July 13, 2012

Again today, there is a report in the STRIB that a broad range of expert economists and forecasters  expect the economy to improve slightly in the coming months…with expectations that it will pick up through the summer and into the fall.  Although there are still barriers to the RAPID recovery we all WISH FOR, the “signs” all continue to point to a slow gradual recovery over a long period of time.

Yes, this is exactly what was initially projected when we experienced the WORST DOWNTURN in 70 years (read: the Great Depression) .  Yes, for a short time, we had a country, a press, and the pols all agreeing that this was a RESET – A NEW NORMAL – that the experience of recent years was UNSUSTAINABLE.  We almost accepted that a long recovery was a reality, and in fact, allowed that the reset needed to be accomplished by the PEOPLE not the POLITICIANS.  We talked about not only national but personal debt; we talked about the cost of the continual advancement to the exurbs, homes that were growing bigger and bigger, but more importantly, infringing on farmland – land that was needed to FEED the ever-growing populations of the world. And equally important, those in outer ring suburbs and the exurbs were showing a flicker of understanding that they could not possibly pay enough taxes to support the infrastructure they demand to support those outposts – and perhaps they should consider how the government could be expected to pay it, if they were not willing or able  to pay the taxes to make it happen.

And then, Obama won the election and all reasonable discussion flew out the window.    We spent almost two years strategizing how to make Obama a one term president, JUST BECAUSE…not because of the economy.  We were still too close to the reality of the cause of the mess (read:  some pretty bad policies on the part of the Bush Admin and the neo-cons that moved an economic readjustment to a need for a RESET) to blame it on Obama. And Obama missed an opportunity to be honest, to rally the country, and call for a commitment on everyone’s part, to work together through the DECADE ahead to get the country back on a safe track forward.

And soon, the Republicans started to run for President – just think how many were in the mix in the beginning!- and “It’s the Economy Stupid” became the battle cry.

Only it isn’t-at least in the way we are talking about it and judging success…and I refuse to believe that even the Republicans – supposedly the business experts, the economic experts and the war experts- do not know full well, that this economy does not have a short term fix.   And if they truly DO believe this, then there is the reason not to vote for them…because if they do not recognize what has happened to this country, then surely, we should not put the recovery in their hands.

Meanwhile, I also do not understand the Democrats.  In the end, laying it out, sharing the truth and showing the country there is no easy fix has not been attempted.

No, I have come to believe that all this angst and name-calling to the extreme, and refusal to work together has it roots in the live media coverage. Both Republicans and Democrats want favorable press – and for some reason, the press who depend on RATINGS not an actual fix for our problems have more influence than those we elect to serve us.   And so, we as a country have been sentenced to this continual babble that makes no sense about the economy….and  there will be no winners – at least until we are honest with ourselves and realize our politicians do not walk on water.  Neither side has a quick fix.  Only the people of the United States can fix this…and make the politicians and press follow… for as long as it takes.

Unfortunately, in a few months we have to vote for someone…and I’d rather have someone in charge that is moving slowly forward than someone who is taking advice from the same folks that gave advice to Bush.  About the only thing another 8 years of the neo-cons pulling the strings on an empty suit puppet guarantees is more wars paid for on a credit card.




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