The Economy on Friday the 13th

Friday, August 13, 2010

WNYC business and economics editor Charles Herman looks at the good, and the scary, economic news. And Sharon Terlep, a reporter covering the auto industry for The Wall Street Journal, talks about the change in leadership at G.M.


Charlie Herman and Sharon Terlep

Comments [14]

juliette moscola from NYC

A response to comments made on 8/13 show: Should we totally "unleash the four horsemen of the energy industry" (oil/gas/coal/nuclear). Do Americans really want these? (1)The heat index down south to average 140 degrees in the summer. (2)Every drop of decent water to become heavily contaminated. (3)Even more children born with neurological disorders. (4)Lots of nuclear waste and no where to dump it.

Aug. 14 2010 08:28 PM
Jack from valley stream, ny

I'm an independent retailer. If you want the economy back on it's feet let start making stuff here. The government can buy all the empty buildings and homestead to new manufacturers. The money can come from tarp funds, and in years to come when these manufacturers have a firm footing they'll be paying taxes. In the meantime look at how many people could be employed. Another suggestion is downsize big business that's what killing small business.

Aug. 13 2010 10:48 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

...something the detractors overlook.

I'm also with Hugh: Workers in the US are expected to be "flexible" - meaning little job protection and poor terms for employee dismissal. Aggregate demand is what drives the economy, and with high unemployment, new worker-employer arrangements need to be instituted. Difficult in the land of "right to work."

Finally, if there is to be $1 trillion spent, it should be done over 10 years and put towards repairing and building infrastructure vital to our economic and social future. Of course, intransigence - not vision - currently exists in D.C.

Aug. 13 2010 10:35 AM

Two possible suggestions for a US economic "quick fix"

(a) Do as we did in WWII,and bomb Germany, Japan and other economic competitors into rubble, so emerge again, as we did after WWII, triumphant with no economic competitors to speak of for the next 30 years...


(b) persuade China, Russia and India to go back to communism and socialism, and thus present us with no ECONOMIC challenge, as was the case after WWII.

Or better yet, maybe do both (a) and (b).

Short of that, we have to compete, and that ain't quick or easy.


Aug. 13 2010 10:31 AM

We need to redefine "wealthy". Someone making $200,000 is pretty wealthy to most of us, but they shouldn't pay the same rate as someone making $20 million. I think this would make it more palatable even to the tea party folks.

Aug. 13 2010 10:28 AM

buy local!

Aug. 13 2010 10:25 AM

Wow. Does Charles Herman just read the Wall Street Journal editorials to get his stories on the economy?

A _high school_ economics course would betray the lies of Herman and the appallingly bad economics reporting from WNYC.

FACT: Europe's workers are safer in a downturn than American workers. So European workers can feel safer about spending.

Lack of spending is the essential problem underlying the US recession. And that is directly tied to unemployment. AND unemployment is not the problem in Europe that it is in the US -- even when unemployment is HIGHER in Europe.

There is no mystery here. Charles Herman's failure to mention the betrays either that he is ignorant or that he is lying.

Aug. 13 2010 10:22 AM

Brian, please take a moment to remember that the economy IS recovering... just more slowly than first expected. These doom and gloom discussions about the economy are getting old and just may be responsible for the lack of confidence that seems to be so important to the economic rebound.

Aug. 13 2010 10:21 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

In fact, Ford and GM over the past three years, and especially 2010 models, have generally out-pointed other competitors.

What it comes down to is that the product - finally - have improved. That's why GM issuing stock now still has considerable upside, something the detractors

Aug. 13 2010 10:21 AM

So what should I spend my money on that will help the economy the most, dollar for dollar?

Aug. 13 2010 10:21 AM

Why aren't you talking about the George Soros article in the New York Review of Book????

Aug. 13 2010 10:20 AM
gaetano catelli from greenpoint, brooklyn

"During the hearings, when asked if as secretary of defense he could make a decision adverse to the interests of General Motors, ["Engine Charlie"] Wilson answered affirmatively but added that he could not conceive of such a situation 'because for years I thought what was good for the country was good for General Motors and vice versa. Later, this statement was often quoted in pared-down form as, 'What's good for General Motors is good for the country.''"


watch that spin, Brian ;-)

Aug. 13 2010 10:19 AM
gaetano catelli from greenpoint, brooklyn

re: the [July 0.4% retail sales] increase is mainly from autos and gas."

right now, i'll take a 0.4% monthly sales increase anyway i can get it.

Aug. 13 2010 10:15 AM

NPR has repeatedly failed to mention (or deliberately omitted) the fact that one thing behind the Eurozone's better performance right now (despite higher debt-to-GDP ratios, higher taxes, etc.) is that demand is stronger there.

Demand is stronger because European nations have a far better social safety net for workers/consumers. People just don't have to be as fearful in Europe.

Moreover, Germany and a few other nations (the Netherlands is one, I think) has instituted work-sharing. Rather than lay people off, everybody sees a shorter work week; so people still have work.

It is no overstatement to say that this detail is maliciously omitted in American economics reporting. Work-sharing is extremely effective. It encourages confidence in workers and consumers. That confidence is still dropping in the US because Democrats and Republicans alike treat workers as the enemy.

Aug. 13 2010 10:14 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.