Our local media is so predictable. Whenever there's any good economic news, however flimsy, the media goes into cheerleading mode. There's no serious analysis but there's a whole load of hype with the implication that the economic recession has just been a temporary blip on capitalism's radar screen.
And so when it was announced that the United States gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2009, there were the usual 'once over lightly' stories about 'the American economy turning the corner', 'the recession is over', blah blah blah.
While there are many economists who dispute these claims they never appeared on our television screens but we did see plenty of Barack Obama. He described the GDP figure “an affirmation that the recession is abating and the steps we’ve taken have made a difference.”
Well, Obama is half right. Sort of.
No, the recession is not 'abating' but, yes, he and his administration have made a difference in that they bailed out the banks and the corporations with trillions of dollars from the public purse.
With the American economy bedevilled by rising unemployment, falling wages and empty factories it is ridiculous to say that the US economy is now in recovery mode.
The GDP rise is misleading because it is mostly the result of the Obama administration ploughing something like $12 trillion of public money into the financial system. It is unprecedented corporate welfare and we should all bear this in mind when we next hear neoliberal politicians attacking 'welfare bludgers' and the like.
The problem for Obama is that this bid to shore up the crumbling American financial system has resulted in budget deficits which cannot be sustained in the long term - and this is has led to the decline of the US dollar on world markets.
And even $12 trillion hasn't done anything to stem the rising tide of unemployment.
Nearly 63 percent (2.2 percent) of the 3.5 percent increase in GDP was due to temporary government tax credits to consumers that have either expired or are set to expire next month.
The result of all this will be a further sharp decline in the American economy with some economists predicting a 'double dip' recession. There's a slight 'bounce' now but with the next 'dip' likely to be as severe as the first one.
While establishment politicians around the world have all bleated on about us 'all making sacrifices in these difficult economic times' it has been ordinary people who have been carrying the burden of an economic crisis they were not responsible for.
While Bloomsberg Television might tell us that the US banks and finance houses are announcing healthy profits again, what Bloomberg doesn't say is that these profits are the result of receiving received billions of dollars from the public purse as well as cheap loans and various other generous government subsidies.
For the wide boys of Wall Street it's business as usual.
But for the American working class Obama has delivered nothing but job losses and cuts in wages. The number of American workers losing their homes continues to rise and the food kitchens are trying to cope with the increasing number of people in need of their help - and they are also reporting an increasing number of middle class Americans lining up for meals.
While our media might be gleefully record the upswing in the Dow Jones - as if this an indication of good times ahead - what it really indicates is that there has been a huge transfer of wealth into the hands of the financial elite who are. once again, engaging in the same kind of speculative activities they were engaged in before the American economy went into a tailspin.
While Obama has talked big about curbing the excesses of Wall Street the reality is that has nothing has really changed.