Once again I am reflecting on the past few months. To say that I am confused as to why the market is up is an understatement.
The data does not confirm a recovery, as a matter of fact it shows we are slipping deeper in to recession. Does a higher market mean anything to those who are losing their jobs? We are still shedding 20k jobs a day, good jobs at that. 12% of all mortgages are now in default or behind in payment. Oil prices are rising again, interest rates are ticking higher.
I guess I'm wondering what makes anyone think the economy has bottomed? GM is bankrupt, the once premier example of US manufacturing might. While America exported jobs it also killed the very consumer it intended to sell foreign made goods to. We can't buy goods without a job to pay for them. The problem is that those jobs will never return to the US, they are gone for good. Our entire economy was and is based on consumption and the financing thereof. The earnings that once came from the financial sector were phantom profits, they were not real. So where are we going to get growth from and real earnings from other than interest on more credit?
What does America build that we can export globally? Food is the only product we export more of than we import. No one wants our cars, we don't even want them. What industry will generate growth for America? In the late 80's to the late 90's we had a brand new industry, technology, it was truly a revolution. What next? I don't see anything of that magnitude that will drive the next boom. America was the tech leader, now the products are manufactured in Asia. Everything we ever invented no longer benefits us, we only consume.
All I hear in the news is more borrowing and the need for more credit. Isn't that what got us to where we are in the first place? At some point we have to earn money, not just borrow more. The more we borrow the deeper in a hole we go. No one can borrow indefinitely, sooner or later you hit a wall. Finance has become the #1 industry in the US, the problem is we don't earn the money to carry the cost of financing. We need to create jobs in manufacturing, without those jobs we can not create true wealth. We now rely on manufacturing nations to finance our deficits, that can't last much longer.
I fear that the end result will be the collapse of America as we know it. We have lost our way, we are slipping deeper in to poverty. We now live in a country where government decides who stays in business and who doesn't. Our treasure is being gifted to those who failed miserably. Instead of trying to rebuild from the bottom up, our money goes straight to the top and never trickles down. Not one home or job has been saved after trillions of our tax dollars have been spent. Instead the money went to those who could well afford to take losses. The average Joe has seen his quality of life decline while Wall Street dished out bonuses.
This Hollywood style recovery was a fabrication, there is no recovery. We have yet to face reality, America is no longer the global leader, we have to beg others to finance our ways, that will come to an end shortly. Those Green shoots never existed, it was all propaganda, nothing more. All we have left to sell to the world is BS, everything else is made in China.
All we know how to do is spend and tax. We have no clue how to rebuild our manufacturing base which is what creates real jobs and wealth, we are too busy trying to save the planet from global warming.
I think we are living a lie, as a media driven society we will believe anything we hear from them. They want us to think the worst is over but it really isn't. Our way of life has changed forever for the worse. Since 2000, retirement accounts have been mostly wiped out twice. Those who were set to retire, can't. I seriously doubt that America can get out of this mess as we once were.
Some people are waking up, but that's still in the fear stage, but what will they do about it? Only few have the attitude to take on risk and challenge to rebuild and recreate, but we've now gotten a society and political environment that thwarts that. I'm young enough for the challenge, bu old enough to realize that we might be facing a decades long battle - people (certainly politicians and many citizens), just don't get it. Talk to a 20-something about supply/demand or history. The answer you get is, 'change, man. Change!' Show empirical evidence on welfare, minimum wage or rent control and they are bewildered and think you are lying. This is far deeper than the manufacturing base, this is epic shift in knowledge is eating our country from the inside like a cancer. Osama bin Laden wishes he could have devised something so insidious.