There are things happening to our national economy right now that would be in 120 pt font, above the fold and on the front page of The New York Times if a GOP President were in office. They’d sit right there in stark bas-relief next to an obligatory propaganda-shot of The Goober-In-Chief whacking the Bejeezus out of a Titlist with his Calloway Nine-Iron. According to Tyler Durden, at zerohedge.com, one of these things just happened in the Jolly, Old month of March. Apparently, Shakespeare wasn’t joking when he spoke “Beware the Ides…”
It seems that New York real estate managers cannot rent out there vacant properties. How bad has the commercial real estate market gotten in Gotham City? So bad that….
Bloomberg TV reports that the office vacancy rate in downtown NY has dropped to September 11th levels, and is about to pass 14%. (HT: Zerohedge.com).
And so how’s about the 86% that are still occupied….Again we query Zerohedge.com. In doing so, we learn that March 2010 recorded the single largest monthly increase in 30 day + rent payment delinquencies in recorded history.
RealPoint has just released its March CMBS delinquency data, according to which delinquencies hit an all time high 6%. Not to be ignored, according to TREPP this number is even worse, at nearly 8%, after the single biggest monthly spike in 30 day + delinquencies.
This makes economic recovery significantly harder to see in the future. We can hire 250,000 temporary census people to knock on the doors at all of the empty storefronts, but we cannot replace the jobs that would have been located at all of these vacant and soon to be vacant commercial establishments. Modern technology not withstanding, it’s a real bear finding employment, if there isn’t anywhere to go to work….
Of course we have Barack Obama, in the White House, so we get media spin that could make a vulture nauseous. It seems that Pravda on The Potomac has determined why there aren’t more jobs. People are just too gosh-darned productive.
No, I wish it were an April Fools joke, but it isn’t. I guess I have to quote this piece for the rational mind to believe a serious adult would write such disingenuous hackery. Anything to excuse the vastly ineluctable incompetence of our current Boy President.
When workers become more efficient, it’s normally a good thing. But lately, it has acted as a powerful brake on job creation. And the question of whether the recent surge in productivity has run its course is the key to whether job growth is finally poised to take off. One of the great surprises of the economic downturn that began 27 months ago is this: Businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.
It actually gets worse before the article mercifully runs its maundering course: really smart people like Ben Bernanke ponder deeply what this productivity increase means…
It is an episode that we’re going to — we, economists in general — are going to want to understand better and look at for a long time,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said at a hearing last week in which he described the productivity gains as “extraordinary” and acknowledged he had not foreseen them.
Not being all matrikalated like The Mighty Doctor Ben, I see it like this. American industry has gained about 8% in productivity in two years. That can be explained cultural factors. The “Oh-(family edit), I could Get Canned” Factor leads to great fear, which releases adrenaline, which in turn leads to terror-inspired bursts of creativity and genius from employees who feel that they need to remain employed.
Less Employees Are Needed – 6 Sigma gurus swear by primal fear as a team motivator. People cooperate well with even coworkers they detest on religious principal, if the alternative involves both individuals visiting the State Employment Commission next Monday. Under that set of stark conditions, even Private Pyle can get his defecation in sequence.
Yes, this all sounds puerile, but the phenomenon at work is just that simple. The productivity spike is all about a focus on The Big, Bad Now. When American workers comprehend that they are otherwise screwed, they become the most motivated and capable people on the face of the planet. As David “Spengler” Goldman pointed out, this financial crisis was “The Day The Slacker Died.”
Americans have to work harder, save more, and defer gratification. Instead of spending four years in a non-stop party at a taxpayer-subsidized state university, the middling American student will work during the day, go to night school, and save for a dozen years to buy his or her first house (at a much lower price than the present owner paid for it). They will stop complaining about boring jobs and oppressive bosses, and feel grateful to have the work. Their parents won’t bail them out; in fact, their parents will postpone retirement and work and additional 10 or 15 years. It’s not going to be fun, but there’s no helping it. The sooner Americans reconcile themselves to a tighter belt and a longer day, the better.
Consider it done, Mr. Goldman. We, the American People, who are waaayyyyy smarter than our self-selecting elite ever credits us with being, got that message. As they say on crisp, Autumn Sundays, in the NFL, “It’s Game Day, baby!” The Slacker, like Jimmy Hoffa, is buried somewhere in the concrete slab under one of the Meadowlands end zones.
And yet the propaganda organs of our institutional elites experience economic dyslexia stemming from their desire to portray the world as the world is not. They never stop to think how stupid they look while they lie to us all. Workers are not unemployed because corporations are more productive – corporations are more productive because the ones that can’t get it done are no longer allowed to set foot in the building.
Away from the faculty clubs and the K-Street bars, Americans across the land have come to unpleasant, but acceptable terms with unforgiving Street-Level Reality. As Spengler opined, the belt just got tightened, because the gut has been sucked in. Yet America will not get well until the elites come down from their tower.
Some bizarre things have happened while you were off socializing more industries, Mr. President. Perhaps you should pay them some mind and start working for the benefit of the nation as hard as your subjects are currently working to keep their families and lives above water.
X-Posted At: THE MINORITY REPORT