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The Third Depression

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    Posted: 01 Jul 2010 at 05:20
Krugman on why and how present policies are worsening the chances of recovery from the Third Depression:
Quote Recessions are common; depressions are rare. As far as I can tell, there were only two eras in economic history that were widely described as “depressions” at the time: the years of deflation and instability that followed the Panic of 1873 and the years of mass unemployment that followed the financial crisis of 1929-31.

Neither the Long Depression of the 19th century nor the Great Depression of the 20th was an era of nonstop decline — on the contrary, both included periods when the economy grew. But these episodes of improvement were never enough to undo the damage from the initial slump, and were followed by relapses.

We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.

....
....
So I don’t think this is really about Greece, or indeed about any realistic appreciation of the tradeoffs between deficits and jobs. It is, instead, the victory of an orthodoxy that has little to do with rational analysis, whose main tenet is that imposing suffering on other people is how you show leadership in tough times.

And who will pay the price for this triumph of orthodoxy? The answer is, tens of millions of unemployed workers, many of whom will go jobless for years, and some of whom will never work again.

For more:
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2010 at 05:51
Slightly off topic but, the problem lies with the farcical "growth economy".  "We must return the economy to growth!  Only we the insert-political-party-here have got what it takes to do it!"

Surely growth has a limit.  Can a country or a company continue to grow indefinitely, and cover every inch of the earth!

We need new thinking and new thinkers in economics; depression, recession, growth, boom, failed bullsh*t.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2010 at 06:10
Thanks to anarcho-liberatarian/corporate agent politicians the third depression may well be coming.
 
The financial reform bill that just passed is actually economic distruction bill and will make the situation even worse.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2010 at 06:43
I've been saying that we are currently in a depression for a while now.

Thanks to greed and deregulation people can't find jobs and those who had jobs are out of them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2010 at 15:15
We are not in a depression but only experiencing a temporary reallocation of wealth in the world economy: if you really had it, you still do; if you thought you had it, you didn't you just woke up from drinking far beyond your means.Shocked
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2010 at 15:32
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

We are not in a depression but only experiencing a temporary reallocation of wealth in the world economy: if you really had it, you still do; if you thought you had it, you didn't you just woke up from drinking far beyond your means.Shocked


This has been the best comment by far.
What we are seeing in the West is the stark confrontation of two unattractive flaws in the economy.

Firstly, the West produces less of an economic surplus to sell to the wider world and demands ever more in imports from the wider world. You don't get something for nothing, and so Western nations must be more creative in justifying this imbalance through creating increased readily exportable goods or reduced consumption.

Secondly, we have a bizarre economic system that distributes buying power heavily in favour of those who have massed wealth or know how to play the economically barren game of currency trading. This, combined with steadily decreasing real wages, only makes it harder for your average person to make ends meet and pay for necessities.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2010 at 17:08
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

We are not in a depression but only experiencing a temporary reallocation of wealth in the world economy: if you really had it, you still do; if you thought you had it, you didn't you just woke up from drinking far beyond your means.Shocked
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Excellent insight and expression.
Post of the month for Dr Gonzaga!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2010 at 20:30
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

We are not in a depression but only experiencing a temporary reallocation of wealth in the world economy: if you really had it, you still do; if you thought you had it, you didn't you just woke up from drinking far beyond your means.Shocked


This has been the best comment by far.
What we are seeing in the West is the stark confrontation of two unattractive flaws in the economy.

Firstly, the West produces less of an economic surplus to sell to the wider world and demands ever more in imports from the wider world. You don't get something for nothing, and so Western nations must be more creative in justifying this imbalance through creating increased readily exportable goods or reduced consumption.
The long-term problem - which is what Krugman is getting at - is world-wide, not local. That the shares of the pie may be being redistributed is not a problem - its the shrinkage of the pie. Put another way, if the West can no longer import what it wants, who is the rest of the world going to export it to? What good does it dfo China ifthe demand for Chinese exports dramatically - or even slowly - drops?
Quote
Secondly, we have a bizarre economic system that distributes buying power heavily in favour of those who have massed wealth or know how to play the economically barren game of currency trading. This, combined with steadily decreasing real wages, only makes it harder for your average person to make ends meet and pay for necessities.
Krugman's point is that reent economic policy decisions, particularly in Europe, tend to exaggerate that situation rather than rectify it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2010 at 20:34
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

We are not in a depression but only experiencing a temporary reallocation of wealth in the world economy: if you really had it, you still do; if you thought you had it, you didn't you just woke up from drinking far beyond your means.Shocked
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Excellent insight and expression.
Post of the month for Dr Gonzaga!
Depressions, like all economic phenomena, of course reallocate wealth in the economy. However the point about depressions - which makes them depressing - is that wealth is redistributed from those who, in Dr G's terms, had little of it to those who already had most of it.
 
The thing is there are far more of the forner than of the latter.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2010 at 20:35
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

We are not in a depression but only experiencing a temporary reallocation of wealth in the world economy: if you really had it, you still do; if you thought you had it, you didn't you just woke up from drinking far beyond your means.Shocked
 
And normalcy is just around the corner?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2010 at 20:47
Originally posted by gcle gcle wrote:

The long-term problem - which is what Krugman is getting at - is world-wide, not local. That the shares of the pie may be being redistributed is not a problem - its the shrinkage of the pie. Put another way, if the West can no longer import what it wants, who is the rest of the world going to export it to? What good does it dfo China ifthe demand for Chinese exports dramatically - or even slowly - drops?


The pie is not shrinking, it is growing larger. Whether there is more per capita I cannot say, I suspect there is less for most people as evidenced by the rising costs of food, accommodation, power and transport (all commodities your ordinary person needs and spends most of their money on).

With your response you have hinted at the solution to the last question. Redistribution of purchasing power to the third world will mean they will naturally market their production to domestic markets and other increasingly wealthy developing countries. They don't 'need' the West for that, the West is simply the market with the highest amount of capital to target their efforts at marketing. And only for the time being.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2010 at 21:06
I don't know where you get the pie is growing larger from.
 
I'd agree that the generalised solution to depression is redistribution of wealth (i.e. purchasing power) from the wealthy who tend to save to the poorer who tend to spend. Indeed I frequently recommend that at the national level. So, world-wide, redistribution from the wealthier nations to the poorer might seem to be a natural extension. And in theory I'd agree with measures to that end.
 
However we lack a world government to oversee it, or indeed any capable international organisations. So I suspect the usual reaction (as it was in the US in the late 19th century, and pretty well everywhere in the 1930s) will be to take refuge in protectionism.  However, even if that doesnt occur, if all that happens is a transfer of wealth from the ruling elites in Western countries to the ruling elites of others, you don't get anywhere, because you are only transferring from savers to savers. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2010 at 10:47

I'm not convinced we really know how big the pie is or which way its growing.

To me, what's happening now is not a global depression. It's a readjusment of value. The wealth of the west has leeched out to the east. This happened gradually, and for a time was replaced by debt. Now the bubble has burst and there had been a collective realisation that the US and Europe are no longer as rich as they were. Those countries are now forced to readjust to the new reduced wealth.
Will this mean slower growth in Asia? Yes it will. Because for the past ten years the east has been sucking up money from the west the more they take, the less there is to take in the future. Western "growth" over the last 15 years has only hidden the fact that their economies have been shrinking reletive to whatever the pie is.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2010 at 19:36
https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Strategy/Globalization/Global_forces_An_introduction_2625
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jul 2010 at 08:39
Depression? What depression? The third world is booming, as is China, Brazil, and other countries. Perhaps this will be the definining moment in history when international wealth gets redistributed from a society that invents wealth from speculation (IE, invisible stuff in the air invented by bank boffins and other scumbags) and those that create wealth through production...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2010 at 00:05
It's that tit, Alan Greenspan's, fault.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2010 at 02:28
The fault, dear Zagros, lies not in the economic Tsars but in ourselves. One need only look back at the opening of the 18th century and the grand collapse of state sponsored economic schemes (e.g. the Mississippi Bubble) to understand that investment in mortemain (and in essence that is the primal element in stock market manipulation) is no measure of either economic productivity or reflective of national wealth. "Paper" wealth has always been illusory and its evanescence proved time-and-time again throughout history. When economic decisions are predicated not on factual production and distribution but, instead, premised upon the "value" of stock disaster eventually follows. When such attitudes are buttressed upon the foibles of credit then doom becomes inevitable. Just contrast the difference between the steady and productive housing market of the 1950s and 1960s and the illusions over the McMansions that became the rage after the 1980s. It is not monetary inflation that represents the devil, but inflated aspirations divorced from reality.  

Edited by drgonzaga - 05 Jul 2010 at 02:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2010 at 22:03
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Depression? What depression? The third world is booming, as is China, Brazil, and other countries.
Define 'booming'. 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2010 at 22:25
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Depression? What depression? The third world is booming, as is China, Brazil, and other countries.
Define 'booming'. 
 


In places like Brazil, China, Nigeria etc. etc. literally millions of people are moving upwards in terms of personal wealth. Brazil is seeing an explosion in their lower middle class, not all that different to what Ireland experienced in the mid 1990s.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2010 at 22:45
None of those countries are third world, since it's a technically redundant term and even when it wasn't, only Nigeria would be since Brazil was first world and china second world equivalent. And it's still all Greenspan's fault.


Edited by Zagros - 06 Jul 2010 at 22:46
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2010 at 22:54
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

None of those countries are third world, since it's a technically redundant term and even when it wasn't, only Nigeria would be since Brazil was first world and china second world equivalent. And it's still all Greenspan's fault.


People getting pedantic over the use of terms like 'Third World', 'Developing economies' etc. etc. are one my pet peeves. Its a short hand term used (By me, at least) to describe countries with low GDP per capita or who have highly undeveloped infrastructure or employment opportunities relative to the 'west' (But then again west is a relative term since you must ask 'west of what'?) We can all be ultra pernickity about how we describe 'the other', but we'll simply be left looking like a college boy anarchist desperately trying to find a way to tell his comrade to do some work... (Without compromising his non coercive principles)

/rant


Edited by Parnell - 06 Jul 2010 at 22:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2010 at 00:41
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Depression? What depression? The third world is booming, as is China, Brazil, and other countries.
Define 'booming'. 
 


In places like Brazil, China, Nigeria etc. etc. literally millions of people are moving upwards in terms of personal wealth. Brazil is seeing an explosion in their lower middle class, not all that different to what Ireland experienced in the mid 1990s.
How do you distinguish a boom from a bubble?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2010 at 00:51
One is based on speculation, the other on cold hard demand for produce.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2010 at 00:59
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

One is based on speculation, the other on cold hard demand for produce.


Pretty much what I was alluding to earlier when I described the redistrubtion of international wealth to the productive nations from the speculative nations of the west.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2010 at 01:05
How can anyone possibly get "pedantic" over such amorphous, and bluntly speaking, disingenuous terminology as developing, Third World, or the old cuss-word emerging. A pox on Barbara Ward and all of her succesors in journalese "scholarship". However, one thing stands perfectly clear: We have reached the take-off point in topic development. Millions have died for the sake of a model--and continue to do so--and economic marginalization is alive and well in the supposed bastions of the "developed" world. Consumption as evidence of social well-being is a chimera.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2010 at 01:46
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

How can anyone possibly get "pedantic" over such amorphous, and bluntly speaking, disingenuous terminology as developing, Third World, or the old cuss-word emerging. A pox on Barbara Ward and all of her succesors in journalese "scholarship". However, one thing stands perfectly clear: We have reached the take-off point in topic development. Millions have died for the sake of a model--and continue to do so--and economic marginalization is alive and well in the supposed bastions of the "developed" world. Consumption as evidence of social well-being is a chimera.


I don't disagree with that, but how do you distinguish between wealthy and poor economies?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2010 at 06:54
Why, Parnell, have you forgotten the original premise of liberal thought: The wealth of any nation is its people!Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2010 at 07:15
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Why, Parnell, have you forgotten the original premise of liberal thought: The wealth of any nation is its people!Wink


Well yes, I suppose, but thats pretty redundant when the people half starve due to lack of money.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2010 at 09:44
Equally so when they're so fat and/or old that they are driving the country off the economic cliff.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2010 at 05:43
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Why, Parnell, have you forgotten the original premise of liberal thought: The wealth of any nation is its people!Wink
Does this make sense? What kind of "wealth"? Fro cannibals perhaps the meat is valuable, ask them.
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