Well, it was a wonderful week of validation, last week was. What Americans have known, many through bitter experiences, economists have finally realized too: The U.S. is in a recession! Has been for a year now!! Maybe the economists just haven't experienced the pinch yet. But it's nice to learn what we've been seeing, feeling and saying for more than a year now is being acknowledged. Even by our ol' dazed fed chairman, Alan Greenspan himself!
Is it just "coincidence" this repulsively foul economy is happening at the very end of the Bush presidency or what? Over half a million more jobs lost in November. One in every ten mortgagor is now behind in their house payments or, worse, in foreclosure.
(Hint to investors wanting to become landlords: with 1.35 million American families out of their homes, this may be an excellent time to invest in apartments, old toxic FEMA Katrina trailers, or cardboard boxes to house the dispossessed.)
Locally we learned yesterday that in the latest quarter El Paso ranks 237th among 381 U.S.metro areas in mortgage loan delinquencies. But worse, the news I have been dreading, knowing it was inevitable, also appeared: a local tortilla plant is closing and 128 employees will lose their jobs, making fresh tortillas just a little harder to find.
But seriously, as the most popular sections of the newspaper go from sports, comics and the TV schedule listings to front page headlines, the business section with its daily bleak economic revelations and the classified's help wanted ads, can we call it what it is? A freaking depression!
Okay, depression it is. As for the economists, if we grab 'em by the juevos and run with 'em, their hearts and brains will eventually follow. After all, they're always the last to know.