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25 Questions To Ask Anyone Who Is Delusional Enough To Believe That This Economic Recovery Is Real

If you listen to the mainstream media long enough, you just might be tempted to believe that the United States has emerged from the recession and is now in the middle of a full-fledged economic recovery.  In fact, according to Obama administration officials, the great American economic machine has roared back to life, stronger and more vibrant than ever before.  But is that really the case?  Of course not.  You would have to be delusional to believe that.  What did happen was that all of the stimulus packages and government spending and new debt that Obama and the U.S. Congress pumped into the economy bought us a little bit of time.  But they have also made our long-term economic problems far worse.  The reality is that the U.S. cannot keep supporting an economy on an ocean of red ink forever.  At some point the charade is going to come crashing down. 

And GDP is not a really good measure of the economic health of a nation.  For example, if you would have looked at the growth of GDP in the Weimar republic in the early 1930s, you may have been tempted to think that the German economy was really thriving.  German citizens were spending increasingly massive amounts of money.  But of course that money was becoming increasingly worthless at the same time as hyperinflation spiralled out of control.

Well, today the purchasing power of our dollar is rapidly eroding as the price of food and other necessities continues to increase.  So just because Americans are spending a little bit more money than before really doesn't mean much of anything.  As you will see below, there are a whole bunch of other signs that the U.S. economy is in very, very serious trouble. 

Any "recovery" that the U.S. economy is experiencing is illusory and will be quite temporary.  The entire financial system of the United States is falling apart, and the powers that be can try to patch it up and prop it up for a while, but in the end this thing is going to come crashing down.

But as obvious as that may seem to most of us, there are still quite a few people out there that are absolutely convinced that the U.S. economy will fully recover and will soon be stronger than ever.

So the following are 25 questions to ask anyone who is delusional enough to believe that this economic recovery is real....  

#1) In what universe is an economy with 39.68 million Americans on food stamps considered to be a healthy, recovering economy?  In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that enrollment in the food stamp program will exceed 43 million Americans in 2011.  Is a rapidly increasing number of Americans on food stamps a good sign or a bad sign for the economy?

#2) According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings were reported on 367,056 properties in the month of March.  This was an increase of almost 19 percent from February, and it was the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac began issuing its report back in January 2005.  So can you please explain again how the U.S. real estate market is getting better?

#3) The Mortgage Bankers Association just announced that more than 10 percent of U.S. homeowners with a mortgage had missed at least one payment in the January-March period.  That was a record high and up from 9.1 percent a year ago.  Do you think that is an indication that the U.S. housing market is recovering?

#4) How can the U.S. real estate market be considered healthy when, for the first time in modern history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together?

#5) With the U.S. Congress planning to quadruple oil taxes, what do you think that is going to do to the price of gasoline in the United States and how do you think that will affect the U.S. economy?

#6) Do you think that it is a good sign that Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of the state of California, says that "terrible cuts" are urgently needed in order to avoid a complete financial disaster in his state?

#7) But it just isn't California that is in trouble.  Dozens of U.S. states are in such bad financial shape that they are getting ready for their biggest budget cuts in decades.  What do you think all of those budget cuts will do to the economy?

#8) In March, the U.S. trade deficit widened to its highest level since December 2008.  Month after month after month we buy much more from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  Wealth is draining out of the United States at an unprecedented rate.  So is the fact that the gigantic U.S. trade deficit is actually getting bigger a good sign or a bad sign for the U.S. economy?

#9) Considering the fact that the U.S. government is projected to have a 1.6 trillion dollar deficit in 2010, and considering the fact that if you went out and spent one dollar every single second it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend a trillion dollars, how can anyone in their right mind claim that the U.S. economy is getting healthier when we are getting into so much debt?

#10) The U.S. Treasury Department recently announced that the U.S. government suffered a wider-than-expected budget deficit of 82.69 billion dollars in April.  So is the fact that the red ink of the U.S. government is actually worse than projected a good sign or a bad sign?

#11) According to one new report, the U.S. national debt will reach 100 percent of GDP by the year 2015.  So is that a sign of economic recovery or of economic disaster?

#12) Monstrous amounts of oil continue to gush freely into the Gulf of Mexico, and analysts are already projecting that the seafood and tourism industries along the Gulf coast will be devastated for decades by this unprecedented environmental disaster.  In light of those facts, how in the world can anyone project that the U.S. economy will soon be stronger than ever?

#13) The FDIC's list of problem banks recently hit a 17-year high.  Do you think that an increasing number of small banks failing is a good sign or a bad sign for the U.S. economy?

#14) The FDIC is backing 8,000 banks that have a total of $13 trillion in assets with a deposit insurance fund that is basically flat broke.  So what do you think will happen if a significant number of small banks do start failing?

#15) Existing home sales in the United States jumped 7.6 percent in April.  That is the good news.  The bad news is that this increase only happened because the deadline to take advantage of the temporary home buyer tax credit (government bribe) was looming.  So now that there is no more tax credit for home buyers, what will that do to home sales? 

#16) Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently told the U.S. government that they are going to need even more bailout money.  So what does it say about the U.S. economy when the two "pillars" of the U.S. mortgage industry are government-backed financial black holes that the U.S. government has to relentlessly pour money into?

#17) 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement.  Tens of millions of Americans find themselves just one lawsuit, one really bad traffic accident or one very serious illness away from financial ruin.  With so many Americans living on the edge, how can you say that the economy is healthy?

#18) The mayor of Detroit says that the real unemployment rate in his city is somewhere around 50 percent.  So can the U.S. really be experiencing an economic recovery when so many are still unemployed in one of America's biggest cities?

#19) Gallup's measure of underemployment hit 20.0% on March 15th.  That was up from 19.7% two weeks earlier and 19.5% at the start of the year.  Do you think that is a good trend or a bad trend?

#20) One new poll shows that 76 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. economy is still in a recession.  So are the vast majority of Americans just stupid or could we still actually be in a recession?

#21) The bottom 40 percent of those living in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.  So is Barack Obama's mantra that "what is good for Wall Street is good for Main Street" actually true?

#22) Richard Russell, the famous author of the Dow Theory Letters, says that Americans should sell anything they can sell in order to get liquid because of the economic trouble that is coming.  Do you think that Richard Russell is delusional or could he possibly have a point?

#23) Defaults on apartment building mortgages held by U.S. banks climbed to a record 4.6 percent in the first quarter of 2010.  In fact, that was almost twice the level of a year earlier.  Does that look like a good trend to you?

#24) In March, the price of fresh and dried vegetables in the United States soared 49.3% - the most in 16 years.  Is it a sign of a healthy economy when food prices are increasing so dramatically?

#25) 1.41 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009 - a 32 percent increase over 2008.  Not only that, more Americans filed for bankruptcy in March 2010 than during any month since U.S. bankruptcy law was tightened in October 2005.  So shouldn't we at least wait until the number of Americans filing for bankruptcy is not setting new all-time records before we even dare whisper the words "economic recovery"?

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  • Rick

    Pure genius. Wonderful article and I will be sure to reference these bullets in the future to convince the sheeple.

    Great Job!

  • Rick

    I have something I wrote that I want to share with you. How can I send it to you?

    • Michael

      Rick:

      If you hit the “Contact” button at the top of the page it will bring you to a contact form. If you fill out that form with your message it will be emailed directly to me.

      I love to get emails by the way, so I hope that everyone will feel free to contact me.

      Michael

  • http://guymcpherson.com Guy McPherson

    26. The primary driver underlying these trends is the end of inexpensive oil. We passed the world oil peak in 2005, and even the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense recognize large looming shortages. Considering all six of the recessions since 1972 were preceded by a spike in the price of oil — with the Great Recession preceded by the largest price spike in history — do you think this is good news or bad news for the industrial economy?

    Excellent summary, by the way. Please keep up the good work.

  • http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com Mr. Liberty

    In additon to the wonderful example presented here.

    Let us not forget the trillion plus unfunded pensions and the fact that 10,000 baby boomers a day are retiring on SS and Medicare.

  • rich

    They say the prop up is only temporary but what’s temporary……5,10,20 or 30 years or longer

  • Paul

    Brilliant!

    And what’s scary is, this article doesn’t even mention the HUGE problems facing us in the next several years!

    End of cheap oil, $3 trillion in state pension underfunding across the U.S., trillions in Social Security and Medicare shortfalls that will have to be made up by the Federal government, etc.

  • A Guest

    #5) With the U.S. Congress planning to quadruple oil taxes, what do you …

    Going from 8 cents a barrel to 32 cents a barrel doesn’t cause me a lot of concern when we’re talking $70/barrel to begin with…other points are well taken….

  • http://yophat.blogspot.com/ Yophat

    Excellent article!!!

    Here is an article for #16 that would improve your point -
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-24/fha-home-financing-volume-sign-of-very-sick-system-update2-.html

    Key points -

    May 24 (Bloomberg) — Loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, the U.S.-owned mortgage insurer, may be involved in more home-purchase transactions than borrowing financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    FHA lending last quarter may have topped the combined volume of government-supported Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a home-lending market that’s still a “government-financed market,” David Stevens, the agency’s head, said today at a conference in New York, citing research by consultant Potomac Partners.

    “This is a market purely on life support, sustained by the federal government,” he said at the Mortgage Bankers Association conference. “Having FHA do this much volume is a sign of a very sick system.”

    The FHA and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which regulators seized in 2008, have been financing more than 90 percent of U.S. home lending after a retreat by banks and the collapse of the market for mortgage bonds without government-backed guarantees.

  • http://yophat.blogspot.com/ Yophat

    Also another key fundamental driver is the fact that our money is created by debt….and we have hit the debt saturation point. Here’s a couple links on it -

    THE Most Important Chart of the CENTURY

    This is a very simple chart. It takes the change in GDP and divides it by the change in Debt. What it shows is how much productivity is gained by infusing $1 of debt into our debt backed money system.
    http://economicedge.blogspot.com/2010/03/most-important-chart-of-century.html

    Here is some additional explanation and sources -
    http://economicedge.blogspot.com/2010/04/guest-post-and-more-on-most-important.html

  • sharonsj

    Nobody with eyes believes there is a recovery. The question is whether our government has the will to make real changes. I keep reading they will avoid doing anything until the November elections. I wonder how much BP oil will be on our coastlines by then?

  • http://www.scribd.com/doc/16864582/The-Great-Recession-Conspiracy James Taylor

    Thank goodness! I have finally found a fellow soul. Check http://thegreatrecessionconspiracy.blogspot.com for another view of the world.

    • Michael

      Very nice blog James!

      I hope that everyone will check it out.

  • http://www.durablefaith.com durablefaith

    EXCELLENT POST!

  • Diogenes the Dog

    Brilliant summary; should be required reading for every citizen. Just one point: not to be a pedant, but the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic took place in the early 1920s, not the 1930s. By January 1933, Hitler was Chancellor of Germany and we all know how that turned out. Keep up the excellent work!

  • Bill

    Excellent and scary!

  • http://www.facebook.com/BenjaminMichaelDumez Benjamin Dumez

    We can’t forget the Federal Reserve System and the IRS.

  • http://economiccollapse Dang

    Recovery not tell the banks open up with the tarp money. Which is my guess is way over the so called 1 trillion. I since a hidden plan the gov not telling us. Here it is. We now owe the chinese nothing an also japan. The u.s. gov paid it all off our over seas debt. Which is around 7-8 trillion $. The gov was getting scared the china or japan would run for cover from a worthless dollar an cause a collapse they could control when. So the u.s. gov wants control when the crash will hit an accure. But this is a secrete my guess. So what did the u.s. pay them off with. Here it is, the gov of the united states simple opened up alot of bank accounts an deposited close to 1 trillion$. In various account across america. Then these banks huge ones can loan out 10 to 1 on this money. Making 1 trillion into 10. Theres all kinds of money in asia now. I hope they buy gold with it.

  • Serp

    The only people that think the recession is over are the moron Obama fanatics that post on Yahoo! news articles. They have also posted it is over every week since 2008, about a week after finally admitting there was a recession, much like this administration does.

    I don’t think I’ve ever hated a President and his administration more than I do Obama. This man truly might be the biggest liar on the planet. And I thought Bush was bad…

  • lance
  • http://www.survivaljoe.net Survival Joe

    Great article! I especially liked Question #21. Hard to believe so many people own so little.

    Too many people believe whatever they read in the mainstream news. They’re in for a big shock when the crisis accelerates. Now is the time to prepare.

    Survival Joe
    http://www.survivaljoe.net

  • Paul

    Measurements by GDP are useless, because GDP isn’t a measure of taxable income.

    GDP is calculated to include stupid things like the value of rent you could pay if you rented instead of owning your home, economic production and services that are not taxable, and the value of increase in quality or features of goods and services even when the price is the same or lower than the year before.

    What we do know is that at some point people will want higher interest rates for U.S. Treasury bills and the more money the Fed prints, the higher the interest investors will want to make up for the inflation.

    At some point, Uncle Sam will max out his credit cards at sub-prime rates and then there’ll be no more willingness to lend to America just like what happened in Argentina or Zimbabwe.

  • Susan

    (Sigh) I am glad to see that some people are sticking to their guns. I am an employee at a rather prestigious university in a state which I will not name only to say that the governor is a well-known movie action hero. When I say to anyone within earshot “There will BE no state pension” I am probably perceived as a whack job. Personally I think they are the whack jobs – nobody ever talks about the heck the state is going to close a $500 billion pension fund gap. Instead, they buy into the hype that California and Los Angeles real estate are going to recover, and we will go on like nothing has happened.

  • http://DonUSA.blogspot.com Don

    Excellent article! Great research. I’ll be linking to this at my news blog Wake Up America !!!, which can be viewed at http://DonUSA.blogspot.com

  • http://www.thunderdrake.com/blog/ Aury (Thunderdrake)

    You did a great job outlining all of the flaws in media projected illusions.

    The only question I can ask various Americans now is ‘Are you prepared?’

  • 3rd worlder

    A full 1/2 of the population still worship Obama because of who he is, instead of what he is doing?

  • MOHSIN

    Yes a recession did happen in America. But so did it happen in the rest of the world.

    How can I compare one country’s recession to another country’s recession?

    I donot think that economic factors have the same weightage arround the world.

  • http://kiatoa.blogspot.com Matt

    Regarding #5, I believe that taxing oil will *improve* the economy, not harm it. There is a crude (pun not intended) analysis at my blog. This is a case where a shallow analysis will come to a conclusion 100% opposite from a deep analysis.

    Taxing oil has the following benefits:

    1. It is mostly a progressive tax. The wealthy have big houses to heat and private jets to fuel. The poor can always resort to bicycles and buses.

    2. Taxing oil puts downward pressure on crude oil prices. Higher prices at the pump push down consumption, too increase sales and keep refineries at full capacity crude prices must drop. This keeps large amounts of money *inside* our borders and out of the hands of the oil producing nations.

    3. The pressure on fuel and material prices drives innovation and homeland investment. For example sustainable energy sources become more economically viable and will attract investors and inventors.

    4. The environment benefits which will almost certainly improve health over time which will lower health care costs.

    There are a few more I could mention but in no way does higher oil prices net a negative impact on the economy.

  • Jo

    With regard to the 8k credit expiring, the banks are stepping up to the plate to replace that. I’ve noticed that banks are giving up to 8k credit on properties for “repairs.”

    They won’t reduce the price 8k. Must pretend prices are stablizing.

  • Renter

    Hey, why burst anyone’s bubble?

    The people are happy that Govn’t has spent all the money to mask the underlying economic problems. Optimism can go a long way. But I am in a hurry. My son has asthma and I need to move out of my apartment nearby freeway to more expensive neighborhood with clean air.

    I know it. You know it. I don’t want anyone to realize that there is an impending economic down turn. If they don’t realize it, it would be painfully quick and over. And I can buy a house within a next few years. If they realize it, they will prolong the pain and dig a deeper hole. And I won’t be able to buy a home, because I need to save for impending disaster. So shut up.

  • http://erectuswalksamongstus.com Max Hardwood

    When you look past all the events that are about to occur, all I can see is: U.S. Govt broke, unable to ‘finance’ any more bailouts. People in Amerika, will be broke, hungry and homeless, and I’m talking about 80% or 90% of them. It’s looking as though if you don’t grow your own food, make your own clothes, distill your own alcohol for fuel & spirits, etc, you are going to be in a WORLD of HURT!

  • William

    I absolutely agree that we have not gotten out of the woods. One thing I haven’t seen yet is a thoughtful analysis of what the economy will look like in one, three and five years. What are the n’th order consequences? What does the future look like?

  • Alice

    I think it was a great article, although I am one of the long term unemployed who needs an extension. I would say many of those foreclosures, bankruptcies, late payments may be due to the government pulling the rug out from under the unemployed. Yes 99 weeks is a long time but what has changed since then that helps with a job. There are supposedly alot of fantasy jobs out there but no one I see is finding them. Three people I know got laid off this week….no new jobs.

  • just wondering

    MARCH TO WASHINGTON DC

    JUNE 22 – JUNE 24, 2010

    UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS FOR AMERICA!

    JOBS NOW! TIER 5 IMMEDIATELY!!!

    You must understand——they are out of benefits, families hurting, and suicides are on the rise.
    They are going if they have to walk from California!

    THESE ARE PROUD HARD WORKING AMERICANS!

  • UNF

    Excellent article, but you forgot to mention the fiscal black hole of US militarism, which in 2008 drained >4% off your GDP, accounting for some 48% of world total military expenditure.

    During the Cold War Reagan boasted of ‘spending the Soviets into the ground’, but strangely, now that the policy sustained by all his heirs has produced the same success in the US economy, nobody is taking the credit? Rarely are we treated to such modesty from the US ‘elite’!

    The truism ‘Karma’s a real bitch’ was in earlier times aptly rendered thus by MacBeth:

    “But in these cases
    We still have judgment here; that we but teach
    Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
    To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
    Commends the ingredients of our poison’d chalice
    To our own lips.”

    Which begs the question #26, even though bipartirupt political leaders insist on the increasing imperial necessity, how much longer will or should US taxpayers waste themselves in futile efforts to impose the Pox Americana on an increasingly resentful world?

    While the economic pain felt by the fatted HomeLanders during this time of U$-imperial prolapse will undoubtedly be severe, it is necessary to wean yourselves off the strawberry teat and deflate the run-amok enforcer (US militarism) to a sane level which relieves the rest of the world from having to subsist under its threats or unite to cause its defeat.

    In other words, even those punch-drunk on the poison’d chalice have to sober up sometime, or die by overdose. Your choice.

  • a Guest

    Matt,

    To address some of your points:

    1)Millions of middle class american’s rely on their cars for transportation and can almost not be avoided. Additionally, what do you think a rise in energy prices will do to public transportation that is already facing huge budget deficits. fares go up the lower and middle class pay more. will they pay $ for $ as much more as the rich? No, but as a percentage of their income/wealth it will still be a lot

    2)This arguement of driving away demand has been made from everything to cigarettes and alcohol. it just isn’t true… this country has made us dependent on oil even worse that someone thats addicted to cigarettes. it will only take more money from us.

    3)this point is valid

    4)this point is the same as #3.

  • http://www.dandrewpartners.com Salvatore M. Buscemi

    As we’ve been telling our investors: we believe, the Sovereign Debt Crisis is just beginning. We believe just as we predicted in the mortgage backed security crisis, where there would be recurring mortgage backed security problems haunting the markets causing substantial losses when one least’s expect it, we believe the same will hold true with the Sovereign Debt Crisis. We also believe, in between crises the market will have sharp rallies, but with each new crisis most profits will be lost and then some. When you have to pay down debt that is money taken away from buying consumer goods, capital expenditures, and creating jobs.

    Remember, all markets are interdependent today.

  • Watcher

    When the elected representatives of the people learn that they can vote themselves more money, democracy begins to fail. It is absolutely necessary that 55% of the population pay taxes in order for the rest to receive benefits from the US Treasury. Perhaps the government will continue to design a society whereby 45% of the population work in somewhat mindless government positions, mired in meaningless policy and bureaucracy.

    In another vein, any moral fiber America may have once held has vanished. It baffles me that the government will pay me to have children when I can’t even afford to feed myself without government aid. To entertain the ideas of sexual abstinence and family planning is taboo to today’s politician. You can’t get re-elected preaching responsible action. The consequences of my actions are brought to bear on my children, as the game gets leaner and leaner.

    To avoid anarchy, there must be some major brainstorming going on in Washington to procure all American’s firearms. I think the responsible agenda set forth by Chris Christie and a few others to serve the people and severely limit the role of government in society may possibly gain traction. It seems evident that we are spinning out of control, as outlined in your article.

  • Ricky

    Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
    1ricky77333 1 week ago

  • Ava

    #1 rhetorical bull**** question. Tell me what percentage of our taxes are going to food stamps. That’s what I thought, nearly nill!

    #2 Sure I can! Subprime lending and crooked bankers sunk the real estate market. People have lost their houses but the good news is with stricter regulation under Obama and the home buying tax credit, subprime lending has substantially decreased and home sales are on the rise. In April, home sales increased by 6%. http://blog.taragana.com/business/2010/06/02/stocks-extend-climb-after-april-homes-sales-increase-6-percent-on-race-to-meet-tax-credit-67037/

    #3 Major US banks are offering more grace periods on home mortgages allowing the average US citizen in this economy (destroyed by the Bush admin) to recover. More evidence of good work by the Obama admin! Regulate the bankers!!

    #4 This is the same question as #2 :P

    #5 The oil spill was not Obama’s fault. Of course gas prices are going to rise and that will cause some strain on American families financially, particularly those like myself who drive frequently on the job. It is what it is but trying to tie it in as being some sort of failure due to Obama’s stimulus is nonsense.

    #6 I think it’s a bad sign that anybody in California was stupid enough to vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger, who may very well be the worst governor in history. The rich aren’t any less richer but that doesn’t stop him from cutting out social services like a mad man. Shame on the governator!

    #7 “States have been struggling with huge budget gaps since 2008″…. “The stimulus funds have staved off what could have been even deeper cuts,” said Todd Haggerty, policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nice work, Obama!

    #8 Stop shopping at Wal Marx then. It’s the US citizens who are primarily responsible for this. If you’d like to change it, shop local!

    #9 The unemployment rate is decreasing, the stock market is coming back to life, housing sales are on the rise. Pick one.

    #10 How many billions of dollars got permanently lost by the Bush administration during the Iraq war again? I’d say things are improving. At least this admin accounted for the funds!

    #11 Biased rhetorical non question. Of course US debt is going to increase when we are in an economic collapse (Obama’s not to blame for that one, it started way before his presidency). The article that you linked to itself even stated “The sharp rise in U.S. debt started in 2006.”

    #12 Author is acting as though the entire US economy is hinging on OIL. It’s not.

    #13 Full quote shows the emptiness of your argument: “The four biggest banks have since repaid most or all of the U.S. bailout funds. While smaller U.S. lenders keep failing, pushing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s list of “problem” banks to a 17-year high, the largest are getting a lift from economic growth that’s helping consumers and businesses stay current on loan payments.”

    #14 That is not what the article says, it simply says that the big banks are doing great but the author’s perspective is this is not a good thing for the middle class.

    #15 Hmm, where’s my crystal ball??? LOL And btw thanks for admitting Obama’s tax credit worked to increase home sales. That was very big of you.

    #16 The housing market is recovering. You seem to have a personal problem with that and a personal desire to see the economy fail.

    #17 More delusional scenarios from the right wing! “Tens of millions of Americans find themselves just one lawsuit, one really bad traffic accident or one very serious illness away from financial ruin. With so many Americans living on the edge, how can you say that the economy is healthy?” OMG! Tens of millions of Americans living on the edge of disaster!! hahahaha Drama much? You know they are wrong when they have to reduce themselves to pulling out the imaginary “what if’s”. That’s not logic, it’s desperation.

    #18 Detroit mayor trying to claim the “underemployed” as part of the unemployment rate in the city. Did you read this article???

    Detroit city officials argue that, when workers who are underemployed are added to the calculation, the number of city residents who are out of work is close to one in every two.

    The Detroit News reports:

    “The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that for the year that ended in September, Michigan’s official unemployment rate was 12.6 percent. Using the broadest definition of unemployment, the state unemployment rate was 20.9 percent, or 66 percent higher than the official rate. Since Detroit’s official rate for October was 27 percent, that broader rate pushes the city’s rate to as high as 44.8 percent.”

    #19 “Underemployment” is not unemployment. What the author of this list of 25 items failed to clarify is that as the unemployment rate is decreasing and more people are becoming EMPLOYED, so the “underemployed” rate will increase as people with part time jobs who are getting back on their feet again are seeking more full time labor. This is actually a great sign for the economy! Again I have to wonder if whoever wrote this has actually read any of the articles they are citing…

    #20 Okay, yes the majority of Americans are stupid. And yes we are still in a recession, but we are no longer in total economic devastation. We’re recovering.

    #21 This has always been the case, the gap has not increased under Obama. This is Capitalism. Wtf do you expect?

    #22 Delusional.

    #23 “Banks tended to make more aggressively underwritten apartment loans earlier during this last cycle. Credit and pricing reached their peaks for office properties and other commercial assets later.”

    “U.S. apartments may lead a rebound in commercial real estate as vacancies peak in 2010 and the economy adds jobs, property research firm Reis Inc. said May 19. Reis estimates apartment vacancies will peak at 8.2 percent in 2010, the highest level since the firm began tracking the number in 1980. The number should start to decline in 2011, Reis said.”

    #24 Healthy foods cost more as the name brand “Food” industry prospers (which sells packaged and chemical laden crap that Americans buy up by the ton at grocery stores). So sadly, yes.

    #25 No we should not. Bankruptcy is actually the first step for many people towards getting their financial **** together. This was inevitable with all the subprime lending and the outrageous inflation that’s been continuing to rise the last 30 years while pay has stayed relatively the same. Obama’s admin is doing a good job cracking down, and I hope to see continual improvements on that as well.

  • Andrew

    The fix to all of this is to wipe out (via emancipation) all mortgage debt that resides inside collateralized debt obligations and other mortgage-backed securities. The investors get screwed, but they can sue who screwed them, mainly investment banks. Meanwhile homeowners now have substantial free cash flow and much less debt. The economy will bottom, housing will bottom, and capital becomes available to help fix all the rest of the country’s fiscal ills.

    Will it happen? Never.

  • Omar

    The answer is in the Noble Qur’an:

    There God(swt) says that the enemies of Allah (i.e. God) will spend against the believers and will regret. So, first they must spend, then regret. Taste it now!

  • MIkhail Branski

    Okay, okay. We know things are bad and gonna get a lot worse. That is obvious. As Doonesbury quoted Mao as saying (maybe it wasn’t a joke): “There is chaos under heaven and the situation is excellent!”

    The point being that the formula for change, social and political transformation is: Suffering + Ideas, Direction, Leadership = Change

    Assuming there is and will be a lot more suffering, what is lacking is political ideas and leadership. Ultimately, we should be building a movement towards Social Democracy where the Plutocracy does not control everything. We need a new Social Contract that provides citizens with the basics: Housing, Health Care, Free Higher Education, etc. It is required that people work and be responsible. So, if there are no jobs, it is incumbent upon the government working with cities and private industry to sponsor jobs.

    Of course, this means a massive shift of money and capital to the underclasses which is good. Socialism does have some positive benefits. The old paradigm of capitalism was/is basically a joke since it is all bullshit: The powers that be game the system, promote collusion at all levels, are corrupt, in league with politicians who are equally corrupt. There is no reason why anyone needs to be filthy rich (that is a psychological sickness). Instead, spread the wealth around but do it in a reasonable fashion and make persons accountable. We do not want a massive welfare state but in order to prevent social chaos and disruption, the govt. has to step in and induce or compel changes.

    There is no reason why 10% of population should obtain 90% of income, wealth, etc. There is no reason why, just because they can, people should own third, fourth, fifth and more houses (like McCain and many other rich politicians). There is no reason why tax rates should not be raised. There is no reason why we can’t build a better world. If people can’t stop the urge for materialism, consumerism, greed, rampant white collar crime, then they must pay the price for their behavior.

  • http://www.citizenforfreedom.blogspot.com Joe

    TO Ava AND Mikhail. You obviously have no knowledge of economics, you also have no knowledge of history, your supporting socialist economic policy that has proven to fail, time and time again. When their are no wealthy, there are no employers. When there are no employers, there are no employees. When there are no employees, there is no work done or goods produced. Then there is nothing for anyone to live on. zero, zilch, nada. Sort of like your combined brain power.

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