Who's Paying For the Recovery (Or Trying To)

It annoys me that this Wall Street Journal story is behind the Journal's pay wall, since I almost think I'd like to read the rest of it. Not enough to bother sending any money to the Journal, though. (Needless to say, the full article is not available at that link unless you have subscribed to the Wall Street Journal.)

The Journal points out something that I'm pretty sure has been obvious for longer than this: that major corporations' supplies of money have increased since the 2008 crisis, and are currently up 59%. To me, that says that corporations have been making money while the rest of us have been repeatedly hammered by the continuing economic crisis. I can appreciate the desire to have a cushion in case of trouble, but... aren't you supposed to prepare for a crisis before it hits, not during and after?

Well, I'm not an economist, nor am I a financial adviser. Perhaps there is something to this strategy of being comfortable while the economy burns around you. And then I got to the final line that was available before the article cut off:
"Yet the validation of companies' conservatism may ultimately be bad news for the economy. The recent turmoil affirms executives' caution, and may prompt some to curb spending and bolster their..."
And that's all that I've got, having not paid any money to the Journal. I think perhaps we need to replace the word "affirms" with "is caused in part by"... and the only way that sentence is going to end well is if it ends with the phrase "thus compounding the problem."

That's because even without being an economist, I'm pretty sure that someone has to be spending money if the economy's going to improve. And even the Journal admits that companies haven't been doing so. Worse yet, even Obama seems to be trying his hardest to ensure that the government spends less, and that's before the efforts of the current dysfunctional crop of congressional Republicans.

I guess that means everyone else pays.

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