Facebook was a pain yesterday. I guess a lot of other users had trouble also because the evening news carried the problem. When I did get on it was slow and lost a lot of the updates on the games. I have been cutting back on the games and the time I spend on them. Part of the problem is I am a bit bored with them.
Well, the Republicans have put out their 'Contract With America II,' oh, excuse me the 'Promise to America.' If you want a nice analysis of exactly what all that hot air would mean take a look at this Washington Post article. I thought when I listened to the sound bites when they announced their so-called plan was 'Nothing new.' That is about the sum total of the whole sound and fury.
So, the Great Recession is over according to the NBER. For a humorous take on the situation go to MSNBC and take a look at the cartoons in the Business section right hand side. The problem with the NBER announcement is simply that it is all about the GDP numbers and that is very misleading. Once the GDP has bottomed out there is only one way to go and, unfortunately for most of us, it isn't going in that direction very fast. I guess the good news is that the talking heads have to stop talking about a 'double dip' since any new economic decline would be considered a separate recession. This article, also at MSNBC, explains the limitations of the NBER declaration very succinctly.
Then there is this MSNBC article that puts things in a nutshell--the economy is schizophrenic. For every bit of not so bad news there is a bit of not so good news out there. The existing housing sales figures ticked up in August which is 'not so bad' but August was still the weakest month for that statistic in some two decades which is 'not so good.' But there is a pithy statement that explains much of the Catch 22 we are in:
"What's becoming increasing clear is that this isn't a normal recovery," said Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak. "There's little we can do to create jobs until demand returns, and demand isn't returning.
They can't create jobs until demand returns and demand isn't going to return till jobs do. And the tax cuts, payroll tax holidays, business credits and all the rest of the measures proposed simply won't do much for demand. That means there isn't a hell of a lot government can do except keep spending. But for how long and to what lasting effect? That is the big question.