Common Sense Political Economics

"If you laid all of the (PhD) economists end to end, to tell you which way to go, they would look like the spokes of a wheel."

Harry Truman

This is a guest post from my good friend Mr. Geoffery DeWan of Boston and Los Angeles.

U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High – The New York Times

From this article:
“But other experts pointed out that the unemployment rate had been declining in the latter period of the study, and questioned how important the economy was to suicide.”

I wonder what fatuous “other experts” the Times dug up to opine that “the unemployment rate had been declining in the latter period of the study”. This is a typical NYT ‘Shape of Earth, Opinions Vary’ meaningless statement. The rate has been declining exactly because those middle aged men who got outsourced, downsized and basically found they couldn’t find any work after several years of trying, simply gave up. Became what is described by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as “Discouraged Workers”. The suicide rate simply illuminates the real meaning of “discouraged”…

Someone like Lloyd Blankfein, far from “doing God’s work”, may yet live long enough himself to rue the day that he didn’t recognize the Sanders campaign for what it was- a last chance at a graceful transition from a disgraceful period in American history; when he and his cronies made $41 million taking the Central States pension fund to the cleaners, and the workers who had contributed honestly their entire working lives to lose a third to a half of the pensions they had planned and paid for:

How the Teamsters pension disappeared more quickly under Wall Street than the mob – MarketWatch The Mob are obviously rank amateurs compared to Goldman…

This scandal is the short and bitter trailer to the longer movie of what the Vampire Squid of Goldman Sachs (and indeed, the entire financial cabal that brought us 2008) has in mind when they speak of “reforming” Social Security.

As I said, the Sanders’ campaign was their last best hope of avoiding the pitchforks and torches which every day become more and more inevitable. It does leave one wondering what in the Hell the message was that Hillary was bringing to them in those speeches…

One Response to Truth about the unemployment rate

  • I think the 2008 problem was more of a Mother Nature thing than a financial cabal.

    From Time Magazine (with Rhonda’s in parenthesis):
    President Clinton’s tenure was characterized by economic prosperity (credits to Ronald Reagan for putting those wheels in motion) and financial deregulation (credit to Clinton, but since it was a time of prosperity, it’s hard to blame him…and keep in mind that one can never really foresee some things), which in many ways set the stage for the excesses of recent years. Among his biggest strokes of free-wheeling capitalism was the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, a cornerstone of Depression-era regulation. He also signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which exempted credit-default swaps from regulation. In 1995 Clinton loosened housing rules by rewriting the Community Reinvestment Act, which put added pressure on banks to lend in low-income neighborhoods. It is the subject of heated political and scholarly debate whether any of these moves are to blame for our troubles, but they certainly played a role in creating a permissive lending environment.

    Alright…so that sets the stage. Then GWB comes along and doesn’t revisit or change anything Clinton had in place.

    From Time Magazine:
    From the start, Bush embraced a governing philosophy of deregulation. That trickled down to federal oversight agencies, which in turn eased off on banks and mortgage brokers. Bush did push early on for tighter controls over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but he failed to move Congress. After the Enron scandal, Bush backed and signed the aggressively regulatory Sarbanes-Oxley Act. But SEC head William Donaldson tried to boost regulation of mutual and hedge funds, he was blocked by Bush’s advisers at the White House as well as other powerful Republicans and quit.

    What happened in GWB’s second term (2004-2008) was what began beating us up. HURRICANES. A phenomenal number of hurricanes hit our Gulf of Mexico offshore oilfields tearing them up and slowing production each time. Although there were many that came through our Gulf, there were three major hurricanes. Most folks can only name one of those, but the third major that happened in September 2008 was Hurricane Ike. Ike put us in recession. The offshore oilfield always feels economic growth and economic decline first and they felt it immediately in September 2008. A few months after that, the rest of the country started to feel it. The infamous “trickle down” and trickle down works both ways. Hurricane Ike was unlike any hurricane I’ve seen. It hovered over the entire Gulf of Mexico for three days churning and really tearing up platforms and equipment offshore before ever moving inland. That’s the week billionaires became millionaires and millionaires became thousandaires. I knew we were apt to feel its effects eventually and that came about the time Obama took office.

    The truth is, neither Clinton or Bush made the economic mess. Neither foresaw Mother Nature’s wrath. Both wanted to let people having housing. Maybe lending more money to people than they could pay back in an economic downfall was a bad idea in hindsight, but the economy had been very good and I’m sure both wanted to make things more accessible for Americans. It did need to be reined in and hindsight would tell me there should have been some automatic brakes in the bills before they were ever signed.

    It’s a shame that we haven’t had a significant hurricane (if any) come through our Gulf of Mexico since Obama has been in office. Wasted years that our economy could have had growth, but the taxes oil companies would have to pay to work in our country didn’t make that an option, so our major oilfield companies have moved overseas working in Malaysia, South America, etc. Anywhere but here.

    Donald Trump wants to bring that work back to the USA. He knows it will take cutting taxes and cutting regulations and cutting down governmental oversight to make that happen (just like Reagan did within his first few weeks in office). It is my hope that current technology will make economic growth more quickly attainable than it was when Reagan was president.

    Bernie is a spender….not an economic guru. Same with Hillary, plus she’s out to line her own pockets, which is worse than Bernie, but still an economic mess. And neither one of them are easy on the eyes and ears, so what good are they??

    Vote for Donald Trump.

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