The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

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Ben W.
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The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby Ben W. » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:36 pm

I'm asking as just another guy who's awfully tired of the infectious oppressive gloom that constantly sits on top of my head (and others close to me) like a stone gargoyle.

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Re: The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby Moderator » Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:05 pm

It depends upon who you ask. I buy into the "it ain't over yet" scenario, and much of it has to do with the political situation and the crisis in the euro-zone.

Politically we have the nasty confluence of an overblown budget deficit and a refusal to tax wealthier Americans at a higher rate at a time when the Federal government should be spending on infrastructure projects and other economy-stimulating projects. We already had two wars draining the budget, which means that none of the methods used by the gov't to recover from the Great Depression are useable.

Secondly, companies are sitting on hundreds of billions of dollars, refusing to spend until they are secure financially. No spending=no jobs=no recovery.

Then toss in the massive variable that is the economic meltdown in Europe.

It ain't over, and I would be surprised if we didn't have a shift in the world's pecking order...
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Chuck Messer
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Re: The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby Chuck Messer » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:44 pm

When I realized just how bad this recession was, I figured, based on my reading of history, that it would take years to recover from this mess. I think we will recover, but it will take time. I don't think we're out of the woods yet.

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Re: The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:01 pm

Hate to be gloomy, but...I think this one is different. I think we're in for a very long, very odd ride through territory never before encountered. There are too many things making too little sense in terms of what has gone before.

Just one factor among many---in the West we really have reached a point in technological development wherein it simply doesn't take that many people to make the stuff we need. In a recent interview (with one of the many "experts" hovering around this issue) one observation was made that struck home. Under FDR, the WPA and CCC were effective at getting people in great numbers work. Build a highway, you can employ ten thousand men. Today, the same highway can be built with 100 men with the equipment at hand. That kind of recovery investment won't work anymore. It is entirely possible to build a factory making [take your pick] and run it with five people.

So we've been hearing about how America is changing to a service economy. All well and good, but---such jobs don't pay what manufacturing jobs pay.

Add to this the fact that for some industries, there is a real choice between building the high tech automated factory here or building a less high tech one in some Third World country where labor is a dollar a day (and where those are almost good wages!) the idea being that, for now, the cheap labor costs less than the tech. At some point, the tech will cost less even than the cheap labor, and then what?

Cost of producing food was going down steadily (part of the reason farmers have been struggling) until the bubble created by the gasahol fiasco. Even that has been underwritten and has the added down-side of driving up the cost of actual food, suddenly adding an extra burden to the economy it didn't have before.

Because of the interconnectedness of economies, we can't simply button up and weather it out. Europe goes down the drain, that will damage us. China will more quickly run into the negative ratio of rising standards of living and population growth because it is currently being fueled by our debt. When that comes crashing down...

This is different. Obama, Boehner, all those people keep trying to enact old ideas as fixes and none of them will work in the long term.

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Re: The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby Steve Evil » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:05 pm

I wonder if the good times are gone for good. No more life long carears, no more security, no more pensions, no more benefits, no more bourgeous contentment. Just endless series of temp jobs, apprenticeships, free - internships and part time stuff. We'll go back to the old days of a landed gentry, a tiny middle-class, and a vast proletariat. I'm not convinced it has to be that way, but I don't know how to stop it.

The papers talk of it, and people talk of it, and looking around I can certainly see it myself:

Forty years ago my father graduated from Uny (uhm - "University". I been in the UK way too long), got work work straight away, bought a house, a car, and got married. Today he's enjoying a good pension.

Two years I graduated from the same school, with the same degree, and quite a bit more relevant experience, and am currently languishing in a one room flat, wondering how I'm going to manage rent in October.

Jealous? I'm only human.

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Re: The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:23 pm

Unless somebody sane does something about spuring demand into the economy I expect a recession/depression in the near future.

I'd hate to see a third world economy, plus a Republican President. Talk about double dips.

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Re: The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:28 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Unless somebody sane does something about spuring demand into the economy I expect a recession/depression in the near future.

I'd hate to see a third world economy, plus a Republican President. Talk about double dips.


Demand of what? Part of the thing that's gotten us into this is rampant consumerism, all on credit. Some poor isolate over in the corner keeps mewling about "sustainability" but no one can hear him because of the clamor to spur growth. More consumption. Unfortunately, buying shit is how we make things move around currently, and when we've bought too much shit and can't buy anymore, people stop eating. But what exactly is it we're suppose to buy more of that we (a) need and (b) don't have the money for?

We've had 20 years now of Washington simultaneously telling people to save and then bitching because consumer confidence is down and retailers aren't making their Christmas nut. So people put their cash (those that had any) into investments and went on a shopping spree on plastic and suddenly the investments went bust and the plastic melted.

So: demand of what that won't just make the situation worse?

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Re: The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:24 pm

The mistake that is being made is to think that there is such a thing as a "fix". If we paint all the fire hydrants purple then the economy will correct itself. The current national political discussion is between the pundits with their imaginary fixes.
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Re: The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby Chuck Messer » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:52 am

The problem is, the economy is made and broken in the private sector. After three decades of tax cuts for the rich, two stupid wars and reckless gambling with fake money, we were left with a broken ecomomy AND massive debt. A recession was inevitable, many could see it coming, but I don't think most understood how severe it would be.

All the federal gov't can do is help people get through the rough times while the economy does what it does. Maybe even heals itself. Funny, but the long-term programs instituted by FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK and LBJ were designed to ward off just this kind of implosion. The last thirty years saw the eroding away of the protections that people previously took for granted.

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Ben W.
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Re: The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby Ben W. » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:21 am

Steve Evil wrote:I wonder if the good times are gone for good. No more life long carears, no more security, no more pensions, no more benefits, no more bourgeous contentment. Just endless series of temp jobs, apprenticeships, free - internships and part time stuff. We'll go back to the old days of a landed gentry, a tiny middle-class, and a vast proletariat.


Oh. Well, in that case, I guess I'll just hide under my bed covers for a few decades. Maybe I'll give the outside world a peek by the end of the century to see how things are going.

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Re: The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby Moderator » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:44 am

“It’s Going to Get a Lot Worse”: ECRI’s Achuthan Says New Recession Unavoidable
By Aaron Task | Daily Ticker – 2 hours 22 minutes ago



http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/going-lot-worse-ecri-achuthan-says-recession-unavoidable-141929160.html
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Re: The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:38 pm

Mark, most mainstream economists are saying it's about lack of demand in the economy, this is why you needed government stimulus.

People max out credit cards because they are not being paid enough in their normal work.

They are cutting back on spending, this is the trend all mainstream economists see.

Is everybody in American turning fucking conservative? ahhh

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Ben W.
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Re: The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby Ben W. » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:34 pm

Barber wrote:“It’s Going to Get a Lot Worse”: ECRI’s Achuthan Says New Recession Unavoidable
By Aaron Task | Daily Ticker – 2 hours 22 minutes ago

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/going-lot-worse-ecri-achuthan-says-recession-unavoidable-141929160.html


Thanks for supplying a definitive answer to the thread's title, Barber. For that much, I'm grateful. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to ditch my plan to crawl under my bed covers and instead crawl into a deep dark cave where I'll quietly wait for myself to die.

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Re: The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby Moderator » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:27 pm

Ben -- If it makes you feel any betterm, it's still far from a unified concensus.

Glenn Hubbard: Economic Risks Have Risen but a Recession Isn’t Likely

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ti ... 18433.html
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Re: The "Great Recession": Almost over, or just beginning?

Postby NeonMosfet » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:20 pm

I think things will be getting worse. A lot of the jobs at the bottom end of the spectrum have been outsourced to the third world simply because it is much cheaper to close American factories and set up shop elsewhere. And, they are setting up shop in places where WE were urged to sponsor, because we can feed their starving children for 25 cents per day; the whole family for a buck fifty. Guess what they work for their factories?
Myopia Through Convexed Harlequins


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