Wednesday, June 08, 2011

When Warned Not To Panic

Today's Associated press story published in the Spokesman-Review, starts like this:

"With few options at hand and his poll numbers sagging, President Barack Obama expressed concern Tuesday, about the sudden slowdown in the economy but said he is not worried about a second recession and the nation should "not panic."

When a president is concerned enough about the economy to make a major address such as this, folks, it's time for at least concern and possibly panic as well. Were things going along swimmingly, there would have been no speech at all. What this is in reality is damage control, or spin as it were.

If there is anyone left that still feels the recession, which now has been upgraded to "The Great Recession," ended in 2009, I suggest you pull your head out of the sand. An uptick in the stock market does not put people back to work. Only jobs can do that and that requires a totally different foreign policy and unilateral relations with our key trading partners.

First, If all of these countries were "partners," there would not be a problem. In the case of China, which bought into the United States back during Clinton's re-election campaign, it is all a one way flow. Our balance of trade is in the toilet, banks have more homes for sale than contractors or sellers combined, and activity in the construction trades moribund. This during a Spring season that normally sees construction accelerating.

The current administration waffles with statements like, "he is not worried about a second recession." Of course there is not current worry. We are still in the first one. What we have found, over and over again, is that our president declares victory without a victory, then walks away satisfied he has done his job.

Fed chairman,Ben Bernanke says, "the fed will take no action." Of course they won't. What action is available? They can hardly lower the discount rate, since it's at or near zero. If they raise interest, which is what the chairman did back in the Carter administration to straighten out the economy then. Volcker, knew that bad tasting medicine was needed, and interest rates went up to an historical level. But, the recession was killed in two years. During that time, we saw home values dumping down to in many cases, 50% of the previous market. That needs to happen now to get prices in line with incomes. During his presidential campaign, Volcker was his adviser. Where and why did he suddenly disappear? Could it be that his advice was unacceptable?

Wages need to come down in many key manufacturing jobs if we intend to compete with other countries that are producing quality goods for less than our labor force can compete with.

No recovery can take place until and unless our congress and the administration stops setting up for the next election at the expense of the country. It has become clear that both parties are hard left and right with none of the compromising that used to take place. Where is Everett Dirksen when you need him? I've never seen this country resemble more,the, "Rome is burning and Nero is fiddling."

No comments: