"Recession could be over much sooner then expected"

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CNBC.com

"Consumer spending is growing again, while inventories are being wound down. Housing and autos, in particular, says economists, hint at both pent-up demand and a production rebound."


"So, if the optimists are right, it's a case of gloom and boom. "People were very gloomy in late '74 and '75," says Mussa. "They were gloomy in 1982."




... Go ahead . . .

breathe in......
.
.
.
.
.
Breath out..

smile.

:)
 
Depends on what the architects of this manufactured recession really want.
Did they achieve their objectives yet?
Who knows?
One thing for certain, this all didn't just happen, it was engineered.
 
It'll be over when we decide it is over.

We quit spending out of fear.

We pulled our money out of stocks of fear.

We remortgaged our houses to the hilt and bought stuff we couldn't afford out of greed.

We whine with big screen tv's, late model cars, stereo systems, food in the fridge and mcmansions...that this is the worse time since the depression and we have no freakin idear what we are talkin about.

When we decide we've had enough, will quit blaming others and decide to pull ourselves back up...it will be over.
 
CNBC.com

"Consumer spending is growing again, while inventories are being wound down. Housing and autos, in particular, says economists, hint at both pent-up demand and a production rebound."

Housing production? Auto production? Really? When do we reach a saturation point? America can't keep building new houses forever without destroying the older ones or creating more people to put into the new houses. Autos are a bit of a different story, but similar in a lot of ways. How many cars do we really need? Do we really need production of new cars on the scale the auto-makers insist? Who is served by all of this production?
 
It'll be over when we decide it is over.

We quit spending out of fear.

We pulled our money out of stocks of fear.

We remortgaged our houses to the hilt and bought stuff we couldn't afford out of greed.

We whine with big screen tv's, late model cars, stereo systems, food in the fridge and mcmansions...that this is the worse time since the depression and we have no freakin idear what we are talkin about.

When we decide we've had enough, will quit blaming others and decide to pull ourselves back up...it will be over.

So it's all on the individual, atomized American? What about the bankers and schemers who kept the funny money circling around at light speed in speculations until the whole pseudo-ponzi scheme collapsed? What about the liability of the banks and bureaucracies that construct and feed these dystopian financial fallacies so that they can create and keep more money than any one human being needs or deserves? Are they to be rewarded for being fine examples of not blaming others and pulling themselves back up?

:rolleyes:
 
So it's all on the individual, atomized American? What about the bankers and schemers who kept the funny money circling around at light speed in speculations until the whole pseudo-ponzi scheme collapsed? What about the liability of the banks and bureaucracies that construct and feed these dystopian financial fallacies so that they can create and keep more money than any one human being needs or deserves? Are they to be rewarded for being fine examples of not blaming others and pulling themselves back up?

:rolleyes:
we are one. hate to say it, but our materialistic psyche built them, created the monster...we get our cake but it ate us.
 
@ Pathless

The consumer cycle is built around disposable goods. Everything you buy is designed to break (sooner) so that you will be forced to buy the newer model. As for those things which don't break, they will be replaced because they will go 'out of fashion'. It has nothing to do with "need" or "want" anymore. This is the post-industrial consumer society: everything just is... business, for the sake of business ... and wil is rite, "we are one" with the system, as it is our desires that the machine feeds.
 
I can't agree with that. Sure, the system perpetuates itself through the creation of wants and desires and consumer goods; that I can agree with. But I don't think that from there it holds true that "we are one" in unity for a consumer wasteland culture.

wil said:
we are one. hate to say it, but our materialistic psyche built them, created the monster...we get our cake but it ate us.

The two things perpetuate each other. Our "materialistic psyche" is manufactured by institutions that we are insinuated into from birth. The individual, which American myth celebrates, is yoked to consumer culture at a young age and indoctrinated to perform useful functions in the endless quest for material progress. The whole symbiosis is diseased, and there appears to be no way out, and individualistic thinking is a pathology in the eyes of the status quo, to be sublimated and subjugated to the ordering of the culture of material production and resource depletion.
 
In contrast to the thoughts posted above, I also think that, while individual critical thinking isn't fostered or encouraged very much in our society, a crass sort of individualism is promoted, which leads people to compete vigorously with one another and to feel little responsibility providing for social programs or a social safety net that would support less financially successful or financially-oriented individuals. What we get is a society of individuals who must compete with each other to survive rather than ever learn to cooperate as a community. There are exceptions to this, but I think this is the overarching paradigm that is promoted by corporate capitalism and the government, which has become subordinate to corporate capitalism.
 
@ Pathless


IMO, it is a cop out to say that the participants in the system are simple victims. "Ignorance is not innocence"...

Example: I was recently watching what is considered to be the best documentary of all time, called Hearts & Minds about Vietnam (watch this immediately, if you haven't). And one of the interviewees was a former Air Force Attack pilot, who carried out many sorties in which he dropped cluster munitions on civilian villages. When asked what he thought about the society in which he lived and its response to the events in Vietnam, he said that the American population has had to try very hard to avoid seeing the consequences of their ignorance and apathy... I believe that this phenomenon of self-selected-blindness is not limited to the yanks.

The participants in the system know, on a deep individual level. We are aware of everything. Everyone is a willing participant in this...

Why do you think the hippies failed? Once the acid wore off: the suit and tie came on, and off to work they went, and there they stay to this very day, clutching their corporate paychecks even at the expense of their own young. Its the nature of man... a selfish, unflinchingly ungrateful creature is he.
 
My take on it is that capitalism is one of the most inhumane and unsustainable economic systems we can have. When the goal is profit for an organization or an individual, this out of necessity implies the creation and hoarding of surplus, which generally comes about through exploiting the weakest and least powerful.

We need an economic system that has a goal of providing people with basic needs and being sustainable.

Since this would mean giving up a lot of electronics, huge houses, multiple cars, and all manner of completely unnecessary but self-gratifying material junk that we run after... we just keep pretending that the problem is not a basic flaw in the system itself. We convince ourselves that we can still buy lots of junk but make it "green" junk. Or that poor people can all turn into middle class people by providing education and laptops for everyone. We seek to solve the problem by buying and making more junk than ever before.

I don't excuse anyone from responsibility. We vote with our cash and investments. When we "vote" for global capitalism rather than local economy, we endorse inhumane treatment of others and unsustainability. When we overconsume and hoard things, we have no one to blame but ourselves. The corporations and governments are corrupt, but they are responding to our willingness to throw money to them. We grumble, but continue to give them our money.
 
I think the issue is the government has got in our pants too much.

When the gov't gets involved Robin Hood tax the rich and give to the poor it dissinsentives the rich to earn, and dissinsentives them to give.

Despite this it seems every study indicates that the capitalistic republicans give more to charity and a higher percentage to charity than the liberal democrats...I can't figure out how to work with this dichotomy.

We've got Gore talking about the evils of global warming whilst managing millions in his family's oil wealth...and living in McMansion that consumes like there is no tomorrow.

Then the whole Gates, Forbes issue, talk about capitalists, they are the poster children, yet have created foundations worth billions and doing work the gov't can't/won't do.

I think gov't should back off, who knows but if we'd have left the capitalists fail and not socialized them with Bush and Obama bailouts I think the 'crisis' would have been long over. Tons of big companies have failed and others buy up the remains, it worked, until we decided things were to big to fail, until we created Freddie and Fannie and decided everyone should own a home so by foisting money at folks who could't afford payments and qualifying them well beyond their means we inflated housing prices thru the roof. Without that gov't intevention and influx of cheap and easy money...it wouldn't have happened.

IN my mind, get the gov't out of what churches and charities and neighborrs should be doing and out of the permanent welfare market and get us back on track.
 
Or that poor people can all turn into middle class people by providing education and laptops for everyone.

But the poor actually want to enter into the middle class, that's all they want. (Marcuse wrote about this in the One Dimensional Man.) The funny thing is that while the poor are wishing that they could take vacations to Cuba just like the middle class, all the middle-classers sitting in those cramped economy seats are thinkin' "man, I wish I was sittin' in one of those business class couches... " And guess what them business class passengers are thinkin'? "man.. some day, i'll be buying first class tickets!!"

We need an economic system that has a goal of providing people with basic needs and being sustainable.
I agree that such a framework is better but this wouldn't solve anything, it wont even be desirable for most. No top-down approach will ever cure these issues because the real problem is not systemic, (i.e. it is not the result of capitalism, or any set of economic frameworks), but exists in each individual.
 
But the poor actually want to enter into the middle class, that's all they want. (Marcuse wrote about this in the One Dimensional Man.) The funny thing is that while the poor are wishing that they could take vacations to Cuba just like the middle class, all the middle-classers sitting in those cramped economy seats are thinkin' "man, I wish I was sittin' in one of those business class couches... " And guess what them business class passengers are thinkin'? "man.. some day, i'll be buying first class tickets!!"

Oh, I'm not disagreeing with this trend of ever-more desire. I was just saying you can't make poverty disappear with the impossible dream of making everyone doctors and lawyers. Someone has to be the janitor, make burgers at the drive thru, and tend babies. Far more people are needed in these lines of work than as CEOs.

Any system that ignores this basic fact and insists that the poor just need to work harder and get an education is inhumane. It ignores the reason why poverty persists, at its root. So long as we refuse to give the poor the basics of what is needed to sustain a healthy life, and make it about moving them up, rather than everyone already "up" giving a bit to ensure those that are poor have what they need... well, we live in a pipe dream of thinking poverty is fixable by everyone being a Harvard grad. It's an excuse to not do anything radical about poverty and just continue to work within the existing system of buying junk.

I agree that such a framework is better but this wouldn't solve anything, it wont even be desirable for most. No top-down approach will ever cure these issues because the real problem is not systemic, (i.e. it is not the result of capitalism, or any set of economic frameworks), but exists in each individual.

It certainly is not desirable for most. That's what I'm saying- a top-down approach won't happen because people don't want it to. They want to ignore poverty and environmental degradation and keep on buying as much cheap junk as they can afford.

While the problem is not systemic, some systems encourage greed while others do not. Some systems don't even allow greed to manifest. Hunter-gatherers, by moving around a lot, couldn't hoard stuff. So, the economic system was minimalist, largely egalitarian, and emphasized sharing with others so the entire group survived. In contrast, our modern capitalist system encourages greed. It is based on greed and thrives on it. And it depends on making people feel worthless without buying more junk. It tends to encourage the worst in people.

The "system" and the individuals are in a feedback loop. The only way I can see to change it is for individuals to quit buying junk and put other priorities first. To get some sense of self-worth and happiness from something other than shopping. To quit the "retail therapy" that gives people a false sense of control over their lives. To start asking where real self-worth and control comes from...
 
@ Pathless


IMO, it is a cop out to say that the participants in the system are simple victims. "Ignorance is not innocence"...

Example: I was recently watching what is considered to be the best documentary of all time, called Hearts & Minds about Vietnam (watch this immediately, if you haven't). And one of the interviewees was a former Air Force Attack pilot, who carried out many sorties in which he dropped cluster munitions on civilian villages. When asked what he thought about the society in which he lived and its response to the events in Vietnam, he said that the American population has had to try very hard to avoid seeing the consequences of their ignorance and apathy... I believe that this phenomenon of self-selected-blindness is not limited to the yanks.

The participants in the system know, on a deep individual level. We are aware of everything. Everyone is a willing participant in this...

Why do you think the hippies failed? Once the acid wore off: the suit and tie came on, and off to work they went, and there they stay to this very day, clutching their corporate paychecks even at the expense of their own young. Its the nature of man... a selfish, unflinchingly ungrateful creature is he.
You ignore that the religions are themselves corporations, their leaders fly first class and live well from their corporate pay cheques. From Parish priest to Grand Mufti they enjoy an elevated standard of living raised well above that of the majority who work far harder for far less.

I cannot decide if man is intrinsically selfish or it is mostly just programming. The program is so all encompassing within our societies it is impossible for me to make a reasoned guess. Creating, or creating the impression of, scarcity will always make people selfish. But if we could, and we can, do away with scarcity as a politico-religio-industrial control of market share and make the need for material greed obsolete who knows? Apes bicker far less when they find a rich feeding area. So might we.


I agree that such a framework is better but this wouldn't solve anything, it wont even be desirable for most. No top-down approach will ever cure these issues because the real problem is not systemic, (i.e. it is not the result of capitalism, or any set of economic frameworks), but exists in each individual.
"No top down approach will ever cure..." !
So the big guy in the sky cannot cure it by that reasoning! Maybe you say much more in that quintessentially Freudian slip than you yourself realise. Yet you make up for it with that most cynical, malicious and pervasive lie that religion promotes, that we are by nature 'sinners'. But the only collective sin in the eyes of those who appoint themselves to define and regulate sin is the sin of wanting to be free and equal. I think in some sense it is possible to measure your worthwhile accomplishments and quality of life by how many sins you tread on. The more you trash, the more you have experienced freedom. There are of course limits, but on the whole many sins are just natural behaviour and should be enjoyed if you wish to enjoy them. The extreme perversion of mind caused by a ritualised abstinence from natural wants is used to power up the emotions too often in those neutered in a strict obedience to the doctrines of sin. And are again too often the given reason of justification for the greatest sin, which is the murder of individual expression.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOpCEVUAXQk
 
This is why . . . I will boldly declare . . . that we need socialism!;)

Isnt socialism boring though?

Sweden:


"The Highest Standard of Living Anywhere"


The beautiful nation of Sweden has the highest standard of living in the world. Its blossoming industry ranks far higher than the United States in most measurements. Life in Socialist Sweden is free of homeless, reckless, crazy people. In spite of the 55% income tax, Sweden has a history of strong family values, the most progressive education system in the world and extremely low unemployment.

Sweden boasts a new Third Way between Capitalism and Socialism, making it a great example of new age Collectivism. It's superior unionization and strong economy will ensure that it will be a Socialistic success story for years to come.

If you say Sweden, I say "Socialism WORKS!"

As an ex employee of IKEA that’s all Swedish people ever boast about is their highly successful socialist secular country. The rough living villages of the smaland region in Sweden has produced very successful corporations and business men and they didn't help each other many rivaled each other.
 
@ Pathless


IMO, it is a cop out to say that the participants in the system are simple victims. "Ignorance is not innocence"...

Example: I was recently watching what is considered to be the best documentary of all time, called Hearts & Minds about Vietnam (watch this immediately, if you haven't). And one of the interviewees was a former Air Force Attack pilot, who carried out many sorties in which he dropped cluster munitions on civilian villages. When asked what he thought about the society in which he lived and its response to the events in Vietnam, he said that the American population has had to try very hard to avoid seeing the consequences of their ignorance and apathy... I believe that this phenomenon of self-selected-blindness is not limited to the yanks.

The participants in the system know, on a deep individual level. We are aware of everything. Everyone is a willing participant in this...

Why do you think the hippies failed? Once the acid wore off: the suit and tie came on, and off to work they went, and there they stay to this very day, clutching their corporate paychecks even at the expense of their own young. Its the nature of man... a selfish, unflinchingly ungrateful creature is he.

The hippies didn't fail, and the cultural gains from the civil rights era weren't all won by hippies. Malcolm X didn't fail. Martin Luther King Jr didn't fail. Hunter S. Thompson didn't fail. Ram Dass didn't fail. The Diggers didn't fail, the Weathermen didn't fail, the Black Panthers didn't fail, the American Indian Movement didn't fail, the Merry Pranksters didn't fail. All of these people and organizations have contributed something to the revolutionary mess that American culture should be and can be. The fact that the established institutions of American so-called-culture are still tenaciously clinging to power doesn't mean that the forces that have questioned and opposed them have failed. If you look at the gains that have been won by cultural movements in the areas of racial equality, gender equality; for homosexual, bisexual, and transgender individuals and individuals with "disabilities," you'll notice some pretty startling gains compared to the standards of the early 20th century. I'm not saying that we've arrived at some defining moment of civilization and that we've achieved a just society. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to create a just, equitable, and sane culture, but I don't think that there has been massive failure, either.

I also take issue with your conclusion that since people know they are participating within a less-than-ideal system, they are willing participants. Really? What's the alternative? Where can someone who is not willing to participate go? Beyond that, what would dropping out achieve?
 
Path + Tao



@ Path

While the problem is not systemic, some systems encourage greed while others do not. Some systems don't even allow greed to manifest. Hunter-gatherers, by moving around a lot, couldn't hoard stuff. So, the economic system was minimalist, largely egalitarian, and emphasized sharing with others so the entire group survived. In contrast, our modern capitalist system encourages greed. It is based on greed and thrives on it. And it depends on making people feel worthless without buying more junk. It tends to encourage the worst in people.
Interesting perspective.. Don't get wrong, I agree that such a minimalist system would be better... (I just don't see it happening...)


Oh, I'm not disagreeing with this trend of ever-more desire. I was just saying you can't make poverty disappear with the impossible dream of making everyone doctors and lawyers. Someone has to be the janitor, make burgers at the drive thru, and tend babies. Far more people are needed in these lines of work than as CEOs.

Any system that ignores this basic fact and insists that the poor just need to work harder and get an education is inhumane. It ignores the reason why poverty persists, at its root. So long as we refuse to give the poor the basics of what is needed to sustain a healthy life, and make it about moving them up, rather than everyone already "up" giving a bit to ensure those that are poor have what they need... well, we live in a pipe dream of thinking poverty is fixable by everyone being a Harvard grad. It's an excuse to not do anything radical about poverty and just continue to work within the existing system of buying junk.
Thanks for expanding on that. I sensed we weren't really in disagreement to begin with. :)

It certainly is not desirable for most. That's what I'm saying- a top-down approach won't happen because people don't want it to. They want to ignore poverty and environmental degradation and keep on buying as much cheap junk as they can afford.

...The "system" and the individuals are in a feedback loop. The only way I can see to change it is for individuals to quit buying junk and put other priorities first. To get some sense of self-worth and happiness from something other than shopping. To quit the "retail therapy" that gives people a false sense of control over their lives. To start asking where real self-worth and control comes from...
Well put.





@ Tao

You ignore that the religions are themselves corporations,
(lol) do I now? :rolleyes: Do you want me to pull out my recent posts on the issue which clearly contradict this charge of yours? Not to mention the countless times I have told you directly what I think of the materialistic religious establishment

I cannot decide if man is intrinsically selfish or it is mostly just programming.
so maybe you should figure this out first and save the speeches till after??

So the big guy in the sky cannot cure it by that reasoning! Maybe you say much more in that quintessentially Freudian slip than you yourself realise.
So you think God is taking a "top down" approach in fixing the world eh? (ROFLMAO) When was the last time you turned on the news buddy??? If God wanted to FORCEFULLY turn this world into a utopia, you think He wouldn't be able to? You think God has been just trying (and failing) all this time? (LOL!!!)
 
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