The employment/population ratio stands at 58.4%. Alone, it represents a shocking testimony to failure. So do other data. Long-term unemployment remains near record levels. Credit deleveraging continues. Housing's in its worst ever depression. Prices keep falling. Inventories of unsold homes are huge. Foreclosures are at epidemic levels.
State and local downsizing continues. Personal income suffers. Conditions are bad and worsening.
On May 4, Pimco's Mohamed El-Erian headlined his Financial Times article "Confirmed: America's jobs crisis," saying:
"Friday's US jobs data sound a warning that should be heard well beyond economists and market watchers."
Americans with jobs have poor ones. Wage growth is stagnant. Purchasing power can't keep up with inflation. For ordinary Americans, secular income headwinds blow at gale force strength.
Crisis conditions today make "a mockery of the published unemployment rate of 8.1 per cent....The economic implications are clear." At a time, Europe's recession deepens, America's declining.
Risks are increasing. A "potential (austerity caused) year-end 'fiscal cliff' (may) suck out some 4 per cent of GDP in purchasing power, and do so in a disorderly fashion."
Instead of addressing crisis conditions responsibly, political Washington campaigns for reelection, and plans huge domestic budget cuts when stimulus help is needed.
Main Street Americans are pushed to the edge. Potential "social consequences" suggest "the possibility....of a lost generation."
Unemployed teenagers "face the risk of going from being unemployed to becoming unemployable." Today's reality is bleak. It reflects "a multi-faceted unemployment crisis that politicians, both in America and Europe, are failing to comprehend, unite around, and respond to."
"I worry greatly that facts on the ground will unfortunately warrant future analyses to be even more disheartening."
Alan Greenspan's Too Late to Matter Mea Culpa
As Fed chairman for nearly two decades (1987 - 2006), he engineered today's crisis. Some call him the Maestro of Misery for good reason. Those benefitting most sing his praises. In 2008, he had second thoughts.
A longtime Ayn Rand disciple, he strayed noticeably in October 2008 House testimony. Her libertarian views influenced his. She championed regulatory free markets. So did Greenspan. He practiced what she preached.
Perhaps House Oversight and Government Reform Committee members couldn't believe their ears. He acknowledged his worldview failure, saying: