Saturday, March 2, 2013

AWOL: Economic Recovery

Trey Smith

Officially, since June 2009 the US economy has been undergoing an economic recovery from the December 2007 recession. But where is this recovery? I cannot find it, and neither can millions of unemployed Americans.

The recovery exists only in the official measure of real GDP, which is deflated by an understated measure of inflation, and in the U.3 measure of the unemployment rate, which is declining because it does not count discouraged job seekers who have given up looking for a job.

No other data series indicates an economic recovery. Neither real retail sales nor housing starts, consumer confidence, payroll employment, or average weekly earnings indicate economic recovery.
~ from The Missing Recovery by Paul Craig Roberts ~
Yesterday, President Obama said that the "sequestration" would slow the nation's economic recovery. To that I ask: What recovery?

Though I don't do it as often now, I still hang out a bit at my friend's mini mart. His customers represent a fair cross-section of folks from this general area and, sometimes, beyond. The topic of the economy often comes up in conversation and I know of NO ONE around here who has seen much of any evidence for this supposed economic recovery.

Poor people are just as poor. The middle class folks continue to struggle. Fellow business owners grouse about the poor economic climate. Several truckers have said that, if things don't get better soon, they may have to park their trucks. And the people employed at this part of the counties two major employers -- Coast Seafood and Weyerhauser -- are worried that, due to the continued economic downturn, one or both may shutter their doors! If that were to happen, the exodus from North Pacific County would be dramatic and the area would soon resemble a virtual ghost town.

As Roberts suggests above, I believe that much of the vaunted economic recovery is being done with smoke and mirrors. It is a charade to keep the common folk from taking to the streets and demanding justice. It serves as a diversion so that most people don't notice that Wall Street continues to bleed us dry.

I certainly agree with Roberts' closing refrain:
This situation is untenable. Sooner or later something will pop these bubbles, and the consequences will be horrendous.

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