It seems that when gas prices go up twenty cents over night, we complain about how the government is out to get us. When your company downsizes, not due to the economy but, because they want to make their shareholders happier, we blame the President. However, the first time they enact legislation to help secure our borders or to assist in locating lost children, you scream that they are infringing on your rights. What do we really want from our government?
I read an article today from the Associated Press that the economy is hurting the Democratic Party. In it, Obama has stated concern and acknowledges that the crisis with the economy is going to hurt election turnout and Democratic candidate’s votes. Are they blaming the government for the current crisis?
A few years ago, the automotive industry was in serious crisis; not completely due to the lack of people purchasing their products only because of the increased bonuses of the executives and the drive to please the shareholders. Instead of changing the way they were doing business, they asked for assistance from the government. They based their request on the impact on the economy if they didn’t receive aid. The first thing they did was give their bonuses and cut jobs by sending them out of the country for a more economical way to make a profit. How did that help the US economy?
At the same time, large banks were being impacted by the failure of bad investments caused by financial smoke and mirrors. They too asked for assistance from the government and received it. What impact did this have on the economy? We saw more foreclosures on the people who paid the taxes that generated the money. What did they do to help the economy? They pandered to the executives that caused the issues and continued to play the risky games with investing money in foreign economy. How did this help the US economy?
Our government’s task is to help us with creating security, infrastructure and order. You might state that the economy is part of our security, but I will also point out that business should not be rewarded for the greed that caused the issues in the first place. If we spent the same amount of money on building our roads, power grids, and revising our programs to assist small businesses that we spent on bailing out the larger corporations, then we would have had a more direct impact in the economy than any of the bailouts. If more focus was given on assisting families to help maintain their homes from foreclosures, we would still have a booming housing market. If more attention was given to our schools and education programs, we would have a better chance for our future generation to be able to grow and keep up in the global economy.
Maybe you are correct; government is to blame for the economy’s slow recovery. If as much attention was placed on the people and less on special interest group and lobbyist, maybe we would have the tools to pull ourselves out of the slump. When was the last time that a congressman actually put together a bill that benefited the people of their district and fought to get it passed? If our representatives turned a blind eye to Wall Street and focused on the needs of the people, we might see results.
Here are just a few suggestions for those in Washington to take to heart when they are planning on spending another few billion dollars to bail out large corporations. Let’s start with upgrading our failing power grid by burying the cables, which will reduce the power outages in most storm ridden areas and also reduce the need to cut down so many trees for the obnoxious power poles. Once that is resolved, then maybe we could meet the current EPA guidelines for waste handling by installing sewer systems in areas outside of the major cities. In turn, we will help to reduce the need for ground water pollutants in our streams. Finally, we can improve the road system to reduce the congestion that we all experience, which will reduce the amount of fuel we burn.
The first thing that will be said is the amount of money it would cost. Well, probably about the same amount as that was handed out to the financial institutions and corporations that didn’t improve any of the above issues. However, let’s look on the impact that these projects will have on the economy. To complete a project such as this, we will need to hire people reducing the unemployment. We would have to purchase the materials and equipment to complete this project, also reducing the unemployment as companies will have to keep up with the demand. The more people work, the more they will spend, which will affect the other industries.
So, the next time you are driving your foreign-made car down a pothole riddled street on the night of a blackout due to the storm, through the stench of sewage; just think about how the financial incentive program has helped our economy; as you are hopeful of finding a job so the foreclosure won’t cause you to move into a rundown apartment in a bad school district.
Until next time…