Steven Pearlstein, a columnist for the Washington Post wrote about the "Global Economy Comes To The End Of Its String" and went on to explain, quite "readably" why it's happening. The column, in the 8/6/11 online edition, discusses the fact that we are cycling back to 2008 levels (maybe), because we never fixed the underlying problems with ours and the global economies. The only issue I would have with the characterization is that we are finding it increasingly difficult to separate our economy from the global economy.
As was written in the prior post here, the U.S. has been spending more than it's been making. We have relied on foreign countries, like China, to continue to buy our Treasury Bonds, which is just lending us money. That's what the whole "Debt-Ceiling" debate was all about. It took Congress 3 months to decide if we would be allowed by law to borrow more so we could keep operating our Country without a DEEP cutback in services, like Defense, Medicaid, Parks, EPA protections, Federal Aviation Admin., and on & on & on.
Brian Wolfman posted a short piece of the article on the Consumer Law & Policy Blog and asks at the end "So, what's the chance that will happen given what we've just seen in Congress?" Here is my response:
"You ask, somewhat rhetorically, about the chances for Congress to adopt policies like those Mr. Pearlstein outlined and accept his analysis of the "how we got here". If you know how to bring back from the un-living (on earth anyway) Sam Rayburn, Tip O'Neill, Dwight Eisenhower, Louis Brandeis, Earl Warren, Hugo Black, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford, we might have a chance. As partisan as some of those folks were, they put the Country first when the chips were down (don't really know what that expression means but...).
The current Congress is so ideologically focused and unyielding in their world view, that they belong back to a time when the "world was flat". Common sense tells them that if you go to a beach and look out to the horizon, you can see that the world is flat. That was the prevailing common sense. Oh, and, of course, from Wasilla, AK you can see Russia (I tried with military issue binoculars, from the highest point in Wasilla, in March of 2010, on a clear day, and could NOT see the "Hammer and Sickle").
We are truly at a turning point for the Country and the world. The EU (European Union) is as divided as our Congress, so they will be no help. At least here, the big issue for BOTH Congressmen and Senators is GETTING RE-ELECTED in the same country. The pandering to lobbyists and ideologues must stop. The hard core Tea Partyists are at least true to their beliefs, but remember the flat world.
The future looks grim. Voters cast out the evil-doers in the mid-terms. The world economic crisis was only in part our fault. We allowed the most selfish politicians and "bankers" to run us into the ground. No regulation, no brakes, no-mind to the constitutional interpretations of the past, and a skilled manipulation of the concepts of a "free-market economy" ruled for 8 years. But, this coincided with Europe deciding to try getting along. No one hired a Cat Herder.
Maybe if we remember Peter Pan's plea that we all believe in Tinker Bell (metaphorically only) our economic system will survive. If it doesn't and we don't begin to rebound quickly, we are facing a future that we have fought 2 world wars, our own revolution, a civil war, and the "baby-boomer wars" for nothing.
*from the CBS Show -"Lost in Space" - fitting!
Author's Copyright by Richard I. Isacoff, Esq., August, 2011