Thursday, December 4, 2014

Broken Economy, Broken Government, Broken Parties


So many people are still outraged at President Obama for the state of the economy, the state of their lives and the state of their minds & well-being. I do think we all need to take some steps away from the blame game and begin to be more objective toward the realities of the American economy.

Deficits after the first year and a half are way down as a % of GDP . . . hell, tax revenues are way down as a % of GDP under Obama compared to any U.S. President going back before Reagan. And, when President Obama took office, not only was America’s economy in crisis but so was the entire global economy. The next thought many have is that this is an excuse to blame others for a lack of progress. Absolutely, not enough progress has been made since Obama took office. However, a lot has been achieved, and no one ever receives credit for avoiding or averting disaster.

There are massive, systemic problems built into the American economy and feed into narratives that both political parties weave in order to maintain the status quo. These are difficult to explain, but I will make a good faith effort. Until both sides of the equation are reformed, the country cannot move forward together.

Many conservatives are very frustrated with the amount of Americans that use government programs, such as food stamps, housing assistance or energy assistance. If we want the use of food stamps to decrease, the bottom rungs of the working poor have to make more money. If a person who has been unemployed for awhile cannot even make ends meet if they were to reenter the job market and work a full-time job, what incentive is there to do so? What reasonable people would work their asses off to not even be able to make ends meet?

That one of the largest employers of Americans, Walmart, also has its employees suck over $6.2 billion in public assistance in order to not even scrape by is an example of how broken American business has become. This is an example of the larger problem that exists within much of the economy.

Management, owners, stockholders are pulling too much money out of company bottom lines at the expense of the employees that generate those bottom lines . . . that makes no sense at all. This is not any one person's, any one party's fault either. It's just systemic, widespread and so built into the American economy, into government institutions and into the political parties that hardworking Americans are walking away from it all.

If the bottom 1/2 to 2/3 of the country's workforce made a more adequate and comparable wage considering the money and capital those hardworking Americans generate for those in management, ownership and their stockholders, then the entire economy would improve tremendously. Those hardworking Americans want to be enjoying their lives, their living, their communities, their local small businesses. They want to be traveling, spending money, investing, and starting small businesses. They currently cannot because they cannot even make ends meet because the system is rigged against them.

Both parties feed into maintaining the system, to maintaining the status quo.

The Republican Party, conservatives and the Tea Party attack the government side of equation. By demonizing government and any Americans that utilize government programs, these groups create a division between their power base and average Americans. Simultaneously, these groups create easy, simple outrage slogans that fuel hatred and derision.

The Democrat Party and liberals attack these Republican-leaning groups, as they threaten the lives of real Americans, utilizing fear, misinformation and hatred. Nothing generates compassion and a defensive posture like threatening to take food, medicine and housing away from those in need. So, these Democrat-leaning groups use the same tactics they loathe against the Republican-leaning groups in order to create their own power base and generate their own slogans that fuel hatred and derision.

That is how the American system of government and business have reached this status quo standstill where the top rises, the middle squeezes and the bottom withers. The country will only move forward together. This will only happen when the middle of the country rises up and begins to relay a new American set of solutions that moves us away from the demonization and divisive political tactics, where we find new alternatives to regulating business & the economy that benefits the entire economy and everyone that works in the economy, not just those who have all the money and the influence.

Let’s stop with the outrage politics. Let’s strive to be objective, problem-solvers. Let’s stop the blaming and shaming. Let’s start working and sharing. Together, we can do anything. Apart . . . well, that’s what we’ve been doing. How is that working out for you?

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