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View Diary: This is not a recession prediction (31 comments)

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  •  This recovery is seriously weak, and IMHO that (18+ / 0-)

    makes all comparisons to historical data relatively "meh." The US economy is cleaving into the haves and the have-nots, with tighter and tighter control by rentiers and feudalists. Those people will make money no matter what we peons experience. The traditional notions of "recession" need to be redefined because, frankly, 30 years of stagnant wage growth has produced more misery than that typically associated with recessionary contraction.

    •  This time probably isn't different (7+ / 0-)

      Every time that someone has declared "history is dead", they have been wrong.
         The business cycle isn't dead and never will be as long as we are in a capitalist system.

        However, you are 100% right that the significance of the business cycle is going away because " tighter and tighter control by rentiers and feudalists" is making the differences between growth and recession mean less and less to the working class.

        Probably the biggest reason why the next recession will matter is political. Otherwise it will mostly just fall on the wealthy elite.

      ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

      by gjohnsit on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 09:37:57 AM PST

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      •  The best thing the government can do is (10+ / 0-)

        tax all the money away from the wealthy elite and redistribute it in the form of government contracts to rebuild and modernize the infrastructure and thus initiate true job creation to re-stimulate the economy and bring the country into the new, and sustainable 21st century.

        That's pretty much always been the case and the answer. As soon as the wealthy elite start taking too much out of the economy to boost their accounts, economies turn to crap.

        Without such an effort, humanity, this time around, is doomed. For real.

        Physics is bulls**t. Don't let them fool you. Fire IS magic.

        by Pescadero Bill on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 09:57:23 AM PST

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      •  There's Life-as-Lived, and then Statistics (16+ / 0-)

        as points of departure for economic discussions. The idea is that the latter is supposed to be informative about the former. But Statistics has been so untethered from Real Life that I marvel anyone even bothers to refer to them anymore. It's as if we still used Ptolemay's model of the solar system to explain heavenly phenomena.

        Official statistics have it that we've left recession, and so makes it possible to discuss whether or when we'll enter it again. But the actual count of actual people shows, to my mind at least, that we've been in a Depression all along, and nowhere near leaving it.

        That conversation begins with pointing out that by every physical count: homeless, food stamps, un- and underemployed, etc, the immiseration of people has gone on without interruption. And why is it that no one in our political or media class ever talks about that?


        We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

        by Jim P on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 10:06:44 AM PST

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        •  Very true (7+ / 0-)

          To give a comparison, the period from 1933 to 1937 saw one of the strongest periods of economic growth in our history.
             However, it was right in middle of the Depression. Life was hard.
             Then the economy dumped again.

            Since 2009 we've seen one of the strongest upswings of the stock market in history. It didn't help out the average man.

          ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

          by gjohnsit on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 10:25:42 AM PST

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          •   IT could be (5+ / 0-)

            argued that between 1933 and 1937 was a recovery,

            economic growth:
            34-11%
            35-9%
            36-13.9%

            I have real difficulty saying that about the last 3-4 years.

            FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 05:52:14 PM PST

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          •  And it went back into reverse (0+ / 0-)

            because FDR tried to rein in spending, rather like what's happening now. The sequester is going to kick us straight back down the hill.

            For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

            by Anne Elk on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:41:37 AM PST

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        •  If the Food Cards we use now came to an end (13+ / 0-)

          the lines for food would make the Depression look like life in the mid fifties and grocery stores everywhere would be boarded up. When I was still in a little town in east Texas there were stores that lived for the food card days, otherwise they little to no business and food banks aren't always available in small towns (in Nacogdoches it was in a church basement and very little food is ever there).
          On the first of each month my food card is recharged with credit to buy $138.00 worth of food and if there is a store that doesn't have a machine to swipe it  right next to the one for credit and debit cards, I haven't seen it.

          Unless I have to go to get food I stay away from grocery stores on the 1st of the month, just like I hit the food bank twice early in the month so I don't have to deal with block long lines from the middle of the month to the end. What's more is that I do not live in what Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco's book,( Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt) refer to as"sacrifice zones", in fact it is better here than a LOT of places I've known and still know (like the east Tx town).

          My point is that things are a LOT worse than they look on the surface and I see no efforts to change it in the works, or even plans that address the rampant poverty. Jeebus 'poverty' is felt widely across the country but rarely discussed and politicians only veer close to it by talking about 'the (disappearing)middle class'.
          Here's a good article with a clip of Chris Hedges...

          Chris Hedges is a Nation Institute Senior Fellow, and the co-author with graphic artist Joe Sacco of Days of Destruction Days of Revolt, just out from Nation Books. You can watch an excerpt of the interview here, or the full conversation here.
          (clip below is 2:54 but there are links in the article to the full interview)
          http://www.thenation.com/...

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 11:27:30 AM PST

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        •  It pays (5+ / 0-)

          not to notice, as far as the media is concerned. Individuals who are still eating and earning have blinkers, and those who don't are just gritting their teeth and trying to survive. This is what the American philosophy of individual responsibility has delivered: an anti-communitarian response to hardship.

          "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

          by northsylvania on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 12:57:08 PM PST

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        •  Why are statistics wrong? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P

          How can we claim growth doesn't exist, when stock prices have gone up and earnings are up?  Seems crazy to claim the recession isn't over.
          Unless the statistics, and the very concept of growth have been financialized to the point that fabricated profits from massively insolvent TBTFs get booked as growth, pumped into a stock market where a handful of banksters' robots fill  their days with millisecond bidding wars. And then there's the inflation metrics...

           The indicators first detach from reality, then inflate themselves and their credibility through positive feedback. I think it is safe to predict that they will need to 'correct' eventually.

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