I'm drawing the bulk of comments below from the Minutes of the Federal Reserve Meeting November 3-4, 2009. It's too much to post on a blog. I'm also relying on an analysis by Investor's Business Daily.
The unemployment rate varies from region to region. The Federal Reserve expects that it will remain in the 10% range nationwide through 2010 and won't drop much in 2011. Small businesses are not powering the "recovery" because credit is tight, there are fears of what the Obama Administration will do (taxation, more regulations, etc.) and the demand for goods and services has not rebounded. The Federal Reserve believes that the US economy will be slow in recovering, and are currently predicting a return to normal in five years, if we don't face another serious national crisis that interrupts the cycle.
"The Democrats...will be heading toward the midterm elections hoping to preserve their 81-seat margin in the House. Vulnerable incumbents will be clamoring for more economic stimulus, but the Obama administration will be constrained by the huge budget deficits needed to bail out the economy." (IBD)
The Federal Reserve addressed its concerns for the US economy. I'll extrapolate a bit here but it's all in the meeting minutes: Corporate Bail-outs unfairly distributed billions in taxpayer dollars and added to a blooming national debt that is out of control. The "Stimulus Package" didn't stimulate much beyond serving as a vehicle for election day pay-backs. Congress continues to fiddle while Rome burns and wants to tack on $2 trillion in medical costs for a government boondoggle that many of us feel is completely unnecessary. Healthcare reform doesn't mean a public option. It means tort reform, portability, access to markets and common sense measures that won't cost the taxpayer a nickel.
People understand that Barack Hussein Obama's agenda is all about forced redistribution (theft) of wealth with an eye toward establishing the US as a utopian socialist nation. Business understands where he wants to go and they aren't happy about it. So they'll avoid hiring, they'll avoid maintaining unrealistic inventories and they'll try to survive as best they can. That means no bonuses, no growth and no RISK.
The Fed struggled to answer the basic question that is haunting administration policymakers: Why has unemployment remained so high, even as the economy has started to grow again and the stock market has been on a tear?
The Fed's answer is that businesses, having been burned by the recession, are wary about adding more workers or making new investments. Like consumers who have just discovered the virtues of saving, their prudence — however sensible on an individual basis — is a collective drag on the economy. (IBD)
"Business contacts reported that they would be cautious in their hiring,"..."Indeed, participants expected that businesses would be able to meet any increases in demand in the near term by raising their employees' hours and boosting productivity, thus delaying the need to add to their payrolls." (Federal Reserve)
Now there is a way out. Barack Hussein Obama wouldn't take this course - but there is a way:
* Reduce the size of government. Relinquish to the States the things best handled by the States and focus on dealing with the core issues of greatest concern to the nation as a whole.
* Withdraw the US Military from Afghanistan. Continue the phased withdrawal from Iraq. Consider our national military strategy in terms of our vital interests and avoid "adventurism".
* Focus national resources on eliminating our dependency on foreign oil.
* Become a loyal ally to our friends and a scourge to our enemies. There is a difference between the two and Barack Hussein Obama doesn't understand the concept.
* Reduce federal regulations and return to a free market system. Allow businesses that can't make it to fail. Once those businesses fail the unions won't be happy because the people who buy the bones and build them back up may not have a place for union bosses at the table.
* Avoid knee-jerk reactions to the left wing whackos' dire warnings. Global Warming comes to mind.
* Dismantle the Department of Homeland Security - it's a joke to all who understand its workings. Reconsider what we do and how we do it with an eye toward eliminating massive (expensive) bureaucratic overhead and allow the legions of drones to try to find honest work. America has legitimate security concerns, but that Department, along with the Department of Education, has outlived any usefulness it might have once had.
* Allow the CIA to be the secret intelligence service of the United States once again. It's degraded to the point of redundancy and needs to be rebuilt. It will take years, but best start now.