Matthew Obrien from the Atlantic Magazine posted this a few days ago:
Do you like good news? If you do, this wasn't your month. Next month isn't looking good either.
The French just elected an anti-austerity leader. I am hoping that the US will also see that trickle down economics, cutting taxes on the rich, does not work, and reverse the course we have been on for twenty years and start to re-invest in our society. That would change your calculator button.
The new anti-austerity leader of France has good intentions, but so did Obama and he had about a six month "honeymoon" and Democratic majority in Congress at the time. Hence the passage of the stimulus and ultimately prevailing over the hysterical histrionics of the healthcare debate. After 2010, that whole success deck was reshuffled. Don't forget this is now a congressional majority whose often stated purpose has been to make sure we have a one-term president. Anything they can do to thwart, block, discredit or disintegrate in the form of any initiative on the part of our current administration is their main mission. Damn the state of the current economy or even a couple of quarters from now. I greatly cringe at the thought of a new administration with nothing more than a magical thinking cure of free-market, trickle (one drop at a time) down, job creation through tax cut mantra. I cringe less at a reelection of Obama and even a greater political polarization and constipation than we currently are suffering through.
Don't get me wrong, I am fully in the loft of the choir your in here and singing from the same sheet music.
The Congressional equivalent the new leader of France faces in the European Union, is just as formidable, and that equal is known as Germany. They are the last country to have anything resembling a productive economy and even they are starting to slip. They have also been hardcore austerity proponents and show no signs of being concilatory. I think they are getting free consultation on how to be this way from Nordquist and his ilk. I love ridiculous conspiracy theories like that one.
The unemployment number is slightly lower for the building sector, but that is because people are leaving the AEC industry in droves.
Jason: I will rely on you to be our correspondent on the ground regarding the AEC industry and the AIA billing index. There is ample and anecdotal evidence (recent and not so recent) articles that many of those people who have exited the construction trades are among the thousands who have made the economic exodus to North Dakota and the rest of the Midwest states to take jobs in natural gas and oil exploration and mining. Maybe it is time for a sequel to the movie Fargo.
What do you guys make of this article?
Meh. It uses a limited range of sources. Fox business? Appears as fear-mongering to thwart the Obama re-election. That said, there is a lot of evidence that things are not great, and will not be great for a long time. But 50% unemployment? I've had the opportunity to interact with a lot of people in other industries lately, and most of them are just fine and not worried.
Not quite, I've seen this same concept pushed by a wide array of financial journalists the last month or so, maybe not to the alarmist exetent, but echoing the lack of a substantial and sustained recovery. Earning are down and razor thin, and the real worry comes in the form of earnings projections that are on par with the worst of 2008.
I have no way of knowing this, but I think we both follow the same financial journalist sources, or close enough for me to concur with your salient point here. I think by now, and others who are frequenters to this website, that I am on the other side of the world and the financial and economic perspective from here is worth comparing. When the most recent declining economic statistics came out in China, a western perspective (mine) would have concluded an "end of the world" scenario. It borders on the sublimly ridiculous, but the response of this country to a decline of their annual GDP quarterly rate from 8.2 to around 7.6 caused convulsions and concern in every sector of the economy. The only bigger news has been the massacre in Colorado and the violent and lunatic aspects of our society. The difference between China's violent and lunatic fringe is that they have no acesss to guns. Only the military, armored car guards and maybe the common police (I personally have never seen one carrying any kind of weapon) have guns, and they are serious looking weapons. I diverge.
My point is simply this, as underscored by the close to same economist and financial sages we probably both read:
If China goes down, the rest of the world will tank with it and that is absolutely irrefutable. Like it or not, this is the only viable and productive ( as in the black) national economy keeping the rest of the world afloat right now.
A parting perspective related to our profession and those related to it. The number of job listings for the design professions in China and greater Asia has dropped off SUBSTANTIALLY since most recent bad economic news hit a month ago. No surprise that major and next to major firms have now developed a "wait and see" attitude when it comes to hiring here.
If you have no recent heritage of China or Asia based projects and do not speak Madarin (I dont' but powerful design talent and capability trumps that) you do not stand a chance of getting a job here. Those of you that read this, I am on the ground, so trust me on this.
we can spend all day worrying about this or we can do something. seems rather unimportant on a day like today, especially here in colorado.
None of this matters anyway. The world is going to end on December 21, 2012!! So forget everything else and go out there and live it up. Party like its 1999!..
The funniest part is that there are still students trying to become landscape architects or worse, they just started MLA programs. Try to avoid Penn State Univ at all cost.
maui, some of my favorite guys are at Penn State LA - it has a direct connection to Ian McHargs Upenn era, and those guys have it going for them..I really do wonder about Penn State LA, which is HUGE, and this football thing..I should ask them..Has it hurt them? Why would LA be tied to this scandal, football, more than the documentary on Penn State DRINKING and falling off ten story buildings as freshman, encouragd by their fathers/alumni,?(on pbs a year or so ago..) would football affect LA? more than drinking?