Ken George is a small business owner in Ohio.
American Spectator, August 20, 2010
America, it seems, is always in decline.
Searching through Amazon.com reveals plenty of works arguing that America’s best days are behind her. From the 1974 novel The Decline and Fall of America; to William Dietrich’s 1991 book, In the Shadow of the Rising Sun: The Political Roots of American Economic Decline, about Japan’s inevitable surpassing of America economically; to the more recent The Death of the West by the always upbeat Patrick Buchanan, most such works of gloom-and-doom have usually been followed by years of tremendous peace and prosperity. After a while it is hard to take any book about American decline seriously.
However, if there a reason to treat the idea of our society’s fall with grave concern, it is that a book has now been written about it by Thomas Sowell.
Entitled Dismantling America, it is a collection of some of his more recent newspaper columns grouped into five sections — government policies, political issues, economic issues, cultural issues, and legal issues — with some added commentary beginning each section.
The current government employment report is just the most recent example of bad news for the economy, expressed in depressing unemployment figures that the wizards in the Washington constantly find either “surprising” or “unexpected.” Apparently, a critical member of Barack Obama’s economic team, Christina Romer, has been surprised (if not ambushed) once too often by economic reality. Romer, Chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisors, announced that she was heading back to the UC Berkeley economics department.
Dr. Romer was wrong about every macroeconomic consequence of the $862-billion stimulus she touted. She was wrong about the depth of the recession. And she was wrong in her prediction that if the stimulus were enacted, unemployment would never exceed 8%. Unfortunately, we are now at 9.5%, and much deeper in debt. The massive stimulus program, a centerpiece of the Obama economic plan, was the just the first in a long line of unread, thousand-page bills produced by leftist dreamers.
By Vasko Kohlmayer
American Thinker, June 24, 2010
If misery loves company, Alan Greenspan should be providing me solace anytime now. You see, last month I wrote a piece titled Greece: A Preview of Things to Come. It included this sentence:
What we are seeing now in Greece is a preview of what is eventually bound to transpire in the United States.
To some, this claim seemed crazy. A few snickered. They could not imagine that things in America would ever get so bad.
Last week, Alan Greenspan, the former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal titled U.S. Debt and the Greece Analogy.
I urge you to read it. Alan Greenspan clearly thinks things will get bad. This should not surprise, for the figures are depressing indeed.
By Alan Aronoff
American Thinker, June 17, 2010
Changes in the unemployment rate are driven by interaction of job destruction, which consists of job losses through voluntary and involuntary job termination and job creation resulting in the hiring of employees. This interplay of job destruction and job creation drives the changes and direction of the unemployment rate. James Sherk at the Heritage Institute points out in his latest article that job losses in the current recession are not as severe as they were during the recession in 2001. The reason the unemployment rate is so much higher in the current recession is due to the lack of job creation.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics JOLT (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) data, not only are private sector job losses now at a level lower than in the 2001, but job creation is 20% lower since the recession trough of 2001. Job creation is reflected in the JOLT statistics as hires. Job destruction is shown as job losses due to job separations, both voluntary and involuntary. For example, if a person voluntarily quits a job to take a new job, this shows in the statistics as one job destroyed and one job created. Figure 1 below shows the jobs created versus jobs destroyed from 2001 until April 2010. The thick horizontal line in the table shows the level of jobs created at the low point of the 2001 recession. As of the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the level of jobs created stands about 20% below the level in 2002. Furthermore, the jobs being destroyed are at the same level
This article originally appeared in the June 21, 2010, issue of NR.
National Review Online, June 14, 2010
About that $14 trillion national debt: Get ready to tack some zeroes onto it. Taken alone, the amount of debt issued by the federal government — that $14 trillion figure that shows up on the national ledger — is a terrifying, awesome, hellacious number: Fourteen trillion seconds ago, Greenland was covered by lush and verdant forests, and the Neanderthals had not yet been outwitted and driven into extinction by Homo sapiens sapiens, because we did not yet exist. Big number, 14 trillion, and yet it doesn’t even begin to cover the real indebtedness of American governments at the federal, state, and local levels, because governments don’t count up their liabilities the same way businesses do.
Accountants get a bad rap — boring, green-eyeshades-wearing, nebbishy little men chained to their desks down in the fluorescent-lit basements of Corporate America — but, in truth, accountants wield an awesome power. In the case of the federal government, they wield the power to make vast amounts of debt disappear — from the public discourse, at least. A couple of months ago, you may recall, Rep. Henry Waxman (D., State of Bankruptcy) got his Fruit of the Looms in a full-on buntline hitch when AT&T, Caterpillar, Verizon,
Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
Townhall.com, June 09, 2010
The drop in the stock market (now about 1,000 points on the Dow) is a graphic indication of the stark fact that we are entering the infamous double dip of the recession, long feared and predicted. The economy is not in a V after all (down and then up) but in a W (down, up, down again and then, finally, up). And the cause of the second dip is not the recession itself, but the cure administered to it by President Obama and the Democratic Congress.
Consider the indications (data provided by New America Foundation, analysis by Sherle R. Schwanninger and Samuel Sherraden):
– Gross domestic product growth has only been 2.2 percent, 5.6 percent and 3.2 percent for each of the last three quarters, well below the rebounds typical in past recessions.
– Total civilian employment has rebounded by only 1 percent since the depth of the unemployment five months ago. In 1973, at a comparable point, it had rebounded by 7 percent. In 1981, by 8 percent. In 1990, by 4 percent. And in 2001, by 3 percent. U-6, the broadest measure of unemployment, stands at 17.1 percent