Economic Recovery: The Screeching Halt

Listen… It’s the sound of silence.     The noise of construction is
rarely if ever heard here in the heart of the sunbelt. So many small businesses have had to permanently close their doors that my very young children get nervous about darkly tinted shop windows. They worry that yet another favorite shop or restaurant will no longer exist. It makes me feel eerily sad to think of them being affected by that same gloom I sensed during my childhood in the Carter years.

There seems to be a complete lack of effective solutions to the high unemployment rates that have settled in on us. A stagnate economy does not create jobs. The job creators are often the people with money from past successes in creating new jobs. However, that class of people have been vilified and marginalized. Witness the excommunication of the US Chamber of Commerce from White House economic meetings. Chamber CEO Tom Donohue recently stated that “solid majorities of both small-business owners and voters, feel current policies will lead to stagnation.”  The Chamber published an open letter describing the government as “dropping the ball” on economic policy.  Correct me if I’m wrong but you might be better served to consult with those who have done the deed and actually created jobs rather than purported “experts” who sit on their duffs smoking cigars, or probably cigarettes, and try to reach a scholarly consensus on the topic.

To clarify recent Statistics from the Labor Department:  41,000 jobs were added in the private sector in May. However, as Robert Reich, professor of public policy at University of Cal- Berkeley points out in his article, Why We’re Descending into a Double-Dip Recession, “at least 100,000 new jobs are needed every month just to keep up with population growth.”

Now we are facing a future of pure flux. Uncertainty defines the horizon as business planners try to forecast their futures. Like airplanes that are grounded by fog, business expansion and growth are befuddled by uncertainty.  The sound of our economy humming along and throwing off jobs in its wake is now imperceptible.  The problem with transformation is that you may end up worse off than you ever were before.

As I look around anecdotally and have friends and family members suffering from losing their jobs and potentially their homes, I see the interrelationship at work in our struggling economy. Job creators are hurting simultaneously although in a less life altering way.  You may resent the term “trickle down economics”, but there is something that is universally agreed on as a negative and it is an unchanging reality: Whenever rain starts to fall, cow patties always ooze downhill.