David Rosenberg's 2010 Outlook "The Recession Is Really A Depression"

Tyler Durden's picture

With December almost done, and all the banks having already issued their rosy outlooks for 2010 (don't ask us how the trading desks are axed, but you be sure a certain sense of "contrarianism" permeates Goldman's traders), the objective third pary strategists begin chiming in. We present Rosie's 2010 outlook from Today's Breakfast with Dave piece, courtesy of Gluskin Sheff.

The credit collapse and the accompanying deflation and overcapacity are going to drive the economy and financial markets in 2010. We have said repeatedly that this recession is really a depression because the recessions of the post-WWII experience were merely small backward steps in an inventory cycle but in the context of expanding credit. Whereas now, we are in a prolonged period of credit contraction, especially as it relates to households and small businesses (as we highlighted in our small business sentiment write-up yesterday).

In addition, we have characterized the rally in the economy and global equity markets appropriately as a bear market rally from the March lows, influenced by the heavy hand of government intervention and stimulus. But in classic Bob Farrell form, 2010 may well be seen as the year in which we witness the inevitable drawn out decline that is typical of secular bear markets. There may be some risk in industrial commodities if global growth underperforms, but the soft commodities, such as agriculture, may outperform in the same way that consumer staple equities should outperform cyclicals in an environment where economic growth disappoints the consensus view. Gold is operating on its own particular set of global supply and demand curves and should be an outperformer as well, especially when the next down-leg in the U.S. dollar occurs. We are not alone in espousing this view — have a look at Why Consumes Are Likely to Keep on Saving on page C1 of today’s WSJ.

The defining characteristic of this asset deflation and credit contraction has been the implosion of the largest balance sheet in the world — the U.S. household sector. Even with the bear market rally in equities and the tenuous recovery in housing in 2009, the reality is that household net worth has contracted nearly 20% over the past year-and-a-half, or an epic $12 trillion of lost net worth, a degree of trauma we have never seen before.

As households begin to assess the shock and what it means for their retirement needs, the impact of this shocking loss of wealth on consumer spending patterns in the future is likely going to be very significant. Frugality is the new fashion and likely to stay that way for years as attitudes toward discretionary spending, homeownership and credit undergo a secular shift towards prudence and conservatism.

While hedge funds and short-coverings have been the major sources of buying power for the equity market this year, what has really impressed me is what the general public has been doing with their savings, which is to allocate more towards fixed-income strategies. Looking at the U.S. household balance sheet, what I see on the asset side is a 25% weighting towards equities, a 30% weighting towards real estate and there is obviously a lot in cash and deposits, life insurance reserves and consumer durables, but the weighting in fixed-income securities is less than 7%. So my contention is that this is the part of the asset mix that will expand the most in the next five to 10 years and I am constructive on income strategies.

What also makes this cycle entirely different from all the other ones experienced in the post-WWII era is that this is the first consumer recession we have witnessed where the median age of the baby boom population is 52 going on 53. The last time we had a consumer recession in the early 1990s, the boomer population was in their early 30s and they were still expanding their balance sheets. The last time we had a bubble burst in 2001 they were in their early 40s. Now they are in their early 50s, the first of the boomers are in their early 60s, and we are talking about a critical mass of 78 million people who have driven everything in the economy and capital markets over the last five decades. This cohort realize that they may never fully recoup their lost net worth, and yet they will probably live another 20 or 30 years.

So, what is happening, which is at the same time fascinating and disturbing, is that the only part of the population actually seeing any job growth in this recession are people over the age of 55. Everyone else can’t get a job or are losing jobs — there is a youth unemployment crisis in the United States of epic proportions and a record number of Americans have been out of work for longer than six months in part because the “aging but not aged” crowd is not retiring as early as they used to. My contention is that many retirees who took themselves out of the workforce because they believed that their net worth would provide for them sufficiently in their golden years are redoing their calculations and coming back to the workforce to make up for their lost wealth. They are seeking income in the labour market, not because they want to but because they have to in order to satisfy their retirement lifestyles.

So, instead of being tempted into capital appreciation equity strategies, for every dollar that the household sector has allocated to these funds since the March lows, over $10 dollars has flowed into income funds — bonds, hybrids, dividends and the like; the areas of the investment sphere that we have been recommending this year. We can understand that there are concerns over inflation, but the history of post-bubble credit collapses is that even with massive policy reflation, deflation pressures can dominate for years — this was certainly the case in the U.S.A. and Canada in the 1930s, and again in Japan from the 1990s until today. Income strategies in both cases worked well with minimal volatility.

Of course, all the talk right now is about reflation and all the efforts from the central banks to create inflation, but the facts on the ground show that the inflation rate for both consumers and producers has turned negative for the first time in six decades. Perhaps inflation is a consensus forecast but deflation is the present day reality and often lingers for years following a busted asset and credit bubble of the magnitude we have endured over the past two years. So, to protect the portfolio in this deflationary landscape, a pervasive focus on capital preservation and income orientation, whether that be in bonds, hybrids, or a focus on consistent dividend growth and dividend yield would seem to be in order.

Be that as it may, what has also become crystal clear is the attitude that the U.S. government has taken over the beleaguered U.S. dollar, which can only be described as benign neglect. After all, 2010 is a mid-term election year in the U.S. and the Administration will do everything it can to squeeze every last possible basis point out of GDP growth and to prevent the unemployment rate, the most emotionally-charged statistic of them all, from reaching new highs.

The decisions to give 57 million social security recipients another $250 and to not only extend the first-time homebuyer tax credit but to expand the subsidy to higher-income trade-up buyers smacks of populist economic policies that will stop at nothing to generate growth, even with the budget deficit-to-GDP ratio is already at a record of over 10%. While I still believe that a sustainable return to inflation is a long ways away, there is little doubt that we will see continuous efforts at policy reflation, which means that the U.S. money supply is going to continue to expand rapidly, which in turn is positive for commodities, which are after all priced in U.S. dollars.

On top of all that, it does appear from a volume demand perspective, that the secular growth dynamics in Asia, China and India in particular, have reasserted themselves and this part of the world is the marginal buyer of commodities. This is the key reason why the Canadian stock market, given its resource exposure, has continued to do very well in comparison to the United States, especially when the positive trend in the Canadian dollar enters the equation, and I expect this outperformance to continue.

Typical of a post-bubble credit collapse, I see the range of outcomes in the financial markets and the economy to be extremely wide. But one conclusion I think we can agree on in this light is the need to maintain defensive strategies and minimize volatility and downside risks as well as to focus on where the secular fundamentals are positive such as in fixed-income and in equity sectors that lever off the commodity sector, under the proviso that the “experts” are correct on this particular forecast — that China and India remain the global growth leaders.

With that in mind, we were encouraged to see this on page B1 of today’s NYT — Cutting Back? Not in China: Rising Incomes Make it Easier to Splurge. As Dennis Gartman pointed out yesterday, there was a time (1820) when the U.S.A. was 2% of global GDP and Asia was 33%. That is tough for a lot of folks to swallow but maybe we will see in our lifetime a period when the Chinese economy does surpass the size of the U.S.A. (with 1.3 billion people, four times the U.S. population that actually seems quite likely).

After all, for the first time ever, China is going to be buying more vehicles than Americans will this year (then again, 20% of the Chinese aren’t exactly three-car families either) — 12.8 million units in China compared to 10.3 million in the U.S. And it’s not even fair to compare appliances any more either with consumption in China now up to 185 million (we are talking about washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc) versus an expected 137 million in the American market.

In Q3, Chinese consumers bought more computers (7.2 million) than the U.S.A. too (6.6 million). So while China is indeed still export-dependant and relies heavily on government infrastructure projects, there may be something to be said, at the margin, that consumer demand is also becoming an important contributor to its economic growth. Now keep in mind that most of this stuff is made in China and not in the U.S.A., so this is more of a commodity-input story than it is a U.S. export story.

China’s strategy of deploying its surpluses in assets around the world is quite a bit different than what Japan did with its surpluses in the 1980s. China is not into golf courses or movie studios as much as in gaining ownership of global resources in the ground. At last count, the country has signed trade deals with Africa to the tune of $60 billion (heck, that’s only 8% of the size of TARP, which is now going to be diverted towards a government-led job creation program in the U.S.A.). Have a look at the nifty article on the topic on page 11 of the FT —Africa Builds as Beijing Scrambles to Invest.

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AN0NYM0US's picture

Rosenberg blah blah blah

I'm sorry but he has been crying wolf since March - he may be correct but his credibility just ain't there.


Meanwhile in the TARP hearing going on now - Damon Silvers deputy chair of the panel (and Associate General Counsel of the AFL-CIO) is lobbing softballs at Timmay and coming up Pelosi's choice for the oversight panel Richard H. Neiman, superintendent of Banks in New York. 

Eduardo's picture

Yes, you are my men ! Rosie and all that blah blah blah when Cramer was right all the way up and his talk is so much closer to us with all those boooyahhh

Never mind he is the best second to none in putting some clarity to this economic mess. He did not time you the market up to the second for ya like Cramer did (go buy CIT)



Howard_Beale's picture

You obviously believe that bear markets go down in a straight line. Look at a chart of 1929-1933. Don't shoot the messenger or act as though you should have traded his points--understand his basic thesis and store it on your cranial hard drive for future use.

AN0NYM0US's picture

I believe that Rosie has been on the wrong side of this market (equities), on which he has opined extensively,  since March, notwithstanding the usual caveats. 

deadhead's picture

3 eyes...you're flat out wrong.

Rosie has said since March that he thought the spx could retrace as high as 1200 and he said it on several occasions.  that is a fact.

curbyourrisk's picture

Why do you guys keep responding to people named ANONYMOUS???


I find it a complete waste of time.

Ripped Chunk's picture

Anonymous is ok for Craigslist "Rants & Raves"

Otherwise a total waste of time because what is coming will have no place for cowards.

AN0NYM0US's picture

curby, if I may call you by your first name - I could not agree more - much better to interact when you know the identity of the person with whom you are interacting


bbbilly1326's picture

u mean like the writers on ZH ?  haha...........

Anonymous's picture

curbyourrisk, to think about it, your name is basically
same as ANONYMOUS.

MsCreant's picture

Curb and others,

You are being played.

Notice ANONYMOUS is in all caps? Notice Anon's bag has three eyes? Anon is as much of a consistent identity as you are as a Bernanke clown and I am as a chick with a gun and cigarette. I think it is very clever. He has further played with the bag image doing a strip tease with a bearded guy underneath. I don't always agree with this person, but they are smart, creative, and playful as all getout.

It just took slowing down and noticing. We also have a poster who is Mr. Anon, and others who play with the bag image (burning, narcoleptic) great stuff.

WaterWings's picture

Woah. You are armed. Coole.

AN0NYM0US's picture

From the Zero Hedge Archives

 Groty   6 months ago
About two weeks ago he declared the bear market rally was over and the next leg down had begun. The onus was ont the bulls. Now he's saying the onus is on the bears for the next few months, and that 1200 can't be ruled out.

Sounds like the last bear standing is quasi-capitulating.

 deadhead   6 months ago
not quite true.....he indicated that if the rally was over, history shows us that the market will consolidate for 53 days (38 b'ness days). i remember the article well. he has repeatedly called this a "sucker's rally"



and this from the ZH archives:

Rosenberg ... Reaches For The Stratosphere, Sees 1,200 S&P On "Strong Earnings Growth"

AR's picture

DH / Hope you are well. If you got long NatGas last week as mentioned under 4.60ish, we'd take profits into today's rally and step aside in this instrument. Good luck our friend...

estaog's picture

is his analysis even remotely tradable? following this guy's advice will lose you a lot fo money.

Dixie Normous's picture

Nobody's analysis is tradable other than your own.

Reading someone else's stuff and trading off it is like breaking news: it can't be trusted because you don't know who got it before you.


Missing_Link's picture

Ding ding ding!  We have a winner!

Anonymous's picture

Rosie knows something. His ear is on the rail and he hears it coming. When .gov manipulates the game like never before it can make a good call go bad in a heartbeat.

Let's get back to trusting our sense of reality.

jd2iv987's picture

agreed...the analysis of the fixed income markets vs the equity markets is absolutely incorrect.


exactly wrong...


SDRII's picture

No worries, Politico reports Dems to increase ceiling by $1.8T - nothing a littel credit cant take care of

aint no fortunate son's picture

While I appreciate Mr. Rosenberg's, and the other several thousand negative commentaries from similarly inclined economists and pundits, if I had shorted this market every time that I agreed with their conclusions over the past 9 months, I would be scrubbing toilets in a Taco Bell for a profession, if I was lucky enough to be employed at all.

Fact of the matter is, yeah, things are bad and no doubt getting worse. Fact of the matter II is that it doesn't matter squat, because the US government owns this market and is going to keep it on an upward trajectory for as long as it feels like it, which will be as long as Lloyd and Jamie spin buy programs at will with Ben's money.

I do find it interesting that GS is back down today and perhaps reestablishing its downtrend, so perhaps yesterday's strength was pre-bonus share buying for distribution to the troops.. but they are rapidly approaching their 200 day EMA, and I would suspect there will be a lot of hedge funds buying that support just about the time the markets open up for the new year.. a perfect spot for a 20% correction in the market leader to end and the markets to get their New Year's jazz on compliments of the United States of America's printing presses. 

No doubt U-3 will be 12%+ by then with an ultimate altitude of 15% likely, and no doubt that will be the occasion for many celebratory buy programs to start the year off right as we take our next big "technical" move to the heavens.

Dixie Normous's picture

Yes if you read Rosenberg and your finger is near a buy or sell button, you will sell probably everytime.

However, I like to read these types of writings because they are reality.

The key, if you trade these markets, is never to let anyone influence when you push the button.  A difficult challenge indeed.

aint no fortunate son's picture

I agree. I read voraciously, and when I put on my "big picture" hat the Rosenbergs of the world win hands down, every time... its the noise being put up from the peanut gallery in Washington and DC that is trying so hard to distract us from the truth of our situation that is the problem... namely, that like all previous "great" empires we have outlived our time in a final orgy of excess, arrogance and greed. Rosenberg is spot on when he talks about the secular changes that are and will be increasingly hitting this economy over the next several decades like a freight train... I'm 59... I know exactly what he's talking about.

So I try to keep my finger poised over the sell trigger, because I suspect that when it happens it will be faster than many think... until then I just shake my head in amazement at the spin machines spreading their manure.

whydtinogo's picture

There seems to be endless references to fridge and car sales in China versus the US and other western countries, which in someway suggests that domestic consumption will be leading Chinese growth and that China can decouple from its weak export markets. Consider the following from Michael Pettis:

"Just growth in Chinese consumption alone does not help if it grows in line with GDP, and less so if it grows slower than GDP.  In that case the imbalances will get worse, and while the impact on the trade account can be temporarily disguised if investment continues to surge, ultimately it just postpones the needed adjustment (and increases the cost if the investment surge is misallocated).

What kind of consumption growth will we need for the country to rebalance?  The numbers are a little worrying.  If China grows by 8% a year, consumption would have to grow by a little over 11% to raise the consumption share of GDP from 35% to 36% in one year.  It would have to grow by a little over 9 1/2% annually to do it in two years.  Consumption, in other words, must grow substantially faster than GDP for the rebalancing even to begin to take place.  This is arithmetically true because China begins the process with such a low consumption ratio.

Look at it over the longer term.  Just to return consumption to 40% of GDP over the next five years (and even that level is widely considered to be way too low, and probably unprecedented in the world excluding recent Chinese history), 8% average annual growth rates in GDP would require a tad under 11% annual growth in consumption.  Similarly, 7% average annual GDP growth rates would require that consumption grow annually over the next five years by nearly 10%."

Anonymous's picture

Honestly...most of you guys are complete morons. Equities are only ONE asset class. Do you really think Rosenberg is a equities only guy? Since the March lows, while he's been negative on equities, he's been long high quality corporates, commodities [gold especially] and the CAD over the USD. To put it bluntly, had you converted your USD to CAD and bought corporates and gold...you would have made a fortune.

Anonymous's picture

That would have been a good post if you left out

Honestly...most of you guys are complete morons.

Let's keep it emotion neutral.

Ripped Chunk's picture

That's why it posts as "anonymous" but I do agree with you anyway.

Anonymous's picture

You would have MADE A FORTUNE in US dollars!

I bought gold in April with CDN dollars, (living in Canada that made sense) although I now have more USD than before, I have taken a bit of a shit kicking.

Sure, my profits look good in USD, but who wants to hold those???

TraderVix's picture

I agree with Rosenberg to the extent that the deleveraging of the U.S. consumer will continue for years. The idealist in me would like to believe that there will be a decent percentage of teens and tweens watching (and hopefully learning from) their parent's mistakes as the reduce spending and pay down debt over the next few years.

SayTabserb's picture

At the macroeconomic level, as Carly would have sung, nobody does it better. Rosie's essays sound like the reality you can see outside the window. A gimmicked market can't hide 20% unemployment and a $12 trillion hit to household balance sheets. We're stuck where we are.

ATG's picture

Rosie one of the few Wall Street Lions correctly

describing a YOY -15.3% decline in GDP before

Q3 a depression rather than recession.

No wonder he had to leave Stan ONeal and the

BAC/MER slumbering herd. Also one of the few,

along with Guarino, Prechter, Shilling,

another MER alum, correctly identifying deflation

as the primary trend. Trading against the trend

is for those who love moral hazard and wish to

rely on government bailpouts and agency


Meanwhile, John Williams has the data, if not

the big picture:



George Orwell's picture

Rosenberg didn't tell you to short.  He is bearish and equities and bullish on corporate bonds.  If you stick to his advice and bought corporate bonds like LQD or individual bonds from companies like CSCO or IBM you would be doing quite well today.

George Orwell

Anonymous's picture

yep - there is a distinction between one's beliefs
about fundamentals and one's behavior when
investing....they need not converge at all points...

Assetman's picture

The biggest error in judgement Rosenberg has made regarding is equity markets is the degree to which the Fed and others have engaged in market manipulation activities during this period of reflation.

Perhaps we all should have known better, but if someone told me last February that the Fed would start a campaign to purchase over $1 trillion in MBS near par while covertly squeezing the life out of fundamental equity short sellers-- well, I would have thought you were off your rocker.

Problem is, Rosenberg didn't recognize and accept it as such when it became apparent.

Now that we are at 50% retracement levels on the S&P and sovereign debt becoming a weightier issue, why stick you neck out at all on equities when the public really isn't buying them?

MsCreant's picture

Hey Assetman!

None of us could have anticipated the level of fraud. I am amazed myself at what I am accepting as normal. I used to be "responsible" paid my taxes early to be a "good citizen" got angry at my husband for waiting until the last minute (even then he did not want them having his money any sooner than necessary).

I am waiting until the last minute now, on every tax front. I was never this cynical about the system. And with what I now know, I still read more daily that shocks me. I think I get the level of depravity, finally, and then I fall down another rabbit hole.

I left a comment on another thread about Simon buying more malls. You argued TARP would be the delivery vehichle for the bailout. I think it is funny, in a sick way, you and I could even be in a position to have this debate. The fundamental core issue is that big richtard bastards are buying up ugly assets EXPECTING the government to buy them out at inflated/original prices. I am now seeing the template everywhere.

On a thread this morning, is PIMCO buying those Dubai bonds? WTF???? We will see if it is just a rumor. But I gotta tell you, I am falling down another rabbit hole with this. The enormity of it is more than I can handle, just this second.

Things have always been bad, I get it that I am only catching up with the curve because I am not a business type, but until these bailout "innovations" this kind of depravity was not possible.

I crave honesty. I will not have it. If I stay honest, will I keep getting screwed? If I start trying to screw the system, do I screw my neighbors who I do not see myself as being at war with?

I uesd to be idealistic. I used to be good. I am now a MsCreant. I love this site, but hate the world the way it is.

faustian bargain's picture

You're still good, just not the normative good. Being a MsCreant is better than being a MsDirected.

Yours is sortof the line of thinking I'm also on, and it is leading me to be more curious about the homesteading movement, being off-grid & self-reliant as much as possible, etc.

As my resources are very modest, I think my energies might be better spent detaching from the system, than trying to screw it. I mean, I guess starving the beast is a type of screwage, but not the Quixotic type that ends up hurting me more than it.

Holding out the red pill for others to take, and leading by example, are things within my power to do.

Gordon_Gekko's picture

Or MsSheeple who stand ready to be skinned by the benevolent government 24/7.

MsCreant's picture


I like your posts. That is a good point you make, "just not normative good." I know where my heart is.

I am, I think, "lucky" enough to have a house. The problem/qualifier is that having the house keeps me tied to an area which may not be good to be tied to. It is paid for, so I have ripped up the front and some of the back and I dabble with gardening. I'm not sure if my stand gets made here, but since I own it outright, it would be nice. But I am in a big city. I spent this morning on a site about being a bottom feeder. Some of the information is good, and some of it is unethical, advice on how to live at the expense of others. Don't like that at all. What I keep being shocked at is how much these so called wealthy people are willing to do this. It is one thing if you have been poor all your life and have not had anyone tell you that things could (or even should) be different, it is another is you are wealthy and willing to steal from others who will most definitely suffer, while you have more than you can use.

I'm glad you're handing out red pills and looking to get off the grid. I think we are on the same page. My place on the grid may become off the grid, not sure yet.

Good luck.

geopol's picture

but since I own it outright...

Stop paying your property taxes and see how long you own it..

Home ownership is a fraud / illusion in Amerika......

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Like many of you, I am moving in the direction of going off the grid, not quickly nor all the way.  I think simple prudence dictates that we have alternative assets.  I do not want to attack the system either.  If you attack the Big Rhino, you will lose.  If we move to (or even partly to) John Galt's valley, then we should be OK.


I love zerohedge.  This place has the best mix of fast breaking news, knowledgable contributors and breadth of financial topics.  Bravo!  I also like fofoa.blogspot.com and jsmineset.com.

Rick64's picture

I can totally relate to that, I wasn't naive before but am more cynical, the more I research how the government works and the corrupt practices that go on at the taxpayers expense.

MsCreant's picture

I just keep coming back here and surf other sites (and wiki and the urban dictionary [LOL]) and just keep learning. There is a theorist named Georg Simmel who talks about something called the Tragedy of Culture. He argues that our objective culture (all the stuff we have created or can know) outpaces our subjective culture (an individual's particular mastery of cultural products) so that objective culture grows faster than subjective culture (there is simply too much to know) and the objective culture overwhelms and subordinates us to it. Finance is an example of the tragedy of culture at work. It is so big, it overwhelms us, even as it determines our livelihood.

Assetman's picture

Hey MsCreant... I had a nice essay all typed out for you... and it didn't succeed in posting.  I wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts.

So now I'll really need to get to the point.

The mere fact we are discussing who TARP money will payoff next is both surreal and a little disgusting.  It's shameful that entites like Simon and PIMPCO are trying to crowd themselves to be the next in line for a corrupt bailout by buying highly questionable assets... but they too see the system for what it has become.

Being honest and a creditor has not paid very well over the last couple of years-- and will not provide much of a payoff in the future.  The operative word as we go forward is "survival".  Unfortunately, to guarantee "survival", one either games the system at the expense of others-- or you find another system that is more honest and fair.

I'm encouraging my children to explore finding another system, that perhaps, isn't as inherently corrupt.  I, on the other hand, have a vested interest to do what I can to reverse this crap.  I'm still idealistic, but the battle lines have certainly changed.  And it's gotten more difficult.  I'm pretty much with Faustian Bargain's comments, as for what is on my "to do/done" list.  For some odd reason, I don't think it's a lost cause... yet.

MsCreant's picture

"I'm encouraging my children to explore finding another system, that perhaps, isn't as inherently corrupt."

Me, the academic, I am actually challenging my son to reconsider college. I want whatever he chooses to be his, not mine, not a mindless path he takes because it is what everyone does. I am not sure how useful college is for the future, we shall see. I feel like I am part of a Ponzi scam and have made the error of expressing this opinion out loud!

Right now enrollments are up. Many are hiding from the "Recession." I predict that what we deliver is not going to get folks jobs, and they are going to start seeing it as a waste of their time and then we are going to see a mass exodus and legitimation crisis in education. Until we get honest about what is happening and start gearing things for that world, I feel the academy is in danger of becoming irrelevant, and thus broke.

faustian bargain's picture

Sortof relevant to this, I just received an email from my alumni office (MIT) that reminded me that typically about half of MIT's student tuition costs are paid by alumni donations. I'm getting a lot more emails asking for money this year than I have in the past. I hope they're teaching kids useful things.

Other issue is - a really high percentage of students there are foreigners that go back to their home country after graduation.

And the last issue I just thought of, is that Bernanke went to MIT. On behalf of all MIT alums, I deeply apologize.

Assetman's picture

I have a daughter, still in high school mind you, who understands all this stuff.  Extremely smart.  Intensely idealistic.  She thinks she can change the world.  I hope she does.

The debate there is ongoing, though she wants to go to school somewhere overseas.  And perhaps that experience will be the eye opener.

My younger son wants to be a major league baseball player.  He's just a big goofball.  I've guided his interest in meterology to be his "Plan B".  There's still more work to do there, but he understands there is a need for such expertise in most corners of the world.

I agree with the jobs/education paradox.  My sense is that those that have a good education will find good employment-- but it may be a half world away.  Like those who have immigated to this country through the decades, we may see "brain flight" to areas of the world that are better suited to those talents.  But many will stay and either remain unemployed or underemployed.

My hope is that my kids won't let borders be a barrier.

Anonymous's picture

Or...maybe the academy becomes broke and thus irrelevant!


Anonymous's picture

I admire people who sincerely care about and work to preserve a country we can be proud of. I submit that a part of any solution to our crisis of community--a skinned and gutted economy being one very important manifestation of the larger problem of our failure to self-govern responsibly--is a transformational "we the people" social/political action. In this respect, despite our collective best efforts--for over thirty years in my case--while the cause may not lost, "we" are failing miserably. This is a confession, not a critique. It is not said to discourage but encourage greater boldness in personal and community action fortified by truth, motivated by love, and with a profound regard for the fact that our miraculous lives and the time remaining to act with impact are all too brief.