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July 08, 2011

AP notices we've driven out of the ditch and are heading towards a cliff. [ArthurK]

Here's a quick and dirty fisking of this afternoon's AP version of DOOM! Stimulus isn't mentioned, Obama is only mentioned once.

The job market is defying history.

A dismal June employment report shows that employers are adding nowhere near as many jobs as they normally do this long after a recession has ended.

Unemployment has climbed for three straight months and is now at 9.2 percent. There's no precedent, in data going back to 1948, for such a high rate two years into what economists say is a recovery.

Picked the wrong time span. Try the 1930s and you'll have a similar "recovery" caused by a similar "president".

Sometimes disappointing economic reports look better on closer inspection. This one gets uglier.

One Term President.

And 16.2 percent of those who wanted to work were either unemployed, forced to settle for part-time jobs or had given up looking for work. That figure was up from 15.8 percent in May.

That U-6 number we just remembered. Up .4%! A lot bigger than the .1% unemployment rate bump.

Even if President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans agree to raise the borrowing limit, the deal will likely require deep cuts in government spending and possibly tax increases.

Ooooh. I like that conventional wisdom. Cuts = likely. Tax increases = only a possibility. Change the way people think you change the way things work out.

Heightening the uncertainty are Europe's debt crisis and the possibility that China's efforts to tame inflation will slow its booming economy.

China's a real time bomb.

The Conference Board business group said last week that its consumer confidence index fell to 58.5 in June. A healthy reading is 90. At this point after the previous three recessions, the index averaged 87.

Holy Moly.

"The policy cupboard is pretty bare, and we can see what the emperor looks like disrobed," Rosenberg says. "It's not a pretty picture."

My eyes!

I skipped some choice paragraphs worthy of sarcastic comment. Feel free to slip those in the comments.

-------------- update ---------------

Just thought of something relevant to that 1930s crack I made above. This country has had a lot of practice dealing with the bust part (recession) of the boom and bust cycle since the Great Depression. The interventionist way we've dealt with them may not have been ideal - it may not have been even good! - but it wasn't bad enough to wreck the country. Maybe we don't grow at +5% annual GDP but, overall, the economic performance of the US is one of the wonders of the world.

Now this professor cons his way into the White House and we're hanging on by our fingernails! What would have been a larger-than-average-but-not-unprecdented financial panic has, thanks to President Obama, morphed into the Great Recession with the best plausible outcome (barring the right person winning in 2012) a decade or two of stagflation.

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posted by Open Blogger at 08:33 PM

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