The NY Times is full of cheer today:
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index, a widely watched measure of the housing markets in 20 metropolitan areas, rose 0.4 percent from September on a seasonally adjusted basis. It was the fifth consecutive month that prices were up.
Underneath this apparent good news were some disquieting signs of deterioration, however.
But seasonal adjustments tend to hide any weakness in the cooler months, when fewer houses are sold. On an unadjusted basis, the index was flat in October.
“We’ve started to see the possibility of either a leveling off of prices for a few months or perhaps a double-dip,” said Maureen Maitland, the vice president for index services at S.& P.
One of the most frustrating things about politics is when you know one group of people is right about something, but they are just powerless to do anything. Krugman, Atrios, and dozens of others have been warning about a double-dip recession (Krugman was just warning about it on the Sunday shows), and the stimulus bill should have been bigger and not had all those ridiculous tax cuts, but because of the way our legislature is set up, nothing can be done about it.
That is what has been adding to my angst the last couple of weeks regarding the health care debate and the kill the bill folks. On a lot of things, I think they are absolutely right- the public option would be better, I think the mandates will be politically dangerous and suck, there should be more subsidies, single payer would be better, there shouldn’t be abortion restrictions, and so on. On so many of these things, I agree with the DFH crowd. The problem is, I don’t see any way of getting that done, and one of the things I like about Obama is he understands the art of the possible and takes what he can get. Personally, after the behavior I saw from Big Pharm, the insurance industry, the AMA, and medical providers, I’m to the point I would just nationalize the entire damned health care system like the British NHS. And I’m starting to ramble.
At any rate, the DFH crowd is probably right about the economic future- Atrios has been more right than most. And once again, they will be ignored and the centrists and the blue dogs and the self-annointed fiscal conservatives will rule the day, as we all go down the crapper together.