Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pinch me so I feel the recovery

The other day, the local newspaper carried an editorial cartoon by Marshall Ramsey of The Clarion-Ledger, a daily in Mississippi, that was a takeoff on the whole Rep. Joe Wilson flap.

It shows Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke at a podium, as President Obama had been in his Sept. 9 address to Congress on health care. As Ramsey's Bernanke tells the audience "The recession's over," the Joe Wilson line "You lie!" is delivered by a man in the audience with "UNEMPLOYED" emblazoned on his chest.

Yes, those of us who became unemployed in the Great Recession don't yet feel the economy improving.

Of course, Bernanke didn't exactly proclaim the recession over -- the dating of business cycles lies with the National Bureau of Economic Research. But the Fed chairman, speaking to the Brookings Institution, did say that "from a technical perspective, the recession is very likely over at this point."

Here, courtesy of Brookings, is a clip of his Sept. 15 address to the think tank, made on the anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which helped set the dominos in motion for the near-collapse of the economy.

Alas, as you hear in the clip, economists believe that unemployment will remain a problem for some time. Jobless recovery and all that. Sigh.

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