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Is Permanent Recession the New Normal? Capital strike will continue until Obama is out of office
American Thinker ^ | 06/10/2011 | James G. Wiles

Posted on 06/10/2011 7:05:11 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

It really is a Great Recession now.

You have to be around 90 to even remember an economy like this.  The United States has not experienced two straight years of 9% unemployment since before the Second World War.

As Amity Shales wrote in The Forgotten Man, it was the duration of the economic collapse which began in 1929, not its severity, which created the Great Depression.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States has now had unemployment of 9%, give or take a couple tenths of a point, since May, 2009.

The most recent figure, for May, 2011, is 9.1%.

In a speech on Tuesday, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke essentially threw up his hands.  He's right.  The Keynesian economic toolbox is empty.  So is monetary policy -- unless you want to radically inflate the economy and depreciate the dollar.

China and other nations are already challenging the dollar's status as the world's sole reserve currency.  Revving up the printing presses at the Bureau of Currency will only make that result inevitable.

More government stimulus -- which is what Democratic economists like Paul Krugman are advocating -- is also politically impossible.  It's also not clear it would work.  Yet Professor Krugman is correct when he says that the Great Recession is caused by a lack of demand.  He's also absolutely correct to point out -- as he did on Charlie Rose last Friday night -- that the current situation is unacceptable.

Continuation of these levels of unemployment will cause us to lose an entire generation.  The Great Recession is creating a fundamental change in the nature of unemployment, careers, family life, and economic prospects in this country.  In the last two years, Bob Herbert of the New York Times and Don Peck of the Atlantic Monthly have both written powerfully on this topic.

Mr. Peck's piece, which appeared in March, 2010, has turned out to be especially prophetic.  Fifteen months ago, he wrote: "[t]he economy now sits in a hole more than 10 million jobs deep -- that's the number required to get back to 5% unemployment, the rate we had before the recession started, and the one that's been more or less typical for a generation."

That hole is still there.  And we need to create about 1.5 million new jobs every year -- about 125,000 new jobs every month -- just to keep the unemployment rate from climbing farther.

Those of us who have children and grandchildren now entering the employment market are rightly concerned.

Can anything be done?

President Obama's only defense -- it's Bush's fault! -- is ludicrous.  And its rejection by most voters is reflected in the latest polls.  With this week's sudden resignation of the President's top economic advisor Austun Goolsbee, most senior members of the Obama economic team -- except Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner and chairman Bernanke -- have left government.  So have Mr. Obama's Secretary of Commerce and his first White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

They know a bad thing when they see it.  But to repeat: can anything be done?

No.  The problem with the economy is one of politics, not economics.  The economic solution is known, but it cannot be implemented until there's a Republican president and a Republican Congress.  The reason is the ideology of the Man in the White House.

The stimulus which will turn this economy around has to come from the private sector, not the government.  President Obama and the Democrats who control the Senate will never agree to take the actions necessary to jump-start private business investment.  And that's even though the private-sector money for such a turn-around is readily available.

According to Standard & Poor's, at December 31, 2010, the 500 big American companies in its S & P 500 Index were sitting on $2.4 trillion in cash and short-term investments.

Five months on, there's probably a lot more of it.

This $2.4 trillion cash hoard has steadily accumulated since Barack Obama became president.  At the end of 2008, it already stood at a record $811 billion.  A year later, it was $ 1.18 trillion. In 2010, it more than doubled.

The existence of this huge accumulation of corporate capital in cash and marketable securities over the last three years means that the United States is experiencing a classic "capital strike."  A capital strike occurs under a system of democratic capitalism where unacceptable political risk discourages private investment from taking place.  The result is economic stagnation and a steady build-up of uninvested capital.

That's exactly what we have at the present time.  Consider:

That $2.4 trillion represents 16% of total U.S. GDP last year of $14.7 trillion.  It's also three times the size of the failed stimulus of 2009.  Its injection into the American economy -- without any need for either a tax increase, an increase in the federal deficit, the hiring of a single federal bureaucrat, or an Act of Congress -- would be like firing the afterburner on an F-18.

Okay, you say: what might a package of actions by the federal government to unleash that $2.4 trillion (more likely, today, over $3 trillion) gusher of private investment capital look like?  It's not rocket science.  Consider the following:

  1. End uncertainty by repealing ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank.  Instead, use market forces to re-shape the capital, insurance and home mortgage markets.  With regard to Finance, (a) re-enact the old Glass-Steagall Act, effective January 20, 2014, and (b) spin off Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the taxpayers.  Amtrak should be spun off also.
  2. Reverse the growth of government since January, 2009, by (a) laying off all federal employees added to the payroll (except for those doing menial work) after January 20, 2009 and (b) cancelling all final and proposed regulations first issued for comment after January 20, 2009.  Roll back all federal salaries, except for the military, to what prevailed prior to January 20, 2009.
  3. Demonstrate financial responsibility by enacting, as an acceptable first cut at moving towards fiscal solvency, the Paul Ryan Plan.  Cancel all unspent parts of the 2009 stimulus package not involving infrastructure.  Pass a continuing resolution for the 2011 budget consistent with the Ryan Plan.
  4. Enact a serious infrastructure re-building program which will create good jobs at good pay: re-building highways, bridges, railroads, levees, spillways, locks, spillways, and dams, dredging harbors to accommodate the new, bigger container ships.  Dredge silted up canals and the silted-up Intracoastal Waterway.  Repair the damage caused by the Great Mississippi Flood of 2011.  Rebuild New Orleans.
  5. On tax policy, repeal most business tax deductions.  Keep the middle-class ones.  Give the Dems their tax increase for "the rich" but eliminate the double tax on corporate dividends.  Lower federal corporate tax rates to be competitive with other G-20 nations.
  6. In light of the worldwide commodities boom and the soaring price of energy, end most agriculture subsidies.  End the ban on off-shore drilling, especially in the Gulf of Mexico.  Push nuclear power.  Support shale oil, natural gas and clean coal.
  7. Announce a defense build-up, to commence with the 2012 budget, to install Star Wars, create a 15-division Army, a four-division Marine Corps and a 500-ship Navy.  Re-build the Air Force as well, while closing non-essential bases around the world.  Seek a "home port" deal for a U.S. aircraft carrier with a non-Muslim Indian Ocean nation, similar to what the U.S. now has in Yokosuka, Japan.  Reverse President Obama's decision not to build a ballistic missile defense for Europe in Eastern Europe.
  8. End TSA screening and offer qualified TSA personnel jobs with the Border Patrol and ICE.  Offer all illegals not facing U.S. criminal charges or under active investigation a cash bonus and free transportation to go home, with their possessions.  Build the Fence.
  9. Further increase business confidence by firing the White House czars.
  10. Borrowing a page from the late, great James J. Kilpatrick, adjourn Congress until after Labor Day and post a public notice:

CONGRESS IS ADJOURNED.  THE LIBERTIES OF THE PEOPLE ARE SECURE.

Furlough all non-essential federal civilian employees for the month of August, without pay but with benefits.  In effect: have a one-month government shut-down.

Would this program work, by driving GDP growth and creating millions of private-sector jobs in a turbo-charged economy?  Sure.  Is there any change President Obama and the Democrats who control the Senate support even one of these items?  No.

Here's the point: the problem is not a lack of economic knowledge of what to do.  The problem is ideology -- and the need for regime change in Washington.  That won't happen until January, 2013, at the earliest.

The Capital Strike will end when the Obama Administration ends.  Until then, our unemployed children and grandchildren will have to wait...and wait...and wait.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: depression; recession; unemployment

1 posted on 06/10/2011 7:05:15 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
This should be the mantra for the next election

OBAMA MADE IT WORSE

Every time they bring out that stupid “Obama inherited the Bush recession” just say “OK and HE MADE IT WORSE”

Unemployment was 6% under Bush
went up to almost 10% under Obama

HE MADE IT WORSE~!!

2 posted on 06/10/2011 7:12:02 AM PDT by Mr. K (CAPSLOCK! -Unleash the fury! [Palin/Bachman 2012- unbeatable ticket])
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To: SeekAndFind

As that famous singer and personality Al Jolson once said, “You ain’t seen nuttin’ yet!”


3 posted on 06/10/2011 7:13:31 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: Mr. K

that’s a good one... also.. “WE CAN DO BETTER”


4 posted on 06/10/2011 7:15:31 AM PDT by rokkitapps ( Hearings on healthcare waivers NOW! (If you agree make this your tagline))
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To: SeekAndFind
Democrat response.

What we need are more open borders, more foreign aid, and most of all we need to raise and raise and raise and raise tax.

The more money we ‘take’, the more money ‘they’ have.
It is the Democrat monetary philosophy.

Don't worry that it is completely stupid, illogical, and bound to fail.

For a Liberal, that is where they live.

5 posted on 06/10/2011 7:15:54 AM PDT by 240B (he is doing everything he said he wouldn't and not doing what he said he would)
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To: SeekAndFind

Whomever replaces Obama stands to gain massively if they can just take a few of the actions named in the article.

If we can ensure it is a conservative, it will restore the nation’s faith in our principles.


6 posted on 06/10/2011 7:16:06 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (Too many conservatives urge retreat when the war of politics doesn't go their way.)
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To: Mr. K

He forgot to add obamacare to the mix.


7 posted on 06/10/2011 7:19:24 AM PDT by GlockThe Vote (F U B O ! ! !)
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To: Don Corleone
RE: As that famous singer and personality Al Jolson once said, “You ain’t seen nuttin’ yet!”

He also sang this song ( which is emblematic of what's happening to America now ):


Listen here
8 posted on 06/10/2011 7:21:09 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: GlockThe Vote

No it’s the first one he lists


9 posted on 06/10/2011 7:21:26 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Mr. K

The slogan should be: He made the mess, then he made it worse. He and his Dem buddies are responsible for the housing collapse which was the source of the economic disaster. Take Dems out of government for the last fifty years, and the average American would be a lot wealthier.


10 posted on 06/10/2011 7:22:43 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: SeekAndFind

Even after Obama leaves office, businesses must consider the supporters that put him in office. Those that believe in corporatism or the collective will still be after the ‘free lunch’.
The producers/achievers are now on notice. You will be required to sacrifice for the ‘common good’.
Just look at the deficit. Someone should figure out just how much sacrifice is required for the current fiasco.

Capital Strike!!


11 posted on 06/10/2011 7:23:57 AM PDT by griswold3 (Character is destiny)
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To: GlockThe Vote
He forgot to add obamacare to the mix.

Repealing Obamacare was in his first point.

12 posted on 06/10/2011 7:25:55 AM PDT by CharacterCounts (November 4, 2008 - the day America drank the Kool-Aid)
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To: CharacterCounts

I missed it. I just saw Dodd Frank.

This article barely scratches the surface of all the treasonous shit obama has done so far.


13 posted on 06/10/2011 7:29:01 AM PDT by GlockThe Vote (F U B O ! ! !)
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To: SeekAndFind
Lets add a few more:

Eliminate or greatly reduce the EPA. This agency alone is killing growth.

Sell 70% of government lands to American taxpayers.

It costs billions each year just to maintain these lands - none of which are put to productive use.

14 posted on 06/10/2011 7:30:17 AM PDT by CharacterCounts (November 4, 2008 - the day America drank the Kool-Aid)
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To: SeekAndFind
The 0bama policies are turning a 1-2 year recession into a 10-20 year depression. On purpose.
Even though the slowdown began late in Bush's second term, I sensed the cause of the downturn was in no small part because people in the market saw what was coming, they knew that an 0bama presidency would be bad for the economy.
I've often seen the market react stronger on anticipation or dread of future events than the actual event.
Normally the market corrects itself after the fact, but this time the gov't policies did everything to fuel a continued down trend. On purpose.

15 posted on 06/10/2011 7:30:44 AM PDT by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: SeekAndFind
Unemployment rate U6=15.8%

16 posted on 06/10/2011 7:31:05 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: SeekAndFind

My main concern is that the majority of idiots who voted for this POS are still suffering from idiocy and will vote for him again.


17 posted on 06/10/2011 7:36:19 AM PDT by Ronald_Magnus
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To: SeekAndFind

Bump


18 posted on 06/10/2011 7:42:30 AM PDT by Lancer_N3502A
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To: BitWielder1
The 0bama policies are turning a 1-2 year recession into a 10-20 year depression.

Obama (as all liberals do) tried to have his cake and eat it too.

He believed the Keynesian claptrap about government spending stimulating the economy. To please the left, he introduced Obamacare (which anyone with even half a brain) knew would negatively impact the economy and drive jobs overseas. To please the left, he introduce all this green jobs technology, which since it costs more to make than it sells for, is a job killer - you can never improve a system by introducing an inefficiency into it. Add in anti growth regulations and you have quite a few anchors holding back the economy.

Obama thought the stimulus and quantitative easing would be sufficient to overcome these anchors and the economy would improve. In other words something for nothing - which is the basis of Keynesian stupidity.

All the stimulus did was provide a sugar high - temporarily keeping teachers and government employees on the job for one more year and quantitative easing is nothing more than a backhanded way of increasing our taxes via inflation.

19 posted on 06/10/2011 7:44:53 AM PDT by CharacterCounts (November 4, 2008 - the day America drank the Kool-Aid)
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To: SeekAndFind
The only thing propping up the illusion of a recovery the markets at a relative high. But how long can that last with all the bad news coming in daily now? At some point panic selling will set it and the bottom will drop out.
20 posted on 06/10/2011 7:45:27 AM PDT by jpsb
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To: SeekAndFind

The Capital Strike will end when the Obama Administration ends
Indceed only a fool would invest when one never knows what slick game plan Obama will pull.


21 posted on 06/10/2011 8:07:39 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: SeekAndFind
China and other nations are already challenging the dollar's status as the world's sole reserve currency. Revving up the printing presses at the Bureau of Currency will only make that result inevitable.

If the US loses reserve currency status, we'll become third world overnight...

22 posted on 06/10/2011 8:15:46 AM PDT by GOPJ (In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act. - - Orwell)
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To: GOPJ
If the US loses reserve currency status, we'll become third world overnight...

Imagine how much gas and food would cost if we had to use worthless dollars to buy another currency before we could buy oil.

23 posted on 06/10/2011 8:19:02 AM PDT by N. Theknow (The MSM is to 0bama what the Broom-n-Scoop Detail is to a circus parade.)
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To: N. Theknow
Imagine how much gas and food would cost if we had to use worthless dollars to buy another currency before we could buy oil.

Each American household OWES more than $500.000 - (individual share of US debt). Imagine paying for gas and food with a worthless currency AFTER paying our daily (taxes) share of the debt... with interest. Forever.

24 posted on 06/10/2011 8:27:43 AM PDT by GOPJ (In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act. - - Orwell)
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To: SeekAndFind

and Obama’s whole campaign will revolve around attacking the capital strikers as Greedy and Unpatriotic.

Atlas Shrugged is playing out before our very eyes.


25 posted on 06/10/2011 8:59:05 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind
Yet Professor Krugman is correct when he says that the Great Recession is caused by a lack of demand.

If there is a lack of demand which is associated with a lack of demand for labor, then, the cure is to allow free market forces to decrease average prices and average wage rates to an equilibrium point,where it becomes profitable to make investments and the demand for labor begins to increase.And then, the decline in prices and wage rates needs to continue until full employment is reached. If this is done with minimal government interference, recovery will happen faster.Not allowing this to happen will just prolong the recession.

26 posted on 06/10/2011 10:05:08 AM PDT by mjp ((pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, natural rights, limited government, capitalism}))
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To: SeekAndFind
The dismal science, economics, is more instructive about the policies not to enact. Unfortunately, when the rats find themselves in a hole, they keep digging.

Bad Debt.

27 posted on 06/10/2011 10:23:41 AM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: CharacterCounts

The EPA has accomplished its original mission. If it is to continue to exist, it should be at a minimal caretaker status. Enforce existing standards. Yet for the past decade or more, the EPA has been an agency searching for a mission, since its original scope has been accomplished. So it tries to create a new mission out of desparation by bad science and social engineering.
Please note that this assessment of the EPA can be considered “generous” by some on this forum, including myself.


28 posted on 06/10/2011 10:30:59 AM PDT by Fred Hayek (FUBO, the No Talent Pop Star pResident.)
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