Monday, July 13, 2009

Economic recovery: Not V or U but X

Robert Reich, Sec of Labor under Bill Clinton, has spoken often and wisely about our current economic predicament. In particular, he has tried to express a viewpoint that is more concerned with average consumers and less with banking and politics. In this blog post, Reich says the economy we had won't and can't recover because it was unsustainable. That's why we are in the mess we're in.
"My prediction, then? Not a V, not a U. But an X. This economy can't get back on track because the track we were on for years -- featuring flat or declining median wages, mounting consumer debt, and widening insecurity, not to mention increasing carbon in the atmosphere -- simply cannot be sustained."


Obie Holmen said...

I love to hear the wisdom of Professor Reich.

The first time I heard him was in college where he was a very big man on campus (a pun, based on his short stature). As a freshman at Dartmouth in the late 60's, I saw upperclassman Reich lead the creation of a progressive, counterculture, "Experimental College", while at the same time remaining an esteemed member of the traditional college. In a speech class, I heard a tape of his winning speech of a few years earlier when he talked of the ill fated trip of the freedom workers (Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner)murdered in Mississippi, a trip that Reich himself was supposed to be on but missed due to car problems or some other seemingly innocuous twist of fate.

Doug said...

Thanks for sharing the personal connection, Obie. I like Reich a lot. I know he is often dismissed as just another bleading heart liberal but I think that's way too easy. The economic deterioration of the middle class (and the out-of-control borrowing that resulted, trying to compensate) starting with Reagonomics is THE untold story of the financial meltdown. Reich is one of the few trying to make it known and demanding it be addressed.