Monday, August 29, 2011

The Source of Our Economic Malaise II

I have been writing that the cause of our economic malaise has been over-stimulation of the economy.  Since posting The Source of Our Economic Malaise, the Washington Post published the following article: "Consumer fears put economy on the brink". A more appropriate title would have been the "Failure of Supply Side Economics.

Below are comments made by the readers of the article that tend to support my assertion that we over-consumed and now we have to under-consume for a variety of reasons.

etronsen wrote: "People used their homes like ATMs. ...  We are now paying the price for that profligacy."
gainsworth wrote: "Its hard to spend what you don't have. The massive consumer credit fueled by the housing bubble artificially inflated consumption in for the past 10 years. Now that the piggy bank is empty and you no longer have a job, its kind of hard to keep buying. It is going to take ten years for people to get out of debt, rebuild some savings, instead of living on credit, and only then will the economy start to recover in a meaningful manner. Hopefully, it will be through manufacturing, infra-structure building and upgrades etc. and not pure consumerism.
Cossackathon wrote: "For years I've heard economists bemoan the fact that the US public did not save enough. Well, we started to save more, now that's a problem, as well."
HGF78 wrote: "Oh good, we are back to blaming the American Consumer. Let us look at the real causes of people not spending. Jobs have been shipped offshore (Chinese workers cannot drive the American economy) and no pay increases for years for those left with a job. Now add in increasing costs for gas, insurance, food and clothes. I think the problem is not people spending but the fact they have nothing left to spend with after paying for the basics. The corporate cost cutting model is destroying the US economy. They need to stop worshiping at the alter of increasing quarterly profits." (fixed spelling errors)
PennyWisetheClown wrote: "Corporate America wanted it both ways they wanted America as the premier consumer society and they wanted outsourced cheap labor. ...  Problem to stay consumers America needs the jobs to support that lifestyle--something the bean counters neglected to add into their equation and America today is the result."
Iconclass wrote:  "As being unemployed for about one year out of two during the great recession, I payed off my debt I incurred during that time for food. Do you really think I am going to go out and buy a new living room set made overseas so I can bolster the bottom line of the marketers and investors of these factories? ... I repair what I have. God granted me with an awesome mechanical aptitude to do this. I work when I am asked to, putting off family obligations, personal life, etc.. I live below my means, made sure one weeks check covers a mortgage. My car is ten years old and well maintained with a manual transmission. ...  All extra money I have goes to pay off my debt, a mortgage, which I foresee to do in five years." (fixed spelling errors)

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