America’s 3 % Economy: Why It Is In Deep Trouble

By Shlomo  Maital

3 percent

  Writing in the latest TIME magazine issue (Oct. 6), Rana Foroohar explains why the U.S. economy is in deep trouble – and why many are distressed that nobody seems to be tackling the core issues.

   Foroohar says it has taken 41 months to replace the jobs lost in the “Great Recession”  (2008-11).  This is more than three years, far longer than in previous recessions.

    But, which jobs??   Mostly, burger flippers, at $8/hr.  “That’s a problem in an economy that’s made up chiefly of consumer spending.  When the majority of people don’t have more money, they can’t spend more, and companies can’t create more jobs higher up the food chain.  So, poor job creation and flat wages are holding back a stronger recovery in consumer spending.   

    Foroohar concludes: “If this trend is left unchecked, we are looking at a generation that will be permanently less well off than their parents.”   This is disastrous, because there is an intergenerational contract, in which older generations offer younger generations the hope of better lives, jobs and strong futures.  This is the first time the opposite is the case.  We are giving our children a far worse economy and society than the ones we received. 

    This is by far the core issue today facing America –not ISIL.  Let’s focus on the real issues.  America’s real enemy is at home, not abroad – its own failing economy.   A general estimates the war on ISIL could cost as much as $10 b.  This is money needed for schools, colleges, research, innovation and technology.  ISIL, the Islamic State, is hurting America deeply simply by diverting resources into jet fuel, smart bombs and cruise missiles.  Boots on the ground?  America needs special forces to ‘light up’ with lasers the true problem – education, poverty, and above all,  low-wage jobs.