The Big Question: Is the U.S. headed for a double-dip recession?


Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said:
The economy is headed for a period of very weak growth, it really doesn't matter to anyone other than econ nerds and bad reporters whether the growth rate is actually negative in any given quarter (a double dip).

The basic point is that absent some additional spending on job creation, we can expect that job growth will at best just keep pace with the growth in the labor force. This means we will be looking at near double-digit unemployment for the next couple of years.

We can thank the job-killing Republicans in the Senate who have blocked proposals to give more money to the states to prevent layoffs and also the extension of unemployment benefits. The job killers, who claim to be concerned about the deficit, might cost the economy more than 1 million jobs by this time next year.

Perhaps this is a good political strategy. The higher the unemployment rate, the more seats the Republicans are likely to pick up in November. But, this is not a good strategy for the country's workers.


Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit blogger, said:
The signs look poor, and it's no surprise: Economies rebound when people think it's a good idea to invest, hire people and expand capacity. Any rational investor today is hunkering down against the impact of unpredictable, but destructive, government policies emanating from an administration made up of people who have never run a popsicle stand. If you were trying to kill private sector growth, it would be hard to do better than the Obama administration has.


Bernie Quigley, Pundits Blog Contributor, said:
It is more than a double dip. The world economy is heading for a systemic change. As Harold Meyerson wrote in the Washington Post the other day, Germany and China should be seen as new economic leaders. But Canada should be recognized as well as approaching an ideal society in western eyes; excellent banking and infrastructure, 12 years surplus and healthcare to boot. What these three have in common is their own unique cultural and regional work ethics. America should think now how to be competitive in this new realm: The agricultural regions, which are vast in North America, have strong futures, the manufacturing sectors are not competitive nor are the financial sectors particularly competitive. This is the advice of commodities guru Jim Rogers. We in the U.S. should come out of the 1990s and begin to think of what works for which regions. And what is the roll of the cities? Do they have one? (No.) New tax systems should develop regional  circles of economy in “natural states” like the Carolinas, the Virginias and Tennessee. A local economy for Vermont, New Hampshire and  lower Quebec for example, focused on the Northeast Kingdom which is right in the center, should be given tax incentives. Keep cash local, trade locally when there is no need to globalize — nothing could be more wasteful in spending or worse for the environment than sending wool from Australia to Vermont via South Africa for carding to make a pair of socks, as it is done now. Think locally, act locally.


Brad Delong
, professor of economics at the UC Berkeley, said:
Probably not: Jobless recovery, "L" shaped recovery rather than a "V," but a full-blown double-dip is unlikely...



John F. McManus, president of The John Birch Society, said:
Sad to say, it does look as though an intensification of the recession is coming. The only answer is less government, not more.
 
The Obama administration is on the way to producing a second $1.4 trillion annual deficit. This will require more borrowing and/or printing and the result will be raised interest rates, diminished value of the dollar, or both.
 
Unemployment is up, and it will get worse as census workers are being laid off. Manufacturing is down; one example is the recent closing of a refrigerator plant in Indiana and its relocation to Mexico.
 
When unemployment is high and manufacturing is reduced, government revenues fall.
 
Across the nation, state and local governments are laying off because of the falling dollar and their own loss of tax revenue. Mr. Obama has proposed a huge multi-billion dollar bailout that will only make matters worse.
 
The United Nations has just released a report calling on the international community to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency. Repudiation of the dollar is around the corner. If this happens, the consequences to America will be horrendous.
 
Wealth is productivity. A nation is wealthy whose people are free to take the raw materials of the earth and fashion them into goods. But paper pushers and bureaucrats constitute the only growth segment today. The number of our nation's wealth producers has shrunk dramatically and is becoming smaller every year. Those who wish to produce are being inhibited by government policies.
 
There is no other way out of the doldrums we're in than shrinking government, not production.
 
The course we're on guarantees that the economic picture will get worse.  Perhaps the fall elections will begin a reversal of suicidal policies.  Such a reversal is desperately needed. 


Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com, said:
We are headed for a major depression caused by bank credit expansion and government debt: the only solution is massive deflation, and the more we avoid it the more painful it will be.



Dick Morris, Pundits Blog Contributor, said:
Yes.  Although, when you break out cash transfers from Washington, we have never had a quarter of positive growth in the opinion of many economists.
 
But the double dip is not due to the recession, but due to the high levels of global debt to which the Obama Administration is the main contributory.  We are getting sick from the cure of overspending not the original disease of recession