Friday, October 30, 2009

Am I Crazy, or What?

JGL was a Pyschology major long ago, and even though I was also an honors math student, I won't pretend to have even a journeyman's grasp of economics. One thing I do have, none the less, is a pretty firm grasp of logic, and the ability to study and analyze factual information. So here are some basic economic facts:

Unfunded liabilities (from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone) are approaching the One Hundred Trillion Dollar Level

The national debt is rapidly closing in on a level equal to our GDP

Current deficit is $1.4+ Trillion dollars, and is projected to continue in that range for years to come.

Unemployment is 10% (though unofficially closer to 20% if you count discouraged workers, part-timers wanting full-time, and people working reduced hours or furloughs)

The Federal Reserve has more than doubled the money supply in the last year, and still printing, and has committed hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars in guarantees to entities unknown.

The Dow Jones and markets have rebounded to around 10,000 from an earlier low in March.

The GDP rose at a 3.5% rate in the 3rd quarter!! (unless you take out the Cash for Clunkers, $8,000 Homebuyer credit and massive government spending) Oh, and a minimal inventory rebound from an abysmal 2nd quarter devoid of consumer spending.

Real disposable income dropped in the last quarter, and nobody is expecting a bonanza of spending for the holiday season.

Note I'm not even including the falling dollar, looming hyperinflation, or the twin train wrecks that are Cap & Trade and Government Healthcare.

So. I'm asking. Can someone, anyone, please point me to an alternative set of facts, or innovative new theory or model that might explain how this economy will magically rebound, and investment, jobs and prosperity return? And no hell no, I don't want to hear any more from you, Ben Bernanke, Timmy Geitner or anyone else that even knows how to spell Goldman Sachs. .....Yeah, that's what I thought- there isn't one that doesn't involve a lot more pain for everyone west of Wall Street. The only possible solution is for all those productive citizens in the unemployment line to trade places with 15 million government employees. Only a bloody evisceration of the Godzilla that is Washington DC, with equivalent reductions in spending and regulation can put us back on the road to the American Dream. This will be at best a long, slow process, and I believe there will be a lot more misery (maybe a necessary precursor) along the way. I will continue to fight like hell to make that a reality, but in the meantime I think I'll avoid the stock market and invest in precious metals- gold, silver and lead!

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