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Why did we ignore this recession for over a year?

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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:38 AM
Original message
Why did we ignore this recession for over a year?
Would we not have been better off if we had tackled the problem earlier on? Did we really have to wait until September of last year for the whole system to collapse before anyone recognized anything was wrong? One day in September, out of the the blue, George W Bush and Henry Paulson come out to tell us that our entire economic system would collapse if we did not give them $700 billion dollars immediately. With no strings attached! WTF!

So now, everybody is willing to admit that we are deep into a recession. Why did it take so long? I realize that there was an election coming up and nobody wanted to talk about it before the election was over, especially the Republicans. But it seems like we are paying a high price for all that dilly-dallying in the last year? Now it is Obama's "depression".
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
1. Like everything else, Chimp fucked up the timing.
That simple.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
2. politics man, politics
The Bushies never admitted being wrong or even weakness. This is the culture of "THE MAN" that the media eats up. He is the THE MAN. You don't want THE MAN to fail.

It is also the corporate culture of the "Masters of the Universe"

admitting that their even is a problem is weakness you see so they ignored it for political reasons- all politics all the time and no policy.

John DiIulio pointed out just this to Ron Suskind back in 2002
http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/DiIulio.html
In eight months, I heard many, many staff discussions, but not three meaningful, substantive policy discussions. There were no actual policy white papers on domestic issues. There were, truth be told, only a couple of people in the West Wing who worried at all about policy substance and analysis, and they were even more overworked than the stereotypical, non-stop, 20-hour-a-day White House staff. Every modern presidency moves on the fly, but, on social policy and related issues, the lack of even basic policy knowledge, and the only casual interest in knowing more, was somewhat breathtaking -- discussions by fairly senior people who meant Medicaid but were talking Medicare; near-instant shifts from discussing any actual policy pros and cons to discussing political communications, media strategy, et cetera. Even quite junior staff would sometimes hear quite senior staff pooh-pooh any need to dig deeper for pertinent information on a given issue.

Likewise, every administration at some point comes to think of the White House as its own private tree house, to define itself as "us" versus "them" on Capitol Hill, or in the media, or what have you, and, before 100 days are out, to vest ever more organizational and operational authority with the White House's political, press, and communications people, both senior and junior. I think, however, that the Bush administration -- maybe because they were coming off Florida and the election controversy, maybe because they were so unusually tight-knit and "Texas," maybe because the chief of staff, Andy Card, was more a pure staff process than a staff leader or policy person, or maybe for other reasons I can't recognize -- was far more inclined in that direction, and became progressively more so as the months pre-9/11 wore on.

This gave rise to what you might call Mayberry Machiavellis -- staff, senior and junior, who consistently talked and acted as if the height of political sophistication consisted in reducing every issue to its simplest, black-and-white terms for public consumption, then steering legislative initiatives or policy proposals as far right as possible. These folks have their predecessors in previous administrations (left and right, Democrat and Republican), but, in the Bush administration, they were particularly unfettered.
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elizfeelinggreat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. any problems = weakness
That's how I saw it.

"Why do you hate America?"

This also made it easy to blame everything on the next President, who was sure to be a Democrat.

Ditto getting out of Iraq - if he didn't leave, he didn't lose. That was left to someone else so he could blame them for the failure he left behind.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
3. That would have required some leadership
And in 2008 that was in very short supply. Bush didn't want to admit that his economic policies, like everything else in his administration, was a crashing failure. Paulson knew as well as anyone not to cross the boss, so he wasn't going to suddenly rear up on his hind legs and sound the alarm if George wasn't ready. As the plunging bus of the economy was about to hit the ground after going over the cliff, Bush finally, grudgingly agreed that maybe everything wasn't sweetness and light.

And once the signal was given that it was okay to warily acknowledge there were problems, the gusher was released just in time for Bush to skedaddle along with the rest of his gang and leave the mess for someone else to clean up. Folks who paid attention to his career before his daddy bought him the White House to play with should not have been surprised.

The encouraging signs are that the oil industry, the Texas Rangers and the State of Texas have all been staggered, but they survive the negligent stewardship of George W. Bush. He had longer to fuck up the entire country, but we're pretty resilient. We'll get through this, as well.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
4. I have to assume they delayed the inevitable so the eventual Democratic President..
Would face an immediate and massive shit-storm when he or she took office.

I bet the big banks knew this was coming since about 2002. It's impossible to believe they didn't, they knew what they were doing.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
6. WE didn't ignore it. WE were living it!
The corporate media had their marching orders to ignore, obfuscate, distract, and outright lie about it in order to make the Republicans look a hell of a lot better than we knew they were.

The more they lied, the less people out here in workaday land trusted them, so it all backfired. Now the media aren't trusted any more than the Republicans they were so carefully protecting all those months are.

We knew our jobs were being offshored and that food prices were rising while our wages, if we still had jobs, were falling more every year. We knew the credit card companies were starting to play hardball and that if we did manage to sell the house we were living in, it was going to bring less than we owed on it. We saw upper management living like sultans and telling us they were entitled to even more based on the lies about the economy from the corporate media and we got angrier about that every day.

Hell, WE knew. THEY were the ones invested in trying to lie about it until after the election.
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Pharlo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #6
18. While I agree with what you said,
I think you need to include the fact that until the stock markets plunged, most of the 250k plus/per annum corporate shills (including television media, and their selected 'panels of economists' from Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, etc) were making money. As long as it did NOT affect them, everything was good. The minute they started seeing THEIR money disappear, it became a 'recession'.

I honestly believe many of the media 'journalists' were not involved in a conspiracy so much as they were sequestered in an elite bubble where 'slight' price increases didn't hit them. Whereas, the collapse of hedge funds and the stock markets brought it slamming home.

As for media executives who controlled the 'message', yeah, I think it's possible they were complicit in trying to ride out the Bush presidency before acknowledging the economic tsunami that was inevitable.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. As sequestered as they were, they still knew something
rotten was happening after Countrywide narrowly escaped bankruptcy in August, 2007. Protecting the Republicans also protected their cash flow, so that part is true.

Nobody wanted a crash, yet that was what was about to happen. I think the power structure thought if it lied about it long enough through the media, either it wouldn't happen or the Republicans would get in for another four years and figure out another dishonest way to keep the game going for another few years.

Face it, I'm a retired RN in Podunk. If anybody is sequestered from the workings of the upper reaches of finance, it's me. Yet I knew what was going on.

I just don't buy the fact that they didn't. They might have been trying to lie to themselves while they lied to us, but they knew they were lying.

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blues90 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #6
21. That's right we were and are living it.
But even the Dems knew and no matter how many people protested all landed on deaf ears. We as the working people really had no action we could take unless we stood as a nation in the hundreds of millions and shut it down which was never going to happen.

Looking back maybe we should have rather than to rely on the political freaks with their damn games and the continuation of this insane political tradition.

It was not that we were not warned by economic forecasters.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
7. Because they didn't care
Basic conservative philosophy dictates that government is the problem, not the solution. They actively opposed minimum wage hikes, increases to the S-CHIP program and so forth because it was creeping socialism and would only make the American people weak and dependent on the government.

However, once their social class was threatened, they acted with due swiftness to prevent a total collapse of the financial system. People living on subsistence wages are not their concern. Children without good health care should have picked better parents who could afford them. But when the moneyed class got in trouble, well, then they acted to help those they knew and understood.

It was about the money. It is always about the money with these people. The post invasion screw-up of Iraq was about the money. The effort to derail renewable energy projects was about the money. And the failure to deal with the massive economic train wreck that was forecast well in advance was also about the money.

That is all they care about. The money.
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yy4me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
8. 'Cause **** said the economy was strong. And there were some
very stupid or crooked people who agreed with and followed his line of baloney.
Eight of the worst years in American history have past, leaving us all to cope with the misery and corruption the prior administration has left us.

Obama's job is far beyond the scope of one person. I wish him all the best and hope the repubs fall flat on their faces. The right wing anti-Obama everything is getting me mad. Two months into his administration, we have the likes of rush and company hoping that he would fail. How un-american is that!

I fear we still have far to fall and I will not accept that any of the blame lies with the current administration. They have yet to have time to learn each others name, let alone ruin the country the rest of the way as said by certain members of the other side of the aisle.

Like almost everyone who falls below "rich", I have lost a lot. What little we had toward retirement is a joke. Guess what, I now own "penny stock."

Many have lost more than I but coupled with everything else that has happened this year, I am angry, bitter and frustrated.

We all have long stories but the only one that counts right now is to support the President and give all the nut case right wing repubs a piece of our minds.

And will Pat Buchanan please got sit in the corner with the pointed hat on and his mouth closed.
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
9. The economy has been tanking pretty much the whole decade
People seem incapable of understanding that swirling around the bowl is a strong is a pretty sure sign that the toilet was flushed.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. That's a pretty good summation. n/t
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Binka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. PERFECT!
Best analogy for this situation. I felt the handle being pushed in 2000. I kept asking myself "What is this shit?" It was the worlds longest flush. Hi I have never encountered you before but think you are great. :hi:
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
11. Most of us are too busy working, taking care of our families, pets, etc.
:hi:
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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
12. Because we live
in a financial world where you can make just enough, if not more, money when the value of a financial insturment goes down as when it goes up. Why work to make anything more valueable? With a bit of insider information and risk distribution, you can't lose.

The masters of the universe have figured out a way to get rich off of calamaty and disaster. All they had to do is hand the risk off to the people through the government.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
14. Because the Chimp was waiting for the natural business
cycle to turn, of course. The government should not be involved. We should just have lived it out without whining, as Phil Gramm told us. That's the Republican way.
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
15. Because Bush and his fellow conspirators lied to us...
Just like they lied when they conspired to invade Iraq, over reasons that did not in fact exist. GreedSpin and Bush didn't admit that the country was in trouble, until it was almost a sure thing that the GOP would not win the White House again.
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
16. As with everything, we had to wait until upper middle class and the
elites were being adversely affected.

Another example, why do you the Washington Media have latched
onto "Wall Street does not like Obama's policies." Wall Street
....Wall Street has been going down since Obama was sworn in"
Very simple the DC Media have the most to lose on Wall Street.

It is pretty standard, Until Upper Classes begin to complain
nothing happens.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
17. No one ever wants to make unpopular choices during an election year. nt
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 11:19 AM by hack89
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
19. What we've ignored is the false economy created under Raygun.
This is simply the latest, and last, iteration of extracting the wealth built up from the 30s through the 70s.

There is another thread in GD today excoriating greed as the cause of all our economic problems that talks about all the wealth created under Raygun and the prosperity of the Clinton administration. Both of these popular myths ignore the underlying fact that there was no prosperity then either, merely the illusion of prosperity. Nothing was created during those times, for twenty years we simply borrowed against the equity built up over the preceding 50 years and gave it to the people that have now bailed out of America. We didn't even have the sense to use any of it to fix or improve the structure. Like some child that inherited great wealth and then lost the family fortune, we just blew it all on toys and parties.

The shrub administration was simply the last phase, maxing out the high limit credit cards we got from years of borrowing against real assets, before going bankrupt.

There is/was no way to avoid this result, we might have delayed it a little longer, we might have had a more measured downfall, but the last chance to stop it was probably 1987 under 41 and instead of taking action when that crash happened, we eagerly swallowed the lie and raised the limits, and BTW, "we" includes our so-called representatives as well as the Republiks.


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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
20. Because it was more stimulating for them to keep claiming "the economy is fundamentally sound"
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
22. The economy was sound...
until right before the election.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
24. A million business school graduates in this country missed this story
I would have thought if a huge problem was brewing in the financial industry that the "business pages" of the newspapers would have been reporting on this weekly. I had found only a few references to a credit collapse in the "peak oil" rants by James Kunstler. I could not figure out what it meant, though.
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