I had this email exchange with JB.
JB: I hope that green jobs can help pull us out of this slump...
DZ: The green job thing is BS.
JB: Why do you think the "green jobs" is BS?
DZ: Because they are looking for govt subsidies.
JB: Do you think Pickens is wasting his millions on it too?
DZ: No -- he's lobbying for subsides.
JB: ...and that Congress will help our auto makers.
DZ: Huge waste of $$
JB: If any or all of the automakers fail, even more people will lose their jobs and will likely result in further tanking of the economy?
DZ: Some people will not be able to get new jobs, others will. Jobs in companies that lose money are not productive. When they use tax $$ to stay afloat, they just waste it...
JB: It's good to see oil prices down.
DZ: Nope - bad for our energy policy and move to alternative fuels. They need to raise gas taxes...
JB: What's your prediction for the economy in 2009?
DZ: Spending contraction 6-9 months; investment contraction for longer...
JB: DJIA closed below 8000 today.
DZ: People are adjusting to a different era, with different profits. It's all about sentiment and prospects. We need a good recession to shake out the bad companies. Remember that life isn't about constant increases in the DJIA.
Bottom Line: There's a reason that (honest) economists do not get elected as politicians -- they do not do well with the "people are suffering, do SOMETHING" version of life. Instead, they concentrate on what works for the whole economy, society, etc. That's not popular with voters (who want to feel that they will be taken care of) or lobbyists (who are taken care of).