But whether the media spoke of recession or not... do you not think we are in one heckuva big economic downturn? Surely you're not going to try to blame the media on this too?
Carp, that's absurd. We might as well all imitate ostriches. That or meekly hold hands and lamely 'hope for the best.'
Aside from that, it's odd that Obama's people chose Canada first on his presidential tour of the globe... not sure what to make of it really. I expect him to be more protectionist, actually. He'll want to at least symbolically be seen to be saving American jobs at the expense of foreign ones (your northern neighbour included). I am also wary of all the vague promises Obama seems to hold... how he can deliver anything but a slender fraction of it is beyond me, especially considering how gravely in debt to China and Japan America is.
Loc: Sunnyvale, CA mostly
Yeah, that's pretty bad, but trust that oil will make it much worse.
With the tanked economies (from the 2008 oil squeeze) driving down demand, and thus price, exploration shut down, plus some oil nations' supplies have become inaccessible, so supply at the next squeeze will be even worse than 2008's 4.5 percent peak supply shortfall to peak demand.
So, with the re-crash, further declined economic activity, etc, government revenues (tax income) will suck even more swampwater, so the debt/GDP ratio will be even worse. Numbers don't lie - Any idiot could figure out those would be the numbers of a terminably dead nation. You can't beat physics, you can't beat reality.
They don't have an icecube's chance in hell unless they fix the oil dependence problem - That's where the money should go, but they won't figure that out until they've blown the nut on stuff that doesn't matter, and burned all recourse except to welcome a U.S. stone age.
The increasing national debt is the most serious threat and we should pay more attention to it. But the economic problem we have right now is a bigger problem and we actually have to ignore the national debt while we restart the economy. The film also exaggerates the problem tremendously although since we are completely ignoring the problem I guess some exaggeration is OK.
Some problems with their presentation: 1) They compare our GDP to the national debt through the years. But that is a using two numbers that should not be compared. One is an annual number the other is total accumulation. Better to compare GDP to the deficit each year or total accumulated GDP with the total accumulated debt. If you do that the graph is not nearly as scary. If you do that and compare to all other countries the US is still doing quite well in the debt category.
2) We squeezed England and France because they owed us a bunch of money during the Suez crisis. We could do that because of the sizes of each of our economies. China is not going to do the same to us with the debt they have of ours because it would be suicide for their economy. We are too big a chunk of their economy to short sheet us like that. China and Japan owning a bunch of our debt is not a great idea but it won't cause a huge calamity unless China takes some stupid pills.
The film does rightly hang Reagan and Bush 43 out to dry. Cutting taxes and making the government programs larger is completely unsustainable. Clinton knew that and did the right thing. Long term fixes to medicare, medicaid and social security which means cutting benefits has to be done. Hopefully we have the leadership soon that will do that.
But right now we have a much bigger problem which makes the debt a small problem. An economy that is tanking. We have to do some things right now that are the exact opposite of the cure for the debt. We have to have the government spend even more money and we have to not save but spend personal income. If we have no economy then we have no revenue to tax and boy are we in a peck of trouble then. We are going to have a dose of inflation. (Any one look at their grocery bill lately? It is already happening.) But that dose of inflation is going to be very cruel if it is a combination of bank accounts getting 2% but inflation is at 15%.
As soultomy mentioned, oil glutting is going to create another recrash and the housing market has another set of commercial mortgages out there that are going to come due worse than the last.
But leadership would help. Leadership which is 180 degrees from Reagan and GW Bush will help. It could help a great deal if Obama is given a chance. A couple of bushels of consumer confidence can make a big change. Jump starting a new economy built on green, biotech, nanotech, and all those other techs that are percolating in our schools after we invest in a little education and we are all set. Too bad this will take a dozen years. But all we need to know is that it will be happening and people will actually start going out and buying houses again and the build up in those 12 years won't be so bad. (If you ignore all the people without a job and you are not one of them.)
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