Not Counting

Here’s what the “experts” are feeding us:

“When the economy begins to rebound …”

” … because as the economy recovers,…”

“Trade experts were forecasting an upturn in the second half of the year.”

” … the data indicates that the economy is on track to expand in the second half of 2009.”

“We avoided a depression.” Etc., etc., etc., …

Such drivel. Here’s what’s really happening:

– “Five Banks – Four in Midwest, One in AZ – Fail” – “Five more banks – four in the Midwest and one in Arizona – have failed, bringing the total to 89 that have failed in the U.S. so far this year, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced Friday … Combined, the FDIC estimated that their failures will cost its deposit-insurance fund around $ 400 million.”

– “Mortgage giants struggle a year after takeover” – “(WASHINGTON) – A year after the near-collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants remain dependent on the government for survival and there is no end in sight. The companies, created by the government to ensure the availability of home loans, have tapped about $ 96 billion in government aid since they were seized a year ago this weekend. Without that money, the firms could have gone broke, leaving millions of people unable to get a mortgage.”

– “Mortgage delinquencies hit record high in Q2” – “(WASHINGTON) – More than 13 percent of American homeowners with a mortgage are either behind on their payments or in foreclosure as the recession throws more people out of work, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday. The record-high numbers in the report are being driven by borrowers with traditional fixed-rate mortgages, rather than the shady sub-prime loans with adjustable rates that kicked off the mortgage crisis.”

– “DP World warns of ‘bleak’ outlook” – “Dubai’s DP World, the world’s fourth-largest container terminal operator, said on Thursday that net profit fell by more than a third in the second half of the year, and warned that the outlook was still ‘bleak’ for the industry. Adjusted net profit after tax from continuing operations slumped to $ 188m in the first six months of the year, down from $ 287m in the same period last year, as a cost-cutting drive failed to stem a drop in volumes and revenue. ‘The second half will be just as difficult, and 2010 will still be bleak,’ Mohammed Sharaf, DP World’s chief executive, told the Financial Times.”

– “China Cosco in steep first half losses” – “China Cosco Holdings, the Hong Kong-listed liner and dry bulk shipping subsidiary of China’s largest shipping company, has reported a steep first half loss of $ 673m. China Cosco’s figures were dragged down by its dry bulk revenues which plummeted 71.7% year-on-year. The group’s container shipping division fared slightly better with revenue down 56%. ‘In the face of the significant over-supply and re-surging oil prices, it is expected that the operational conditions for the second half of the year will remain difficult,’ the company said on Thursday.”

– “White House paints darker economic picture” – “(WASHINGTON) – US unemployment will surge to 10 per cent this year and the budget deficit will widen to $ 1.5 trillion next year, reflecting a ‘deeper recession’ than previously expected, White House Budget chief Peter Orszag said. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) also forecasts that the US economy will shrink 2.8 per cent this year, worse than the 1.2 per cent contraction that the OMB projected in May … The deficit and unemployment numbers may weigh down President Barack Obama’s drive for his top domestic priority, overhauling the US health care system.”

Obviously, things are going to hell in a handbasket, but our chief executive’s top domestic priority is not US unemployment – the root cause of all our economic woes – it’s overhauling the US health care system. Either he’s the greatest con-man that ever graced the Oval Office, or he’s center stage in the biggest Punch-and-Judy Show ever promoted.

Whatever is finally worked out by Congress and the administration, the only certain beneficiaries of a revised health care system will be the drug companies and the insurance companies. You can be sure that if US citizens were to be the actual beneficiaries of an overhauled health care system, then the issue would be somewhere near the bottom of the president’s to-do list. We don’t count.

If we did count – if we were worth a tinker’s damn – Congress and the administration would long ago have initiated a shipbuilding program and created about 50 million new jobs. The lame excuse about highly-paid US workers pricing themselves out of the market no longer holds water. We’re advocating the construction of a new type of container ship, remember, and the world-wide patents we hold exclude anyone, anywhere, from building this type of vessel without our permission.

Could we license foreign shipbuilders to build this vessel? Of course we could – but that wouldn’t make any sense at all because any vessels built in overseas shipyards would just be laid up with the rest of the idled ships. Overseas shipbuilding isn’t the solution to the world’s economic problems.
The worsening economic conditions around the world were brought about by the steady decline of American jobs, and it should have become obvious back in the 70s when certain US stalwarts approached Asian manufacturers and began the steady transfer of American jobs to foreign countries. The inevitable result ? No jobs in the US = no buying power for US shoppers = no need to import foreign goods = loss of productive jobs in foreign countries = a worldwide economic depression.

The sad news is that US officials know all this, but they refuse to give up the high ground.