Is the U.S. economy showing signs of recovery, as some indicators suggest, or are these assertions dangerously premature?
Having served in three administrations, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich is uniquely positioned to share his take on the 2010 economic outlook for California, the U.S., and the rest of the world in this year's annual installment of the Walter E. Hoadley Economic Forecast.
Robert Reich is professor of public policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.
He served in three national administrations; his articles appear frequently in The New York Times and The Washington Post, and he is a commentator for American Public Media's "Marketplace," heard on NPR.
Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich warns easy money and stimulative policies may be creating the next global economic bubbles. He speculates that the two most worrisome candidates within the next year are commodities and China.
Prediction of future economic activity and developments. Economic forecasts, which range from a few weeks to many years, are widely used in business and government to help formulate policy and strategy. Macroeconomic forecasts predict the course of the aggregate economy and concentrate on variables such as interest rates, the rate of inflation, and the rate of unemployment. Forecasts of private consumption and investment, government expenditures, and net exports help government policymakers responsible for fiscal policy. For example, part of the justification for a change in taxes is a forecast of its economic effects. Microeconomic forecasts are designed to project the effects of change at the level of an industry or a firm. Most microeconomic forecasts begin with assumptions about the aggregate economy before focusing on the projected effects in the specific sector that is of interest. Manufacturers and retailers use such forecasts to formulate business plans such as those involving inventory, production levels, or hiring.
@balthazarF, " ... Founding Fathers (white, male property owners), many of whom owned slaves ...
Just to clarify, just as there were non-Christians at the time of the founding of the nation (marked by the adoption of the Constitution), there also were black, male property owners who owned slaves. The difference between white and black male capitalists at the founding is only the white were allowed to vote.
@alfredote, " If president Obama starts a crusade to change the Constitution in order to affirm the sovereignty of the American people...
Good sir, it does not take a change in the Constitution to affirm the power and authority of the people. It takes an intelligent and informed participation of the people adhering to their constitutional responsibilities.
Informed by the Constitution and the history of more than 150 years of electing Democrats and Republicans (capitalists and lawyers [a redundancy]), why ever do you expect change when you repeat history with your vote?
Capitalists who gained their capital from the monarchical system overthrown by the people were Founding Fathers (white, male property owners), many of whom owned slaves, while those who did not gave slavery their tacit approval. A war, a proclamation and an Amendment, and slavery was eliminated and the males were given the vote. It took till the 20th Century for females to gain the vote. Southern Baptists still hold the view that women are chattel. Since slavery the capitalists have legislated and maintained a minimum wage well below the level of poverty ensuring that Americans who work are denied capital opportunity through 'legal' wages of poverty. American workers do not own the jobs they do, therefore they cannot lose those jobs, regardless of the middle-class talking heads of the corporate media constantly reporting 'job losses'.
That jobs once done by American workers are now 'outsourced' is evidence of the ownership of those still existent jobs. They are also evidence that capital is fungible and that capitalism has no national allegiance.
The economic climate of America is the responsibility of the people.
Do you recall the vote of the people to eliminate laws which prohibited usury? I do. I voted to keep those laws. Do you recall the change in Federal Banking Law which the capitalists enacted and which precipitated those votes in the states? I do.
Do you realize that the Christian majority participated in those votes state by state? Do you realize that the Christian majority ignored their 2000 year old Zombie of dubious parentage who railed against usury why never addressing abortion or gay marriage?
Do you see the problem?
He doesn't know what to do about the SUPREME COURT CAMPAIGN FINANCE DECISION, since the Supreme Court is "the last word" ?
What a lack of political vision!
The answer is simple: a CONSTITUTIONAL AMMENDMENT !
The Supreme Court is NOT the last word: the American people are!
If president Obama starts a crusade to change the Constitution in order to affirm the sovereignty of the American people, he would rally massive popular opinion: isn't it obvious that nobody could oppose it with a straight face, especially in today's anti-Wall Street mood?
He would kill two birds with one stone: muzzle illegitimate opponents, and earn massive political capital!
(If a friend of Obama's reads this, please pass on the suggestion!)
Mr Reich is a great and good intentioned person, but I would really like to find a place where people talk without facade about how things really are. Like for example: Serious and well informed discussions about structural unemployment, propaganda layer of modern world, true role of military industrial complex, true role and purpose of EU, reality without distortions as much as possible. Still havent found that. Everything I found so far on internet can be roughly separated into two groups. First group spreads more or less "official" views, measures and topics (mr Reich being one of better and more sophisticated examples). The other group "hates" the first and defends its position by same shallowness and lack of answers as the first group.
And I am sure that some people know these things I am talking about, its not a fantasy.
Someone maybe reads this and enlighten me.. who knows...
Personally, I agree with much of what he says, but disagree with the conclusions, remedies and warnings he delivers.
The system is at this stage so broken and corrupted that some populism is absolutely what's needed. The system needs to turn its focus to the majority who ARE disenfranchised and who are falling through the cracks. People needs to look at the stimulus currently being pumped to the Military contractors as a distressing phenomenon. That arms spending is exactly the money that would bolster and support the economy at home.
And to all of the nay sayer who dispute the importance or Government Spending in times of thrift, ask yourselves why Arms Companies have not been making the same sacrifices as others.
The direction of Government funds to Energy, Health or Education could provide these positive and vital sectors the strength which is currently being wasted on the Military-Industrial Complex.