Democratic Underground

Depression Watch #3: Wag the Economy
December 18, 2001
by Jerald Cumbus (JCMach1)

Sugarplums caught in my throat this week as visions of war, and a questionable videotape, dominated the news.  The plot similarities to the film Wag the Dog could not be more obvious.  Bush took the opportunity this week to coverup the release of very disappointing November sales figures (the worst in a decade)and the news of theABM Treaty's demise with the release of the bin Laden dinner tape. 

While it was clear that the tape was ready to release earlier in the week, it was delayed to coincide with the other unpleasant reports coming out of Washington.  The result, of course, was a vast black hole of news coverage. It was 24 non-stop hours of My Dinner With Osama.

Despite recent efforts by the Press to spin the unemployment situation as improving, corporate layoffs continue unabated.  Bellsouth , American Express, and massive proposed layoffs at Boeing (among others) served as Holiday  bonuses for America's workers this season. 

Meanwhile, you can enjoy folding your pinkslip into an origami angel for the National Christmas Tree,   or you can checkout the deep discounting already occuring at many of our country's retail stores if your car hasn't already been repossessed.

On a serious note, for those of you intent on "doing your business across the country" this season Depression Watch is introducing a new tool to help you understand how well (or otherwise) the economy is doing. 

The Economic Depression Indicator is a new composite measure designed to show exactly how close we are to slipping into the Abyss.  The Economic Depression Indicator for the week of December 17, 2001 is as follows:

51.7 (+0.6)

A score of 100 or more would indicate a depression.  This week's indicator rose 0.6 from the week of December 10.  In order to give you some perspective of what this means, when Clinton left office the EDI stood at 35.3.

Printer-friendly version
Tell a friend about this article Tell a friend about this article
Discuss this article