Whew, I’m so glad THAT’s over (the recession, I mean)

Well, it’s been rough and it’s been real, folks, but I have to say I’m glad the recession is over, according to a USC economist.

Oh, but wait, there’s more (like you had to tell me). It seems that, ahem, “significant challenges remain,” a phrase that to a guy in my circumstances bears a certain understated, bureaucratic chill reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s “Mistakes were made.” No, it doesn’t mean the same thing. I’m talking aesthetically, or metaphysically, or something. The flavor of the words…

Anyway, the recession’s over, but…:

In spite of national economic growth of 3.5% during the third quarter, significant challenges remain for South Carolina’s economy — particularly for labor markets — said Coastal Carolina University research economist Don Schunk.

“I expect slower real (gross domestic product) growth in the coming quarters as the effects of various temporary boosts to the economy fade,” Schunk said. “The recession may be over, but this does not mean we are on a path of sustained recovery. As the private sector grapples with deciding what a ‘new normal’ for the economy may look like, we will likely see continued restraint in terms of consumer spending, private-sector investment, and business expansion and hiring.”

Just so you know. I don’t know about you, but I live in South Carolina, which apparently will be stuck for sometime in “yes, but…” mode in this recovery.

I’m thinking about adding “The New Normal” to my list of possible names for my band.

9 thoughts on “Whew, I’m so glad THAT’s over (the recession, I mean)

  1. Steve Gordy

    This one is REALLLLY bad, but things are looking up. With some smart policies, we can build on the auto sector in the I-85 corridor, the aviation sector in the Low Country, pharmaceuticals in Florence, and nuclear/hydrogen tech here in Aiken. But places like Allendale and Marion really need help.

  2. bud

    This is a stubborn recession. Paul Krugman is looking more and more like a genius all the time. He suggested months ago that the stimulus was far too small. On the other hand he acknowledged that without the TARP programs, flawed as it was, the recession would be far worse by now. I say lets get on with another stimulus. Better late than never.

  3. Doug Ross


    The stimulus has done nothing so far. The government can’t even get a count of jobs created (nevermind the phony “jobs saved” bull). We haven’t seen the bottom yet. There are tons of houses ready to go on the foreclosure market. Retailers will be searching for buyers this week after Thanksgiving and we’ll know in the next week or two whether the American public is ready to get back to spending. My guess – no way. Watch next week if Wal-Mart says the economy is soft.

    All the government does is create artificial bubbles that delay what will eventually happen. The correct action last fall would have been to let things happen without intervention. It would have hurt more but for a much shorter period of time. We’re in “death by a thousand cuts” mode now. We’re betting the economy on Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Good luck with that.

  4. Kathryn Fenner

    The jobs count problem is that they asked people what their congressional district is and folks guessed. Heck–I don’t even know the number of mine–I know it’s Jim Clyburn’s but not the number, and I’m a wonk.

    When a job is created, however it is created, money gets spent that multiplies. This grows the economy. It’s not voodoo economics–it’s basic economics. That effect isn’t lost—people start spending money again, and confidence goes up and and and.

    And George W. Bush did the first giant bailing out, lest you forget.

    and a job saved is a job just as much as a job created. X people are employed instead of x-y people. The more people who are employed, the more people who are spending money, the better the economy.

    and much of the stimulus money hasn’t even been spent…..

  5. Doug Ross


    What difference does it make to me who did the bailing out? It was a bad idea.

    And it wasn’t just some data entry error with congressional districts. The numbers across the country were bogus. Inflated beyond all reason. It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you spend $X that it was used to create specific jobs
    with names of people attached.
    You could track the data (if it was accurate) with an Excel spreadsheet. It’s not accurate. Just like Cash for Clunkers, the government proves time and time again that it can’t do anything right.

    There is no such thing as a “saved job” unless you can point to a specific job that was saved.

    The next three weeks will tell us for sure whether there is a recovery going on or just another bubble created by borrowing tomorrow’s tax dollars to spend today.

  6. Kathryn Fenner

    The numbers across the country were generated by people across the country entering in the wrong district. Sure, they should have checked the districts, but that costs money and takes time, and takes a lot more data than an Excel spreadsheet can handle.
    –and you can certainly figure out that I would have laid off x workers if I hadn’t gotten y contract.

  7. Doug Ross


    You are 100% wrong. The wrong numbers were not due to wrong districts being entered. Sure, there were some issues related to not being able to spend the 30 seconds it would take to look it up. (Try typing Richland County Congressional District into Google… the first listing will have the answer. Yeah, that’s hard for a government worker to do.)

    But the vast majority of errors were things like saying a $60,000 grant generated hundreds of jobs. And isn’t it odd that all of the errors OVERREPORTED the numbers of jobs saved or created. You would think if there were data errors, they would be underreporting them. Well, unless you had a political motive to try and claim that the stimulus was working.

    Here’s some factual information that completely refutes your claim that the errors are due to not knowing a Congressional district:


    The AP reviewed a sample of federal contracts, not all 9,000 reported to date, and discovered errors in one in six jobs credited to the $787 billion stimulus program – or nearly 5,000 of the 30,000 jobs claimed so far.

    • Some recipients of stimulus money used the cash to give existing employees pay raises, but each reported saving dozens of jobs with the money, including one Florida day care that claimed 129 jobs saved.

    • A Texas contractor whose business kept 22 employees to handle stimulus contracts saw its job count inflated to 88 because the same workers were counted four times.

    • The water department in Palm Beach County, Fla., hired 57 meter readers, customer service representatives and other positions to handle two water projects. But their total job count was incorrectly doubled to 114.

    Those errors were included in an early progress report on the stimulus released two weeks ago that featured numerous mistakes, including a Colorado business’ claim that its stimulus contract created more than 4,200 jobs. In fact, the actual count was less than 1,000.

    Bottom line, the numbers are beyond bogus. They are worthless.

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