The latest The Economy Stinks news shows that the economy still stinks. From CNBC/Reuters they report:
The U.S. economy contracted in the first quarter for the first time in three years as it buckled under the weight of a severe winter, but there are signs activity has since rebounded.
It's not the economy, it's the cold weather, stupid. That's why the economy slowed down or "contracted", as in, receded, as in recession. But if we consider the rationale here, if cold weather caused a slower economy, then why is global warming such a bad thing? Let me write the next paragraph for NBC:
The rebound could come sooner then expect because scientist have discovered that a massive ice sheet in Antarctica just broke away from whatever it was attached to because it so warm up there these days. That warmth could come here someday and since winter gives us slow economic conditions, the warmth will do the opposite and it will be a welcome relief to families with children and small infants that need formula.
Back to the real NBC/Reuters: The economy hasn't grown passed 2% and it barely reaches that in any quarter during the Great Obama presidency. The simple sentence that reports that the economy shrunk is shrouded with indicators that this is just an aberration. "First time in three years" and "but..." the future looks bright because there are "signs". In the meantime there is a record of 93 million people out of the job market...you know, I'm not rehashing any of this, after all you are living in the morass.
None of this is the fault of anybody in charge unless those in charge are Republicans. The "Bush tax breaks for the rich" was supposed to cause the last recession. How? Doesn't matter how, tax cuts were enacted over seven years before the downturn, therefore it was the cause. That's good enough. Now the reason for the current economic malaise has nothing to do with the successor of the awful Bush years. The reason for it is now structural, as in outside government, as in private sector, as in the "rich" "control" "the wealth" and by convention that is why the rest of us don't have much of it.
All of a sudden we have "inequality". Where was the inequality during the Bush years? "Well he gave them tax cuts". Well, no. That's incorrect. He gave everyone who pays taxes a tax cut so no one had any advantage over anyone else. It produced job growths to below 4% of unemployment and over 3% GDP. People went to work. Now the inequality crowd is discovering that our unequal economy has been going on for the last 30 years, look at the statistics, or at least the ones they cleverly devise. See, this set of people have more money then the rest of anyone else.
There is economics and then there is political rhetoric and they are certainly not the same by far. Does anyone ever question a liberal on exactly how a tax cut causes economic slow downs? Why are they allowed to get away with a correlation equal causation argument or every other argumentum fallacy? The reason is not lost on everyone else, liberals have a compliant press made up of fellow travelers.
What they perceive as Fox News to the Right is what has been the case when it comes to CBS, NBC, ABC, NYT, NPR, PBS, on and on, to the Left. They accuse the Right of the very thing they live up to because they understand it first hand. Ask anyone of them if they watch Fox News or listen to Rush Limbaugh and certainly you'll find they don't but they seem to think that the Right "gets their information" from these sources. Another argumentum fallacy they get away with.
And when arguments don't fit reality, anything goes. Here is the Canadian governor of the Bank of England (did you ever think there was such a thing?) lament on the ills of capitalism at a conference reported in the New York Times:
Just as any revolution eats its children...unchecked market fundamentalism can devour the social capital essential for the long-term dynamism of capitalism itself.
Huh? What is market fundamentalism? Oh, I know, it's like religious fundamentalism but it's with markets, therefore extremism, therefore bad. You know why it's bad? Because it "devours social capital". What's "social capital"? I don't know. But whatever it is, it's essential for "long term dynamism of capitalism" itself. What's "long term dynamism"? I don't know but whatever it is it is being eaten up by "fundamentalism". Wow, did I ever learn anything here.
When liberal thinkers talk like this other liberal listeners are pretending something profound is being said and in this case it's the estimable Roger Cohen writing about it in the New York Times with the title "Capitalism Eating Its Children". Just the stuff other liberals love to read.
The conference all but concedes that the economy is dysfunctional. It's just a matter of laying blame and it certainly does not fall onto governments (I wonder why?) instead it's the "rich" and in the case of Bill Clinton, who spoke here, people themselves; as Cohen writes:
Anyone seeking the source of the anger behind populist movements in Europe and the United States (and the Piketty fever) need look no further than this. Anti-immigration, anti-Europe movements won in European elections because people feel cheated, worried about their children. As Bill Clinton noted a couple of hours before Carney’s speech, the first reaction of human beings who feel “insecure and under stress” is the urge to “hang with our own kind.” And the world’s greatest challenge is defining “the terms of our interdependence.”
There's a bit of irony here if you haven't already caught it. Social Democratic governments as well as our own liberal Democratic regime seem to have discovered that with all their efforts, things aren't working out the way they advertised and they are on the run with Europe rejecting their world view as well as American mid-terms that are forecast to become a disaster for Democrats. Could it be that it is the liberals themselves who "feel cheated" and their "first reaction" (since they too are "human beings") is to "hang with our own kind" and thus have a conference such as this? Another case of living up to what they accuse others.
And in this conference the first line of business is to lay blame. To Clinton the people are acting irrationally, acting out of "fear" and "insecure". Not only do liberal not want to take responsibility for the economy they don't even want to accept their precipitous loss of power as that of a rational response. The bad economy is the fault of "inequality" and in the last quarter when there was a slow down, it was a "harsh winter".