it would.  Now we know that the price run up was caused by speculators think Goldman/Sachs and huge hedge funds running the future cost of oil through the roof.  We all can count at least on our fingers and toes (some don’t have shoes now)  something has to be sacrificed to pay for the gasoline you need to get to you Walmart job.  Food, clothes, eating out, good wine, vacations, a new car, paying for the old one. You get the picture.
  6. The Real Estate Bubble.  As noted before you knew you were being fed a line of Bull when they justified the large rise in housing prices year after year.  You knew there was no way a person could afford to pay 50% of his take home pay for mortgage payments.  You knew that an honest bank would not grant a loan to anyone that they didn’t run a check on or if they did ignored the results.  You knew that a lot of people would get hurt if the housing market ever had a downturn.  You knew that these funny money morgages rolled over into new terms that doubled and tripled payments   would force millions into foreclosure. You knew that construction was a huge part of our economy( hell they told you so daily) and you knew that when it stopped we were in big trouble.
  7. You knew that deficits do matter.  They do in your budget and they do in government budgets.  You also know that most of our debt is bought by foreign countries and when it gets big enough they will stop. You know that when that happens the dollar will loose it’s reserve status and the shit will hit the fan.  There are all kinds of guesses what that will bring, inflation , hyperinflation, deflation who knows at this point.  I believe we will find out before the end of this year.
  8. You know that this will be no recession it will be a full blown depression 1929 style (or worse).  You also know that the way generally used in these economic times is to start a war.  You hear the drums of war beating every day, some days I pretend not to hear them , but beat they do.
  9. You know that Afghanistan is an unwinable war, yet there is talk of doubling the troops over there.  More money , lives, and families thrown away.
  10. You also know that none of this will be fixed without drastic action by “WE THE PEOPLE”.  Many are forecasting that a revolution is coming and soon.  Depending on who you read determines what kind of revolution we’ll have.  The best example of not being fixed (barring a miracle) the Health Insurance problem.  Lobby money is  flying, right wing think tanks and lobby groups are thowing money by the truckload at Congress to keep anyting worth while from being passed.
  11. These are depressing times.  You get the feeling often to just throw your hands  up and say I’m done , theirs nothing I can do.  Yet you know better.  We have beat Depressions before, we have put corporations back in their place before, we have passed legislation before to help our less fortunate, we have built infrastructure to boosst the economy before, we have built unions to increase the working mans plight,  we have put in place 50 years of the good life for a lot of Anericans and sit and watched it destoryed in 30 years by right wing, free market bullshit.

I know your thinking what the hell got under the Tiger’s saddle blanket to get him on this tear.  Here’s the list of stories surfacing just in the last couple of days.

  1. http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/23207
  2. http://informationclearinghouse.info/article23224.htm
  3. http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/23094
  4. http://heinberg.wordpress.com/2009/08/06/208-the-end-of-growth/
  1. http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2009/08/08/more-bubbles-waiting-to-burst-entering-t#more5504

IF THIS ISN’T ENOUGH TO SEND YOU TO THE BEER COOLER LET ME KNOW I’LL TRY HARDER TOMORROW

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Explore posts in the same categories: BEGINS WITH F ENDS IN ED, CHECKBOOK ECONOMICS, CLUSTERFUCK, depression, economics, END OF EMPIRE, inflation, IT AIN'T STUPID IT'S CRIMINAL, lies

4 Comments on “A PERSONAL BAROMETER OF ECONOMIC HEALTH”

  1. Junior Says:

    One thing I’m tired of hearing from our Wall Street boosters is naysayers such as us, who believe in examining the facts and eschew wishful thinking, is that somehow we’re reveling in the collapse. It’s crap. First, we warned everybody about the bubbles. Then we warned them to beware of the Wall Street bailout. Now we’re telling to prepare for the worst. We’re not celebrating chaos, we’re trying to lessen it.

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  3. I think untill we get the credit mess fixed we are in for along road

    • Bob Scheide Says:

      The real answer is have the government print the money and issue it instead of the Federal Reserve. Abolish the Fed in the process pay off the debt with the new money and move. The consumer debt we will just default on a few trillion here or there won’t matter to banks that won’t exist when this is over.


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