About this “strong” economy…

{The political lamp is lit}

So, last weekend US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson declared that the world economy is still strong. Umm… But what about the economy of the USA??

It is in the toilet. Yet no one from our current administration is willing to say so out loud. I am just waiting for someone to press the lever and flush it. This entire subprime lending circle-jerk just about sent us all down the swirly. Well, those of us that have been following the rules– pay our mortgage on time, work our asses off for a living and strive to live within our means that is. Everyone else seems to get a bailout that, you know, we get to pay for with our tax dollars.

Yet, there are folks that don’t think the economy is in bad shape, what with Halo3 and iPhones flying off the shelves… Humph. All one needs to do is open one’s eyes and look around. There are some disturbing things going on out there that get lost in the news that is more interested in if Brittany is going to go to traffic court than how soon a new great depression is going to start.

I am not joking. The indicators are all there. The stock markets are bouncing like hyperactive pogo sticks. Crude oil is at an all time high ($90+ per barrel, it was under $20 in 1986). Inflation rate is at 3.6% and growing. Food costs are insane with milk costing 10% more and protein foods like chicken and pork up over 7%. And to top it all off the unemployment rate in Ohio hit 5.7%. Here in Pike County it hit 8.9% for September. October is going to be worse.

Let’s focus in on that last one, and use that opening one’s eyes trick and examine what is happening right where we live. (After I list what is happening here in southern Ohio, open your eyes to your neck of the woods and see if similar things aren’t happening near you.) Unemployment. How many people do you know that are actively looking for a job that will minimally cover the real costs of living? If all your friends, family and neighbors have gainful employment, you are lucky. Speaking of neighbors… lost any lately? And is that house they use to live in still up for sale after months on the market? Count the number of houses with for sale signs in the yard between your home and a common destination like the grocery store, or the bank. I bet it is more than you expected it to be. And what about businesses? Have any closed near you? Are buildings staying empty? Here in Waverly two long time established business, both with a history going back to the 1970’s have inexplicably failed to open for business. Our only quick oil change place, Waverly Plaza Oil, Lube and Tire was open one day, and closed the next. After a few days a yellow grease pencil message declared that the place was for sale. The Jolly Pirate Donut shop was bustling with business last week, and is closed this week. It’s windows also display a for sale message. The Ponderosa also closed down this year. Its building is still sitting empty and its for sale sign recently added the words “reduced price”. And it is not only the older business that are closing shop. A Quiznos opened in Waverly with great fan fare and predictions that our economy was growing. On Monday I noticed a chain and padlock were on the front door, the racks of potato chips and other food items were still full.

It has been months and months since I had to wait to get seated at any local restaurant. Even during happy hour. Business are hurting all over town. It is easy to find a good parking space at the local grocery and big box stores.

And all those folks that worked at these places that closed are now out of work. They can’t pay the mortgage. They can’t sell the house. They can’t afford the gasoline to go job hunting. This winter they will not be able to pay the heating oil bill. They can’t afford milk and buy soda pop instead. They can’t afford the dentist. They can’t afford iPhones or Halo3.

Yet, if they do get jobs, minimum wage jobs that will keep them in the downward economic spiral, their taxes will go to bailout greedy stupid subprime money lenders that ignored the rules and common sense.

And I haven’t even mention the tax burden of the Iraq War, or the interest on the loans our government obtained from China, or any of the other money plundering schemes that the current kleptocratic executive branch supports or feigns ignorance of.

The economy is in the toilet. Recession is here. Depression is hovering. And our US Treasury Secretary is all happy that the world economy is strong. Perhaps he should start working for minimum wage…

Okay.  Rant over.


4 Responses

  1. Things are pretty much as you depict them everywhere you look. And you’re right, Team Bush has its head in the sand.

  2. During a museum board meeting last night some of the other members were commenting on the economy. I didn’t instigate it. They have noticed that auto traffic is way down in the Waverly area. The only good news thing I have seen lately is that Pike Lake State Park was very busy these past two weekends. But, then, except for gas, it is basically free entertainment.

  3. I don’t believe any economist who says that globalization would assist Americans and make average working class better off. The truth is they never mention Americans, but people in general. And they never mention a time table. That is probably because they were telling a half lie.

    How can wages rise when we added about 2 billion people to the supply of labor who are using first world capital and first world education? If the wages can’t rise because we have a massive oversupply of labor why did the banking industry lend money several times over most laborers average earnings?

    Any economist that disregards supply and demand in regards to labor is lying. If we double the amount of labor but only had the same amount of work what would happen? All labor has to take a paycut!!!

    But how do you keep the global game going if your economy is based on consumer buying? You hand them money don’t you? Ooops.

    All the banking system did by lowering interest rates was postpone the 2001 recession and likely make it worse because now everything has to either inflate or deflate to the wages of labor we can carry.

    Even worse is the fact that in order for Americans to be competitive in the world market we have to fall to the average world wage. Which I think was sitting at about a value of 2 dollars a day.

    Any globalist that doesn’t take into account that wages of all labor will have to normalize is insane or lying for a reason. Always ask them, when and about the supply and demand of labor.

    I actually agree that globalization would work if wages were all on the same page and we used a currency that wasn’t manipulated. Otherwise I believe it will fail as long as one group can be used against the other through economic arbitrage.

  4. Daniel: I am so disenchanted with most “experts” that are flooding the news media outlets these days. This entire subprime borrower bailout is focusing on the wrong issues. Why have we not heard about legal action being taken against the subprime lenders that preyed on those that had no realistic hope of being able to keep pace with ARM interest rate increases?
    The entire mess just angers me.

    Thanks for your input.

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