Skip to main content

 photo o-US-ECONOMIC-RECOVERY-570_zps99ac398e.jpg

President Obama just released his 2014 Economic Report of the President of the United States, along with the Annual Report of the Council of Economic Advisers. We have much to be proud of just in time for the 2014 elections. Let's let our President speak for all of us in his own words:

To the Congress of the United States:
This year’s Economic Report of the President describes how after 5 years of grit and determined effort, the United States is better-positioned for the 21st century than any other nation on Earth. We’ve now experienced 4 straight years of economic growth with more than 8 million new private-sector jobs. Our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in more than 5 years. Our deficits have been cut by more than half. For the first time in nearly 20 years, we produce more oil at home than we buy from the rest of the world. The housing market is rebounding, manufacturers are adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s, and we sell more of what we make to the rest of the world than ever before. But in many ways, the trends that have threatened the middle class
for decades have grown even starker. While those at the top are doing better than ever, average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened.

Too many Americans are working harder and harder just to get by, and too many still aren’t working at all. Our job is to reverse those trends. It is time to restore opportunity for all—the idea that no matter who you are or how you started out, with hard work and responsibility, you can get ahead. That’s why this must be a year of action. I’m eager to work with the Congress to speed up economic growth, strengthen the middle class, and
build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. But America does not stand still, and neither will I. Wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, I will. Because opportunity is who we are. And the defining project of our generation is to restore that promise. Simply put, this opportunity agenda has four parts. Number one is more new jobs. Number two is training more Americans with the skills to fill those jobs. Number three is guaranteeing every child access to a world.

With the economy picking up speed, companies say they intend to
hire more people this year. We should make that decision even easier for
them by closing wasteful tax loopholes and lowering tax rates for businesses that create jobs here at home, and use the money we save in the process to create jobs rebuilding our roads, upgrading our ports, and unclogging our commutes. We should help America win the race for the next wave of high-tech manufacturing jobs by connecting businesses and universities in hubs for innovation. We should do more to boost exports
and fund basic research. We should maintain our commitment to an all-of-the-above energy strategy that is creating jobs and leading to a safer planet. Finally, we should heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement, and fix our broken immigration sys tem. Independent economists say this will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades. We should get it done this year.

This chart shows that United States and Germany are the only two countries shown whose GDP has returned to the levels prior to the financial crisis of 2008. The report gives credit for this to President Obama's 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aka "the stimulus package," the auto industry rescue, and other stimulus programs promoted by Democrats. This act seems to have created or saved about 6 million jobs. Sabrina Siddiqui reports the Presidents report in The U.S. Recovered From The Recession Faster Than Every Country But Germany, which inspired my first title, however, upon closer inspection the sample for that study was limited to just the 12 major economies thrown into recession by the financial collapse, which leaves out China. So, I changed the title to be more clear.

Good job President Obama and Democrats who supported these controversial stimulus measures. Remember, Mitt Romney's plan was to let Detroit go bankrupt. While I don't usually like to be partisan at times of national celebration, there are times at which we should give credit where credit it due.  

1:45 PM PT: Termite calls our attention to a big point about contrasting austerity versus stimulus. Or, as I would put it more crudely, "Hey Greece, how's that austerity thing working out for you?"  Except, that wouldn't be fair, since it was force on them by the EU, so I won't say that.

2:23 PM PT: Post updated to take out duplicate working paragraph, and add a comma after "Remember,".

I've been reading an article on 18 Rules for Using Commas, and think I've figured out about 12 of them. If anyone ever has punctuation suggestions please share them as I am trying to take my writing to the "next level."

2:53 PM PT: Changed title while researching title, and exact comprehensiveness of study. Sorry.

3:08 PM PT: Jim Kuhnhenn, The Associated Press.

 

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s top economists say the nation is on track to make economic progress over the next two years, but say it would do even better if Congress would enact the additional spending he proposed in his most recent budget. A divided Congress in an election year is not likely to heed that call.

In their annual report to the president, the Council of Economic Advisers says the nation’s economy would grow by 3.3 percent in 2014 and 3.5 percent in 2015 and that unemployment would drop to 6.4 percent in 2015 and 6 percent in 2016. February’s unemployment rate was 6.7 percent. ...

The White House report also says the United States and Germany are the only two of 12 major economies that were hit by the 2008 international financial crisis to have returned to pre-crisis economic output.

The qualification "only two of 12 major economies that were hit by the 2008 international financial crisis" was what was missing from my original title. FishOutofWater asked about China so I changed it, while I'm researching, but I do not believe China's economy went into recession.  My first title went beyond these qualifiers, in any even, sorry.

3:14 PM PT: Here's an additional summary overview from the full 495 page report which I am still reading.

Chapter 1 introduces the Report and highlights several key areas where progress has been made, but it also lays out the areas where much more work remains to be done. In particular, recoveries from financial crises are uniquely challenging because heavy household debt burdens and tight credit conditions can linger for years, depressing spending and investment. However, as shown in Figure 1-4 of the Report, among the 12 countries that experienced a systemic financial crisis in 2007 and 2008, the United States is one of just two in which output per working-age person has returned to pre-crisis levels. The fact that the United States has been one of the best performing economies in the wake of the crisis supports the view that the full set of policy responses in the United States made a major difference in averting a substantially worse outcome—although it in no way changes the fact that more work remains to be done.

3:23 PM PT: Here's a summary of Chapter 2 of this 495 page report, and an impressive graph showing substantial improvement in "deleveraging" or debt ratios.

 photo Figure2-7--HouseholdDeleveragingupdated_zps8ec3bc35.jpg

Chapter 2 reviews the economy’s performance in 2013 and discusses the key reasons why the Administration, like other forecasters, expects growth to strengthen in the coming years. Five years removed from the worst of the financial crisis, the economy continues to strengthen and recover, with businesses adding 2.4 million jobs in 2013, the third straight year private employment has risen by more than 2 million. Looking to 2014, one key reason that growth is expected to pick up is that households have made substantial progress in paying off debt, a process known as deleveraging, putting them in a better position to increase spending going forward. As shown in Figure 2-7, household debt has fallen from a peak of about 1.4 times annual disposable income in the fourth quarter of 2007 to 1.1 times annual disposable income by the fourth quarter of 2013. Similarly, debt service (that is, required minimum payments on household debt) has fallen from a high of 13 percent of disposable income in the fourth quarter of 2007 to 10 percent by the third quarter of 2013, its lowest since the data begin in 1980. It is important to note, however, that while these figures paint a picture of improvement in the aggregate, many moderate- and middle-income households have seen little benefit from recent stock market gains and are still grappling with the implications of home prices that, despite recent progress, remain well below their previous highs. Other reasons to expect stronger growth in 2014 than in 2013 include diminished fiscal drag, a recovery in asset values, strengthening among our international trading partners, and demographic forces that are expected to maintain upward pressure on housing starts—although all of these factors need to be balanced against the uncertain risks that can always adversely affect the economy.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Except the people who are really the beneficiaries (26+ / 0-)

    Are the same people who caused the collapse, the evil senior management of banks & other big biz. They used it to rob us & continues today. They are using our stolen money to steal our govt from us a piece at a time.

    It can't really be a recovery without some more & better paying jobs.

    Tipped & rec'ed & thx

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:39:54 PM PDT

    •  Couldn't agree more (10+ / 0-)

      Our quick "recovery" is a function of the fact plutocrats love to pour money into economies where they can reap all the benefits.

      The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

      by amyzex on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:06:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I really like this diarist, A LOT, however... (10+ / 0-)

      ...touting Gross Domestic Product numbers are meaningless, and little more than a talking point for the one percent (it is a Wall Street meme, given greater truths) to obfuscate what's really happening in our economy.

      I'm not going to spend time discussing how Gross Domestic Product statistics distort the public's perception with regard to what's happening on Main Street. But, I will say that it doesn't matter what happening in the economy, as far as the GDP is concerned, as long as there's growth. So, if the country's selling nuclear weapons to other countries, those numbers improve. If the country's exporting much more oil and gas than it has in year's past--at the virtually direct expense of still keeping prices higher at the pump for U.S. citizens--that's reflected positively in our country's GDP numbers, too.

      So, like the stock market--another completely bogus indicator for the vast majority of our society, where most citizens are living paycheck to paycheck and where most have little or no money in the market, at best--gross domestic product statistics don't begin to provide an accurate picture of the economic realities in this country, today.

      For more on this, checkout Joseph Stiglitz' 2008 book: "Mismeasuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn't Add Up."

      And, then there's the truth about the jobs numbers, as noted by none other than the editors of the NY Times, just a few days ago: "Jobs at a Turning Point."

      And, then there's this truly excellent overview regarding last Friday's latest jobs report--and the state of joblessness in the U.S., in general--from our gov't's Bureau of Labor Statistics: "Winter Polar Vortex Didn't Freeze The Unemployment Report."

      Last but not least, one of my favorite quotes, from Barney Frank, in 2010: "'Things could be worse,' is not a winning campaign slogan."

      Ongoing misinformation and obfuscation with regard to what's really happening with our economy, on Main Street, does little more than remind voters that, while Democrats are more concerned about voters than Republicans are, the fact of the matter is the majority of our entire, generally-corrupt government is clueless!

      A reality-based discussion of economics, certainly when it comes to communicating with Main Street, has much more resonance with voters these days. (Contorting an already-contorted BLS' U3 Index and hyping GDP numbers are fairy tales when compared to what voters see happening before their eyes, every day.) Is the economy improving? Marginally, at best.

      Contorting the narrative into status quo talking points doesn't work, as Democrats, apparently, failed to learn that lesson in 2010.

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:22:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Citing "benefits" of Austerian, trickle-down... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psyched, aliasalias, praenomen, radarlady

        ...economics--which is what this country's, and too many of our respective states' and municipalities' economic managers have primarily engaged in since 2008--is not a very "Democratic" policy, at least in the traditional sense of the term.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:43:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The "deleveraging" myth is exactly that... (7+ / 0-)

          ...almost ALL "deleveraging" has occurred due to the banks having their way with our government. "Delveraging," when one looks closely at the numbers, is ACTUALLY: foreclosures, and credit providers stripping open lines of credit from the population. This is a basic fact in our society that is contorted by Wall Street memes, too.

          (I've demonstrated this in past posts; and, many others have done a far greater job illustrating this inconvenient truth than yours truly.)

          For all intents and purposes, there was no voluntary "deleveraging." It was imposed austerianism.

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:47:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for commenting Bobswern, I agree with (4+ / 0-)

        your points on Gross Domestic Product, and agree that my report here is, perhaps, a little overly optimistic, as I do feel myself getting back into election campaign mode so I maybe overly called attention to the good news here, in anticipation of the bad news.

        But, your second point seems a little harsh. I'm reporting what's in the President's 2014 economic report, that just came out, with a direct link to a 495 page report.

        I lead with the first major plot the President used in his overview summary to make the point that out of 12 major economies that were slammed by the 2008 financial crisis, we've recovered faster than any other than Germany.

        At the sound bite level at which much of our political discussion occurs, after listening to the GOP slam the recovery efforts as excess government intervention, is it not a fair top level bullet point to say stimulus worked, (and with an admittedly small sample size, better than austerity for Greece.)

        I think we both agree with Paul Krugman that the stimulus should have been a lot bigger, and I agree completely with Stiglitz, even more than Krugman, as I believe you do, that we needed much more attention to income equality, and agree with Pluto and Shockwave below about the fact that to much of the stimulus went to bailing out the rich.

        I'm not here as an apologist for the President, but as an opponent for the GOP's austerity programs, especially cuts to social programs for the poor, which have the de-facto consequence of making income inequality worse.

        I'm sorry if I'm slipped into 2014 electioneering mode too soon. Any point you make about how vastly complicated economic analysis does not fit well into 15 second sound bites I will concede.

        I guess I have to admit that my intention here was to say if we are going to over simplify the economic arguments into "the good guys" and the "bad guys," I have to insist that President Obama and we Democrats are the "gooder guys,"  than those austerity pushing sobs from the other party.

        If your point is that a more accurate simplification was down to the "really incredibly economically stupid" party and the "only just mostly economically stupid" party, I would agree, but then insist that in the last six month before the election this translates into being synonymous with what I said, "we're the "gooder guys," or "not as bad, and the headline of this 495 page document for me is, "this proves it.  

        But, I'll defer to you on economic issues, Bobswern. What do you take away as the headlines for the rest of us from this report?

        Thanks for saying you like me and my posts a lot, otherwise, I appreciate that a lot, and the feeling is mutual.  

        "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

        by HoundDog on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:48:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's all summed-up in Barney Frank's comment... (9+ / 0-)

          ...in 2010, per my original comment in this thread. (And, the polls support this, too. The Democrats suck less than the Republicans. That's the real bottom line. Meanwhile, they're both highly captured by the status quo--a status quo that continues to inflict massive pain upon our society while the one percent reap great benefits.)  

          Unfortunately, Democrats seem determined to make the same messaging mistakes now that they did in 2010.

          This touting of what was essentially, support for austerian policies by Wall Street and our governments--when it came to cutting jobs in government, both on a federal and local level, save for an insufficient stimulus, which was, granted, better than no stimulus at all--does NOT resonate at the local level with what people see in front of them, every day.

          For most, things still SUCK...but, not quite as much as they sucked four years ago. It's NOT a winning slogan. (As Barney Frank warned us four years ago.) And, the polls, at the local level, reflect this as far as the Senate and the House races are concerned.

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:56:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm with you 100% on this Bob. Sad, but true. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bobswern, bear83, SphericalXS

            And, is this not an indictment of our whole electoral system?

            Is this not inevitable in a two-party system. I like having a direct election of our President, but I wonder sometimes if we might not be better off with some kind of parliamentary system for congress, where minority parties could have some representation and we could develop leaders who might one day sway the masses to a more sophisticated minority viewpoint.

            Right now I'd vote for Senator Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren for President, but at the last minute might chicken out if it looked like we were going to end up the President Ted Cruz, or Paul Ryan.  

            "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

            by HoundDog on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:50:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Dude, yeah... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobswern

        Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:02:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  More on your comment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobswern

        I agree with your opinion of HD.

        I'm more than a bit concerned that our GDP growth rate refuses to budge over 1.75%, averaged, compared to a historic average of 3.25%. I also agree with Bob in that GDP is a terrible measure. It includes War Department spending of almost $1T, health care spending, about another $1T excess above other developed countries, and economic activity from the Investment sector, $XT. If you talk about goods and services delivered to the median income family we are barely better off than 1970, and worse off if you read Elizabeth Warren's work.

        I do not see a recovery in my sector. I run a small manufacturing business and my business has been in a depression since 2008 and has seen NO improvements, as all of my fellow manufacturers report.

        It's almost amusing that China is left off of the chart. Unlike every other country, they are centrally planned from the top and free market from the bottom. The "Free World" is debating about stimulus v austerity, while Communist China is outperforming everyone by a large margin. Perhaps we should be considering a democratic version of the Chinese economy????

    •  They Paid Us Back (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, psyched, estreya, Diogenes2008

      Except the banking sector paid back the taxpayers with interest after they were bailed out.  I  mean it would have felt good to throw them in jail, right?  But it would have crashed the currency.

      No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

      by CrazyHorse on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:52:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What this proves... (20+ / 0-)

    ...is that stimulus works and austerity doesn't.

    Of course, that is as much "a matter for debate" as global warming, but such is the state of our discourse.

    •  Yes, look at Greece, our model, "how's that (4+ / 0-)

      austerity thing working out for you?" nation.

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:43:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Look at China. China had the largest stimulus (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, Pluto

        for the size of its economy. Then change your title.

        “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

        by FishOutofWater on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:15:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Re (0+ / 0-)

        The US is capable of running deficits for some period before collapsing (I am pleased and was not expecting to see the deficit numbers plunge as they did).

        Greece can't do that.

        You can only run deficits until creditors get the idea they won't get paid back. Then you are screwed, whether you are Greece, the US, or any other country.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:05:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sovereigns can deficit spend for productive uses. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bear83, k9disc
          You can only run deficits until creditors get the idea they won't get paid back. Then you are screwed, whether you are Greece, the US, or any other country.
          You can't print oil, or other commodity inputs to an economy.  But as long as true innovation is a net positive, properly managed deficit spending is perfectly sustainable.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:52:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not sure this is true, although I totally (0+ / 0-)

            believe it and want it to be true, but Fiat seems to be King as long as  you have the guns, butter, or factories to back it up.

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:00:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Austerity was forced on Greece, but UK signed up (0+ / 0-)

        for it quite willingly.  The graph doesn't look very good for them, but that's Cameron's austerity program at work, along with the sell-out Clegg.

    •  Just think where we'd be today (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Termite

      if Democrats hadn't caved on the stimulus in 2009, making it too small and far too dedicated to tax cuts; or if Republicans hadn't been actively blocking stimulus efforts at all levels of government, especially since 2010, not due to some deeply held economic belief, but out of pure hatred of the President?

      The American economy is recovering despite GOP efforts to throw out spike strips to give the economy and the President a flat tire.

      If the roles were reversed, Republicans would be calling us unpatriotic traitors.

      Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

      by bear83 on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 05:40:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd be interested in seeing some stats as to how (11+ / 0-)

    the new jobs compare in wages to the jobs lost.

    I'm not seeing a lot of 'recovery' where I live, and there are a lot more houses sitting empty in the neighborhood than there used to be.

    (Caveat: I live in Boehner's district, in a state with a Repub gov and Repub controlled state legislature.  Hardly the recipe for a successful recovery around here.)

  •  Why aren't you posting a diary on (6+ / 0-)

    BEENNNGGGGhhhhhhhaaaaaaaZZZZZZZZIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!?

  •  It just means we are better at (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shopkeeper, Lepanto, ChemBob, psyched

    cooking the books. We have not really recovered.

    "I guess you think you can psych me out by saying really random stuff." -Sora, Hollow Bastion, KH2

    by SphericalXS on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:45:57 PM PDT

    •  Cooking the books? (4+ / 0-)

      Would you care to show how we cook the books? Which books are these, and who does the cooking?

      Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

      by blue aardvark on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:02:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like Iraq war funding that suddenly is placed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        on the books at the start of the recession so the govt has an excuse not to create more stimulus?

      •  The government cooks the books, and the books they (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psyched

        cook are those that purport to show the economic condition of the country. Such as whether we have recovered from recession or not. I don't really have the time to defend my claim, and this is way too complex to go into in detail here. So, accept it or don't. Your choice. But, I stand by it.

        I will mention just a couple of things. First, let's look at our adoption of GDP over GNP as a factor in determining economic prosperity. It is widely beloved that GNP (which we used until 1991)  is a better indicator of quality of living, all other things being equal. But, both indicators are skewed toward Wall Street, and don't truly reflect what is happening on Main Street. The stock market is a fickle and completely unreliable determinate of economic health, and is over represented by these indicators. In my humble opinion.

        The unemployment rates that are published each month are a joke (or they would be if it was funny). Sure, figures that more closely resemble the truth are also published, but they are widely ignored.

        Also, in my opinion, the factors we look at to determine recession are disingenuous. How can a country be prospering when the mean income of it's workers is falling as productivity increases and the standard of living is also becoming lower?

        There's more, but I'm done for now. All this has come about, in my opinion, from each administration attempting to cast the current economic climate in the best terms possible. So, they change the way the numbers are presented. That's a political necessity, it seems.

        Anyway, that's just a couple of thoughts on how I view things. But really, take it or leave it. It's what I personally believe based on the evidence I have seen, but you don't have to.

        "I guess you think you can psych me out by saying really random stuff." -Sora, Hollow Bastion, KH2

        by SphericalXS on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:29:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  GDP is a pretty reliable stat (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PatriciaVa, LookingUp, Odysseus

      But to your point does not get at the income effects by wage stratum, persistently high rates of employment in certain age ranges or geographical regions, etc.

      There are still many people suffering from the Great Recession. There are some who will never recover. But the nation has, at least as measured by the big clumsy GDP metric.

    •  If you're going to cook the books, then why put (0+ / 0-)

      Bush's two wars and Medi-Advantage on them .
      I recovered and then some -- but admit I had to work really hard at it and I'd be loath to do it again.

  •  and is our "recovery" reflected by higher (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChemBob, a2nite, elwior, divineorder, psyched

    employment figures or a decrease in the number of those at poverty level and in need of foodstamps?

    if not, perhaps our "recovery" is just another bubble, that will increase the wealth of the banksters but spell bad times for the working and middle class?

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:51:58 PM PDT

  •  And Germany has a stronger social safety net (14+ / 0-)

    and more unions than we do.

    Republicans, your ideology remains epochal fail.

    Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

    by blue aardvark on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:02:01 PM PDT

  •  That looks great until (14+ / 0-)

    I look at my bank account and realize that for the first time I can't make my house payment for March if I pay the other bills.

    I've applied for something like 160 jobs, five just today, and can't get hired. Suffice it to say that I'm seeing zero of the GDP increase. It's all BS. Virtually everyone I know is having problems and most of us are in the 50s/60s age group, where we seemingly can't be hired anymore. I know lots of people on the verge of losing everything and all are under huge, stress and losing all hope.

    These are not the golden years for most of us boomers.

    Sigh.

    •  Sorry to hear this ChemBob, I didn't mean to gloss (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChemBob

      over the real pain, and problems we still have in our economy.

      Perhaps, I was thinking to much like an electioneering politico when I saw this report as good news, and reported it as such.

      I'm pretty sure Bobswern will give us a more accurate and comprehensive analysis that better reflects the tremendous numbers of Americans in your same situatiton.

      Sorry.

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:03:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh HoundDog, (0+ / 0-)

        I wasn't criticizing you; I always love your diaries. I was just having a very depressing day when I read it and the graph just appeared to me like a vector straight into the bank accounts of the 0.1%, not so much for anyone else.

        I just saw a very brief mention on the news of how last year the average American went much farther into credit card debt, with absolutely no apparent awareness by the reporter that the reason for this is that we have NO freaking cash!

        Please don't take my comment personally, I just feel like I'm about to explode from stress. I applied for five more jobs today, but my level of hope is asymptotically approaching zero.

  •  Least Austerity Except for Germany, no? nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, ericlewis0

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:11:06 PM PDT

  •  Yo HD, there are 2 christiegate diaries up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, ericlewis0, HoundDog

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:12:19 PM PDT

  •  GDP is not an accurate indication of recovery (7+ / 0-)

    when it comes to the middle class and the poor.  Because of rampant criminality by Wall Street and their enablers in government, the middle class was robbed of trillions of dolllars during the last half a decade.  Almost all of the accrued benefits of the so-called recovery have gone to the rich, while the middle class continues to struggle, and the poor and the homeless are brutally oppressed.

    •  Agree. GDP is "macro economy" (9+ / 0-)

      If you look below the macro you'll find that everybody below the top 1% or 10% is not doing better;

      In many states, the recovery is making the income gap worse

      The income gap in America has been widening for decades and the modest three-year recovery did little to change that, according to new Census data.
      The new data suggest that despite modest recoveries in many states, the middle class has been shrinking while households have been added in the lowest and highest income brackets. In many states and nationally, the highest income brackets saw more growth than the lowest, but households in the middle brackets continued to decline.
      The charts below track the change in the number of households at each income level between two periods: 2007-2009 and 2010-2012.
      Recovery by income photo Recoverybyincome_zps5521bb7c.jpg

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:24:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But It's a Prime Factor in the Minds of Leadership (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CrazyHorse, HoundDog, Ray Pensador

      yet ours beat everyone but Germany by favoring the middle class and poor more than the austerity nations.

      Ostensibly, the austerity crowd's claims are shown to be realized by the opposite of their policies.

      --Making it easier to argue how much better the Adult Measurements would be if we were truly serious about boosting the middle class and poor during lean times.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:59:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree Ray. I wasn't trying to make deep economic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador

      points here, or be an apologist for the administration. Originally, I just thought, "hey, this looks interesting, our recovery did better than the Europeans who diddled around talking about austerity," and this could be helpful to Democrats in the 2014 election, and maybe 2016, especially, if that cheeseball, Paul Ryan is the GOP candidate, with his voodoo economics.

      Do I think the U.S. economy suck now? Yes. The only point I'd be willing to argue about is that it would suck worse if the GOP had prevented us from passing the Recovery Act, or we had followed Mitt Romney's "let Detroit go bankrupt" plan.

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:09:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Graph shows exact opposite of claim. (0+ / 0-)

      The first graph is a complete statistical nonsense and if anything demonstrates the complete opposite of what is claimed in the title.

      The "real GDP per worker" figure indeed shows that the average US worker produces "more GDP" but there is no reference to the numbers employed. One ad absurdam way of increasing it would be to sack everybody but Bill Gates.

      Another way of approaching it is that employees have been produced more (good thing) but that does not mean they can go on doing so ad infinitum. Sooner or later more will have to be employed (hooray!) but that would reduce the "GDP per worker" (boo!) You also have to question whether this extra production is due to amounts of overtime being worked (or workers moving from part time working as an alternative to layoffs to full time) rather than a true increase in worker productivity.

      BTW, the UK currently has the fastest growing economy in the G7 and the comparatively apparent poor result from that graph is partly because about a million more are in employment now compared to 2010.  

      "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:24:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The chart was based on "working age population" (0+ / 0-)

        so your idea about sacking everybody except Bill Gates really doesn't apply here . ... .

        Instead you'd have to come up with a scheme to rapidly age everybody but Bill, so as to get them out of the "working age population" demographic.

  •  europe isn't "the world" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, elwior, Lawrence, HoundDog

    for your headline to be true, you'd need to show the US recovering faster than countries outside of europe as well.

    it's possible, i guess, but i suspect that china recovered faster than we did between 2007 and 2013 (although i suspect they may be the next collapse trigger, ere long).

  •  I'm more than a little tired of all the recovery (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolf10, HoundDog, psyched, aliasalias

    talk. Broad statistics are shit. If you have 1000 American families with a net worth of $5000 each and one billionaire, some 3rd Way'ish economist is going to tell me the average net worth of American families is over $1M.

    The entire premise of the "recovery" is total crap when the picture is honestly dissected.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by pajoly on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:29:29 PM PDT

    •  I came not to praise the recovery but say "I told (0+ / 0-)

      you so," to the Republicans, who opposed our recovery efforts, stimulus, and saving the auto industry.

      Income inequality sucks and is holding us back (see Bobswern and Stiglitz whom I agree with.)

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:16:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, Understood. I'd only add... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog

        ..."holding us back was apt in 2009," today I think it's beyond that and more like "strangling us."

        I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

        by pajoly on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:44:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My current understanding is that China was not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto

      included in this study because it was not sent into a recession by the financial shock.

      Their strong economic growth reflects well on stimulus policies in general. They are spending over twice the percentage of GDP as we are on economic infrastructure development.

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:18:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, they were very much affected. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        But:

        A:  They're not white, so they don't count.

        B:  They took all their resources and treasure and plowed them into domestic development to stimulate their economy. Rather than throwing them down the black hole of a foreign policy of international murder-sprees.

  •  Well ain't this a pleasant change of pace (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CrazyHorse, HoundDog, Odysseus

    from the usual received wisdom at this site.

    Heck it seems like just yesterday I was reading a diary about how we were falling so far behind we'd never catch up.

    Ever.

  •  This is outrageous! (0+ / 0-)

    Quickly, everyone, MORE AUSTERITY!!!

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:48:06 PM PDT

  •  No one forcing anything on Greece (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, psyched, Odysseus, nextstep

    Greek pols have decided to remain within the EuroZone, thereby embracing austerity.

    If Greek pols wanted Greece to grow, they would spearhead an effort for Greece to reintroduce the Drachma.

    But Greek pols are more concerned about how they're perceived in Brussels than in Athens.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

    by PatriciaVa on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:50:33 PM PDT

    •  And a battered wife can always just leave. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      limpidglass

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:26:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, Battered Wife = NonCore EZ Nation? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FishOutofWater

        Battered Wife = millionaire Greek pol looking out for his economc interest, at the expense of the average Greek citizen?

        The truth is that the EuroZone will become the most colossal failed experiment in economics ever attempted.

        US and Mexico have FAR more in common, socially, economically and politically than Germany and Greece.

        Yet, no one is calling for the US and Mexico to share a common currency.

        That's what EuroZone Apologists can't see.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

        by PatriciaVa on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:48:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Uh... Oh we're agreeing again. (0+ / 0-)

          Your first line nails it.

          “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

          by FishOutofWater on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:39:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually re Dollar (0+ / 0-)

          The US Dollar suffers from exactly the same problem as the Euro, the standard economic control measures in terms of interest rates and money supply are a very crude measure when a series of different economic conditions apply in different parts of the continent. The only difference is that the USA has a central level of taxation and other fiscal measures however the problems that some US cities and states have in balancing a budget are exactly the same.

          So an interest rate level that is appropriate for successful German companies might well not be appropriate in an economy like Greece however equally economic policies suitable for California are not necessarily right for the Rustbelt.

          BTW, the Eurozone is more than Germany, France and Greece. There are 18 EU members who are formally part of the Eurozone together with others who use it instead of their own national currency. Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican and Andorra issue their own coins under special arrangements. Montenegro and Kosovo use it.  That's what Eurozone Knockers fail to see. They also tend to use historical data and ignore inconvenient truths - citing Ireland as a problem is becoming out of date as their recovery has progressed well.

          "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

          by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:42:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It was not as easy as just getting up to leave. (0+ / 0-)

      Their financial system would have been ripped apart.

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:20:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  interesting graph (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe one of the econ experts can answer something I'm seeing:

    Germany seems to have taken a deeper dive than the US, but recovered faster than the US.

    what are the essential differences between Germany's approach or circumstances and ours?

    KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

    by fcvaguy on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:54:51 PM PDT

  •  Top graph has an odd sampling of countries (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    Major countries such as China, S Korea, Austrailia are missing but Ukraine and Iceland are.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:41:08 PM PDT

  •  Iceland (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    I spent several weeks in Iceland recently expecting it to be a hippy paradise from the way "teh memes" explained how they "jailed the bankers blah blah blah" instead of what we did here.  

    What I found was $14.00 footlongs at Subway, ten dollar pints of beer, and megamarts staffed by a single worker.  

    Can we please at last slay the notion that "the bailouts" were a bad thing?  That Wall Street was the only winner?  No, we didn't collapse the economy by letting our banking infrastructure fail.  But the banking sector paid us back with interest (the car guys still haven't.)  The taxpayer made money on that deal and the plan lead to recovery Europe hasn't achieved.  

    And Iceland sent their economy down the toilet.  In fact, last year all the conservatives who created the crisis in the first place got voted back in.  If we'd followed in their footsteps - ugh.  

    No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

    by CrazyHorse on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:51:52 PM PDT

    •  Iceland didn't have close to enough money (0+ / 0-)

      to pay for their bank failures. The banks loaned out money to Europe, then failed. The failures were much bigger than the total economy of Iceland. The situation in Iceland was not comparable to the situation here.

      “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

      by FishOutofWater on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:43:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Citation? (0+ / 0-)

        I am afraid the position actually was that Iceland banks were operating a giant Ponzi scheme by offering high interest rates to individuals, banks and institutions that lent money TO THEM, not the other way round.

        They failed, as with any Ponzi, when their creditors wanted their cash back.

        In virtually all cases, the money was completely lost unless the bank had branches in other countries where deposit guarantee schemes were in operation for individual customers.

        The rates of interest were so much higher than elsewhere that many institutions and authorities were forced by their rules to lodge money with them. Otherwise the fund managers could be criticized for failing in their fiduciary duty to maximize income. Many UK local councils lost money on deposit as did several very large US pension funds - I believe one of the largest losers was the California Teachers' Pension Fund.

        "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:51:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Keep trying to tell people that (0+ / 0-)

      But I doubt they'll listen. I live in Iceland and people still refuse to believe me when I say the sort of things you're saying here.  :Þ  They're so obsessed with the myth of the "Iceland Miracle" that the facts don't matter.

      The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendant's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendant's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

      by Rei on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 02:46:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The U6 rate is down as well. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    That is a much better indicator of unemployment than the standard one because it accounts for underemployed and people who left the workforce. It is now down to 12.6 down from 13.1 in December. But it is still too high.

    "The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." - W.E.B. Du Bois Be informed. Fight the Police State.

    by Eternal Hope on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:53:07 PM PDT

  •  Keynesian Economics Is Counterintuitive To Many (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    If everybody is cutting back the government should too. Metaphor for this is the natural reaction of many when their car skids is to turn in the opposite direction of the skid. Of course the recovery would have been stronger if the stimulus was larger and if it went on for a much longer time.
    Biggest mistake of Obama's Presidency was to try to sound tough on the deficit in 2010. The narrative of this Presidency should have been the Democrats trying to aid the recovery with job programs and the Republicans fighting agaisnt it tooth and nail. It has happened in fits and starts but it should have been continuous. FDR's success was due to that tension. There was a New Deal and not a search for a Grand Bargain.

  •  Maybe we recovered quickly... (0+ / 0-)

    ...because the US is more libertarian than most other countries, especially EU nations.

    I'm just saying that you have to watch out assigning causality to things.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:56:11 PM PDT

  •  Germany (0+ / 0-)

    Germany's minimum wage is double ours--this needs to be repeated by every Dem every time they speak.  It's a talking point that's important--and true!!

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:29:28 PM PDT

  •  When oh when.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...is it ever going to be politically palatable to discuss the 1800-pound elephant in the room: the last 150 years of fossil-fueled economic growth are over.  We are beginning the Great Transition to a global Steady-State Economy.  It is an unavoidable biophysical certainty.

    Exasperation aside, thanks for the reminder via the diary how far we have to go, HoundDog.

    Pessimism of the intellect; optimism of the will. - - Antonio Gramsci

    by lehman scott on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:53:23 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site