The recession officially began seven years ago this month, which makes it a good time to look back and assess the damage. The carnage is impressive.
To start with the top-line numbers, we have already lost almost $10.5 trillion in output because of the downturn. This is the value of the goods and services that could have been produced over the last seven years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), but were not because of all the people thrown out of work by the recession.
To put this figure in context, it comes to more than $33,000 per person in the United States, or $132,000 for a family of four. There are a lot of people in Washington who have been yelling about the cost of the food stamp program. But the amount of money we lost because of the recession is almost 140 times the current annual budget for that program.
For another comparison, the government looks to lose about $500 million on the loan guarantees it made to Solyndra, a start-up solar-energy company that received stimulus money and later went bankrupt, to the guffaws of conservatives. The money lost because of the recession is 21,000 times what taxpayers lost on Solyndra. If we spent an hour yelling about Solyndra and we wanted our yelling time to be proportional to the amount of money lost, if we started on Jan. 1, 2015, we would have to be yelling about the recession around the clock until May 24, 2017. And this doesn’t even count the roughly $2 trillion in annual losses from the downturn for the rest of the decade that are implied by current CBO projections.
(Some months ago, before I was wrongfully terminated, I did research on the annual cost of welfare and compared it to what the criminal financial people cost taxpayers in 2008. This research was motivated by my old boss's frequent complaints about how much the "lazy welfare bums" are costing taxpayers. I observed that if he is so angry with those who receive welfare, he must be beyond furious with the criminal bankers, since their hubris cost taxpayers significantly more. I shared the numbers with him, and informed him that it would take over 550 years for welfare fraud to cost us what the criminal bankers cost us--and I didn't even break out the corporate welfare fraud that comprises a significant percentage of all welfare fraud. He had no response to this, and just walked away. Matters economic seem to be beyond the ken of those whose politics trend far right...)
The spouse of the national director of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Muriel Robb, wrote a letter to the editor of the Harrison Daily Times, excoriating members of the Harrison Task Force on Race Relations for rejecting a KKK "community award," given (allegedly) in response to the task force's Love Your Neighbor initiative.
Excerpts of her letter:
I have read the Dec. 28&29 weekend edition of the Harrison Daily Times and I was appalled by the arrogance of the Harrison Task Force on Race Relations and their so-called rejection of the community award given to Harrison for being a Love Your Neighbor Community.
Do not these hateful and bitter people know that the award was given to the people of Harrison and not to the “Task Force?”
It is amazing how they spin their voodoo logic. At one moment the “task force,” Harrison Chamber of Commerce, and city hall are boasting that Harrison is one of the best small towns in Arkansas, if not the country, then they flip, claiming that Harrison has a horrible racist image that is stifling its growth, claiming that folks are terrified moving here or of even driving through town.
These narcissistic elitists think they have been given a mission to “save” Harrison.
Well, if they didn’t like it then why did they move here? And if they really want to help minorities, then they should move to Pine Bluff, Camden or El Dorado where they can help the poor, the unemployed or the elderly. (snip...) If they REALLY want to help minorities as they claim, then they should move where the minorities are and begin helping them. But they won’t do that because they feel safer in this nice white community.
As my husband stated in the recent press release, Harrison truly is a Love Your Neighbor Community. There are no drive-bys, knockout games (also known as Polar Bear Hunting), flash mobs, wrong exits off the highway or bad neighborhoods. All those things are in Little Rock, El Dorado, Pine Bluff and other “enlightened” cities that have become multi-racial and diversified. In case you haven’t heard, “Diversity is a code word for white genocide.” Love your people — is that really too much to ask?
(Muriel) Mrs. Thomas Robb
For those who don't know, the event which has prompted this brouhaha was the anonymously funded billboard which read “Anti-Racist is a Code Word for Anti-White.” The subsequent defacement of said billboard by an anti-racist individual ratcheted up the vitriol. This individual painted the word "love" over "Anti-White" and is currently facing a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge. He was released on a $2,500 bond.