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Economist Paul Coomes Qualifies Recent Recession

University of Louisville professor Paul Coomes spoke Tuesday morning at the Kentucky Association for Corporate Growth breakfast.  He outlined the ways in which the current recession—although he says it has been over for a year—has been lighter than previous recessions in 1982, 1974 and The Great Depression.

Coomes compared unemployment rates, average salaries, and real estate prices from several areas of the nation and said he wanted convince the crowd the nation is not in the worst economic crisis since The Depression.

“[That] is what Washington has been trying to tell you for years,” he said.

As for current issues, Coomes said the only true real estate problems are in places like Las Vegas and Naples where people bought multiple properties and then struggled to sell them.  He said he doesn’t expect the housing market to recover.

Coomes said the most recent recession was made worse by reporters at the Wall Street Journal who he says sensationalized the economic crisis.  He then went on to rail against journalists and stimulus money, sarcastically pointing out that “it’s a federal responsibility to put sidewalks in Lyndon”.  He suggested raising local tax rates to pay for neighborhood needs, rather than using federal money borrowed from other countries.

For years, Coomes has advised the Louisville Mayor’s office on the city budget, typically providing revenue projections and economic predictions for the coming years.