Ed Driscoll

Because The Oldsmobile Economy Is So 1969

Rich Karlgaard of Pajamas’ Edgelings blog writes, “The American recovery may be U-shaped, on balance, but within that U will pockets of Vs and Ws. That’s why I call it the VW recovery”:

The V part of the VW economy includes dynamic growth companies and large exporters. Apple is enjoying a V recovery. Salesforce.com just reported a big, booming V quarter on Friday. Mobile broadband is an entire industry that will enjoy sustained V growth. Low-tax states like Texas, Tennessee and North Dakota are experiencing V recoveries.

America’s W economy includes all those companies, industries, states, cities and personal careers where deteriorating value propositions were masked in good times. It always happens that way. Recessions unmask bad business models. The 1973-74 recession laid bare the inherent inefficiencies of slapped-together 1960s conglomerates. The 1990 recession unmasked the problems of IBM and the minicomputer industry. IBM made adjustments and fought another day. The minicomputer industry just died.

Today’s W economy: newspapers, McMansion builders, inefficient manufacturers, high-tax state and local governments, and workers unable to adapt, relearn and relocate.

Gross averages never tell the story in a country as large as the U.S. Beneath the expected subpar, U-shaped recovery lies the reality of the American economy: A highly uneven collection of Vs and Ws.

The VW economy? Like the folks at National Lampoon in 1972, I can see that:

tedvwsmall

Since Teddy “loved to hear and tell Chappaquiddick jokes and was always eager to know if anyone had heard any new ones,” I’m sure somewhere offstage, he’s enjoying the above Lampoonery.  Certainly, it would lighten the mood at Martha’s Vineyard, which “feels a bit like 9/11” these days:

Reporter Matt Cooper, formerly of Time magazine and currently of lefty site Talking Points Memo, finds the perfect comparison for the death of Ted Kennedy:

It feels a bit like 9/11 on Martha’s Vineyard. End-of-summer weather is achingly beautiful but the mood is melancholy because of Teddy.

Yes, the death of an ethically-desolate 77-year-old is just like a terrorist attack that killed thousands and plunged the U.S. into years of war.

If you heard a loud thump, that was my jaw dropping. About 110 stories.

Screen capture at the Exurban League in case the above Tweet “accidentally” disappears itself.