Saturday, September 10, 2011

The United States of Zero

Some of the political pundits have begun calling President Obama “President Zero”.

That is because the August employment figures showed no net new jobs created here in the good old USA.

But these pundits should look back a little farther. There have been a lot a zeros the United States has generated since the turn of the century.

How many net new jobs have been created in the last decade? Zero!

There were about 130 million jobs in America in the year 2000. And there are about 130 million jobs in America today.

How much more does average US wage earner make? Zero!

Adjusted for inflation, he or she made about $16 an hour in 2001. He or she still makes about $16 an hour today.

How much more are stocks worth today? Zero!

The S&P 500 has gone nowhere for over a decade. And adjusted for inflation, investors are on the losing end.

How much more are houses worth? Zero!

Gains made early in the new century have been erased and more.

So by all the important economic measures, Americans are zero better off than they were a decade ago. Perhaps the pundits could call our nation the United States of Zero.

Actually, the statement that Americans are zero better off is incorrect. Americans are much worse off. They have much more debt than they did at the turn of the century.

Here's a look at some numbers that are unfortunately not zero.....

In round numbers total debt to GDP (US economic output) increased from around 200 percent to over 350 percent. Federal debt alone went from 57 percent of GDP to nearly 100 percent today, a figure where many economists start worrying about the future solvency of a nation.

What is truly worrisome is that the leadership of both political parties seem clueless and have come up with zero fresh ideas for solving the country's economic ills.

It's just more of the same.

It's either more debt being issued, attempting to paper over the already huge debt hole in the economy.

Or it's printing up trillions of more dollars via the Federal Reserve in an effort to drive the value of the US dollar to zero and thus eliminate the debt that way.

No heed seems to paid to the fact that such a policy will completely devastate the US middle class' standard of living.

Policy makers right now are grading out in my estimation to a zero.

1 comment:

  1. I do not believe that the recent jobs report is really anything to get very excited about. We will need job growth of two hundred thousand a month for years to have any hope at all of bringing down the unemployment rate. If you take a deeper look into the data you will find that much of the increase in employment was temporary employment during the last couple of months of the year. I believe that much of the current employment problems stem from a lack of real wealth creating companies. Untill the country gets away from all the jobs in the financial service sector. I believe that the unemployment situation will not improve. Jim Rogers has stated this in many of the interviews that he has given to the news media that the financial services sector is much to large. Jim Rogers also believes that the savings rate must be much higher if we are to sustain any high degree of economic growth. Many retailers can make more money loaning money to their customers at 20% interest than they can make selling product to their customers. What does that tell you about jobs.