I’m sure you read the headline of this post and thought to yourself, “Ben Bernanke is proof that Ben Bernanke is an idiot.” That’s true but I like to be thorough when building cases against the intellect of stupid people. Take for instance Bernanke’s recent appearance in Minneapolis (sadly I wasn’t able to join the protest as it took place a noon and I was working) where he pointed out the reason the economy isn’t recovering. Here’s a hint, it’s our fault:
Then he said something new: Consumers are depressed beyond reason or expectation.
Oh, sure, there are reasons to be depressed, and the Fed chairman rattled them off: “The persistently high level of unemployment, slow gains in wages for those who remain employed, falling house prices, and debt burdens that remain high.”
However, Mr. Bernanke continued, “Even taking into account the many financial pressures that they face, households seem exceptionally cautious.”
Consumers, in other words, are behaving as if the economy is even worse than it actually is.
Yes the reason the economy isn’t recovering is because people aren’t spending money due to their overly cautious nature. I’m not sure if Bernanke realizes this but in order to spend money you have to have money. On top of that when you’re unemployed spending any money is a scary proposition because there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to make more money in the near future. That is to say when you don’t have any sources of income all expenditures or potentially permanent reductions in your available savings.
Anybody with two brain cells to rub together would be able to reach such a logical conclusion. Of course Ben Bernanke doesn’t have two brain cells and thus he is throwing out nonsensical theories to explain why people without work aren’t spending money:
Why? Well, one possibility is that Americans collectively are suffering from what amounts to an economic version of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Let me guess, the next plan the Federal Reserver is going to develop will involve economic post-traumatic stress disorder therapy. Either that or they’ll just try to pump $10 trillion into the economy because if at first you don’t succeed try the same thing again, only harder.