Daily Digest 6/10 - Halftime Between Two Lost Decades, Latino Growth Not Reflected At Voting Booth, The Land Of Opportunity?
- It's Worse Than You Think: Halftime Between Two Lost Decades
- The Recovery’s Fate, Back in Consumers’ Hands
- The Land Of Opportunity?
- Latino Growth Not Fully Felt at Voting Booth
- Forced to Early Social Security, Unemployed Pay a Steep Price
- North Las Vegas Crisis Shows Fragility Of Nevada Economy
In the current recession, demand is not being intentionally damped to reduce inflation. Demand collapsed of its own accord as people recognized that they do not, in fact, have the asset wealth they believed they had. Worse, they were left holding large debts that now are much larger than they want given the value of their assets. They then have no choice but to deleverage -- that is, to reduce spending, pay down debts and increase their savings until they return to their desired debt/asset ratio. With this economy-wide collapse of private spending (banks too have to rebuild their debt/asset ratio by recapitalizing and reducing their loan books), deflation and depression follows - unless (as Keynes first showed) government spending moves higher to take the place of the reduced private spending.
At the same time, personal consumption expenditures have grown at an average rate of just under 2 percent since the first quarter of 2011 — the same sluggish growth rate as the overall gross domestic product. Mr. Murenbeeld expects any positive growth in business investment to be offset by contractions in government spending and foreign trade, placing that much more burden on the consumer sector.
“The consumer has not been that strong and that’s why the economy has been sort of flat,” he argues.
The Land Of Opportunity? (jdargis)
Defenders of America’s inequality argue that the poor and those in the middle shouldn’t complain. While they may be getting a smaller share of the pie than they did in the past, the pie is growing so much, thanks to the contributions of the rich and superrich, that the size of their slice is actually larger. The evidence, again, flatly contradicts this. Indeed, America grew far faster in the decades after World War II, when it was growing together, than it has since 1980, when it began growing apart.
In the 2008 presidential election, when a record 10 million Latinos showed up at the polls nationwide, that amounted to just half of the eligible voters. By contrast, 66 percent of eligible whites and 65 percent of eligible blacks voted, according to a study by the Pew Hispanic Center.
Ms. Keany had always expected to work into her 70s and add to her retirement cushion. But after losing her job as an executive assistant at an advertising agency in 2008, she searched fruitlessly for full-time work and exhausted her unemployment benefits. For a while, she strung together odd jobs and lived off her 401(k) retirement and profit-sharing accounts. Then, this year, with her savings depleted and no job offers in sight, she reluctantly applied for Social Security.
“We’ve had foreclosure issues here,” Hurley said over a chicken sandwich at a restaurant near the civic plaza. “And they’re still spending $130 million on a new City Hall. They just kept trucking along. There were a lot of alternative solutions. The constant has been to attack the city employees as if they’re the problems.”
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