Mourning in America

The “jobless recovery” has been a pervasive meme in the news the last couple years.  Yeah, not so much

According to the Commerce Department, the economy expanded 1.3 percent in the second quarter of this year. We also learned that the economy came close to contracting in the first quarter. The government revised the first quarter growth figures downward to just 0.4 percent, a huge downward revision from what we were orginally told (an increase of 1.9 percent).

From the first quarter of 2010 through the first quarter of 2011, we experienced five consecutive quarters of slowing growth (3.9 percent, 3.8 percent, 2.5 percent, 2.3 percent, and 0.4 percent).

What does this mean for you and me? Well, it means businesses are still feeling very insecure about our current future. Especially with the way our government continues to react to it.  The tone coming out of Washington D.C. is one of uncertainty. That is to say, business owners — people — are not convinced that the government is not going to try to extract every penny it can from their dwindling net profits.

True, the government has actually done that as of yet, but they talk like they are, and words mean things.  And these things are what lead businesses to cut back on employees and freeze wages.

To see the results of heavy handed government, at least at the local level, one need only look the Detroit that was

DETROIT – Detroit neighborhoods with more people and a better chance of survival will receive different levels of city services than more blighted areas under a plan unveiled Wednesday that some residents fear may pit them against each other for scarce resources.
Detroit’s population of about 713,000 is down about 200,000 from 10 years ago, according to U.S. Census figures, and has fallen more than 1 million since 1950. Some areas have fewer occupied homes than vacant ones.

Detroit is a miserable case study of big government run amok.  Predictable when vote-hungry politicians adopt policies that reward people for riding in the wagon and punish the folks who are pulling the wagon.

Atlas Shrugged was viewed as a dystopian fantasy 50 years ago. Today, Greece, Illinois, and Detroit are making Ayn Rand seem like a prophet.

Given our current rate of decline and flatline, hard times may continue to get harder

Four years since the economic crisis first reared its frightening head, with the failure of two Bear Stearns hedge funds in late July 2007, the nation’s output is clocking in at just $13.27 trillion — belowwhere it was when the house of cards first began to tumble.Now, after $4.7 trillion dollars in federal spending and $1.8 trillion in money-printing from the Federal Reserve, we’re in worse shape than we were before the bubble burst. And the economy is staring at the prospect of a fresh recession.

And the latest debt deal that’s not supposed to raise taxes?  Yeah, they still could. And that’s good or bad depending on your perspective.

All I can suggest is that you practice your own austerity, folks.  Live within your means. Rediscover your faith. I am deeply appreciative of Dave Ramsey’s call to start the recovery with ourselves.

In the meantime, buy some guns & ammunition and be prepared to re-weather 1932.