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gross domestic product
Since before we got the first estimate of first-quarter growth in gross domestic product in April, forecasters knew the tally was going to be weak. But most of them missed just how weak it would be. They did so again for the second estimate. And again ahead of the third and final estimate released Wednesday by the Commerce Department. That report estimated that GDP contracted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.93 percent, the worst showing since the first quarter of 2009 in the depths of the Great Recession. As always, the third estimate is based on more complete data than are available for the first two.

The consensus of experts surveyed before Wednesday's announcement was that the contraction would be between 1.8 percent and 2.0 percent. On a year-over-year basis, GDP has grown a weak 1.5 percent.

Having blamed harsh weather for much of the poor first-quarter showing, most forecasters expect a strong rebound in the second quarter. But even if second-quarter GDP were to match its best quarterly result in the past five years, annualized growth for the first half of 2014 would be below 1.0 percent. And that's going to make it a lot harder to reach the 3-4 percent growth economists were predicting for 2014 late last year.

Five years after the official end of the Great Recession, the economy is still plagued by choked growth, acute levels of high unemployment and chronically stagnant wages. But, as they have been for that entire period, happy-talkers are telling us the good times are just around the corner.

Gross Domestic Product as of June 2014
There is more analysis below the fold.

Of the details of the third GDP estimate, the Commerce Department stated:

Real [that is, inflation-adjusted] personal consumption expenditures increased 1.0 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 3.3 percent in the fourth. Durable goods increased 1.2 percent, compared with an increase of 2.8 percent. Nondurable goods decreased 0.3 percent, in contrast to an increase of 2.9 percent. Services increased 1.5 percent, compared with an increase of 3.5 percent.

Real nonresidential fixed investment decreased 1.2 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 5.7 percent in the fourth.

One key element of the GDP measurement can be found in real final sales of domestic product. That is, inflation-adjusted GDP minus the change in private inventories. That measure fell at a 1.3 percent pace in the first quarter, revised down from the 0.6 percent growth level reported in the first estimate.

Neil Irwin at Economix writes:

[T]he fact that the economy as a whole could show such a sharply negative result thanks to a few combined idiosyncratic factors is also a reflection of an underlying weakness.

When growth is strong, even some bad weather and an unexpected inventory swing don’t cause a contraction in the economy, or at least not a contraction on the scale reported for the first quarter of 2014. But because the pattern of growth has been roughly in the 2 percent range or a bit below that for years now, the economy is more vulnerable to shocks that leave G.D.P. growth in negative territory.

As I always point out, because of the flaws in the way it measures economic activity, it is important to use the GDP in conjunction with other economic factors when measuring the economy's health. Robert F. Kennedy's assessment in 1968 still resonates:
"Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product - if we judge the United States of America by that - that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans."
Inadequacies in the GDP gauge have spurred efforts to develop a better measure or supplements to it. These include France's Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, Canada's Genuine Progress Index (a version of which has recently been tried out in Maryland), the Human Development Index and the Gini coefficient.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 08:53 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  and the 1%'s profits go rolling along (28+ / 0-)
    Five years after the official end of the Great Recession, the economy is still plagued by choked growth, acute levels of high unemployment and chronically stagnant wages

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 08:55:34 AM PDT

    •  They won't stop until their profits are adversely (10+ / 0-)

      affected.

      That has happened once ever in American history: The Panic of 1907 shocked the Robber Barons into realizing that their futures were dependent on the future of the American economy in general. As a result, many suddenly became supportive of some progressive causes of the time. Theodore Roosevelt's 1912 Progressive Party campaign was financed by George Perkins, an associate of J. P. Morgan.

      •  The Rigged US Economic System is working!! (8+ / 0-)

        For all except 99% of people.

        USS Titanic is going down -- and all the Fatcats took all the seats in the life boats (bailout boats).

        Cue the politicians to tell us how this report is really good news... And the band played on.


        No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

        by CitizenOfEarth on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:38:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It works fairly well for the top 20% or so. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CitizenOfEarth, StrayCat

          It works quite nicely for the top 5%. More than great for the top 1%. And off the charts for everyone above that. Like, Sultan-great. Like, Pasha of Pashas great.

          To me, even though I'm a major supporter of OWS and think it's the most important social movement of the last two decades, it was a mistake to make this about the 1% against the 99%. In reality, it's the top 0.01%, delegating to the top 1%, who in turn swindle the top 20% into managing the exploitation of the bottom 80%. And the further down that list you go, the more exploitation occurs.

          The top 20% basically does the dirty work of managing the downfall of their peers under them on the economic ladder. More or less, depending upon the company, the industry, the region. That "management of exploitation" can be much further down the ladder, in places like Walmart and fast food chains . . . but the top 20% is the place where most of it happens, at the behest of the 1%, most of whom take orders from, and/or want to be a part of the top 0.01%.

          Bottom line: Capitalism is evil, for a host of reasons, with the biggest being its innate need to exploit labor, society and the planet all for the purpose of increasing the wealth and power of the few -- at the expense of the many.

      •  Or their chance of physical survival (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreatLakeSailor

        Not that I want to see a violent revolution.

  •  Ah! The weather excuse. Seen that one before. (12+ / 0-)

    Along the same lines, have seen people at this site arguing the quite noticeable rise in food prices is only because of weather/drought conditions. As if, after the conditions change, we'd expect prices to go down.

    Prices usually don't go down that much after hitting new highs in my experience. And who says (it's amazing how 'sophisticated' economic people can't connect any two things in the real world) the weather, given global climate change, is going to get any better for food production?

    Even should the weather improve, there's loss of stock and soil which would take years to recover.

    In another dot which is left off of any conventional economic charts, it does seem that the Pacific Ocean is dying. There's a stunning number of species experiencing die-offs and greatly reduced birth rates; most all as part of the food chain humans use. And nobody can account for why this is happening.

    Yes, the troubles are just temporary folks. Really, everything is going to revert to normal any minute now.


    A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

    by Jim P on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:13:18 AM PDT

    •  Hurricane S = Sequester. /nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, ColoTim

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:16:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sequester is a sorry excuse. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kickemout, Victor Ward, AlexDrew

        The economy is in the pits.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:48:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It hurt the economy. There is no question about (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          madronagal

          that.

          As has the massive reduction in the deficit.

          It's economic suicide to cut government spending in the time of private sector recession, depression or weak recovery. The deeper the contraction, the more the government needs to spend to offset that.

          Neither party gets how important the government is to the economy. Even Keynesians underestimate this about capitalism. Though they are far better on that issue than conservatives.

          Marxian economists, OTOH, realize that without government bailouts, which are endless, without government propping up capitalism with trillions of taxpayer dollars, without government off-loading business costs to taxpayers between periods of bailing it out, capitalism would collapse.

          It has too many contradictions to survive without government supporting it.

          •  It hurt the economy? Some. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StrayCat, AlexDrew

            Still a sorry excuse.
            The sequestered amounts are a tiny piece of the economy, and mostly in Defense, which, arguably, is actually a drain.

            I think of Marxist economists every time I see a Trabant drive by.  Not often, as it turns out.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 01:37:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Trabant has nothing to do with Marxism. (0+ / 0-)

              If you read Marx, or Marxian economists, you'd know that the Soviet system, the Chinese system, the old Eastern European bloc had zip to do with Marx or Marxism.

              One could call them MINO systems. Marxist In Name Only.

              Marx analyzed capitalism, the class system, the way the capitalist class exploits workers, and the contradictions of capitalism itself. He created tools for further study, to make further study easier. But he said next to nothing about how to set up an alternative, what it would look like, its nuts and bolts. On the rare occasions he did talk about them, he gave very broad outlines only, with the ultimate goal being full democracy, including the economy, full emancipation of all citizens and the withering away of the state.  

              He never wrote about how to make stuff in this new alternative system, and Marxian economists who followed him stay primarily with their critique of capitalism. The folks who brought us the Soviet Union or Eastern European cars weren't Marxian economists. They were politicians and opportunists.

              Given the fact that you've admitted you don't read him or them, it might be a good idea for you to withhold your cavalier dismissals until you do.

              •  Goodness. Marxists remain as stiff and humorless (0+ / 0-)

                as they were 40 years ago.

                Some things never change.
                I guess that'll happen when you cling to the Latin of economics.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 04:30:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There is no better analysis of capitalism. (0+ / 0-)

                  Marxian economics isn't something we "cling" to. It's the most cutting edge economics available at the moment, and is forever changing.

                  Latin? Hardly.

                  Again, while Keynesian economics is the preferred choice among schools which cheerlead for capitalism, it, along with classical and neoclassical schools are outmoded and incapable of truly dealing with our current despicable and unsustainable economic system . . . as is obvious from the aggregate data and research into individual lives exploited, ruined and oppressed under this system.

                  And, please, save your ignorant stereotypes for your right-wing friends. No one with a brain buys them.  

    •  Because it never snows in the winter (10+ / 0-)

      Economists are surprised by blizzards every year.

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:24:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly, we'd had a High Mold Spore count (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, gjohnsit, ColoTim, StrayCat

      for the last several months. This is nothing more than Economic Mildew. ;-)


      No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

      by CitizenOfEarth on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:43:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sweet AUSTERITY!! Ain't it grand! DOW is at record (21+ / 0-)

    highs.  No significant inflation.  High(ish) unemployment so there is no wage pressure.

    Why this is a utopia for corporations!  Just like 1931.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:15:46 AM PDT

  •  Robert Kennedy's Gross Domestic Product speech: (11+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the excerpt and audio clip of Robert Kennedy's GDP speech at the University of Kansas in 1968. That speech, as well as his speeches on violence, apartheid, and the killing of Martin Luther King, is among my favorites--and exemplifies why so many of us were drawn to him.

    For the complete audio of his University of Kansas speech, go to
    http://www.youtube.com/...

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:15:54 AM PDT

    •  Before the teevee show... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willyr, ColoTim

      from:http://www.thisamericanlife.org/...

      Alex Blumberg:  This is a comparison that comes up a lot when people talk about the other Jerry Springer, and it's no coincidence. The summer before Springer first ran for office in Cincinnati, he'd worked as a volunteer with Bobby Kennedy's presidential campaign

      ...

      Jerry Springer:  The GNP, by itself, is no mark of our national achievement for it includes smokestacks that pollute, drugs that destroy, and ambulances which clear our highways of human wreckage. It includes a mugger's knife, a rioter's bomb, and Oswald's rifle. But, if the GNP tells us all this, there is much that it does not tell us. It says nothing of the health of our families, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play.

      The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% agree they are.

      by GreatLakeSailor on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:33:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yikes. Pretty close to plagiarism. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreatLakeSailor

        While Springer's sentiment and heart seem to be in the right place, he could have at least given attribution to RFK. (Perhaps he did---I didn't listen to the audio...)

        Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

        by willyr on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:48:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The article also recounts (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          willyr

          Springer's ability to change public opinion.  One of the finest examples of framing and the effective use of the bully pulpit.

          In two weeks he turned the Cincinnati City Council away from publicly funding a water front development to private business funding of the project - the project was built and was a success for the City, the People and for business.  He did it not by twisting the arms of the other Council Members, but by bringing his case to the people, and the people told their Council Members to change their votes.

          The current crop of Dems could learn a lot from that episode.  Senator Warren knows this and uses it.  Senator Sanders too.  Few others.  They just through their hands in the air and say, "We ain't got the votes, so there's nothing we can do."

          The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% agree they are.

          by GreatLakeSailor on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 11:28:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ugg! (0+ / 0-)

            throw their hands up, not through

            and

            "water front development" = hostage situation: sports team says it'll move out of the city unless the city pays to build it a new stadium.  Milwaukee Bucks are toying with that idea right now - making the People of Milwaukee pay so a few Billionaires are protected from risk and have to use their own money.

            The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% agree they are.

            by GreatLakeSailor on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 06:49:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  RFK recognized the failings of money ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willyr

      as a symbolic system used to describe concepts of value.  Money measures only things and concepts to which we can relatively easily ascribe dollar amounts.  For the things RFK was talking about -- like honesty, integrity, happiness, a clean environment -- money doesn't work as a symbolic system.

      There can be no question that all of the things he mentions have value, but so far, we have yet to devise a system capable of denominating their value.  Thus, we effectively treat them as if they had no value at all.  Obviously, this is not because they lack worth or because we don't recognize that they have worth.  Rather, it is because humans as yet have no system for measuring and describing that worth.  

      At some level, this is a conceptual failure.  We need to invent a symbolic system for measuring and expressing the value of these kinds of intangibles.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 01:41:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Argh! You beat me to it by 5 minutes (10+ / 0-)

    I just posted this.

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:22:24 AM PDT

  •  But, "the market's at an all-time high!" (7+ / 0-)

    Just like it was less than 12 months before September 2008.

    Or, is that the rightwing/centrist pundits that are at an all-time high? (Sick laughter here...)

    So, while Okun's Law becomes even more distorted (in large part due to increasing income inequality), the reality is that these numbers: a.) totally undermine basic economic thought, when compared with, b.) what we are informed by our government as far as the most recent monthly job stats are concerned!

    Gee, I guess we should just let those one percent guys on that other blog who continually propagandize for the one percent "explain" this to us. LOL!

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

    by bobswern on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:23:02 AM PDT

    •  Me thinks even some of the hardcore, rightwing... (5+ / 0-)

      ...and denialist/rightwing corporatocratic /"Democratic" economics bloggers are going to have little choice but to start questioning the validity of GDP to provide cover for all of their "friends!"

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

      by bobswern on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:26:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Durable goods orders, OMI, Capex spending (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      live1, bufffan20, bobatkinson, madronagal

      all strong in Q2.  They report those numbers monthly.

      Q2 will be fine.

      And the banks have strong balance sheets now - thanks to Geithner's stress tests and Dodd-Frank.

      Those are facts.

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:27:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  PMI rather. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bufffan20

        Purchasing Manager's Index.

        "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

        by shrike on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:29:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Fact from today's monthly report in that... (18+ / 0-)

        ...first item on your list:

        Durables orders were much weaker than expected for May. Durables orders fell 1.0 percent in May after rising 0.8 percent in April. Analysts forecast 0.4 percent. Excluding transportation, orders slipped 0.1 percent, following a 0.4 percent gain in April. Market expectations were for 0.3 percent.

        Transportation fell 3.0 percent after a 1.7 percent rise in April. The latest dip was from weakness in nondefense aircraft. Motor vehicles and defense aircraft orders rose.

        Outside of transportation, gains were seen in primary metals, fabricated metals, and "other." Declines were posted for machinery, computers & electronics, and electrical equipment.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:31:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Damn, MB, I'm absolutely amazed at your kickass... (6+ / 0-)

          ...fact-filled response to one of the premiere Wall Street supporters that's still active at Daily Kos.

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

          by bobswern on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:36:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why am no Doom & Gloomer (4+ / 0-)
          Consumers returned to stores and car dealerships, companies placed more orders for equipment and manufacturing picked up as temperatures warmed, indicating the early-year setback was temporary. Combined with more job gains, such data underscore the view of Federal Reserve policy makers that the economy is improving and in less need of monetary stimulus.

          The first-quarter slump is “not really reflective of fundamentals,” said Sam Coffin, an economist at UBS Securities LLC in New York and the best forecaster of GDP in the last two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “For the second quarter, we’ll see some weather rebound and a return to more normal activity after that long winter.”

          Another report showed orders for business equipment climbed in May, showing corporate investment is helping revive the economy after the slump at the start of the year. Bookings for non-military capital goods excluding aircraft rose 0.7 percent after a 1.1 percent drop in April, according to the Commerce Department.

          http://www.bloomberg.com/...

          A drop in military spending is no cause for concern.

          "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

          by shrike on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:42:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I, too, expect Q2 GDP to be higher...ya' know... (8+ / 0-)

            ...it might even break 0%! (Quoting Bloomberg? LOL!) If it breaks 2.6%, that puts us at 0% for the year. Calling this "gloom and doom" tells us you may have "issues" with reality. But, there's a lot of that going 'round these days.

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

            by bobswern on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:45:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're both right. Zoom out! (0+ / 0-)

              Yes, the economy will likely return to its path of the last 5 years: steady but modest growth.

              The larger perspective is that the economy seems to create more or less, 150,000 to 200,000 jobs most months.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:52:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  posted too soon--here's the rest (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shrike, hmi, RepublicansDemise, StrayCat

                ...and at 180,000 jobs a month, we won't get back to 2007 levels of employment till 2019.

                AND, remember--in 2007 we didn't think the economy was doing well.

                So the bottom line is that shrike is probably more or less right, and we're still fucked.

                Where is the outcry for a new New Deal? I just don't get it.

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:56:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  This is anecdotal but I will go there anyway. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kickemout, ColoTim, HeyMikey

                  I worked for the largest application software company in the country for many years.  ERP if you know the term.

                  Their objective in buying was to double output with half the head count.  And they did it.

                  EDI for example.  Orders used to take hundreds of people to key in.  Now it is all software under one standard.  No people required.  

                  We're in a jobs depression caused by technology.  

                  "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

                  by shrike on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:05:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  We're in a jobs depression caused by technology. (4+ / 0-)

                    That's one way to spin it.

                    The other way is to look at reality.

                    Both parties are servile to the 1% of the 1%.

                    That means offshoring jobs, eliminating private unions, forcing JQP into phony IRA accounts based on a stock market ponzi scheme, screwing retirees on SS, adjusting CPI so it's useless, transitioning from employer paid near 100% health coverage to self paid catastrophic insurance, the student loan debt scam….the list is endless. Where would GDP be without the endless war component?

                    None of the above was done without the full cooperation of both parties.

                    Democrats shouldn't gloat that D voters crosse dover to defeat Tea Party Rs…..the lesson is that many many on the right are PO'd with their representation in Congress.

                    If only the Dems would take up the cause and clean house internally and actually walk the talk.

                  •  this idea.... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    HeyMikey, bobswern
                    We're in a jobs depression caused by technology.
                    ...always makes me think of this Calvin & Hobbes from years ago:

                    (It's probably cut off, so click the link to see the rest.)

                    As long as we're living in a consumerist society that demands people work a job in order to eat, we've got to find something for people to do.

                    A few months ago, with the fast food strikes and the $15/hr campaign, somebody sent me an image of an automated McDonald's kiosk with the caption "say hello to your replacement." McDonald's has been a by-word for employer of last resort for a long time; what happens when even that goes away?

                    This just in.....Generalissimo Francisco Cantor is still a lame duck.

                    by nota bene on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 11:14:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You can avoid those cut-off images by... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      HeyMikey, bobswern

                      ...altering the width in the code before publishing to 475. (Be sure to adjust the height the same percentage.)

                      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                      by Meteor Blades on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 11:18:36 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  now the real issue--the Meaning of Life (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      StrayCat, nota bene
                      As long as we're living in a consumerist society that demands people work a job in order to eat, we've got to find something for people to do.
                      Keynes, Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren [PDF]:
                      We are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not yet have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come--namely, technological unemployment. This means unemployment due to our discovery of means of economising the use of labour outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labour.

                      But this is only a temporary phase of maladjustment. All this means in the long run that mankind is solving its economic problem. I would predict that the standard of life in progressive countries one hundred years hence will be between four and eight times as high as it is to-day. There would be nothing surprising in this even in the light of our present knowledge. It would not be foolish to contemplate the possibility of afar greater progress still ....

                      Thus for the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem-how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.

                      The strenuous purposeful money-makers may carry all of us along with them into the lap of economic abundance. But it will be those peoples, who can keep alive, and cultivate into a fuller perfection, the art of life itself and do not sell themselves for the means of life, who will be able to enjoy the abundance when it comes ....

                      I see us free, therefore, to return to some of the most sure and certain principles of religion and traditional virtue-that avarice is a vice, that the exaction of usury is a misdemeanour, and the love of money is detestable, that those walk most truly in the paths of virtue and sane wisdom who take least thought for the morrow. We shall once more value ends above means and prefer the good to the useful. We shall honour those who can teach us how to pluck the hour and the day virtuously and well, the delightful people who are capable of taking direct enjoyment in things, the lilies of the field who toil not, neither do they spin.

                      But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to every one that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight.

                      Keynes wrote that in 1930, the year before my mom was born. So I'm one of the grandchildren he was writing about.

                      Let's hope Keynes was right. It looks to me like he misunderestimated the depravity of human nature.

                      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                      by HeyMikey on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 12:56:48 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry, but you're a little confused... (4+ / 0-)

                  ...since the QUALITY of so-called jobs has taken a rather severe nosedive of late. Furthermore, historical statistics tell us that we're going to hit at least ONE significant recession between now and 2019; and, that's definitely NOT mentioned by Wall Street proponents as they deceptively "calculate" these stats while they tout our economy.

                  You should read Jacob Lew's sentiments, above, in one of my earlier comments in this thread.

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

                  by bobswern on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:09:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, Jack Lew is a bit more negative than... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aufklaerer, waiono, HeyMikey, StrayCat

                ...this...


                U.S. Economic Recovery Looks Distant as Growth Lingers

                By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM
                NEW YORK TIMES
                JUNE 11, 2014

                WASHINGTON — Recessions are always painful, but the Great Recession that ran from late 2007 to the middle of 2009 may have inflicted a new kind of pain: an era of slower growth.

                It has been five years since the official end of that severe economic downturn. The nation’s total annual output has moved substantially above the prerecession peak, but economic growth has averaged only about 2 percent a year, well below its historical average. Household incomes continue to stagnate, and millions of Americans still can’t find jobs. And a growing number of experts see evidence that the economy will never rebound completely.

                A Recovery in Need of a Recovery: Is America’s Economy Stuck in the Doldrums? The Case for Optimism

                Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Economic Stagnation

                For more than a century, the pace of growth was reliably resilient, bouncing back after recessions like a car returning to its cruising speed after a roadblock. Even after the prolonged Great Depression of the 1930s, growth eventually returned to an average pace of more than 3 percent a year. But Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, citing the Congressional Budget Office, said on Wednesday that the government now expected annual growth to average just 2.1 percent, about two-thirds of the previous pace.

                Graphic: In Most States, Unemployment Rates Haven’t Bounced Back

                “Many today wonder whether something that has always been true in our past will be true in our future,” Mr. Lew told members of the Economic Club of New York. “There are questions about whether America can maintain strong rates of growth and doubts about whether the benefits of technology, innovation and prosperity will be shared broadly.”...

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

                by bobswern on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:58:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Why do you rejoice in what you perceive (3+ / 2-)
              Recommended by:
              NedSparks, Kickemout, fcvaguy
              Hidden by:
              waiono, cville townie

              as bad news?

              Me?  I am pulling for the economy - for people in general and because Democrats are in power and would be blamed for any economic misery.  That is my motive.

              Millions of jobs have been added, the deficit is halved, markets at record highs, exports at all time highs, interest rates are low, I can go on with the "glass half full" stuff all day.

              Why are you the glass half empty type?

              "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

              by shrike on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:54:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I doubt there is much "rejoicing" (7+ / 0-)

                going on by anyone who disagrees with you. Oh, and btw, the "glass half empty" folks have been getting things far, far more right than "your team" for about 33 years now.

                "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

                by bryduck on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:04:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  That's pure, unadulterated bullshit... (8+ / 0-)

                ...I think the crushing of the 99%'s economy is the saddest travesty of our time; since it also accounts for our nation's generally weak efforts at committing to fighting climate change, among many other inconvenient facts.

                If all you've got left here, Shrike, is to cast bullshit LIES at me, as you simultaneously contort my words regarding my sentiments, that puts you in the rare company of a couple of dozen other confused Kossacks in this community. It's the type of behavior that further marginalizes your (captured) "thoughts."

                Propagandizing and defending the actions that highlight our government's capture by Wall Street is not the type behavior that the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party suffers well.

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

                by bobswern on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:04:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I notice when there are positive news it is (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shrike

                a world of sad and low energy, but when it is negative news it is eagerly and energetically cited as evidence of impending doom!

                Will be interesting to watch the poo-poohing of the jobs numbers at the end of the month.

                I liked Reuters take here:

                (Reuters) - The U.S. economy contracted at a much steeper pace in the first quarter than previously estimated, turning in one of its worst-ever non-recession performances, but growth already appears to have rebounded strongly.

                The Commerce Department said on Wednesday gross domestic product fell at a 2.9 percent annual rate, the sharpest decline in five years, instead of the 1.0 percent pace it had reported last month.

                "It's a scary report. It sounds worrisome, but keep in mind job growth is running 200,000 each of the last four months, so we aren't just whistling in the dark in our optimism over the outlook," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in New York.

                The economy was held back by an unusually cold winter, the expiration of long-term unemployment benefits and cuts to food stamps, which curbed consumer spending. It was also weighed down by a slowdown in the pace of restocking by businesses.

                emphasis mine....
                •  Let's see: (8+ / 0-)

                  elimination or reduction of income affected spending. No, really? And those cuts aren't coming back to fill those empty pockets, so how is spending going to rebound as robustly as it fell? This is what a race to the bottom looks. We are not ever-improving, we are declining. No, the curve isn't without ups, but the slope has been negative for freaking decades.

                  "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

                  by bryduck on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:13:12 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Even the diarist explains that this is... (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nota bene, gjohnsit, cville townie, Brecht

                  ...pure Wall Street drivel. Ned, when I mentioned the following phrase, upthread, I was thinking of Kossacks just like YOU: "...the rare company of a couple of dozen other confused Kossacks in this community..."

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

                  by bobswern on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:14:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  bobswern you have become the self appointed (0+ / 1-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hidden by:
                    cville townie

                    action-hero of these pages, with a quick tut-tu-too of the trumpet and a "charggggeee!" Like Atom Ant (my apologies to Atom Ant) you are off and ready to swoop in with a quick diary or comment of all that is somehow inadequate, corrupt, or nefarious in the age of the current President, and ready with a quick super-heroic insult for anyone who disagrees with your all knowing perspicacious assessment of why we have been consigned to a world of doom since January 20, 2009.

                    The fact that you are actually crafting these action adventure rhetorical lobs with me in mind, says a great deal about your mindset and the fact that you might need to take off your cape and tube socks and go out for some sunshine.

                    Your continuing vigilance at your computer screen will not convince me or the world that all has been lost during the tenure of this administration and if you continue the society for cartoon super heroes will suspend you with not even a hint of commendation, for your years of hard work....

                    So, you like to think of me when authoring comments, hmm?  Well guess what...I seldom think of you....

              •  re: "people in general" (5+ / 0-)

                what do "Durable goods orders, [PMI], Capex spending" and the balance sheets of banks have to do with "people in general"?

                Are we really adding worthwhile jobs, or are we adding shitty, low wage, no benefit, no future, service jobs with high turnover rates? Are we really making much headway at rebuilding a middle class after decades of Reagan-Thatcherite trickle down economics, or are we muddling along with half-measures, band-aids, and happy talk?

                Do deficit reduction or rising stock market indices really make any noticeable difference in the lives of "people in general"?

                re: "because Democrats are in power and would be blamed for any economic misery"--that's right, serfs, clap harder or otherwise Tinkerbell will die. Don't acknowledge reality, just keep those fingers crossed.

                Wall Street may as well be on fucking Mars. I'd love to see the looks on the faces of the desperate guys hanging around outside the local hardware store hoping someone will hire them when you tell them about all this fantastic economic news. I'm sure they'll be real excited.

                This just in.....Generalissimo Francisco Cantor is still a lame duck.

                by nota bene on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:16:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Motives (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bobswern, cville townie
                Me?  I am pulling for the economy - for people in general and because Democrats are in power and would be blamed for any economic misery.  That is my motive.
                The question here isn't a matter of "pulling for the economy". The question here is "spinning the economy".
                   Because that is exactly what you are talking about when you talk about how to view the economy based on your political leanings.

                 I have a problem with this because it falls outside of "reality-based". It's something Republicans also do.

                "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                by gjohnsit on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:41:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, reality is that there are many positive (0+ / 0-)

                  economic indicators.

                  Also, there are lagging economic indicators that reflect pain in the economy - sluggish UE and income disparity to name the most prominent.

                  The political component is that there will be no significant legislation as long as the GOP House blocks everything and that could be for a decade.

                  No one is going to nationalize the banks.  Just give it up.

                  "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

                  by shrike on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 07:06:38 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Despite the catcalls from various quarters... (6+ / 0-)

            ...I am not a doomer either. I'm a realist. That means I am not in the camp that predicted in 2009 that we were headed for a "V-shaped" recovery. Or predicted in 2010, 2011 and 2012 that the economy was finally headed in the months ahead to robust recovery. I tend, in fact, to avoid predictions.

            But here's one:

            From 1947 until 2013, the average annual GDP growth rate was 3.2 percent. The only way the economy in 2014 will match last year's paltry 1.9 percent growth rate is by hitting at least 3.5 percent for each of the next three quarters, including the one that ends Sunday. If that happened, it would be the first time in a long time we saw three consecutive quarters that good.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:05:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, Iraq/Syria has exploded overnight... (0+ / 0-)

              ...and talk of a far massive Mideast War is becoming more self-evident by the moment.

              The entire matter's both complex and insane. In Iraq, US is now on the same side in Iraq with the Syrian gov't and Iran's Al Quds (the most anti-US fact in Iran). Iran, Syria and the US are flying drones and planes (no planes by Iran yet) over Iraq. The Israelis are bombing the Syrians. The list goes on....this is getting SCARIER by the moment.

              (Neocon shouts from the back of the room: "Just what the U.S. economy needs: a good, old-fashioned/potential World War!)

              Meanwhile, the price of oil--another major factor in our economy--is going higher, once again. All while the President just loosened US oil export laws, too! Go figure?

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

              by bobswern on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:25:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  And oil is spiking higher (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bryduck, bobswern

              I remember when economists used to predict recessions when oil prices spiked.
                Now they seem to ignore it. I'm not sure why.

              "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

              by gjohnsit on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:44:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, NEWSFLASH: "The 1% is doing great!" (6+ / 0-)

        Thanks so much for your valued input!

        Unfortunately, this is all part of an ongoing reality being faced by our society in recent years. Referring to it as something positive--which you constantly spin--is pure/flat-out Wall Street propaganda. The type of stuff that floats the boats of (ONLY) all of those that live by the concept of TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMICS. Everyone else's "boat" is in shambles or deep underwater due to your comments about THIS "rising tide."

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

        by bobswern on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:33:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Durable goods orders fell (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nota bene, bobswern, waiono

        From today's news.

         Q2 will most likely be positive, but +3.5% seems very overly optimistic.

          As for Geithner's stress tests, those are both jokes and do nothing for the economy.

        "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

        by gjohnsit on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:06:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Almost 6 yrs. out, both Citi and BofA failed... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gjohnsit, nota bene, ColoTim

          ...their most recent stress tests, too! (And, as you point out, those stress tests aren't really all that "stressful.") BofA did submit additional documentation enabling it to feebly pass their test on the second round, however. Citi? Not so much!

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

          by bobswern on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:28:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, yeh! Facts! Forgot about those (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bobswern

            I think Shrike forgot about the actual facts of the stress tests.

            "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

            by gjohnsit on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:35:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We made a $5 billion and $13 billion profit (0+ / 0-)

            on our loans to those two banks.

            http://projects.propublica.org/...

            $18 billion pays for a lot of government benefits.

            "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

            by shrike on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:35:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How much did ZIRP cost the economy? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bobswern

              How much of that back-handed bailout of the banks (not to mention the QE back-handed bailout) cost the economy?

              "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

              by gjohnsit on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:38:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  More bullshit...the tax giveaways and loopholes... (0+ / 0-)

              ...ALONE, that are provided to Wall Street cost taxpayers that much in a matter of a few weeks' time...multiply that by 52 weeks per year and get back to us, please.

              The entire concept of this "profit" BELIES the manner in which these realities have--in many instances--devastated America.

              Please explain to us how Wall Street's innovative financing is NOT pillaging municipalities, educational systems and state governments across the land, to THIS day.

              "Profits?" Bullshit on that three-card monte act.

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

              by bobswern on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:41:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  the stress tests (4+ / 0-)

            make me think of the infamous pre-Iraq war game where Team Red successfully employed asymmetrical tactics like suicide attacks and bike messengers, etc, before the top brass told them to knock it off and let Team Blue win like they were supposed to.

            It can't be an experiment when there's no possibility of failure. Potemkin bullshittery doesn't help us solve any real-world problems, despite the comfort it offers to our betters in the VIP section.

            This just in.....Generalissimo Francisco Cantor is still a lame duck.

            by nota bene on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:38:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  as for some of us thinking happy thoughts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    im a severely dressed person- but im just trying to get a small business going- im going to have them darn it!
    regardless of my natural tendencies to cry and mope. despite what economists are saying. despite daily kos!

    im happy!  of course i could be happier...
    and just a bit ago they were telling us things were looking up

  •  Weather? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim

    This is a warning shot across the bow by mother nature. "Screw with me, and I'll screw you!"

    One bad quarter of weather and the economy is down 2.9%. Doesn't this put in perspective the cost of doing nothing about carbon pollution?  And if this became a regular thing?

    Those of us who aren't denialists or morons should recite this figure over and over again every time a Koch-paid "expert" or politician says it's too costly to regulate carbon pollution.

    Or does anyone believe that the California drought and Polar vortex are
     not harbingers of worse to come?.

  •  Reduced health care spending (4+ / 0-)
  •  'It's all Obama's fault'....the Goopers said as (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bufffan20, Imhotepsings

    they stupidly went into the November elections.

  •  Q1 2014 was a major outlier... (0+ / 0-)

    Predicted to be bad/negative.  

    •  Nobody predicted the 1st quarter would... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan, gjohnsit, nota bene

      ...be negative when the predictions were being made last December. But, true, there is little doubt that this is an outlier. The problem is that it will have a big impact on the rest of the year.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:33:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was ten below seemingly every day... (0+ / 0-)

        During the first three months of the year here and out east.  Now there are more tower cranes up in Chicago than I've seen in six years.  Anecdotes, both.  But I'm optimistic.

        •  I'm neither pessimistic nor optimistic... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gjohnsit

          ...but factualistic. Since mid-2009, we have gotten mixed economic signals, as I have duly reported. They are still mixed.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:04:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Apparently that's not true. (0+ / 0-)

            Anyone who isn't buoyed up by this really negative news, oddly enough, simply isn't looking at it correctly, I guess.

            "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

            by bryduck on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:18:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Q1 was predicted to be +2.5% (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nota bene

      as late as last November.
         When the first Q1 estimate came out it was still supposed to be +1%.

        Economists were caught with their pants down on this.
      The logical reaction would be skepticism about their knowledge of what is happening in the economy.

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:12:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's considerable talk about the... (12+ / 0-)

    ..health care impact on the GDP report. Here's Adrianna McIntyre at Vox:

    But that fall was largely driven by dip in health care spending. What's good for health policy tends to look bad for the health care sector. (And vice versa.)

    The BEA initially estimated that health care spending climbed 9.1 percent in the first quarter of 2014 — a potentially worrisome increase. The agency released their second revision of that number today: now they believe that health care spending has fallen by 1.4 percent.

    That means health care spending went down while the number of Americans with insurance may have gone up.

    "Overall, the health care news is phenomenally good." said Peter Orszag, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and Office of Management and Budget. "The supposed acceleration in health spending has been shown to be false."

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:28:10 AM PDT

    •  I heard a (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Imhotepsings, HeyMikey, ColoTim

      hedge fund owner today on CNBC say that Obamacare did adversely impact the economy in the first qtr because for the first time uninsured consumers were now spending some of their disposable income on insurance premiums instead of other consumer products.

      Less money in these peoples pockets due to being insured....make sense?  Not really.

    •  Imagine the GDP reductions w/o US warmongering! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      waiono

      Slower growth, lower GDPs could be expected if DOD budget was rationalized, as well, such as with military base closures, reductions in global force and smaller overall portion of nat'l budget being allocated to defense spending. Those are good things for the nation that come with costs we should resolve to bear.  Of course if there were any reasonable strategic planning and responsible decisive governance we could weather budget reforms equitably with transitional contingency plans but today's gov't possesses no such competency.

    •  now that's an interesting thought (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bryduck

      would increased future productivity (due to a healthier populace) lead to higher GDP by itself? Or is that excess productivity just going to get hoovered up the way the 1% have been hoovering up productivity gains acheived by other means for decades?

      This just in.....Generalissimo Francisco Cantor is still a lame duck.

      by nota bene on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:28:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Aww, can't it be both? n/t (0+ / 0-)

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:39:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, I guess I worded that badly (0+ / 0-)

          as worded I suppose they're both the same. When the rich get richer, GDP goes up.

          Strike "higher GDP" in the first sentence and sub "stronger middle class" instead, or some other more precise equivalent. (Having a hard time thinking of a better circumlocution.)

          This just in.....Generalissimo Francisco Cantor is still a lame duck.

          by nota bene on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:54:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In that case, I would say "no"-- (0+ / 0-)

            a healthier populace will do nothing to strengthen the middle class. A healthy person with no job is still a person with no job.

            "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

            by bryduck on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:34:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Obviously the answer is more austerity (9+ / 0-)

    Because of course the answer is always more austerity.

    *(except when it's bomb Iran)

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:32:05 AM PDT

  •  Weather excuse is getting a little thin. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan, gjohnsit

    Pretty staggering that they're going with a 6% change in GDP this quarter (-3 to +3).

  •  Four thoughts: (5+ / 0-)

    1.)  Really bad weather along East Coast.

    2.)  There may have been slower spending on healthcare as result of ObamaCare - a good portion of premiums from ObamaCare were not made until after March 1.

    3.)  Loss of unemployment benefits.

    4.)  Sequester.

    I'm not suggesting the economy is firing on all cylinders.  And until housing rebounds nationwide (after all, it was catalyst to the Great Bush Recession), the economy will remain shaky.  However, with all of the headwinds mentioned above, this recent statistic should not be a surprise.

  •  Recovery Summer! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, gjohnsit
  •  At least bonehead, er Boehner, has the GOP... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim

    ...lasar-focused on jobs. Oh wait........

    Only the weak & defeated are called to account for their crimes.

    by rreabold on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:44:48 AM PDT

    •  No. They're laser-focused on Immigration. (0+ / 0-)

      No.  They're laser-focused on Obamacare.
      No.  They're laser-focused on Drill-baby-Drill
      No.  They're laser-focused on Gay Marriage.
      No.  They're laser-focused on Gun Rights
      No.  They're laser-focused on the VA
      No.  They're laser-focused on the IRS
      No.  They're laser-focused on the War on Women
      No.  They're laser-focused on Benghaziiiiiiiii
      Really They're laser-focused on getting re-elected so they can keep the gravy train flowing however it's possible.

  •  Gotta say it was the best feeling contraction (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bufffan20, live1, shrike, anshmishra

    quarter that I can remember.  The Dow kinda moved sideways and unemployment went down. This is almost all weather related and this quarter should be quite solid.

  •  Time to rebuild our energy infrastructure. (7+ / 0-)

    No one has come up with a better jobs program than rebuilding the national energy supply, grid, and reduce energy waste. One more reason to replace this lousy GOP Congress.

  •  Must hurt you to report this, MB (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, CitizenOfEarth, milkbone

    You have been fighting the good fight on the economy -- especially on the jobs front -- for as long as I can recall.

    A vibrant economy does make a bunch of good for nothing assholes rich, but it also makes for jobs and opportunities to go into business.

    This will be the defining issue of the next few years if something doesn't change.

    Here's hoping you'll have some genuinely -- unequivocally -- good news to report before long.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:55:07 AM PDT

  •  Housing Sales gone Negative except for Mansions (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, waiono, ColoTim

    See this chart at Zerohedge
    http://www.zerohedge.com/...

    Sales are down from a year ago in all categories except -- wait for it -- Million dollar homes.

    Even Robert Reich (the peace-nik) asked aloud how long the Inequality can go on before Revolution. Yes, he said the word "Revolution".


    No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

    by CitizenOfEarth on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:57:23 AM PDT

  •  Bumr. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CitizenOfEarth, 6ZONite

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:05:32 AM PDT

  •  For just a sec (0+ / 0-)

    I thought that the reason Reagan's first term and President Obama's post-2010 period had hashed red-blue marks was because they had similar thoughts on fiscal policy. After all, Mr. Obama has told us that if he'd been elected in the 1980s, his policies would have qualified him as a moderate Republican (Univision interview, Dec. 14, 2012).

    So, just for a brief moment, I was comforted seeing this fact acknowledged in graph form. Alas, it was not to be. Oh well, I'm sure it's the weather, or durable goods blargle-blarg. I wonder whether (1) I'll be awarded a pay increase this year and (2) if it'll surpass the government's own meagre index of inflation.

    No worries: I know the answer already.

  •  RFK was out last best chance. (0+ / 0-)

    I grew up basically as a Kennedy liberal, in a liberal household. But over the years, I've trekked further left, spurred on by Reagan's horrific glorification of greed, his secret wars, his expansion of the surveillance state, his destruction of unions. Bush pushed me further left, and made me desperate enough to want to give the Dems one last chance. But Obama (and the Dem leadership) put a nail in that coffin by governing as a conservative, albeit one with the face of compassion.

    While I identify now as a socialist, a radical democrat (not Democrat), an egalitarian, a "Green," I still think back at times to the last politician from either major party who seemed to speak for me.

    RFK.

    Admittedly, RFK was not always there. I think it took his brother's murder to transform him into the great man he was in his final run for election. But no politician since RFK has even attempted to walk the walk like he did with regard to the poor, Native Americans, blacks, our wars. No one has so eloquently made the case for a greatly expanded moral compass and inclusiveness in all of our public policy. The only person who comes close to him in DC right now is Bernie Sanders, IMO.

    It's truly bizarre that in a country that has turned every transaction into an economic one, that we pay so little attention to the effects of that transformation. That while we push to make everything a commodity, and every interface an economic one, we don't seem to care how destructive this transformation has been to all of us and the earth. The more we make capitalism the raison d'etre for life, the less we see the devastating consequences of that process.

    RFK, IMO, was the last major party politician to see the deadly error in all of this.

  •  Funny coincidence (0+ / 0-)

    that "weather" was used as 1st quarter excuse where I work -- in an industry that WAS supposed to begin turning the corner in the 1st quarter of this year. Let's hope the other shoe doesn't drop before the turnaround happens (for real).

    Seems to me, there is no better reason than this one, for Elizabeth Warren to decide to throw her name into the hat.

  •  Is it possible to have some domestic products ... (0+ / 0-)

    without them being so gross?

    If all we choose to export is war, maybe not.


    Can you really trust a superhero that wears a mask?

    by glb3 on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:47:25 AM PDT

  •  that RFK quote is a knockout (0+ / 0-)

    wow. Speaks volumes.

    This just in.....Generalissimo Francisco Cantor is still a lame duck.

    by nota bene on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:49:15 AM PDT

  •  Climate change indeed. (0+ / 0-)

    A cooling of the ecomomy by a hot a new "rental-investment-vehicle" to ride out the economic storm. Varooom.

    In the forecast is a drought of credit & points but the wind of fee's may help the bottom-line of bottom-lines.

  •  A quick glance westward to japan (0+ / 0-)

    will help us see our future.

    Real estate has been declining do to several factors in Japan for over 20 years.

    The direct result of running the yen machines non stop.

    gee, we do the same thing here.

    This allows the rich to get richer and the rest of us to flounder.

    Everyone knows the cost of buying anything necessary to one's continued existence has been going through the roof for decades.

    Except wages of course.

    Everything else is spin. Yellen is following Bennie the Bum and Greenspun down the rabbit hole. Hang on cause it's gonna get bumpy.

    Does anyone really think militarizing the police and forming the domestic army(DHS), is by accident?

    The 1% have no empathy for the rest of us. it is beyond them.

    Chelsea C. being a prime example. People are generally petrified of being or becoming poor in a consumerist society like the one we live in. Fear can be a great motivator but I would not consider that is should be a major building block in our culture, and sadly, it is.

    The America we live in is held together rather tenuously. All this spin about jobs is bogus.

    Good news Spartacus! They built 100 new cruisers so our jobs are secure!

  •  GDP is not a good standard for healthy people or (0+ / 0-)

    healthy planet.

    How about gross national wild fish stocks? Or gross national health and happiness?

    Producing and consuming goods in an endless upward trend is not sustainable.

    A minor slow-down in GDP can indicate stability and potential health.

    And maybe it will keep the big mine off our beautiful wild salmon river for a good long while...??

  •  Sadly (0+ / 0-)

    In this binary, "I-don't-like-the-economy-so-I'll-vote-for-the-other-party-this-time" country (longest adjective ever?), bad economic news probably helps the Republicans. Which will only make it worse.

    “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

    by fenway49 on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 11:31:07 AM PDT

  •  A group in San Francisco (0+ / 0-)

    called Redefining Progress picked up RFK's theme in the mid-90s. They too called for a "Genuine Progress Indicator" and made a compelling case that GDP/GNP, devised by economist Simon Kuznets in the 30s so New Deal officials could have a clue what was actually going on in the economy, never was meant to become an all-encompassing indicator of national well-being.

    “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

    by fenway49 on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 11:42:51 AM PDT

  •  Remember the end of extended UI? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit

    Since January, some 2.7 million families have had former wage earners whose benefits have lapsed, even though the jobs aren't back. Now that people have had to burn up their savings and 401K's to cover the bills, maybe the 99% is tapped out. Consumer spending is a huge part of the economy and when people aren't even going to the Dollar stores, there's no recovery possible.
    The recovery was not much of a recovery in any case--2% growth is just barely keeping ahead of population growth, and the only recovery has been for the stock market.

    Sure weather didn't help. And food prices have spiked over the last six months, as have gas prices. But what if this is the new normal? And why isn't anybody talking about it? What did the political class think would happen once UI was cut?

  •  At least BW got it right: this is Good News... (0+ / 0-)

    A big reason for the decrease was due to lower-than-expected HC costs:

    Bloomberg/BW: Good News on Health-Care Spending Is Making US GDP Look Bad http://buswk.co/...

    ➔ Good news because it means health care costs are going down. The market prognosticators got it wrong. But the White House predicted* both long- & short-term[!] slowing of growth in HC costs due to the ACA:

    *WhiteHouse[.]gov: Trends in Health Care Cost Growth and The Role of The Affordable Care Act http://1.usa.gov/... November 2013.

    Over time, due to lower insurance premiums, the ACA can be expected to stimulate other areas of consumer spending as people find they have more cash-in-hand..

    BTW, this is my experience having worked in health orgs for many years. There's a longstanding bubble in HC costs, enough so that when major policy changes come down the pike, MDs pull back. Hopefully, unlike in the past, though, there are enough incentives built into the ACA to reward providers that deliver the best value: higher quality at lower cost, keeping costs down over time & "bending the cost curve."

    "All politics is national."

    by Auriandra on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:28:30 PM PDT

  •  Last time I read an article on the (0+ / 0-)

    economy here, Obama was getting credit for a great economy. So now...?

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