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May. 4 2009 - 3:52 pm | 12 views | 2 recommendations | 2 comments

In the long run, we’re all dead

Post-recession America may be saddled with high unemployment even after good times finally return.

Hundreds of thousands of jobs have vanished forever in industries such as auto manufacturing and financial services. Millions of people who were fired or laid off will find it harder to get hired again and for years may have to accept lower earnings than they enjoyed before the slump.

This restructuring — in what former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker calls “the Great Recession” — is causing some economists to reconsider what might be the “natural” rate of unemployment: a level that neither accelerates nor decelerates inflation. This state of equilibrium is often described as “full” employment.

via ‘Great Recession’ Will Redefine Full Employment as Jobs Vanish – Bloomberg.com.

Forever is a long-time. It’s shocking to see experienced policy-makers and journalists talk about “forever.” We came out of the “Great Depression” and World War II and enjoyed a period of relative peace and prosperity for over 60 years afterward. Forever is for the universe. We should worry about making the immediate future more secure. Fretting over “forever” takes our focus away from the here and now.


2 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    “We came out of the “Great Depression” and World War II and enjoyed a period of relative peace and prosperity for over 60 years afterward.”

    That’s as a good an argument as I’ve seen lately to be supporting President Obama’s policies.

    Ron your “earnings” link doesn’t work.

  2. collapse expand

    This post infuriates me.

    This country needs to confront the myth of free trade and a world economy because I can not for the life of me see how it benefits the average American. I keep hearing how it is good for America that industries move overseas. I’ve heard the argument from Robert Rubin and it sucks.

    We have lost a generation of skilled workers and they won’t be coming back because no one is training them. We have to import talent.

    Here’s a flash…the entire American middle class was created by labor. LABOR. Remember them, the guys who built bridges and houses. The very guys the republicans have been sticking it to since Reagan with the help of complacent stupid democrats. I’m looking at you Rubin! Clinton line up!

    So now we are being told that the average worker is no longer needed, 26 weeks and out,
    there are going to be some pissed off people in this country once they get in their head that they have been fattened up and gutted of every dollar at the altar of some MBA wet dream.

    Accept years of lower wages?? God damn it, are we serfs? Is this a Banana Republic were 1% of the population own 99% of everything? The damn minimum wage is below the poverty line already.
    Companies are already asking people to work for free and taking names of those who don’t. The arrogant bastards.

    Let me tell you when they start handing out pitchforks and torches I’m going to be first in line. I’m coming for ya Rubin!!!

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    About Me

    Born in 1961 in Buffalo, New York. Moved to LA when I was 12. Majored in Film at Cal State, Northridge. Became an accidental business news anchor. Spent 25 years covering or participating in the financial markets. Trying hard to understand the social, political and geo-political consequences of this peculiar and precarious period of time we find ourselves in.

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    Contributor Since: March 2009