The Way Back.

20 Nov

After the Great Recession the economy is arrow pointed up again. We see some evidence of growth in the hardest hit sectors like housing and the resultant careful optimism on the part of the citizenry.

But that’s really all you can say. We know the recovery is weak, we are still in a vulnerable state. A double dip, or at least another period of mild correction, is a fifty fifty proposition.

Stop to consider, after the crash of ’29, the markets did not fully recover until the early fifties. We probably won’t fully recover from this latest calamity by 2016.

Political gridlock will not help. One of the political parties choosing to represent it’s political aims in the context of make believe thinking doesn’t help. And a populace that to a large extent has bought into a worldview that really doesn’t reflect global realities but instead is centered on a kind of foam finger “We’re No.1” pop culture perception really doesn’t help.

There may be cause for hope. The chasm between the US and the rest of the world in terms of economic development is not so great as it was when Richard Nixon visited China. At a time when the largest, most populace nation on earth was vitually a peasant economy, the biggest thing in the United States was the Pet Rock.

At five bucks a piece.            In 1970’s dollars.

Back to back bubble economies, two wars (they really do cost money, just like they always did) , the housing collapse and all the subsequent damage to the economy, most importantly the personal economies of all the families suddenly dumped out of the middle class and into poverty, you don’t have to go very far to find somebody who will agree with you that times are not good.

And that doesn’t help either because even when times are good, forty pecent of the people will tell you we’re in for big trouble just ahead.

Let’s just agree to one thing; we don’t need another bubble. Let’s agree that we need to find a new economic backbone. We need a reset. We need to retrain workers for the jobs of tommorw, of course, but what the hell are tomorrows job’s!

We’re a consumer based economy. How many robotic assembly green energy factory software developers and hardware technicians are we really going to need in the brave new world?

If history is any judge, not enough to keep up with population growth, and less of them to do more work every year. So what do we do? In a consumer based economy how do you create enough good paying jobs for people that are not career oriented, highly driven entrepeneurial spirits, but rather, ordinary people that whose lives are centered on their families?

 The folks that would rather spend weekends raising their kids than working six days and spending hours more in commute, hours more at home dealing with work creeping into homelife. Folks who just want to have a decent home, in a safe neighborhood, with a school for the kids that works like it should.

Let’s just agree to be honest about the future. We only need so many highly skilled, highly trained, cutting edge techno-futurist wonder workers in any new economy.

Regular people need regular jobs.

Unfortunately, regular jobs turned into jobs that pay squat somewhere along the way. Jobs that keep hard working people poor if they don’t get out of them.

It’s relatively simple, how it got this way. It’s the way wealth is disributed throughout the economy. And by that I don’t mean people sitting on bags of money, although a few do, but rather the structure of our economy that keeps so much money out of people’s pockets for no good reason.

Growing up, I remember how my friend’s dad might work in a men’s clothing store or a shoe store and provide a decent middle class life for his family.

So if this is a consumer economy, then why not look to the retail sector to provide those jobs again? Oh no, you can’t, you couldn’t, cost of goods would go through the roof! Think so. What if not.

What if not?

What if WalMart paid a minimum salary of 25K? Imagine the economic growth! Bear in mind, people who make 25K put most of that money right back into the economy. It’s entry level middle class.

But what would it cost?    Please read on;

http://www.demos.org/publication/retails-hidden-potential-how-raising-wages-would-benefit-workers-industry-and-overall-ec

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