ECONOMISTS: RECESSION IN OREGON IS UNLIKELY.
Front page of the Bulletin, Feb. 9, 2008, Associated Press.
Here we go again.
I don't believe it, but I'm not the expert. I'm just the guy watching my customers cut back in their buying.
Anyway, this article requires some parsing.
Experts? They seem to be talking about Oregon's chief economist. They do quote one other economist who talks about how the kicker money was spent on lottery tickets. But one assumes that the 'chief' economists has others under him, so fair enough.
But when you read the article, what he really says is; tax money will be down, both from personal and business, but Oregon has a cushion. Because we don't have a sales tax, the state won't get hurt as badly as the rest of the country.
In fact, just about everything he says points to a slowdown, but he apparently wants to avoid the 'recession' word, even though that is what he is describing. It is also narrowly written from the perspective of what it will do to state revenue.
O.K. Fair enough. As long as I can look at it from the perspective of retail sales. And I have zero doubt there is a recession in that arena.
Besides, just as when you take Multnomah and Washington counties out of the equation, Oregon instantly turns from a blue state to a red state, I suspect the same is true of the economy. In the rural counties, recession seems to me to be a near certainty.
Finally, a year ago, most economists were saying that a recession was very unlikely, oh, wait, it's possible, oh, hell, it's likely. They haven't exactly covered themselves in glory.
On the business pages there is a short article on the Japan economy of the 'lost decade'. The gist of the argument is that we have to avoid this: "....officials were too conservative and too protective of failing banks,...and thus prone to policy steps that were counter-productive..."
"too protective of failing banks..."
Isn't that EXACTLY what we're doing?
4 days ago