SEARCH BLOG: ECONOMY
The average Joe the plumber thinks in terms of good and not-so-good... and then there is the recent "recession" which was just plain bad. But economists will talk about recession and recovery as if one is bad and the other is good. The problem has been that because of the depth of the recent recession [declining economy for 2 or more quarters], the "3 summers of recovery" leave a lot of people thinking "not-so-good"... even if economists call this a recovery.
Real median household income is still 7% lower than it was in December 2007 and 3.9% lower than in June 2009, when the recession officially ended, the study says. Americans' income continued to fall in the recovery, Sentier data show, as more workers sought fewer jobs and many of the unemployed took lower-level positions to get by. [source]So let's put it in some non-economic terms.... A marathon runner crosses the street on a bright sunny day and never sees the truck that hits him. He wakes up in the hospital after a couple of years in a coma. He can barely move. After awhile, he begins to get his voice back and his memory is still fuzzy. He notices that his body has shriveled noticeably and that he doesn't have the strength to get out of bed.
The doctors inform him that he has a long rehabilitation ahead of him, but don't worry because they have purchased the finest equipment available to help him out. He won't recover any faster because of the extremely expensive equipment, but he will feel that something is being done for him. He begins slowly. First he has to learn to eat solid food again. Pablum. Then he is lifted to a wheelchair and taken to a wading pool where he will float, with assistance, for part of an hour. He can learn to move his arms and legs there.
After a few months, he is able to stand next to some parallel bars and hold himself upright. A few months later he is able to walk the length of the parallel bars unassisted, but he uses a walker to get around the hospital. Several months later he is pronounced well enough to move to assisted living. The staff is very helpful and try to do everything for him, but their efforts allow him to slacken his own efforts and his recovery goes slowly. But he is in recovery they tell him. Strangely, he doesn't feel recovered... he feels 30-years older. They tell him that recovery is a good thing and eventually he will be recovered.
Three years after he woke up, the marathon runner is still in recovery. He is walking pretty well and now lives at home by himself. His efforts at running are still pretty weak. 26+ miles is out of the question. He can jog 2.6 miles, but he is in recovery. There are plenty of aches and pains. But he perseveres. His lawyers say they can get him a lot of money for his ordeal so that he does not have to worry about anything. They don't understand he wants to be self-reliant and while the money is nice, it doesn't make him whole.
Both the doctors and the lawyers tell him that they know best and he should just let them take care of his recovery, but he simply is not satisfied with recovery... he wants to be recovered. He tells the doctors and the lawyers to get out of his way and let him push himself. He is a world-class athlete and knows what it takes, but the doctors and the lawyers keep trying to get in the way. They know best, of course.
We are in recovery... we are not recovered.
Back in early January, when Barack Obama was still President-elect, two of his chief economic advisers — leading proponents of a stimulus bill — predicted that the passage of a large economic-aid package would boost the economy and keep the unemployment rate below 8%. It hasn't quite worked out that way. [source]