While practically every economist has predicted that the economy in the United States had begun a slow methodic climb out of the doldrums that America experienced following the financial crisis of 2008 they may have been be a bit too optimistic. When you look at the numbers from all over the country along with what is happening in Europe and the rest of the world the figures today don't add up to any real recovery at all. Certainly not with the current policies that have been implemented either from the Bush Administration or the Obama Administration.
There are four misconceptions regarding the economy and the social structure here in the United States. One, the true accurate unemployment figures; second, the continuing housing market crisis; third, our trade agreements; and fourth, our catastrophic national debt. These four entities add up to a potential economic and social upheaval on the same if not greater scope than the Great Depression. All this because the United States has failed to understand the magnitude and serious nature of what has transpired within the past three decades. Resulting in failed policies where congress and the Administration thought they were responding accordingly. The hand writing is already on the wall. The Stock Market continues to be so volatile that any deviation in just one of those four factors will send the market down creating a major domino effect of economic uncertainty at the very least.
One of the biggest fallacies is the notion that the job market is rebounding. Quite the contrary, the continuing record number of unemployed workers through-out the United States has really never gone down. When a closer look is taken the unemployment rate continues to grow regardless of what our government officials have said. This, especially when they cut off extended unemployment benefits. Millions are now faced with situations very reminiscent and not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930's. In every major city the unemployment rate for African American males between the ages of 18-35 is over 28% while the other figures for the unemployed is hovering at around 22%. Averaging these numbers together all across the country this nation still has record numbers of workers that still can't find jobs. There may be some bright spots staggered around the country but no where near the realm of reality to off set the massive amount of people who continue to lose their jobs or are still unable to find a job. To make matters worse those individuals whose unemployment benefits ran out and our "Wizards" in Washington refusing to grant extensions of unemployment benefits millions more are left out in the cold. This further pushes the economy farther away from any type of stability. With almost 2/5 of the nations workforce unemployed while the other 4/5 of workers with stagnant or reduced wages how can there be enough tax revenue coming into local, state, and federal budgets to offset all those mandated expenditures? There isn't! This leaves cities, states, and federal governmental agencies being forced to make drastic budget cuts also contributing to this economic downward domino effect. The continuing economic crisis in Europe has only exasperated conditions here in the United States thus continuing to push any hope of economic recovery further away. To eliminate the threat of a economic disaster this nation has to start immediately reducing the record number of unemployed to a national rate of under 4%. All with living wages. It can be done but not with the current policies that are in place or the ongoing discussions that are being considered today by our elected officials in state and federal levels of government.
When the financial institutions thru the book away on prudent lending and ended up causing the worst financial disaster in over 60 years set the course that this nation is now headed. Even with the recovery acts that were passed they haven't really offset the chain of events that have now taken place. This disaster has caused the housing market to slide into a deflationary cycle that is triggering other industries to slash prices. When you have millions that still can't afford even the lowest price a deflation of the economy is taking place. This is exactly what happened in 1930 that griped the United States and threw this nation into the Great Depression. To compound this quandary most of consumables and the price of energy continues to have had an inflationary pattern. This too also contributes to the majority of Americans having to make very hard choices about their lives that they should not have to make. When all these things are considered the shear scope of this economic crisis is far more severe than anything this nation has experienced since the 1930's. Make no mistake, the severity of all that has transpired with-in this past decade is causing not only an economic catastrophe but our very basic social structure is now severely tested as to where this nation is now headed.
With two armed conflicts that were concurring simultaneously the Defense budget is still so far stretched that our armed forces are being subjected to monumental hardships and mounting casulties.This also contributes to the overall deficit crisis. The Veterans Administration is so swamped with all the military personnel that have either been wounded in combat or are suffering all the affects of the long deployments. The government failed to provide the adequate funding and resources to the VA prior to the War in Afghanistan and Iraq. Subsequently, the Federal government has not maintained adequate funds to keep the VA sustainable. It is no wonder that the United States is experiencing acute financial and social problems. The United States is now faced with incurring more debt just to cover all the expenditures being mandated by the VA. Even with the infusion of massive funding our returning combat troops are still continuing to suffer. When everything is said and done the United States Defense budget is functioning in the red and this nation continues to fall deeper in debt.
The past trade agreements such as NAFTA, GAT, WTO and others have had the reverse affect on this nation than what they were supposed to do. When the United State was deep in the depression of the 1930's FDR undertook putting those individuals who were out of work back to work through The WPA and other public works projects. This laid the groundwork for the infrastructure we have today. What also happened was that we had the facilities to embark on the greatest industrial expansion that this country has ever seen. To FDR's credit the United States was able to put together the largest manufacturing expansion that was so crucial for the United States to win World War II. Following World War II those same manufacturing facilities were converted over from producing munitions and other modes of warfare equipment to domestic appliances, cars, and other material and machines that helped the United States experience again the largest economic expansion in our history. The unemployment rate was so small during that time that the American public had the most deposable income than in any other time in the history of this country. It wasn't until trade agreements, like NAFTA that this country began a slow decline into reducing Americas dominance in manufacturing. This also was the start of the decline of middle class America. All this trade agreement has done as well as the others that followed made it more profitable for business to shift operations to foreign countries where the labor is much less costly. In the process businesses started eliminating jobs and incomes of hard working Americans. Which brings us to today. No longer is the United States capable of generating the kind of manufacturing capabilities that helped produce generations of middle class Americans. Instead we have degenerated into a service oriented system of economies where most of incomes have fallen to such a point that people can't keep pace with the cost of living today.
One of the most perplexing questions of this generation is how the United States is going to stop the massive exodus of employment opportunities, eliminate our national debt, reduce the deluge of foreclosures, reduce the strain on our military, and become energy independent? Not since FDR has any administration faced such a vast set of circumstances. Today, the only way for this nation to adjust the current direction our country is headed is to face the reality that more and more Americans are being denied a better quality of life than our parents and grand parents had. There must be bold decisions that have to be made. One of the most crucial factors to consider is putting back the military draft. With the two wars that have been fought, one still continuing, our military has fast become so burdened that it is inhibiting the overall performance of securing our objectives. Not only will a military draft help the military but it will ignite a national self conscious that has been dormant for such a long time.
No longer can the United States remain on the course of action that has been going on for far too long. In most cases it is our inaction in dealing with the enormous scope of all the economic and social crisis that are prohibiting the majority of Americans from experiencing a better quality of life. Bold and decisive action is not just justified but most warranted in producing the kind of shift of policies to where this country will right the course this nation is headed. This starts with ushering in National Economic Reform. Ten articles of confederation; some might say it is much like the New Deal of The 1930's when it targets and focuses on those specific areas that are so crucial for securing the security, the economic stability, and the opportunity for all Americans to be able to achieve a better quality of life. The future prosperity of this nation rests with the implementation of National Economic Reform. The American dream can be a reality not just for a select few but for all citizens of the United States.