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Words of Wisdom

John Maynard Keynes

My local newspaper, the Seattle Times, has its strengths. For one, it’s locally owned, not part of the McClatchy or Hearst or other newspaper chain. Its coverage of the aerospace industry is top-notch. And, of course, if you want to keep up with the Mariners,you pretty much have to read it.

But sometimes the editorial page is painful. Not necessarily for its views, which are often counter to my own, but that’s another matter. Rather, well, let’s look at today’s editorial. First, the opening and a few more brief excerpts.

Two sobering pieces of economic news should remind the country that it is essential to reset our thinking on money, jobs and spending.

Friday’s jobless report …

The worst news came earlier in the week when The Associated Press released its survey of 32 economists, the majority of whom said they expected unemployment to stay above 6 percent for at least four more years. …

In such a climate, U.S. consumers, businesses and especially governments cannot assume that a bad jobs report is a fluke, and that the next month’s jobless report or state revenue forecast will put everything right.

Four years of disappointment suggests that this recession is different.

And now the concluding paragraph.

In this election year, candidates will be reassuring voters they know how to fix the economy, as if it were a broken faucet. Some of their ideas will be better than others, but people should not expect too much. Slow growth appears to be baked into the cake, at least for a while.

Huh? So, we should just get used to it? Forget new ideas? Forget old ideas? Forget what politicians say?

Oddly enough, if one has the stomach for it, which I rarely do, and wades into the online reader comments, one finds people shouting back and forth at each other about getting rid of socialist Obama or trying a new stimulus. (I think one of these might actually be a good idea, but again, that’s another matter.) Some blame the Times for whatever position they don’t like.

However, if I’m reading this right, these commenters missed the point entirely. The Times isn’t recommending any position at all. It’s just telling us to suck it up and wait this out for a few more years.

Okay then.

Categories: Economy, Journalism
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