When looking through data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one can only be depressed.
Total jobs in the economy was revised down for Dec 2010 from 130.7 million to 130.2 million-very similar to the numbers for May 2010 and October 1999. What that tells us is, the economy has produced no new nets jobs in the last 7 months of 2010 and none since 10/99 or last 11 years.
In that time, have liabilities of the US government increased? Of course, YES, dramatically! Long story short, the same number of working people is supporting a much larger debt and unfunded liability burden-that is not sustainable. It also suggests that budget deficits have been used to sustain America's standard of living. As we know from Greece, at some point in time bond buyers back away resulting in a huge increase in interest rates.
In summation, the US economy is running on borrowed time. The timing question being, when will interest rates rise enough to "choke" off the recovery? Will it be later this year or some time out further like 3 years.
How to head off this crisis? All government burdens must be reduced. Cut:
2)dozens of programs and departments
3)No more cola adjustments for SS and those under 50 privatize 1/2 the payments to transform SS from a defined benefit program to a defined contribution program
4)Introduce lifetime medicare limits-perhaps $1-$2 million per person. Above that amount is on the individuals "dime". Can't pay, service cut off-it will be the "duty" of some "the sick and the old" to die
5)Privatize all schools, parents use "vouchers" to pick the schools they want their children to attend
6)A culture of personal responsibility must arise as the "nanny" state falls. Everybody lives and dies by their own wits, work and habits.
My list is not exhaustive, but America is in for a bad 2-5 years if big changes aren't made-as the "Full, Faith and Credit" of the US government is in jeopardy. Attempts for the FED to continue to monetize the debt with QE3 will be met by a collapsing $ and double digit inflation rates. Interest rates will soar-stocks, commodities and real estate will be cut in half as unemployment zooms to over 20%.
"As you have written in the past, perhaps we will "muddle through"."
That would be my guess. I'm a doomsday fan (it piques my interest for some reason), but usually never comes to pass. I suppose we should all HOPE for muddle through.
BTW, nice move on AHS today.
When you look at those BLS statistics, you might notice that the second fastest growing segment is education/healthcare and that the lowest unemployment rate is among healthcare professionals. Since you're posting your dirge on this site, you apparently believe it's relevant to a company that provides temporary nurse, doctors, pharmacists and support staff. My numbers are more relevant, since once the economy truly comes out of stagnation, it should be happy hunting for providers of temporary nurses, doctors et al.
I'd also add that your overall point is backward looking and presumes no positive changes in the economy.
Let me know when you run through your imagined Medicare cap and are put on the curb to die. I'll come by with some chicken soup.
palimp, with the image of a Spartan, caps and/or rationing are part of all the serious medicare solutions-the politicians just don't go public with those conversations.
I have another point to make with regard to the Darwinian theme. Human's are basically a herd animal. "Nature", in its power and influences, tends to cull the weak from the herd. That is just what is happening in Haiti. Consistent with my comments of countervailing forces that limit population growth are "political and economic organization". Haiti's population is way to high for how they organize themselves-has been for decades. Outside influences, although well-meaning, have left an outsized population unable to feed, educate and provide economic opportunities-resulting in continuing unstable governments. Which brings up another point.
Western aid to babies, children, the mothers of these children to many countries/regions around the world is also well meaning, but misplaced. A demographic distortion arises consisting of a big bulge of young people with no education, and little economic prospects. As they grow and marginally survive, many young men, with testosterone coursing their veins, take to gang and/or paramilitary activity leading to unstable governments. Which, of course, leads to no progress educationally or economically-a vicious cycle. Go back into history and research the demographics, where good data is available, and you'll consistently find countries with disproportionately large youth populations are prone to political instability. Egypt and Tunisia are the most recent examples-both have greater than 50% youth, 25 and younger, unemployment.
As far whatever happens to me, should I use my medicare cap, then I will have been sick for some time. No dishonor is taking some "hemlock brew" with my favorite drink and end it. It will be the duty for the old, the chronically ill, the criminals to die-for that will be what is best for the herd. Now if any of those three groups have the means to spend their own money only-get off the public dole-by all means spend away. However, once a person is taking "public" money, then the era of open ended obligation is coming to a close. Americans are bankrupting themselves through their government-endangering the whole herd.