WHEN AN ECONOMY IS STRUCTURALLY UNSOUND—WHICH IS THE CASE IN THE U.S. RIGHT NOW—YOU NEED TO TAKE FAIRLY DRASTIC ACTION
SO FAR, WE HAVEN’T EVEN ACCEPTED THAT THERE IS ANYTHING FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG WITH THE STRUCTURE
This is a genuinely great country—which I regard with great affection, and which has been a major influence in my life. The majority of my friends are here, and I am extremely fond of them. The only downside of the U.S., from a social point of view, is that the country is so large, getting to see them requires a virtual Lewis and Clark expedition.
But, I digress. My point is that I have very mixed reactions to what I’m observing. My brain is in conflict with my heart.
From a researcher, thinker, and writer’s point of view, I’m feeling considerable intellectual satisfaction. I have carried out a huge amount of research into the U.S. economy and the American Way of life in general—and, broadly speaking, matters are developing pretty much as I have expected (and I started my detailed research back in 2004) providing nothing was done.
Please note that qualification. The great weakness of forecasting by extrapolation is that normally some action is taken so that events do not unfold as expected.
However, let me point out where my analysis has been flawed.
It never crossed my mind that nothing would be done. This, after, all, is (was?) the can-do nation.
Never in my wildest nightmares did I expect that virtually no action would be taken to remedy what I considered to be screamingly obvious flaws—particularly after the Great Recession. And yet, we all seem to be acting—even now—as if our economic structure is sound and all we really need to do is get back to business as usual.
Get growth up a little bit and unemployment down a smidgeon—and we’ll be back to the America we know and love. Wall Street is already there. Corporate profits are at record highs (or were until recently). The good old U.S.A. is delivering again!
Have our powers of observation and analysis gone dead or what?
We writers are supposed to illuminate the human condition and remain somewhat detached—lest our emotions cloud the clarity of our thoughts—but since we are human ourselves (though I know a few who would debate that point) I have to say that from that perspective I am extremely distressed to see this particular tragedy play out.
Intellectual satisfaction is a fine thing, and a great motivator, but there are times in life when I would infinitely prefer to be wrong.
Sadly, I’m not.
Meanwhile, the rich are getting richer and most Americans are seeing their economic security, and way of life, eroded.
And it is all preventable.
VOR words 460.