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Recession? Sure Feels Like One

Dr. Joe explains that another recession may have already started, and the thought of that may be all that's needed to create demands for more Fed easing and more fiscal stimulus. The NASDAQ is down -18% from the start of the December 2007 recession on an inflation-adjusted basis. The commodities and consumer inflation trends may actually be slowing right now. Yet again, Dr. Joe explains some of the economic workings that are contrary to the morning news.

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: August 23, 2011


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Dr. Joe Webb is one of the graphic arts industry's best-known consultants, forecasters, and commentators. He is the director of WhatTheyThink.com's Economics and Research Center.

What do you think? Please send feedback to Dr. Joe by emailing him at drjoe@whattheythink.com.

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By Noel Jeffrey on Aug 23, 2011

Dr. Joe,
Thank you for acknowledging American Printer. Having written for both GAM & AP when they were well over 100 pages, I really feel the loss.


By Wayne Lynn on Aug 24, 2011

What is the name of the book you recommend from time to time? Economics As If People Mattered? My memory isn't as good as it used to be and that may not be the title but I did read it. Something productive the PIA might consider is sending a copy of it to every member of Congress, the Federal Reserve, and the White House. But then, they wouldn't have the courage to act on what they might learn.


By Joe Webb on Aug 24, 2011

The book is "Economics for Real People" and is downloadable for free from the Mises Institute. http://mises.org/books/econforrealpeople.pdf It is an easy read about what is called the Austrian School of Economics. I first heard about the book in 2002 in a column by Barron's economist Gene Epstein. The most common name people have heard among economists associated with the Austrian School is Frederich von Hayek. His book "The Road to Serfdom" was written after WW2 and is still very popular today, and is still very relevant. For easier reads, Thomas Sowell's "Basic Economics" is still very well done, has no charts or graphs that often scare people away from economics, now in its 4th edition. Dr. Sowell's "Economics Facts and Fallacies" is more topical, and also has a new edition. If you've taken economics in college, or even majored in it, I strongly recommend reading the Austrians to broaden the understanding of all of the alternatives and subtle issues of economics. At the time I took economics in the late 1970s, the Austrians were buried and forgotten for the most part, and I've found them quite fascinating. It challenges your thinking, for sure. I disagree with many of the things the Austrians propose, but reading them has greatly deepened my economic interests (just read what they write about the financial dysfunctions that intellectual property laws cause as an example... which is one of the reasons all of their resources are free or close to free online). The Mises Institute has numerous free books, videos, and other materials. It's highly recommended. The news rarely discusses the "other side" of economics, but now there's a place to get it.


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