There’s no doubt about it, the United States never really recovered from 2008’s crash and burn and the gas frantically poured on the fire by the Obama administration to “stimulate” the economy created nothing more than a spike in corporate profits that were never distributed to the people. What should we do now – start growing vegetables and stockpiling canned goods? Catherine Rampell reports on America’s dubious prospects for the New York Times:
If the economy falls back into recession, as many economists are now warning, the bloodletting could be a lot more painful than the last time around.
Given the tumult of the Great Recession, this may be hard to believe. But the economy is much weaker than it was at the outset of the last recession in December 2007, with most major measures of economic health — including jobs, incomes, output and industrial production — worse today than they were back then. And growth has been so weak that almost no ground has been recouped, even though a recovery technically started in June 2009.
“It would be disastrous if we entered into a recession at this stage, given that we haven’t yet made up for the last recession,” said Conrad DeQuadros, senior economist at RDQ Economics.
When the last downturn hit, the credit bubble left Americans with lots of fat to cut, but a new one would force families to cut from the bone. Making things worse, policy makers used most of the economic tools at their disposal to combat the last recession, and have few options available.
Anxiety and uncertainty have increased in the last few days after the decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the country’s credit rating and as Europe continues its desperate attempt to stem its debt crisis.
President Obama acknowledged the challenge in his Saturday radio and Internet address, saying the country’s “urgent mission” now was to expand the economy and create jobs. And Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in an interview on CNBC on Sunday that the United States had “a lot of work to do” because of its “long-term and unsustainable fiscal position.”…
[continues in the New York Times]