Soaking up information and talk on my Pittsburgh/western PA visit, I can report that some real estate activity has picked up, but largely due to refinancing when rates bottomed out. Now people are starting to worry about inflation, due to the influx of federal money.
But Paul Krugman makes a persuasive case that stimulus must continue in his ironically titled column "Stay the Course" (think Bush and Iraq.) The column, which appeared Monday, says that inflation isn't going to rise a lot, because the influx of federal government money simply replaced the private money that wasn't there. And indeed, today's news is that inflation in May was below expectations. He also warns that stopping stimulus too soon is exactly why the Great Depression didn't end sooner, and Japan had such a dismal 90s.
Back in CA, things are grim. State government went begging to Washington and for now, got turned down, but this article sets out some of the stakes. Meanwhile, faculty at HSU were told to expect what amounts to a 12% pay cut. Twelve percent! And that's just the beginning.
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