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3 polls take pulse on homeowners, business and economist

November 4, 2010

Poll: Economists, Businesses and Home Owners Still Pessimistic about the Economy
By Oregon Tax News

Economists: The National Association of Business Economics (NABE) recently released a survey by top economists forecasting that the economy will grow at a slower pace than expected over the next couple of years. The 46 economists polled based their analysis on the recent decline in economic data over recent months. The economists reduced their forecast for annual economic growth from 3.2 percent in May, to 2.6 percent in 2010 and 2011.

Experts blame the slower economic recovery on the persistently high unemployment, weak consumer spending and stagnant wages. Although economists expect job creation through the end of 2011, they do not believe that the economy can create enough jobs to decrease the unemployment rate below 9.2 percent. The survey also reported that consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, to remain low.

The government recently estimated that the national economy grew at a 1.7 percent in the second quarter, which down from the 3.7 percent growth rate logged in the January-March quarter this year. Most economists expect growth to be similarly weak in the July-September quarter, with estimates ranging between 1.5 and 2 percent.

Businesses: A bipartisan poll from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows that small business owners are more pessimistic about the economy than average the voter. The poll shows that 78 percent of small business respondents expect the economy to remain stagnant or worsen over the next year. Only sixty-four percent of voters agreed with that assessment, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. In addition, 32 percent of business owners reported that they are not confident in the future of their companies.

Home Owners: The housing market is another factor dragging down the economy. Economists do not expect housing prices to rise enough in 2011 to keep up with inflation, which will cause home sales to remain near record lows. A national survey by reported that sixty-three percent of American adults say they are less likely to buy a house because of the current state of the economy.
The trail to economic recovery continues.

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Marvin McConoughey November 4, 2010

The polls fit in with global economic trends. Emerging nations have used low labor rates and low cost “good enough” education systems to out-compete the United States. Rising commodity costs reflect rising depletion levels and increasing demand. Americans will experience lower living standards as we move away from our post WWII economic bubble. It never was sustainable in the long run, even without our many economic policy mistakes.

Bob Clark November 4, 2010

I think the best way to speed U.S economic growth is not through the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing but rather through deregulation and greater use of domestic resources. For instance, Alaskan oil production could be ramped up quite sharply by allowing drilling in the very remote Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, and the U.S should allow Canada to build its big oil pipeline project to the U.S midwest. These actions would help lower the U.S trade deficit by cutting higher cost Middle Eastern oil imports. By contrast, quantitative easing has significant risk of only creating a new bubble which might bring about hyperinflation, which in turn might have to be popped in order to fight inflation. I advocate a retooling of our political economy instead of just using the same tools within the same old political economy which has gotten too crony like (a too big to fail private segment combined with intrusive government).

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