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The Recession Has (Officially) Ended

New York Stock Exchange, Sept 2010

According to our friends in the bean counting department, the recession is over, and we’re crawling out of the hole.  From the perspective they take, the numbers say it all:  the Dow-Jones, down to 7000 18 months ago is back up to nudging 11,000.  Count them beans.  And they have the proof:

Of course, while certain CEO’s are enjoying their bonuses, and those with stocks are enjoying the ride back up, there are murmurs that this will be a “jobless recovery,”  so for those saps out there who actually work for a living, times look tough.  In fact foreclosures are up – hard to pay that mortgage with no income – and naturally with that, so is homelessness and just plain down-right poverty.  Now 15% of Americans are “officially” poor.  And that number is going up kind of in proportion to the jobs numbers going down.   Not to worry though, the Tea Party is coming to the rescue and is going to shrink that damned government, repeal the recent Health Care bill, stop Social Security, and let freedom ring all over this great country.  You bet.  The freedom to have no job and have rich people say you are lazy.  The freedom to get sick and die.  Or maybe starve first.

Demonstration in weird San Francisco (see home-made signs)

Meantime the more wealthy are getting very pissed off at the thought their taxes might be raised, and the most wealthy are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in the newly freed up “free speech” ruling of the Supreme Court that says money is talk, and the wealthy should be able to talk as much as they want, just like anyone else.  So they’re putting their money into “non-profit” 501 (c)(4)’s, which can plow all they want into political activities like broadcasting lies.  As the very old American saw says, Money Talks and Bullshit Walks.  Better get walking.

Metropolitan Opera, NYC, staging Wagner’s The Ring

For those of a certain class – oopps, not supposed to say that word – the Met in New York is staging a very high-tech and costly run of Wagner’s cycle, The Ring.  Lots of computer-run moving stagework, lighting, and if you have, say, $500 you might be able to get into a performance.   If that’s out of your range you might try a concert in Williamsburg, over in Brooklyn, where the band plays on.  A bit more down-market.

Pavement plays BrooklynSt Louis, house stripped of bricks

Meanwhile in St Louis, a city on the skids like Detroit, houses are being stripped of turn of the (19th) century bricks, which like copper (stripped from Detroit factories) can be sold for a bit of coin to make handsome houses for the better off somewhere down south.   Beats the usual chipboard and 2x4s typical of construction these days.

Unfinished town houses in Des Plains, Illinois

“In declaring the recession over, we’re not at all saying the unemployment rate, or anything else, has returned to normal,” said James H. Stock, an economics professor at Harvard and a member of the business cycle committee.

“We clearly still have a long ways to go.”

Yeah, I guess before we call it a Depression instead, there are going to have to be a lot more jobless, homeless, starving folks out there.  Of course the stock market might be even higher, so ….

Keep on talkin’…

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