Dear President Bush,
Thank you for finally waking up and smelling the coffee regarding the dire condition of the American economy. We were beginning to wonder if you’d ever notice.
Your fellow Americans have certainly noticed. We notice it when we find it increasingly difficult to pay our bills. We notice it when we can’t afford health insurance. We notice it when we can’t find a decent paying job, or any job at all. We notice it when we can’t afford to heat our homes or fill our gas tanks. We notice it when we are laid off. We notice it when food keeps getting more and more expensive. We notice it when more and more of the wealth in America is being concentrated at the very top of the economic ladder, while things are getting worse and worse for the poorest Americans. See our recent blog post entitled “Need Proof That The US Economy Is In Trouble?“
How on God’s green Earth could you have missed the signs up until now? Here are just a few of the clearest indications of trouble we think you might have missed…
- Record high energy prices
- Americans unable to heat their homes
- Americans unable to afford health care
- Record numbers of Americans losing their homes
- A depressed real estate market
- The highest inflation rate in decades
- A very troubled job market
- Thousands of mass layoff actions by employers
- America’s almost total inability to enforce it’s borders, and the resultant illegal immigrant and undocumented worker problems
- The loss of most American manufacturing jobs
- America becoming almost totally dependent on China for consumer goods
- A minimum wage that guarantees poverty for millions of American families
- Rampant corporate scandals, from Adelphia, to Brocade, to Enron, to Tyco to Worldcom
- Spending more than $1 TRILLION on the Iraq war (see Washington Post article), with no end in sight
- Americans unable to afford retirement, and worried about a bankrupt Social Security system
Need more proof? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 1,800 mass layoff actions of American workers in November, 2007 alone ! They define a layoff action as an event involving 50 or more (thousands, in many cases) employees at a single employer. That’s a minimum 0f 90,000 workers (probably more like several hundred thousand) losing their jobs in mass layoffs, in November alone. And that’s only counting MASS layoffs, which are the tip of the unemployment iceberg. For instance, the BLS says that almost a half-million more Americans joined the ranks of the unemployed in December 2007 alone ! That’s so hard to believe, we’ll repeat it again… almost a half-million more Americans joined the ranks of the unemployed in December 2007 alone !
So, Mr.President, I was wondering what finally caught your attention. All of a sudden, your administration is talking about an economic emergency. Plans are being floated to provide assistance to Americans, among them, huge tax rebates and increased unemployment benefits. Your administration is using terms like “immediate” and “robust” to describe the economic stimulus plan you are now formulating. Better late then never.
Could it be that you finally noticed because some of America’s largest financial institutions are now feeling the pinch? Within the last few days financial giants including Citibank and JP Morgan have reported huge losses and impending (or continued) layoffs. It sounds like you may have not been taking the economy seriously until the big boys started hurting. Now, finally, your administration has shifted into crisis mode.
Would you like this American’s two cents worth of advice?
It’s really quite simple. The U.S. economy will not recover unless the hemorrhaging of American manufacturing jobs is halted and reversed. The “service economy” is overrated. The American economy will continue to deteriorate if our dependence on imported goods continues to accelerate.
I’ve already mentioned this in this blog… See if you could get out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue now and then, and walk the aisles of the stores. Look at the labels and the packaging. Almost everything we’re buying is made somewhere else, usually in China. That’s our biggest problem. Pass legislation (tariffs, tax breaks, whetever) that will encourage manufacturers to produce their products in the USA.