Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Recession Is Alive and Well in These
By Ben Tanosborn
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, August 15, 2011
Just as businesses in some countries keep two sets of books, we
in the United States live with two economies, even if we acknowledge only
one. One real that few people in the un-fine art of economics, or the
press, care to report on; and one imaginary, passed on to the public as real
by the US government and Wall Street: the only one that Homo americanus, in
his sempiternal gullibility, is supposed to believe.
these government trusted sources, which carry the imprimatur of both the Fed
chairman (Ben Bernanke) and the Treasury Secretary (Tim Geithner) – plus the
verbal choreography of the President (Barack Obama), the recession which
originated in December 2007 ended 18 months later, in June 2009; and that
ever since that date the nation is in a period of economic recovery.
Recovery, my foot, don’t you believe! If you do, you might as
well stay true to the belief that somewhere in Iraq there’s still an arsenal
of WMDs, and that our Wehrmacht is nothing but a strong system of defense
against evil forces (terrorists nowadays) trying to take away our freedoms,
whether in the Middle East or deeper inside Asia.
recession is continuing on and likely will stay with us for several more
years. In fact, socio-political change may have to occur before the
economic mess is resolved.
Why the lies from Washington, we might
ask, whether from politicians, self-serving military brass, or experts-consiglieri
to both groups? It should come as no surprise to anyone that the
rationalization at the top is “to protect us all,” to avert a “crisis of
confidence” in our nation, in our economic-political system, and in those
people and institutions that maintain power and control over the masses.
This is one time, they will argue, when the end justifies the means.
On Thursday, August 4, the stock market took a major loss, the worst in
three years, but the following morning things looked a bit rosier to the
dense business chroniclers of CNBC after the July jobs report had nonfarm
payroll employment rise by 117,000 during the month; and since analysts had
projected a gain of 75,000, there was early jubilation. As usual, the
analyses which followed from this group of B-school graduates turned
analysts, commentators and pseudo-journalists, exhibited a total lack of
grey matter. Never mind that to keep up with the population growth the
US should be adding close to 200,000 new jobs per month… for each and every
month. But that’s not the worst of it.
We have yet to hear
meaningful commentary from this sanctuary of big business and conservatism,
CNBC, or from any of the media reporting on the nation’s economy, where this
job growth is occurring, critiquing the fact that it is not precisely in the
areas that will help the economy in the medium or in the long run.
Poisonous growth we could call it, unsustainable jobs in fields such as
health care (31,000 jobs in July and 299,000 in the past 12 months!) A
field where the US is already spending twice as much of its GDP as other
first world nations! We are accelerating towards having health care
command 20 percent of our economy within three or four years… and we remain
mute on the subject. Why? Could it be that health care is one of
the many sacred cows no American politician dare touch? But as bad as
that is, it’s not the worst of it.
The jobs picture in America is
dire and one that Americans prefer not to confront and analyze. It is
as bad as or worse than it was a year ago with almost 14 million people
unemployed, another 8.4 million involuntary part-time workers, 2.8 million
marginally attached to the labor force, and probably as many as 7 million
“students” of all ages, who in past economies would have been part of the
work force, attending public and “for profit” post-secondary schools,
hoping to acquire the training (which most are not) to become part of a
labor force which will have few or no jobs to offer when they graduate.
Bottom line: not only is our real economy not creating sustainable
jobs, but investing 100 to 200 billion dollars a year in “phony” training
that students will be unable to pay back, loans guaranteed by the no longer
platinum credit-worthiness of the United States of America. A bubble
sure to pop in the very near future, one which will add to our woes in this
land of plenty, imaginary plenty these days… just like our imaginary
Yet, some exalted dimwits at CNBC are still telling us that
we are not Greece!