Economy: Moods Are Changing

“TROUBLE” WITH EUROPE? WHY NOT THE US?

New York Nobel economists viewed from Europe, or the US, as “liberal”, or “leftist” do not like Europe, nor do they understand that the USA’s superior economic performance is just something the Clinton crowd likes to crow about. When one looks inside, and compares, ain’t pretty. Joseph Stiglitz: The Euro is the Problem (April 14, 2016) https://youtu.be/30xfMtJZ6iY  http://bit.ly/24k2oC2  #video #lecture.

No, the Euro is not the problem. Actually, Europe just smashed growth forecasts. The problem is that Europe is managed by people from Goldman-Sachs, or who wish to be employed by Goldman-Sachs, or who have a high opinion of Goldman-Sachs, or by people who take advice from people affected by the preceding disease. (As usual, I use here “Goldman-Sachs” as a shorthand for the malevolent, parasitic “money changers”, as Roosevelt and the Bible called them, based mostly in New York and London, with state machinery at their beck and call).

European Productivity, Especially In Franco-German Euro Zone, Has Long Been Higher Than In the USA. So The Scorn Of US Economists Should Consider This Important Fact

European Productivity, Especially In Franco-German Euro Zone, Has Long Been Higher Than In the USA. So The Scorn Of US Economists Should Consider This Important Fact

Question to Stiglitz: Do you think any of the groundwork has been laid to reduce that inequality going forward?

Stiglitz: “We’re in a little bit of better place, but not a lot better. It’s obviously better to have 5 percent unemployment than 10 percent unemployment. And there’s been the beginning of a housing recovery that has helped restore some of the wealth of ordinary Americans. But the damage that has been done is very deep and has persistent effects. The labor force participation rate of people in their 40s, 50s, is still lower than it’s been in decades. People who lost their jobs in 2008, didn’t get jobs in 2009, ‘10, ‘11, maybe aren’t likely to get a job ever. If they do, it’s not going to be anywhere near as good as their old job. There are many people for whom they lost their job at 50 or 55 and are unlikely to ever work again. The scar is permanent.

Another aspect of what I would say is the imperfect recovery, is that the marginalized groups remain marginalized. And while they’ve benefitted, the levels of unemployment are still very very high.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/stiglitz-inequality/…

Entirely right, Mr. Stiglitz. So why do American economists give lessons to Europeans? The US economy is chugging along at 2% per annum, rather less than Franco-Germania at this point. And it can be argued that the inflation of the US GDP is mostly asset inflation.

When Stiglitz obsesses about unemployment, it’s obviously neither here, nor there: Unemployment is not the end-all, be-all, of the wellbeing of a socioeconomy. Slaves, in all and any economy, tend to be fully employed.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, unemployment is only 3%. However, a one bedroom rents for $3,000 a month, and that’s more than half the median family income (pre-tax). So is that good, or is that hell? I want you to contemplate a twenty lanes freeway, all gridlocked, and the eight lanes overpasses above, too, if you approve, Stiglitz style. (Jam augment GDP!)

Meanwhile, Trump is going parabolic in California, because tolerating the intolerable has become intolerable. Only when tolerating the intolerable becomes intolerable do revolutions happen. Maybe Trump should pick up Sanders as running mate, ha ha ha.

Revolutions are the engine of evolution. They re-unite Homo with the natural ethology from which plutocracy had torn him from. To evolve again, for the better.

Another editorial from Krugman along the same half-wit lines as Stiglitz: “The Diabetic Economy”. Krugman: “LISBON — Things are terrible here in Portugal, but not quite as terrible as they were a couple of years ago. The same thing can be said about the European economy as a whole. That is, I guess, the good news.

The bad news is that eight years after what was supposed to be a temporary financial crisis, economic weakness just goes on and on, with no end in sight. And that’s something that should worry everyone, in Europe and beyond.

First, the positives: the euro area — the group of 19 countries that have adopted a common currency — posted decent growth in the first quarter. In fact, for once it was better than growth in the U.S.

Europe’s economy is, finally, slightly bigger than it was before the financial crisis, and unemployment has come down from more than 12 percent in 2013 to a bit over 10 percent.

But it’s telling that this is what passes for good news. We complain, rightly, about the slow pace of U.S. recovery — but our economy is already 10 percent bigger than it was pre-crisis, while our unemployment rate is back under 5 percent.

And there is, as I said, no end in sight to Europe’s chronic underperformance. Look at what financial markets are saying.”

Children such as Stiglitz and Krugman have great oracles, called “markets”, and they “look” at what they “say”. (Beats saying what they look like, any day!)

Krugman: “Responding to critics of easy money who denounce low rates as “artificial” — because economies shouldn’t need to keep rates this low — [A Fed Reserve Bank governor] suggested that we compare low interest rates to the insulin injections that diabetics must take.

Such injections aren’t part of a normal lifestyle, and may have bad side effects, but they’re necessary to manage the symptoms of a chronic disease.

In the case of Europe, the chronic disease is persistent weakness in spending, which gives the continent’s economy a persistent deflationary bias even when, like now, it’s having a relatively good few months. The insulin of cheap money helps fight that weakness, even if it doesn’t provide a cure.

But while monetary injections have helped to contain Europe’s woes — one shudders to think of how badly things might have gone without the leadership of Mario Draghi [ex-Partner Goldman-Sachs, Patrice Ayme nota bene], president of the European Central Bank — they haven’t produced anything that looks like a cure. In particular, despite the bank’s efforts, underlying inflation in Europe seems stuck far below the official target of 2 percent.

Meanwhile, unemployment in much of Europe, very much including my current location, is still at levels that are inflicting huge human, social and political damage.

It’s notable that in Spain, which these days is being touted as a success story, youth unemployment is still an incredible 45 percent…”

For once, Krugman gets it half right. Right for Germany, but not for France, which has discarded the Euro 3% deficit spending limit, and is going at an official, near-British like 4.5% (official):

“The thing is, it’s not hard to see what Europe should be doing to help cure its chronic disease. The case for more public spending, especially in Germany — but also in France, which is in much better fiscal shape than its own leaders seem to realize — is overwhelming.

There are large unmet needs for infrastructure and investors are essentially begging governments to take their money. Did I mention that the real 10-year interest rate, the rate on bonds that are protected from inflation, is minus 0.8 percent?

And there’s good reason to believe that spending more in Europe’s core would have big benefits for peripheral nations, too.

But doing the right thing seems to be politically out of the question. Far from showing any willingness to change course, German politicians are sniping constantly at the central bank, the only major European institution that seems to have a clue about what is going on.

Put it this way: Visiting Europe can make an American feel good about his own country.”

Why is Krugman feeling so good? Because the US is “producing” three times more GreenHouse Gases (GHG) as the French? Not a non-sequitur, or just a slap in the face: the US expansion, in the last six years as largely been driven by fracking for oil and gas.

***

Patrice’s Grain of Salt: MOODS THEY ARE CHANGING:

The “trouble” in Europe is not just economic. A new philosophy, a new mood, is taking over. Monetary spending, what GDP looks at, is increasingly looked at as a sin. In France, exchange and repair Internet sites are booming. People increasingly repair the devices they use, and recycle and, or, exchange them for others.

Another point, well-known, is that, to re-establish the economy, banks were given money, lots of money. But the bank driven economy comes short. If anything, banks are viewed as organized crime institutions. In other words, people have had enough of the way the economy is organized.

Who needs a car, when public transportation, or the occasional rental will solve the problem? Some car companies sell electric cars, yet, when people need to go on a family trip, they can get a fossil fuel driven machine, which goes much further. The end result is to lower demand. This is also the effect of increasing efficiency. Solar cells on a roof kill a lot of the old economy, the more efficient they get.

The economy serves the society, not vice versa. Moods have to change to incorporate more of the society. A recent example: two professors working at UC BErkeley (one of them French), invented a revolutionary method to cut DNA into desired pieces. They applied for a US Patent. The US PTO sat on it: indeed, what could two women invent? Six moths laterr, a macho team of males from MIT applied for the same patent, for the same invention. Ah, males, thus pillars of society, said Conventional Wisdom. The MIT gentlemen (or is that horsemen charging, Genghis Khan style?) were immediately granted the Patent.

A lot of the economy organized according to the old mood is just organized thievery, or crime. Giving twenty trillion of dollars to the very same banks and connected financial types who organized the 2008 crisis is organized mismanagement of the economy to replenish the criminals. It would have been more just to give the money to We The People directly, instead of giving it to our oppressors. Ah, but it could not be done, because conventional economics prevent it.

Conventional economy right now is little more that the instauration of a feudal order. Malia Obama, eldest daughter of president Obama, will enter Harvard University. There the peers of Stiglitz and Krugman will teach her of the rightful place of the haves, and why it is just that they own the world. And the fault of the have nots, that they do not.

Malia’s present school is “Sidwell Friends School“, a “very exclusive” (as it self-defines) school. Her sister attends it too. Tuition is a modest $40,000 a year. So the two girls, together, cost $80,000, just to enjoy the “very exclusive” position they earned in life. That’s a third higher than US family median income, pre-tax.

It cost significantly more to attend the school where great liberal economist Stiglitz preaches from (Columbia). American economists are right to trash Europe. After all, the European model is the enemy. Should it win, American economists would earn just a fraction of what they presently get.

Patrice Ayme’  

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7 Responses to “Economy: Moods Are Changing”

  1. Paul Handover Says:

    That OECD GDP chart was dated 2012. The figure for 2015 is still provisional and indicating being below the GDP figure for 2008.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hi Paul! The map I showed was not a GDP chart, but a map of high productivity (GDP per capita, per hour). There was a problem initially, and the first map came out low resolution. I have put the high resolution one now. The numbers did not change much since 2012.

      Spain productivity per hour grew much faster since 2010, than that of the USA. Etc.
      http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/gdp-per-hour-worked/indicator/english_1439e590-en

      As CBS had it in 2007, in a passage which depicts the difficulties well:
      “Norway, which is not an EU member, generates the most output per working hour, $37.99, a figure inflated by the country’s billions of dollars in oil exports and high prices for goods at home. The U.S. is second at $35.63, about a half-dollar ahead of third-placed France.

      Seven years ago, French workers produced over a dollar more on average than their American counterparts. The country led the U.S. in hourly productivity from 1994 to 2003.

      The U.S. employee put in an average 1,804 hours of work in 2006, the report said. That compared with 1,407.1 hours for the Norwegian worker, and 1,564.4 for the French.”

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-workers-worlds-most-productive/

      The gist is that a highly inefficient fossil fuel wasting country will have an inflated “productivity” and GDP… Because of the waste, precisely.

    • Gmax Says:

      France and Germany are above 2008 level in GDP, and growing faster than the United States at this point.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        The point made by Gmax, which is one of the points which I tried to make, is that US economists are in no position, on numbers alone, to trash the European project.

  2. EugenR Says:

    The difference between US and European economy is, that the US economy is capital driven, while the European or more specifically the German economy is production productivity driven. Those, the US is more innovative, so more capital attractive.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The main difference as I see it is that the cost of fossil fuels in the US is not even a third of that in Europe.
      Innovation? France produces better planes (military or not), better helicopters, launches more than half the satellites (in mass), and has better submarines. It’s not just a question of German cars (I drive one of the latter).
      Innovation? France again has the best mirrors, the most powerful lasers (the laser on Mars on Curiosity is French). A French astronomer woman just computed where the Ninth Planet should be (taking into account 200 known solar system objects and planets).
      Innovation? France (again) has the best concretes…

      Now the question of the high tech NSA/CIA collaborating American “social networks” monopolies is something entirely different… France was first with transistor invention and mass production (although the Nobel was given to Obama… Just kidding, some other Americans… who announced “their” discovery days before the start of French mass production…)
      CPU and PC were also invented in France (but the US market is way bigger…)

      France also invented optical pumping (ie, the laser), and HIV was discovered by a lab in Marseilles (although stolen by Pasteur in Paris…) Two women, one French made a major DNA discovery, BTW, which will revolutionize genetics, etc…

      The innovation edge is caused mostly by other factors. Uber’s management would have been jailed in France: San Francisco does not want to kill what makes the city rich…

    • Gmax Says:

      German and French productivity are the same and much higher than Britain, see the picture

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