Reasons Why the US Economy Is Still Bad Even in 2016
This is a coverage of the true extent of the US Economy
There had been a lot of discussion over all of the major news networks about a possible default on the debt if the debt ceiling was not raised. But the real reasons that the US economy is in still "bad" shape is never really revealed to the American public. At least, this type of news is not really reported accurately enough. I put the word bad in quotes to emphasize that it is not as bad as before but still not good enough for the middle class. The real reasons for the bad economy are many. So let’s discuss some of these reasons. Much of this essay is based on what this writer has read, seen and heard for a period of many years going back to 2003 so it will be biased. Those of you that want to see a different perspective on one of the most complex and troubling issues of our time are encouraged to give this written piece a chance.
A Photo of Former President Ronald Reagan in Minneapolis
Reason #1: Ronald Reagan and his Reaganomics agenda
My first point would be that the real slow decline of the middle class in the United States happened under President Ronald Reagan as Reaganomics became a major part of his agenda. So some of you may be asking the question of what role did Reagan have to play in the weakening of the economy? Basically Reaganomics was part of what is known as the trickle-down theory. Do some of you still don’t believe me? Free market capitalism makes the rich even richer and the poor even poorer. Although I have been very harshly critical of the Reagan years, I realize now that he was not a bad guy personally. He was just a bad president for the middle class.
A short video explaining how Reaganomics works
A photo of George W. Bush the 43rd President of the United States
Reason #2: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney are two more men responsible for this mess. This might be hard for many of you to believe but this is one of the real causes of the economic crisis here in America which is one of the wealthiest countries on Earth. Although Paul Wolfowitz is considered one of the architects of the second disastrous Iraq War, it was Cheney who was the real "mastermind" behind this along with Bush Jr. who kept on asking for research on whether there was a Saddam Hussein and 9/11 connection! And this country has been able to maintain a high standard of living because of all this borrowing of money from other countries so it can finance its operations. Yes, the economic slowdown is also partially due to the loans that were not able to be paid off by many homeowners and the collapse of the subprime mortgage market. But the reality is that the Republican Party’s policies are responsible for the economic chaos that America is in right now and it is very clear. The United States government spends more money each month than the revenues that it generates and it is no wonder why the country is in debt. You cannot spend more money compared to the amount that you make and expect to be in good financial shape. Not even an average person in any country can do that and expect to not face consequences.
Note: even if George W. Bush was a bad President, at least he understood how the US Constitution works.
Biggest reason for the weak US economy in 2016
What is the biggest reason for the weak US Economy even in 2016?
Reason #3: Economic blunders by the Bush Team and his advisors
Just after Bill Clinton left the White House, America had a huge economic surplus. People in this country had jobs and they could support their families. But with the arrival of George W. Bush into the nation’s highest office, Bush and his team of advisors made a series of blunders which has left the US exactly in the shape that it is in now.
Using free market capitalism tactics combined with corruption, Bush and Cheney used a series of tax cuts which were shown to benefit only the wealthiest of Americans while middle class incomes declined from 2001 through 2009. Actually, the US deficit did not reach $1 trillion until 1981 which was the start of the Ronald Reagan presidency. The Republican Party’s main objective has been to make sure that the rich get richer while the poor continue to struggle. The Republican Party does not care about the average person. I know that this essay may sound biased to some readers and it is but this writer is attempting to present both sides of the story. If some of you are wondering about the Democrats’ role in this don’t worry we will get there.
A detailed map of the War on Terrorism (since 2001)
Reason #4: the failed War on Terrorism
And then with the September 11th incident, Bush launched a worldwide war on terrorism and on October 7, 2001, US forces went into Afghanistan to try and eliminate the Taliban and capture Osama Bin Laden who is now dead. The US forces along with the other NATO countries are stuck in an unwinnable war that can never be won through the use of force. It is said that wars are won politically. Then in March of 2003 the United States and the United Kingdom under then Prime Minister Tony Blair used a series of reasons to justify an illegal invasion of Iraq because they were concerned about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction. It is estimated that the US is spending $10 billion dollars each month to finance two lost wars while 1 out of every 4 children is now on food stamps. In addition to this, 1 out of 8 people is on food stamps. The United States cannot afford to keep spending this kind of money on these wars. It has been proven that you cannot spend billions of dollars on foreign wars and expect to have a healthy economy. Even James Madison understood this very well. The facts are very clear. If the United States continues the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while the rich continue to get richer, the country is going to face bankruptcy along with other serious social problems. The corporations have continued to have record numbers of profits while an extension of the Bush era tax cuts resulted in the creation of only 18,000 jobs in June a few years ago. The news media in this country broadcasts only what they want their citizens to hear. Wars are never good for a nation’s economy and it is clear that the United States is no longer a first world country like it claims to be. The US is becoming a country of the very rich or the very poor. The wars overseas along with the horrible decisions to cut the taxes of the wealthiest Americans have proven to be very costly. A nation that is on the verge of bankruptcy cannot ever be considered a first world nation. Some people have even said that Mexico now has a better economy than the United States does. The United States must withdraw all of its troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan as soon as possible. The wars in those countries have already been lost and there is no way that the US army can win these wars against populations that have so much pride and they are willing to die for their country. It is time that these wars came to an end right now. Over 16 years of war in Afghanistan (as of October 2017) has not eliminated the Taliban and force will never get rid of them. Almost 5,000 official US deaths later in Iraq have not produced the so-called weapons that Bush and Cheney claimed that Iraq had.
Instead, billions of dollars and many lives have been wasted for nothing while the US economy continues to suffer.
Reason #5: it is not Barack Obama’s fault
It is time for the people of America to stop blaming Barack Obama for the economic mess in America. He inherited this situation and it was never his fault. The real problem is the Republican Party and it is as simple as that. The Republican Party is extremely corrupt. A victory in the 2012 general election for the Republicans would have meant that America would go further into debt and be destroyed economically. The Republican Party’s bad and irresponsible policies are one of the biggest reasons for the bad US economy and not Barack Obama. It is time that the American public realized this. The Republican Party of the late 20th and early 21st centuries is much different than the one that existed in the 1860's during the term of Abraham Lincoln. What a difference that a period of 140+ years can make in a country! Many things can change and there are many things in America that have changed since 1861. So if the bad US economy is not the fault of President Obama, then who is really to blame?
Reason #6: the risky loans that were sold to customers by mortgage companies such as Countrywide Financial Corporation
Another huge reason for the US economy being still bad is due to the fact that mortgage companies such as Countrywide Financial Corporation sold and gave risky loans to its customers. These customers were convinced to accept these loans even though they could not pay them. As someone who used to work for the company that was the largest mortgage lender in the US, I saw and heard what was going on in the company. This writer used to work for Countrywide Full Spectrum Lending Division in Southern California between 2004 and 2007 in the sales and processing departments. Due to irresponsible and risky behaviors of former CEO Angelo Mozillo and some of the people higher up in the company, many people lost their jobs and were forced to look elsewhere for work. So on a related note…
Senator Bernie Sanders Brilliantly Explains What Is Wrong With the US Economy
Reason #7: the rise of Wall Street and the influence of it on American politics
These days, the rise of Wall Street and Corporate America has much to do with how the US economy is functioning. These corporations and lobbyists have a lot of say in who gets in the White House. Many members of Congress follow where the money will take them. This includes members of both major parties. Corporate America basically manipulates these politicians and tells them what to do, so it is fair to say that the Democrats are at least partially to blame for the tough times that we still face. Readers will now get some additional outside perspective and see why the US economy is still not where it should be even in 2016 as we approach the Presidential election in November 2016. And what is about to follow is documented evidence and facts, not just me saying something to get points across.
More statistics to prove the real state of the US Economy
According to some statistics released by the Guardian newspaper in London in 2013, it was not even looking good at that time. One major problem is that wage earners are seeing their earnings drop. Between 2009 and 2012, median wages in the US dropped by 2.8% (Herbst). And Herbst also says something in this article that Bernie Sanders has said MANY times: the middle class here in the US is declining! Another thing that people should really pay attention to is that the said unemployment rate at the time of 7.6% was not accurate. In June 2013, if we were to look at the unemployed population plus those that were looking for a job but gave up and those that are part-time workers but they want a full-time job, the figure was estimated to be at 14.3% (Herbst). If you do the math, that’s almost twice as high as the stated figure! Why is our media deceiving us? Maybe they don’t want us to be afraid which may be a logical assumption at this point. Some of you may be asking how we improve the US economy. That’s not the focus of this article. The reality is that unless we make the US a more business friendly environment, things will continue to be harder for young people, even this writer. And sadly, I have not really heard any real solid solutions from either of the major political parties on how to fix this massive problem. So there you have 7 major reasons why the US economy is still bad in 2016.
Note: or is the US economy really as bad as some analysts say? A chart released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that “the United States economy continued to thrive in April, with the unemployment rate dropping to 3.6 percent,” (Advisors, 2019). This is the lowest official such rate since 1969, spanning 5 decades. This is certainly good news for the Trump Administration. By April, it is meant April 2019 and that little bit of news may be good but the Administration still has work to do to convince a skeptical American public.References
Advisors, C. o. (2019, May 3). Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Level in Nearly 50 Years; U.S. Economy Adds 263,000 New Jobs in April. Retrieved from White House Official Web Site: https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/unemployment-rate-falls-lowest-level-nearly-50-years-u-s-economy-adds-263000-new-jobs-april/
Herbst, M. (2013, July 24). 10 Reasons The US Economy is Stuck. Retrieved May 5, 2016
A video about wealth inequality here in the US (relates to the topic)
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© 2016 Ara Vahanian