Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Back to Unreality

In today’s Boston Globe tiresome James Carroll rants against World War II to make a point in his whine against our ongoing war.
As much as the defeat of militarized Japanese fascism was a victory, the war was also a tragedy, and the Iwo Jima image of desperate men around the flag acknowledges that, too.
As much a tragedy as a victory? Sure, James. Maybe FDR should have called the whole thing off. He didn’t though, because he believed in the civilization of which he was a part and a product. On the other hand you are, in this sense, apostate. It seems that you believe in pacifism as a foreign policy, but won’t acknowledge it openly.

Also in today’s Globe Oliphant explores Alan Greenspan’s worry about not being able to nudge up long term interest rates and pop the housing bubble. It is amusing to juxtapose Ollie’s past and present characterization of the Bush Administration’s economic policies:
August 2004:
The 2001 recession was very brief, caused by a sharp drop in business investment as the tech bubble burst. Since then, despite three preposterous tax cuts that barely touched ordinary Americans while proving a gusher for the wealthy, the recovery has been both jobs-light and income-stingy.
Today no mention of those preposterous tax cuts, but…
This unprecedented amount of monetary and fiscal stimulus was enough to keep the economy from experiencing more than a very brief dip after the 9/11 attacks. However, the growth that followed has been historically anemic, with unusually spotty and limited job growth and enormous pressures on households with modest incomes. The employment gains have not been enough to keep pace with Americans coming of working age, and the squeeze on families of average income and below has been brutal, in contrast to life at the tax-reduced top.
Unemployment is down, job creation is showing positive, albeit with a high variance. And long term rates are rapidly heading higher, based on the last 5 days(below on the 10-year Treasury), it looks like Greenspan’s conundrum may be over. If Ollie, with his record of prophecy is mentioning it, probably so.

10-year Treasury yield over the past 5 days

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