Letters: Facing facts in America
Vail, CO Colorado
Whether we’re in a recession or a slow-down or a period of stagflation is merely a matter of semantics; the fact is that our economy is in trouble! And worse than that, I fear that it’s not a temporary situation. I believe that we have dug ourselves into a hole and our government has done most of the shoveling.
The fact that we continue to go deeper in debt and send more and more dollars overseas as interest payments is a contributing factor. Each year we also send $700 billion overseas because of our trade imbalance, and that is another factor. Those are all dollars that no longer circulate throughout our economy and create jobs.
And while doing the latter, we have also permitted important engineering and well-paying manufacturing jobs to be exported. Now, our computers, television sets, cameras, cell phones, and many of our automobiles are manufactured elsewhere; and they are only a fraction of the goods that come to us from other countries. As a result, our economy has increasingly become a “service economy”; and we won’t prosper if all we do is “I cut your hair while you cut my grass.” We may look tidy and have nice lawns but neither of us will be able to pay the rent or buy much food.
In order to have a healthy economy we must produce more of what we buy. Like, I’ll build you a house and you sell me the fruit and vegetables that you grow. So what should we do? Well, for starters we should balance the budget! We should demand that our President and our Congress do just that ” and not merely with a “pie in the sky” plan for “six years from now!” And then we should balance our imports and our exports. We could begin with a national program to “Buy American!” We should also reduce our need for oil; and we can judiciously provide loan guarantees and tax relief to firms that will bring manufacturing facilities “home.” We can also selectively impose duties on “foreign” goods, and we can, as a last resort, ban certain imports. There may well be other options, but halting the outflow of dollars and creating wealth (manufactured goods) are “musts.”
Finally, although I strongly believe in capitalism, I also think that capitalists have a responsibility to our society by creating jobs here at home. While they have every right to seek profits, they should understand that this great nation and its citizens have enabled their opportunities and deserve to be treated accordingly. I do sincerely believe that some of them do consider the “good of our country” when they make decisions. I further believe that many more would do the same if they were just “reminded” that they should. Then too, some few might have to be “convinced.”
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Do I really believe that we can resolve our problems? Oh sure, but first of all, we have to acknowledge them.