Friday, October 9, 2009

Some change we can believe in

Weekly unemployment claims were down slightly for last week but not enough to matter. Canada is touting job growth of 31,000 for last month. We officially lost 256,000 jobs in September but it was really at least half a million.

The Pew Research Center did a study of the news media’s coverage of the Great Recession. They found that the media largely considers it yesterday’s news. Only six percent of coverage about the economy concerns how the average American is suffering from this calamity. They also noted that only four percent of the economic news deals with the mushrooming business crisis that is putting millions out of work.

The bail out has been from the top down and so has been the news coverage.
It’s true the problem came from the top and bulk of the news coverage should be about the indictments, the seizures of assets and the restoration of wealth to the middle class, but it’s not.

A hundred thousand people run out of unemployment benefits each week as the Senate dilly dallies with the details of the benefit extension bill already passed by the House. In the meantime they have passed numerous bills including billions to raise the pay of Congress and its staff.

GM unloaded the Hummer brand today and you could say good riddance except that there is an overseas market for the giant bread box on wheels. That market will go to the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company. GM did get a several hundred million Dollars for Hummer but China got rid of a bunch of Dollars that it considers worthless AND they got another factory to crate up and take home.

China is publicly very annoyed with the Obama Administration's actions to raise tariffs on goods that China has been dumping on the US market and Obama’s do nothing attitude toward the falling Dollar. They have not however made any real effort to retaliate and are in fact clamping down on the construction of factories that produce goods for export. Obama has just slapped a 99% tariff on steel pipe made in China. This follows a 39% tariff on cheap tires two weeks ago. It’s not time to start singing Happy Days are Here Again but just maybe this is change we can believe in. Yes we can.