Where is the robust economic recovery from 2007-08? Can we recover from a self-inflicted meltdown of the financial industry?
Industry and financial institutions have focused on maximizing profits since the early 1980s: rightsizing, automation and offshore locations. The $80,000 job is replaced by two jobs for $15,000 each. Part-time hours with last-minute varying schedules, no benefits and little employee appreciation are the employment [conditions] of today.
Nine financial “players” were recommended for criminal investigation in 2009 and fell on deaf Justice Department ears. A Wells Fargo manager just received a $125-plus million golden parachute while the CEO’s stock holdings increased by several hundred million dollars. Has there been any personal accountability from General Motors ignition [switches], Jeep transmissions, Takata airbags or the VW emissions avoidance, to name a few? Carrier and Ford are making production-location changes to better compete in a cost-conscious market.
No, there has not been a middle-class recovery, but the nonproductive money movers have done quit well. Welcome to trickle-down economics. Washington has repeatedly catered to the big five economic sectors: financial, business, petroleum, agriculture and pharmaceuticals, bestowing whatever lubrication is requested to ensure prosperity.
Yes, the country is headed in the “wrong direction,” but is a right direction possible? The economy is off limits regardless of campaign promises. How about budget or legislation? Congress can’t even agree on funding for Zika attention. Senators declare giving consent to judicial appointments “is not our job.” The armed forces authorization appropriation bill has over 400 amendments. Congressional incumbent re-election rates are in the 90-plus percent range. Ninety-four percent of House districts are gerrymandered noncompetitive.
Yes, we are headed in the wrong direction, but as Pogo so aptly stated, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
— David Ihrig