A Prescription for Disaster

According to an Associated Press Retail Writer – “Mounting job losses and other economic realities caught up with Americans in June, pushing down a key barometer of consumer sentiment after a streak of gains built on glimmers of hope.

“Some economists say the reality check offered by Tuesday’s report from the New York-based Conference Board may not augur well for spending in the critical months ahead …

“Job security – a key factor in shoppers’ willingness to spend – continued to plague consumers surveyed by the Conference Board. And the Labor Department, which reports June’s job data Thursday, is expected to show unemployment climbed …

“Because consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity in the United States, economists and investors watch it closely …

“Rising foreclosures could derail a turnaround. The Treasury report said the number of homeowners at least two months behind or in foreclosure jumped in the first quarter from the previous quarter …

“Amid these economic woes, consumers are saving more. Instead of splurging at the mall, households used most of their federal stimulus payments to boost savings … a government report last week showed.”

Those “glimmers of hope” are generated by the rubbish put forth daily by the U.S. media. “Mounting job losses … Rising foreclosures … ”, there has never been the slightest hiccup in these economic realities, and to infer that we’ve had a turnaround that could be derailed is just more rubbish. But that’s par for the course with the U.S. media.

Agence France-Presse posted this less-than-rosy report from President Obama last week:

“Obama warns of worse economy to come”

“President Obama painted a bleak picture Tuesday of the economy, warning unemployment will get worse, and vowed to act on climate change and health care as long-term solutions.

“In a wide-ranging White House news conference, Obama also said he had no plans for a fresh stimulus package, hoping to give time to see the impact of the 787-billion-dollar economic plan approved shortly after he took office.

“‘We’re still not at actual recovery yet. So I anticipate that this is going to be difficult, difficult year,’ Obama said. ‘I think it’s pretty clear now unemployment will end up going over 10 percent,’ he said, explaining it would take time for an economic recovery to translate into job growth.

“The jobless rate in the world’s largest economy surged to 9.4 percent in May, with the figure shooting to a record high 11.5 percent in the most populous state of California.

“‘What’s incredible to me is how resilient the American people have been and how they are still more optimistic than the facts alone would justify,’ said Obama, who has largely held onto his high popularity ratings.

“Obama appealed to Americans to back plans to reform the healthy care system and tackle climate change, calling them critical to perking up the economy in the long term. Obama said a bill before the House of Representatives, which would force reductions of carbon emissions blamed for global warming, would spur a new green economy vital to the country’s future. ‘That will lead to the development of new technologies that lead to new industries that could create millions of new jobs in America – jobs that cannot be shipped overseas,’ said Obama …

“‘What I’ve got to do is to make sure that we’re focused both on the short term – how can we provide families immediate relief and jump-start the economy as quickly as possible – and I’ve got to keep my eye on the long term,’ Obama said.

“The US president said that by passing climate and health care reforms, ‘we’ve got a foundation for long-term economic growth. And we don’t end up having to juice up the economy artificially through the kinds of bubble strategies that helped to get us in this situation that we’re in today.’

“Obama called for Congress to work on legislation to bring medical care to the estimated 46 million Americans – or 15 percent of the population – without health insurance. But Obama also said he would not support legislation unless it tries to find systematic ways to bring down the skyrocketing cost of health care.

“He said he reads two or three letters each day from families that risk losing their insurance or their homes as they struggle to keep up their payments. ‘We have a long-standing critical problem in our health-care system that is pulling down our economy. It’s burdening families, it’s burdening businesses, and it is the primary driver of our federal deficits,’ Obama said. The US economy fell into free-fall last year as a bad debt crisis whiplashed major banks, drying up the flow of credit which is the lifeblood of the financial system.

“Obama said he believed stimulus dollars meant to help Americans pay their mortgages were helping, but not quickly enough. ‘I don’t feel satisfied with the progress that we’ve made. We’ve got to get our Recovery Act money out faster,’ Obama said.”

[All the above is the latest attempt to clutch at straws. It’s a stall. The gullible, dumbed-down Americans will believe anything – Will Rogers told us all about that – and now we’re supposed to believe that if Congress passes climate and health care reforms, “we’ve got a foundation for long-term economic growth.”

Now maybe the President and Congress will tell us how “climate change and health care reforms” will replace the 30 to 40 million jobs that Americans have lost in this 21st century depression.]