Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Lost Decade (2000 to 2010)

The bar graphs to the left reveals some sobering numbers. It is certainly obvious the first decade of the twenty first century was, by historical standards, an economic failure. At least when measured by the standard of growth in employment and the GDP. Anyone with a sense of what this means to the American worker, businessman, and government should be concerned for the future health of our nation and its people.

For sixty of the past seventy years the United States economy has grown. This growth generated higher incomes for the American family and increased wealth for American households. The report card for the first decade of this century is  starkly different.

An article in The Washington Post today details these troubling statistics, and what they mean to American livelihood. Rational Nation USA will bullet key points here but suggests a reading of the full text of the article.

It is without doubt the political pundits from both sides of the failed congressional aisle will have their fingers pointing to their political opponents. Yes, it is true the G.W. Bush era was the worst in economic history since the great depression. And it provides fertile ground for the Democrats to take Republicans to task for their huge and uncontrolled deficit spending. It is also true that Democrats did their share of contributing to unneeded and unnecessary spending. That aside it is now time for Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Business, and Labor to begin working together to fix the mess that was created during 2000 through 2009.

As a true independent conservative I find myself ashamed and disillusioned with my prior party. The Republican Party, once the party of fiscal restraint and responsibility failed miserably over the past thirteen years. It is why I am no longer a Republican and find myself in some agreement with TAO over at A Radical Perspective. He is a  rational blogger that leans left but often is correct in his analysis.

So, as we look to the second decade of the twenty first century and beyond, lets hope that our political, business, and labor leaders will quit pointing fingers and calling each other names and actually work TOGETHER to solve our nations problems. It is either this or continue on a self destructive path sure to compete with the one we just left behind.

So, with political opinion now aside, here is the summary promised:

1) Since December of 1999 there has been zero job creation. Since the 1940's no decade prior to 2000 - 2009 had less than twenty percent job growth. Economic output (GDP) rose at the slowest pace since the 1930's.

2) Middle income families made less after adjusting for inflation than they did in 1999. The past decade was the first time since the 1960's that median incomes actually declined for a decade.

3) The net worth of American households (the value of their houses, retirement funds and other assets less debt) has also declined after adjusting for inflation. Since the 1950's when data began being collected every other decade had significant gains.

4) The first decade of this century experienced the first business cycle where a working age household was worse off at the end of the cycle than when it started. Even as growth in productivity continued and should have resulted in improvement the standard of living.

The above summary is but a part of the overall article. Please see The Washington Post for complete information.

Via: Memeorandum
Via: The Washington Post


  1. Rational, I don't 'lean' I basically let my analysis dictate to me my positions....

    I voted for Obama for one simple reason: Utter disgust at the policies and philosophy of the last administration.

    That was not a conservative administration but rather an administration based upon the concept of 'get while the gettin' is good..."

    Yet every proclaimed conservative I knew was so supportive of the economic rape that was occurring...

    Now they want to point at Obama and yell, "Socialist" and they think that will somehow make everyone forget the last administration...

    We shouldn't forget...we need to figure out what went wrong and make damn sure we never do it again...

    I have to admit, I was fortunate in the fact that I invested in oil and halliburton upon the election in 2000 and then added commodities and gold in 2001...but in 2007 I cashed out after driving down the street and noticing that one big bank in town was offering to finance 115% of the purchase price of a home...

    Get real....nothing worse than a bunch of drunk bankers and you would have to have been really drunk to buy into the concept that housing prices always increase...

    When you have only 7,500 stocks in the world and 15,000 mutual becomes obvious that alot of the increases in the stock market have nothing to do with economic conditions but rather a whole lot to do with a whole lot of money chasing very limited investments...

    Conservatives have got to get back to calling a spade a spade....

    The last decade was a disaster and it was committed by folks who pretended to be conservatives....

    Thats our fault and all the yelling and screaming about liberals, Obama, or socialism can't hide that fact.

  2. Thank you for your visit and read.

    I confess to being elated when GWB won in 2000. Within three years I began to realize Busch was not a conservative. Buy 2005 I was certain. I guess I must admit to being slow to catch on.

    Socialism, fascism, and other tags aside the first decade of this century was in fact an economic "waterloo" for the Republican Party. And the Republican Party needs to accept kts share of blame for it.

    Wall street and investment bankers likewise need to accept their share of blame.

    And so do Democrats.

    Will they, who the hell knows. Anybodies gues is as god as the next.

    Principle, responsibility, discipline, and honor. Perhaps someone or several will run on these four simple planks and mean it.

    I won't hold my breath, because the electorate will likely reelect the crops that has screwed them.

    Perhaps that is why we blog.

  3. Government in favor of business is what led to this stagnation RN.

    I don't want to hear about stock prices and shareholders either because my portfolio is probably microscopic compared to whta TAO's was. The policies made the rich obscenely richer while the middle class lost things like defined benefit pensions in favor of 401k's. They were a boon for big financial houses but not the small investor no matter what the right's propaganda says.

    Much of our malaise was caused by too little government oversite and regulation. Our legislators are a commodity to be bought and sold.

    I know you don't like my schtick about government having to be part of the solution RN. But no other entity can level the playing field between labor and management. Or protect our borders. Or make the people that are to blame for this mess pay to fix it.

  4. in my opinion on this, the following quote says it all.

    "The first decade of the new century was an experiment in what happens when an economy comes to rely heavily on borrowed money."

    this applies to everyone not just politicians, business or banks. it applies to every individual in society also.

    an economy cannot sustain it self when it is living off of tomorrow's money.

  5. Hi Rational Nation,

    Truth had a plug for you at his blog so I headed over here and am impressed by what you've written. I am kind of on the other end from you, a liberal who is disillusioned by the Dems and for what are similar reasons.

    I've always been a pro-union working class liberal,whole family like this.Work hard but also support a welfare state. I believe it's the role of conservatives to keep Dems from going too far in the direction of a welfare state. Ideally we work together. Don't know if I'm explaining my position well.

    IMO the Dems triangulation is similar to what the neocons did to the Reps, trying to stay on message but essentially deserting their base.

    I think the Palin/Beck crowd does the Right a great disservice, to me analogous to those on the left who claimed Bush was behind Katrina and planned 9/11.Destroys credibility when your arguments are stupid.

    I opposed pretty much everything Bush did, and I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't hold Obama to the same standards so I take a small amount of flak for not supporting his actions.

    I'm probably taking too much of your time here but will definitely be back to check your stuff out more.

    Happy New Year man!

  6. Is it self-centered greed or legitimate self-interest that is the main concern with those who do not understand Ayn Rand? Those who admire and criticize Ayn Rand’s beliefs about people who stand on their own feet often say she promoted selfishness, thereby greed, which is self-centered and anti-individual creativity. That is anti-Rand. Rand admired the creative individual, people like railroad builder James Jerome Hill, on whom she was reputed to have based her character Nathaniel Taggart in Atlas Shrugged. Independent “I’m OK, you’re OK” people are OK with Rand, not the criminal takers. If we look at Howard Roark’s summation to the jury, from Fountainhead, we do not see a self-centered individual destroying his work. If he was greedy he would have simply accepted his payment. We see an other- and outer-centered individual in love with his own dreams and creations, as one would love a spouse, child or family and refuse to allow them to be assaulted. That is the kind of self-interest that built America. Though love for anything spiritual may be missing, a great idea or vision also measures up to that which is spiritual, beyond self, and that view is not even inconsistent with Christianity.

  7. TRUTH - While I see your point it sounds to much like the old class warfare sh*t. We can learn to work together or we can all fall together. The choice is ours.

    As an individualist I believe it is up to the individual to decide. Not big brother government. And I sure as hell mean that for those anti conservative meat heads like G.W.Bush, the liberal deficit spender.

    Griper - Well said. Indeed, I could not agree with you more.

    Oso - Thank you for the visit and read. You are welcome RN USA at any time. Your comments are rational, and well thought out. We may very well be on opposite sides of the same coin but we both know something is remiss with our group responsible for governance of America.

    Only reason and rationality can overcome the current condition our nation is in. Lets hope we can come together and correct our serious problems before it is to late.

    Clay - To truly understand Rand, and her philosophy of Objectivism, requires an open mind and the desire to study her full body of work.

    As a dedicated student of her philosophy I recommend people read the "Virtue of Selfishness." Not only does it require and open mind,it requires the ability to "think outside the box."

    Your points are both rational and well said. I thank you for making them so clearly.

  8. The Center for Media Research has released a study by Vertical Response that shows just where many of these ‘Main Street’ players are going with their online dollars. The big winners: e-mail and social media. With only 3.8% of small business folks NOT planning on using e-mail marketing and with social media carrying the perception of being free (which they so rudely discover it is far from free) this should make some in the banner and search crowd a little wary.


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