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Don’t Believe Goldman Sachs

Hmmm. Maybe they’re not “doing God’s work”….

Step back from the ledge, America. Scotch the gloomy talk of a Japan-style Lost Decade in which we sink into decline and marinate morosely there for years. We’re back, baby! So says a cheery depiction of these times from the wizards at Goldman Sachs (a firm that, come to think of it, played a starring role in trashing our economic security).

The report from Goldman’s Investment Strategy Group, and served up here as evidence of happy times by the credulous folks at Politico’s Morning Money, dismisses suggestions that the American economy might yet confront substantial problems. “The U.S. Will Not Face a ‘Lost Decade,'” declares a subheading in the report, which later calls the odds of that prospect “very remote indeed.” Instead, “America’s structural resilience, fortitude and ingenuity will carry the economy and financial markets in 2011 — and beyond.”

Lest this hyperventilating prose fail to provoke the intended response, that last clause sits beneath a picture of George Washington crossing the Delaware. (Hats off to the creative geniuses inside Goldman’s public relations machine, who apparently aim to redefine doubts about the economy — and Goldman’s lucrative cheerleading — as downright un-American.)

But one problem with all this soothing talk: As millions of ordinary people can readily attest, we are already deep into a Lost Decade and then some. Rescuing ourselves from this era of diminished expectations is going to require far more than disseminating rosy projections about this year’s stock market while touting the innate power of American business. It demands a serious-minded plan to get people back to work so we can wean ourselves off the investment fantasies propagated by Goldman and its Wall Street cohorts.


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