There is No Recovery

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

It seems every week in the mainstream media there are multiple references to the so-called economic recovery 2011.  There has been some good news about profits at Ford, Chrysler and General Motors in recent weeks, and GM plans on spending $2 billion to update plants and hire more than 4,000 workers.  I am happy the Big 3 car companies are doing well even though two of them went through bankruptcy. I am also thrilled that GM is hiring, but the car company still employs only about half (49,000) of the hourly workers it had in 2006.

An example, of what I am talking about is contained in the headline of yesterday’s USA Today newspaper.  It read “Middle-class and hungry in post-recession USA.” The story goes on to say, “Cutting back became a necessity for many American families during and after the recession. But what the Cruz family and a growing number of other once-thriving middle-class families didn’t expect was to find themselves qualifying for — and needing — the support of federally funded food assistance programs.” (Click here to read the complete USA Today story.) How can the recession be over when record numbers of Americans are on food stamps and are seeking help from the government to survive?  CNN reported last month, “One in six Americans is receiving help from the government, just as fiscal austerity threatens to reduce some of that aid.  Soaring unemployment during The Great Recession has driven tens of millions of people to the dole. Enrollment in Medicaid and food stamp programs are at record highs, while unemployment insurance rolls remain at elevated levels. Many people depend on more than one program.” (Click here for the complete CNN story.)

The absurd idea that the recession we are still experiencing is over comes from the National Bureau of Economic Research.  Here’s how the Wall Street Journal reported the announcement last September:  “. . . the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month,” the committee said in a statement. The 2007-2009 recession is the longest in the post-WWII period. . . . The decision by the NBER means that any future downturn in the economy would be considered a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in 2007.” (Click here to read the original WSJ story.)

It is preposterous to call what is going on in America today a “recovery” or “post-recession.” Congressman Ron Paul recently said there were “33 million” Americans unemployed.  A record of more than one million foreclosures happened last year, with another record expected to be set again in 2011.  The abandonment of mark to market accounting that happened in 2009 to make the banks look solvent (when indeed they are not) is still in place.   157 banks were closed down by the FDIC in 2010, and 40 have been shut down so far this year.  These banks weren’t closed  because they had too much money and people were making their debt payments on time.  Just this week, Reuters reported, “U.S. home values fell in the first quarter at the fastest rate since late 2008, real estate data firm Zillow Inc. said on Monday, suggesting that a bottom will not be seen until 2012 at the earliest. . . . The number of homeowners under water — or, those who owe more on the mortgage than their house is currently worth — amounted to 28.4 percent of single-family homeowners, representing a peak since Zillow began calculating the data in 2009.” (Click here for the complete Reuters report.) Nearly 1 in 3 homeowners is “under water” with no bottom in real estate until “2012 at the earliest.” I really don’t see how the NBER declared the recession over in 2009!  Is this really what a “recovery” is supposed to look like?  I don’t think so.

A few glimmers of hope in the economy do not make for a real sustained recovery.  Much of the constant cheerleading by the mainstream media is more like public relations than real reporting.

Comments
  1. Sam

    I don’t understand the purpose of all the cheerleading by the MSM, what do they hope to gain by making our economy look better than what it is? Are they trying to get people to invest more into the stock market? After all the Dow Jones does seem to be the gage of the economy these days, but the gains that I’ve seen don’t have the volume associated with it. It’s like the shark calling to those standing on the shore “come on in the water is fine”. Is it safe to jump back in?

    • Greg

      Sam,
      And sharks can take a big bite out of you! Thank you for the great comment.
      Greg

    • Sam

      Sam,

      It is, just in other investments.

      Precious metals, a second career in case things fall apart (like a hobby that can be turned into a business, such as computer repair/custom computers, gunsmithing, auto repair, and so on), vegetable garden, and so on.

      There’s a world of investments out there, you just need to think outside the box.

  2. Timmer

    It’s Great Depression II ! Thanks for illuminating the facts…We wouldn’t want people of this once great land to “pullback” on their spending cuz that’s 70% of economy! WAIT the goobermint can print more $$$ and spend that to fill the void!

    • Greg

      Timmer,
      Yes the “goobermint” can print money until it turns to confetti. Thank you for the comment.
      Greg

  3. Sam

    Dear Greg,

    Somehow, I can hear in the distance, some sheep bleating, “Four legs good, two legs BETTER!” That’s pretty much the news media, as they are, and always have been, a propaganda machine for the left. Government “numbers,” especially by the BLS, remain unreliable, and I have to go to many sources and try to assemble them like a jigsaw puzzle just to get my daily news!

    From what I’ve been able to gather, this country has never come out of the first “recession” (depression). Businesses continue to close, and the only mall here has moderate weekday traffic. The swarms of government “workers” here, their wallets and purses fattened by their “messiah” Obama drive newer models of expensive vehicles, sometimes towing either a camper or the latest in watercraft, whilst those brave souls who’ve opted for the private sector make do with older vehicles adorned with cracks on the windshields. These latter are forced to make do with much, including slimmed down want ads from not only the local paper, but from the Seattle and Tacoma papers as well. Recently Snohomish county (home to many a Microsoft worker, and seen as one of the “wealthier” counties in the state), stated that one of its small town’s police would have to disband, with the town relying on county sheriff deputies.

    Yesterday I read that the floods along “Big Miss” was going to cause food and fuel prices to go ever higher, with many a farm being forced to file for bankruptcy. This morning I read with interest that newer government regulations are causing more commercial fishermen to go out of business.

    Is there a recovery? Especially with an anti-business, anti-American administration in place that boasts of murdering an already-dead terrorist? No.

    • Greg

      Seems now there is really not much difference between the left and right–they just take turns ripping us all off! Thank you for the good comment Sam.
      Greg

    • Art Barnes

      Sam: Good point about the government workers and the rest of us. Last week I had a talk with a man who is a deputy District Attorney and hiw wife is a police office. Both making over 100K each, full bennies, health care & retirement. Life is a peach. Both drive one of those cars your described. However, the husband admitted to me they try not to flaunt it because they don’t want the community to get angry and cut anything back from them. By the way they were getting ready to head out for paid vacation, something I haven’t in years.

  4. markm

    Hey Greg,

    The people of MSM are followers of a religous cult. Neo-Marxism is not sustainable; however, the cocktail party circuit is full of people who follow group-think. It is all phony, feel-good, religous dogma.

    I read the Washington Post editorial page. Read Robinson, Milbank, or vanden Hueval regularly and you will understand. They are on the elitist cocktail circuit.

    Please adjust the housing values for inflation. With an inflation adjustment, we will see that we are teetering on the precipous of depression.

    Coffee and inflation: I usually buy Costco French Roast Coffee for about $8 a can. It is now about $13 a can. I switched to a smaller can of WINCO coffee. It is now $12 a can. I am back to buying the Costco coffee (I realize that coffee is subject to fluctuations in price due to production rates; however, other food items are increasing in price also.) QE 2 is working; Obama’s back-door tax on assets is underway.

    markm

    • Greg

      Markm,
      Thank you for the real life inflation reporting!!
      Greg

    • Art Barnes

      Interesting comment on inflation. I thought the seventies was bad but my favorite products are going up weekly. My grocer told me each delivery they are getting a wholesale increase. My butcher told me that they have had a 30 percent wholesale increase overall on meat since January 1, 2011. I bet the ranchers didn’t get it! My question is who getting the money or is it just lost in QE Forever?
      I suspect something sinister here.

  5. brian

    As more and more people wake up and not just see what is happening around them but find themselves personally affected by the unmitigated financial disaster engulfing the world the media at large becomes more and more irrevelant. Given that our government views the media as the glue that holds this whole sham together more and more desperate bids to maintain our attention will ensue–stories like this recent bin laden fiasco will become common and more flamboyant and ridiculous as time goes on……….haha who knows, maybe an “alien” visit is in the works–lord knows that what it would take these days to get me to turn my TV set back on.

    • Greg

      Brian,
      I love this quote “media as the glue that holds this whole sham together.” Spot on man!
      Greg

  6. Mike S.

    I agree with your article. There is no recovery. I have been unemployed for over two years. I am 48 years old and have worked since I was 14 years old. I have only been able to work as a temp in some of the local factories for 8.50 an hour. Fortunately I found a house for 12,000 and after cashing out what was left of my 401k I had enough to pay cash for it and pay off all my debt. So now I recieve food stamps for my two teenage children and Medicaid for them. On the plus side I have been getting alot of needed excercise cutting up the wood on my property to heat the house with next winter.

    • Greg

      Thank you Mike S. for sharing your story with us here. A roof over your head is a smart buy!!!
      Greg

    • Art Barnes

      I am so sorry for you. Self sustaining is coming for us all. Replant the trees you cut down as you or your children are going to need them again in 15 years.

  7. BigTom

    Greg – thanks for your postings – it’s only on sites like yours can the real news be had anylonger. i finally got so fed up with MSM last feb. 1st. i had my satellite service disconnected. an acquaintance at the gym has told me recently he is happy with how obama is running the country(i am not blowing horns for the republicans here either) and that he doesn’t believe there is a bakkan oil field(as we were on the subject of oil) here in america. he thought that was all about making obama look bad. asked him if he thought that was a ‘conspiracy’ and i got a funny look in return, and of course no comment. inside it was a chuckle and luved turning the tables because, of course, any sort of ‘conspiracy nut job stuff’ is always supposed to be a conservative thing….

    • Greg

      Thank you Big Tom and Mountianaries for the comments and link!
      Greg

  8. Mountainaires

    “Recovery? What recovery? This looks a bit like a depression to me.”

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/housing-crash-is-getting-worse-2011-05-09

    • Reader

      A ‘Economist’ called Martin Armstrong is projecting a 23 to 26 year depression in America. Martinarmstrong.org

  9. james

    well folks
    if we just print up 3 trillion more,the recovery would last at least 3 months,let do it… the partys on.

    the hang over will be bad.

  10. Oldguy

    Just think what the cost of food will be when alcohol becomes the renewable energy. Conversion of grains to alcohol is heavily subsidized to make it competative with gasoline. Also, alcohol’s heat of combustion is only 63% of that of gasoline. This means less miles per gallon. The world is already closing in on food shortages, and this will only make things worse. Of course we could all drive around in little Hindenbergs…(what terrorist has to worry about a source of explosives)? Then again, Hydrogen is gained by the process of hydrolysis, which requires lots of electricity from those nasty power plants. And we have to watch our useable farmlands decrease for fear of endangering the dumbutt lizard…What I’m trying to say with my ramblings is: no matter what we do, our government is working feverishly to impoverish the middle and lower classes. We have so many agencies, it’s beyond comrehension to satisfy the whims of all of them. And as Thomas Edison said: “I can give you no formula for success…Only for failure”. “That is try to satisfy everybody”. It doesn’t sound to me that recovery is nearby. I figure the big crunch will start about mid november of this year. God save us all..

  11. Oldguy

    OOPS… competative should be competitive. My Bad!

  12. Art Barnes

    Greg, your bloggers are a credit to reality. For some of us we know that the showers are not for bathing (hitler extermination camps) but we need more numbers to march out in front of the guns to have a chance to change it before all is gone. Keep spreading the word a prairie fire starts with one match!

    • Greg

      Thank you Art.
      Greg

  13. slingshot

    Are you having fun, yet? A sarcastic remark when things get a little tight amoung friends. Takes the edge off the problem. Many in America, feel things getting tight. You don’t have to be down and out to know that something is wrong. You hear it in conversation as your friends lose their job or the long time grocery store closes. It’s all about money in the bitter end. ” We need to balance the budget” they tell you and they know for sure what that really means. They can not do it with out inducing a lot of hurt. Not only the Fed but the State and local municipalities are in the red. Because of our embedded entitlement behavoir in our brains when the triage occurs, much opposition is raised and what should have been cut remains to drain the coffers. Take into consideration all the new taxes and fees by state and city and the pinch really hurts everyone. So no matter how you try to keep your head above water, they still get you.
    This is not a recession or depression. This is something else. This is the meaningful and systematic destruction of our country by demoralization. When it comes to the point that more people rely on the subsistance from the government than people making their own livelihoods, that is immoral. When our children occur massive student debt before they even start their lives, that is immoral. When our government failed to keep an industrial and manufacture base to keep America First, that is TREASON and immoral. When we finally achieve the destruction of the American Dream by doing the Same ole, Same ole, we will have no one else to blame but ourselves.

  14. nm

    It’s pretty clear (since the debt can never technically be repaid) that Bernanke is going to inflate he’s way out of it and pay the debt holders with valueless dollars. However, he seems to want to do it slowly (maybe to lessen the dramatic effects of inflation? …I don’t know)

    I’ve said before here, that the average American on Main street doesn’t understand government debt and what Bernanke is going to do about it. So, my question is, when are the holders of debt going to stop buying it? The Chinese are not stupid. They know what Bernanke is doing. At some point they’re going to pull the lever. Why haven’t they? What are they waiting for?

    I await your answers….

  15. Jim in GA

    The news in the MSM today is retail sales are up! Of course, reading the entire report leads you to the last sentence where virtually all of the increased spending was caused by increased fuel and food prices. This is further proof of the old axiom “figures never lie but liars always figure”.

    • Greg

      Jim in Ga,
      The sales numbers are partially or all inflation related. I wrote a post on this a few months back. Thank you for the reporting and comment!!
      Greg

  16. Mitch Bupp

    does the word “stagflation” come to mind?

    our borrw aand spend economy is busted and there is only one way to go ……

  17. george

    Oh come now Greg! There HAS to be a recovery. Look at the CEO boand upper management bonuses for 2010.Its a Wall Street recovery. They never mentioned the middle class or the little guys were recovering.

    • Greg

      George,
      Good point my friend!!
      Greg

  18. Samantha in Tucson

    Interesting article and comments; thanks.

    Since you once lived in Tucson, Greg: a friend of mine, who lives in Maine, is here visiting his ailing father. He was walking along the Tanque Verde wash yesterday and and saw at least (what he estimates) 200 people living under the wash bridge! He reports that there were tents, make-shift tents out of the vegetation growing in the wash, sleeping bags, etc. He said the more “successful ones” had a propane tank for(presumably) cooking food. He said he was completely shocked; if he hadn’t seen it with his own eyes, he would not believe it. That is only one of MANY wash bridges in the city.

    I’ve seen homeless people all over the city ever since I moved here, but I, too, was shocked to hear how many were under ONE bridge! I imagine here must be lots of “tent cities” around the Old Pueblo.

    What sadness! And…we give BILLIONS to the banks, Pakistan, Israel, the war machine, etc. What a mess we’re in.

    • Greg

      Samantha,
      Thank you for your reporting from the Southwest. When I lived in the Tucson early 80′s I saw very few homeless. My have things changed.
      Greg

  19. Chris

    Gerald Celente has harped on the fact that there is no recovery since 2009 and everybody thought it was a joke until the numbers became consistently dismal. Panzner’s Financial Armageddon blog has also pointed out there is no recovery and that it is a farce.

    The moron media needs to find new words other than “recovery” or “nascent recovery”.

    • Greg

      Thanks Chris for the comments and info on the correct consensus on the “recovery!!”
      Greg

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