Monday, January 25, 2010
Dan Froomkin at The Huffington Post comments on a series of articles by John Hanrahan that appeared at the Nieman Watchdog website in which some of the better economists in the world were interviewed, sharing their thoughts about our collective future.
[Note: The phrase "some of the better economists in the world" as used above was intended to identify those dismal scientists with good forecasting track records rather than those who are successful at either helping big Wall Street firms make truckloads of money or perpetuating the status quo in both academia and at the Federal Reserve.]
A common theme underlying them all is that while our leaders -- and the voices of conventional wisdom -- treat our current recession as cyclical in nature, and are essentially mostly just waiting around for growth to pick up again, there is plenty of reason to believe that this crisis was instead an expression of structural problems. And if that is so, and we don't take the proper action, then the wait could be a long one.The details are even more depressing than the bullet points listed above - such things as Americans no longer being able to live beyond their means, fading asset-based wealth due to burst asset bubbles, rather dim prospects over the longer term for an economic recovery, and related issues.
No. 1: The middle class may never be the same again
No. 2: The recovery could take a really long time
No. 3: The recovery could only be temporary
No. 4: Then what? This time, we don't have the tools to get out of a recession
No. 5: The ‘very serious' people in Washington are still obsessed with the deficit
No. 6: Whatever is making the stock market go up could go away
No. 7: The hugely irresponsible financial sector remains unchastened
If you're looking to start out your week on a sobering note, this is a good place to begin.