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6 Reasons Why the US Economy Is Still Bad

Ara is a Journalism graduate who used to work for Countrywide and saw what was going on in the company during the mortgage crisis.

Why is the American economy still not doing very well?

Why is the American economy still not doing very well?

There has been a lot of discussion all over major news networks about a possible default if the debt ceiling is not raised. But the real reasons why the US economy is still in "bad" shape are never revealed to the American public—or, at least, this type of news is not really reported accurately enough. Sure, the economy is not actually as bad as it has been in the past, but it's still not good enough for the middle class.

The real reasons for the bad economy are many, so let’s discuss them. 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, and therefore this article is biased. If you want to learn my original perspective on one of the most complex and troubling issues of our time, I encourage you to give this article a chance.

Why the Economy Is Still Struggling

  1. Negative Effects of Reaganomics
  2. Economic Blunders by the Bush Administration
  3. The Failed War on Terror
  4. Corruption in the Republican Party
  5. Risky Mortgage Loans
  6. The Influence of Wall Street on Politics

Note: Even though this article was first composed back in 2016, points are also made to show why the US economy may still be bad even in 2019.

President Ronald Reagan

Former President Ronald Reagan in Minneapolis at a rally speaking for then Senator Durenberger on February 8, 1982.

Former President Ronald Reagan in Minneapolis at a rally speaking for then Senator Durenberger on February 8, 1982.

1. Ronald Reagan and His Reaganomics Agenda

My first point is that the slow decline of the middle class in the United States happened under President Ronald Reagan once Reaganomics became a major part of his agenda. Although I have been very harshly critical of the Reagan years, I realize that he was not a bad guy personally. He was just a bad president for the middle class.

Some of you may ask the question of what role Reagan had to play in the weakening of the economy. Basically, Reaganomics was part of what is known as the "trickle-down" theory. Still don’t believe me? Free-market capitalism makes the rich even richer and the poor even poorer.

What Is Reaganomics?

2. Economic Blunders by the George W. Bush Administration

President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney are also 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.

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 that is very clear. The United States government spends more money each month than the revenues that it generates, so 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. No person or entity in any country can do that and expect not to face consequences.

Note: Even if George W. Bush was a bad President, at least he understood how the US Constitution works. Even though I have been critical of George W. Bush for the state of the US economy, his presidency is not the only reason for the still-weak US economy. At least he was responsible for Medicaid expansion.

George Walker Bush

George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States

George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States

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 in the nation’s highest office, Bush and his team of advisors made a series of blunders that have left the US in exactly the shape 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 GOP does not care about the average person. I know that this 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.

This flag symbolizes or shows the kind of long, drawn out war that the United States military has been involved in since 2001.

This flag symbolizes or shows the kind of long, drawn out war that the United States military has been involved in since 2001.

3. The Failed War on Terrorism

With the September 11th incident, Bush launched a worldwide war on terrorism. On October 7, 2001, US forces went into Afghanistan to try to 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.

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 American children is now on food stamps, and additionally, 1 person out of 8 is on food stamps.

The failed war on terror is largely Dick Cheney's fault. 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.

We Need to Withdraw From Iraq and Afghanistan

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 quite 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 a small number of jobs.

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 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.

Former President of the United States Barack Obama

Former President of the United States Barack Obama

4. Irresponsible Republican Policies

The Republican Party of the late 20th and early 21st centuries is much different than the one that existed in the 1860s during the term of Abraham Lincoln. What a difference a period of 140+ years can make in a country! Many things can change, and there are many things in America that have indeed changed since that time.

It's Not 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—it's 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 terrible, irresponsible policies are some of the biggest reasons for the bad US economy—not Barack Obama's. It is time that the American public realized this.

5. Risky Loans Sold by Mortgage Companies

Another huge reason why the US economy is still struggling is the fact that mortgage companies, such as Countrywide Financial Corporation, sold and gave risky loans to their 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 first-hand. 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 Mozilo and some of the people higher up in the company, many people lost their jobs and were forced to look elsewhere for work.

6. The Rising Influence of Wall Street in 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 into 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.

Statistics Show the Economy Is Struggling

Now let's look at some additional outside perspectives to see why the US economy is still not where it should be even in 2016 as we approach the Presidential election in November 2016. What follows is documented evidence and facts, not just me making claims to get points across.

  • According to some statistics released by the Guardian newspaper in London in 2013, it was not looking good even at that time. One major problem is that wage-earners were 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.

How Do We Fix It?

Some of you may be asking how we improve the US economy, although 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, including 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.

Is It Really So Bad?

Is the US economy really as bad as some analysts say? I think so.

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.

In fact, according to an article on Vox, millions of Americans are still working part-time jobs when they would rather get a full-time job. That doesn’t sound like a healthy economy to me. So the question that some of us may still be asking is whether the US economy still bad in 2019. Well, it certainly isn’t as good as it should be.


  • 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

Biggest Reason for the Weak US Economy in 2016

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2016 Ara Vahanian


Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on February 03, 2020:

Part of contributing to the articles by commenting on them is by creating an environment where there is constructive dialogue about the topic. I understand that people have different viewpoints. Just because someone doesn't agree with a person on the other side of the political spectrum, that doesn't give the the right to resort to childish name calling. I welcome comments from people from both sides but I do not welcome some of the things that the poster below me had the audacity to post.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on February 03, 2020:

You are the one that is clueless. You have no right to call other people names. It is no wonder why this country is more divided than ever. Where is your proof that the economy is doing better under Donald Trump? Provide some proof. Where is it? Where are those statistics from? My article was not untruthful. It is researched and backed up by sources which are at the end of the article. You are the biggest idiot by calling Adam Schiff whatever you called him. By the way, during the Reagan years, there were lots of part time jobs created with no benefits. Do your research before you post some ridiculous claim that Obama was one of the worst presidents ever. You should try to grow up and not act like such a child.

RB on February 02, 2020:

Jack is spot on. Obama was one of the worst Presidents this country has ever had. Obamacare was horrible. The economy growth under Obama was at best a trickle and the job growth was almost entirely made up of part time jobs. Most people were working two if not three jobs just to get by. Reagan is much more highly rated by historians. The Clinton economy was strong but not until his scandals kicked in and he was forced to go along with the economic plan put together by the Republican House Leadership. Ava, you are clueless on this stuff and it is apparent that you take your ques from the Democratic propaganda spewed out by the lying left leaning press. Today we have real job growth with full time work. Wages have increased by over 9% in the last three years. Over 66% of the American people are now saying there lives are better and they are optimistic about the future. We are stronger militarily, more secure. Iran is still playing their evil games. It is a good thing Trump got us out of that horrible deal. The Iranian government is running scared and could easily be toppled by it's own people who do not like it. China has been devastated by the sanctions and there economy is down by nearly 50%. They are still a threat but not near what they were. And talk about corruption, the definition of the word should say Democrat. They have been caught red handed trying to run coup after coup to oust the President. From Benghazi, to the IRS, to Hillary selling access, to Bill and Hillary using their foundation to steal hundreds of millions, to the cover up of Hillary's email lies and risk, on to Peter Strouk and Lisa Page working in cahoots with Clapper, Brennan, Comey, Andrew McCabe, the Bill Clinton / Loretta Lynch fix, Anthony Weiner, the Dossier to frame Trump paid for by Hillary and the DNC (Talk about getting foreigners involved to try to steal an election), to the Mueller investigation when they knew the whole thing was made up (another attempt to steal an election), to the personally corrupt Biden enrichment at the expense of the American people (Democratic corruption), to the scam impeachment based on lies of scum bag Adam Schiff, on and on and on. It is unbelievable that you really believe what you are saying. You certainly appear that you are part of the gang. Now you guys want to push socialism / Communism. Oh and let's not forget Anti-fa, the most fascist group in America today. Your entire column was ridiculous and untruthful. But what else should we expect from a lefty. You are clueless. The most corrupt period in our history and it is not the Republicans.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on December 29, 2019:

Jack: you are right about enjoying the holidays with family. Those times are the best if you get long with them well. I encourage others to comment on this article. I have tried to be as objective as possible in describing such a complex issue as the American economy. Both major parties have contributed to the conditions that we see today.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on December 22, 2019:

Ara, that is great. We found some common grounds. Have a great holiday season. It is a time to reflect and enjoy our families and be grateful for all the blessings...

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on December 21, 2019:

Now that I think of it, you may be right on this one. Politicians want to satisfy their base and then they are influenced by special interest groups that donate money to their campaigns. There is lots of corporate money flowing through these campaigns. It is all about the money but also when the United States first began as a country it had people that actually wanted to work for the best interest of the nation. You might be right because they talk about it during election time and then seem to kind of just slip it under the rug. It was still a risk to elect Trump though.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on December 21, 2019:

do you have a solution? how do you know politicians want to solve this problem. They talk about it every election and then forget it afterwards. I don't think either party wants a solution for different reasons.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on December 21, 2019:

However the stock market is volatile. It can go up or down. We can't rely on stocks. I think historians will judge what Trump has or hasn't done. It is their job to do so. Both parties have not come up with a solution to the immigration problem not because they don't want to but because they can't agree on a solution. Proposals have been made but they would rather bicker than offer solutions. One side wants to say that so an so is wrong. Politics is like a game being played.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on December 21, 2019:

stop with the insult. Trump has done more for American people than all of Congress. The wall is the only thing we have not tried to solve the immigration problem. He just passed a budget that raised the military pay by 3%. The stock market increase by 10,000 points since his election....

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on December 21, 2019:

That's because there is no reason for a wall. That's why we have border patrol agents in this country. He'd better come up with something better than that. I don't think Trump even has a good enough functioning brain stem to figure that out.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on December 21, 2019:

Ara, that is a miss reading of what is going on. The people in DC from both parties do not want a solution. That is why when Trump proposes building a wall, Nancy Pelosi will not fund it. She is being an obstructionist.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on December 21, 2019:

The immigration problem is because there is gridlock in Washington DC and both parties really haven't been able to come up with a solution to the problem. Yes, many of these people do work for low wages, correct. But the key issue is that there has not been a way to prevent the arrival of all of these undocumented immigrants and that problem is because both major parties have not been able to come up with a good enough solution. Also, it is because entire industries have gone obsolete which has caused many people to lose jobs. For instance, lots of coal mining jobs have been cut because companies are switching from coal to other cleaner sources of energy. Do they really take jobs away from American citizens? Are you sure about that?

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on December 21, 2019:

no, you are wrong. The immigration crisis was happening in the 1970s and it was in the 1980s when Reagan gave amnesty to illegals trying to fix the problem.

Instead, they reneged on securing the borders and illegal immigration continued to this day.

Right now, it is estimated there are 15-40 million illegals or undocumented immigrants in this country. Many work at low wages and paid in cash...that is why wages has not increased at the lower end of the scale.

In addition, they took jobs away from American citizens, that was why the unemployment rate U6 is so high.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on December 21, 2019:

The open borders narrative is the one being pushed by conservatives because they need someone to blame. Yes, when you do have a large supply of unskilled workers, the wages do go down correct on this one. I don't recall where I read this but if I remember correctly, by 1982 the US unemployment rate (at least the official one) was somewhere around 10.8%. By the time we got to 2007 and 2008 the economic crash occurred and in came Barack Obama. However, the decline of the US middle class has been happening over the last 40 years or so. The system is set up so that many don't succeed. That doesn't mean that people can't be successful here. It requires having a good skill set plus knowing the right people.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on December 21, 2019:

yes, and one of the key reason for this income inequality has to do with the open borders pushed by progressives. it is simple economics of supply and demand. when you have a large supply of unskilled workers, the wages are suppressed.

Reagan created the longest economic boom in the 1980s.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on December 21, 2019:

Phillip: thank you very much for asking. The factors or the policies most responsible for this inequality have come into fruition over a long period of time starting with the Reagan years in the 1980's. There has been a constant rise in the incomes of the wealthiest people while those at the bottom of the economic ladder have not been as fortunate.

Philip on December 19, 2019:

what factors or policies are most responsible for this inequality?

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on September 29, 2017:

I do understand the difference between an opinion and a fact. It is clear that we have differences here but at least we do agree on certain points which is good. That is the good thing that I can take out of this conversation. I do agree that there has to be healthcare reform but that reform can't come by destroying ObamaCare because who knows that the plan that comes after it will be good or not. It would be like taking a risk that may or may not work out. I also think that there has to be a bipartisan effort in order to improve the economy, healthcare, and other issues of our time. I wish you well even though we disagree on certain points. Good night Jack.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on September 29, 2017:

I agree it has gone too long but here is my final thought. You seem to have a problem understanding the difference between opinion and fact. I cited facts after facts and you still say it is an opinion. In order to have a debate, you need to understand the difference. Have a good night.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on September 29, 2017:

First of all, don't insult my knowledge please. Second of all, yes, the premiums of Obamacare have risen but that's what we get with a for profit healthcare system. And it is still better than what we had before. As I said earlier, the Congress tried to obstruct Obama including Mitch McConnell who wanted to make sure that Obama was a one term president. Of course, he failed at that would you not agree? Obama won two terms, that is a fact or are you going to deny that as well? Historically it is very difficult for one party to win more than 2 terms because of "party fatigue." Yes, some people were angry at Obama but the American people are never happy with who they have as President. In my opinion Donald Trump isn't a real President but that's a different story. I tried to point out in the article that both major parties are somewhat responsible for the economy. But blaming the state of the economy on Obama is not a good thing to do. The GOP was against him from the beginning of his term. But he still got healthcare passed and the Republicans couldn't reject him there, isn't that nice? When ObamaCare was passed the Democrats had control of Congress. I think that instead of the Republicans trying to repeal a law that works, they should fix the flaws of Obamacare instead. This conversation has gone on longer than I expected or wanted it to. It is clear that no matter what I try to point out, you can never accept that people have a different opinion than you do. I am done with discussing the topic with you. Have a good day sir!

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on September 29, 2017:

Here is Barack Obama in his own words -


Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on September 29, 2017:

You know nothing about Israel and yet you make these outrageous claims. I have been to Israel and have seen the devestation of rockets in malls and innocent people dying and having to build bomb shelters in their homes... Israel have offered many peace gestures and the PLA is a terrorist organization and corrupt. They stole millions from the people including Yasser Arafat. These are facts that cannot be denied. So you want the rest of us to pay for your healthcare. I have no problem helping but I don't want to bankrupt our country doing it. We cannot have 80% of the people paying for 20 percent who choose not to have insurance...or can't afford it... This business model does not work in the long term.

With regard to Obama, the reason we have Trump as President today is partly due to Obama. He was so bad, they rejected Hillary who ran as a third term of Obama...

Please go look up his ratings and find out for yourself. You are an intelligent man. Why don't you help yourself by learning from history.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on September 29, 2017:

First of all, I highly applaud him for making the ACA a reality. As I explained earlier, this health law allows people like me with a preexisting condition to afford health care. That's the first thing. Secondly, he should ignore Israel's advice and if he did turn their back on him, I am glad he did that. Israel is a corrupt regime that never gave the Palestinian people to have their own homeland which is a big crime. I am not talking about the general population of Israel, just the government and Benjamin Netanyahu who is a far right conservative. Obama did not need to listen to him. And lastly, under the Obama Administration as a result of the Iran Nuclear Deal, Iran is under a watchful eye by the international community. Even your favorite president Donald Trump admits that the deal is working even though he does not like it. Israel should not be a friend or an ally of the US. They are a criminal regime just like North Korea and Russia under Vladimir Putin. I am a huge supporter of the ACA that' the best thing Obama did and because of it, cancer patients have survived. I have tried to do all I can to make you understand how great Obama was yet people like you never gave him a chance and you just assumed he was bad or mediocre. Have a good day Jack!

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on September 29, 2017:

Obama is rated mideocre. He has passed the ACA which has been a disaster of a program. He lied to get it passed and now we are finding our what was in it... high deductible, rising premiums...increased Medicaid. He raised our national debt to 20'trillion dollars. Which will be paid back by your kids and grandkids... his foreign policy of lead from behind was a disaster. He allowed Iran to continue working on nuclear weapons...and turned hos back on our friend and ally Israel. We have a new division among race relations under Obama...

So how well do you think he will rate in history, especially when Obamacare fails innthe next 2 years.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on September 29, 2017:

Abraham Lincoln should be #1 or close to the top. I hope that historians will rate Barack Obama higher on the good Presidents list as time goes by. He has only been out of office for almost 9 months but I would be shocked if he wasn't ranked very high 15 or 20 years from now. And the worst president of all time will be...Donald Trump of course after he leaves the Oval Office either by a forced resignation, impeachment, or the 25th Amendment. Ronald Reagan was an entertainer just like Trump and even though Reagan served as Governor of California, he did not start in politics from the beginning. The Presidents that have historically done the best with the US economy have been those that have started in politics from the beginning of their working life. Established politicians are what we need in the White House. I'd happily vote for a corporate Democrat because they'd do better than most establishment Republicans. I'd encourage you to check out the David Pakman show on YouTube. You will learn a lot from that show and you would really know what is really going on in the USA.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on September 29, 2017:

Not according to historians that rate presidents...

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on September 29, 2017:

Jack: actually Reagan was not a good President. He significantly reduced the labor unions and look where that got the USA? It was Franklin Roosevelt that got the country back on its feet after a historic Great Depression and what party was he from? He was a Democrat of course. Democrats historically have done better as Presidents than Republicans have. After Eisenhower who was smart enough to warn about the dangers of the military industrial complex, Richard Nixon expanded the Vietnam War into Cambodia and he was President when the Watergate scandal brought him down. What party was he from? Republican. Reagan: Republican. George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush: Republican and they were not great Presidents either. So far the best President in the 21st century is Barack Obama and its not even close. And no, Donald Trump has not accomplished more in 9 months than Obama did in 8 years. Trying to compare Obama to Trump would be like trying to compare Lebron James of the Cavaliers basketball team to Tyronn Lue (ex Los Angeles Lakers Point guard). It is obvious that you can't even compare the two. Obama could have gotten even more accomplished but the US Congress obstructed him. No, the best results in recent times were under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama who is one of the best Presidents of all time.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on September 29, 2017:

Ara, who ever you are watching and getting your news, you are not being told the whole story or the truth. The economy has ups and downs through all administrations both republican and democrats and there are overlaps due to the delay of some policies...

The best results in recent times was under the Reagan years. In 1981, after he reduced the tax rate to 28%, we saw an economic boom that lasted 20 years and with 20 million jobs created and a GDP rate at 7% some years....go look it up. It is historical fact.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on September 29, 2017:

Ken: thanks a lot for making my morning more informative! So much to talk about here. Also, the fact that the USA has started wars that it should not have been in as I mentioned in the article are a big reason why the economy has changed. Also, the country used to have a solid manufacturing base which it destroyed and we now see the result of that. Also, check out the online show called The David Pakman show on YouTube. In one of the videos, he says that historically, the US economy has been better under a Democratic Administration (Bill Clinton, Barack Obama). But now with Donald Trump, things may start to slowly weaken. Thank you for your contributions to this controversial topic and let me know if my perspective helped you.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on September 29, 2017:

Jack: I do agree that there is freedom in the United States but also, there are people that abuse that freedom and say things in public that are not appropriate. We have a President that uses Twitter to type things about others that are not appropriate and I'm being nice to the man. If we have freedom, our citizens should be responsible enough to use that freedom wisely. Yes, the USA has been a nation of immigrants since its founding. The key to the US success in the past and this is the point I'd like you to really grasp: is that the US used to have factories which was a major reason why it was so successful from 1945 to about 1980. After 1980-1992, it experienced a recession until Bill Clinton made the economy work better. But now, the USA has wrecked its manufacturing base and you see the result of that. I hope this historical perspective answers the question of why the USA was great.

Ken Burgess from Florida on September 29, 2017:

Ara - "one thing that I did not mention in the article. As for China's influence, there's no doubt about that. Also, we are seeing a rise in automation and various industries such as coal are becoming a thing of the past. "

Ara you made a few points in reply, let me focus on these for now.

Coal is becoming a thing of the past here in America, but all that coal is now being shipped to China. This was actually something agreed upon with China many years ago, our national policies and the whole 'clean fuel' and 'clean air' campaigns by our government were designed with this in mind, so that Americans would not be made aware that we were giving our resources away on the cheap to a foreign power, rather than using them to keep our own power cheap, and our own people employed.

As for the non-taxation, non-tariff agreements with China, it allows corporations to use China for its cheap (slave like) labor, the rich grow richer, the middle class of America gets saddled with debt and our industrial might is gutted, in a generation we will be a nation with a population as powerless and poor as any other nation... that is what globalization will bring us, America's exceptionalism and America's middle class will cease to exist... there will merely be the upper class, and above them unseen the .001%... and then the rest. The American dream, of freedom and opportunity will be completely dead as it was known.

That is what will occur if our civilization continues without interference from some type of global environmental disaster or global war. Should a devastating event or series of events occur, who knows what could happen... look how long it is taking for aid to get to Puerto Rico, it is one small island and America has all its military and resources to focus on its needs... imagine if a disaster struck that could do that to most of the world?

Our jobs haven't been replaced by automation, there are over 100 million Chinese now employed making things that used to be made in America 30+ years ago... that is just the reality, a reality few want people to connect the dots to... because then they might demand their Congressmen act on their behalf, and start taxing those products, one way or another, so that slave labor practices in China didn't put them out of work here in America.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on September 29, 2017:

That is fine with me. You seem to have a dificulty answer a simple question. I will help you out. The key to our success as a nation is "freedom". Our people are free to pursue their dreams and the government is there to maintain a stable environment and fair and justice... Not every country offer the same to its citizens. That is why millions are trying to immigrate here both legally and illegally. You are still young and have lots of opportunity to live and learn. I wish you well.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on September 29, 2017:

I welcome the discussion and the debate but to a point. What I said still stands and let's just leave it at that. You obviously have a different view than I do. There is no need to try and convince me of anything. I am done trying to debate the topic with you. Have a good day sir.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on September 28, 2017:

You are missing the point. These data points are by itself trivial but it proves that in order to gain these achievements, it took something unique. You have not answered that question. What is so special about our country that allowed all these things to happen? Once you have the answer, you will realize we are great already and that the things you hope for are contrary to our country. We don't believe in giving away things... we believe in individual doing their best and using their God given talents and achiving their best...

"The problem with socialism is sooner or later, you run out of other people's money..." guess who said that quote.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on September 28, 2017:

You want an answer to all that you said? My answer is there's no need to try to convince anyone. This is not some kind of contest where someone is trying to prepare for some competition. The USA has done good things no doubt about that. I'm just only saying that it is not the best country in the world. "Best country" is purely subjective. There is no need to try and convince me or anyone else about anything. Just state the point and move on. So what if we have had the most Nobel Prize winners or the most Olympic medals? Doesn't really matter all that much to me to be honest with you. What matters to me is having a country where people can afford healthcare, where people can afford to go to college and university without having to use student loans just to pay for an education. Just because we have the most colleges does not mean that going to college is affordable. In my opinion (you can disagree if you wish), the US should have an education system that costs less. It should also have a medical system where health insurance can be provided to anyone even people who really need it because of health reasons. The government's responsibility is to think about its people and provide them with basic necessary services. If they don't do that, they are not doing their job properly. The way to make the economy better is to spend the money on job training, job creation, and create a more business friendly environment. So what if the US is #1 in Olympic medals? That's very good but not significant enough for me. The USA was good for the middle class until 1980.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on September 28, 2017:

You are confusing two things. Being happy is a state of mind. We are discussing economic systems and by all empirical measurements, the USA is the number one most successful nation in the history of the world.

I challenge you to examine all the facts...

We have the most patents..

We have the most Nobel prize winners...

We have the most Olympic medals...

We have the highest GDP per capita

We have the strongest military...

We have the best medical system...

We have the best equipment... hospitals...

We have the most colleges...

We have the top international corporations...

I can go down more and you won't be convinced...

What you need to ask yourself is how did all this come about?

Was it just luck?

Did we have divine help?

Did we steal it from others, exploited 3rd world nations as some claimed?

What was the magic that created all this prosperity?

I await your answer.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on September 28, 2017:

Best system in the USA? No way. However you are entitled to your opinion as the saying goes. Let's agree to disagree here. I don't like the free market capitalist system and that's my right not to. I'm not saying the USA is a bad country but it is not as good as it used to be that is why the economy is still not as good as it should be. The US government is corrupt especially under Donald Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence. And secondly, just because the USA is in not as bad a shape as Venezuela, that does not mean that the average person is happier here. Just because you have lots of money and material goods, that does not guarantee you will be happy in the long run though that is on a different topic. My only point was that it is not accurate and unbiased to say that the USA has the world's best system. That's just a viewpoint and not a fact. Though I have to say the discussion in this article has been active and that is a good thing when we have a healthy debate. The USA is not a terrible country but it is not as good as it used to be during the Bill Clinton Presidency.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on September 28, 2017:

I hate to break it to you. Denmark is not a socialist country...

I wrote an article on this a while back...


How do you explain Venezuela? and Cuba?

Look, I traveled all over the world and have seen it first hand.

We have the best system hands down. It is not perfect, but better than any other nation on earth.

It is why we are exceptional and unique in human history...

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on September 28, 2017:

I would happily have a socialist system any day over this free market capitalism we have here in the United States. People such as Bernie Sanders advocate the right kind of policies. There is nothing wrong with people having access to health care and we have to make sure that they can afford it. Affordability would not have been possible under the bad proposed legislation by those two corrupt men Lindsey Graham who is just as bad as Donald Trump and that other man Bill Cassidy who clearly lied when he said the bill would cover people with a preexisting condition such as myself. There is a reason why people love Bernie Sanders and he is the most popular US Senator today. If you don't believe me do a Google search and find out. Socialism works in countries such as Sweden and Denmark which I would argue are about 10 times better countries to live in compared to the USA. Sorry, the USA is no longer the world's greatest nation and won't be as long as Donald Trump, Mike Pence, or Paul Ryan are in power. Socialism is the best! Have a nice day sir!

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on September 28, 2017:

By your logic, why not 100 percent? Why not pay for all housing, child care, food, healthcare,... the needs are endless.

You want to know what happened when socialism is tried. Go see what Venezuela and Greece is happening today... people are digging through garbage and the average person has lost 15 pounds of body weight... why?

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on September 28, 2017:

We cannot have over 32 million people lose their health care. These people need their insurance and there are so many people that need Medicaid to survive. If we take that away from them, they will either be put in a tough situation or they will die. I would rather have ObamaCare in place instead of destroying it and putting in something worse. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner once said that the Republicans had no plan on health care. How very true because they have been a big failure for 7 years.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on September 28, 2017:

Ken Burgess: thank you for discussing the trade agreements, one thing that I did not mention in the article. As for China's influence, there's no doubt about that. Also, we are seeing a rise in automation and various industries such as coal are becoming a thing of the past. Also, in my previous comment I meant to say that if Republicans do not pass the tax cuts, this will be very bad for them. It would be like Lebron James missing a slam dunk when he is wide open and there is no one in front of him as he makes his way to the basket. You would think that the GOP should pass the tax cuts but we will see what happens.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on September 28, 2017:

Your bias is showing my friend. Trump has done more in the 9 months than Obama in his 8 years. It is true the GOP lead Congress has done very little with regard to repeal of ACA or other legislation like immigration and tax reform...

The ACA cannot be fixed as is, 2000 plus pages of a flawed unsustainable system. I can't make it more clear for you.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on September 28, 2017:

However, the attempts to repeal the ACA have failed EVERY TIME! They should just work on fixing the flaws of the ACA instead of stealing healthcare from millions of people who need it. As for the taxes thing we will see if the GOP can do these tax cuts or not. If they don't do that successfully, it ill be bad for them because this has been the GOP's strong point. Trump was "elected" to do many things but he has accomplished very little in his time in office so far.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on September 28, 2017:

All true...that is why Trump was elected to crack down on undocumented crossing our borders, renegotiate fair trade deals, reduce taxes to stimulate economy and repeal ACA...

That is why the GDP is 3.1% this morning!!!

Ken Burgess from Florida on September 28, 2017:

If you remove political bias out of trying to figure out why the economy is bad, it is a pretty simple thing to do.

When you have to conform it to political ideology, and make it an effort to blame one political party over another, you have to jump through some hoops and ignore a great many facts.

The reason why our economy still struggles is simple. China is the #1 reason, the fact that their products enter America unrestricted and un-tariffed.

Another reason is that our government (see corrupt Congress) does not enforce hiring laws on corporations allowing national companies like Toll Bros. and Tyson Foods to hire tens of thousands of undocumented workers rather than Americans.

You could extend that to include the H1 & H2 - B visa programs which allow hundreds of thousands of American workers to be replaced by cheaper foreign labor, legally, thanks to a corrupt Congress that doesn't care about the American workers... they serve the interests of the corporations.

We could also discuss how NAFTA, CAFTA, and many other trade agreements break down the American ability to compete with other nations via trade, open trade borders do nothing for the American worker, they allow companies to manufacture products in foreign countries and ship them back to America without taxation concern. This does nothing beneficial for America, or American workers.

All this is great if you are a corporation, or bank, or mucker on Wall St. ...but if you happen to be an American worker, especially a laborer in construction, manufacturing, or processing, you are screwed by all of this.

The documentary embedded into this Hub I wrote explains how this works, explains how our economy will never recover so long as Congress allows China to ship its products to America tariff and tax free, and so long as we maintain unfavorable trade agreements like NAFTA on the books.


Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on January 11, 2017:

Galoren, I am not heartless. I just believe in a different system than socialism. If the system you wish to have actually worked, I would have had no problem. The ACA has been a disaster and it will be repealed. We need a market driven solution for healthcare, not a one size fit all.

As far as the current economic mess, it is on the shoulder of President Obama an dhis policies. You can blame Bush for maybe the first 2-3 years but after that it was Obama and he owned it. The primary reason for the poor recovery was the ACA act. It has prevented small business to hire.

GALoren on January 11, 2017:

This is for Jack Lee. Jack, you are a heartless human being. The reason why we, Americans who care about our fellow man, should pay for the health care of the less fortunate, is the same reason why those who serve in the military, do so to protect people like you. There is no difference. Americans should never let their fellow citizens who cannot pay for healthcare, die in the streets. Shame on you Jack

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on June 01, 2016:

The US has three branches of government, and there is a checks and balances system in place to ensure that no one branch has too much power. Yes, government does have its limitations. My feeling is that the GOP wanted Obama to fail as President and Senator Mitch McConnel met privately with others to discuss on what they could do to make sure Obama was only a one-term president. Thankfully that didn't happen. This Administration tried to create an alternate system of health care compared to what we had before. People can complain all they want to but complaining doesn't change the system. Just as a side note: no government is perfect but the US could and should be better than it is.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on June 01, 2016:

Where did you get the idea that the "responsibility of any government is to make sure that its citizens are well taken care of..."

You have a poor understanding of our Constitution. I suggest you read up on what our government is all about. You can start by reading my American civics 101 hub.

By the way, I would not recommend putting your trust on any government. The lessons of Katrina should remind everyone that government has limitations.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on June 01, 2016:

That's one of the reasons why there has been the rise of parties such as the Libertarian Party. One of the main ideas of this party is that they want no government intervention in the lives of the people. On the other hand, it was under the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt that we adopted such programs as Social Security and public works projects, designed to get people back to work. The responsibility of any government is to make sure that its citizens are well taken care of. But how can we do this if one of the major parties opposes what the Executive Branch sets out to do?

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on June 01, 2016:

Bad laws are repealed all the time.

You can search on President Obama's speech back when he was still a Senator and he clearly said he wants a single payer system and that it will take 20 years to get there. He intended the ACA to be a stepping stone to his ultimate goal. How else will you explain the failed launch of the health exchange web sites? This is not rocket science. Websites like these are developed by agencies private and public all the time. The cost overrun is another matter. One of my other compaints about big government is that it is so wasteful with our tax dollars.


Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on June 01, 2016:

Anything that is already signed into law cannot be repealed and overturned. If the GOP wants to enact a brand new system, they will have to debate it and both houses of Congress must vote and the majority must agree to pass it. And then the future president must sign the bill for it to become law. Why would the Obama Administration hope that this ACA fails? That part doesn't make sense to me. This has been a great discussion though.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on June 01, 2016:

Celebsfan78, I totally agee with your statement. Do you think ACA fullfill that promise?

President Obama missed an opportunity to work on a compromised bill with the Republicans. Instead, he allowed the lobbists and the Insurance companies to write this 2000 pages of a monstrocity bill and forced it upon the people and over 70% disapprove. In my opinion, this bill was designed to fail. That is why the rollout web site was such a disaster. What the Administration is hoping is that the ACA will fail in afew years and the government will take the whole thing over and leading to a single payer system.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on June 01, 2016:

I never suggested that healthcare should be free. On the contrary, the United States deserves to have a system where anyone that wants insurance can purchase it without having to pay so much money or to be told that their insurance does not cover a specific procedure because their insurance is an HMO (as an example). If countries such as Norway, Sweden, or Switzerland have universal health coverage, there is no reason why the US should not have it. The other problem is that adopting a universal health care system would cause an uproar from private insurers that would complain all day. We can't please everyone but citizens of this country should have the proper access to health care!

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on June 01, 2016:

celesfan78, You have it backwards. The reason healthcare was more expensive before is that it was not fully privatized. One of the solution put by GOP was to allow insurance companies to compete across State lines. It is now expensive for a difference reason. The people who are covered most of them require government subsidies. That is spreading the cost among everyone else. I cannot debate the full ACA act with you, it would take too long. The proof is in the results.

By the way, healthcare is not a basic human rights. It is not in the Constitution. Human rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... There is no free lunch, no free healthcare and no free housing or free cell phones... Some tax payer is paying for it.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on June 01, 2016:

As far as I know, the GOP wants to privatize everything, that is why health insurance in this country has been so expensive. Because it has been privatized so that any insurer can charge whatever amount that they want to. Then you have someone like Bernie Sanders that wants to truly reform and change this country to make it better for its citizens. Marco Rubio had the audacity to claim that the United States is not Sweden (obviously not) but the problem is that the GOP will condemn any move that does not cater to its own interests and THAT is a major problem. Even if the ACA is expensive it is certainly better than what we had before.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on May 30, 2016:

Celebsfan78, I am glad ACA is working for you but have you thought about how a different plan could have fix the preexisting condition coverage and not cause so much disruption for the rest of us? That was the problem with ACA, it was not debated properly as it should. It was forced on the American people with one party support only. I predict it will not survive as enacted. The full impact will not be completed until Obama left office, by design. Many health exchanges are already failing. Republicans had an alternative plan but were not given any chance to discuss them. If you want, I can teach you more about the EPA and other government failures.

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on May 30, 2016:

Actually what some people may not realize is that the Affordable Care Act was started so that people with preexisting conditions such as myself can have access to health care. The idea that ObamaCare is a job killer may have some truth to it (depending upon who you ask) but the bottom line is that health care is a basic and fundamental human right. Before Obama took office, those with preexisting conditions such as myself could not even get health insurance. This is an employers market because that's the way that they want it to be. In their mind, it is cheaper to hire no one than to hire somebody that may desperately need a job! I don't know much about the EPA but I do know that Republicans have been playing games and THEY are the ones that always wanted to make sure that Obama failed as President because they had resented him all along, they probably planned to resent him as soon as he was inaugurated. As I was trying to point out, both major parties share the responsibility for the situation that we are in. We need to be focused on solutions instead of playing games.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on May 26, 2016:

In case you haven't noticed, it is the year 2016. You can make that argument in 2009 and 2010 and maybe 2011. It's been seven and half years since President Obama is in charge. The real reason the economy is sluggish and have been since 2010 is Obamacare or otherwise known as Affordable Care Act. It was a job killer and it turned out to be neither affordable or better care. Ask any small businessman what is preventing them from hiring more workers. The mounting government regulations by the various federal agencies such as the EPA has killed many jobs and lead to the failure of our coal industry. I can go on but your lens is clouded. Thou doest protest too much...

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