Tag Archives: Economic Recovery


U.S. Economic Growth Accelerated Last Quarter


“U.S. economic growth accelerated last quarter, easing fears of a near-term slowdown but doing little to change the trajectory of a long but weak expansion,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.9% annual rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said. That was stronger growth than the second quarter’s pace of 1.4%. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected growth at a 2.5% pace for the July-to-September period. Last quarter’s growth rate was the fastest recorded in two years.”


U.S. Household Income Surges


Incomes in the U.S. surged in 2015, delivering the first increase for family households in eight years, the Wall Street Journal reports. “The median annual household income—the level at which half are above and half are below—rose 5.2% from a year earlier, or $2,800, after adjusting for inflation, to $56,500… The boost leaves household incomes around 1.6% below the 2007 level, before the last recession began.”

Poetic Justice

Stretching Our Credulity

Grover Norquist exhibits nothing if not temerity,
But his remarks on the economic recovery inspire hilarity.
In Grover’s world,
The recovery’s unfurled,
Not due to Obama’s policies, but to Republican austerity.

News & Comment

Good News for America, Bad News for the GOP – CBO Says Deficit Is Shrinking Faster Than at Any Time Since Post-World War II

Chart based on figures from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office showing the federal deficit for each year since the economy crashed at the end of the Bush administration

Good news, America. The federal deficit is shrinking faster than it has since the end of World War II, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Oddly enough, however, this good news for the country — this sure sign that the United States is finally recovering from the economic crash at the end of the Bush administration — is actually horrible news for the Republican Party, which for the past five years has pinned its hopes on defeating Pres. Obama and the Democrats by deliberately hobbling the recovery with the hope that a weak economy would benefit them politically.

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News & Comment

Effect of GOP’s European Style Austerity on Public Sector Employment in a Single Graph


Ezra Klein at Washington Post’s Wonkblog:

In the graph atop this post, I ran the numbers on total government employment after the 1981, 1990, 2001 and 2008 recessions. I made government employment on the eve of the recession equal to “1,” so what you’re seeing is total change in the ensuing 54 months, which is how much time has elapsed since the start of this recession.

As you can see, government employment tends to rise during recessions, helping to cushion their impact. But with the exception of a spike when we hired temporary workers for the decennial census, it’s fallen sharply during this recession.

Note that a Republican was president after the 1981, 1990 and 2000 recessions. Public-sector austerity looks a lot better to conservatives when they’re out of power than when they’re in it.

News & Comment

Data Show That Republicans’ European Style Austerity Policies Lead to High Unemployment


Whether it was based on their adherence to a failed economic ideology or on their craven desire to see Pres. Obama fail at any cost, Republicans have reacted to the economic collapse by relentlessly pursuing a European-style austerity approach to economic recovery.

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News & Comment

The Fire Next Time: Can We Build a Recession-Proof Economy?

plan aheadAs we climb out of the recession, which we clearly are and were before the freshmen Republicans in the House took their oaths of office last week, it’s a good time to remember we are not all on the same page about how we got into an economic mess, nor about how to go forward from it.

There are people out there who believe, thanks to FOX News and Rush Limbaugh, that the whole housing market collapse was because of groups like ACORN trying to help people who couldn’t afford them buy houses.

Keefe: ‘We can either summon the collective will to invest in our common future or continue to stumble along hoping the next asset bubble temporarily bails us out while entering into a period of long national decline’

There are others, like me, who witnessed the mortgage crisis from closer to the inside and know firsthand that the wealthy led the way into economic ruin with such instruments as no-money-down mortgages, interest-only mortgages, five-year balloons, and other highly creative arrangements dreamed up for folks who wanted to make even more profit by flipping second and third and fourth houses than they were by investing in shaky stocks.

Most of those in the latter group were just one slow-selling property away from bankruptcy and foreclosure, which we all got to find out together. Of course, most of them will just wait out the seven or so years it takes to clear one’s credit record if one is of a certain income bracket, and go forth to sin again.

And since we’ve never collectively gotten straight about the causes, why should we expect to agree on the remedies? Sadly, we shouldn’t.

Joseph F. Keefe, president and CEO of Pax World Mutual Funds, says we can’t fix what’s wrong in this country, or in the world, by looking for the next boom. (Emphasis that follows is added.)

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September New Construction Figure Exceeds Analysts’ Predictions


The amount housing starts rose in September, according to the Commerce Dept. The figure represents a five-month high and a 4.1 percent rise over last September.