A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


February 26, 2015

The Cause and Effect of Our Economic Decline

     I can remember being a senior in high school in the early 70's and the endless possibilities that lay before me.  My future was only limited by my ability to dream big.  Anything I wanted to do or become was possible.  A college education was expected, and with a little hard work, and the availability of low-interest educational loans, I was able to get my degree in four years, and was gainfully employed within 2 months of graduation -- actually employed in a profession that pertained to my degree.  And that was at the beginning of the Carter Administration and the subsequent years of recession!
     Today, I know so many young adults that are struggling under the heavy financial burden of school loans, with no jobs in sight.  First of all, I sometimes wonder at the lack of perception of parents who did not guide their children towards degree plans that reflected the changing dynamics of the American economy.  Couldn't parents discern that jobs in social work or psychology or the liberal arts  aren't exactly abundant in this economy?  I can't tell you how many college graduates I know who have heaped more debt on themselves by opting to go to graduate school because of the lack of jobs in their field.  Does that make any sense to you?  
     Now, if you listen to the policy makers in Washington, they will tell you that our high unemployment rate is due to the lack of skilled labor in this country.  But that's a ridiculous argument when you consider that many of the people serving you coffee each morning at the local McDonald's have at least an associate's degree; with many of them bachelor's or master's degrees.  The real truth is that according to the Economic Policy Institute (a non-profit, non-partisan think tank), for every two American college graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, only one of them is hired into a job in their field.  Why?  Because the jobs are simply not there. Did you know that 30% of college graduates are consistently underemployed?  So,  it's not that we don't have the skilled labor, or the smart labor, or the educated labor ... it's that these jobs no longer exist in the United States.  Did it ever occur to you that the high rate of unemployment is because the U.S. is no longer the major innovator that it once was?  That the jobs have been exported, while our products are increasingly imported?
     The truth is that companies can no longer afford to invest in training; and benefit packages are becoming a thing of the past.  Promotions are fewer, while hiring and wage freezes are now commonplace.  As if that is not depressing enough, machines are predicted to replace human jobs at an ever-increasing pace.
     Let's face it.  We have become both a "service-oriented" economy and a nation where the government is one of the biggest employers.  We are no longer the manufacturing powerhouse we once were.  Economics 101 tells us that the manufacturing sector began hiring cheaper overseas labor, which resulted in higher domestic numbers of unemployed; and eventually the manufacturing itself went overseas and we began importing our products -- "made in America" became a rare slogan.
    Common sense tells us that a healthy economy depends on its citizens having spendable income, and with unemployment at such high levels, there will soon be no one to take advantage of the services Starbucks, McDonalds, hair dressers, cosmetologists, or yoga instructors offer.  None of these businesses encourage innovation among their employees or customers.  I think that is why the TV show Shark Tank is such a huge hit.  It celebrates the creativity, ingenuity and inventiveness of the American entrepreneur.  It gives us hope that with some dedication, hard work, and a hand up, we can achieve great things; that we can once again become a nation who celebrates independent and successful businessmen.
    The bottom line is that 0% interest rates and added government entitlements is no way to "stimulate" an economy.  Until we become producers again, and teach the next generations to create their own futures, they may never know the success that is their birthright.  Finally, I can't help but see a correlation between the beginning of our economic decline and our departure from being a God-centered nation.  You would think someone besides me would make the connection ...

Proverbs 16:3   "Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed."
   
       

     

3 comments:

  1. The bottom line is, it's too late. The America that you described in the seventies is gone, and it shall never return. The vast, vast majority of people in America no longer want to be, rather yet, refuse to be creative or construct their own future. The future belongs to the lazy, the inept, and the thoughtless. Folks like us cannot imagine a day without a 'to do' list. Most others cannot imagine a government 'gimme list', at taxpayer's expense. As far as student debt goes this garbage was orchestrated 30 years ago when the government outlawed child labor. There was a day when children worked and saved for college. Not anymore, they are protected from those greedy business people who exploit their labor. Such a farce. Disallowing children to work for their personal gain made them subservient to and dependent upon the tentacles of government sponsored debt. In closing here is a good, if somewhat out of context, example of how helpless Americans have become. About two years ago we had to rush a neighbor to the emergency room, who later died, God bless her soul. While in the waiting room I sat next to a woman who had brought her child there to have a seed tick removed. That's right, off to the emergency room for tick removal. This type of helpless attitude is epidemic in our country and there is absolutely no way it is going to do anything but grow. The parasitical attitude...is now the norm. And just like the borg on Star Trek, we are all, no exceptions, going to be assimilated into it, ready or not. God bless.

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    1. You and I see things in the same light, my friend. Our kids are being integrated faster than we can counter the propaganda, and there are far too many leeches that rely on the system for their very survival .. even from a dangerous seed tick! I know too many who run to the doctor for every ache, pain, or sniffle. Not only could our grandparents not afford those doctor visits, but they relied on effective home remedies and believed in the power of God to heal. And I am one of those who thinks that our decline is discipline from God for how far we have strayed from Him. He can bless us again, but it's going to take a massive turn and repentance on the part of the American people.

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    2. The "dumbing down" of America has been going on for decades. The current generation is reported to be the first one to be less educated than their parents since WWII. By "giving" everything to the young, and telling them it is their "right" (right to have a house, right to work, etc), they grow up learning and believing that they are owed a living by some wealthy entity (the government). They become incapable of doing for themselves, as they have no skills or work experience. They become incapable of independent thought, repeating and believing whatever they are told to believe. Once they are fully dependent on the government (big brother) they will be forced to live however is dictated to them - becoming the serfs and slaves of the power class. At this point, if they don't 'tow the line' they will starve, as they have no means to survive without government support. We will be back to the age of Feudalism and rampant poverty and oppression that sparked such events as the French Revolution. Sadly, it takes decades of this oppression and poverty before the masses will revolt, and then it will be bloody with much death and destruction. History does repeat itself, and 'those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it' - George Santayana

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