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Did the naughties really suck? Yes!

PostPosted: January 3rd, 2010, 1:07 pm
by A Person
Washington Post


For most of the past 70 years, the U.S. economy has grown at a steady clip, generating perpetually higher incomes and wealth for American households. But since 2000, the story is starkly different.

The past decade was the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times, a sharp reversal from a long period of prosperity that is leading economists and policymakers to fundamentally rethink the underpinnings of the nation's growth.

It was, according to a wide range of data, a lost decade for American workers. The decade began in a moment of triumphalism -- there was a current of thought among economists in 1999 that recessions were a thing of the past. By the end, there were two, bookends to a debt-driven expansion that was neither robust nor sustainable.

There has been zero net job creation since December 1999. No previous decade going back to the 1940s had job growth of less than 20 percent. Economic output rose at its slowest rate of any decade since the 1930s as well.

Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999 -- and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009. The Aughts were the first decade of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s.

And the net worth of American households -- the value of their houses, retirement funds and other assets minus debts -- has also declined when adjusted for inflation, compared with sharp gains in every previous decade since data were initially collected in the 1950s.
And the question of how Washington can prevent a recurrence is an overarching theme in the Obama administration's efforts to overhaul the financial system and support growth through investments in clean energy and other areas. "One of our challenges now," President Obama said in November, "is how do we get what I call a post-bubble growth model, one that is sustainable."

The financial crisis is, for all practical purposes, over, and forecasters are now generally expecting the job market to turn around early in 2010 and begin creating jobs. The task ahead for the next generation of economists is to figure out how, in a decade that began with such economic promise, things went so wrong.

It's worth noting that even without the financial collapse, the decade was set to have been the worst on record, SummyFeary might also like to take note that the wonderful 'Reagan Years' decade was tied for the second worse

Re: Did the naughties really suck? Yes!

PostPosted: January 3rd, 2010, 2:02 pm
by Liv
What really bothers me about all this, is:

a) I don't think it's over yet. I think we're all still operating on "borrowed time" so to speak, and with the creditors come collecting, the final axe will fall. When that 10% unemployment drops not because of jobs increase, but because everyone's exhausted their limit.... we're all screwed.... and I believe King Obama knows this and that's why we've got like 4 tiers of unemployment? But how long can they extend it? Not that I'm complaining.... (in the short term)

b) Not enough is being done. Sure Obama and Bush have "patched" the leaks, so to speak, but we need a complete overhaul of how we live here in America. Something drastic, something incomprehensible to most Americans or even to foreigners opinions of us. Now maybe Obama is waiting to get the health-care done? But I think the only way to solve our dilemma is to step down as the largest world power and extend some of our isolationism into the world government. Especially our allies. Free trade, free work, free immigration with our wealthy allies. Dump our dying currency, and lead the modern world into global union! I mean can you imagine initially how much money would be made merely from people relocating homes, businesses, and traveling between countries? You'd save the airlines, the car companies, the home industry, and create more options for people to be employed rather than stay on unemployment.

Re: Did the naughties really suck? Yes!

PostPosted: January 3rd, 2010, 11:59 pm
by Questioner
Your data is no surprise. Things went bad under Reagan, and since George Bush and his cronies ruled for 8 of the 10 years of the decade, it is no big shock that the decade was the worst on record for the post WWII U.S. Of course, the rich (including family dynasties like the Bushes) got immensely wealthier during the decade.....