Saturday, December 31, 2011

Great Recession

There is no better concise picture of the Great Recession than this graph from the Calculated Risk blog:

Click to Enlarge

This clearly shows that all previous post World War II recessions which had fully recovered employment by 4 years after the start of the recession. Even the pathetic "recovery" brought about Bush's two tax cuts to "inspire" entrepreneurial spirit got employment back to pre-recession levels in four years. But the recession is different. This is a credit crunch just like the Great Depression.

Obama's "stimulus" was pathetically inadequate with one-third of the money going to "tax cuts" which clearly are very poor stimulants (see the four year delay in recovery due to Bush's tax cut strategy). The other two-thirds was money that truly stimluated but was about three to four times too small for the size of the real problem. But Obama spent all of 2009 and 2010 assuring everybody that his stimulus was a Goldilocks "just right" amount. Then in 2011 Obama compounded his mistake by focusing on "deficits" (read austerity budgets) instead of stimulation to get the economy to come back.

The US economy is in a complete mess because both major political parties are more interested in catering to corporate interest than they are in the people and the real economy. They both spin masterful stories about how their policies are "effective" when it is utterly evident that they fail. Of course the Republicans are grievously wrong-headed. The Democrats at least pretend to cater to the interests of the 99%, but in reality they are just junior partners with the Republicans in acting as the minions of Wall Street, big corporations, and the ultra-rich. Tragic.

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