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View Diary: The Single Fact that Explains Why this Recovery is Slow (100 comments)

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  •  That pent up demand is going to explode at some (38+ / 0-)

    point. Probably in the next few years. No wonder the Repukes are desperate to gain control of the Whitehouse. They know something has got to give and they want to be the ones who take credit for it when it does.

    Romney's religion is only an issue because he's a high priest in the Church of Mammon.

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 09:38:17 AM PDT

    •  But can pent-up demand (14+ / 0-)

      help the economy when consumers are out with pitchforks instead of credit cards?

      •  That would only happen if the economy completely (15+ / 0-)

        collapsed so in a way it would be good since it would create a new economy. But despite all the crap in this system I don't see it collapsing anytime soon. Remember, even at the height (depth, really) of the Great Depression we didn't have torches and pitchforks. It wasn't 1790's France. For some reason Americans just seem to muddle on thru the bad times and expect things will get better.

        Romney's religion is only an issue because he's a high priest in the Church of Mammon.

        by ontheleftcoast on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:21:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We had Huey Long in LA and Upton Sinclair in CA (16+ / 0-)

          There was pressure from non-centrists during the Depression, like the C.I.O. (the Congress of Industrial Organizations, like the United Auto Workers, United Steelworkers, etc) and the 1932 march on Washington by Cox's Army.

          But where are the leftists and the populists now when we need them? Not in the media and for sure not in office.

          •  Yeah, that's what has me worried (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lgmcp, Woody

            During the Great Depression, the government implemented very progressive policies because they were terrified that if they didn't, the socialists and the trade-unionists would revolt.

            During this downturn, we have no voices on the left, and if the government is terrified of anyone, it's right-wing militias and hate groups. There's no credible voice left to push left-wing solutions (or, at least, no one that the media will allow to be heard). So expect more and more austerity, even if Obama and the Democrats win big.

            I expect huge cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and especially Medicaid (not to mention other programs for the poor and middle classes and the elderly) from Obama, in return for pretend tax increases. Sadly, that's still by far the lesser of two evils.

        •  I think it will collapse in (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shockwave, Santa Susanna Kid

          12 months and sooner if Iran is bombed.

          "And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space" Khalil Gibran

          by bcdelta on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 02:39:48 PM PDT

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          •  Why? (14+ / 0-)

            As much as I can understand the reason why bombing Iran would be bad policy, both for moral and practical reasons, I don't think it will plunge us back into the dark ages.

            Bombing Iran will not likely eliminate their nuclear weapons program. At best it will merely set them back a few years at the cost of strengthening the position of the hardliners in the Iranian government. That would be disastrous. Also, lots of people would die, which would also be bad.

            But there is no reason to believe that Iran can do any real harm to the US. They can maybe destroy a warship or two. Who knows, maybe they can do some real damage to one of our aircraft carriers. They could kill a bunch of people with missile attacks and perhaps some asymetric warfare.

            Of course they can wreak havoc on oil supply lines for awhile, but not indefinitely. Even during the worst months of the Iraq War, the oil for the most part kept flowing. It would be bad for the economy, to be sure. But not devastating. Iran's military is small. They have no real naval power. They do have some missiles, and they would use up that capability fairly quickly in a straight fight with the US Navy.

            Bottom line, if it comes to that, is that alot of people would die and there would be widespread destruction. Iran could possibly land a few blows, but they ultimately would be beaten badly in a matter of months if not weeks. The economic impact would be trivial compared to the structural debt issues the author addressed in this post, which was really good btw. I don't want to see this happen, because no matter how much success the Navy has against Iran's military the regime will likely survive and we'll be left with an Iran even more hostile to the US  which will get a bomb anyway in a matter of years. But it won't trigger some sort of zombie apocalypse. Life will go on for most of the world.

            You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

            by Eric Stratton on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 04:12:40 PM PDT

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            •  Eric (7+ / 0-)

              Well thought out response.  Thanks for taking the time.

              If Iran is attacked they can't shut Hormuz for any length of time.  The issue is if they destroy port and land based oil infrastructure in the GCC.

              And I think they will.

              So it's easily 3-6 months to rebuild this and the spike in oil for 3-6 months on 20% of the world's old flow being disrupted will be large enough to put the global economy into very bad recession.

              Outside of this I think it will trigger a regional war, which will spread to non regional players making the conflict and global economy far worse.

              So I support the sanctions and do think they are working.

              On the economy - a lot of it is very fragile.  Wouldn't take much to send Europe over the edge and if this happens it spreads globally - US, China, etc.

              "And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space" Khalil Gibran

              by bcdelta on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 04:31:15 PM PDT

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              •  I think that's a possible worst case scenario. (5+ / 0-)

                But I don't know that it will necessarily happen. Certainly US planners have been working on this problem for years now, and they're not all bumbling fools, as much as it sometimes seems that way. I think you'd be surprised how quickly those pipelines get rebuilt. Just my opinion, it's not I like I get invited to JCS meetings.

                I think that if things got to that point, the instinct would be for the major players to actually set aside their differences and work together to avoid a total meltdown. As much as the US is at odds with the PRC, Russia and as much hatred as there is in SW Asia... when faced with the prospect of WWIII I believe people will recognize the need for cooperation in that moment of crisis.

                Basically I think our economy and military is adaptable and resilient, and I think that a crisis such as you describe would focus the minds of leaders in the industrialized world rather than lead to mass panic. I suppose I could be wrong, but I believe humanity has come a long way from the days when the assassination of a random Archduke could plunge the world into years of horrific bloodshed and destruction.

                Ultimately I just think it's a really bad idea, and I hope it doesn't happen. But if it does I'm not running for the hills. Life will go on for most of us.

                You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

                by Eric Stratton on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 05:00:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  ALLEGED nuclear weapons program... (11+ / 0-)

              Also, I wouldn't be so sanguine about "some asymetric warfare." What could be done by a wounded Iranian regime in that department could make al Qaeda look like  junior high school pranksters.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 05:32:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Come on, man. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dr Swig Mcjigger

                Listen, I'm not gung ho to bomb
                -bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb-bomb Iran. And I agree with your point, Iran is not Iraq and they are not to be taken lightly. But this is just silly. Ahmedinejad would give his left nut for a bomb. They want it, for obvious reasons. It would give their regime security and give Hamas a free hand to seriously bloody up Israel, much more than what we have seen I fear.

                Saying otherwise would be like saying Romney isn't playing the race card right now, or that the GOP attacks on Obama are not entirely accurate. The only real question is how close they are to breakout capability and a successful test. I don't want it to happen any more than you do. But let's face reality, however inconvenient or cruel it may be. These are bad dudes with bad intentions.  

                Finally, while I acknowledge that Iran is capable of wreaking all sorts of havoc in the short term which would be awful and visit death and destruction and suffering on many souls... it's just ridiculous to suggest that Iran is going to beat the United States in a war. That's not happening. Further more, if they really take the gloves off and go all the way as you suggest they will, the international community won't put up with that. People would set aside whatever problem they have with us, they wouldn't care who started it, they would simply want the crisis resolved and that would mean Iran would be forced to relent.

                None of this would likely result in actual regime change or a democratic Iran or peace in the middle east. It's a bad idea. But it wouldn't be the end of the world either, that was my point and I'm pretty sure I'm right about this one.

                You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

                by Eric Stratton on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 08:17:49 PM PDT

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                •  How can Iran beat the US is war? (0+ / 0-)

                  It is not like they have they have the military resources and talent of places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

                •  Ahmadinejad has no authority in the matter... (11+ / 0-)

                  ...It's up to the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.

                  You can claim that Iranian leaders want the Bomb, but they consistently say otherwise in public and there is no concrete evidence that they are, in fact, pursuing a nuclear weapon or have been doing so since 2003. I've been following IAEA inspections and as much English-language literature on the subject for the entire nine years since then. People disagree about the details; and some folks obviously suspect that the Iranians are concealing aspects of their nuclear program that may have to do with building nukes. But, again, there is no proof.

                  That doesn't mean they aren't pursuing such a weapon. It just means that any claims that they are doing so—until proof is forthcoming otherwise—necessitate the attachment of "ALLEGED."

                  Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:14:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  All 'civilian' nuclear power plants (0+ / 0-)

                are basically beards for plutonium production facilities whose purpose is weapons production.  They just don't make economic sense otherwise.  At least according to the US DOE and ConEd.

                •  But, then you have to have a processing... (5+ / 0-)

                  ...facility that can extract the plutonium from spent uranium fuel unless you are running heavy-water reactor (like the Israelis, North Koreans and Indians did), in which the separation process is (somewhat) easier.

                  The Iranians have no such facility that anybody is aware of.

                  Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:08:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Necessary but not sufficient (0+ / 0-)

                    Still having piles of plutonium on hand is really handy if you're into dirty bombs.  I never believed that Iran posed a threat of nuclear attack on anyone, or could do so within 5 years. I am convinced that the saber rattling from the neo-cons is just that, more WMD propaganda to cover wars of conquest.  I just like reminding everyone that the War Industry has exploited a truth which they generally pay huge sums to hide, namely, that civilian (uranium/plutonium cycle) nuclear power is still only economically reasonable as part of a weapons program.

            •  If the Straight of Hormuz is closed... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Van Buren, mightymouse

              ...IMO gas can go up to $8/gallon for a year.  Wouldn't that cause serious economic problems?

              It is not hard for the Iranians to close it and very difficult for the Navy to re-open it.  Sinking two or three tankers may be all that is needed.  

              Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

              by Shockwave on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:17:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  No money = no demand... (14+ / 0-)

      Wages have to go up first before demand does.

      "Big business is doing fine" - Mitt Romeny

      by RichM on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 03:16:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Only if (0+ / 0-)

      the banks cooperate.

      And they only want to do that if they get their pound of flesh.

      That's one of the big unspoken issues right now - how big a cut to they get, and with what counterbalances?

      I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

      by trumpeter on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 04:31:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This needs to be broken down between pay-down (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, StrayCat

      versus debt-cancellation.  All of those municipalities and other government entities slashing if not outright cancelling pensions are knocking down debt.  So are the romney-botomatics that put companies through banckruptcy to access the pensions for dividend payouts to the vultures.

      Both of the above actions reduce debt, but they do it through cancellation of money owed (some might call it theft).  That is not a good way to reduce debt, and does not represent pent-up demand, it represents servitude.

      and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

      by ban48 on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 05:00:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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