Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

06 April, 2007

I wouldn't crack the bubbly just yet

The WaPo has a piece on a drop in the unemployment rate, hitching the drop to rising employment in the construction industry:
Unemployment fell in March to 4.4 percent as a rebound in construction hiring helped the economy add 180,000 jobs over the month, a better showing than expected, the government reported today.

Which all sounds well and good, with the Post going on to add:
A downturn in the housing and automotive industries had prompted concern that the economy was slowing, leading some analysts to predict that the Fed would lower interest rates sometime this year to spur growth.

But today's job report makes that outcome less likely.

Makes that outcome less likely, eh? I think a lot of people are going to be in for an "oh shit" moment in the not too distant future (via Wolcott):
[T]he media has still not put together the collapse of the housing bubble and the permanent oil crisis. These events will be happening simultaneously. The housing industry, so-called, will never recover because the oil crisis spells the end of the suburban build out. The cycle is over. The big production homebuilders will go down and never come back. We won't need any more retail, either. We won't be building anymore WalMarts and Target stores, and the thousands now running will die off just as the giant Baluchitherium of the Asian steppes crapped out in the early Miocene epoch.

The end of the suburban build-out will be a stupendous trauma for the United States because, unfortunately, we have made it the basis of our economy for a generation, as well as our living arrangement. Not only will incomes and livelihoods be lost on the grand scale, and never come back, but, as the global oil predicament deepens, the existing fabric of our vast suburbs will become increasingly useless and worthless. The people stuck in them will lose whatever wealth they have accumulated and our arrangements for daily life will become increasingly nightmarish.
This is the part of the story that the mainstream media still can't put together. Peak oil and the housing bust are a mutually-reinforcing clusterfuck.

So let's not start patting each other on the back just yet.

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