U.S. Faces a Depression-Level Unemployment Crisis
BY DANIEL R AMERMAN CFA
The awful truth about deficits and this week’s “solution” to the debt limit crisis in the United States is that government debt isn’t actually the core problem, but rather represents the costly cover-up of the bigger problem, that of a depression-level unemployment crisis.
The private sector in the United States fell into a depression in 2008 and has not emerged since then. Absent an extraordinary level of government intervention in the economy – which cannot possibly be paid for by taxes or ordinary revenues – the depression in the private economy and a level of unemployment that rivals that of the Great Depression become impossible to hide.
When we talk about the “debt limit crisis”, what we’re really talking about is the price of the cover-up. The debt limit crisis and the associated Federal Reserve monetary creation fiasco represent the costs of essentially blasting the economy with massive fire hoses full of both created and borrowed money on a non-stop basis, in the (unsuccessful) attempt to make the economy look and feel normal. We can stop the debt crisis at any time by turning off the fire hoses of money that have been flowing since late 2008, but then the depression in the private sector – and the full depression-level rate of unemployment – become plainly visible for everyone to see coming into a presidential election year.
So when we look at the recent so-called disastrous employment “surprises” on the very same financial pages where the debt limit “crisis” with its vague and inadequate “solution” is being covered, we’re not really seeing two separate crises, but rather two aspects of the same crisis.