August 28, 2006 at 11:42 AM #7364adminKeymaster
Americans have overconsumed, and have a big hangover to work out. The work out has the potential to be of depression magnitude (greater than 10% drop in GDP).
Using data from the Federal Reserve Z-1s, personal consumption over ’46-’80 averaged 62.7%. Personal consumption over ’81-’05 averaged 66.8%, an increase of 4.1%. Applying that 4.1% “overconsumption” to GDP over ’81-’05 yields overconsumption of $7.2 trillion.
Let’s assume that historic consumption levels were rational (i.e., that they provided for optimal consumption and savings), and that we need to offset future consumption (i.e., save), to work off the $7.2T of overconsumption. If we work off the $7.2T over five years, given ’05 GDP of $12.5T, that’s a 12% hit to GDP in each of the next five years. If we work off the $7.2T over 10 years, that’s a 6% hit to GDP annually over the next 10 years.
Then, one has to consider the spillover effects, i.e., reduced U.S. consumption results, ultimately, in reduced U.S. exports.
Data concurrence check: over ’81-’05, total household debt increased from $1.5T to $11.5T, $10T.
It should be a fun five-to-ten years.August 28, 2006 at 12:05 PM #33703
jg, we need more people to speak up as you did. You get the Reality-Check-of-the-day Award.
Consumption has got to get back to trendline. If it doesn’t, we’re going to run this country into bankruptcy around the time we run out of $70/barrel oil, and are into $100/barrel oil shale deposits.August 28, 2006 at 12:37 PM #33717PerryChaseParticipant
A reduction in US consumption may not result in decrease exports. For example, of Chinese consumers spend more, we might be able to sell them more stuff thus improving or eliminating the trade deficit.August 28, 2006 at 1:29 PM #33737
The problem is that China cannot create a consumer. Did you read in the story that the shopping malls are empty, as the people are either too poor, or too much savers. The wages are not high enough for them consume their own goods. For this reason, they need to revalue their currency. As long as they remain export dependent, they will have a recession right along with us. Read Roubini = he explains why the entire world will go into a bear market when the US goes into a recession.August 28, 2006 at 2:12 PM #33750AnonymousGuest
I agree, Perry: don’t tell SDREBear, but with Christianity growing by leaps and bounds in China, we Bible-beaters in the U.S. will be able to sell the Chinese lots of crosses, Bibles, and rosaries, shoring up (and growing!) the export portion of U.S. GDP! Then, they’ll be able to afford to come stateside to join the human chain protecting Mount Soledad!August 28, 2006 at 3:09 PM #33766PerryChaseParticipant
Charles Jones Soong, the father of Soong May-ling and father-in-law to Chiang Kai-Shek became an extremely wealthy man in China selling bibles! He discovered that there’s plenty of money to be made in religion. Where did he learn that? In America, at Duke University and Vanderbilt University.
I meant to say that IF China can engineer a consumer boom, we might be able to export more stuff. Also, when China revalues it’s currency upwards then the Chinese consumers could afford to buy more imports.
Thailand, Malaysia, South Korean suffered a terrible recession after the Asian financial crisis of 1997, but they were able to engineer a recovery by boosting local consumption. They were previously export oriented economies (and still are but to a lesser degree).August 28, 2006 at 3:13 PM #33767sdrebearParticipant
Wow, didn’t expect to see your response over here in this thread.
For the record (and it’s easy to read in “Elections 2006” where it belonged), I never, EVER called anyone “Bible-beater”. I find it derogatory and inappropriate. I guess you missed the fact that I’m on your side (of religion that is, not handing the government control of our religious symbols).
I for one am happy Christianity is growing in China. I’m not sure why you thought I wouldn’t be. Fortunately, most of them that I’ve met know our constitution very well and are thankful we have the protection most other countries do not (especially one as censored by their government as China).
I realize that you are pretty galvanized in your desire to keep the cross on Mount Soledad. Again, I totally understand your position. I personally have no desire to remove anyone’s symbol from all public life (most private properties are viewable by the public). When you talk about government involvement, it becomes a whole different animal, that’s all. As innocent as it seems, that cross on that piece of property is a direct assault on all religion in this country. It’s unfortunate that it took an atheist to point it out as now it’s twisted into an attack on Christians.
When someone tells you they want to take the cross off the top of your own church… please call me and I’ll start the human chain myself. I believe you have the right battle, but the wrong war.
By the way, to comment on your topic here. I completely agree with you that consumption was way out of control and driven largely by equity loans. First time the savings rate was negative since the Great Depression. That alone should tell us something.August 28, 2006 at 3:41 PM #33770AnonymousGuest
All right, SDREBear, I’ll save you a place right next to me in the next human chain-to-protest-government-meddling-in-religion!August 28, 2006 at 8:26 PM #33809JESParticipant
Save the cross! I’d chain myself to it to prevent removal as well. Tell the ACLU to go fight for something useful, for once.August 28, 2006 at 11:29 PM #33815ybcParticipant
China — The problem with the Chinese economy at this point is that it’s too dependent on fixed infrastructure investments, similar to that the US is too dependent on consumers. With so much capacity built in China, there is the danger of too much price competition, significant resource misallocation, and a resulting hard landing.
PS, you said, “The problem is that China cannot create a consumer. Did you read in the story that the shopping malls are empty, as the people are either too poor, or too much savers.” (Thanks for the link, BTW) That’s not entirely true. The very high end malls are empty because the builders went after prestige and their pricing was way too high (we’re talking about Paris NYC type of prices). If you go to shops normal Chinese go to, there is plenty of consumption. Not all chinese are savers, either. Younger generation who’s making good money fast are quite good at consuming. Very savvy multi-nationals are already making a lot of money in China.
PerryChase, even if Chinese consumers are buying US branded products, it may not benefit US jobs because those products are very likely made in China. The only true exports (that I’m aware of) are airplanes, chips, software, highend capital equipment (machinery, likely from Europe, Japan and Korea), etc. China is also resources hungry, so it imports a lot of raw material from places like Australia, Brazil, and Africa. I think that US exports to China algriculture products. Entertainment is another US export.
If you look out 20 years, the probability of US living standard decline relative to the rest of the world (Asia) is very high. (Note the word “relative”). US just isn’t producing enough value-added products.August 29, 2006 at 7:14 AM #33849barnaby33Participant
Damn straight, fight for something useful for once! Crazy civil liberties crowd, trying to enforce civil liberties. Who do they think they are? I mean its a cross, symbol of the ONE true faith, whats wrong with that?
JoshAugust 29, 2006 at 9:11 AM #33857
ybc – thanks for your great information.August 29, 2006 at 9:37 AM #33861ybcParticipant
“Thailand, Malaysia, South Korean suffered a terrible recession after the Asian financial crisis of 1997, but they were able to engineer a recovery by boosting local consumption.”. I don’t know about Thailand and Malaysia; but South Korean actually went through a consumer credit bubble. Basically, consumers are new to usign credit, and when the government encourages easy credit to stimulate consumption, consumers abused easy credit. There was a lot of bad consumer loans out there. I think that it wasn’t too bad because soon South Korean benefited tremendouly from trading with China.
I heard that Vietnam is doing very well, in fact, quite a few of my Chinese friends went there looking for investment opportunities.August 29, 2006 at 10:36 AM #33870JESParticipant
We don’t have to assume it is the one true faith to demand that the cross stay where it is. This country was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs and they are a part of our history. This monument is a historical treasure. These same people would have us remove all references to Christianity out of the Constuitution.
I’m sure we’ve all heard that we should choose our battles carefully. Well, when it comes to the ACLU why is it that their lawsuits always seem to target those things that most American hold dear? Like Christmas, Christian historic monuments, the Boy Scouts etc and other fringe issues. And they are even trying to undermine national security by fighting most of the Patriot Act and demanding recruiters stay off campuses. If they don’t like the law on gays in the military, change the law, don’t take away the opportunity to learn about military careers from college students!August 29, 2006 at 2:24 PM #33877AnonymousGuest
Yeah! Right on, JES.
JES, I presume that with your USAA recommendation, that you’re former military? I was a Naval Officer over ’85-’90.
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