For the second time this year we are about to be proudly and publicly failed by our leadership. The super committee, super in name only, is likely to be unable to deliver the results that we need and they were charged to provide. This recalls the fiasco surrounding the raising of the debt ceiling and S&P's downgrade of US debt. With the Euro Zone in duress and Japan struggling to find her footing, we are poised to see 40+% of global GDP weakening into 2012. We find ourselves several years into a wheezing, anemic "recovery." Public patience has been lost. Markets, protesters and the rise of extreme opinion remind us that time matters. Remaining opportunity and tax dollars are in short supply, as is patience.
It has taken far too long for the ECB to respond to mounting attacks and crises in their zone. It has taken the American economy four years and counting to meaningfully display improvement. Markets and marchers are growing impatient.
We have seen some improvement in numbers in the US macro economy. This is not to be ignored. Consumer confidence, leading economic indicators and GDP prints are being revised up. Fading tax incentives, falling imports, and stronger than feared export demand are helping. Likewise, the labor market seems to have stabilized, if at disappointing levels. Better, but far from good enough.
We have taken to ignoring each of the 1,000 cuts to our status, wealth and stability. As colder winds and shorter days make themselves felt, there seems a tangible shiver running down the collective spine. Our long standing economic difficulties are being compounded by rising political uncertainties. As Europe struggles for solution and Washington grandstands, I have the sense I have seen this movie before. Sequels are rarely good. In this case the original was not very strong. Our general public is done waiting for jobs, opportunities, and promises to be kept.
Are we about to see a repeat of the summer swoon, but early in 2012? I sure hope not -- there are other paths forward. However, we seem stubbornly unwilling to get off the present course. This is true economically and politically. Let's hope the rising tide of demonstrated -- in every sense of the word -- impatience helps nudge us off this crash course.
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