So with eyes like this, I need to stay indoors, but my time spent watching TV, reading or at the computer is very limited because my eyes are too irritated to focus. It hasn't stopped me from LISTENING to the news however. What I've been hearing has me thinking:
A couple days ago, it was announced that our GDP growth ("the broadest measure of US economic health") for Jan-Mar 2008 was .6% (that's 6/10ths of 1%). Well, that certainly lets Bush off the hook, doesn't it? I mean, now he can officially say we are NOT in a recession! Since there are only three more quarters left in this year, and since a recession is defined as two CONSECUTIVE quarters of negative GDP, I imagine he is breathing a big sigh of relief that he won't be handing an official recession over to the next president.
Nevermind that most other economic factors indicate otherwise: job loss (240,000 jobs lost during Jan-Mar 2008), the ongoing & getting worse home mortgage crisis, inflation (which is offically being estimated at 4% this year, but which we all know is far far higher than that), increased costs of gas, food, everything! Are we looking at an economic FLATLINE, which is the final medical reading before pronouncing the patient's death?
And I have to say, knowing how much money the big war profiteers (oil corps, Halliburton, Blackwater, etc/etc) are making now, OBSCENE amounts of profits really .... just think how bad ALL other economic sectors must be doing for the OVERALL GDP to be an anemic .6% !
So, what does The Fed do in reaction to this news? They LOWER interest rates this week, for the 7th time since last Sept, making the Fed interest rate now 2.00%! Do these guys know what they are doing?
Lower interest rates will cheapen up money, encouraging people and businesses to borrow and spend more, which will in turn drive inflation up even more. Rate cuts put pressure on the US dollar, which in turn raises oil prices. In fact, oil prices are up 50% since last July when The Fed first started making noises about embarking on a prolonged rate cut policy. It sure looks like they are stoking inflation and oil prices just to keep technically saying we are NOT in a recession.
Today, I heard there were another 20,000 jobs officially "lost" in April. But we're supposed to feel good because they had originally projected 75,000 jobs would be lost in April. A total of 260,000 jobs have been lost since January 1, 2008. The CNN analyst reporting this tidbit actually laughed when asked if this portends a rebound!
They didn't even mention what the real economic fall-out is from job loss. Up and down the line, people will be hurting, real people who can no longer afford things like rent, health care and food. And thanks to Bush, the social service network has been cut back so severely, where will these people turn for help to survive? Will the beneficiaries of Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy be willing to step up to the plate to help rebuild our social network? Like the CNN analyst, I am laughing at that idea!
I used to have a long standing belief that the wealthy class realized it was in their best interests to ensure a vibrant middle class. Without the middle class, there is nothing standing between them and the poor. I was sure they realized that masses of very poor people are unlikely to play by their rules. I wonder if they've heard of the latest phenomenon known as "home foreclosure rage"? This involves people who have become violent as they are foreclosed out of their homes. They trash everything in the home on their way out, ripping out cabinets, countertops, plumbing & light fixtures, doors and carpets. They use sledgehammers to destroy tile floors & punch big holes in the walls & ceilings. Why not, they figure? They are losing everything they worked for, they will realize no gain from the forced bank sale of their home, they are contemplating bankruptcy. Wealthy people need to take a clue from this. People who are fed up and have nothing to lose, will not refrain from property and maybe even personal violence. Mere anarchy is always about 3 night's sleep and/or 6 meals away!
Of course, the Dow seems to love all this since it finally burst through the 13,000 ceiling this week. Stoking inflation keeps the stock market rallying! After hearing this news, I was not surprised when the next TV commercial break featured LUNESTA "for a good night's sleep". Does anyone remember SOMA? Jeez, we need to be staying awake, not sleeping through this!
I believe that finishes my allergic rant to economic news. I would appreciate any ideas anyone has to help alleviate my itchy red swollen eyes. Right now, I'm taking anti-histamines & using natural tear eyedrops, cool compresses & just waiting for the allergy season to let up, hoping it was just something odd about this year. I can't use steroid meds, even nasal sprays. I really want to avoid having to go through the pain & expense of a desensitization program again. Last time I tested positive for so many thousands of allergens, the allergy clinic said there was virtually nothing I WASN'T allergic to!