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View Diary: The Euro Crisis by the numbers (165 comments)

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  •  yes i did (1+ / 0-)
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    Take a look at the third chart in this post. American Savings Rate 1981-2011.  The Savings Rate declined for the better part of three decades. During that time plenty of people thought it couldn't go lower.  It did.

    There is a saying that goes something like this.  "A lot of people have gone broke underestimating the American Consumer"

    My point is that it has continued for much longer than is reasonable before and it appears that the American Consumer is going right back to their old ways.

    While Unemployment has remained high and home equity loans have disappeared, consumption has gone up. Auto sales are up. Lots of Americans are buying lots of stuff. I don't understand it, but the fact is that it is happening.

    Those who can are still buying lots of crap.

    "I'll hold my nose and vote but I won't hold my nose and canvass or call or donate." Some Dkos Comment

    by onemadson on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 12:22:19 PM PST

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    •  I don't think a 0.1 percent increase... (2+ / 0-)
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      KJG52, shaharazade

      is something to celebrate, in fact consumer spending goes up and down on a month to month basis, there is no consistent trend up at all over the last year, up one month, down the next is the pattern, which is nothing other than trading water...

      Also the payroll tax cut is largely responsible for any improvement in spending and that in and of itself is a bad sign...

      Fox News, The triumph of stupidity over reason.

      by laughingriver on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 12:56:01 PM PST

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      •  celebrate? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not celebrating anything.  I'm just reporting the figures. Spending has been going up and retail spending in the US in dollars is at an all time high. At the same time food stamps are at an all time high and unemployment is at its highest since the Depression. On the surface it doesn't make sense.  

        I'd love to see some back up for your statement that the payroll tax is largely responsible for any improvement in spending.  And if it is, it is likely to continue (but I don't think you are correct that it is).  

        What i believe is happening is that the US working class is going to become a lot more like the working class in China, India and the rest of the globalized work force.  China has a bunch of people living on a few dollars a day. And they also have a bunch of people living a lot better than the average American. Same as India. Their economies are growing and spending is growing and they have a whole bunch of poor people who aren't part of that.  It would appear the same thing is happening in America. People are dropping out of the middle class into poverty. But the rest of America is still doing ok and borrowing and spending and living the dream.

        I thought the end of the home equity bubble would have knocked down consumer spending in the US.  For a few years Americans were pulling $500 billion out of their homes to spend on crap. That has gone away. And yet Americans are still buying more than ever.

        Anyone can tell it isn't sustainable. But the past few decades also seem to say it can go on a lot longer than some of us think it can.

        "I'll hold my nose and vote but I won't hold my nose and canvass or call or donate." Some Dkos Comment

        by onemadson on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 05:18:39 PM PST

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        •  Two-class society (0+ / 0-)

          Those doing well are doing very well, and those doing less well are struggling.

          No reference to cite -- but I seem to remember that unemployment for certain professions is around 3%.

          We are moving more and more to a binary society.

          Bruce in Louisville
          Visit me at

          Follow me on Twitter: @brucewriter

          by bmaples on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 06:48:47 PM PST

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