Recession Took Bigger Bite Than Estimated
By Alex Kowalski, Bloomberg News
Jul 29, 2011 8:30 AM ET
Gross domestic product shrank 5.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the second quarter of 2009, compared with the previously reported 4.1 percent drop, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The second-worst contraction in the post-World War II era was a 3.7 percent decline in 1957-58.
Meaning this is the worst since the Great Depression.
(T)he jobless rate doubled, climbing from 5 percent at the start of the downturn to a 26-year high 10.1 percent in October 2009. The strongest quarter of the recovery is now the first three months of last year. Growth decelerated every quarter thereafter.
The improved GDP reading for 2010 belies a marked slowdown over the year. After expanding at a 3.9 percent annual pace in the first three months, now the strongest quarter of the recovery, growth cooled until reaching a 2.3 percent rate from October through December.
The economy expanded at a 1.3 percent annual rate from April through June of this year, less than forecast, the Commerce Department’s advance report for the second showed. Growth in the prior three months was revised down to 0.4 percent from 1.9 percent. … GDP has yet to surpass the pre-recession peak.
So what’s a State or Community to do to create economic growth?
How about host a Nuclear Waste Dump?
Volunteer Towns Sought for Nuclear Waste Sites, Panel Says
By Brian Wingfield, Bloomberg News
Jul 29, 2011 5:07 PM ET
U.S. communities should be encouraged to vie for a federal nuclear-waste site as a way to end a decades-long dilemma over disposing of spent radioactive fuel, a commission established by President Barack Obama said.
A “consent-based” approach will help cut costs and end delays caused when the federal government picks a site over the objections of local residents, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future said today in a draft report to Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
Did you hear that? Blue Ribbon! How could they recommend anything bad?
The 15-member commission set up by Obama in 2010 is weighing options for disposing of waste from U.S. nuclear power plants. Chu named the panelists after Obama canceled plans to build a permanent repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) north of Las Vegas. The Yucca site was opposed by politicians from the state, led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat.
The panel recommended that a new federal corporation run the disposal program, taking over the task from the Energy Department. It also called for designating permanent and interim storage sites, supporting research and overhauling the Nuclear Waste Fund, which has $24.6 billion from fees paid by utilities.
And they’re going to privatize it! No icky bureaucrats. What could possibly go wrong?
Japan’s nuclear disaster this year focused new attention on the issue. Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant suffered meltdowns and radiation leaks after a March 11 earthquake and tsunami, prompting concerns about the safety of spent fuel in cooling pools.
So we’re going to concentrate it! Too bad for you New Mexico.
The Blue Ribbon Commission cited as a “success” the U.S. Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico, which has accepted and disposed of some defense-related nuclear waste for more than a decade. The defense-waste plant shows that “nuclear wastes can be transported safely over long distances and placed securely in a deep, mined repository,” the report said.
With the right incentives, “there will be a great deal of support” for a waste site near the New Mexico facility, former Senator Pete Domenici, a Republican from the state and panel member, said in an April 19 interview.
Who needs caves when you have Barack Obama in charge?