Chilling Forecast (January 9th, a year ago today. No change.)

“End of the Recession? Who’s Kidding Whom?” was the title of Immanuel Wallerstein’s article appearing on Information Clearing House last week. He began by saying: “The media are telling us that the economic ‘crisis’ is over, and that the world economy is once more back to its normal mode of growth and profit …

“First of all, as I have been saying repeatedly, we are not in a recession but a depression. Most economists tend to have formal definitions of these terms, based primarily on rising prices in stock markets. They use these criteria to demonstrate growth and profit, and politicians in power are happy to exploit this nonsense. But neither growth nor profit are the appropriate measures,” –

Apparently President Obama isn’t aware of that. Just before Christmas, in The Journal of Commerce, we read that: “President Obama met Wednesday with 20 top executives of major U.S. businesses. The White House described the December 15 meeting as another in ‘an ongoing dialogue’ with business leaders on how to bolster the sluggish economic recovery and reduce unemployment. It said Obama in this session will discuss with the executives ‘ways to continue to work together to grow the economy, create jobs in the private sector, and invest in American innovation and competitiveness’.” –

And as far as President Obama’s real attitude toward those “top” business executives he likes to stroke, here’s what Bob Herbert had to say in “Misery With Plenty of Company”. He writes:

“Consider the extremes. President Obama is redesigning his administration to make it even friendlier toward big business and the megabanks, which is to say the rich, who flourish no matter what is going on with the economy in this country. (They flourish even when they’re hard at work destroying the economy.) Meanwhile, we hear not a word – not so much as a peep – about the poor, whose ranks are spreading like a wildfire in a drought.

“The politicians and the media behave as if the poor don’t exist. But with jobs still absurdly scarce and the bottom falling out of the middle class, the poor are becoming an ever more significant and increasingly desperate segment of the population.” –

David Glenn Cox, in “Cold Christmas”, gives us some supporting statistics. “From November 2009 to November 2010”, he writes, “the ranks of the unemployed grew by 430,000. What happened to our green shoots? Where is this recovery that we were promised on nearly a daily basis? Why are all these people still losing jobs? Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs: up 390,000 in thirty days; On temporary layoff: up 147,000 in thirty days; Permanent job losers: up 138,000 in thirty days; 1,651 mass layoffs accounted for another 148,059 job losses. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Year-to-date initial unemployment claims totals through October were the highest on record.'”-

Mr. Wallerstein is correct. This is a depression … and only shipbuilding jobs can save this nation.