Your New Reality

Your Labor Day Explainer Of Why None Of Us Have Jobs

Bernanke, in the Jackson Hole.On Friday, Ben Bernanke delivered a speech at Jackson Hole, in which he either said something that was very good news, or alternatively, said something very disappointing and you should get used to eating cat food and stealing WiFi.  But which is it? Very good or very disappointing? And how screwed are we? So many  tough questions! But do not worry — all questions will be answered because as always, your Wonkette is here to help! Herewith, a breakdown of Bernanke’s Jackson Hole presentation, and exactly how it relates to you and how screwed you are and probably will keep being for awhile. OH AND HAPPY LABOR DAY.

First: What is a “Jackson” Hole and Why Was Ben Bernanke in it?

Jackson Hole is a fancy mountain resort in Wyoming, near the Grand Tetons. It has also been the site of the Federal Bank of Kansas City’s annual economic symposium every year since 1978. Which means that every year since 1978, a bunch of academics, bankers, and policymakers have come together “to focus on a topic that is not necessarily of immediate concern, but instead looks into the future at emerging issues and trends.” And no, your Wonkette was not invited, but neither was Paul Krugman, so we are in good company.

So. What did Ben Bernanke Say? How Screwed Are We?

According to Paul Krugman, we are pretty screwed! Krugman’s takeaway was that Bernanke said the following:

1. Things are really, really bad.

2. The damage is cumulative; the longer this goes on, the worse the prospects for the future.

3. The Fed has the power to do a lot to help the economy.

4. While you can argue that there are costs to action, the case for major costs is quite weak, and in particular much weaker than the case for major benefits.

5. Therefore, what we at the Fed will do is, um, sit on our hands some more, and think very seriously about maybe, someday, doing something.

Is This Actually What Bernanke Said?

Kind of! He talked about the benefits of lowering the federal funds rate to zero, as well as the good that came from two rounds of quantitative easing. He also argued that the slow economic recovery was not because of “structural factors,” but rather because of the housing sector, the “tight budgets” faced by city and state governments, and “stresses in credit and financial markets.” And then he said that although high unemployment has serious and long term detrimental effects, the Federal reserve would “provide additional policy accommodation as needed.”

Paul Krugman — above — interpreted this as meaning that the Fed will think about doing something at some point in the future, and so did Brad DeLong; others, however, had a completey different takeaway. Like this L.A. Times reporter, who decided that this “made clear…that [Bernanke] was preparing additional monetary stimulus to spur the weak recovery, most likely at the central bank’s next policy meeting in mid-September. Also this WSJ reporter, who wrote that Bernanke had “laid the groundwork for more action.” The Economist came to a similar conclusion, claiming that Bernanke had paved the way for a third round of quantitative easing. After the speech, however, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams called for $600 billion in additional bond purchases by the Fed to spur economic growth. So it’s possible that Bernanke thinks that the Fed is “ready” to do something sooner than later.

Wait, What is “Quantitative Easing”?

It is the purchasing of assets through printing money. The Fed has done this twice since the 2008 financial crisis, and has only bought long-term debt when it did so.

Does It Help?

A little. In that it’s better than nothing, but not enough. As Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman both pointed out, $600 billion is not a lot when you’re trying to stimulate a $15 trillion economy.

What About the Federal Funds Rate?

This is another tool that the Fed has, but given that the Federal Funds Rate has been near or at zero for a few years now, it can’t really be lowered any more.

What is the Federal Funds Rate?

The Federal Funds Rate is the rate at which depository institutions (banks) lend balances to each other overnight, and is established by the Federal Open Market Committee, which meets once per month. This rate is pretty important — it impacts LIBOR (which is the rate that banks charge each other for one-, three-, and six-month loans as well as year-long loans), and also affects the prime rate, which is the rate that banks charge their customers. Unless their customers have bad or no credit, in which case, they get charged above the prime rate. Having a low federal funds rate, in theory anyway, encourages people to borrow money because the bank is getting the money at a low rate and can therefore (in theory) lend it to people at low rates. Currently, the fed funds rate is sitting at around 0 and has been for awhile. So the Fed doesn’t have much wriggle room if they want to keep lowering it.

Wait. If the Bank is Borrowing Money at Around 0%, Then Why is My Credit Card at 15% or 20%?

This is a great question! If someone could explain to us why the bank gets to borrow the money at around 0% and lend it to us at around 20%, we’d be pretty excited. Why not cut out the middle man and just borrow the money from the Fed ourselves, we ask? Oh and not to go too crazy, but perhaps while we’re at it, we could get someone to explain why our student loans — which we took out in 2008 and can never, ever refinance or discharge through bankruptcy, thus making them risk-free for the bank — is at 6.75% and is accruing interest, as we speak, while we earn our doctorate.

Why Are The Rates So Low?

The low rates are supposed to incentivize us to borrow more and spend more and therefore jump-start the economy. This hasn’t really been happening though, which you may have noticed. One theory is that  households burdened by heavy debt loads aren’t responding to low interest rates by spending more because they need to reduce their debt first.

What About Unemployment? Bernanke Said Something About It Not Being Structural?

Indeed he did. You’ll remember that Ben Bernanke rejected the idea that the current high level of unemployment is structural in nature, saying Friday, “I see little evidence of substantial structural change in recent years.” This suggests that Bernanke thinks businesses aren’t hiring because of weak demand, rather than because workers’ skills do not match the skills that employers need. Not everyone agrees with this assessment, however. Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, said workers in his region of the U.S. lacked the skills that employers were looking for — a problem economists describe as structural.

Your Wonkette, however, can’t help but notice that corporate profits are at an all time high while wages are at an all time low . Your Wonkette has also noticed that careers seem to be only for Olds and the wealthy, given that more and more companies are hiring workers on a temporary or freelance basis rather than retaining them full time. Your Wonkette also does not buy the argument that Americans lack science or math skills, given that U.S. drug firms have slashed 300,000 jobs since 2000, and that just 38 percent of new PhD chemists were employed in 2011. It seems, therefore, that we are moving into a sort of post-job economy.

So What Will Happen?

The Fed can’t really lower interest rates any more. Also, low interest rates might not be doing much good anyway, given that American households are so burdened with debt. So it may or may not be set for a third round of quantitative easing to the tune of $600 billion. However, some — like leading monetary policy theorist Michael Woodford — think this isn’t the best course of action.

In a paper delivered at Jackson Hole, Woodford concluded that:

“Central bankers confronting the problem of the interest-rate lower bound have tended to be especially attracted to proposals that offer the prospect of additional monetary stimulus while (i) not requiring the central bank to commit itself with regard to future policy decisions, and (ii) purporting to alter general financial conditions in a way that should affect all parts of the economy relatively uniformly, so that the central bank can avoid involving itself in decisions about the allocation of credit. Unfortunately, the belief that methods exist that can be effective while satisfying these two desiderata seems to depend to a great extent on wishful thinking.”

And Paul Krugman pretty much agrees, saying that the bottom line is ““Ben, ur doing it wrong.”

What Does That Mean?

What we’ve been saying for awhile: for the time being anyway, the post-job economy will be your new reality for a bit longer, so get used to it.

About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson
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  1. Mumbletypeg

    you should get used to eating cat food and stealing WiFi.

    and making your own clothes, too. Soon as the ones you've kept wearing for years, finally fall apart in your hands.

    1. Swampgas_Man

      But, but– if we don't spend money on clothing, then the stores and the textile workers and the freaking cotton growers — AAIIIIEEEEE!

        1. not that Dewey

          I have a wallet made out of duct tape and cat food labels, and a shoulder bag made out of old CapriSun packages.

          When my cats start wearing better clothes than I do, I will kill myself.

          1. not that Dewey

            How did you do that? Arbitrary and capricious text filters!

            The wallet I got from some thrift boutique in NYC (Kozy Kitten!). It's old enough that it's no longer really useful as a wallet.

          2. Mumbletypeg

            I'm intrigued by these…

            I was gonna come back and edit to say "By jove it worked!" but I was afraid I might in the process trigger a new "arbitrary and capricious" filter, which would've given me a sadz, because embarrassment/ irony.

    2. kittensdontlie

      If you are feeding a cat, why not collect the shedded hair to weave into a nice winter hat or sweater—M. Stewart.

      1. Mumbletypeg

        This was something I scoffed at once — upon reading about a lady who collected her dog's loose fur from groomings etc til the dog died, then she'd used a spindle to create the 'fiber' for what would become knitted doghair slippers — to remember her beloved critter by.

        Then as I tried this past year in vain to position potted veggies grown outside, like sorrel and kale, away from squirrels' invasive munching (I actually saw one doing this) I was told by a neighbor to take my dog's hair from brushing etc. (he's a shaggy dog) and place it around the base of the plants.

        Using hair from around his ears and places it had been oily i.e. scent stronger to other animals, I took her suggestion and it seems to have worked. And now the old slipper-knitting lady wearing her dog's remnants on her feet around the house doesn't seem so wacko, after all. I knit as well so I've thought about working enough dog-hair into a woven barrier to strand about the whole veggie plot.

        1. not that Dewey

          We used to hang vials of fox urine on the fence to keep the squirrels away. You can get it at most feed stores/hunting outfitters.

        2. Geminisunmars

          I think you should start a factory making dog-hair products. Think of all the jobs you could create. And I hear that there is a lot of money available from banks for just such loans as you would need to become an entrepreneur.

        3. PsycWench

          Could you work enough dog hair into a woven barrier to protect the economy, though? Because it sounds like cost-free options are the way to go.

        4. finallyhappy

          Pretty sure dog hair needs to be mixed w/ wool to spin or so I was told by the women spinning wool mixed with combings from each of their different dogs ( county fair) but could be wrong. I think some super frugal writer said she made wearables from dryer lint. Maybe get lint from laundromats!

    3. Jennyjen798

      Actually I've decided to take up sewing, One because I like the idea of mending my own things, Two because I want my own "style", well actually a different style, that I otherwise couldn't afford on my shitty state worker salary.

      Fast forward to reality, I've found is that textiles are expensive as hell! 5-6 dollars a yard, 2-3 dollars if I find a sale and a coupon that's valid with the sale. So a dress in the style I like is about 6-7 yards. 7 yards at 6 dollars a yard = $42, about the cost of clearance dress at Anne Taylor. With my shitty sewing skills, its about the same quality lol and I would have saved myself the headache of messing with sewing bobbins, patterns, and other shit. :(

      1. Arborista

        I can't sew, but my understanding is that people who can will buy used items at yard sales & thrift stores that they can "reconstruct" in a style &/or size they prefer to what is actually on offer… Switching out buttons, changing a neckline, etc.

      2. Mumbletypeg

        Jenny — if you are ok with a straight stitch on the machine, see about scoring some trim &/or ribbon-by-the-yard on sale. Embellishing hems on pants or necklines of ready-made garments is a cheap way to give it a lift.
        For a time (late 1990s) I had trouble finding good terricloth, which I wanted to make a bathrobe b/c I couldn't find a good terry robe either, they kept eluding me.. I'd read in "Divine Secret of the YaYa Sisterhood" the narrator's favorite robe from a chenille bedspread ("It makes me feel like Lucille Ball!") so I got hold of some chenille and a basic pattern, less intimidating since loose-fitting it didn't have to hang 'perfectly' off of me.
        Handstitching = worthwhile for appliquès, fun ones, over tiny holes in jeans or coffee splatter stains (I hate shopping for new jeans)~

        1. Jennyjen798

          Oh yeah totally that's the plan to just kind of take things I like and alter it, just not at that level yet. In the mean time my first big project is a quilt made out of all the clothes my ex left and refused to pick up. Evil? Yeah, probably, but its here, free, and and it's a great stress reliever. Waste not, want not! :P

  2. Rotundo_

    Our new future of being indentured servants and slaves awaits. Thank God, Saint Ronny and Dubya and the Koch Bros, and Lee Atwater and Rover and so many others for a fun and adventure filled future scrambling for scraps and ammo! The Hunger Games and Idiocracy were documentaries, so it seems.

      1. freakishlywrong

        There's an actual show on that people actually watch, evidently. It's called Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo. We've vaulted the Rubicon.

        1. Rotundo_

          So very true and so very sad. I can't bring myself to watch this sort of thing even out of morbid curiousity since it would be, in some faint sense, supporting it. It's why I only watch an hour or so of television a week at most. I just don't have the constitution for it any more.

      1. Chichikovovich

        If the alternative is starvation, the poor will eventually find a way to make bricks without straw.

    1. GhostBuggy

      I would like to sign up for living in an underground lair with the other bald weirdos in silver robes, please.

    1. deanbooth

      Agreed. I actually made it through without going comatose.

      I have a quarterly meeting with a financial advisor guy, and I might as well send in a bobble head in my place.

    1. LibertyLover

      Bain Capital just bought them though, and is leveraging them as we speak. 1st round of layoffs happens in a week.

        1. Arborista

          You pay extry for the cans labeled "melamine-free" (they still have some melamine, but you feel better about eating 'em).

    1. HouseOfTheBlueLights

      Sounds to me like we need a good old-fashioned tax cut for people making over $1,000,000 per year.


    1. Rotundo_

      Try to work some beans into the mix, you'll get more protein and fiber and entertainment for your efforts.

    2. kittensdontlie

      Save the flavor packet from each package as a second meal, adding assorted rocks for a hearty Stone Soup.

      1. MissTaken

        He will be fairly soon. If you see a ginger hitchhiking down the highway with a sign "San Francisco for MissTaken's Bust" give him a ride.

        1. Steverino247

          Well, we've seen photos of your jeans-covered ass, so we know why he's making the trek.

          (Hmm. Ass Trek? Hey, sounds like a great TV show idea…)

          1. MissTaken

            And there might be more pics of my jeans-covered ass next week…I'll be in Philly at the same time as the drinky-thingy, woo hoo!

            Ass Trek is a good name, although one might think it was about a donkey in search of meaning in the American west. Or porn.

          1. glasspusher

            …and I was thinking of driving out to Yellowstone, 'bot. Could have taken you the last leg of the journey on my way back. Everybody should do a cross country trek at least once in their lives. Happy trails!

    3. Chichikovovich

      Just make it with one fewer noodle each time you eat it. Gradually your body will adjust so you can live without any food at all. The trick is not trying to do it all at once. That would be nuts.

    4. Negropolis

      When Romney gets done with us, we'll be drinking Ramen broth through a straw…made of thrown-out Democratic, Diebold ballots, of course.

  3. freakishlywrong

    Not to worry. When R&R win the election, we'll deregulate everything and eliminate taxes on the jawb creators.

  4. sbj1964

    I just drove across country,and now know what they spent all the stimulus money on ORANGE ROAD CONES! Endless miles of them.No road crews,no work being done.Just Road Cones.

      1. glamourdammerung

        Last week I drove the entire Penn turnpike — there were 55mph work zones every 5 miles, but not a worker in sight.


        (drove down there during the Bush administration and it was the same way)

      1. tessiee

        This is a bit much, but still about one thousand times better use of tax money than bailing out the banks so that they can go back to kicking people out of their houses.

  5. Biff

    For the first time in my life, I have a few $$$ in an interest-bearing account, and some months I actually "earn" negative interest. I'm beginning to think they want my last dollars even before I die, because maybe I'm not dying quickly enough?

      1. Biff

        Self-administered hand jobs, which I suppose places me high above those lazy Congolese with no hands to fap with…

    1. Mittens Howell, III

      Dear Biff,

      It appears from your statement to the Wonkers-type internet site that there may be some months where you are not earning negative interest, and thereby removing funds from this establishment.

      Of course, I'm sure that you didn't mean for this to happen, you seem the kind of person who 'cares for your family', right?

      So to help you avoid any future 'inconvenience', here is a specially crafted fee of $12, 000 to ensure your account earns negative interest for the foreseeable future.

      There, don't you feel better? Of course you do, that's why we're here.

      Your Truly,

      Hiram J. A$$hole, Esq.
      Your Bank Manager.

      1. Biff

        That takes care of this month and half of October. I suppose by November, you'll be levying NSF fees?

        NOW I feel better.

  6. Mittens Howell, III

    Mitt Romney promises to repeal Labor day when he's in office, and replace it with 'Idle Rich' day.

      1. WhatTheHeck

        Labor day was designated “Mattress Sale Day” by the founding fathers, so do your part and buy a set for the troops and democracy.

  7. Beowoof

    On this Labor Day, let us give thanks that labor is currently losing the economic struggle and that capital has been able to keep the American populace dumbed down with bread and circuses (Ok, HFCS, sports and reality TV). America continues to be, exceptionally and willfully ignorant.

      1. Rotundo_

        In a dumber than a sack of hammers sort of way; no conversational opportunities there, but perhaps some other form of relating.

    1. Toomush_Infer

      Hey, was that you I met in the cemetary north of Jackson's Hole, back in 68?….was it you who took that big crap on somebody's tombstone…..could you laugh once, for me, so I can try to remember if I recognize you……

    1. predilectrix

      Normally, I'd be working today, and not reading Wonkette. So thanks, labor union movement and NTDewey, for the chance to LOL over this picture. I knew Krugman reminded me of someone yummy.

      1. miss_grundy

        Yeah….George Clooney in Syriana. Seriously, you guys didn't know that was Clooney. But I would love to see Prof. Krugman as Secretary of the Treasury. Especially when called to Capitol Hill to testify because I would love for him to set the Republicans on fire…and I am not talking about votes, so there, Editrix…

        1. sewollef

          You should know that Mr Krugman and I are as thick as thieves, bosom buddies, click and clack the tappet brothers, two parts of the Marx Brothers [Karl and Groucho if you must know]…. and we think alike. It's uncanny.

          I was only thinking Ben Bernanke was talking out of his arse the other day, when Paulie went and wrote about it. Damn, I should be quicker next time.

          Must go and practice my nobel prize-winning speech now.

        2. not that Dewey

          Wait — you mean Paul Krugman doesn't actually walk around cities, blowing up cars? I've lost all respect for him.

  8. poorgradstudent

    It was fun while it lasted, but it's time we give up and turn back the clock, all the way back to having an agriculture-based economy. An industrial economy would be nice, but since it seems like they just inevitably turn into huge junk bond- and corporate piracy-based clusterfucks anyway, we should just go back to something that has a track record of thousands of years.

    Being a serf wouldn't be so bad. At least you get a little land to grow food on and you won't have to worry about a 401k anymore. And an agricultural economy would make the far-right nuts and the far-left ultra-vegan greens both happy!

    1. doloras

      The whole idea of Karl Marx-style socialism is that it is possible to have an industrial economy which is actually sustainable and fair, you just have to get rid of the parasitic capitalist class. I'm still a believer, doggone it.

      1. Jennyjen798

        Now you stop that! You can't going around believing in common sense! KARL MARX IS THE DEVIL, YOU HEAR! THE DEVIL!

    1. finallyhappy

      Hey, are you my daughter? You told me you don't read Wonkette- but it sounds like you. See you tomorrow?

  9. ttommyunger

    Just exactly when did we stop calling these fuckwads Sooth-Sayers and start calling them Economists? Major fucking mistake!

        1. Rotundo_

          Actually, Ike would be to the left of most of the Democratic party these days. And most of the repubbas would be to the right of Benito Mussolini.

      1. Chet Kincaid_

        Watch for it: Robin Williams is playing Ike in an upcoming movie, and there will be simultaneous odes to the sensible and prudent economic/tax policies of Ike in Chattering Class Organs like Salon, Daily Beast, etc.

        1. TribecaMike

          If Bill Murray can play FDR, why not Williams as Ike? And when's some studio going to make a movie about Ike's wartime boss, the brilliant Gen. George C. Marshall? Now that I'd like to see.

  10. BlueStateLibel

    I've been wondering why the Fed doesn't just lend money to everyone at near-0% interest for a long time, get rid of the credit card companies and bankers. But then what would we do without their wonderful, uplifting TV commercials? Let's all laugh and celebrate life as we pay them 20% interest rates!

    1. Guppy

      All I would do with an interest free loan is refinance my existing debt. I still wouldn't actually spend anything.

        1. Guppy

          Yeah, probably, but mucking about with debt and interest rates doesn't do anything for my income, only my outflow.

    1. ChernobylSoup

      I use those styrofoam packaging things with a little orange spray paint. Same flavor and nutritional value.

    2. kittensdontlie

      Go down to your local park. People throw perfectly good cheetos on the ground for the squirrels or geese. Collect what you can and ENJOY!

        1. Chichikovovich

          Also, remember to treat yourself every now and then. If you can't pamper yourself every now and then you'll turn into a Gloomy Gus. Once you've collected enough dropped pennies and deposit bottles, go down to the Safeway and splurge on some Squirrel Helper™. And remember get the brand name – the generic brand just isn't as good.

          1. ChuckieJesus

            The great and powerful Chichikovovich said: "Once you've collected enough dropped pennies…

            Funny you should mention that:

            Current U.S. Federal Minimum Wage: $7.25/hr
            If you picked up a penny off the ground every five seconds: $7.20 an hour.


        1. Chichikovovich

          That would certainly explain the zeppelin-sized shoppers I see strolling through local malls. They're on the diet regime to produce foie gras.

    3. tessiee

      Artificially enhanced cheese-like product flavoring
      Bright orange dye
      And um…
      No, I think that's it.

      1. not that Dewey

        You need some sort of crunchy carrier for that, to hold all the enhanced cheese-like product flavoring in place. Grasshopper exoskeletons might work, as might Garden Snail shells.

    4. CthuNHu

      I insist on using only locally-sourced, sustainably-harvested ingredients.

      Packing peanuts

      Packing peanuts are available in the dumpsters of many local businesses, generally inside large, otherwise empty boxes marked "Made in China".

      Rust may be obtained by placing a large platter, cutting board or throw rug beneath the bumper of a non-job-creator's automobile and lightly kicking the bumper until an adequate quantity is produced. Puree to a fine powder.

      Salt may be obtained by collecting and drying the sweat of your brow. If you don't sweat enough to produce the needed salt, you don't deserve Cheetos.

      Combine in large bowl. Toss. Enjoy. To ensure proper binding between ingredients, tears may be added at the last minute. If no tears are immediately available, contemplate the dreams of your youth, and your childhood visions of America.

    5. WhatTheHeck

      Does anyone have a recipe for home-made Cheetos?

      Things are so bad, you had to move into your mom’s basement? Sorry the American dream hasn’t worked out for you, but you are just one lottery ticket from being a jerb creator.

        1. Isyaignert

          It's an old Jr. High School joke – i.e., if your partner has to ask "Is it in?" during sex then you're hung like a hamster.

  11. sbj1964

    Mitt Romeny,want's us to call the ultra wealthy (Job Creators).Well they're doing a shitty job.Now he want's us to give him a job?Fuck that!

    1. sewollef

      It's funny, I was listening to the wireless the other day, when some guy commented in answer to a question about the upcoming election that, "independent and republican-leaning voters are waiting to see what the government is going to do to stimulate the economy to generate jobs."

      Well, it occurred to me that THAT is exactly what the republicans don't want. That is, the government involved in job creation. They want to downsize the govt, cut departments entirely and get govt out of their lives.

      So that leaves private enterprise [the so-called 'job creators'] to create jobs [the teabaggers wet dream]…. except private enterprise simply isn't doing it. Left to their own devices, we would revert to not even a 19th century economy, but an 18th century agrarian one, with nuclear weapons.

      Maybe that's what they want.

  12. Hera Sent Me

    The good news is the Technological Revolution will continue to increase productivity in virtual every part of the economy for many years, much as the Industrial Revolution did in the 19th and 20th Century. More and better products of all kinds will be available, even as their costs drop. When this happened during the Industrial Revolution, one result was the creation of a large middle class, which could afford to buy the new products.

    The bad news is that during the Industrial Revolution, powerful labor unions and populist-minded politicians saw to it that the people who made the new products got paid enough to buy them. Today, unions are a shadow of their former selves, and the oligarchs of privilege are close to achieving their goal of a leveraged buy-out of the government, so they'll be keeping all the profits from the productivity increases, and making sure their heirs inherit them.

    1. SorosBot

      Well, eventually; originally the Industrial Revolution just made money for the robber barons, who paid workers shit, exploited child labor, forced people to work 12 or more hour days in extremely dangerous conditions, responded to attempts to unionize with massacres, and generally had the government on their side. And there was no middle class. It took until the 30s when FDR legalized unions at got the government to start protecting the rights of workers that anyone besides the oligarchs saw real benefits from the Industrial Revolution, and the middle class began.

      Of course, it's the horrible pre-New Deal world that the Libertarian morans want us to return to.

    2. HouseOfTheBlueLights

      Here's to the new economy, where we indebt ourselves into the middle class by buying technological toys that we don't need.

    3. Biff

      I wonder if those toiling away in the BMW (Bucks, Money, Wealth) plants in Alabama can afford the products they assemble?

        1. Biff

          They have made some absolutely gorgeous cars, and some in the current crop ain't too shabby, either. I don't have to worry about becoming an asshole driver of one, though.

    1. Rotundo_

      Collection agencies
      Private Prison corporations
      Diploma mills

      And they are beloved in China. Laughed at hysterically by people who realize thay they are slitting the economic throat of the US, but beloved and valued customers regardless.

      1. Jimmyone

        I like to think of my morning ritual as "taking a Mitt, and wiping my ryan". Childish as it is, it does ease the burden some.

  13. johnnyzhivago

    Don't worry – Mitt Romney will give us all the jobs we need! That's why he's planning to appoint Carly Fiorina, the bestest job creator of all time as Secretary of the Treasury.

    What could possibly go wrong with this plan?

    1. BlueStateLibel

      I hope she would point out again that the current GOP candidate doesn't know how to run a business – drive a business into bankruptcy, yeah, he's good at that, but not run a business. And then make some snarky comment about Ryan's hair.

  14. shelwood46

    Hey, surplus chemistry PhDs, there may be a golden opportunity for you in the Southwest, if tv is to be believed.

    1. Biff

      Home healthcare is a growing field everywhere, and who doesn't want to spend all their time wiping the ass of some house- and scooterbound old teabagger?

  15. BarackMyWorld

    Ayn Rand was an economist, right? Sociologist? No? Wait…she's been dead for 30 years?

    Oh, well, why the fuck is anyone listening to her?

    1. DahBoner

      At least Hitler and the Unabomber passed what they wrote as fact.

      The scary thing here is that Ayn Rand herself admitted what she wrote was fiction, yet these idiots all accept it as fact…

    2. tessiee

      "Oh, well, why the fuck is anyone listening to her?"

      Because if you're a greedy, callous sociopath, but not a very bright greedy, callous sociopath, reading Ayn Ryan makes you feel justified in being a greedy, callous sociopath.

  16. Goonemeritus

    I’m told that the focus of Tea Party candidates that swept into office in 2010 will be job creation so at least we have that going for us.

  17. Mittens Howell, III

    OK. I got all of that up to where you said: "Labor Day Explainer"

    Can you help me understand the bit that came after?

  18. OneDollarJuana

    As I see it, there were three forces at work (ha ha, at work) that created the golden economic age of the middle class: "…FDR legalized unions at got the government to start protecting the rights of workers…" (thanks, SorosBot), we had essentially free petroleum energy, and most importantly, we bombed industrial Europe into the pre-industrial age, and anyone who wanted something better than a stick to eat with had to buy it from us. Of course, there were other very important factors, such as investment in infrastructure and other easily-obtained resources. Oh, and one-third the world population than now.

    However, with political will we have the opportunity to return to a similar golden age of the middle class. We are in the beginnings of the renewable-energy boom, and have lots of infrastructure that needs to be built and rebuilt, and we could (in a pig's eye) force the money back down to those who can really use it. All we need is a bit of global conventional war to wipe out India's and China's industrial base, and maybe a little world pandemic to ease population pressures.

    1. Veritas78

      A pandemic might be the cheapest way to get things started.

      After the various plagues of the Middle Ages, life was good for whoever survived. Lotsa stuff just laying around for the taking.

      Note to self: stock up on face masks.

      1. Chichikovovich

        It could have a positive effect on the labor-management power balance too.

        But next time, when the king and his henchpeople invite you to a negotiation under a "promise of safe conduct", don't believe them.

        I'm looking at you, Wat Tyler Jr. um, III, um, IV, ….. um. the nth.

  19. SheriffRoscoe

    It'll be another year of giving everyone "artwork" for Christmas. Time to buy paper plates and Elmer's glue.

  20. sbj1964

    The problem with Labor Day is it needs a Mascot like Santa,the Easter Bunny,Tom Turkey,or a Leprechaun. NOW! Taking any suggestions from the Wonketteers.

    1. sbj1964

      We need something that we can use to commercialize this holiday to boost the economy.Gifts,candy,cards,blow jobs from the wife,and such.

      1. sbj1964

        I've got it! Every Labor day buy everyone you know a large Dildo,and tell them to go fuck themselves just like the One Per-centers do to the unemployed,poor,and Middle classed.Now that's an American tradition everyone could get behind! Even if it hurts a little at first.The adult sex toy industry would get a boost,the makers of C-Batteries,and sex lube sales would sky rocket.The U.S.debt wiped out!

          1. OneDollarJuana

            My dildo takes those bix square 6-volt cells you get at the hardware store. Always gets me a knowing wink from the electrical guy.

    2. tessiee

      The crazy homeless guy pushing a shopping cart and muttering to himself. He's been motivating American workers since 1980 or so.

      1. not that Dewey

        I'm not a landliner, but I do have a dumbphone whose only function is phoning. And I agree — a NOBAMA iPod case would be swell.

      1. glasspusher

        Mmm…thoughts of an ex, with beautiful strawberry blond hair. Fire in the hole is a beautiful thing, indeed.

  21. HouseOfTheBlueLights

    I'm an old with several "post jobs" that have a cumulative annual income of about $28K. This covers my rent, health coverage and taxes with about $8 per week left over. Good thing I have a garden or I wouldn't be eating.

  22. kittensdontlie

    When I lived in Montana, on a clear day I would climb to the top of my nearest mountaintop and take a view of The Tetons a hundred miles away……I'm just sayin', I could be Fed Chairman.

    1. tessiee

      "a view of The Tetons a hundred miles away"

      Tits that you can see from a hundred miles away??? I'm impressed!

      1. kittensdontlie

        Acquiring my policy experience took extra effort, while the more brilliant among us gain it from a walk to their back porch.

  23. tessiee

    "What is “Quantitative Easing”?

    It is the purchasing of assets through printing money. The Fed has done this twice since the 2008 financial crisis, and has only bought long-term debt when it did so.

    Does It Help?

    A little. In that it’s better than nothing, but not enough. "

    Again, it's not my area of expertise, but how is just printing more money not useless? Isn't that the equivalent of writing a check when you know you have no money in checking?

    1. MissTaken

      The idea behind QE is if the Fed buys up debt held by banks those banks will feel free to lend money to businesses and individuals since they won't be adding liabilities to their balance sheets, which gives them a sad. Those businesses and individuals can then take those loans and build up the economy by hiring workers or buying stuff like cars and refrigerators, thus adding more money to the economy than was originally 'printed'.

      The problem is that the Fed has done this, twice, and yes it did help a bit, but for the most part the banks decided to either not lend money at all, or when they did, they demand large down payments and other demands that most Americans can not afford. So, the banks got to unload their shitty debt to the Fed and then sit on the cash, hence printing money is useless. Unless you're a bank.

      1. HogeyeGrex

        The big fucking problem is that once the Fed started lending to the banks at a lower rate than the banks could lend to the government via t-bills, what you got was a zero risk, closed circle revenue stream for the banks at taxpayer expense. This is not a great incentive for banks to lend to individuals or small businesses or other messy stuff like that.

        1. Fukui-sanYesOta


          Borrow money at the fed window at 0.5% and buy t-bills or gilts paying 2% or more.

          Why can't I do that?

          1. HogeyeGrex

            Pretty fucking sweet deal, eh?

            The $700B wasn't shit. The bailout continues apace, well past the tune of trillions.

    2. OneDollarJuana

      The Weimar Republic printed money. Lots of it. Lots and lots of it. That policy eventually worked very well.

      For U.S., after the war.

    3. not that Dewey

      Also, in addition to MissTaken's labor-demand-effect, QE is supposed to leverage the "multiplier effect" that occurs when money circulates. If you buy some crap at walmart, then the walmart employee gets paid, and goes and buys some more crap at walmart, and some other walmart employee gets paid, etc etc, and the original dollar that you spent at walmart is now worth $1.40, or so the theory goes. Hence, "stimulus"

      But releasing more money into circulation only works if the money actually circulates.

    4. Barrelhse

      I have a great definition of "qualitative easing", but it may not be the same thing. Is this a family site?

  24. johnnyzhivago

    If we shut down the Federal Reserve and eliminated the dollar and went back to using gold doubloons as currency and mattresses as our banking system we'd get out of this mess!

  25. tessiee

    "Jackson Hole is a fancy mountain resort in Wyoming"

    And if it isn't where Yosemite Sam lives, it oughtta be.

  26. mavenmaven

    Let's be realistic, ok? We all know that the only thing that will create jobs, save our economy, and put a smile on everyone's face is tax cuts for the rich. There, done.

  27. GeorgiaBurning

    R&R will be elected, cut taxes for the rich, and wages for the poors. Jobs for everybody at Foxconn in Fort Worth making iPods for the Chinese market. Don't stress about what to do on your day off, it's weeks away.

  28. dennis1943

    The only time these turkeys are objective………is when they are talking about someone elses life…….

    1. Fukui-sanYesOta

      The fed are stuffed, really. Their choice is QE or, uh, … hmmm.

      They shot their wad attempting to fuck with the interest rate way back in the Golden Era of the Shaven Chimp, and all that did was inflate a massive housing bubble.

  29. rickmaci

    Let me sum that story up in one sentence. The richies will get much richier and the poorz should be satisfied that the richies let them have a little bit of porridge.

  30. Chet Kincaid_

    (Wake up, wake up! Get up, get up!)

    Oh, Bernanke, let's get policy right.
    Ooh Benny, money's much too tight!
    Ooh Bernanke, who turned off the oven?
    Net growth needs some lovin'!
    Oh Benny, I can't hold out much longer.
    This depression is gettin' stronger and stronger!

    And when I feel I'm seizing,
    I want Quantitative Easing
    Quantitative Easing, Benny,
    Makes me feel so fine!
    Helps to relieve my mind.
    Quantitative Easing, is good for me.
    Quantitative Easing, for this backed up economy!

  31. Mahousu

    Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, said workers in his region of the U.S. lacked the skills that employers were looking for

    In particular, the skill of working for $1.25 an hour with no benefits.

        1. Steverino247

          Actually, I was born on Labor Day, which is good because my mother would have been fired had I been born on a work day.

  32. zappadoo76

    Nice column, Kris. Now I think I'll jump off the Vincent Thomas Bridge. I hear that when you hit the water, you don't even know what hit you.

  33. RadioBowels

    It's Obama's fault, duh. So elect Rmoney and he'll fire Bernanke and appoint Blankfein to the Fed. Problem solved.

    1. Isyaignert

      Lloyd Blankfein is the poster boy for banksters. What a smug little crook! I would love to spit on his $10,000 suit and scuff his $1,000 shoes.

    1. Isyaignert

      Haha – IKEA – I always get dazed and confused in there and Clint Eastwood is the same age as my mother.

  34. TootsStansbury

    "Post jobs economy"
    "Post jobs economy"
    "Post jobs economy"
    "Post jobs economy" I can repeat it and repeat it and it sill is nonsensical and not even in a funny way like if you repeat the word "kangaroo" over and over.

  35. HogeyeGrex

    It doesn't really matter how much you thin the blood to get it flowing if the vampire is just going to suck it all out anyway.

    1. Isyaignert

      Wow! Enlightening video. BTW, there's a great website for purchasing over 3400 productss made in America for reals – I've used it with great satisfaction. Buy American and local if possible.

      Child labor is against the law in the USA, but if Rmoney gets into the White House, that could all change.

      1. RadioBowels

        Tx for the site. I've been going out of my way and paying more, for better quality, to buy American for 30+ years. Try a no "made in China" Xmas. It's a challenge, but totally worth it. I am silly like that. I hate when there is no choice

  36. sbj1964

    Wonkette want to see how the RNC treats it's own delegates.Go to Reality Check on Youtube,and watch the entire rules change video.They are so EVIL even to they're own! 5.27 mins of WTF? Bullshit!

    1. Isyaignert

      It's outrageous, but that's the way the 'con roll. I heard it was the Paultards booing and then they left. Good!!!

      1. sbj1964

        How can anyone who calls themselves a Republican even look themselves in the mirror after seeing that happen?

  37. Fukui-sanYesOta

    So, to recap

    – DJIA at 13,000
    – Corporate profits are at an all time high while wages are at an all time low
    – There have been hundreds of billions of dollars artificially injected into the economy

    Yet there are no jerbs. Romney's amazing plan is to cut corporate tax rates, cut capital gains tax and cut income tax.

    Obviously the best thing to do is eliminate the minimum wage and make unions illegal as well. Fuck it, let's do away with child labor laws while we're at it. Oh, and get rid of all social safety nets. What could go wrong?

          1. Fukui-sanYesOta

            Moot Ramley ran the marathon in one hour and twenty-five minutes*

            * not intended to be a statement any less true than the GOP platform

        1. Jukesgrrl

          Maybe we could save some tax dollars by selling naming rights! Sen. Lieberman could become Sen. Pfizer and THEY could pay his salary instead of merely supplementing it under the table. We'd have to keep their first names, though, because we will have a couple of Sen. Exxons and Sen. ConAgras.

          1. Jukesgrrl

            As Professor Higgins would say, "By Jove, I think you've got it!"

            I'm having another idea: how about a musical, Bend Over, America!, with a breakout song, The Sun Won't Come Out Tomorrow?

          2. Fukui-sanYesOta

            Get those South Park dudes on the phone!

            Paul Ryan's a dick
            he's a big fat dick
            he's the biggest dick in the whole wide world

            etc etc

        1. Chichikovovich

          The Hatch act will remain in some form – it will just be replaced by the IOKIYAR act. If a Democratic civil servant so much as invites another known Democrat to lunch on a government email account it will be a firing offense.

    1. fuflans

      ah fukui thank you! after this post, i was going to say "well good. i needed a reason to open a second bottle and blast the clash at my new grossly rich neighbors".

      now i'm going to say "well good. i needed a reason to open a second bottle and blast the clash at my new grossly rich neighbors".

      1. Chichikovovich

        Man, you really know how to have a good time. I've always thought "Give 'Em Enough Rope" was a very underrated album…. "Drug Stabbing Time" is a great neighbor-annoying song.

  38. Jukesgrrl

    The Arizona Daily Star celebrated Labor Day by reprinting an article from the Chicago Tribune, "With focus on productivity, many skip vacations." One quote, "Sixty-five percent of working Americans had unused vacation days at the end of 2011, according to a study … by Kelton Research …" A Dallas human resources consultant told the reporter, "One person is now doing the work of three, so they can't even think of taking time off. Because they say, 'I might lose my job and I just can't go out and get a new one.'"

    So … American business has succeeded:
    -In getting each worker to do two other people's jobs
    -Refusing to hire additional workers because "who can promise me this upswing will continue?"
    -Paying workers less because "who can afford to give raises in this economy!"
    -Eliminating benefits by turning salaried employees into "independent subcontractors"
    -Scaring these employees into work through promised vacations

    At Jackson Hole they're raising a glass to a business model where corporations triple profits without having to increase output.

    1. Fukui-sanYesOta

      That's the dirty secret, isn't it? The Mighty Economy is basically just fucking fine. Growth rate around 2% annually, housing sales edging up again, consumer confidence reasonably high, DJIA recovered, oil still hovering around $100/barrel since demand is there.

    2. TribecaMike

      I remember reading about a similar study with similar results six or seven years ago. Hard to forget something like that.

      Meet me at the bottom, don't lag behind
      Bring me my boots and shoes
      You can hang back or fight your best on the front line
      Sing a little bit of these workingman's blues

      — Bob Dylan channeling William Carlos Williams & Merle Haggard on Labor Day:

    1. Isyaignert

      The US already killed Bradley Manning. He's nothing but a piece of warm furniture now after their treatment of him for being an informant.

      1. TribecaMike

        PFC Manning was born in Wales. The leek is the emblem of Wales. I could go on, but I hear footsteps outside my cell.

    1. Fukui-sanYesOta

      Well, that's absolutely true, but people don't care. They believe any old horseshit as long as it helps "their team".

    2. starfanglednut

      Actual comment on article:

      alliedavid507 (signed in using yahoo)
      Plouffe: “And I think they’re going to pay a price for that.” They already have. I'm a true conservative and I'm voting, like most real conservatives, for Obama. I'm disgusted with Romney/Ryan/Rove lies. Romney works 24/7 for billionaires and Ryan works 24/7 against Medicare recipients (past and present) and against women.

    3. TribecaMike

      I wouldn't be surprised if the GOP being unmitigated habitual liars is a major motif of the convention this week. I also expect the news networks to film the proceedings entirely in shakey cam to distract the viewer's attention.

      "The fingers are being pointed at Democrats. This is an opportunity to point them back." — Rep. Raul Grijalva

      1. Jukesgrrl

        For those interested, Raul Grijalva, challenged for the first time in a long time as his district was redrawn, won the Democratic primary over two other candidates with 66% of the 30,496 votes cast. In November he will face challenger Gabriela Saucedo Mercer who picked up 65% of the 15,692 votes cast in the Republican primary. Now you know why Jan Brewer sued to have the redistricting stopped. CD1, Arizona's largest in size containing many tribal lands, also appears likely to remain in Democratic hands.

        In other AZ news, Ben Quayle, spawn of a potatoe, lost his "job" as his redrawn district went to one of his challengers. CD9 (including west Scottsdale and Phoenix's exclusive Paradise Valley) was redrawn to reflect a more equal party distribution. Kyrsten Sinema, an Emily's List candidate, won the Dem primary handily enough that she's a possibility to pick up that seat. She was a guest on Chris Hayes' program on Saturday morning. Wonkateer capitalists, send her some money.

        1. not that Dewey

          I read that as "Phoenix's exclusive Parasite Valley".

          Either way, great news about Grijalva and Sinema.

  39. TribecaMike

    OT, but this just in — (Reuters) Mitt Romney has replaced Paul Ryan as his running mate with Canadian bullshit artist Simcha Jacobovici, director of the faux-documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus (2007), calling Mr. Jacobovici "a much more honest and credible person than that other kid. What was I thinking?"

    Aides say privately that Gov. Romney may have been influenced in his decision to choose Ryan by his limousine having passed within a quarter mile of a Tampa topless bar, Bambi's Boom Boom Room, last Tuesday night. "We didn't have the windows closed completely shut, and the governor might have caught a whiff of an alcoholic drink, possibly a cosmopolitan," said one aide. The Secret Service, which says it is "well acquainted" with the bar, is investigating the incident.

    The Vatican ambassador to the US, Fr. Stinky McShite, SJ, will be holding a press conference at 9pm to protest the replacement, followed by a rumble with the Mormon Elders of the Melchizedek Priesthood at which refreshments will be served.

    1. Biff

      I'm already reverse-mortgaging my own money, effectively loaning it to the financial institution at my own expense.

  40. Negropolis

    Oh, the unemployment rate most definitely is a structural problem. Look what happened here in Michigan as a microcosm of what is happening. It just hit us a decade or two earlier. We are most definitely transforming into a WalMart Economy where only the most highly educated will have careers and where everywhere else (I'd bet that even Bachelor degrees start suffering major unemployment in the not-too-distant future) works shitty retail/part time jobs they have to cobble together to make a living. This has been happening for years now and neither party has addressed it up-front.

    What we're headed for it "PhD or GTFO", unless we get out of this thinking that productivity is the end all/be all of the economy and back to the belief that a job should give dignity, that you have to consider something beyond productivity when building and sustaining the economy. We are quickly relegating entire additional swaths of the population to subsistance style living First World-style.

    As for the Fed, it can't have its cake and eat it too. Go big or go fucking home, already. By their hesitance and/or incompetence, they are really making crazy-ass Ron Paul seem like a sage.

    1. Jukesgrrl

      In the places my family lives, Bachelor degrees are already suffering major unemployment. I've come to the conclusion that our economy continues to push unnecessary schooling to keep job seekers out of the regular workforce. Then it's also nothing for them to demand a year of more of an unpaid internship for the most sought-after types of jobs. So the Moms and Dads footing the bill for THAT are making donations to corporations already receiving corporate welfare in the form of their tax dollars.

  41. SorosBot

    OT; but RIP, Michael Clarke Duncan. He single-handedly mad the Daredevil movie worth watching.

    And in better death news, where's your messiah now, Moonies? I do kind of wonder if they're all gonna go nuts now that Rev. Moon is dead.

    1. DemmeFatale

      I loved Michael Clarke Duncan!
      Anytime I saw that he was in something, I was overjoyed!
      (Except The Green Mile. I couldn't bear to see lots of bad things happen to him.)

    2. Negropolis

      I am genuinely sad to hear about Michael Clarke Duncan. If anyone is a fan of Craig Ferguson's late night show, you know that you really got to know Michael, and he was just a great, funny and genuine guy. In fact, he was one of the actors Craig brought with him when he shot the show in his homeland of Scotland, and only Craig's favorite guests get to do the remotes.

      BTW, when he originally had his heart attack, I couldn't have been the only one shocked to find he was engaged to Omarosa of The Apprentice infamy, was I? That said, I wish even her better days than today. What a loss.

      BTW x 2, I'm a bit surprised none of the Moonies have gone Jonestown, yet, to be honest.

      1. TribecaMike

        The less said about the Reverend Omarosa Manigault, the better imho.

        I'll miss Mr. Duncan. He saved many a lackluster flick by his presence.

      2. Jukesgrrl

        I tuned in to Craig tonight thinking he might have a remembrance of MCD but the program was a repeat. My idiocy … I forgot this is a holiday. I'm sure Craig will share later. He did, indeed, seem to have a genuine affection for the man as well as respect for his talent. I'm hearing about Omarosa for the first time from you. And, yes, I'm shocked. There must be more to her than her TV persona.

        1. Negropolis

          I went to check Ferguson's Twitter account, yesterday, when I heard the news. Nothing, but I figure it's because he's on vacation. I knew all the late nights would be reruns given it's a holiday. I expect to see some kind of tribute on Ferguson whenever he gets back from vacation.

  42. Blueb4sinrise

    Rebecca and Jim are cheating on us.
    Come back !!! I'll change!!! I promise!!!!

    Or better yet………Where's Lisa Wines?

  43. Negropolis

    Jackson Hole is the hole from out which Dick Cheney crawled, right? I hear that Jackson Hole ends straight up in hell.

  44. misanthrope

    I'm glad Ben gave this speech from Jackson Hole, because if anyone knows how tough times have been it's the people of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I mean there isn't even a Williams-Sonoma there geez.

    1. Negropolis

      It's just like when the tone-deaf, masters of the universe one percenters hold the World Economic Forum is freakin' Davos, Switzerland.

  45. valthemus

    The "We're all fucked" comment I've heard more than once is that the economy won't improve until the major asset holders (rich banks, rich companies, rich people) stop hording cash and start circulating it again as well as raising salaries… and that's not going to happen unless Republicans take the White House and Congress. Yes, that kind of sounds like blackmail to me too. (If not treason.)

    1. Arborista

      My understanding is that anyone in a position to invest in more jobs & capital is waiting for some sense of certainty. What they don't want to do is move forward now, then find that they've made bad choices if there's a regime change & policy shifts no longer support investments made in accordance with Obama-era rules & regs.

      1. Fukui-sanYesOta

        I don't mean this personally, but that's bullshit.

        Investors with sense are fucking cleaning up at the moment: stick shit-tons of cash into stocks in 2008/2009 and look at both the dividends and worth now! Companies are fucking fine, really.

        Banks aren't investing in companies since they have access to very very cheap money with which to buy t-bills which pay more than the lending percentage. There's no reason to take risk.

        Companies are laughing because there's a glut of skilled labor and their current workforce are killing themselves just to stay in a job.

        It's much worse than the media would have you believe. We're getting legitimately raped at the moment.

        I'd say it doesn't matter who is President, but it does. Romney would take what we have now and make it worse x 1000. Both Romney and Obama understand the problem, but Obama wants to fix it with education and hiring incentives. Romney wants to fix it with a Reagan-style "corporations make out like bandits and lol to you!"

        I know which society I'd rather live in.

      2. Negropolis

        This "uncertainty" bullshit is getting on my last nerve. They've (the financiers, investors, etc) had nearly four years to shit or get off the pot. What they are doing is holding the economy hostage to force a political change, and it's going to bite them in the ass. Obama bent over backwards for the business community early in his administration, whateveer his public persona was towards them. They had no better partner than this president, and to the point where folks like me often criticized him for playing to nicely with them.

        Boy, if they didn't pick the the wrong president to fuck with. If he gets a second term, they'll be grovelling. They can't keep the ladders pulled up, forever. If they try, they'll find they'll be forced down. I'd much rather this "free" market actually work like a free market. Right now, the fucking thing is a wealthy conspiracy.

  46. GeorgiaBurning

    Let the Fed have their meeting in some highway stop Super 8 rather than a five-star resort. They'll see what a few decades of bad jobs and budget cuts have done to the country.

  47. fishwharf

    I'm one of the lucky ones. I was in a union, and my modest pension is enough if I live frugally. Labor Day has become almost meaningless and would be better named End of Summer Day. I fear that we are only at the beginning of a long slide toward a major depression and almost certain civil unrest. The Feds are making their preparations with FEMA camps and millions of rounds of hollow point bullets for Homeland Security goons. A healthy economy and plentiful jobs are not coming back anytime soon, so the best we can do is follow the Fed's lead and make preparations of our own. Not everyone will be able to do it, but those that can should get out of urban areas and learn to be as self sufficient as possible. Stockpile necessities and ammo. Mad Max is just around the corner.

    1. Negropolis

      I fear civil unrest and/or a major recession only if the president is completely obstructed in his second term like he was the first. His green energy plan that he's never been able to implement because of the Republicans I think could really set off something amazing if he's allowed to get it through Congress. We're talking the whole gamut of development from R&D to manufacturing. I think he could show that this works, it might be enough to get other industries off the sidelines. We really could have a real manufacturing renaissance and all of the supporting jobs that come with the multiplier that is manufacturing, both basic and advanced.

      I tell you, I've even seen it hear in Michigan. When manufacturing is humming, everything gets better, but the auto industry can only sustain and carry us so far, even we instinctively now that. It's why while our unemployment has dropped from a high of over 14% during the darkest part of the recession, it's still stubbornly not going to go back under 8% unless we can open up new industries. The previous governor had set us on track to be a major hub of green energy development, from R&D to manufacturing, but between the feds unable to get past the tea party, and a new Republican state administration that view this stuff ambivalently at best, it stalled.

      I don't take the opinion that this is not possible, but I share you concern that we may not have the national will to really do something so that this may not be probable if even we're right on the cusp of doing something transformational.

      1. Chichikovovich

        It's gonna be like Ruby Ridge and Waco all over again, buddy. Except this time everywhere!

        Remember – drink only rainwater, that you've collected yourself.

  48. Fukui-sanYesOta

    I was just about to write something very long and economics-wonk about how the manipulation of the economy at a macro level actually helped to fuck the entire world in 2008, but then I realized that nobody fucking cares.

    The takeaway from this non-existent post is that the Governor of the Bank of England knew that fucking with interest rates waaaaaay back in 2003 would fuck housing in the long term, but hey, that's the future! The Fed knew it too.

    We're in a clusterfuck. This situation we find ourselves in is entirely new. It's not 1930. It's a new clusterfuck. My personal opinion is we need more requirements for regulation of the banking industry, but that seems unpopular with Cletus Sisterfuck because Cletus doesn't know jack shit.

  49. Monsieur_Grumpe

    Cat food? Phhttt! I wish.

    My cats eat McDonalds like the rest of America.
    I had to rename them Fat and Gassy.

  50. Peckerwood_Pete

    Well Bernanke is supported by both Romney, and Obama… I guess hope and change will be put on hold indefinitely now….

  51. not that Dewey

    The much-fabled "small business", in essence the Mom-and-Pop-Store paradigm, exists only insofar as it has achieved equilibrium. When Walbox and BestScam ousted the Mom 'n' Pops, the path was cleared for perpetual motion machines and zero-point economic energy. We're all gonna be rich!

Comments are closed.