Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'm Not Smart About Economics

Years ago I took the tests for a Social Sciences teaching credential and I confess that Economics was my weakness, and apparently that weakness persists into the present. I'm not as dumb as I thought I was because there is an increasing body of evidence that everyone who should have predicted our economic meltdown could have predicted our economic meltdown; apparently they just didn't feel like it.

The thing I'm having a problem with today is the idea that the best financial minds in the world (if one believes that salaries are tied to competence) just got the bejeebers scared out of them by the "news" that we have been in a recession for over a year now. I'm just a guy, and I don't manage millions of dollars... billions of dollars in investments day in and day out, but I've got to tell you that I've suspected for awhile now that we were in a recession. I've actually been "planning" my retirement on the assumption that I wouldn't be able to get much - if anything - out of my paltry investments. Can anyone steer me to a decent explanation of why putting that out in public sent Wall Street back into the crapper?

By the way, we were talking over the holiday about Hillary Clinton accepting the nomination to be Secretary of State and decided that it was a bad idea. Hillary Clinton can stay in the Senate as long as she feels like it and possibly be the successor to Ted Kennedy as a liberal icon, or she can take on being Obama's Secretary of State subordinating her world view to his until she can't stand it anymore and then disappear into the landscape. Somebody help me here; has anyone since Jefferson gone from Secretary of State to the Presidency? (I know he didn't go directly from State to the Presidency; he served a term as VP.)



Blogger Kay Dennison said...

No, you are not alone. I am not good at economics either -- it's one of those things that went right my head and left me confused.

You are also, like me, not alone in think that the news that we're in a recession is not news. We ordinary mortals who work for a living or can't find a job have known that for years!

I'm tired of these people. And I'm also not naive enough to believe that Obama is going to mae my life better here at the bottom of the food chain. The Shrub and his hench . . . er . . . cabinet and buddies on Wall Street will walk away scot-free with full pockets.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Kay Dennison said...

And oh yeah, are you gonna tell us about youe latest Red Cross adventure?

2:29 PM  
Blogger Always Question said...

I know their karma is going to suck for eons, but it still galls me that the people who made billions exploiting loopholes to get us into this mess will come out of all this with their freedom and fortunes.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Rain said...

I started thinking that way recently-- can we live on social security-- assuming we get that. We will have no pension as that all was turned into 401Ks which is now what might not be there. How generous of government to help that happen!

I like the idea of Hillary but she is definitely a wild card for how it will work. I have not been that crazy about her being president. Maybe she won't want to after 8 years of doing the foreign affairs end for Obama. Some have said for a long time that we need two presidents. We don't have that but we will have (assuming they are confirmed) 4 in the top who ran for the office and could have ended up there-- Biden, Hillary, Richardson and Obama. Bill Clinton will be there helping too in any needed way.

Time will tell how it all works out. It cannot be worse than we have had. Rice didn't even seem to excel where she was supposed to be an expert in the Soviet Union what is now Russia.

I did hear of a couple of those who were secretary of state and went onto presidency but besides John quincy adams, I don't remember who.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Count me in. I've been commenting(on other blogs)/posting (on my own) for some time, now, about the denial going on of the recession that we've been in for the last couple of years. Then, in a mind-boggling flash, the "experts" declare a recession to have been going on for at least a year--and seem surprised!

As to Ms Clinton: this is another subject on which I've commented (other blogs). I see the situation as lose-lose. Obama gets a recalcitrant (on the basis of differences in philosophy) follower and Clinton abandons any hope that she had of ever becoming President (or, as mentioned, becoming Kennedy's "replacement"). Thanks for the reminders of others who had gone from being SoS to President. I couldn't come up with even one!

I do rather appreciate Rain's observation that we may be getting multiple "presidents". Intriguing way to look at it!
Cop Car

6:47 AM  
Blogger joared said...

I don't know any more about economics either. Just have my common sense and it's pretty common and may not make much sense, but works for me. I, too, have thought we were in a recession for some time. Don't they have some sort of formula they use to determine a recession is official -- a numbers game -- which seems to be formulated to forestall them leveling with the public.

I'm disappointed Hilliary is not staying in the Senate. Am glad she wasn't nominated for V.P. as I think Bill would have gotten in the way. But, then, I preferred Obama put in more time working in the Senate so I could get a sense of just what he believed based on his actual actions before backing his pursuit of the White House. I've struck out on both counts. I definitely wanted change so am willing to back both individuals in their new jobs.

I'll be surprised if anyone very far down on the food chain sees their life get better any time soon whatever is or isn't done.

7:15 AM  

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