Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nothing to See Here - Everything is Fine.

I really thought/hoped that this report was lifted from The Onion:

"During the best of the times, Miguel Salcedo’s son, an illegal immigrant in San Diego, would be sending home hundreds of dollars a month to support his struggling family in Mexico. But at times like these, with the American economy out of whack and his son out of work, Mr. Salcedo finds himself doing what he never imagined he would have to do: wiring pesos north."

I mean - come on - things are so bad in the US that Mexican families are wiring money TO their relatives in the US?  That has to be a joke - I've been reading the financial press every day and I've been told that the recession is over and that everything is fine. 

Then, this:

"In other cases, the migrants are returning home, as the many passengers who hop off the bus that runs regularly from northern California to a gas station in Miahuatlán make clear. “There’s nothing up there,” said a young man with an overflowing suitcase who returned one recent night."

Come on - are you kidding me?  Sadly - no - that's the truth of the economic situation in our country.  The ponzi scheme of confidence doesn't solve our problems - telling people that things are better does not make things better.  

"There's nothing up there."   That should be the headline in the mainstream media - not "recession over" or "jobless claims data improves."

Things are so bad here that 1) Mexican workers who came to the US to earn money to send home to their families in Mexico are now having to receive money from their families instead, and 2) Mexican migrant workers are going back to Mexico. 

I mean - what more do I need to say?



Joel said...

Interesting... I wonder what this means for the unemployment rate, if and when job recovery begins? Will American workers step back into those jobs traditionally filled by migrant workers?

Anonymous said...

The Obama presidency seems more like the Hoover presidency with each passing week. Worsening unemployment, no Banking or Wall St. reforms and only total bull***t for the middle class!

baglife said...


Wow that is quite funny.

I recently started a blog about poker and planning a move to Vegas:

Any input would be much appreciated, and I also linked your site under my favorites on the front page.

You are the first I contacted!


asphaltjesus said...

Kid, I think you would agree based on your experience in D.C. that there are a couple of things going on.

1. D.C. Politics is completely disconnected from the economic reality.

2. There has to be a policy of keeping the media message positive in D.C. The exchange is media access to the administration for generally positive headlines.

The consequences of #2 is the marginalization of alternative views like yours.

There's no doubt things are slow. My town pretty much runs on immigrant labor and the day laborers have mostly disappeared. But there's no statistic for that, so it doesn't exist.

asphaltjesus said...

A crazy idea: in a couple years, Obama's going to come up with an Alberto Gonzalez on the Economic front to shield the executive office from blame and help the administration get re-elected.

That way they can admit the country is in a world of economic pain and use 'Change 2.0' as their reelection theme.

Kid Dynamite said...

@asphaltjesus: on the one hand, the government will almost never say "things are really shitty, and the only way out is to take the pain for the excesses we've lived off of for the last 30 years" - it's just not how politics works.

What's different this time, however, is that the ponzi scheme of confidence is ending, if not over. It's no longer enough to convince the people (sheeple) that they can and should go out and spend spend spend - because, well - they CAN'T - and now that they can't get credit, can't pull equity out of their homes, can't cash in their retirement savings which have plummeted, and have no jobs - they CAN'T spend anymore - no matter how confident they are. THAT is the key problem. It's no longer about confidence

Anonymous said...

Hi Kid,

It's been about nine months now that really smart people have been saying, "This can't go on." Specific dooms seem to be on the horizon - ever higher unemployment, Alt-A resets, commercial real estate in the crapper, state and municipal government bankruptcy. The Huns are clearly visible on the hills above Rome. I've been convinced the end is near several times.

What I'm beginning to wonder is if it actually can go on this way. Maybe the HAL 9000s can just go on playing with each other, the government can keep on injecting funds and deferring payment, the dollar can keep creeping down, folks can keep losing their houses and moving in with relatives, etc.

I'm not arguing one way or the other. I'm just thinking about something John Barth once said, "Changes in degree produce changes in kind. Water gets colder and colder then suddenly becomes ice." Maybe our changes in degree can last for a decade or longer before the ice comes.

Thanks for the great blog!

Kid Dynamite said...

Anon - yeah - that's the thing - it can last for a very long time. Just look how long it took for this bubble to burst - this was the bursting of the reinflated internet bubble: as the internet bubble was collapsing, we were spiraling down, and then Sept 11th got in the way and accelerated things. People forget that we were already in deep trouble BEFORE that though. THe Fed slashed rates and the stock market bubble reinflated almost immediately - and lasted for almost 7 years!

Subsequent bubbles have shorter legs, though, i think.

and note: HAL 9000 has nothing to do with it