The Black Political Review

The R-Word

 

by Cireal Americanus

The Bush administration has vigorously denied and maneuvered fact to avoid using the R-Word. They have gone to great lengths to avoid confirming what many of us already know to be true. The Country is in a “Recession”.

A Recession is generally associated with a decline in a Country’s Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or Negative Real Economic Growth. According to one widespread definition, a recession occurs when real economic growth is negative for two or more successive quarters of a year.  A recession may involve simultaneous declines in coincident measures of overall economic activity such as employment, investment, and corporate profits. Recessions may be associated with falling prices (deflation), or, alternatively, sharply rising prices (inflation) in a process known as stagflation.

What the Bush administration and its economist have been successful at is disguising failed policies and attempting to frame a perspective that never acknowledges the aforementioned factors that would ultimately indicate a Recession. As well all know, the numbers will tell what ever story you want.

For example, the U.S. unemployment figures have been around 5% since the beginning of the year and has recently increased to 5.5%. What the Bush Administration is not saying is that the U.S. unemployment number only takes into account a sampling of 60,000 families and out of those families the people that have recently been unemployed and have applied for unemployment within the last 4 weeks. This does not take into account workers outside the sample family groups that have lost jobs, approximately 240,000+ and counting, in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, etc, due to the plant closures that occurred during the beginning of the year.

They would also have us believe that this up-tick in the unemployment number is coming from the 500,000+ job seekers, from High Schools and Colleges, that are injected into the work force every summer. Now when was the last time you saw a summer student applying for unemployment? As we all know, these Summer Students are not filing for unemployment when they are unsuccessful at securing a job over the summer break thus they would not be counted even if they are part of the family sampling group.

This manipulation of a key Recession indicator says that the 5% number could be significantly higher than what is being reported. The harsh reality is that this number could actually be in the double digits. Although I have to admit I have no statistics to back this up other than a gut feel.

The word Recession is the proverbial “Tip of the Iceberg” when looking at the countries overall economic problems, i.e. Back to back quarters of negative economic growth (highlighting the abysmal leadership of the Bush administration and its failed economic policies), A weak Dollar (a weak Dollar may positively impact our Exports by making our products more competitive in foreign Markets but it means higher costs for the things we buy at home. This is one of the many factors contributing to higher prices at the pump and in the grocery store.)

For the African-American Community, this has been a mounting problem since the country went to “War”. As Malcolm X said, “When America sneezes, the Black community gets a Cold/Flu.”

For most of us, we don’t need economic indicators or numbers to tell us what we already know. Simply stand outside your local Wal-Mart and note the number of Mercedes, BMW’s, Range Rovers, and Audi’s that come through. What was Taboo for some, me included, 5 to 6 years ago has now become routine. Simply put, Every One is looking for the “Good Buy” these days.

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