Little Depression Blues

The Little Depression got a little more depressing this week as some high profile companies announced thousands of lay-offs (essentially wiping out the pitiful gains of the last couple months). There are still mainstream economists out there forecasting that the second half of the year will see stronger growth, but...I just don't see how that's possible.

Cisco Systems Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp. and troubled bookstore chain Borders Group Inc. are among those that have recently announced hefty cuts, while recent government numbers underscore how companies have shifted toward cutting jobs.

The increase in layoffs is a key reason why the U.S. recorded an average of only 21,500 new jobs over the past two months, far below the level needed to bring down unemployment, which now stands at 9.2%.

The cuts also reflect the shifting outlook of employers, many of whom had expected the economy to gain speed as the year progressed. Instead, growth has faltered. If the pace continues to disappoint, more companies will feel pressure to pull back. "Layoffs have played a big role [in weak job growth] over the last few months," said Mike Montgomery, an economist at IHS Global Insight. "The soft patch is more layoffs and nothing else to pick up the slack."

Like I say, it's depressing. And it's even more depressing to contemplate the head-long rush among the Big Government branch of the DC political class to reach a debt ceiling deal that will lock in the sort of trillion-dollar-deficit spending that has done so much to kill the economy.

Meanwhile, you know what state, besides Texas, is now seeing job growth? Wisconsin, which has seen 12,900 jobs created in the last month (Gateway Pundit says this is half the jobs created in the United States during that time). You may remember the last time the Dairy State was in the news. That was when leftists rallied to stop a budget-cutting, union-taming Republican governor from destroying the middle class. Scott Walker - an inoffensive midwesterner in the Pawlenty mould - got the full Palin/Bachmann treatment. A typical left-wing attack on a GOP politician, and one that is looking hysterically, not to mention historically, wrong.

The GOP is never going to get favorable press treatment. It is never going to have the songs and the sentiment that the grievance class enjoys. But what the GOP can get is results. But, those results only come when Republican politicians govern according to conservative principles, consistently applied. But, as we've seen this week, such politicians are damn hard to find, even when congressional majorities are handed to them on a silver platter with the simple instruction that they cut spending and shrink the size and scope of government.

The left must know that their plans and plots can never lead to the sort of economic dynamism that the average American sees as their birthright, and which is not that far out of reach. But, for all of their protestations that they are working for the middle class and/or the Little Guy, leftists govern in a manner that hurts everybody's interests except their own. They would rather preside over a "growthless recovery" than go against their ideology in order to truly turn the economy around.

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