In an otherwise thought provoking post an unfortunate headline – Graph of the Day: Is the “Great Recession” Really a Household Debt Crisis?
“Why is everyone still referring to the recent financial crisis as the ‘Great Recession’?” asks Harvard economist and former IMF chief Kenneth Rogoff, in a recent article for Project Syndicate. “The phrase ‘Great Recession’ creates the impression that the economy is following the contours of a typical recession, only more severe – something like a really bad cold,” he adds. “But the real problem is that the global economy is badly overleveraged.”
Unfortunately, the American household is no exception. While political discourse has been dominated in recent months by arguments over our enormous national debt, climaxing with the tense mid-summer negotiations over the debt ceiling in Washington, the problem of household debt has gone largely unmentioned in the media. Now that is beginning to change, as a consensus develops among economists, pundits, and policymakers that Americans’ paralyzing mortgage and credit card debt is the main factor holding the economy back from recovery.
The facts are these: although household debt peaked at $116,457 per household in 2008—nearly 100 percent of GDP at the time the financial markets collapsed—mortgage and credit debt has decreased merely seven percent as of 2010. The average American household would have to deleverage an additional 97 percent to return to 1976 levels. And while no one is arguing that household debt needs to be at those levels to restart the economy, it is generally understood that consumption will not increase adequately until Americans’ debts are significantly lower.
When we last experienced a deep recession in 1982, the household debt-to-GDP ratio was about 45 percent, or $17,286. So when the government adjusted its monetary policy, the economy was able to recover quickly. Today, with the average household still holding over $100,000 of debt, a more ambitious program will be required to return demand—and thus unemployment—to pre-recession levels.
At least for the time being those of us on the moderate side of the debate of our economic ills are on the losing end of, not the debate, but being heard above the Chicken-Little cries of we have a spending problem. Where there is human beings and government certainly there will be waste. We could not cut spending as a path to wiping out the deficit short of doing away with the military. The excerpt above gets to a progressive liberal argument that has been around for at least two years and gets no real hearing in the press. Saying that most working class Americans are drowning in debt is one way of saying there is no demand for products and services. Demand creates jobs. In Catch-22 fashion, people without jobs, people who are afraid to spend because they might not have a job or people who have found jobs that pay half what they were making means no consumer engine to get the demand revved up to create more jobs. Only government spending could break the stalemate, but the austerity peacocks are against spending. They think spending cuts creates jobs. Why they think this is not supported by any empirical data, but when have facts ever made a difference in defeating the echo of right-wing dogma on the economy.
There is one option discussed in that post. Free up some consumer spending by allowing underwater homeowners to refinance their homes at lower rates. Sounds like a good idea and likely doomed. If we start experimenting someone in the upper 10 percent of income might have to cut back their pool cleaning to once a week.
Take the story of Portland, Ore., clairvoyant Laurie McQuary. A creative sting was set up by the Inside Edition TV show in March. A producer posing as a distraught brother in search of his missing sister hired McQuary for $400. She looked at the photo of the girl and claimed she had been sexually assaulted and killed, but the case was still solvable. The psychic detective even pointed to a remote location on a map where the body could be found. The next day, McQuary was taped in an interview with an Inside Edition correspondent who revealed that the photo was the correspondent as a young girl and not the missing sister of the show’s producer. Asked how she could be so wrong, the psychic ended the interview and walked off the set.
A sample of one does not prove the case, but 10 other psychics contacted by the show similarly stated the girl had been murdered. Such errors confirm what the FBI told Inside Edition: They were “not aware of any criminal investigation that has been resolved as a direct result of information provided from a psychic.”
[ ]…But surely we’ve heard of some successes by psychic detectives. Consider the case reported in January in the New York Post: “A psychic eerily predicted where the victim of a suspected serial killer could be found — nine months before cops dug up the corpse and that of three other young women on a Long Island beach, police sources said.”
Claiming to see the body in a grave “overlooking a body of water” with a nearby sign that had the letter “G” in it, did the psychic really “nail it?” Turns out the body was not buried in a grave, any location on Long Island would be near a vaguely described body of water, and no sign was found. And if it had, would the letter “G” be a surprise on Long Island?
Skeptical thinking requires that we distinguish between vague, generally applicable common-sense statements and the precise breakthroughs demanded of serious investigations. On closer inspection, other than anecdotal accounts, there are no documented discoveries of missing persons by psychics.
In another small sudy which pitted self described psychics against students who claimed no psychic abilities, the non-psychics guessed correctly as often as the psychic predictions or visions. One of the best daily examples of how to make generalized predictions which sound like someone might have at leasta tiny bit of pyschic ability is the daily horscopes in newspapers and on sites like Yahoo.
Nothing is exactly what it seems today. You need to make sure that you’re paying close attention and probing anything that seems fishy — but you may still be taken by surprise later in the day.
Without seeing the astrglogcal sign first can you tell which sign that horscope for today is for. Sounds like something that cuudl apply to anyone on any given day. here is another one,
Everyone knows you’re the master of detail work, and today you show off for the masses. It’s easier than ever to score big with something that others would have terrible trouble with.
Everyone likes to think they are masters of detail when they put their mind to it. is this for a Virgo or a Taurus. Could be anyone. The claims made are so general it could be construed to apply to anything you accomplish today. Psychics use very similar techniques.
Claudius Galenus (AD 129-c. 217) was a Roman( of Greek ancestry) authority on anatomical theory and medical practice. And he was also a philosopher. Among some medieval texts a researcher recently found a copy of a letter written by Galen called . ‘On the Avoidance of Grief’- Galen and the Great Fire of Rome
By AD 192 the Horrea Piperataria had stood secure for almost a century, so Galen rented one of the units to store the valuable eastern materials he required for his medical practice. In ‘On the Avoidance of Grief’ he explains the situation.
People deposited their most precious treasures in these store rooms because they trusted that the warehouses along the Sacred Way would never be affected by fire. People were confident because there was no wood in these buildings other than the doors, and these warehouses were not close to any substantial private homes. What is more, the facilities were watched over by a military guard.
But Galen was proved wrong about the safety of the spice complex.
Much of galen’s life long collection of remedies, medical recipes, personal writings and his collection of wirtings by others was destroyed when Rome’s Temple of Peace was destroyed in a fire.
“I’m in employee services. I make sure the lunch room is clean, the vending machines are stocked. We had a huge mix up the other day between the tampon machine in the lady’s room and the condom machine in the men’s room. And now some woman is suing because of a latex infection.” One of Lisa Kudrow’s patients in Web Therapy, episode 6.