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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The New Year Will Be Grim For Many

Recently, I had an argusation (that's a combination of a friendly argument and a conversation) with a very dear and close friend of mine. His point was that the economy is getting better (he says we are in a recovery) and many will feel the affects of this in a positive way.

My position wasjust the opposite. The real and published unemployment rate is still as high and housing prices are still falling.  Not so says my friend. Where I am, he says, real estate values have leveled, there is an increase in spending and there seems to be a recovery.

Well, that may be so where you are (West Palm Beach, Florida) but it is not the case just south of you in the greater Ft. Lauderdale and Miami areas. It is certainly not the case up here in Tampa Bay where unemployment is well over 12% and real estate values in many areas have declined well over 50% with no leveling in sight.

However, my friend did concede that nationwide, real estate values would not level until the job market improves and unemployment decreases. Exactly said I, that is what I have been saying all along. We can't have any kind of real recovery until the housing market improves, foreclosures decrease substantially and the unemployment - and underemployment - situation decreases substantially.

We have, I fear, a second economic disaster looming in the "cloud" (yes, I am not sure what a "cloud" is either but it is used daily in the IT world as a place where stuff is stored...I think).

Yes, a second wave (like in a tsunami) of financial disturbances for the average person in this country and more good deals and profits for our large (too big to exist) corporations.

Of course, all of the conversation I had with my friend was only my opinion and who am I in terms of expertise on the subject (I am just one small victim of the Great Recession which in reality was and still is a Depression). As a famous political science comedian always says after his rant..."I could be wrong".

However, someone at the New York Times feels much the way I do and the New York Times itself feels it newsworthy to publish this opinion.
When people say that the recovery does not feel like a recovery, they are describing reality. The economy is growing, but for many Americans life is not getting better. Unemployment remains high. Home values are depressed. And state budgets are in deep trouble, presaging more layoffs, service cuts and tax increases.
The Times editorial echoes much of my conversation with my friend which also echoes much of my opinion - if not all of it.

So, my friend (I hope you still follow my blogs), do you really think things (the economy and people's lives) are going to be better in 2011?  To view another opinion please read The Economy in 2011 in the New York Times on line...click here.


One last word of advice to those of you who represent us in the House of Representatives and the Senate (notice that the House is the House of REPRESENTATIVES).  Begin your new term by truly representing the people not your own agendas be they Democrat or Republican.  Leave your personal agendas and partisan politics at the front steps of the building you work in 9you know, the one with the large dome on top).  This is no time to commit yourselves to defeating the other party at all costs.  All Costs - in this case - means all the people of this country, especially those in the middle and lower classes you commonly refer to as the 'MAJORITY".


Of course this is just my opinion again.  I could be wrong.

3 comments:

  1. Last year was kinda a bizarre year for the mortgage market. In the first half of the year, you had a decent number of home sales keeping mortgages for purchases stable, thanks to the home buyer credit. In the second half of the year, that changed as demand crumbled when the credit was withdrawn. At the same time, you had very low mortgage interest rates throughout much of the year cause a mini-refinancing boom. 2011 will look very different, as the housing demand continues to struggle and mortgage interest rates have begun rising.





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