Forecasters with a dismal record

[Updated] Steve Fraser has written an op/ed piece which appears in the Los Angeles Times:

Even the soberest economy watchers, pundits with doctorates — whose dismal record in predicting anything tempts me not to mention this — are prophesying dark times ahead. A depression, or a slump so deep it’s not worth quibbling about the difference, appears to be on the way, if indeed it is not already underway.

In his discussion, he points to several problem areas with the way it’s been since Ronald Reagan came to power. And carries a piece about how U.S. problems will affect the world. It seems that “‘The American consumer is the big gorilla on the demand side of the global economy,’ [Morgan Stanley in Asia chairman Stephen] Roach said. ‘As the slowdown goes from housing to consumption, we’ll find the world is not as decoupled as it thinks.'”

A picture that emerges here is that the corporate presumption that good-paying jobs could be exported overseas without affecting consumer demand has fallen short. Apparently, all those cheap foreign workers aren’t earning enough to make up for U.S. consumers who have lost good-paying jobs due to globalization and who have had to accept lower-paying jobs, requiring two incomes where one formerly sufficed, and offering far fewer benefits.

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