More cheery stories of the economic “‘recovery'”

April 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm (Icepick)

For many Americans, ‘temp’ work becomes permanent way of life

Moving in with parents becomes more common for the middle-aged

Cheery stories, both, five years into the “‘recovery'”.

Every other story right now is a side-show to the big news, which is that the American economy is being hollowed out like a melon rind, and our elites just don’t care enough to even address the issue. I’d tell you to remember that come the fall election season, but that just doesn’t matter anymore either.

NOTE: I’m now using three marks for the opening and closing of the scare quotation marks around the word RECOVERY because two just don’t seem like enough.


  1. mockturtle said,

    “The US is an oligarchy, study concludes
    Report by researchers from Princeton and Northwestern universities suggests that US political system serves special interest organisations, instead of voters.”

    Wow, news flash! Next thing you know, we’ll find out carnival games are rigged! ;-)

  2. Icepick said,

    Carnival games are rigged?!!?

    My world, it reels!

  3. Icepick said,

    Actually, the study did have a bit of a surprise, in that it found that majority opinion had almost zero influence on policy. We all know the rich bastards and certain special interests have the most power, but the idea that even an overwhelming majority opinion means nothing is a bit of a shock.

    At least until one thinks of all the things in which the majority is constantly overruled…

    The one area where I can think of majority opinion having an impact in the last 15 years has been on immigration amnesty. If the elites had their way, every peasant in the Third World would have already been imported into the country and given the vote. But Republican voters have managed on a few occasions in that span of time to terrify their elected “representatives” into doing the will of their constituents. But besides that I can’t think of a thing where the people have overruled the elites.

    Anyway, it’s going to make it much easier to not vote this year. That and the thought that out of 19,000,000 the best two candidates for Governor that Florida can come up with are Rick Scott (who bought the governorship four years ago) and Charlie Crist (who is the most whorish politician I have ever seen). If this is what representative democracy has come to….

  4. wj said,

    How can you say carnival games are rigged? Next you’ll be telling us that profesional wrestling isn’t real!

  5. realpc920 said,

    I don’t understand what you think the government should do to improve the economy. The economic system is not something the government can control, even if it wanted to. And it does want to, and the policies just make things worse.

  6. mockturtle said,

    Unfortunately, real, government intervention [on the supportive rather than the restrictive side] has long been a part of the problem.

  7. Icepick said,

    The federal government occupies about 20% of the US GDP, and regulatory matters mean its impacts far more than that. State governments comprise about another 20% of the economy, if memory serves.

    US government policies have effects subtle and gross on the economy. Everything from labor policies to trade policies to immigration policies to environmental policies have their effects.

    Example: US immigration policy since 1965 has been designed to crush wages at the low end and increase unemployment by importing tens of millions of Third World peasants to compete for those jobs. As late as the early 1980s, the roofing business consisted of workers who were American-born. (Jobs tended to segregate by race, but all people involved in roofing were American.) These days you can’t hardly find a laborer working on a roof that speaks English. That was a choice of policy makers in Washington DC, and their most important constituents.

    Example: Most of the rare Earth elements mined in the world come from China these days. That isn’t because they have a monopoly on supply, but because of environmental regulations in other places, including the US. Basically, it was decided that we would have a cleaner environment HERE by shipping the pollution THERE. But that also meant a significant hit not just to the extraction industries, but also to US manufacturing.

    Example: The big financial concerns AND THEIR BOSSES got bailed out to the tune of trillions of dollars by the US government and the Federal Reserve System starting in the later months of 2008. The bailouts for everyone else were a fraction of what got spent on bankers. It is even possible to believe that the US needed to bail out banks but didn’t need to bail out bankers, or other financiers. (That would be the position that I hold.) It was not necessary to bail out people that bought credit default swaps from AIG at 100 cents on the dollar, to mention one particular case.

    I could go on. But when the Federal government comprised three percent of the GDP and had limited regulatory powers, it was safe to say the government couldn’t impact the economy. That has not been true in a long time now. So decades of stagnant wage growth and now more than six years of diminished employment can only be seen as matters of choice by the powers that be. THIS is the economy they have chosen.

  8. karen said,

    Hey Ice- how are things with you in terms of rain-
    i saw a report on Pensacola and wondered if you and yours were dealing with the weather, as well?

  9. Icepick said,

    Don’t worry about us and flooding. We live someplace where it doesn’t flood, nor does it flood in the immediate vicinity. (A very small very localized flood can happen at an intersection or two under exactly the right conditions, but it is nothing that would be considered a flood anywhere else.)

    That just isn’t an issue here, not even when we have several hurricanes in a row (as happened in 2004) or a really freak tropical system (as we had in the summer of 2008 – it rained non-stop for over a week). We just aren’t going to flood in my neighborhood.

    Now there are areas here in Central Florida where floods are a problem. They’re invariably areas that were built up on the cheap, usually in the 1960s or 1970s, and were put in swampy areas that were not properly built up.

    Believe it or not, one really can build on a swamp and create an area which doesn’t have a flooding problem. When we lived down in Hunters Creek we were in such an area. But it requires good zoning and inspection, and we haven’t always had that down here. There was one neighborhood over in Volusia County (I believe) where about ten years back they finally settled with a small neighborhood and agreed to buy everyone out. The rationale (and it was appropriate) was that the government should have never allowed the builders to build there.

  10. karen said,

    :0) glad to hear that! We can flood around here- but, not where we live.
    Our place is safe. Unless it comes down the hill behind us- for some unforseen reason( is that spelled incorrectly?).

  11. Icepick said,

    I think it’s unforeseen. That’s what my spellchecker states, in any event.

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