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Visualize a happy ending

February 28, 2008

Bush has declared that ``I don't think we're headed to a recession.'' And repeatedly uses words like "strong" and "robust" to describe the current state of affairs.

The Feds will be clinging for dear life to the "official" definition of a recession in coming quarters in order to declare the current depression to be nothing more than a minor "economic perturbation" as some are now putting it. Whether or not they get that lucky remains to be seen.

What is undeniable is that many Americans are getting poorer right now, whether or not we are technically in recession. Economic growth was 0.6 percent during the 4th quarter, but who can claim that expenses have not risen by considerably more than 0.6%?  And given that income growth has screeched to a halt, a sizable portion of the American public can now buy far less with its rapidly devaluing incomes this year than it could last year.

The whole recession-denial movement is still predicated on fossilized Keynesian beliefs in animal passions which dictate that a belief in looming recessions causes recessions. This would be easy to dismiss if educated people in my own circles had not made statements such as "if the media doesn't cause a recession, we'll be fine." 

How exactly the media causes recessions is never quite explained, nor is the belief that the American public, deeply in debt, lacking any savings, and being paid in highly-inflationary currency, is supposed to jump start the economy.

It's a Norman Vincent Peale philosophy of economics through positive imaging, apparently. "Visualize a robust economy and it will become true." Unfortunately, that's not how the real world works.  

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