Sunday, July 4, 2010

Zakaria Krugman Ferguson Depression Spend or Not Roosevelt or Hoover

Tags: Zakaria Krugman Ferguson Depression Spend or Not Roosevelt or Hoover

I don’t watch the Sunday news shows on ABC and NBC primarily because it is really hard to learn anything, but just reinforce our previous prejudices.

Fareed Zakaria, still part of the establishment, does ask marvelous questions which does not just get the answer, but has at least a number of good followup questions, sadly missing from Meet the Press and ABC.

Niall Ferguson, Historian, Harvard, believes we must follow the President Hoover model of cutting spending in the middle of a true severe recession among working Americans while corporations have more cash on hand than ever.

Paul Krugman, who supports greater stimulus says we must not follow Japan’s model which has resulted in a recession lasting 15 years so far. Ferguson worries about future inflation. He also ignores that fact that our recession is more than our GDP. Without Financials, which make up 62% of our GDP now because of the recession, our real GDP giving us real jobs is obviously much lower.

Lots of the talking-heads base their discussion as if they understand Keynes theories, but rarely mention the best book on Keynes, Keynes: The Return of the Master by Robert Skidelsky or John Maynard Keynes "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money or The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith with a wonderful new index.

Wealth Track

recommended the book about the people who caused the 1929 Crash and Hoover did exactly what engineers always do, fix the economy the only way he knows by withdrawing funds from the economy.

Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, by Liaquat Ahamed, is considered one of the best books on the current crisis. These bankers were considered gods of the financial world. Ferguson is a great talker, but the true base of his analysis is seriously flawed. Dan Fuss, the bond genius at

Loomis Sayles & Company Consuelo Mack that interest rates will start going up in 2011, but you pay attention to the Wall Street chatter, no one really knows. I suspect that if Obama follows the Chicago School model, we are doomed.

Krugman's Nobel Prize was about labor and work. Who shall we believe? Most of Obama's financial advisors came from the University of Chicago school which formulated George Bush's economic policies in the last disastrous 8 years which led to the current crisis.

My take is that the true employment picture is that up to 24% if we count, as we should, those who only have part-time jobs and want more, those not looking for jobs anymore who are not counted, and those out of jobs including those over six months. These unemployed requiring technical skills will lose the ability to get jobs in their area of expertise once they cannot get a job for a year or more.

These nonunion jobs workers get the same pay no matter how many hours the work per day and per week including the weekends. Perfect for corporations, but not for us.

We will also lose our competitive edge over non-USA jobs and our economy will suffer even more. The same problems now exist in Europe. We do not learn from the past because we seem to make the same mistakes time after time.

Jim Kawakami, July 4, 2010,

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