Economics

Pundits Plussed, Workers Gruntled By Precedented Jobless Claims

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The Summer of Recovery is really starting to cook now, with another increase in unemployment claims.

Like all the previous "unexpected" increases in jobless numbers, the new report from the Labor Department is being treated as a big surprise.

More green shoots:

* Institute for Supply Management notes a new slowdown from May to June.

* U.S. Census Bureau [pdf] reports a 0.2 percent decrease in construction spending from April to May.

* Mortgage applications and existing home sales are both heading south.

Load your guns! Everything's heading south.

How does President Obama fit into this, with his high sentence about the Summer of Recovery? "He's a human destroyer," says investment banking consultant Howard Davidowitz, who adds the president is "surrounded by a bunch of complete incompetents, led by himself."

Nor is this simply free-market cant. Paul Krugman, the Doctor, says the United States is in the early stages of a third Great Depression. That's the 21st century equivalent of the stock tip from Joe Kennedy's shoeshine boy. If even he's got the news, it's time stock up on guns and nonperishables.

I refuse to talk about the "return" of the recession or the "second dip" of the recession for the same reason I refuse to refer to Mickey Rourke's "comeback": You say he's back; I say he never went away.