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What Will Economic Austerity Look Like for America?

Economics / Economic Austerity Jun 12, 2012 - 07:31 AM GMT

By: EWI

Economics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleSince the start of the European sovereign debt debacle, the word "austerity" has been bandied about a lot.

It wasn't an everyday word, and may send some people to the dictionary. Merriam-Webster defines "austerity" this way: enforced or extreme economy.


But even knowing this definition might leave one wondering how "austerity measures" relate to Europe's debt crisis. The Associated Press (5/13) provided this overview:

Austerity has been the main prescription across Europe for dealing with the continent's nearly 3-year-old debt crisis, brought on by too much government spending. But what does it mean for the average European? Imagine paying sales tax of 23 percent or more. Or having your wages cut by 15 percent. Austerity comes in many forms: higher taxes, fewer state benefits, more job cuts, working longer until retirement, you name it.

How about America? Will austerity measures be imposed on the world's largest economy? Well, a Marketwatch columnist says "America's new Age of Austerity is already here...Yes, America is already in a depression." (5/29)

We agree. In fact, Robert Prechter said as much in the September 2011 Elliott Wave Theorist:

Bulls say the economy is in recovery, albeit a weak one. Bears are calling for a "double dip" recession, like the back-to-back recessions of 1980 and 1982. But, as is often the case, we disagree with both camps: The economic contraction of 2007-2009 was not a recession; the respite since then is not the start of a new economic expansion; and the economy is not going to have another "dip" into recession. The economy has been sliding into depression.

The signs of an American austerity are becoming widely visible. And nowhere is this belt-tightening more evident than in state and local governments. Recent years have seen a multitude of stories that describe reduced services. And in the overall economy, we're seeing a de-leveraging of debt. Unemployment remains relatively high. Here's a CNBC headline from today (5/30):

Sign of the Times: 20,000 Apply for 877 Auto Job Openings

This story about a new automobile plant in Montgomery, Alabama is one of many like it that feature jobless or under-employed individuals standing in line.

Above I showed the September 2011 quote from Robert Prechter. Yet he actually foretold much of what is financially happening today in his 2002 book Conquer the Crash.

That's right. Ten years ago, he described what this age of austerity would look like. Much of what he described looks just like what is going on today. But how about the rest of what's described in Conquer the Crash?

Yes, there's more. You see, Prechter pointed out much more than what unfolded in the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Do yourself the biggest of favors and learn what he has to say. Be one of the few who are prepared vs. the majority who will be caught off-guard.

How? Right now, Elliott Wave International is offering a special FREE report with 8 lessons from Conquer the Crash to help you prepare for your financial future.

In this 42-page report, you'll get valuable lessons on:

  • What to do with your pension plan
  • How to identify a safe haven (a safe place for your family)
  • What should you do if you run a business
  • Calling in loans and paying off debt
  • Should you rely on the government to protect you?
  • Money, Credit and the Federal Reserve Banking System
  • Can the Fed Stop Deflation?
  • A Short List of Imperative Do's and Don'ts

It's not too late to prepare yourself for what's ahead. Get Your FREE 8-Lesson Conquer the Crash Report Now

This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline The Day of American Austerity: What Will It Look Like?. EWI is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

About the Publisher, Elliott Wave International Founded in 1979 by Robert R. Prechter Jr., Elliott Wave International (EWI) is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private around the world.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

James
12 Jun 12, 23:38
Unemployment

The job situation today poses an interesting question for those on both the left and the right. Why is it or how can it be that companies in the standard and poors five hundred are seeing their earnings soar while at the same we are seeing such animic job creation by the private sector. The answer technology. Labor saving technology and also the increasing ability of many companies to move not just physical production overseas but also white collar jobs overseas. What we have here is a very serious dilemma on the one hand increasing productivty can keep prices down their by keeping inflation in check. But theirs a problem in our economic system. If a company is profitable and productive they could use their increasing productivity to improve both wages and benefits of their employees and they could also use their increasing productivity to lower prices or at least not raise prices. On the other hand they could use their growing excess profits which are directly related to their increasing efficiency and productivity to buy back their stock pay a larger dividend and do acquisitions or just hold the cash on their balance sheet. Rather than increase and improve the wages and benefits of their empolyees and lower or hold prices of their products and services steady. I believe the vast majority of the businesses in the united states have chosen to do the latter. In order to expect companies to pass on their excess profits in the form of lower prices or stable prices we must see increased competition among firms in the same business. This is often absent. Look at the huge money center banks that have a hold on huge regions of the country. With fewer competitors these companies can keep much of their excess profits instead of being forced to pass them along to consumers.. Another factor that is at work here is the tremendous amount of competition for jobs in the labor market as long as unempolyment remains high many companies are not inclined to increase wages and improve benefits. In the end we have a growing mismatch between the ability of the average consumer to afford the products and services being provided to the consumer by business.


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