Friday, February 12, 2016

We need a better word than "recession"

We need a better word than "recession"


I see that President Obama is talking about jobs...a little late. Showing that his knowledge of the issue may come from Billy Joel albums the president bought when he was back at Columbia, Obama is off to Allentown (why not also Bethlehem, where they're "filling out forms, standing in line..?") Nancy Pelosi is also focused on jobs, suddenly. Why this hasn't been the No. 1 priority since 1/20/09 is mindboggling.

Don't they listen to arguably the world's best economist, Dr. Doom, a.k.a., Nouriel Roubini?

So we can expect that job losses will continue until the end of 2010 at the earliest. In other words, if you are unemployed and looking for work and just waiting for the economy to turn the corner, you had better hunker down. All the economic numbers suggest this will take a while. The jobs just are not coming back.

The irony in all of this is that "the recession" is over. That's because the definition of a recession is what happens with the gross domestic product, and the economy -- by that measure -- started growing again this summer, not just in any way that would motivate any companies to hire back any of the millions of folks who were laid off, not when they can pockets these few extra dollars and keep "doing more with less." And some of the improvement in the economy is indeed helpful; the rebound on Wall Street -- though still waaaay below the 2007 highs -- doesn't just help your sleazeball Goldman Sachs types but also your middle-class folks, who are feeling a tad better about their 401(k) than six months ago. But all in all, any excitement about these upticks is a joke, since what really matters to people is having a job and earning a decent wage.

Maybe we need a new word, because if "recession" doesn't apply to the late 2009 economy, there needs to be an equally scary word that does.

And don't expect any solutions from Washington. Roubini knows what to do, but his answer shows why he's a great economist -- and not an American politician:

Yeah, right. Nouriel Roubini, meet Mitch McConnell.
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Will Bunch
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