Sunday, October 10, 2010

What If We're Slowly Starting to Bounce Back?

I see a hair's breadth of potential for the economy to begin picking up slowly over the next year. It cratered so deep that it's almost inevitable that it will begin to creep up following the recent period where it's basically stabilized without growing nearly enough to console those hurt the worst by the fall.

Republicans will try to take post-mid-term credit for it. Just as democrats would have if the bounce had been quicker, and just as democrats will no matter when that happens. But hey, that's politics. Both parties are always certain that all the bad things are the other party's fault and all the good things are things they made happen. They're like infants. Let them cry themselves to sleep, right?

My personal view is that the government did a number of arguably necessary things to prop up the economy when it cratered, during the tail end of the Bush Presidency and the beginning of the Obama Presidency. Surely preventing the collapse of credit markets needed to happen. Surely some of the bailed out banks needed to be bailed out, though perhaps not all.

Arguably America might not have liked a world where we had only one of the remaining big automakers. And arguably the big stimulus package policies, wasteful and poorly aimed though many were, stemmed a number of ill tides. Since all that spending DID occur, it's pretty hard to say how bad things might have been without it, at your company, in your state, in your town. Though every Democrat is sure it was crucial and every Republican is certain it was folly, I don't pretend to know with much certainty or detail.

My guess is that plenty of the spending was wasteful, but much of it was helpful. And it seems that most of the really important necessary things passed without too much bickering. This indicates to me that no matter what either party said then or is saying now, these particular things would have been enacted in some form regardless of who was President and who was running congress.

I'm old enough now as I enter my later 40s to have seen several generations of politicians and both parties do their best to take partisan credit for for such things. Congress generally does a passing job of taking care of crises somehow or other, with partisan shadings on whatever available approaches seem obvious. Thus barely doing, umm, their jobs. Neither PARTY deserves much credit for the fact that this somehow barely happens in cases when the sh!t really hits the fan.

So if and when the economy recovers, I have no plans to pat EITHER party on the back for "fixing" it. Instead, both parties deserve blame for fostering the long-term environment of easy credit and the subsequent real estate bubble that caused the collapse in the first place. We had a big fall caused the powerful greedy corrupt narcissists and egomaniacs running congress.

Now, after that big fall, regular folks are still alive but bruised, many facing lowered expectations. Maybe a crappier job or no raise. Smaller retirement savings. Or none, with worse career prospects. Different ideas about consumer consumption.

Slowly but surely we can hopefully dust ourselves off and go on as best we can. And THAT, amigos, is what will cause a recovery. Not Republicans and not Democrats. The sooner we all wrap our heads round that, the better.


  1. You get +5 Internets for being realistic.

  2. I see signs of a recovery. Unfortunately, as most of our manufacturing is now offshore, I see it there. Cell phone and computer factories are at full capacity and expanding. This leading indicator may be a strong sign. If Christmas sales are low, then the expansions may be put on hold, but many factories have already invested considerable $$$.