Even though I pretty regularly have been saying I think we are in the midst of a depression, the quote above came from Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, NYT Columnist. I have been reading his views since the start of the financial crisis, when he said that the amount of the 2009 stimulus wasn’t large enough to make a dent in the problems we were having. We have a $15 trillion economy and he argued that $800 billion was not enough to improve things for long; especially since a third or so of the stimulus money was put into tax cuts for the badly hurting workers of the US. Paul even predicted that the stimulus wouldn’t work long enough and the Republicans would then say the stimulus didn’t work at all. He was right on all counts.
Our country being in a Depression would explain many many things; it would explain why the recovery is so slow, why job creation is anemic, and why we aren’t back to normal yet. Mitt Romney and the Republicans argue that Obama has made the recovery slower, that the current state of our economy is completely Obamas doing. The Obama camp keeps going back to their talking points of how when they came into office the economy was losing 800,000 jobs per month and now its been gaining jobs for 24 months straight. I am sick of hearing that talking point, its old and doesn’t really do anything that puts the on someone else. To me a good analogy would be that a bomb was being dropped in the fall of 2008; it was exploding in January 2009 and the full effects of the explosion were felt for months or years after. If this bomb was a depression I think people would understand better why it takes so long to get a job, or why we aren’t in a better place. I have not heard one word from Romney about how he would create jobs; his past has shown he headed up a vulture capitalist company that bought companies, piled them with debt then sold off the pieces. Sure, some of that incidentally included job creation, but the point was to make profit from dismantling companies. Btw, there is nothing illegal about this, lots of companies did this in the 1980s. Its kind of a survival of the fittest mentality. But it certainly says nothing about how he would create jobs or even handle the economy as a whole. His record as Governor of Massachusetts was embarrassing, under his leadership the state was ranked 47 out of 50 in job creation.
I am looking forward to reading Mr. Krugman’s book about how to get out of this Depression. I think the more people that understand that you can’t compare this time to any other post WWII downturn the better they will understand why the recovery has been the way it is. Of course, what I would like to see is an immediate meeting at the WH with the top economic minds, Republicans, Democrats, Mitt Romney and of course Obama to see if we can start solving the problems today and not put them off until after the election.