June 28th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Is U.S. entering a depression?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Forget all the talk about an economic recovery - the U.S. just might be headed in the opposite direction.
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Paul Krugman - who has a Nobel Prize in economics - writes in the New York Times that he fears we are in the early stages of a depression.

Krugman says a failure of policy is to blame - that it's a mistake for governments around the world to raise taxes and cut spending at this time. Krugman says nations should be spending more to stimulate the economy.

And, at the end of the day - it is the unemployed and their families who will pay the high cost of this depression. Krugman writes about the "tens of millions of unemployed workers, many of whom will go jobless for years, and some of whom will never work again."

Speaking of the unemployed - almost one million Americans are losing their unemployment benefits because the Senate failed to extend the deadline.

The bill didn't get the 60 votes needed to pass because lawmakers are looking for ways to put the brakes on skyrocketing deficits.

The same bill also contained another $24 billion for Medicaid funding for various states. And since they won't be getting that money right now, they will be forced to cut hundreds of millions of dollars, on top of what they've already cut.

It's getting very ugly out there.

Despite the Obama administration crowing about the so-called recovery summer - 78% of Americans say the economy is still in a recession according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. Some recovery.

Here’s my question to you: Is the U.S. entering a depression?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Don in Canada writes:
As difficult as it is to criticize a respected economist like Paul Krugman, my common sense tells me that more government stimulus spending is a crazy notion. American (and Canadian) governments and bureaucracy at all levels have become far too large, costly and inefficient. It is too easy to spend someone else's money. Drastically reducing government spending may hurt the economy in the short term, but will set the stage for a bona fide recovery down the road.

Russell in New Hampshire writes:
It is clear that in order to survive a years-long depression we are going to have to attack the defense budget with a meat cleaver. Many generals at the Pentagon will have to lose their jobs, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will have to be ended or sharply reduced. We must care for our people, many of whom will never work again, and the costs of a few rockets will help pay the unemployment bills. Not to mention state legislatures' debts.

Ron writes:
Though more spending is recommended by many leading economists to avoid a depression, I think finally the people and the financial markets may have figured out that this will only postpone the inevitable: you cannot spend yourself out of debts. The baby boomers have lived nicely on borrowed money and while they retire comfortably we can start paying their bills.

Donald writes:
It's not fair (nor is it going to solve the problem) to only take food from the mouths of the poor, but until new non-regressive tax revenues are raised, the skies will not clear. Two campaign pledges the president has failed at are: removing us from Iraq and raising taxes on those making more than $250,000. Both would go a long way at perking up the economy!

Bud in Washington writes:
I'll bet that a lot of working folks think we're already there, Jack. I've got friends that have been out of work for two years... I'm fortunate. I work for an IT federal contractor and the company is doing well. But the Washington Metro area is not the real world. People don't call it Disneyland East for nothing.

Filed under: Economy • United States
soundoff (297 Responses)
  1. Ed from Port Aransas, TX

    During the good times, our government did save for the future by borrowing money to give tax cuts. Now on the verge of a second Great Depression, they will repeat the error of 1937 with fiscal austerity. "With every mistake we must surely be learning."

    June 28, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    No, we are already in a depression. This may not be quite as bad as the Great Depression, but it is a depression, and not a recession.

    Nor does anyone have any idea, how they are going to put people back to work.......that from Biden's own mouth.

    Don't look for any real relief until at least 2014.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  3. Mike From Twin Lake Mi

    Yes, Jack, I believe that we are headed for a depression! No one seems to get that we need to bring our jobs back from China. We used to have a lot of foundries in Michigan, and now most are in China. I was laid off from a shop that inported most of thier parts from China, then assembled here. When it is cheaper for a company to bring its parts or product from China, then that is what they will do.
    Ultimately, those jobs that were lost here, will not produce wages to buy products here!

    June 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  4. southerncousin

    This reminds me of the feeling I had during the Carter administration. We have a government so inept. Then came Reagan and we became a proud optimistic people again. Now we are back in the darktime, where you have an administration and congress the demean and degrade their citizens. A vice-president who calls a guy who asks for lower taxes an "asshole." A gulf coast that is dying because a corrupt, inept president doesn't want to offend a union. I hope if we aren't already starting the depression, we can get rid of these jerks the unions and liberals put in office, before we do.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  5. Jayne

    I don't know, but it seems unlikely if people are lining up for days to buy the latest electronic gadget or camping out for weeks awaiting the opening of a movie.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  6. Mike, Texas

    I thought we were already in one. No jobs, no manufacturing base, banks stealing from everyone, politicians pointing fingers, and the government spending like drunken sailors.

    Of course it could be worse, we could have oil spewing into the gulf and our boys locked up in two wars with no end in sight.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  7. Russ in PA

    Most likely. What can one expect when politicians are willing to spend us into oblivion and people expect nothing but hand outs and entitlement programs. Get ready for the new reality: austerity will be forced on all of us, not just those in Greece and Spain...

    June 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  8. Mark, Berwyn PA

    I don't think so. I didn't think the "Great Recession" was something worthy of all the press this administration gave it. I think the Dems in office are trying to drum up this scare tactic in order to pat themselves on the back later when the economy revives and say "Lok, we just averted the Great Recession"
    Problem is that all the stimulus they spent was not directed to anything that would stimulate an economy. They simply delayed the full force of a recession this economy desperately needed to clear out the massive inefficiencies brought on by the Clinton Administration easing of mortgage rules.
    Bad recession? Absolutely! Depression? Hardly.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  9. jerseylou

    Surprise....The Depression started in the beginning of the year 2000 ! Remember Bush ,Cheney,Irah,Wall Street and the Repubicans ?

    June 28, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  10. Kevin in Dallas

    Economic situation hint: If the President says we're in a recession, then we're in a depression. If the President says we're in a recovery, then we're in a depression. If the President says we're in a stalling economy, then we're in a recession. It's a no news is good news situation.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  11. Julio

    I think thats a silly question. Why is it that whereever this president goes or touches people lose work? Healthcare is not going to get cheaper, Insurance company employees are going to be forced to slash jobs, more than 1/3 of the Student Loan jobs are going to be slashed, Government grew faster last month than ever before, and even military jobs are being slashed and navy seals are being sued. Must I continue? This sounds a little bit like Cloward And Pivens, I don't know, just saying.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  12. Bert Oak View, CA

    US HA! More like the world is entering a depression! We had better start looking out for America and bring our jobs home, where we can better control the pollution and environmental effects of the factories and also the working conditions for the workers. No more child labor or sweat shops for the big multinational corporations.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  13. Lene',IL

    Well you know that old saying....."If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck......"

    June 28, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  14. Toni

    I have been in a depression for so long, I can't tell the difference.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  15. John from Alabama

    Jack: No, but it is coming out of a very deep hole of bad financial deals on Wall Street. We should see brighter days in December 2010, and year 2011. The most regretable problem is that the unemployed rate will stay constant until 2011. It will start to go down in the first quarter of 2011.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  16. Peg from N.Y.

    Entering a Depression? It seems like we are in one, already.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:44 pm |

    tampa, fl when did you notice jack? every day our media spews forth how great everything is, when in fact businesses are closing every day, restaurants i know tell me they are still dipping into their savings just to keep the doors open and despite state and county regulations, we have people standing in the middle of the roads and intersections here begging for money on almost every street. not the sign of a great economy.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  18. James ATL

    Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, This country is in a depression that will make us all sick. We are now. Marta just quit transporting the few people left with money to the ballpark. I was gonna have lunch with ya Jack, but can't get there, cause the marta route has been cancelled.LOL; This country is in serious trouble, this gulf spill is like the last nail in a coffin since they estimate 195,000 people will lose there jobs over this. Illegal aliens, lying politicians, corporate greed, Lit lawyers, the list is endless of people sucking this country dry. We are not going to have enough folks left working to support this country very soon. My business is down 38% this month and more and more people are coming in and saying they can't afford our product. My job still offers Oakley glasses (still made in the USA).James be nimble, James be quick, I need to get get off this sinking ship. Help us obi wan jackobi, you are our only hope.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  19. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    What do you mean "entering?!!" We've been in one for two and a half years. The question is, when do we get out? It's not just economic growth that gets you out of a Depression – its consistent job growth and a return of consumer confidence. We have not had that since sales were off for the 2007 Christmas season.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  20. Kim in Tustin, California

    Economists say the only reason the economy is as GOOD as it is, is because of the stimulus bill that was passed in 2009. Without that, things would really be grim.

    Well, the stimulus is due to start ending this Fall.

    Deficit-hawk Republicans are unlikely to allow any further stimulus spending by the government. Heck, they won't even allow extensions of Unemployment to families with no other income.

    Let's see if the private companies are ready to pick up the slack in hiring and spending, because consumers sure won't be able to spend without stable jobs.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  21. david (seattle)

    bet your ass we are... our friggin libraries are closing so our property taxes can pay the port infrastructure the offshore cruise boat and shipping companies were supposed to pay for while our senate takes foreign payoffs and our president drinks cheap beer destroying his ability to revitalize an economy that already pulled the rug out from under the manufacturing so senator boxer's husband and others can make millions while tech jobs were given to english as a second language cheap labor subsidized by our treasonous legislators ...goddman uncle sam and his parasitic ruling class sellouts .. save the jones act from macains foolish accomodation to 3rd world industrialist

    June 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  22. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Just because one out of ten workers is unemployed, most state governments are broke, oil is destroying our precious gulf coast environment, we are trillions of dollars in debt, we are engaged in a war with no end in sight, and a rotten, socialist health care system that doesn't work has been crammed down our throats doesn't mean the country is in a depression, it just means that lots of us are depressed.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  23. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack I think your question depends on what class you are living in. If you're one of the many who's unemployment insurance ran out. You're already living in a depression. But if you are wealthy and was bailout on Wall Street you have recouped the money you lost and back living high on the hog. There are more millionaires than ever before and there are more people out a work then there was three years ago. If the working class keeps becoming less in numbers and it starts to take away money from the rich, then they will go into a a recession while the rest of us will be in a depression.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  24. Alex in Wisconsin

    Why are you asking such a depressing question? Are you trying to make it easier for the people who took us down the road to depression to get back into the driver's seat? I don't think we are in depression, but i do think the risk of a double dip recession is a real possibility due to the Gulf oil disaster. But by all means, lets complain so that the ones who apologize to big oil get back into power.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  25. Heather from Indiana

    No Jack. Every single person I know has a job.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  26. JENNA

    Is the U.S. entering a depression?

    Why are you so negative Jack? We aren't bleeding 750K jobs a month like we were under GW Bush. Jobs are being created. People are still able to buy homes and cars. People are still entering the stock market. Kids are still going to college.

    So NO we are not entering a depression.

    Roseville CA

    June 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  27. Richard35

    The signs are there:i.e, high unemployment,Wall Street still gaming the system,Oil Companies denying any responsibility for the Mess in the Gulf! But then one could also say the signs are there for the second coming of Jesus i.e. terrible storms, earthquakes, Mankinds inhumanity to each other as witness by ongoing wars, Humanity not taking care of the planet ,pollution, oil spills etc.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  28. Kevin of SD CA

    This is a completely new time in U.S. history! This is not depression; this is what they say in the military as a complete cluster Fword!
    I would call this a period of complete denial and irresponsibility to the principles, morals, and honor that this country was supposed to represent. Our leaders have completely sold the soul of the U.S. to billionaire monopolies and racist socialist activist groups while the Commander and chief of the Navy sits on his hands and watches an oil spill kill the Gulf of Mexico when he could have easily contained it by sinking an oil tanker over the top of it!
    Towns like Maywood, California are being taken over by Mexico all across America while our Representatives at state and federal levels sit back and watch; and calling those of us opposing the takeover racists!
    I am scrambling to try and find one honest person locally in government who I can get behind and help bring real honesty back to the place I was born. Depression doesn’t begin to describe my honor at what I see all around me!
    God Help America blessing her is not enough anymore.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  29. Kim in Mpls, MN

    If the economy isn't then it might be the "new math" at work that doesn't recognise it, if so then we should look into our families, I know i am a little depressed about the crappie job I found with wages that I made 25 years ago.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  30. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Too little too late on this question Jack. We've been in a depression for the last 3 years, it's just called a major recession to avoid a run on the banks, that is if you're fortunate enough to have any money in a bank. Unfortunately, the worse is yet to come and when it does I hope you and your family is prepared for major wars in the streets across the entire country.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  31. Allen in Hartwell GA

    If the US is entering a depression all we need to do is turn off the AM hate radio shows and the "fair and balanced" opinion network. How anyone could listen to that all day and not be depressed is beyond me.
    Hartwell GA

    June 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  32. Matt Toohey

    If not a depression, certainly what appears to be a very long term recession. I wonder if anyone knows how to get us and the rest of the world out of this mess.


    June 28, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  33. robert, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, unless people have some disposable income left for spending, the recession may be prolonged. According to a New York Times article, now is not the time to impose government austerity measures. History proves it will not solve the unemployment situation. Here, in Canada our provincial government will impose an 8 per cent consumption tax on items that were not already taxed such as gas and heating fuel and it will be implemented on Canada's national holiday, July 1. Now, if only you Americans tried to introduce a similar tax on July 4 I think we could all sit back and watch the fireworks.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  34. Cy Gardner

    It's inevitable. In what fairy tale land can you consistently cut wages and raise prices and expect people to be able to buy all the stuff needed to live in a materialistic society? If you give companies incentive to move away and tolerate banks that take taxpayer money and then refuse to lend it to anyone who's not a huge institution, where will people work? All three branches of government are set up to help the rich get richer and dream up more elaborate lies and excuses about what is happening to the majority of us.
    There will be a depression and it will be uglier than the first one. cy from arlington, va

    June 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  35. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: The way I look at it is, "It's a recession when my neighbor lost his job; it's a depression when and if I lose mine".

    June 28, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  36. Arnold Mi

    It is hard to say right now which way the economy is moving. Part of the economy looks like it would like to advance and part of it has stalled. The economy looks like an equally balanced seesaw that has run out of momentum.

    The primary reason is the lack of consumer spending at the lower end of the consumer scale. We spent too much money bailing out millionaires and not enough where it would have done the most good.

    70% of the US economy is consumer spending and a close look at the consumer debt and personal savings figures for the past 15 years will clearly show where the problem lays.

    Many of the stimulus packages wound up in some shareholders pocket and not enough went to main street America.

    One prime example of this was the $600 ARRA rebate check that was sent to all Americans making less than $175k a year, except those on Social Security who received $250. This type of stimulus is about as beneficial as burning the money in a garbage dumpster, since the part of the economy that is stalled is at the lower income level.

    A careful review of the stimulus package by any who understands basic economics 101 could tell you that the stimulus was backwards and this is why the recovery has taken so long.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:27 pm |

    Jack, the United states has been in a depression for a year and five months and will steadily sink lower and lower until the economy totally collapses. This is completly in line with Obama's socialist / communist regime agenda, which is to destroy the United States from within. Obama's evil utopian fantasy of a ultra far left socialist / communist United States will make all previous dead presidents roll over in their graves. Obama and his communist lackies are a diseased stain which is in need of excising. Impeach Obama now and remove his name from the roll of presidents. Put it down as just a bad idea. Any room Obama goes into, he is the least qualified person there. Obama is incompetent, plain and simple. Does the phrase " manchurian candidate " mean anything to anybody. Anybody who voted for this fool deserves the misery he will bring before he is done destroying us all. The United States struggled for decades, trying to overcome the evil of the soviet union - and for what, so we could elect a despotic communist to the office of the president of the United States of America. God, I am disgusted.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  38. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, I don't think the U.S. is headed for a depression but, I am. All the bad news out there these days has me in a blue funk. Admittedly, Washington's clueless as to what;s coming next but I don't think it'll be a depression. Just a very long climb back to the top of the hill.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    June 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  39. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    IF the "RepubliCAN'Ts" keep blocking EVERY fiscal measure to jump start the economy, then YES the United States could very well slip into a depression, Jack.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  40. Victor G. Hughes

    Golly Jack. Let's see !!!
    Your politicos at all levels can't seem to run even a lemonade stand with any kind of conservative fiscal governance. Your citizenry seem to continue to live in a societal straight jacket where the yearly cost of living associated with programs like education, health, fire/ police services and public administration seems beyond their scope of understanding. Your corporate types, the Waltons/ Walmart, the Clintons etc. deem nothing wrong with international outsourcing of production and IT jobs. The USA doesn't seem to fathom that you cannot afford the ongoing costs of the defence/ military industrial complex. There is this thing called – DEBT [forget the deficit !! ].
    The Depression will only be felt when it hits Wall St., CNN and the rest of the doorsteps of the supposed 'elite'. For most. it's already here !!!

    June 28, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  41. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Perhaps. Herbert Hoover was "credited" for the depression. Roosevelt was credited for coming out of it. Bush is responsible for this one and 17 months hasn't been enough for Obama to turn things around. Seems we need the Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbor.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  42. Jaime

    The United States is not entering a depression, but I do think the recession will be long term. Reason: if our citizens do not have money to purchase new or existing homes or update there homes. Our economy will not improve because anything that has to do with construction new or existing is what drives our economy and keep our citizens employed from all aspects of the job market meaning blue and white collar jobs.
    Blue Island, IL

    June 28, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  43. Larry,Springfield,Ohio

    Jack,I've been depressed ever since the last election!

    June 28, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  44. Steve, Clifton, VA

    If truth be told, the U.S has been in a depression for the past 2 1/2 years. The global economy, on the other hand, has subsequently been in a recession which has been progressively moving towards a global depression. Hence, the reason and necessity to "spend" our way out of the depression. The Obama administration knows this as did the former bush administration officials, but we don't want to scare the citizens with the truth.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  45. chris brown fl

    yes i belevive that all the indicators are there and the world has not learned there lesson from a year ago . the big money people are hording the money and not letting it circulate ibelieve this is to keep the wages low but i predict this is going to back fire the way the housing did

    June 28, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  46. Paul Austin, Texas

    We have been entering a depression now for several months even prior to Obama. Now with the help of BP and the oil spill it is almost a sure thing the lost jobs, larger and larger no fish zones, and the still unknown of the complete effect of the spill. The word depression is now on the wall in oily large capital letters.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  47. Doug - Dallas

    We've been in one Jack, depending on your perspective. The folks up in Congress are now, under the guise of fiscal responsibility, refusing to spend the money needed to fuel the recovery and so things will get worse. Talk about an oxymoron, Congress and fiscal responsibility!! Of course they'll blame each other and the president, but the bottom line is they are completely out of touch the mainstream America. I'd like to see them make ends meet on $400 a week and then have that yanked out from under them. I'm sure they would yell louder than the people they have done that to already.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  48. Antoinette Van Meter

    I sure hope not. We can't survive a depression. I'm barely getting by as it is. The stress is getting to all of us and slowly it's putting us in the grave. The only one that will last the depression is the rich because the middle class and poor will not survive.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  49. Herman

    We are not giong into a depression. But the direction and poor economic policies this administration has taken has certainly not helped our recovery. I would hope that with the November elections comming the message will be jobs and not the changing of America for the worse.
    Portland OR

    June 28, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  50. Jesse Vancouver Canada

    Hi Jack,

    The US is broke, all the major manufacturing has been shipped overseas and making money from money doesn't work or create jobs as we clearly saw on Wall Street.

    Hold on to your hats and wallets, massive deep cuts must be made and a war tax should be created to prevent the US from going to war on a whim and wasting massive amounts of tax payer money.

    Jack, America is going to find out very fast what a budget is and how to keep one or a depression is inevitable.

    Vancouver Canada

    June 28, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  51. elizabeth

    Until the "little people" recover there is no recovery.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  52. Gail, Plano TX

    Jack: Something just doesn't add up here! How can we be entering a depression if people waited on lines to buy the latest IPhone? We are not talking chump change here. Those phones cost! When they are waiting on line for a bowl of soup, then that's a depression.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  53. Greg in Cabot, AR

    We could be headed for another depression, the only thing missing from this "recession" is an environmental disaster like the Dust Bowl of the 30's that uprooted millions of family farmers and forced them to find a different way of life.

    Hopefully, ....the Gulf oil spill will be contained before it destroys the way of life that generations of Americans have relied to make a living and not turn that region of our country into a wasteland.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  54. David Scott Doherty

    Jack the US is facing the largest deficit ever, with no way out insight, and yet we are spending millions on companies like black water to do what our armed forces can do, for not pennies on the dollar but more like pennies on the thousands of dollars. Explain this to me, now that we have made war so profitable, will we ever see a end to it, or a reason not to go to war. Am I the only one that sees the insanity in this arrangement. Unlike WW.II these two wars are going to help drag us into a depression

    Dave from NH.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  55. David from Herndon, VA

    I hope not, Jack, but it's hard to find good news out there these days. I get the feeling we're creating a lot of uncertainty trying to break out of the pattern of boom and bust.

    But now, instead of boom & bust, we just have bust.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  56. Pam, NYC

    I know I am depressed. Lost my job the week before Christmas 2009. Next week will be my last unemployment check. I have had a bunch of interviews the past couple of months, but no offers. I also have the misfortune of being in my 50's. Most employers want recent college graduates and they want them cheap. All the government is good at is devising new ways to tax us. It never ceases to amaze me how our elected officials always think we can do without more money, yet they always need more and more. Pray for me, I can't do it, lost my faith years ago.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  57. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, I've been unemployed for over 2 years now and, at 52 years of age, my prospects don't look good. The reality is that this is 30 years worth of Republican economic practices coming to fruition. Attacks on the middle class( the largest buying group by number in the country;) "free trade" (or, rather, cheap foreign labor;) illegal immigrant workers; pro-business/rich tax policies; they all add up to an economy spiralling into depression.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  58. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    I do not believe we will enter into a depression as in the thirties. However, after we have chewed on the pork that has been fed to us by our benevolent government we are about to enter into a period of severe gastronomical impact. regardless of the discomfort or agonizing pain, the bill still has to be paid after the feast.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  59. Dale H - IL

    Entering??? We're in a depression, maybe not be strict definition, but fact. What is Congress doing about it? Basically, they are about as partisan as Union and Confederate solders during the Civil War. The Party of No has transgressed to the Party of Oppression, especially after the last vote on the Unemployment Extension. Mitch "Heartless Harry" McConnell just doesn't get it that people are having trouble paying utilities, paying their mortgages, or buying food. I agree that spending has to be controlled and deficits eliminated, but not by starting with oppressing the disadvantaged!!!

    June 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  60. Steve

    Krugman, he is the flack from Fox, right? Discussions like this have become so damn partisan that they are hardly worth the ink that is expended on them...How the hell would anyone know ?

    June 28, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  61. RichP, easton, pa

    Maybe now Obama will stop taking advantage of the various crisis to get his agenda past the opposition and actually attack the problem, not likely but pigs can fly if you have a big enough catapult.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  62. Joanne

    Krugman is a political hack, & that is iiregardless of any so called prize he's won.
    We are headed for a double dip recessiona and hyper inflation however; brought on by the idiotic policiies of Obama and his incompetent team.
    People need to tigthen their belts, learn to be creative, and get off their butts as well....too many Americans have become lazy. We' personally have been through the aforementioned conditions to survive and we did not want a nanny state helping us as we knew that would result in USA being a third world country.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  63. OBDAG from Appleton, WI

    I do not agree that the United States is entering a depression. I think we have already been there and are slowly starting to come out of a depression.Even though I technically retired in 1995, I frequently get job offers. Just last week at a picnic I got two job offers that were worth looking into if I had the desire to return to the work force. In my case I declined both offers because I am already very busy doing community public service things and am enjoying my retirement where I do what I want, when I want, and if my wife will let me do it. I do agree that we all, including the government, need to keep spending money to get us out of this mess created by the last republican administration that held political office

    June 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  64. Jerry Driskell

    I hope not.
    You know that a recession is when I loose my job.
    A depression is when my wife looses her job.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  65. Gary Bellew



    June 28, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  66. Lori - PA


    We already are in a depression, but no one wants to say it. As the current administration won't acknowledge this, then how do they expect to correct the economic problems facing the United States?

    June 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  67. doug gengler

    people keep blaming the current president, when this started long befor his run for president. mainstream americans new when gas hit $3.00+ a gallon in june 2006 things were gonna get bad. then it went to over $4.00 a gallon and we bent over and kissed are butts goodbye, and as far as those senators and congressmen and women who are suddenly fiscally responsible, well they got a payraise this year when nobody else has had one for years but they have no problem cutting beneies to the people who need them. End the wars, cut NASA, no retirement pay for congress and senate and raise the tax back on the rich that bush cut. Every container entering this country will be allowed only when a container made in america leaves headed back to that country will equal 0 unemployment!

    knoxville arkansas

    June 28, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  68. Wm in TX


    Depression for who? Not the top 30 million Americans who own 95%+ of everything. Rolex watches, 20 thousand dollar mattresses BMWs etc are in short supply.

    The rest of us with falling or no wages, no benefits and good education and skills are in very serious trouble.

    The lowest income groups must turn to crime, begging etc.

    The recession will climb up the economic ladder till the world will no longer lend us money. The a depression will follow for the majority while the billionaires will buy up the real estate and real assets at bargain prices to start the cycle over again with real cheap labor in the US.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  69. Carl

    I really believe we are in a depression. You can't have worthless corrupt politicians selling away our once great country. Nafta, outsorcing all our jobs, allowing illegal aliens in to steal what jobs are left, giving them just about everything for free, answering only to your lobbist's and expect the legal tax payers to be happy about it. Then we have our political leeches in office making and stealing far to much money for the damage they do. So yes, I believe we are in a major depression and one that I really don't think we can get out of, that is, with our present corrupt government. Maybe our country of the United States needs to go bankrupt, this would allow us a fresh start and maybe all the illegal aliens would consider invading a different country for a change. The illegal alien will find it difficult, if not impossible to find another politically correct to a fault country like the United States. We lay out the red carpet for you, make spanish our second language, if not first, change all our signs to spanish, we even just about kiss your back side for you, just so you feel at home. So yes, if it gets rid of all the illegal aliens then maybe we should go bankrupt, our worthless politicians would have to take a major cut in pay and benefits, let them feel the pain for once.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  70. Judy - California

    Geez Jack, all I've been hearing is how terrible it is that the Obama administration has spent all this money on our recovery, and now this, My answer is no, if you listen to the republicans and Sarah Palin and we dump congress so Obama can't get anything done, then Yes. I think the time has come to do what is best for the country and leave the politics out of it. If Krugman is right, and I think he is, the "crowing" is to keep the consumer confidence going.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  71. bud rupert

    I'll bet that a lot of working folks think we're already there Jack.

    I've got friends that have been out of work for 2 years...I'm fortunate. I work for an IT federal contractor and the company is doing well.

    But the Washington Metro area is not the real world. People don't call it Disneyland East for nothing.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  72. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Until the leaders in Washington decide to stop the war in Iraq and Afghanistan things are just going to keep heading south. The United States cannot keep on spending trillions of dollars overseas and expect to survive. The only ones that are getting ahead are the defense industries, selected construction companies and companies that continue to ship jobs overseas. The poor working class in American cannot keep on supporting the rest of the world

    June 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  73. Kenneth in the High Desert town of Pinon Hills, California

    Most of the country has been entering a depression for years. Millions of jobs sent overseas without any to replace them was the start.
    The depression will not officially start until those who exported our treasured manufacturing giant, crash on Wall Street.
    It seems odd those who collectively depend to profit on consumption would reduce or eliminate the buying power of consumers, Americas labor. What now my beloved patriots?

    June 28, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  74. Ron G

    Though more spending is recommended by many leading economists to avoid a depression, I think finally the people and the financial markets may have figured out that this will only postpone the inevitable: you cannot spend yourself out of debts. The baby boomers have lived nicely on borrowed money and while they retire comfortably we can start paying their bills.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  75. Dennis north Carolina

    Jack, it is not Obama or the current admin that created this economic crisis. it started with Reagen, bush, Clinton, and bush Jr. deregulating and free trade acts which gave big business the room to commit their sins to put the world in crisis. Obama's crowing as you call it is just trying to make the public stimulate so that they will spend money which will spur growth. the numbers that the public get in polls and from the government are phony. you will not give us the true numbers which will tell us depression or not.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  76. Cathy

    Yes. The country is on the verge of a devalued dollar, we have
    high unemployment probably higher that 9% if people who are
    no longer looking for work, and those working part-time jobs
    would be counted. We are a nation of consumers, not producers,
    and prices for everything including food is going up. We have yet
    to see the ARM mortgages roll over, and the commercial real
    estate bubble to burst. It just doesn't look good.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  77. Russell Bastedo

    It is clear that in order to survive a years-long depression that we are going to have to attack the defense budget with a meat cleaver. Many generals at the Pentagon will have to lose their jobs, and the wars in Irak and Afghanistan will have to be ended or sharply reduced. We must care for our people, many of whom will never work again, and the costs of a few rockets will help pay the unemployment bills.Not to mention state legislatures' debts.. A message from from New Hampshire.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  78. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    No! 78% of Americans are wrong! America is experiencing economic and job growth so we are not in recession let alone a depression. Economist of both stripes say that stimulus should continue but the newly fiscally responsible conservatives want the free market to operate freely without government intervention which was Hoover's approach. The same thing happened during the Great Depression and there was a second dip.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  79. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    More than likely, and I think the American people have themselves to blame. When times are bad, stimulus is the best solution. A lack of, or an early termination of, such funding can pull the economy back down. However, all anyone wants is reduced spending, along with less regulation, and suddenly the market will right itself. I'm not a huge fan of big government per se, but at a certain point you have to enable the only entity capable of doing anything to do its job.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  80. LS in Rochelle, IL

    It depends on one's point of view.
    If you are a Wall Street executive receiving millions in bonuses, the economy is thriving.
    If you are a regular working stiff who can't find a job and your unemployment benefits are about to be cut off, the nation is in a depression.
    Isn't it wonderful how this country can always borrow hundreds of billions to bail out Wall Street and fund wars yet never fails to spit on the average Joe?

    June 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  81. jim in NC

    I am not sure if anyone can agree on what a depression really is. But if it means is it getting worse, then yes, we have a first-class ticket. Hopefully it will end when the government has spent our last dime and cannot borrow or print anymore.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  82. Patricia/Georgia

    Fault ...No he did not cause it...deregulations by the previous administration caused many things one of which is the relaxing of the oil well regulations. He will, however, be blamed and he should not be. He went on the second day and sent all he felt was n eeded and put people in charge. He cannot handle it ...he needs others to handle it. This spill is unlike any others, and truthfully even with his eleven experts...no one knows for sure what to do. Therefore, drilling should beput on hold until we know what is the real cause. BP ignored too many red flags and Bush/Cheney decided the automatic shut off cost too much and went with themanual one which was on fire and could not be reached. BP went on doing business instead of finding out what is the problem. As to unemployment, Bush's employment figures are 300,00 in 8 years,....Obama's are 14,000.i a year and a 1/2.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  83. Ken in Mt

    it looks less like it right now thanit did in fall of 08. It is however a matter of degree, and there a lot of signs that the current situation is different from the past.

    I suspect that what is needed is a solution that is not more of the same as in the past. Somone needs to start thinking outside of the box of bussiness as usual.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  84. katiec Pekin, IL

    Well, Jack, if the republicans continue to obstruct everything we very well could. You state Krugman is an expert yet your republicans, who almost destroyed our country, are blocking everything, even going so far as to sacrifice the unemployed for their irresponsible, unethical goals. No to finance reform, no to any stimulus, no to extended unemployment, no to anything that would benefit middle class America and yes to any benefits to Wall St.
    You said the senate was responsible, why not be unbiased for once and say it is the republicans that are trying to further the destruction they created?

    June 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  85. Mark-Pennsylvania

    Jack, where have you been for the past three years? We have been on the edge of a depression ever since the Bush admisistartion put us there, and if Obama hadn't bailed out the banks and the confgress passes the economic recovery act we would have fallen in a pit of depression much worse than the one in the thirties. We haven't called it a depression, but on a world wide basis it is a depression. The real question is will we continue the slow growth in the economy as we move away from the abyss, or will we be dragged back into it by the do nothing Republicans, and have full economic ( and political) collapse.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  86. David Warnock


    I am and I suspect the country is also. How can we recover without jobs?

    As much as I would like to stop the wars, we can't. They are the only the only thing keeping us from total collapse.


    June 28, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  87. riley oday

    Charleston WV, is in a depression. Only four chemical plants remain

    where we once had dozens. Everyone had jobs, cars, houses,and

    health care. Now we have drug abuse and low wages. Depression!

    June 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  88. andyz

    Jack, with all of the cooperation exhibited by our two political parties, I believe a much more accurate question would be, "Are we going to hell in a handbasket?" Sadley, I believe the answer is an emphatic, "YES!!!"

    June 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  89. Ron Lambert


    I do not believe that we are currently in a depression, nor do I support spending our way out of this hole.

    That said, I think that there is plenty of good legislation that could be enacted to stimulate businesses and create clean jobs. Will it be enacted is another matter all together.
    Heck at this point Im sure many americans would support some dirty jobs as well, so long as it puts food on the table.

    Miami, FL.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  90. Stephen

    Being out of work for 2+ years is depressing.

    So I guess the millions of unemployed are in a depression.

    Those blocking the unemployment extension legislation need to put politics aside and pass the measure, Pronto!!. We are taking names.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  91. Susan Frost

    Definitely. The GOBP is bent on not only destroying the earth, air and water but completely demolishing the American middle class and they've damn near accomplished it.

    Tuscaloosa AL

    June 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  92. Ed from California

    And what pays the government deficits? Hundreds of millions of American working, and their employers paying taxes! And adding to this mess is tens of millions of Americans pension funds and 401(k)'s losing most of it's value with no repayments of any kind. Making retirement unthinkable for millions. Our banks and Wall st were made whole, using our money. That same money should have made it's depositors whole before any bank. Job's outsourced, using houses as piggy bangs, buying consumable items (keeping up w/the Jones') on credit cards or home equity loans. Because some bank exec, said you could. Teachers being laid-off before administrators, schools closing and classroom size increasing. Firemen, Police and state workers being laid-off in record numbers. Yeah, I'd say were in a depression. And we Americans have only us to blame for this mess. Think before you vote, before "we" all get duped again.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  93. Marcia Cossey

    I think we have been in a depression for the past 18 months if not longer. This was not a bubble that burst. It was system wide failure over multiple industries that has affected the entire world. All because of greed. History repeats itself.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  94. Simon/Orlando

    Obama doesn't have a clue about this country recovering from this deep recession. As long as manufacturing jobs exit the U. S. due to unions, high costs of regulations, and taxes this country will not recover. The good old days are really just that. Depression? Maybe not, but it will never be as good as we once had it.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  95. Marty W.

    I don't know Jack. The recovery doesn't seem to have worked, so one could say we are still in a recession. But the number of unemployed is so great, our debt is stifling, and we are almost out of options to force a correction. Maybe we are somewhere in between. I'd call it a repression. How about that?

    June 28, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  96. Jim in Alabama

    Jack, It will if the news media keep hyping the possibility. I hear nobody indicating a depression except perhaps a few Republicans and the news media. Perhaps it's one of those t hings where if you,keep saying it, it will actually happen. I wish the media and others would just shut the hell up and try and help the country do what's positive.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  97. Susan from Idaho

    You can label a situation anything you want. That doesn't change the equations. Many people have reduced their debt service and many more have learned to live on a lot less. Let's look at the positive side effects. Families are spending more time doing things on the cheap and picnics are making a come back. I am friends with a smart lady who figured out how to purchase a lovely 5 bedroom home on just her wages at Starbucks
    so it's not all bad out there.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  98. Jessica

    I think that if this bill doesn't go through that yes we will be heading right into a depression. This will affect my household and millions more. Why do employers have to be so picking about hiring people. As long as they qualify why can't they work. I think the employers have a lot to do with this as well. People put in lots of resumes online and never get a response and I don't understand why not? Now a days companies don't want you to apply in there office they ask you to send your resume but I think it should be done face to face. Just my opinion. Im from Westland, MI

    June 28, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  99. Lyn

    NO!!! Actually we are coming out of a depression that Bush and Cheney got us in, durning their eight years iin office.
    Their Tax cuts for the rich, two wars that we shouldn't have been in, taking care of Haliburtin, and big business, and so on.
    Let's give credit where credit is due.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  100. Don (Belleville, Canada)

    Probably so, Jack, if by depression you mean a feeling of hopelessness. The two costly useless wars continue to bleed red ink, and the deficits and accumulated debt are certainly major downers.
    But if, as I suspect, you mean a financial depression, including dropping prices, greatly increased unemployment, and hugely decreased government spending, then only time will tell.
    As difficult as it is to criticize a respected economist like Paul Krugman, my common sense tells me that more government stimulus spending is a crazy notion.
    American (and Canadian) governments and bureaucracy at all levels have become far too large, costly and inefficient. It is too easy to spend someone else's money.
    Drastically reducing government spending may hurt the economy in the short term, but will set the stage for a bona fide recovery down the road. Trying to maintain the status quo and ignoring deficits can only lead to something far worse than a short depression, namely the bankruptcy and possible breakup of America. By the way, if that happens, Canada might be interested in purchasing Alaska and upstate New York.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  101. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Jack, what do you mean "entering"? Son, we are deep in it and the White House hasn't a clue. We've spent a mind boggling amount of money to insure the rich stay that way. We've spent another mind boggling amount to help people in bad mortgages and we've helped a "little pinkies worth". The "powers that be" want to print more money to cover debt that we already can't cover and there is no budget in sight. Frankly if I balanced my chechbook like they did there's I'd have everything I need, if a bill came due, I'd just write another check. Yea, I'll just act like Obama (who by the way I voted for but I won't make that mistake again).

    June 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  102. Barb MN

    If everyone was paying their fair in this country we would be in much better shape. It is time to raise taxes on the wealthy and make the corporations pay their share. Corporate welfare is eating us alive.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  103. Krishna

    Yes and no body in the congress or the executive seems to give a damn about it! I don't know why we are fighting those wars. Our enemy is not in Afghanistan, he is in Pakistan sheltered by Pakistani government. CIA says that and so is every journalist. Obama has his priorities mixed up. Global warming should be the last on the list; just above that should be his green energy initiatives. We do not have money. Those initiatives cost money and will not generate money for a generation to come! We should persue them but not when the country is in depression.

    LCF, CA

    June 28, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  104. Phil in Port St Lucie, Florida

    Jack it all depends on whether you're rich or poor. For 90% of the United States population, we ARE in a "depression". The othe 10% are still making money and possibly increasing their wealth. The world is starting to feel the "cost" of "capitalism".

    June 28, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  105. Bill in PA


    The top 30 million Americans are doing well. Bonuses rising, luxury goods available, chauffeurs and pilots for the private planes available. No recession for the rich.

    The middle class has continuing falling wages, increasing prices and taxes and loosing benefits and jobs. For us the recession is in full swing.

    For those, soon to be us at the lowest ranks of wealth the Depression which is coming will be brutal. But fear not the Supreme Court has said we can own guns to defend ourselves.

    The United States is the most policed, spied upon, propagandized country the world has ever seen. No one can even tell us how many surveillance, investigative, law enforcement agencies there are. We know our prisons are full and growing. The rest of us are in bondage to debt and the few employers left hiring Americans.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  106. Annie, Atlanta

    Entering? We’ve been there for a while. Our manufacturing jobs are gone. Our customer service industry is on its way out, and what’s left behind is laughable. I’ve asked my kids to consider not having kids of their own in the future, because we’re in for a rough ride. But at least the rich are getting richer. Our politicians have seen to it.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  107. tom trapani, quito ecuador

    Jack, the great depression began in 1929 and did not end until we entered the Second World War. The Japanese have been in a milder for of the depression since 1990.

    Our government seems to be emulating the >Japanese model. If, so I expect we will have similar slow to no growth as the Japenese have experienced.

    Zero interest makes no sense. People like myself who were savers who determined interest rates would not go to almost zero and relied on this conclusion to augment our pensions. Much to my surprise it went to almost zero the net result is my former monthly interest went from $850 a month to $35.00 Awwww what an outcome. The banks with almost free money now charge 3 plus percent that equated to an almost 8 fold markup on cost I was a retailer most of my adult life and would give me eye teeth for a simple double. Ben Bernake and the his cohorts obviously do not live in my world. You decide which is real and which is not.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  108. Meg from Troy

    I believe that we could be if the focus continues on the deficit instead of how to wisely spend money to stimulate a recovery. Right now, there is no balance of ideas in our Congress or in our country. Wise and moderate heads are not prevailing. I read Krugman's column and I agree with his conclusions.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  109. Kyle Irvine, CA

    Well Jack, If we are heading towards a Depression, then my guess is we will not feel the full effect of it for a while. Unemployment has been at 10% nation wide. If that percentage goes to over 25% in the next 3-5 years, then yes we will be in a Depression. The federal government should cut spending where it can and take that savings and invest it in ways to stimulate the economy.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  110. David Alexandria, VA

    No. But, I think we are in an severe economic ennui. We are coming to grips with the fact that we have ouverspent and lived beyond our means for years. The government cannot, and should not, solve everything. More government simply means more taxes. More threat of regulation or government villification is stiffling the investment cycle from the big businesses to the small businesses to the entrepreneur-to-be with that American-dream-gleam in his or her eye. There are trillions on the sideline, not knowing which way to go. It's time to let this settle out. It will hurt everyone some and some a lot. That's the reality. We'll work through this with a little less hype and a lot more common sense.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  111. Karl from SF, CA

    Paul Krugman is absolutely right. That 78% of Americans need to realize it takes money to make money. We need to invest in the economy at a strong spending level to get it going again so we can pay off the growing deficit, otherwise the deficit will stagnate. Dragging our feet, like the Republicans think will work, is absurd. Tax cuts for the wealthy didn’t create jobs or stimulate the economy; it just put more money in their overseas bank accounts and gave the government even less to work with. It’s time to reclaim those resources from where it shouldn’t have gone in the first place for the good of the entire economy.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  112. Nancy, Tennessee

    I really hope that we avoid a depression because my parents told me enough about one they lived through and they feared one would come again in their lifetime. If we do slip off the slope into a depression the number one cause will be unemployment. In order for the United States to get back on track we must have some major innovators come up with products to be built here so that people can go to work and get their lives back. Individuals going to work will make the whole economy work!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  113. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    Hey Jack didnt you right a book called It's Getting Ugly Out There why dont you send me a copy maybe I should read it because your right .

    June 28, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  114. Melissa

    Only if you bloody reporters keep up the fear mongering by pandering to the Republicans. You are feeding the fears and making things worse, not helping.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  115. Robert

    I think after years and years of the government lining their pockets with big corrupt corp.and giving all our money and good paying union jobs awayto other countrys, then yes we are going to tank because of the government not doing their job right –

    June 28, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  116. Rebecca, Glendale, AZ

    Of course we are headed for a major depression. If an individual cannot spend their way out of debt, how does the government think they can? And after they have taxed the working into oblivion to support those not working, this country will crash.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  117. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Where've you been Jack? I've been saying for over a year that we already ARE in a depression-they just don't want to call it that!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  118. KC

    This country absolutely is headed for a full blown depression. How does laying government workers off help? That just puts more people on the unemployment line. I just got my unemployment benefits cut off due to Congress failing to act now. Thanks Congress.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  119. Linda in Arizona

    Yes, isn't it obvious, and you deficit hawk terrorists are going to make sure of it. Now is the time to SPEND, not skimp on job programs. We need another STIM. And STFU about the deficit. The new economic activity will pay for it eventually. If you leave all these people out of work, there will be blood in the streets.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  120. David OR

    I take an anti-depressant which smothers the effects so I couldnt really tell you–maybe they should put the stuff in our drinking water.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  121. Dan

    Hello Jack
    The onlt definition that any of us have of 'depression' is what we know from the 1930's. We are probably not to that point. However, since the beginning of our industrial revolution, we have been a manufacturing based economy. We no longer have that. The answer is NOT for government to spend but for businesses and individuals to spend. Return the dollars to the people and they will spend them far wiser than government.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  122. Keith

    If you have a job you are experiencing a recession, the people who are not working are experiencing a depression.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  123. Jim Blevins

    That remains to be seen. If Obama has his way - NO. If I were into conspiracy theories, I would say that the people with money are pushing the deficit fear expressly so that they could cause one and their money would give them more power.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    June 28, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  124. Robert Emery

    When your neighbor is unemployed its a Recession. When you are unemployed its a Depression. Its definitely a Depression.

    El Centro, CA

    June 28, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  125. james Durbin

    The USA is entering a financial depression, though not a great depression. Jim in ST Louis, MO

    June 28, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  126. James Battles


    I believe the direction this nation is headed will make the "Great Depression" look like a cakewalk.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  127. Lori Pringle

    How would we know if we're in a depression or a recession or any other "sion" when the M3 money supply was eliminated from the inflation statistics in 2006?

    Lori in Oregon

    June 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  128. Mike in Phoenix

    It seems like something that has not happened before. There is a recession for the middle-middle class or higher and a depression for the lower middle class and below. I believe this is caused by of the global economy. People with degrees and experience can find jobs. If they are overseas you may have to travel a bit and the rest is telecommuting. For the unskilled laborer, most of their work has moved overseas and it is impossible for them to move there or work from home. The truth is we have been in a depression for some time, it is just a different type then we ever experienced.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  129. MacFab From Nacogdoches, Texas

    Jack is like the people doing the polling only calling Fox News viewers and the people that are listening just to your unobjective side of every story (not Wolf though). Stop calling Tea Party members like yourself and the poll will be much different.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  130. dg

    if liberals continue thier plan . yes, we will be in a depression

    June 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  131. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    I don't know where you get all this doom and gloom stuff Jack. One economist says something and it's worth your time? Why not quote Jim Cramer another specialist that is saying the exact opposite. Ten percent unemployment equals 90 percent employed in my books and 90% isn't as bad as you make it out to be Jack.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  132. Bruce

    To put it simply: no, we are not. Period. Nothing in the economic situation supports that idea. Rough times do not equal a depression and no one who thinks it does has any clue how bad the Great Depression really was. But I get the feeling the press would love it if we were. Bad news is good ratings,

    June 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  133. kim

    Hey Jack

    Do you think that the government should help the unemployed in this country?

    If you Do think the government should help the unemployed – how should they do it!

    Your smart Jack, why don't YOU tell us!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  134. robert prowler

    we are already in a depression call it whatever you want and we will never recover. All the jobs that are needed are in China or elsewhere so how can we recover? We have become a consumer nation producing nothing but war.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  135. Josh

    I believe that it's very possible that we as a nation maybe entering a second recession. There have been numerous reports from various networks that list signs of a double dip recession. I think this next round will stem from the deficit and the Oil leak in the gulf. Everyone is still very uncertain of the future, especially college students.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  136. Ralph Spyer

    Jack America has over ten persent unemploy, the census hired 84 thousand, we have over a hunred thousand Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan .,once unemployment insurance run out the domino will start to fall.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  137. Robert Rehkopf

    YES, we're heading as fast as we can into a depression because the politicians continue to think they know what is best for us and continue to ignore us. November can't come soon enough.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  138. Kalpesh Patel

    Yes Jack. We are in depression since the collapse of Wall Street in September 2008. The recession is much better word to use so people don't panic. In just few month before the year end, we would see another round of layoffs from big corporations. Ray Charles could have seen this coming.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  139. Neville in California

    Yes, the country is in a depression. All the news about how the economy is recovering, I am here still unemployed. And, what makes it worse, the senate fail to pass the un-employment extension which is going to send more people to the poor house. I guess after the politicians in Washington see the streets fill up with angry protesters and resentment, they might finally wake up and admit what all of us the regular man already knows. A depress unemployed American

    June 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  140. jesse Donnelly

    we are in a depression
    no doubt about it
    the banks and wall street along with corporate america have been cooking the books as they bury the money in hidden off shore accounts

    enron was the perfect example
    and the solution is to stop laying off any government employees especially teachers firemen and police!!!!
    we also need to bring back military spending and bring our troops home those battles are only winning with drones not people
    largest bank= largest money laundry!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  141. Mark


    Just ask the millions of unemployed in this country!!!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  142. Dave

    In short, YES we are headed for deep recession and depression possible. The ignorance exhibited by the Senate to hold Americans hostage by not passing unemployment extensions is a joke, while millions of people out of work beg to survive

    June 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  143. Richard Laughlin

    I agree we are in early stages of a depression, gold is up unemployment is up housing is still in the toilet. We are hovering around 10% unemployment and the senate just voted down UI extension for the 15 plus million unemployed Americans. Take them out of the consumer and tax base and it is a recipe for disaster.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  144. Corey

    No we are not entering a depression. The folks that took the same high risk gamble on their home are going to feel like they are in one. The overpaid union workers that drove thier companies into the ground are going to feel depressed. But the rest of us have seen a stabilized job market, and home prices starting to rebound.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  145. Burk

    We are in a depression. With millions no longer recieving any unemployment benefits and more to run out, it is the 1930's again.
    The welfare office's have wks of back log. The home less shelters have a waiting list and there are hundreds applying for one job.
    It is a reality and the congress refusing to help the starving unemployed.
    As what has taken place in the last month, it is obivious that this country needs to collapse and start out from scratch. Rep or Dem, they are all going to be gone in the next elections. When a public offical refuses to work for the people that hav hired them, a revolution is the only fix.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  146. Andre Daedone

    No. It is stupid to even say it. There is a transition in this country, called people getting old, the way we could fix it ..two ways... tax the hell outta of the corporations until they bring back the jobs and open the borders to let cheap labor flow. Now that would piss off the repukes.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  147. kim

    Do you think that the government should help the unemployed in this country?

    If you Do think the government should help the unemployed – how should they do it!

    You're smart Jack, why don't YOU tell us!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  148. Thomas

    The situation is terrible. We need to plug into the economy and fill our bank accounts so we can participate in society by buying food, clothing a home a car and everything else. Start by helping people on the bottom up, not from the top down!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  149. Delia, Katy, TX

    Frankly, I've been in a depression since Bush was first elected with the fraudulent chads in Florida. He then brought us fully into a depression that we've been living in for 2 years now. Poor Obama doesn't stand a chance in cleaning up this mess.

    It's going to get worse too if the GOP chooses to cut spending on unemployment benefits. You can expect photographers to get some great shots for the history books – a homeless family, living in their car using their cellphone to find a job, while drinking from a discarded Starbucks coffee cup!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  150. Diane

    Is the Us in a depression? Not only YES .. HELL YES.! The so called " thinkers " in Wash.,DC better get their heads on straight ..quick, fast, and in a hurry. This great country is going down fast. Maybe they should take a huge pay cut or better yet try living on unemployment for one month and see who cries the loudest.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  151. J.Vickers

    Till we get more jobs we'll never be out of recession. We can't buy products or pay taxes if we aren't working at GOOD paying jobs.
    I think we're floating right on the edge of Depression. With no end in sight

    June 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  152. Johnny Smith

    What we need is a big old World War. I am talking conscription and the whole nine yards. It has been proven that it will pump jobs and cash into our economy. Not to mention it would thin the ranks of Generation .mp3. There are lots of great countries and groups to choose from.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  153. David OR

    Jack the republicans got us here, now it looks like they want to keep us here.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  154. Angela

    Yes we are in a depression...I have been out of work for 2 years, my husband lost his job in November. We are going nowhere fast. Our government stopped working for the people over 10 years ago. I hope they enjoy their 4th of July BBQ , I on the other hand will be wondering where I will find the money to keep my lights on or how to make my mortgage payment. A few months from now I will be worrying about where to park my car so I can sleep safely at night.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  155. Rick in Colorado

    We absolutely are well into the start of a depression. What is going to pull us out? I don't see anything that will be generating the kinds of jobs we need to get out of this mess! And, no, government spending on pork barrell projects is not the answer!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  156. Joan

    Where were you during the last 10 years, when a previous administration sent all the manufacturing jobs overseas, and even gave tax credit to companies that went overseas, and by the way, at the same time they started 2 wars, and gave tax cuts to the super wealthy – never in history has a government done that, taxes always go up in a time of war.
    We must live in a fast food world – where people expect the new president can totally solve it in 17 months. By the way the republicans are getting to throw 1 million people off the unemployment rolls and on to welfare and more foreclosures.Do your homework and see how many jobs Bush was losing per month and where we stand today, it is slowing getting better. God help us if the republicans get a majority!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  157. Chris A.


    The depression started when George W. Bush took office. It was all down hill from there. Enough said.

    Chris from CA

    June 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  158. Jan

    Yes I c a lack of recover. More people out of work or slow down of work. Stock mark shows no true sings of recovery. USA is not producing goods See china for production. Illelgals working for minium wage under table. Average male unemployed. Cars over priced for average person Utilities skyrocketing. When will we see improvement ?

    June 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  159. Ruth- Florida

    No. I don't think the United States is heading for a depression. Have you seen the lines of people for the latest gadjets, to see a movie, or eating out? With all the fear mongering of doom, WalMarts are packed, airlines are packed, stadiums are packed. When all the above is gone, then I will say we are heading into a depression. Until then, lighten up. Just alittle?

    June 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  160. John in NH

    Not yet. But we are certainly heading there.
    Too many people taking goods and services without paying into the system an amount greater than they consume.
    The American Spirit is being subverted by "gimmeism." The spoiled offspring of the middle class who bought everything on credit, drove consumerism to record heights and lost sight of the necessity of working for a living to get what you feel you deserve.
    Cheap money, cheap gas, illegal immigrants, an ageing population, Social Security going broke, financial markets in turmoil, wars, terrorism. America needs a leader not a teleprompter avatar
    Remember what the "crisis" of Sept 10, 2001 was?
    US Airline on time performance complaints.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  161. Bill Whitman

    Oh hell yah.
    Take the official unemployment rate, add to that those who were not counted because they're benefits expired and you've got a percentage of unemployed that clearly ranks with the 1930's depression era. This and the fact that quality employment continues to be outsourced guarantees the demise of the America Dream.
    Happy 4th of July!!!!!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  162. James Battles


    I believe the direction this nation is headed will make the 'Great Depression' look like a cakewalk.

    James Battles
    Sacramento, Ca.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  163. dan

    only the have nots!!! the rich have seen their wealth grow almost 17% over the last year and a half. that would be nice huh? well at least they can afford to tip....

    June 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  164. sharon surrette


    I agree with Krugman, we are in a depression. My 30 yr old son, a union carpenter has been out of work for 16 months. He lost his house and moved back home. I lost my job 1 yr ago. There is almost no building going on in New Jersey. Other relatives in the electrical union are also out of work. The Congress must get serious about direct loans to businesses to manufacture solar & wind. All stimulus must be spent in the US on American made products.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  165. Kevin L

    Man...this country is something else. And with all the negetive talk; thats just making it worst, pull everyone down. Now's the time that ALL of us to help us. Do the RIGHT thing, take the high road and realize that; it could be you.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  166. Dan

    If we are in a depression, i haven't seen it.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  167. Scott

    Well, we all know what got us out of the Great Depression...?!!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  168. Craig Soberman


    It's a fact that we are indeed in the midst of a depression. All one needs to do is look-up the very definition which is generally accepted : 1) a decline in real GDP exceeding 10%, or 2) a recession lasting 2 or more years – we have BOTH. Is the word "depression" just too scary for some people to deal with? We are in the worst economic trouble since the Great Depression; wouldn't the second worst count as a depression as well, or do we have to wait until we outdo ourselves?

    June 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  169. L-roy

    wake up, people. we are currently in a depression. if bush and obama wouldn't have bailed the banks out, we would be in a great depression.
    (so many people went into bankruptcy/foreclosure). you can't erase that from your credit overnight. throw in job loss, and you have people who are incapable of recovering the economy. they have no job and/or bad credit.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  170. barbara in NC

    You, the republicans and teabaggers are depressing. Spreading so much fear and hate and lies must be easy, or so many of you would be too tired by now.

    Follow turtle-face and just say NO.

    We are NOT in a depression – Stop trying to be a rabble-rouser, you're too old for that.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  171. Bob in NC

    How could we possibly be on the verge of a depression, Jack.? With the current administration controlling our auto industry, healthcare and banking – creating all of those "shovel ready" jobs for union workers and remember – we've got plenty of illegal immigrants to do the work that Americans just won't stoop to perform – golly we're on the threshold of paradise. Just need the cap and trade bill and internet controls to complete the fundamental "Change".

    June 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  172. MK Carlson

    We HAVE entered a Depression from which this country will never recover in our lifetimes nor that of our children or grandchildren.

    The stupdity, corruption, greed and incompetence of both goverment and business is overwhelming.

    For example: Banks such as BofA, Chase, Cit,i etc, cut their best customers credits limits, jack-up the interest to 30% and gov't wonders why retail reports are weak? Hello, McFly...anyone home?

    Let's face it, the middle class is down for the count.

    15 million unemployed with the unemployment AND health insurance (COBRA susbsidy) cut-off. States have their funding cut which will add to the unemployed count. Oh yes, don't forget the people in the Gulf of Mexico regin who have lost their livelihoods.

    And Congress wants to repeal Social Security and Medicare. Guess they are gonna steal that money too.

    It's time, brother, it's time...

    June 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  173. Joe McCutcheon

    Keep your fear to yourself.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  174. Mikey

    Too much government borrowing by both parties and way too much government interference with free enterprize. The housing market must find equalibrium from being overbuilt. Gov't tax incentives have temporarily spurred sales but at a cost, slower sales after the incentive expires. Same with cash for clunkers, etc. The government spending spree is about to come home to roost, right when the baby boomers are retiring. Stimulus spending, especially borrowed money, will only prolong the eventuality of the need for equalibrium.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  175. Mavent

    If this thread proves anything, it's that Republicans would rather see the entire Nation go down in flames than grow up, move past their bigotry, and support a Black President.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  176. Donald Robert Sartain

    It's not fair, nor is it going to solve the problem to only take food from the months of the poor, but until new non-regressive tax revenues are raised, the skies will not clear. Two campaign pledges the President has failed at are: removing us from Iraq and raising taxes on those making more than $250,000. Both would go a long way at perking up the economy!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  177. Dennis O'Fletcher

    The U.S. is not heading into a depression. It's rather convenient that this 'economist' comes out with this report just as the President is at the G20 summitt to tout the exact things the economist is saying to do. When this administration took over it vowed to be 'transparent' in its operations. Now, the only thing that is transparent is its 'planted' news stories among their friendly media allies. The New York Times isn't too pro-Obama administration. Is it?

    June 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  178. rufus

    I am confident our President and Congress can spend us out of this with more borrowed money we can't pay back The ponzi scheme can go on a bit longer.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  179. Dee in Woodstock GA

    Yes, we are IN a depression!

    I don't know if you guys archive these answers to your questions, but if you do look back at all of mine and see when it was that I first said this was going to be a depression!

    I didn't need an ECONOMIST to tell me, I just looked around at the number of people I knew who were unemployed and were not able to find jobs!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  180. Andrew W

    Yes we are headed into a depression. Look at the number of unemployed and under employed. These numbers are much greater than reported because some have given up looking. Consumer spending is very low and housing is at an all time low. Just wait and this thing is going to really blow up especially if the government don't enact some type of continue to stimulate spending and banks Loosen credit we will have a real mess on our hands.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  181. Rich

    Entering... We never came out of it . I am Unemployed from Ford Motor since 07/08 and still can,t find a job since they sent them to China.... And now I will lose my home due the reckless people in Washington , but what do they care they have there jobs ( not doing them) and have hearth care ( which I don't) No I don't see that we are out yet ... Maybe we should lay off Congress and Senate sublet it to China ... To think I voted for Obama......

    June 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  182. Bill C.

    If you lived in Michigan you wouldn't even ask such a question. We have been struggling way before the rest of the country. Bring your news team here and see what it is like.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  183. griffbos

    we entered a depression in 2008, the problem is everyhting the government has tried to right the ship seems to be failing, while at time there seem some hope something happens to pull us back down, I work fo rthe second largest employer in the State and looking to cut 3% to meet next year budget might not seem much but when 80% of your cost is labor it means layoffs are coming, after 2 years of no layoffs our time has arrived, so from my point it is going to be longterm depression , jobs are just not coming back....

    June 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  184. Peter from Fair Lawn, NJ

    It's a repeat of 1937 again. It seems that this country never learns from its past mistakes. With the country on the road to recovery, FDR was overwhelmed by his deficit hawks. Spending was cut to the bone and the country fell into a prolonged and deep slump that was to be relieved only by the advent of WWII some 4 years later.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  185. Mike

    Considering how much of the economic growth was supported by the housing bubble prior to the Great Recession, how can there be any true recovery so long as there is housing price deflation? Deflation is the only thing lacking to make the recession a classic depression, so when the rest of the economy gets deflated we will be there.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  186. Donald A. Lachot, Atlanta GA

    If we enter a true Depression, it will be the fault of the irrational and overemotional TeaBaggers, who want us to cut our spending to the bone. They are having the effect of scaring our politicians from doing what needs to be done – more borrowing and more spending. It's the only way out of this. 60% of our deficit is due to the weak economy. We spend the other 40% right now to get the economy back so we are no longer losing the 60%. The math works if you think about it. If we don't spend like mad right now, we lose that 60% for decades, driving up our deficit far more than it would be if we just continued to borrow and spend right now to bring the economy back.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  187. Pete from Georgia

    Entering a depression ??
    Well, if what we have is a recession that is "Depressing" a nation then yes it's a DEPRESSION.
    Here in the southeast, with the thermometer right at 100 degrees, it's a Tropical Depression.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  188. Lyn

    NO. We are going through a mess that the GOP got us into from 2000 thru 2008. It is such a mess that noone could get it straightened out this quickly.
    The Republicans could care less about all the family's that depend on the unemployment checks. They are showing how much love they have for us. I wonder how God looks upon their Religion?
    The Righties would rather keep those two wars going, sending tons of money over there and for what?
    Take care of our people first and vote out the wars and vote with keeping the unemployment checks going to feed the kids.
    Shame on you.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  189. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio


    I apologize, Jack, for not having anything serious to say about the status of the country. Even if I did have, I am not a Nobel Prize winner (yet) and will go on being ignored as most citizens. I also do not have any funny quip or joke. Things are not funny. Our court jesters (comedians) will see to that function. The marketing and political consultants separate themselves from the word "depression", it just is not marketable by politicians or journalists alike. It is not a depression until 25% of them are out ojn the streets, then it will be called a "tragedy".

    June 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  190. Joe

    The economic system on this planet no longer works.
    Look for a complete collapse of the stock market, and then a completely new system that takes care of the basic needs of every person in every country.
    Anything else would continue to feed the complete destruction of everyone and everything on the planet.

    P.S. There's nothing Obama or any other person can do about this. This will happen no matter who is/was president.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  191. Marc

    Congress had no problem, however, approving another $60 billion for the wars.

    Funny, I don't remember anyone asking where those billions were going to come from.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  192. JohnnyYuma61

    Nonsense, Jack! Business is absolutely booming, that is if you are the company that sells that special paper used to print money to the Fed.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  193. Denise

    I find it amusing how fast people forget, when BUSH was in office he and the Republicans spent like drunken sailors.
    What even funnier is that non of them said a word, for 8 YEARS, no one said a freaking word!
    No, all of a sudden, Republicans are going on and on about how much government is spending,,,
    I guess it's ok when your guy does it, but not if it’s not your guy.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  194. Paul Ronco

    Hmm... ways to put the brakes on the deficit... hmm... two endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already cost us over one thousand billion dollars... hmm... ways to put the brakes on the deficit..... hmmm.....

    June 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  195. Chris in Virginia

    Clearly Krugman (and you Jack) don't understand the definition of a recession or depression. The economy has been growing for successive quarters now, as have jobs. Columns and questions like these only serve to scare Americans who also don't understand the critical point we are at. Now is the time to persevere in the face of a slow recovery, not to panic. That is the tradition of America, and Krugman would do well to remind people of that tradition instead of scaring people. It will not be easy, but it wasn't for past generations either.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  196. Sandy Chatto

    Doesn't look like a depression to me. We have to wait usually 45 minutes to 1 hour to get seated at restaurants like TGI Fridays, Apple bees, PF Chang on weekends. Most new movies are sold out and making money like they never made before. 1.4 million iphones sold in 3 days. People whizzing in their monster trucks, SUVs and vans with no intention of saving on gas. So where is the depression anyways? It may sound ridiculous but the wait at a nearby sea food restaurant called Boiling Crab is 2 hours on weekends and 45 minutes on a Monday. Some people must be doing really well!!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  197. Larry

    FDR said, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." This rings so true today. People more educated than me, such as Warren Buffet, have said that Obama did the right thing by stimulating the economy. Yes, we have large deficits, but if it weren't for the strenuous actions of this administration, we'd already be in a depression. There are jobs out there if you're willing to work. My son-in-law currently hold four jobs, including delivering papers, and driving a shuttle bus for a motel. The six digit income jobs are indeed scarce, but if you're willing to roll up your sleeves and work, you can do it. I would especially like to see the clean energy bill get passed to create more jobs. A new technology in biofuels holds great promise and we should open the floodgates and let it happen.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  198. Tony

    Why does it always seem to take a Democrat to turn a recession into a depression? Will we have to wait 15 years for our economy to turn around again like it did under FDR?

    June 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  199. Ken sanders

    Yes indeed it is. But many are in denial. The age of entitlement is over and a lot of people can't get that through their head. The Central Banking System is at fault. It simply does not work because debts just keep going up. The bankers run the country and have just about run it into bankruptcy .. solution ? .. scrap the Fed and take control of the money supply system. Create a National Bank Of America and go head to head with the banks. It is the ONLY way.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  200. bonnie stinson

    With everything I and hear since I lost my job I truly believe we have started in a depression. I have looked for a job and companys just not hiring. It scares me to think of what will happen if they dont pass something to help the unemployed me included. When you dismiss that many people like they dont exist .I say we have arrived in depression.Thank you Bonnie

    June 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  201. Rita Fort Collins CO

    For Pete's sake Jack. Get off the negativity. You have one negative comment after another lately. Of course we aren't entering a depression. We were until Obama rode in and saved the day. Depends on where you are and how you have planned your life as to where you are now. We are coming out of this downturn. We've seen it before and we'll probably see it again. All is well and you guys in the media constantly telling everyone how bad off we are isn't helping giving anyone any confidence. Confidence is all important.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  202. Gigi Oregon

    The beginning of depression started many years ago when corporate America was allowed to go wild with uncontrolled spending, during the Bush years, while cutting tax for the rich. This was a sign to anyone with half a brain should have realized. These things do not happen over night. Then the ones who made this economic mess got bailed out and we the people get to pay the bill and , twice robbed. I think we will go into a greater depression if they do not change the tax structure by yesterday.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  203. Chris

    We are on the edge. There are signs that we are heading into a depression but there are also signs that we may be heading out of one. Time will tell which way we go.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  204. Michael Shea

    You can blame this whole economic mess on globalism. From FDR through Carter most everything was made in the United States. We had tarriffs on foreign goods.

    We didn't rely on the rest of the world for our economy.Most of the American workforce was unionized where workers made enough money so mom could stay home and be there for the kids when they came home from school.

    The bottom fell out when Reagan took over. Reagan, the two Bush's and Clinton sold this country and it's workers down the river with their unfair trade agreements.

    I thought Obama was the answer but he's too concerned he's going to piss somebody off!!!

    It's long overdue for a Democratic Socialist Revolution to rid ourselves of global capitolism and the "Fat Cats" and the politicians they control.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  205. phil

    Jack we have been in a depression for along time and this oil spill will finish us off. i call it the hayward extension you will to in a year or so.
    we need to blow up that hole in the ground and put some oil pepole in jail.


    June 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  206. Paul TIffany

    By almost any definition, the United States and much of the rest of the world, is already in a depression. The stock market is almost 40% down since 2007 from where it would be with a modest 3 – 5% growth – barely getting by.

    Most of us have been confused because the usual reports of economic status include a graph with Gross Domestic Product that shows growth. What is missed is that this is not GDP, but percent change in GDP. In actually, we are just not down at the bottom. In reality, we dropped over 40%, but have only "recovered" by 10%. We're still down over 30%.

    Numerous indicatiors point to a continuing decline, likely much more severe. We are ignoring them to our peril. Most economists know this, but few are willing to state it publicly.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  207. john hutchinson

    Jack you seem to be the only one who gets it. We're heading over an economic cliff and all the lawmakers seem to be doing it making sure their shoes are shined for the fall. All other news comes across to me as fluff including the ongoing Kagan confirmation hearings. We need to wake up as a country and put our best minds on the problems of fiscal reform before it's too late (if it's not already). This is a moment in history when the media has a real chance to focus the publics attention on a looming, unprecedented disaster. Tell it to us straight!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  208. Anon

    If we don't eliminate the stupid republican capitalist, free market mentality from our gov't we will go the same way as the romans. We need to get rid of the republicans and vote for progressive legislators who understand modern economics and nationalize all infrastructure which gov't only exists to provide such as health care, roads, telecommunications and all other infrastructure.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  209. KC

    Corey I did not purchase a home, nor did I ever work for a union, am laid off and cannot find a job. I think you have your head in the sand.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  210. Terry

    Could be. Economy too stagnant for too long. Leaders of Govt don't seem to be sure as what to do. If Bush is to be blaimed for the economy downfall, then Obama must be blaimed for not being able to turn it around. He must have lost his magic wand.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  211. docb

    Tuff question..If the Senate fails -because the republicans obstruct– on the extension of benefits then more will go on social security, disability- more will lose their homes, cars, businesses. That 'trickle down ' effect could cause a second dip because the republicans have become amazingly prinicpled of late–like the past 18 months..!

    History tells us that you do not focus on deficits when in a recession-you focus on spending to get the nation out of the mess! Unlike FDR –who had 69 dem senators and 300 dem congress people in the 74th–who were really for the people not corporations, Obama has 57 senators and 300 or so in congress who are politically allined with re-election and the rest are republican obstructionist and the party of NO!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  212. Kathy

    We have been in a depression here in Michigan for a long while. The country is broken, and yet we send in pallets of money to bribe officials in the places where we are waging war. What is wrong with this picture? The only thing that will help us is the Federal Government putting value on its own citizens more than it's wars. By the way, please don't make light of the plight of the unemployed, we are barely hanging on out here.

    Thank you.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  213. steve - virginia beach

    I think so. Regardless of what the talkingheads say, the 1/3 of Americans who are either unemployed or forced to work only part time due to lack of full time jobs don't have the money to spend to sustain our economy over the long term. It's apparent that the idiots in charge of the current regime aren't going to prioritize creating the circumstances for job creation or the curtailment of outsourcing, insourcing, or forcing illegal aliens to self-deport. And I don't think the 2/3 with full time jobs can or are willing to support the other 1/3.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  214. eddie z

    My 8 year old daughters and I have been in a depression since I was laid off 18 months ago and there is no end in sight!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  215. jeff

    Obama has been trying to say this for some time and yet NO ONE IS LISTENING TO HIM! Obama's been saying that we need to be careful about how we cut spending and says that it is crucial that we don't cut stimulus at this time. Yet they laugh at him and say that he's a fool and doesn't know anything about the economy.

    I'm pretty disgusted.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  216. Gloria Ritenour

    Yes, I definitely think we are headed for a depression. I am one of the over 2 million people who are still unemployed after 6 months of looking very actively for a position. I still haven't been able to find a permanent full-time position. I've been fortunate and have found several temporary positions to work at during this time, but nothing that has placed me in a permanent one. I'm also one of those who completed my 26 weeks of unemployment benefits inmy State and who is waiting for the Congress to pass an emergency extension so that I can have more time to seek a permanent position. It has never taken me more than 2 months to locate a job at any time in my life prior to my recent layoff on November 20, 2009.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  217. Jim

    Duh. This guy has been speaking common sense for a long time. Too bad no one is leadership took the language in High School.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  218. Saviour

    Why don't we just open our borders and grant amnesty to everyone who wants free health care and welfare. That will fix our economy!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  219. eileen

    Yes we are entering a depression .Congress is so short sighted that they think if they keep raising corporate and small business taxes, somehow it will make employers want to hire. We have so many members of congress who have never run a business, have never had to do payrolls, hire or lay off people, they just don't know what keeps America going. Our vice president has been paid by government employment since he was the age of 29; he has never had to dig into his own pocket to keep his business going. The unemployment numbers are dreadful, we need to give more tax breaks to private enterprise, not penalize them all, because of a few corporate pirates.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  220. John in Canada

    The US has been in a depression probably since the housing market started unravelling in 2005. In 2008 the wheels came off the cart with Lehman's and so on.

    Since then, all that the stimulus money has bought is nothing but more and more debt; no sustainable growth. Housing continues collapsing, unemployment keeps on keeping on, economic growth is a figment of some demented economists' minds. Krugman is right. but his solution of more debt is wrong. Hasn't worked so far, right?

    From Canada, the US looks like it's in deep, deep trouble. Some of us Canadians feel we are doing better than you. I 'm not so sure; lots of consumer debt in these parts

    Put it this way. When the music stops in this grand game of world-wide economic musical chairs, it'll end in tears for all of us.

    Some bad day at Black Rock.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  221. jeff george

    What's this talk about how wonderful things were under Reagan? The guy who spent us into the ground, which cost his own VP a second term? People forget that Reagan didn't have the greatest approval ratings either, and he did not inherit the mess that Obama did. The conditions for the current economic mess were created and allowed to fester under GWB, who brought prosecutions for environmental and financial misdoings down to a record low. In fact, companies that had committed heinous acts toward the end of the Clinton era were told by the incoming Bushies, in advance, not to pay their fines, since those fines would be wiped away. Regarding the gulf spill, who's been the biggest supporters of unregulated drilling? Hmm, that's a tough one.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  222. R

    The US will be officially in a depression when the unemployment checks stop, which will be soon. Kinda like, damned if you do, damned if you don't. Watch what happens next. It's going to get interesting.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  223. Yousry

    Here in California, it is like a bad dream
    The more look into people's daily live, the more you discover that people are running out of personal savings, credits lines & unemployment benefits, not to mention, no one is paying attention to contractors, construction workers, self employed and small businesses, they will be another problem down the road
    I don't know what we will call it 3 month from now, let's just hope for the best

    June 28, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  224. Steve


    The economy could get worse in some places, but the stock market is a future indicator and does not seem to agree with Krugman dour forcast. Jack please keep taking your meds cause I think this stuff is getting to you. Really!!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  225. Phil, Dallas TX

    Thinking about the current economic situation of the United States, I'm pretty depressed. . .

    June 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  226. Jay Kay

    Our national and state legislators are saying, "What? You're unenployed? You don't like your tax situation? You have no health insurance? Just eat some cake, that will make you feel better."

    June 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  227. Sheryl

    Does it really matter what we call it? Try living through it without a job.

    Phoenix, AZ

    June 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  228. Matthew Warren

    Its not hard to see that the entire world is in trouble. There is too many people, not enough jobs, and technology is making it easier for companies to need less people. The people that do have jobs are expected to do more for less because they know they could be on the choping block.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  229. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If the U.S. is entering a depression you wouldn't know it by the amount of money people contribute to help politicians win elections. Americans complain about Government spending but they never complain about campaign spending that does nothing to help the economy.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  230. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, not sure if it is a depression, however, it is certainly looking like a double-dip recession at least. The economist you quoted in your article is insane, to say the least. You cannot spend more government money to get out of a recession/depression. Increased deficits are not the answer and that seems to be the only thing Washington can think of doing. $4T hasn't fixed anything yet, and another $2-3T won't either, and this country cannot stand more debt!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  231. Joseph Leff

    "Entering a depression?" Job losses increase, the Gulf of Mexico is being ruined. Jack - I'm already depressed.

    Joe in Delray Beach, Florida

    June 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  232. sarah

    I live in part of the country where the recession has not been too terribly hard. I don't know how anyone thingks we can "cut" our way out of this debt. We really need a War Tax – yes, you heard me – a .3% tax on eveyones income for a period not to exceed 5 years.
    Pay off the debt caused by two wars we should not be in. Okay I'll give you Afganistan, but we are not the world' police. We shoudl have bombed the hell out of them and then left – and if they hit us again, we'll bomb the hell out of them again.
    People I kow all have some disposable income. Give up movies and dinner just 2 times a year ( that .3% War Tax). Small price to pay form our security.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  233. sabra litherland

    We'll enter a depression if we talk ourselves into it. Based on the news yesterday, over 3000 U.S. corporations are resuming hiring and/or increasing hires. That doesn't sound like a depression to me. I was pleased with President Obama's comments at the G-20 yesterday when he told a reporter that come next year all of us were going to see what his administration is going to do to decrease the deficit. Interestingly, none of the CNN reports today have covered his comments. Someone at CNN ought to listen to his final comments and report on them.
    Sabra Litherland

    June 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  234. jerry

    I've been depressed for the last two years. Wages are frozen while the credit card companies keep raising my interest levels. Barely making the bills from week to week. My vehicles are both braking down and no idea how to pay for them. Considering I travel 35 miles one way to work this is a major problem.

    This great american dream sucks!!!!!

    To think, this is what my father stormed Normandy Beach for. Now he's in a nursing home with dementia and no one will help with the bills until they've sucked every penny he's ever made out of his pockets.

    I weap for the future.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  235. Stephen from Florida

    One word Mr. Cafferty:

    June 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  236. Mike

    Jack, If we’re not in a depression, we’re headed for one. All of the middle class jobs that once fueled this economy like manufacturing are nearly gone, and everything else is being devalued by the internet. Why go into a store where you can get it cheaper online? Newspapers are out of work, you can get movies for free, phone for almost nothing, and books will be worthless when everyone is reading them on an iPad. Give it some time, but when no one is willing to pay for anything digital, the middle class will dry up and we’ll all be lucky to find a job at Wallmart.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  237. Frank Kalt

    Jack, This recession that looks to be turning into a depression if the United states continues its stupid, stubborn idiotic path that its on the U.S. government needs to radically change the path it is on. Example is with the Fossil fuel industry international companies coming into our waters and drill, drill, drill without proper considerations for the ramifications it can caused. All in the name of money for a few lucky brave smart Americans who get to work for the companies that make these enormous profits. We could easily employ four alternative energy people for every one fossil fuel worker that is employed but because of control and greed we continue to sit in a jobless economic recovery. Depression absolutely soon we will be just like Russia one percent of the population living large the rest in poverty indebted for life that really sucks but Americans have chose this path and it is a not good one.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  238. Ron Gilbert

    Hi Jack.
    I must quote the basic principle of CAPATALIZAM:

    The Rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Just look at the out of work and underemployed and the number of others becoming millionaires.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  239. Mark in California

    Jack, every step forward that Obama tries to make, the Republicans and scared Democrats, have stepped on it. We need the stimulus, not tax cuts. We need to spend ourselves out of this Depression/Recession and worrying about the deficit at this time is foolhardy. Sorry to say, but something the Republicans are good at.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  240. Marc from Florida

    The better question should be, how much longer can big money prop up the markets? As for the depression, that is 100% for each and every one that is unemployed or have lost their savings in the markets. It is a mental depression as well as an economic one.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  241. Tim

    If anyone thinks the economy is recovering, they should take a long, objective look at the housing market. 4 homes on my block are empty and have been empty for over a year; one has been empty for almost 3 years.
    The rich are still making money – they're able to make money in pretty much any economy – but the good times are over in middle America.

    We're absolutely headed for another Great Depression, and we've done it to ourselves – too many people have grabbed for too much, too quickly. As a nation (and world), our appetite has grown beyond our control: we feel entitled to everything. We "deserve" things. No one ever bothers to ask: why?

    The result? Our last 2-3 decades of excess may have been bought with the prosperity of the next 100 years. Some day, we make look at the last 2-3 years as a Golden Age compared to what's ahead.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  242. Bob, Kentucky

    I don't think so as of yet, but what do I know...I didn't live through the original.

    However, I do know this. The original was brought on by ineptitude of the Republican administration, Herbert Hoover being the President and leader of the party. It took us 8 years of Democrats under President Franklin D. Roosevelt to get us headed out of the mess and unfortunately the Japanese and the Nazis decided to start another World War, and there we were again.

    Now, as history shows us, it takes more than 2 years to bring us out of an economic depression (if we are truly headed into one or already there). Thanks to the ineptitude of the Bush administration, and their getting us into a 2 front war (lessons from the Nazis?), jacking the deficit back up into the stratosphere, etc. are we back into this situation again?

    Good question. I don't think so as of yet. Could it be coming? For greater minds than mine to ponder.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  243. David

    The economic condition of the U.S. is very simple, not complex, to understand. Economists and politicians are guilty of making the issue complex. Neither Individuals, families, companies nor countries can build an economy by financing current consumables over an extended period of time. Only long-term assets can be financed and then only over the period of their useful life. The U.S. is guilty of the former, and we are paying the price. Continuing to borrow to pay for current consumables (entitlements) will be catastropic. The period we are now facing is a period where we bring debt and spending into proper perspective. The length of time that this period will last depends most directly on the involvment of government who uses the term "regulations" to mostly mean the redistribution of wealth through entitlements. Until entitlements are substantially reduced, we will continue to be in an adjustment economy that will never compare to the prior economy, which can best be described as "building a house of cards by government regulation." No individual, family or company could accomplish the mess that our Congress has gotten us into over the last 70 years.


    June 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  244. jeff whitcomb

    I think we all need to stop thinking about a recession or a depression and uplift each other to be more productive. We need to remember what this country was built on. We still have the resources and educated population to change things. I think we need to look at our blessings of freedom and choice and make the hard decision to do what we can to make our country strong again. Stop complaining and start doing something productive. We need more folks that are willing to be blue collar and a little less white collar.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  245. Ugo From Los Angeles

    I beleive we are not heading into a depression, however, we may have a very long and sustained period of very low to no growth and 10% and over employment. This is bad, but not a depression...however, it may knock a generation back into being worse off than their parents. But will we see another depression like the great depression? Perhaps so, but this isn't it.

    Let's hope I'm right...if not, WWIII??!?!?!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  246. Adrian Moy

    Unfortunately, Paul Krugman gets it right most of the time. But no one pays much attention to him.
    The media (you guys) are stuck in 24 hour news cycles, hence you miss the most important stories of our times.
    In the last 30 years, unions have been busted to non-entity status, taxes on the wealthy were lowered from 91% to 15%, and we decided it was good for the country to export our jobs to China and import cheap plastic junk from them in exchange. All paid for by the housing bubble and the credit card industry. Yeah Jack, it's depressing all right. The middle class hasn't had a raise in 30 years, and we are taxed to pay welfare for the rich and corporations, as well as welfare for the poor. Yet half the country truly believes unions are the problem, not the solution...

    June 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  247. Carnac

    Due to the insane greed of corporate bigwigs, millions of American jobs have been outsourced to poor countries like India in order to produce more savings for the corporation. Well, guess what? Now all the money used to pay those workers is going into their economies, not ours! All that money, that used to flow back into our own economy to workers here, is now the very money that's making countries like India and China grow rich. Meanwhile, more and more Americans are losing their jobs.

    Is it any wonder we're in the situation we're in? It's no mystery at all. I'd rather give regulation and protectionism a chance than go on with this idiocy.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  248. Brad from PA

    Government spending is the only thing that is driving any recovery we have seen thus far!

    What industries are creating jobs? Only one is – the government. We shipped the production of all most everything off our shores and we have used debt to sustain the standard of living in the U.S. for the last few decades. Government cannot fix the problems that we created for ourselves.

    We all wanted to increase our lifestyles by borrowing money for what we can't afford and were happy to ignore the elimination of manufacturing in the U.S. if it meant we could afford more stuff!

    We reap what we sow.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  249. Shelly

    Oh, god. I hope not. I have a bachelors degree but could not find a job after college. I've spent the last two years in AmeriCorps and now my eligibility is up in Sept. I live in a state with one of the lowest unemployment rates but still the job market is almost non-existent.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  250. Letsbefair

    How can we put the blame on the current administration, when they have only been in office for 18 months. Seems like this recession was the result of the previous admimistrations policies. I hate when people are so quick to blame and forget so easliy who is responsible. We are blaming Obama for the gulf situation? So ICan I still blame Bush for Katrina?

    June 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  251. Dave

    Yes, but only if we don't increase job creation efforts and back away from this deficit reduction fetish before it's too late. Reducing the deficit by cutting spending is only going to decrease demand further. We need a jobs bill focused on rebuilding our infrastructure: dams, bridges, etc., to put the construction industry back to work long enough for private industry to gradually fill in the gaps. Then we can talk about deficit reduction, preferably via tax increases on the wealthiest 1%. If a top marginal rate of 90% was good enough for Eisenhower and the booming 50s, it's good enough for us.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  252. Jonathan

    The reality of the current economic situation is that our current predicament isn't just a matter of an economic cycle running its course, but also of an almost unprecedented financial debacle caused by short term greed; not just from wall street, but also from main street expecting unrealistic gains from their personal real estate assets.

    This makes the solution to be a very delicate balance between fiscal stimulus and debt reduction, two contradictory solutions. This is guaranteed to make a real recovery long and very hard to achieve.

    Unfortunately all sides; government, wall street, corporate america and main street america; all seem to to be blind to this and only look out for their interests rather than the interests of the economy as a whole, and from their point of view, everybody is correct, and everybody is also wrong.

    Call it a depression, call it stagnation, call it whatever, it isn't going to be happy times for a while. That is regardless of who is in power in the White House or in Congress.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  253. Jim

    The quickest way to cut unemployment is to lower the minimum wage. This would keep people in the workflorce and allow people with skills that are not in high demand to pick up more valuable skills instead of sitting on welfare (whether it is supplied by government, family or friends).
    Second, modify unemployment benefits so that some fraction of benefits are paid even if you take a job (but at a lower wage). More people would take low paying jobs if it didn't drop all their unemployment benefits. Structure it so the more someone earns the more total money they receive, but the less from the government. It's crazy that someone doing nothing makes more than someone working hard for a low wage.

    Third – we could use a pragmatic guest worker program for "illegal" immigrants. Get them on the tax roles and crack down on employers using them to avoid paying their share of the medicare & social security tax. Make it just as cheap to hire low wage citizens vs. low wage non-citizens.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  254. Jeff from Oregon

    Jack – Depression maybe, but I think it is deeper than that. I think America is in decline and has been for quite some time. Depression is just one result of the larger decline.

    America does not want to grow and prosper any more. We do want to argue a lot, divide ourselves along silly lines, watch 50+ million and counting go without basic health care, grow huge deficits, defund our states and our schools, destroy our environment (the Gulf, OMG), fight useless, unfunded wars, shrink wages, and then simply complain about it all.

    We are clearly in decline and most don't see this bigger picture. They are just feeling pieces of the slide.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  255. Paul

    No, Jack. We are not entering a depression. Instead, we are in a depression. The government will the last entity to use the "D" word, but recession hardly applies to a situation where the banking system has failed, and where future deficit spending is expected to exceed $1 trillion a year for years to come.

    This economy has serious structural problems. Problems that have been ignored for years by the folks wearing the red and the blue hats. Plenty of blame to go around, but George Bush, the LIttle, deserves special recognition for driving this economy into the ditch, big time.

    Yup, it's time to face reality. This here is another Depression. Spending our way out of this mess will be problematic. One, we don't have the dough. Two, the Chinese are not going to continue buying our junk bonds. Three, the folks wearing the red hats don't like regulation. Four, the folks wearing the blue hats don't know how to regulate.

    And, of course, it is the government and not the private sector that is going to have clean up this mess. Not going to happen anytime soon, if at all.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  256. Lance J. Gosnell

    Jack, I wish Paul Krugman was wrong but frankly I agree with his assessment when he writes we are in the beginning stages of a depression.

    However, the old timers of Tennessee when asked If they experienced the Great Depression the most common was response was what depression it's been like this for years.

    Now, we have banks hardly loaning money and businesses are cutting their workforces.

    So, I say Krugman is write but wrong in the fact that we are in the beginning stages because for those of us who work in the service sector economy our response is what "Economic Hard Times? We have been living like this for years."

    June 28, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  257. Will from San Jose, CA

    The economy is becoming bipolar. For those above the line, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of low interest rates and depressed stock values. Those below the line have years of unemployment in their future. The middle class, has no place left in this country based on our current trajectory.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  258. ben stockton, calif

    if the status qou continue, yes we are headed into another depression. there needs to be a total complete shakedown starting with entitlements, health care waste, military waste,social programs,corporate welfare, giving aid to israel,.,and giving money to afganistan to help them win the war. they are not trying to help themselves training their troops is a money pit. their government is so corrupt , we shouls just get out of both iraq and afganistan and bring down the deficit. am i hallucinating?

    June 28, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  259. Jason

    No, we aren't. It is 24 hr obsessive news reporting like this that influences American opinion and polls. Why don't we focus on how Republicans have derailed our country by refusing to govern, and as always, by only looking out for the wealthiest one percent? Where is the outrage? Where is the news coverage?

    June 28, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  260. TamarS

    We've known this for a long time. It is Congress and the Senate that is the source of our problem. They care about themselves and how they appear rather than how they really are. Like the pontificating at the Kagan hearing this morning. The man from Texas didn't have to say several times "you've never been a judge". That was for his own benefit with Republicans who (through W) made the self-serving decisions they did for the last 10 years without caring one whit about who they are supposed to be working for. We desperately need more than t wo parties in this country. The two currently in existence are lethargic and nonresponsive. Their self-righteous speeches are doing nothing for anyone.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  261. Matt

    I feel like we've been in a depression for the past couple of years. I just don't see any way out soon.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  262. Matt

    Don't know about the rest of the country, but here in San Diego things have been getting steadily better for about 5 months now. Friends who were out of work are finding jobs. And people who were struggling are doing ok finally.

    No Jack, things are getting better, not worse. Turn that frown upside down.


    June 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  263. Steve in Arizona

    Millions of blue collar jobs sent to China. Millions of white collar jobs sent to India. We have carved up our consumer spending power and sent that to our friends overseas. Until we bring those jobs back, and stop the continued loss of jobs to other Countries, we are spinning our wheels.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  264. Beltran

    Jack, we're already in a depression and many companies are taking advantage of the unemployed offering lower than normal wages. Some companies even claim it's worse then they appear to be, to layoff unwanted workers to later re-hire at lower wages. It's just nasty out there and to make it even worse, our Senators are playing games with unemployment benefits as well. It can surely feel lonely out here.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  265. Bob Jones

    I have been out of a job for over two years, and can count on one hand the number of interviews I have had. Resume rewrite after rewrite, job application after job application, and NOTHING. I am starting to feel hopeless. I don't know that we are in a depression, but I can tell you that I am depressed.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  266. Marianne

    I believe we're in one now! The banks are still in bad shape. The housing industry is in rotten shape, and I just learned that the Senate voted down an extension on unemployment benefits for over one million people – that some people will not work for years and that some will never return to work.

    If that isn't a depression, what the hell is?

    And Suzanne Malveaux (? ) -not sure of her last name says, "Relax Jack, it'll be all right". The girl has obviously never been in want!

    Marren in MN

    June 28, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  267. Grace

    Yes we are headed for a depression. What the U.S. needs to do is stop sending our work to other countries. We need to stop bailing out other countries too when they have a disaster. We need to build up America and be #1 again...then and only then can we help other countries.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  268. Alan

    Having never experienced the Great Depression, nor extensively studied the many factors that created it, I'm not in a position to offer a fair opinion about the current economic mess. It seems a little like trying to determine the extent to which someone is in the grip of alcoholism. Clearly, three or four drinks a day indicates a problem with alcohol, but a fifth of scotch a day leaves no doubt about the depths of the disease. So, how many millions of people have to become unemployed, lose their homes, and see their savings disappear before we clearly find ourselves in an economic depression? If we base it on the number of Wall Street banks that are suffering, I'd say we still have a way to go.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  269. Dan

    Yes we are in a depression. The banks still aren't lending, rents are dropping, and the expiration of the home tax credit wiped out the home buyers market. You can't fix the problem with a temporary incentive. The problem is the banks. They got us into this mess, got bailed out, and now deadlock growth by tight grips on lending. Decouple SBA lending from Wall Street and we'll see innovation, jobs, and sustained growth.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  270. Andrea Hupman

    Yes–and we are extending it every time we cut funding to education.

    The only way to put people back to work and to ensure our children have the skills they need to succeed in a global workplace is through education.

    You can bet China is investing in their nation's education. We need to keep up.

    Andrea, Champaign, IL

    June 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  271. Joseph

    Unfortunately I think you are right. I been paying attention to the way things have been the past 36 months. The last twelve of which seemed to be getting a bit better. But now with vacations settling in.. I am not looking forward to this Fall. Or this winter. It is becoming more and more difficult to be an entrepreneur.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  272. Mikey

    No country becomes great by dragging down those at the top. The country can only become great by building up those who are at the bottom. This must be done by hard work and inovation. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. 95 % of all taxes are paid by 5% of taxpayers. 50% of all tax payers pay NOTHING. Look at the facts, things will be uncomfortable but clear.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  273. Greg, Georgia

    Our governments (federal, state, and local) have made unfunded promises to retirees. There is no way these retirement promises can be kept. Government budgets are strained (and it's going to get much worse) with funding pensions and retiree medical expenses for retired employees who no longer are providing any services ("dead weight," or "legacy cost"). Any government employee who thinks his/her pension is untouchable is about to be surprised in a big way. Even if we raise taxes at all levels of government, we still will not be able to maintain basic services without relieving the tax payers of these unfunded retirement burdens.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  274. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Jack, you have been one of the alarmists wringing hands over the deficit, when putting the brakes on spending is the worst thing to do. As we found out in the Great Depression, putting people to work building national infrastructure is a large part of the solution. The president seems to be the only person who paid attention in History Class.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  275. BD70

    Game over.With 1% of the world population with all the money of course we are entering a depression. Last depression they spent their way out. This one? Not with the deficit as it is now...

    June 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  276. Linda Ferris

    "Entering?" Sorry Jack, many of us think we are already there!

    June 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  277. Matt in Wichita

    I'd like to say that we are not in a depression. Definately in a recession however.....

    But can we admit that the power is in the people, the masses if you will, not the government. If the majority would do 5 min of research and make qualified purchasing decisions to purchase items only truly made in America, companies and industries who outsourced to foeign countries would begin to lose money. Seeing the trend of the majority they would be forced to then move their business practices back to America. Keep in mind, any thing considered a trend takes at minimum a year to have any true effect no matter the situation.

    What we need to do, as the majority, is to collectively make our decisions based off of our best interest.

    2nd – I do production management for a company who is constantly hiring for our production of cable harnesses. The wages are fair, the company is incredible and we are on pace for one of our best years ever in a 65 year history. However, our turnover is so high because the majority of our shop workers have to work Saturdays and the hours are 6:30am – 3:30pm which not many people seem to favor. Also there is certain level of skill involved in building a cable and there are so so so many unqualified people just looking to come to work, earn a paycheck and not put in a real hard days work.

    It just seems that even though some people are not making money, they are looking for a handout. People... you have to do something to set yourself apart from the crowd. I know this dosent apply to everyone but I think its interesting how we are in a "depression" but my company can't find enough qualified people to keep on a consistant basis.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  278. tripleseq

    What American's fail to realize is that they are not in a recession or depression but that they are simply in the beginning of a long term decline.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  279. Randall Fox

    We will if the Republicans have their way.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  280. Colleen Conway (Florida)

    I guess like most people, until it happens to you, oh well!! After working for Walgreen's (a company making record profits) for over 4 years in the pharmacy, last week the stock went down about $2.00 and an emergency order was sent to all stores to immediately get rid of jobs. With one-day notice your job is gone... Don't these companies realize by working with skeleton crews they are eliminating customer service, promoting theft, and cutting sales, for I know I will have no extra money to visit this store or any other. I will be only worried about the basics. I am in my 50's and have never been without a job.
    I don't know why we are involved in 2 wars I've long forgotten the reasons for, I only know we should be taking care of business here in our own Country, I have never been as fearful of the future as I am now. God bless all the working class people that made up this country and are now suffering... I was hopeful when President O'Bama took office but now it seems "politics as usual".

    June 28, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  281. Willie12345

    Jack, Jack Jack,,,,,,,, Where the heck have you been for the last 16 months?

    June 28, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  282. Jason

    The past 30 years have been spent shooting ourselves in the fiscal foot. We created a political landscape that expects constant economic growth with no market corrections so we borrow heavily to smooth these over. However when the times are good and businesses can afford it, nobody has the nerve to raise taxes to pay for the debt used to mitigate the effects of the market corrections and natural disasters of the past.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  283. Fred Davis

    What they aren't telling us Americans is how many people are ACTUALLY un-employed. They throw all these numbers out about how the claims are down. Of course the claims are down, the unemployed have run out of time left on their state money. But the real number they haven't publicized, and don't want us to know, is how many people are actually out-of-work. When claims for unemployment are down, it just means the people are not able to obtain any more money from the state cash pool-doesn't mean they got jobs. And drive around town and see how many houses are standing empty, unsold. The government is a dis-information service.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  284. MARCIA

    Unfortunately,yes,we are heading to a worldwide depression.
    There are going to be some tough times for all of us.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  285. richard a. winkler

    We are already in the depression. Most of the millions out of work will never have a job again. The economy is falsely propped up to support the very wealthy. The two "wars" will continue on to feed the big corps but that can't go on forever.

    Turn out the lights the party is over.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  286. Scott from Zanesville

    It would be nice if our society would evolve to the point that we would change the driving force in our lives. The aquisition of wealth and greed being the main reason for living is going to bring about 'depressions' such as what we are heading for.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  287. Dave

    Let's do a little scenario here, although instead of the US Government, we'll be talking about an American household. Let's just say that a household is given a credit card with a $25K limit. The rules are you can charge up as much as you want, but you (eventually) have to pay it back. During the time you charge it up, you basically live high-on-the-hog.
    Now what happens when you have to pay it back, with interest? Suddenly, it gets harder and the standard of living goes down.

    Now let's pretend that this is not a household, but the US Government.
    Any questions here?

    June 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  288. Mark from Boston


    I use the analogy that the baby-boomer “entitlement” generation has already eaten half the pie, which was their "rationed" portion based on diminished resources. Yet, over the years they’ve allowed out of control government and the gluttons on Wall Street to consume most of what was preserved for their children, condemning us to a life of debt where we earn wages equivalent to two dollars over lunch money. Furthermore, they now feel they deserve what’s left of our share of the pie, despite the fact we paid for it, simply because they feel their reduced portion was insufficient. Yet, we’re supposed to find adequate sustenance from the left over crumbs? From our perspective, it appears that both local and federal governments are graduates of the Bernie Madoff School of Economics and Social Responsibility.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  289. Beth from Richmond

    It bothers me how people blame the present with no regard to what happened in the past; things that are screwed up now were put into action years ago under a different administration. America needs to look to the past, evaluate what helped and what didn't, and then go from there. We are entering a depression and the most obvious indication of this is that the SAME practices that led to the first depression were going on prior to this one; take a couple of history and economics courses and that will become obvious.
    As for the government, what we need is one that is not filled with people that are hell-bent on competing with one another, one that will work for the PEOPLE instead of bribes and pride. Our founding fathers specifically said that if the government was not working for the benefit of the people then it should be dismantled and rebuilt. Washington also made it clear that our country should remain an isolated one and had it been we would have avoided WWI, WWII, and all subsequent "wars" as well as other economic hardships. Our jobs would have remained here, our products would have remained here, and perhaps we could have something to be proud of.
    As for over spending, yes the government spent too much on this pathetic excuse for a war because it appears the Republicans always have to be fighting something, but that does not mean over spending is a bad thing. It is necessary to revive the country, money that goes to government created jobs will put people to work and put money back in the economy. Take a bit of notice as to what helped during the first depression: money was spent on all kinds of odd-jobs that built up the country and economy,

    June 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  290. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I tend to side with the "jobless recovery" crowd, and I also agree it is best to cutoff the unemployement benefits before they become yet another entitlement program. The economy may never be the same as the high times of the 90's, but we will all still be able to afford the Army's definition of life: as "three hots and a cot" (and an 18 pack of cheap beer}.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  291. astoria

    we are in a depression, juts nobody is saying it out loud. there are no jobs, and the government does nothing to create the jobs. companies have money but do not want to hire. they post jobs that no one is hiring for. they just don't get it. until people with money start spending it to create jobs, we will not recover. the people with money are greedy and they rather keep it in the bank then spend it to create jobs. the government does nothing to make people with money create jobs. they are all idiots and incompetent people. I cannot believe how stupid these people are and we voted for them.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  292. Jingy

    Krugman is half right. We are entering a depression but it's not the tax cuts and spending cuts that are to blame. Over spending and debt is was got us here and continuing to run up debt is going to prolong this "depression". Krugman thinks it's like magic, print and borrow money and pass it around and no one gets hurt. The only way out of this is to work our way out.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  293. Simone, Dublin, CA

    We are in a depression. The office complex I work at used to have each office suit occupied. Now out of more than 30 suites, maybe 4 offices are left. Everywhere you can see the sign" for lease". That is because businesses are going out of business. And Obamah does nothing against the oil spill, which in turn will deepen the economic situation on the golf.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  294. Josh

    Seattle, WA – The sad truth of it is we don't have anyone to blame but ourselves. Unfortunately, most of the US public is spoon-fed information that they deem is all that is relevant. Unfortunately, to truly understand the plight we face takes a good amount of research into several sources that may not be served on a hot, steamy platter. Unfortunately, it takes work to have an informed base and make informed decisions. Unfortunately, the situation is not bad enough that the average citizen feels the need to empower themselves and try something different, rather they give in to apathy or worse, blaming someone else for their problems. As the great King of Pop once said, "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change." I think in this day and age, it would serve us well to live by this maxim.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  295. Mary Michael

    I know several people, my daughter included, who cannot find work. These people are degreed, intelligent, and hardworking when employed. This recession has affected the so called white collared worker as no other economic downturn has. That is what makes this scary. Those who do have professional jobs are doing the work of two people with the pay of one. More work-not more pay. Like it or someone else will take your place.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  296. Joel in Iowa


    With the new addition of the enviro-terrorism added to our economy. How can we not be?

    What's the deal with OMG our land is being destroyed by the oil. Oh and by the way, don't you dare stop us from drilling more holes in the ocean?

    The economic impact will be like dropping an A-Bomb on the Midwest. Don't folks realize this?

    If we can move all those fisherman to making solar panels in their warehouses in the next 6 months, we've got a chance.

    But remember don't stop them from drilling.

    Yes we're in a depression, or surely heading for one. As soon as we tank all the money the BP has, (much like the government) we'll be spiraling downward...

    Plant your garden, start collecting fire wood, it's going to be a LONG WINTER!

    In My Humble Opinion.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  297. Jon

    I'm not going to pretend to know enough about economics to say one way or the other, unlike most of the posters here and radio personalities who seem to have all the answers. All I know for sure is, when a career economist and Nobel Prize winner says we're in trouble, he's probably right.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:57 pm |