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