The Federal Reserve sees sputtering economy, keeps interest at zero

The Federal Reserve met this week. They took one look at our sluggish economy and problems in China and Europe, and decided to keep interest rates at zero. The Fed has added four trillion “printing press” dollars into the economy, kept interest rates at zero for seven years, and our economy has barely budged.

The Federal Reserve has no faith in the economy. Fed Chair Janet Yellen sees that average family income fell 6 percent since 2007, more working age folks are not working, and two-thirds say they are unsatisfied with the economy. Yellen seems to be saying, “We’ve done all we can to overcome policies that diminish growth and take too much money out of private hands.”

One glimmer of hope is the official unemployment rate which is down to 5.1%. And families expect to spend about 5% more this year than last.

I think President Obama is hoping we don’t slip into another recession before Americans feel they have fully recovered from 2008.  The last thing he wants is a reminder that the Great Depression in the 1930s ended only with a war.

Pope Francis is visiting the U.S. after a day or two in Cuba to check out an economy after half a century of Communism. What will he think of our economy after two centuries of capitalism? He has always looked out for the poor and downtrodden, ones who have lost faith and lost hope. Lately he has come out against global warming. I don’t know what he will say in his speech to Congress on Thursday.  I doubt if he will endorse any presidential candidate, although Senator Sanders is sure to claim they share the same goals.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“There is 2 things that can disrupt business in this country. One is war and the other is a meeting of the Federal Reserve.” DT #837, Apr. 2, 1929

“Sell your house and lot this morning, for the Federal Reserve Board meets this afternoon.” DT #839, Apr. 4, 1929

Renaming mountains, hills, counties and cars

Ohio folks, especially Republicans, are upset at President Obama for renaming a mountain in Alaska. For more than a hundred years the name of the highest mountain in North America has honored William McKinley, the 25th president who was born in Niles. But hundreds of years earlier, Alaska natives had named it Denali.

Rather than Ohio complaining, they should find another mountain to name. Only problem is the tallest “mountain” in Ohio is Campbell Hill, at 1550 feet. Changing it might annoy the Campbell family, and would be an embarrassment to McKinley.

China sent a fleet of warships to the Alaska coast while our president was visiting there. Obama tried to concentrate on his favorite threat, global warming, despite the military threat, “I can see Chinese warships from the top of Denali.” He didn’t really say that. But he could have.

Other former presidents appear to be safe from renaming. Instead of removing Andrew Jackson from the twenty-dollar bill, Obama decided to delete Alexander Hamilton from the ten. I doubt he would change Hoover Dam back to Boulder Dam. If the drought continues a few more years, there won’t be enough water behind it to fill a Las Vegas swimming pool.

On a local level can you imagine the anguish if he went to Oklahoma and renamed Rogers County to its original geographic name, Cooweescoowee?  It’s a good Cherokee name, but who wants to spell Cooweescoowee?

To balance out the president, maybe General Motors can rename one of their luxury vehicles. Call it the GMC Yukon McKinley.

Meanwhile in the 2016 Presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton claimed “I was not thinking a lot when I got in” before setting up her own email server as Secretary of State. Actually, it was the opposite. The State Dept. already had a secure email system; she had to stop and think quite a bit to make a deliberate decision not to use it. She is pleading ignorance concerning classified documents. But in all her years in the White House and Senate (serving on the Armed Services committee) she should have learned how to recognize classified, top secret messages. Donald Trump admitted he does not know the names of the leaders of the Islamic terror groups, but insisted they would know him once he’s elected. “And if they don’t surrender within a week after I take office, they’ll be killed.” He didn’t really say that. But he could have.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Tomorrow is Labor Day, I suppose by an act of Congress. Everything we do nowadays is either by or against acts of Congress. How Congress knew anything about labor is beyond us.”  DT #967, Sept. 1, 1929

In a Lockheed Electra we scaled Mount McKinley… Bright sunny day and the most beautiful sight I ever saw.” DT #2816, Aug. 14, 1935