There Is No Plan

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Recovery? What Recovery?

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In early ’09, in the wake of President Obama’s weak-tea stimulus package (a good chunk of which was deficit-enhancing tax cuts) and the media began looking for signs of ‘the recovery’. Throughout ’09 and ’10 NPR’s “Marketplace” asked the same question about a hundred thousand times of various two-bit economists. “So is this a sign that the recovery is on the horizon?”. The answer was always essentially the same. “We’d sure like to think so.”

But a funny thing happened on the way to that recovery. It didn’t happen.

In ’11 so far we’ve had banner months for McJobs at McDonalds followed by job growth falling off a cliff, and high gas prices, and a still declining housing market, and a ballooning European debt crisis, moribund credit, static wage growth, and a ton of other indicators tell us what we knew, and didn’t want to believe.

There is no recovery. And one is getting the sneaking suspicion that there isn’t going to be one, because maybe, just maybe, this is as good as it gets.

Maybe there truly have been structural changes that are going to be impossible to reverse. Like a long-term realignment of real-estate as a wealth generator. Like the fact that we exported all our half-decent jobs to China which pays its workers a fraction of what we pay ours. Like the fact that gas is always going to be pricey. Like the fact that poor education planning, vicious public spending cuts, crumbling infrastructure, and long term unemployment are going to be a drag on America’s productivity for decades to come. Like the fact that we have a Constitution which with ironclads checks and balances which prevent much from actually being done. Like a weak health care reform system that’s unlikely to slow health care inflation to any meaningful degree. Like the selfish, cannibalistic, destructive dominance of Wall Street and its IPO-hungry investors. Like the ideological, Machiavellian Republican Party and the associated fact that money defines politics.

We’re trying hard to wish that it was different. To believe – as we Americans do – that everything’s going to be OK.

But it’s not. This is what the future looks like. The question is whether we as Americans are going to adapt to it – and take advantage of the opportunities it offers to forge a new future.

Thereisnoplan hears the collective sigh of despair.

Right. Not going to happen.


Written by coolrebel

June 3, 2011 at 10:53 am

Posted in Business BS, Washington

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