Part 1: Can we recover from the recession?

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 21, 2015

The way this recession was handled and events leading up to it is the main reason the recovery has been so lethargic. Let us look into some of the reasons.

The many cases of fraud and chicanery by people in positions of trust both public and private have become the daily fare of the evening news. As I see it, the real reason for the loss of confidence is the lack of ethics in business and politics. One loses confidence in someone or system when they perceive they are not acting honorably.

Couple this with the strong ideological slant of the president and his cabinet issuing a never ending stream of stringent job killing regulations making it more difficult for private enterprise to keep up. EPA’s current push is on CO2 from fossil fuel burning releasing exhaust gasses into the atmosphere.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Global warming is their stated excuse, never mind that the cause of global warming is problematic and still being researched.

Ethical and moral practices in politics and industry have been part of our lives probably since we have been a country. In later years, with the aid of the media, it has increased to new levels. This slipping of ethics in both business and government is most troubling. In the case of government, control is the motivating factor. Taxes and regulatory demands brought about a departure from the past management practice which concentrated on quality, customer service and being competitive.

New management practices, taxes and government regulations changed all that. Private enterprise makes for poor quality with hype and advertising as they move the manufacturing overseas in order to please the stockholders at the next quarter. This short term thinking of doing anything to make the next report look good has led to a moral weakening of corporate structures and filled the management offices with dollar men while diminishing the importance of those who really make something.

I call it, “dancing to Wall Street”.

Taking it a bit farther and looking at the current state of affairs we see a further expansion of the above. We now see financial institutions, (the ones we bailed out with stimulus) receiving cheap newly printed dollars from the Federal Reserve Bank and immediately investing in the stock market taking it to even higher levels. The dividends far exceed the small interest payments so their profits are greater. The cheap money shows growth in the market but doesn’t go to any companies that would make something and create jobs.

Taking together this brief sketch of government, multi-national and domestic corporate actions in the regulatory and financial worlds over the past few years are the basic reasons why we will fail to fully recover in the near future.

This is why we see the top 1 or 2 percent of the population doing very well while the middle class languishes or loses ground. This is even more damaging to the working poor which will only grow worse with the influx of undocumented immigrants who have been taking a large share of low level jobs.

With their legalization by presidential decree we can expect an ever increasing number of immigrants from the south encouraged by the president’s unconstitutional act.

See part two in next week’s edition of the Item.

By Paul Ingram.