Saturday, August 14, 2010

Double Dip Recession Hardly a Surprise

The media loudly warn of a looming double-dip recession.

I'm of the mind that we never left the recession.

The problem is fundamentally about jobs

Although the banking section has been granted every conceivable crutch--including officially legitimized fraud in accounting standards and a zero percent interest rate from the fed--these same types of supports have not been extended to the public.

As mybudget 360 points out, the prioritization of the financial sector over other economic sectors has undermined authentic, sustainable recovery:

"When that bubble burst, typical American workers were thrown under the bus for the sacrifice of the banking sector once again. Ultimately that is the problem. From the start of the recession back in late 2007 the entire focus has been on protecting banks and keeping home prices inflated to keep banks propped up. Home prices fell while bigger banks consolidated power and became more powerful. What should have occurred was a focus on creating jobs to ensure a vibrant middle class in the U.S. That question never appeared anywhere for policy discussion...."

This basic problem of lack of jobs has not been seriously addressed by this administration. No doubt this unwillingness to address it stems from a wide variety of factors, ranging from "capture" to outright resistance to significant stimulus from conservative Republicans.

Unless we want the U.S. to devolve into a "third world" type nation, we had better look seriously at infrastructural investments in the economy capable of producing sustainable jobs and recovery.

Already, data point to disturbing trends in the economic welfare of the populace. See the following link on distressing stats about the average American's welfare:

Here are some data points from this article:

1 - According to one shocking new survey, 28% of U.S. households have at least one member that is looking for a full-time job.

2 - A recent Pew Research survey found that 55 percent of the U.S. labor force has experienced either unemployment, a pay decrease, a reduction in hours or an involuntary move to part-time work since the recession began.

3 - There are 9.2 million Americans that are unemployed who are not receiving an unemployment insurance check.

4 - In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.

5 - According to one analysis, the United States has lost 10.5 million jobs since 2007.

6 - China's trade surplus (much of it with the United States) climbed 140 percent in June compared to a year earlier.

7 - This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.

8 - According to a poll taken in 2009, 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck. That was up significantly from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.

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