Listless Economy?

“… but there are signs that the recession is bottoming out.” Says who? Says Bernanke, Geithner, Paulson, Obama, Biden, most of our elected officials, dozens and dozens of analysts, too many maritime consultants, and too many of those who should know better.

Within the past week these are just some of the more prominent headlines seen in the news media:
• Panama Canal Chief Sees Signs of Recovery
• Rail Jobs Fall in June
• Tacoma Imports Plunge 35.5 Percent
• Weak Volumes Hurt Horizon Results
• Air France-KLM Cargo Revenue Crashes
• Ryder Profit Falls 64 Percent
• GATX Profit Plunges
• Truck Maker Scania Loses $ 19.5 Million
• Union Pacific Profit Drops 12 Percent
• Hub Profit Falls 45 Percent
• UPS Profit Falls 49 Percent
• Deutsch Post DHL Profit Plunges 71 Percent
• LA/LB Imports Slide 22 Percent
• Kuehne + Nagel Profit Slides 16.1 Percent
• Old Dominion Profit Plummets 55 Percent
• New Report Says Europe Box Trade Fell 20 Percent
• Forward Air Profit Falls 77 Percent
• Barge Maker To Cut Jobs
• Vancouver Traffic Falls 15 Percent in First Half
• CN Profit Falls 16 Percent
• Caterpillar Profit Slides 66 Percent
• Carriers Send Distress Signals
• Shipyards Agree To Container Ship Delays
• Obama Asks for Patience on Economy, Unemployment

Are these the signals that the “recession” is bottoming out? Not really. These are signals that those at the top are either dissembling, or that they’re too stubborn to admit that U.S. job losses and the consequent loss of buying power are responsible for the world’s economic disaster.

Worse still, none of those in an official capacity seem to remember, or acknowledge, that in a similar situation – the Great Depression of the 1930s – it was the Emergency Shipbuilding Programs inaugurated by FDR that put an end to that era’s economic turmoil.

We need to create 50 million new jobs, and we can create those jobs only by revitalizing the nation’s shipyards. We need those jobs now. “Patience” is what we don’t need now.