Will The New Normal, Which Is Anything But Normal, Last?


We had a Christmas party to go to over the weekend so we called a reliable girl who lives in the neighborhood to watch the kids. We hadn’t seen her in about a year, so we chatted and caught up on things. I was surprised to hear she has already graduated from college. Time flies. I asked if she found a job and she seemed mildly embarrassed when she told me about her retail job. “I guess that’s the new normal,” I said. But she’s one of the lucky ones because she didn’t graduate with very much debt.

I thought of her when I read Mish Shedlock’s post about the shrinking service industry because so many young Americans aren’t moving out of the parents’ homes. He calls it a “haircut deficit.”

The recession ended in mid-2009. Since then spending on services has lagged spending on durable goods by a huge margin.

Why? A record number of Millennials, adults aged 18 to 32, put off household formation and stay at home to live with parents.

Why? No job and/or huge college debt with no way to pay it back.

The jobless rate for Americans aged 18 to 19 years old stood at 19.2%. Unemployment among 20- to 24-year-olds is 11.6 percent. In contrast, the overall unemployment rate is 7%. (Read More)

This new normal is anything but normal. The big question is, will it last? Such was the topic of an essay by David Solway last week. Despite Barack Obama’s thin resume (to say the least) he was elected once, and then reelected after four years of divisive politics, high unemployment, and a disastrous foreign policy. The Senate was left in the hands of the Democrats, guaranteeing more of the same. Sure, that was before the unmitigated disaster known as Obamacare was rolled out, eroding the people’s trust of Obama. But why did they trust him in the first place? What did he do to earn that trust? Who’s to say that the next smooth talking Democrat to come along won’t distance him or herself from Obama to win the presidency in 2016? Who’s to say that voters won’t decide they like their Democrat senator just fine in 2014?

James Wiles recalls the malaise of the Carter years, ushering in Ronald Reagan who set the country on a new trajectory. He wonders is something similar can happen again.

With President Obama and the American left’s mask dropped and their objective plainly to be seen, the issue is drawn for the voters.

Hedrick Hertzberg has his own take. But here’s mine: I can’t read the country.
I thought the American people, last year, would react to Benghazi as the American people did to the Iranian Hostage Crisis, and put Mitt Romney in the White House. They didn’t. Will the epic fail of Obamacare’s roll-out finally trigger buyer’s remorse?

Again, I don’t know. I notice that, over at PJ Media, our friends are asking the same question. “What Will It Take?” is the title of a David Solway post that has drawn considerable attention

So here’s what we don’t know:

Can political lightning strike twice? Will 2014 and 2016 be a repeat of 1980? Or will the American people, 36 years later, in a much-different United States, this time consent to being led off the world stage? (Read More)

Well, that’s the $17 trillion question. The other big question is, if the Republicans do win back power what will they do with it? They’re going to have to do better than the deal Paul Ryan worked out on the budget, that’s for sure.