What is happening with our economic environment?

I live currently in an area of the country (WV/MD/PA/VA intersection) which is remarkably lower-blue-class, but it was not always a poverty zone. Up until a decade or so ago it was a manufacturing area with a farming framework.

In the last couple of months,many of the remaining manufacturing jobs have disappeared because of the economy. Statton Furniture, for example, in Hagerstown was a world-famous fine furniture manufacturer which just closed its doors after four generations of family ownership. The truck=parts section of Mack, now owned by Volvo, has been shrinking rapidly. Empty small factories now populate the available real-estate lists, and they are not selling.

The retail sales businesses that supported much of the manufacturing businesses are shrinking or totally disappearing. Furniture stores, auto dealers, gift shops... these are only a few.

With all of this shrinkage, unemployment is going up and new jobs are not appearing. And Wal-Mart only draws so many store greeters. People who used to be lower-level white collar workers now seek blue-collar jobs and are not getting them.

And we hear about "tax deductions". Tax deductions got us into much of this, especially at the higher income levels. So government now borrows much, much more just to function. And those who are protesting borrowing and spending much much more to get the country and the economy rolling again are calling for tax deductions instead. Using the problem that got us into the mess as a cure for the mess is an outrageous idea.

Under The LobsterScope

Tags: Economy, manufacturing, unemployment (all tags)

Comments

2 Comments

It's called: "deflation," and it...

...needs to be addressed more aggressively, right now.

It's about forcing the banks to inject liquidity into the marketplace...not in terms of the half-assed p.r.-spin-version of it that they're doing right now, but in terms of true, significant liquidity.

It's about going after the fraudulent practices of our lending institutions and mortgage brokerages, right now, too. Not a year or two down the road...but right now.

(Hint: John Thain wasn't forced out of Merrill last week because he built a $1.2 million dollar bathroom. While that might resonate with the MSM and the public, the reality is he was pushing Alt-A and Subprime loans over to Fannie and Freddie, essentially continuing the practice of fraudulently packaging these pieces of crap for consumption by us taxpayers, throughout the fourth freakin' quarter of 2008, while all of this was being brought to the attention of the public, too.)

It's about not sitting around while banks are--supposedly--"forced" into revising their credit card practices in 2010, after all the damage is done (as is the case with the new legislation that was just passed in the House and Senate).

It's about unwinding these Credit Default Swaps (CDS) now, as opposed to doing nothing about them near-term. (See Gretchen Morgenstern's great piece in today's NY Times for more on this.)

It's about forcing the financial services to use the TARP money, and the trillions of dollars of other funds they're receiving for the purposes for which it was intended--and having our legislators put some muscle behind those intentions for deployment, right now.

It's not about aiding and abetting the GETAWAY of these assholes, which appears to tbe the case, in terms of the mentality that things will work themselves out "down the road," after there's another year or two of severe pain and taxpayer abuse.

Fuck "down the road!" I'm talking about NOW!

It's time for the U.S. public to start suing these financial services institutions and these credit ratings agencies and insurance firms (Or, does insuring something knowing you'll never be able to honor the terms of the policy mean anything other than fraud?); and, it's time to put folks like John Thain, Richard Fuld...and, yes...Henry Paulson...in jail.

Only then, when they have the fear of god in them, will things change. Until that happens, threatening to cap their salaries is nothing more than a very feeble slap on the wrist.

Again, we're doing little more than aiding and abetting the getaway of the folks responsible for the largest robbery in history. It is that simple.

by bobswern 2009-01-25 08:52AM | 0 recs
Clintonomics cure

Clintonomics would help us now:

1) Education and training

2) Incentives to the private sector to invest in the economy

3) Make change our friend instead of our enemy

by Creeter 2009-01-25 09:49PM | 0 recs

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