Economic Recovery, or Economic Decline? Recession, or Depression?

The economic numbers for May are out. I read the reports, listened a little bit to talk radio, and pondered the meaning of it all. What we are going through may very well turn out to be a depression. Only 54,000 jobs were added, of these jobs, half were new hires by McDonalds. The official unemployment rate is 9.1%, and the rest of the numbers, quite frankly don’t mean a thing to me. You may be asking why I say they are meaningless to me. Lets take the official unemployment rate, for starters. That is only those who are on unemployment. It does not include those who have stopped looking for a job, or were otherwise unable to qualify for benefits. Personally, I believe the rate of unemployment to be double the official number, perhaps even higher than that. We have been told repeatedly that we are in a recovery,  yet the unofficial misery index, looks to me like we are being misled.  People are hurting, and I hope that the representatives, of the people, will go into their districts, talk to people, and observe what they are dealing with.

Food and gas/energy prices are getting ever higher, yet more and more people are earning less and less money, while others are not earning any, they are on relief of some sort. Increasing energy/transportation, and food prices hit the average person harder than any other factor, in my opinion. If you are having to spend ever more money for gas/energy, and food, you are spending less, and less money elsewhere. The less money spent elsewhere trickles throughout the economy, creating a snowball effect, on the ever sagging economy. If I can’t buy a new TV, because I am spending ever more of my budget on the two main necessities, gas/energy, and food, the people who make the TVs will make less money, creating a situation in which they have to cut back. When the manufacturer of said TVs cut back, the people who ship, store, and sale these items, find themselves in the same situation as the manufacturer, making less money, creating the same cutback scenario the manufacturer is in. On top of all this, we have the speculators, the stock traders, shareholders, the people who make the parts for the TVs, and others facing the same situation as all the aforementioned are facing. When this happens month after month, throughout the entire economy, in what appears to be a rotation, meaning the TV people one quarter, or month, then the Refrigerator people, or some one else, another quarter, or month, the said snowball grows more, and more.

The White House economists see one or more factors positive, in a month, or a quarter, and they are saying “see these positives?”, “we are in a recovery!”, all the while the negatives, and the intangibles, like the situation in Japan, rotate negatively throughout the economy, going ignored, or  explained away. The people, on the other hand, do not see these positives reflecting in their lives. They see that the necessities of life are costing more, and more. All the while their incomes are stagnant, declining, or non-existent. I would like for the people who are saying “we are in a recovery!”, to come stay at my house, in my neighborhood, and see what people are really dealing with.

What is the solution? I do not know, for sure, but I can say this much. If 8 years of Bush tax cuts, and the growth of government got us into this terrible mess, then the opposite, 8 years, of  the elimination of the tax cuts, coupled with reducing the size, and cost of government, should create a reversal of the situation, we find ourselves in. I qualify this with the FACT that the war on terror must be paid for. We should not go into severe debt, like we are in, to finance this very serious struggle against terrorism.  I am not blaming Bush, exclusively, for the economy. Irresponsible Congressional legislation shares part of the blame too. This trend we are in must be reversed. The best place to start is to reverse the scenarios that got us into this. I would like to point out that during the Great Depression, England did not go into debt, to create a recovery, and their economy recovered more quickly than ours did, hence their reasoning behind the austerity measures/budget recently enacted. They know what got them into the mess, and history taught them how to get out of it. Watch that nation. If they persist, in passing austerity measures/budgets, they will recover more quickly, and more solidly than we will, if we do not take a similar course, which, in my opinion, as stated, begins with reversing the Bush tax cuts, downsizing government/reducing the cost of government, and paying for the war on terror.

Whether I am right, or wrong, I cannot say for sure, but I do know that what the government has been doing, is not working. Fear is increasing, along with misery. The misery index needs to be taken into account, in conjunction with all the other economic reporting numbers; furthermore, gas/energy, and food prices should be accounted for, in the cost of living formula, the government uses.

I thank you for stopping by, and I welcome any, and all input/remarks, pro, and con. We gotta get outta this economic mess, or we will have a revolution, of some sorts. The people will demand it.

God Bless You,

Mark

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