Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Being Broke By Any Other Name....

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that UCLA calls the current and immediate future state of the American economy not great, but NOT a recession. Warren Buffett, a billionaire who is currently marketed more for his charity than his dependency on government subsidies, said weeks ago that the United States was already in a recession. Meanwhile the Bush administration (if you want to call it that), along with Congress, is allowing much more relief for mortgage companies than their endangered clients. They are unwilling to call the shrinking value of the American dollar (in America) among other economic and social indicators an official recession. Sort of like the hesitancy to call the Arab massacre of blacks in Dafur, Sudan a genocide. But not calling it that didn't change what it was and what it continues to be today. Such is the case with the American economy. More jobs at Jack N The Box taking the place of higher paying blue and white collar jobs is part of a country's receding status in real economic power. Though a recession involves more, people should be smart enough to ignore this political game of semantics. We owe too much. Spend too much. Save to little. And aren't making sure that enough of our children are smart enough to manage the future any differently. For those interested in long-term consequences of current actions, we're screwed. Unless you are well connected and/or well monied, it's going to get rough and it's going to get worse. If the majority of people are in a recession, then so is the rest of the country - charts and graphs be damned. Studying the economic power of the top 10% or 1% of Americans tells us very little. Even studying the economic situation of the 30+% of working age Americans that have a college degree tells a more limited story. The state of the non-college educated, working age individual is the true story of the majority of the country. THAT is where you look to find out what's really going on. Why? Because except for the 2004 presidential election, the story of the majority should rule.

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