Tuesday, May 15, 2007

US Economy in Recession?

From a May 11, 2007 Guardian report:
"Gloom gathers over US economy" —

The retail sales figures are the latest evidence that the world's biggest economy is rapidly cooling under the weight of higher interest rates and a depressed housing market.

Following a prolonged period in which consumer spending was underpinned by a booming real estate market, the breakdown of today's retail sales figures showed that the weakness of America's housing market is starting to put the brake on consumer spending.

This is no surprise to anyone who works for a living in the US. We know that there has been a recession for at least 6 years now. It's crazy-making to see the pundits on the Sunday news programs declare a strong robust economy that's steaming ahead while everyone is slowly going broke. The "experts" confuse the stock market and corporate balance sheets with the real economy: the economy people LIVE in. The economy of rent and food and mortgage payments and health care costs and student loan payments and all those other "incidentals" that people pay for basic survival.

The "experts" like George Will and Maria Bartiromo declare boldly that this economy is strong. I watch them on Sunday morning and yell at the screen "just what are you smokin'?" They are either tripping on space 9, convinced that the world they exist in where everyone around them is doing well, or they are miscreants doing the bidding of their corporate masters to purposefully deceive the public into believing the that if they are doing badly they are all alone because everyone else is doing great.

Maria Bartiromo, the beautiful robot, said on The McLaughlin Group this week, and I'm paraphrasing, if you remove items like food and energy, inflation is flat. WHAT? So don't eat, heat or cool your home, and walk to work and you're fine. (BTW, in my opinion, the only Sunday political show worth watching is The McLaughlin Group. It's the only honest one. You may not agree with everyone but what they are saying is sincerely what they think.)

The bloom is now off the rose. People don't buy it anymore. This administration has been driving us into the ground and it's more than time for them to go if only just to get them out of your pocket. There is not one Republican candidate that will do anything different economically that the current occupant in office. It is small comfort, but I'll take what I can get, that Bush is polling at 28% and many other Republican congressmen are polling at 5%. Americans may be dumb, but we're not that dumb. Even we will get it eventually.


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