Yes, many think economy troubled

The Oregonian
Monday, June 28, 2004

Matthew D. Lowe (Letters, June 20) asks if anyone other than John Kerry thinks our economy seems troubled. The answer is yes.

We do not have a robust economy; we have a "twilight zone" -- an economy growing fast enough to avoid an official recession but not fast enough to create jobs, according to Paul Krugman, a professor at Princeton University.

Economic journalist William Greider states that the U.S. economy is flirting with a low-grade depression (Dollars and Sense magazine, March/April 2004). At the world economic summit in Davos, Switzerland, the chief economist at Morgan Stanley declared that the main engine of the global economy, the United States, is "running on fumes."

The 2003 economic growth spurt has been fueled by tax cuts, home sales, mortgage refinancing and Iraq-driven military spending, none of which is self-sustaining, like jobs and wage growth.

There are economic indicators other than employment, but jobs are the key to a self-perpetuating economic expansion. Even with new jobs created, the economy lost 331,000 jobs in 2003 on top of 1.5 million jobs lost in 2002. A total of 2.4 million jobs have disappeared since 2000.


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