Thursday, April 29, 2010

Averting America's Perfect Storm

Written by Jeremiah Bannister
April 29, 2010
Originally on Paleocrat_etc

A recent Pew Research Center study entitled "Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor" detailed a serious mistrust amongst the people of the United States toward their government. "By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of the government these days," the report said. The survey found what they believe to be "a perfect storm of conditions associated with distrust of government." According to the survey, this results from "a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials."

While much may be said about each and every one of these, we will here limit ourselves to the economy.

Official unemployment rates provided by the Labor Department hover around 10 percent. Real unemployment rates come closer to 17 percent. Job creation is found primarily in temporary services, health care, and government. Among the sectors most hurt are information and finance. A Federal Reserve study went so far as to insist that 79 percent of jobs lost are in industries where jobs have been lost forever. This is being chalked up as resulting from "structural change." Forester Research has projected that 3.3 million service-sector jobs will be outsourced or offshored by 2015, with analyst John McCarthy predicting that jobs most at risk are those requiring fewer skills, are automated, or are highly portable.

The employment situation has further resulted in a an unprecedented concentration of wealth and resources. A study coming from the University of California-Berkeley concluded that nearly 50 percent of the national wealth is tied up by the country's wealthiest 10 percent. For many this is a very conservative number. The New York Times has gone further by concluding that the top 0.01 percent of earners in this country take home nearly six percent of all the nation's wealth. This in contrast to their taking only five percent during the 1920s and one percent of the wealth during the early 1980s. In the end, conservative estimates indicate that the top 300,000 Americans collectively earn and own almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. And the NYT reported, "Per person, the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980."

Add to these tragic conditions the specters of declining real wages, the ever-diminishing strength of the dollar, and a terrifying level of personal and national debt and you really do have a perfect storm, not only in the making but at the ready.

None of this has gone unnoticed by economists and politicians. Every day the public is bombarded with "new and improved" answers that turn out being little more than the same-old same-old, merely reworded and repackaged for consumerist consumption. Capitalists clamor for more deregulation. Socialists cry out for more government intervention. But both are the flip-side of the same coin, really. The answer is always found in Mammon and his priesthood of money-masters.

What has begun to arise is a general mistrust of the status quo. Citizens are generally skeptical of those with unprecedented wealth and power, and they are quickly coming to recognize the fact that an unfortunate majority of economists, politicians and pundits are little more than apologists for the very schools of thought that got America into this mess. Rugged individualism and statist collectivism just don't cut it like they used to. More than that, people are starting to realize that these two schools of thought may have never worked at all.

America is enduring difficult times. Such is an understatement. But extraordinary times require ordinary people considering ordinary things in an extraordinary way. For this reason, it would do people well to reconsider, or possibly consider for the first time, things deemed otherwise basic to human existence. The nation, the political economy, statesmen, citizenship, and culture are of great significance here. As elementary as much of this may sound, many, if not most, have failed to give these matters any serious degree of attention and consideration.

It should here be of consolation that such thoughts and actions are in fact not new to humans or history. One must remember that it was not long ago that the American experiment began. History is packed with times where people were left at the crossroads, being forced to reconsider who they were, where they were going, and how they planned to get there. Such has been done many times, and such should be done again within the here and now. For if the Pew study is correct, and it appears that it is, then it is the American system and the American people that are at stake. As such, dedicating time and effort to all things otherwise elementary may prove to be well worth it. Then again, America may not be able to afford not to.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


At 11:50 PM , Blogger oakleyses said...

christian louboutin outlet, louboutin pas cher, uggs on sale, sac longchamp pas cher, prada outlet, oakley sunglasses wholesale, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet online, tiffany jewelry, jordan pas cher, nike free, prada handbags, longchamp outlet, kate spade outlet, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, nike air max, longchamp pas cher, ugg boots, christian louboutin shoes, christian louboutin uk, nike roshe, replica watches, chanel handbags, ray ban sunglasses, nike free run, tiffany and co, air max, tory burch outlet, louis vuitton outlet, christian louboutin, polo outlet, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, michael kors pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, nike outlet, polo ralph lauren, ugg boots, nike air max, burberry pas cher, gucci handbags

At 11:52 PM , Blogger oakleyses said...

true religion outlet, coach purses, hollister uk, michael kors outlet online, replica handbags, abercrombie and fitch uk, hollister pas cher, coach outlet, ray ban uk, oakley pas cher, michael kors outlet, new balance, north face uk, true religion outlet, kate spade, hogan outlet, lululemon canada, nike free uk, michael kors outlet online, nike tn, nike air max uk, michael kors, ralph lauren uk, nike air force, converse pas cher, coach outlet store online, nike blazer pas cher, nike air max uk, nike roshe run uk, sac vanessa bruno, north face, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet, guess pas cher, michael kors outlet, nike air max, sac hermes, burberry handbags, mulberry uk, uggs outlet, timberland pas cher, michael kors, vans pas cher, polo lacoste, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, burberry outlet, ray ban pas cher

At 11:54 PM , Blogger oakleyses said...

ray ban, reebok outlet, oakley, gucci, new balance shoes, hollister, mcm handbags, chi flat iron, valentino shoes, nike roshe run, mont blanc pens, converse outlet, nike trainers uk, abercrombie and fitch, p90x workout, insanity workout, asics running shoes, wedding dresses, nike huaraches, longchamp uk, nfl jerseys, instyler, hermes belt, north face outlet, baseball bats, celine handbags, beats by dre, jimmy choo outlet, converse, soccer jerseys, herve leger, ghd hair, lululemon, soccer shoes, timberland boots, bottega veneta, babyliss, nike air max, iphone cases, hollister clothing, ralph lauren, vans outlet, mac cosmetics, north face outlet, vans, hollister, ferragamo shoes, giuseppe zanotti outlet, nike air max, louboutin

At 1:37 AM , Blogger oakleyses said...

links of london, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, pandora charms, louis vuitton, ugg uk, lancel, moncler outlet, supra shoes, pandora uk, marc jacobs, moncler, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, canada goose outlet, toms shoes, hollister, coach outlet, swarovski crystal, moncler uk, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, canada goose outlet, canada goose jackets, moncler, moncler outlet, ugg, karen millen uk, pandora jewelry, barbour uk, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, replica watches, doudoune moncler, canada goose uk, moncler, louis vuitton, wedding dresses, canada goose, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, thomas sabo, swarovski, canada goose, montre pas cher, ugg pas cher, barbour, moncler, louis vuitton

At 9:07 AM , Blogger chenmeinv0 said...

ralph lauren kids
toms wedges
rolex watches
gucci belts
adidas trainers uk
ugg outlet online
true religion jeans
north face jackets
ugg boots clearance
adidas nmd runner


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home