Oh, oh, look here. The newspapers are filled with dire headlines. The Times writes, "U.S. Growth Falls to 1.5%; A Recovery Seems Mired." The Wall Street Journal frontpages this screamer: "Weak Economy Heads Lower."
As I have written here ad nauseum, we are suffering from more than a typical recession. We are facing a deep structural set of challenges that are the result of unbalanced economic growth in recent decades, probably ever since the early 1980s. We took our eye off of innovating, manufacturing and exporting, which are the key to creating wealth on a global basis. Industry after industry moved offshore. We also did too little to counteract the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars into the hands of various dictators and monarchies to buy their oil. That sucked liquidity out of our system; we might be able to borrow it, but we can never again control it.
It's been three full years since the alleged end of the recession, yet it certainly doesn't feel like a recovery. Unemployment is stuck at 8.2 percent and there are many other indicators showing that we are suffering economically.
The economists keep saying, Just wait. Things are going to get better? On what basis are they saying that? It's on the basis of what has happened after other recessions. But this one is different, and the economics profession is suffering from complete intellectual bankruptcy when it comes to telling us what we should be doing about it.
The Federal Reserve alone cannot come to the rescue. They can pump liquidity into our system, but it ends up buying Indonesian government bonds or else fueling our purchases of Nike sneakers made in China. We need to have a conversation about where real wealth comes from and how we as a nation can best create it and allow it to spread. The political campaigns are beyond senseless when it comes to the economy; they are using the economy as a political football. There is no serious middle-of-the-road discussion. It's an outrage.
We should be talking about the role of the federal government in setting the stage for an American economy that is future-oriented and that can compete with Japan (yes, Japan), China, South Korea, Germany and Singapore. The leaderships of these countries understand they need to create strong positions in key technologies on a global basis.
When, oh when, are Americans going to demand a real explanation of what has gone wrong?