Clearly the economy isn’t going to respond the way Washington wants it to in the near future. Some pundits made the claim that since the economic meltdown was caused by that dirty old Bush and Cheney, as soon as a democrat was elected the problem would go away. Funny, but I don’t see any signs of the economic turmoil going away in the next few months, at the very least.
The politicians still don’t seem to understand that the consumer is the bottom line here. We caused the meltdown, plain and simple. I know, there are analysts that claim it was Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, or maybe it was all AIG’s fault, or this bank or that bank or maybe it was Countrywide that was the real cause. The real cause was you and me.
But no matter. The Great B.O. says in a Washington Post article that he “would tackle the nation’s financial crisis “head on” and called on Congress and the White House to approve a stalled stimulus plan that could include money for new public works projects and aid for the nation’s teetering automakers. If it does not get passed soon, he said, “it will be the first thing I get done as president of the United States.” Strange, but in another paper yesterday, an aide speaking on anonymity said that the Great B.O. wanted to wait until after he was sworn in before tackling the stimulus plan.
Maybe Madame Pelosi has more power than we thought she had? Or perhaps he lied to us when he claimed throughout the campaign that he wanted to be a moderate voice to bring sides together? Could be, after all he’s looking at some of Bubba Billie’s staff to pick as his own team members. I’ve read several opinions that place Rahm Emanuel in a place that may cause a great deal of embarrassment at some time in the near future. Foreign papers love the tabloid aspect of news. Take a look at Italy’s Berlusconi and his comment about the Great B.O.’s suntan. (By the way, if you don’t understand Berlusconi’s comment, he say’s you’re an imbecile.)
Statistics for the situation seem to show that consumer borrowing was up for September, but sales are still lagging, with the third quarter coming in as the worst period for the retail sector since 1961. That’s pretty bad, folks. I work in retail, so I know from firsthand experience just how ugly the big picture is getting to be. But like in any storm, you get one or two really huge waves, or surges that come accompanied with lots and lots of smaller waves. The lending industry was just one big wave.
Unemployment rates hit a 14 year high at a rate of 6.5% for new applications, but that still doesn’t show the big picture. According to the LA Times, this news makes a recession a “virtual certainty.” The article says that “Employers shed 240,000 jobs in October, and the toll in September was far worse than previously reported — 284,000…” Of course, an unreported upside to this collapse is that while people seem to be spending less, they are saving cash at the same time. Smart move at any time, and it’s one we should have been doing right along. The big killer of the economy seems to be getting away scot free in all of this, with most of the “rescue” plans working towards saving their unethical butts so they can continue as usual. That would be the credit industry. They’re the real tempter behind all of this.
It’s going to be interesting to see what becomes of the consumer trends after all of this has evened out and things start to return o a positive note. Are we going to stay away from the urge to put everything we buy on a credit card? Or are we going to do the smart thing and spend what we have, and not go into debt to buy things we don’t need. Purchasing an automobile or home on credit is about the only way we can obtain these things today, and credit is a good tool for these purchases. But do we really need to put those video games the kids want, or lunch at Applebee’s, or a new TV, or any of that other stuff onto a monthly bill where the credit interest is the only thing you’ll be paying for? When you pay your monthly credit card bills, how much of these things are you really paying off as compared to the actual interest you’re paying on?
Cut the cards, cut the debt, and improve America! Congress should be setting the lead in all of this, not the credit industry.