What is the answer to America's economic woes?

What is the answer to America's economic woes?

It would be fair to say, ahead of the crucial speech by the head of the Fed today/tonight, (depending where you are in the world), that all sorts of people have ideas as to what the American establishment should do to fix up the current economic mess, but most everyday folks don’t understand any of the prescriptions on offer.

The following collection of opinions by four leading economists interviewed by the BBC may help to cast some light on the topic, which is surely of great interest to all of us.

It includes an easy-to-read “ready reckoner” explaining all of the Fed’s available actions.


I cannot help but feel, however, that right now the answer to America’s woes lies in the hands of its people and communities, not its rulers. Perhaps it was ever thus. Looking at the very restricted room for manoeuvre that the Fed currently has, it is certainly true at the moment.

Somehow, the brow-beaten and frightened people of this great country, which used to literally throb with the rhythm and pulse of a citizenry who believed anyone could “make it big” given enough effort and application, have to be encouraged to take advantage – right now – of how cheap money is to borrow, dragged kicking and screaming from their cocoons to invest in their own futures, to start or expand businesses, to invent valuable new products and services, to take business trips and engage the world in what they have to offer … bluntly, Americans need to grab themselves by their own bootstraps and lift themselves up.

But Americans, like many in the world, seem utterly mesmerised by the current economic woes of their country, and others.

Unaccustomed to times anything like as hard as this, mis-led for a generation as to the health of their economy and their genuine standing in the world, and fed a relentless diet of depressing economic news and the prognostiocations of doom-saying public commentators – not to mention watching the antics of politicians who have eschewed principled leadership and rely instead on name-calling and jingoism to get themselves re-elected – well, these people are just simply very confused, and very scared.

Like millions of rabbits trapped in the twin headlights of a media-led misery fest and weak, self-serving leadership, they hunker down with cable TV and pay down their mortgages, reduce their credit card debt, and hope like hell that the economic Angel of Death doesn’t visit their front door.

Well never mind what the economists say, or the politicians, and least of all the TV and radio shock-jocks.

Someone yell it from the rooftops: Americans need to do it for themselves.

After all, there could hardly be a better time to try and make a go of it. Money is so cheap, a business simply needs to cover its actual operating costs to be in profit.

So stop waiting for someone else to fix this situation. Come on, Americans. You can do it.

PS This article makes almost as much sense if you Find and Replace “America” with Britain, France, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Australia …

  1. Richard Ember says:

    I’ll leave the commentary to others. This is how you cure the illness – and this applies to USA, UK, Australia, Greece, Ireland…………….

    Apprenticeships- Genuine recognised trades that bring secure employment. Not useless certificates. No apprenticeship, no job. Works in Germany

    Restrict unemployment benefit – 12 months from leaving school and you are on your own. Apprenticeships available in manufacturing. No work, no dole.

    Restrict welfare to single parents – Sorry guys, the family unit gets priority on State housing. Your sprog by some errant scrote, your problem. Not mine

    Restricted benefits to those with criminal records. Stuff it, I’m tired of paying Danegeld to you to behave yourself if you refuse to behave yourself.

    Lower tax for married couples – The family that plays together, stays together.

    End “entitlement”. Earn it, stop demanding it from me.

    Lower taxes – The best way to put money in peoples pockets is to leave it there in the first place. With the people that earned it in the first place.

    Minimise the State – Your are an individual, do not hide behind the “collective”. Take responsibility instead of blaming others.

    Hold Politicians accountable for their actions, just like company directors. Fuck it up and you’ll go to jail. That bog-eyed idiot Brown will have time to reconcile his differences with Blair as they take up a cell for two for a few years.

    Equality of opportunity – that means if you want what others have, you have the opportunity to earn it, not steal it or simply demand it.

    It won’t happen. Our wise and wonderful Politicians just have a new excuse to tear it down and rebuild it just as badly. It’s all rather depressing, really.


  2. Richard Ember says:

    Meanwhile in the UK, the endless plundering of our money by the State is about to take a new twist.

    Since the end of the second World War, the State has grown to immense proportions. The fabian logic being that the State can provide all for all, as long as everything belongs to the state. It can redistribute wealth to those unable or unwilling to earn their own in return for votes. It can provide health, housing, education, justice. It can provide all that is required to keep the citizens happy by taking away the burden of responsibility. All it requires is the power to take your money.

    This week saw the Treasury plunder the bank accounts of British citizens in Switzerland, grabbing hard earned money for itself whilst declaring those who place their wealth beyond the reaches of Government “parasites”. The irony was not lost on me. The 50p tax rate will stay, meaning that more than half of the labour of a successful citizen is now purely to keep the States ability to redistribute his wealth to others.

    Except it isn’t.

    There will no longer be wealth redistribution. The State is now abandoning the Fabian principles of steal from the rich and give to the feckless. No, the State is not giving to anyone. It is hoarding our wealth. Drastic cuts (sic) designed to place the responsibility of services once again upon the individual are not resulting in tax cuts or incentives to business. The claim of ownership by the State to all our money is not changing, it is increasing.

    Unemployed childless citizens, long despised by the state as unproductive and “zero yield” are now being forced to pay full Council tax. The contempt of the Plantation Owner for those not “leveraging synergies” is about to become highly visible. The consequences will be interesting.

    For decades, the “poor” have been shielded by subsidies, tax credits and handouts – from the State. It was not their concern that it was all paid for by those who earned their money or borrowed from future generations. Entitlement was engraved in the “have nots”, just as we are now seeing the ruthless state demand “entitlement” over our money. All of it.

    The Danegeld paid to keep the lower orders peaceful is no longer to be paid and they will now face what the rest of us face. Full exposure to the grasping claw of Government. No stone is to be left unturned as Osborne scrambles to find the finances necessary to keep the beast fed, and yes, the poor are shortly to realise that the benevolent State, the generous all providing Nanny that has poured endless billions in keeping them voting the right way has suddenly turned nasty.

    No point in the left screaming that the rich should pay more. The rich are rich because they know how to earn and acquire wealth. No point in fleecing the middle earners. Their disposable incomes are already at record lows and their desire to endlessly consume is fading. The housing market has collapsed and they are busy repaying their credit binges.

    So the state is now going after the childless poor. Those most useless of citizens. Those wastrels of no value to the exchequer will finally be exposed to the full demands of the greedy Beast of Government.

    It will amuse me to watch the anger shift. Those who were happy for me to pay for Diversity Coordinators are about to be handed the bills. Those who had no concern that the state was growing faster than a primary tumour because they benefited from it are going to feel the cold icy grasp of the Treasury turning its all seeing eye to them. Whilst they cheered when Osborne raided the offshore accounts in Zurich, they will howl when Osborne raids their benefits and subsidies for cash.

    The treasury will not allow the luxury of “class” to stand in the way. The beast is hungry, it sees no divisions and will seek sustenance wherever it finds it.

    Sorry guys, you wanted equality from the State, you just got it. We are finally all equal under the State. Free to be robbed, taxed, threatened and abused. Freedom is slavery after all

    “Arbeit Macht Frei” as they used to say. And will doubtless say again. Oh well, up the Saints.


  3. Why is it I all the time really feel like you do?


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