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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Got Depression?

by 3rd Way

Fed Reserve Chairman Bernanke claims there is "no comparison" between our current economic situation and the depression of the 1930's. There aren't many aspects of contemporary society that are directly comparable with the society of 70 years ago. It looks like the recession we are in is dissimilar from anything most of us have ever experienced, a black swan if you will. Thankfully we have systems in place to keep us from falling into a 1930's-style depression, but our economy is suffering from depression-style symptoms. The destructive cycle of shrinking unemployment devouring whatever is left of consumer spending is grinding this economy to a halt.

The optimistic seem to think the bleeding will stop in mid 2009. There is going to be a scary number of people unemployed or under-employed between now and then. Krugman and Obama are right that the best way to restart growing this economy is to put people back to work rebuilding our infrastructure. Increasing the national debt is a scary proposition, but refusing to act while the economy crumbles is even more frightening. If someone knows how to spur growth other than government spending after millions of families have seen dramatic decreases in their income and while every American household has watched the value of their life's savings partially evaporate please call Obama's office.

The song "Black Swan" off of the 2006 solo album from Thom Yorke, frontman for the world's greatest band reminds me of the situation we find ourselves in.

What will grow crooked, you can't make straight
It's the price that you gotta pay
Do yourself a favour and pack your bags
Buy a ticket and get on the train
Buy a ticket and get on the train

Cause this is f**ked up, f**ked up
Cause this is f**ked up, f**ked up

People get crushed like biscuit crumbs
And lay down in the bitumen
You have tried your best to please everyone
But it just isn't happenin
No, it just isn't happenin

And that is f**ked up, f**ked up
And this is f**ked up, f**ked up
This your blind spot, blind spot
It should be obvious, but it's not.
But it isn't, but it isn't

You cannot kickstart a dead horse
You just crush yourself and walk away
I don't care what the future holds
'Cause I'm right in your arms today
With your fingers you can touch me

I am your black swan, black swan
But I made it to the top, but I made it to the top
And this is f**ked up, f**ked up

You are f**ked up, f**ked up
This is f**ked up, f**ked up

Be your black swan, black swan
I'm for spare parts, broken up

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