Who knew Prince would be so right in the lyrics he wrote in the early 1980s: Two thousand zero zero Party Over, OOPS Out of Time! I hope I am wrong about this but to me it’s looking a lot like 1999, the height of the Dot-Com Bubble era. The Nasdaq is now over 4,200, at its pique it was somewhere around 5,400; after the bubble burst it was at around 1,500 for years. The Dow is now flirting with 16,000. Today, as in back then, we had companies worth billions of dollars, but generated no revenue. Stock in general were over priced. I am hoping we are not heading for the same situation today. The jobs, good jobs, market didn’t recover from the recession starting in 2000; and they have only gotten worse since the financial collapse of 2008.
What many people don’t know is that in the later quarters of 2000 our economy was slowing almost to a stop. When George W. was inaugurated we were already in recession. Since the effects of the recession tend to be felt months later every thought it was Bush that caused the recession and the bubble to burst. It wasn’t. For most of Bill Clinton’s time in office the GDP was growing at over 4% (compared to about 1.5% now). The severity of the dot-com bubble bursting was so deep that it basically wiped out all of the growth for Clinton’s term. Since the growth was in the dot-com businesses, when they all went down Clinton pretty much had a record of no growth. The surpluses that were supposed to be there for as far as the eye could see came to a screeching halt. Bush was blamed for that, but it happened before he got into office. Trust me, he made it plenty worse though.
Our politics should be more open and honest. We should all know what the cause and effect of economics are so we can come together to do what’s best for our Country. Rather than pointing fingers at W. or Obama, we should all have a better understanding of these issues so our Country can grow with prosperity. W. of course made it worse with those tax cuts that are what’s driving most of the nation’s long term debt. They should never have been put in place; maybe only for families with an income of $50,000 or lower. But not everyone else. And the wars of course made everything worse. The loss of life, the wasted money. The ruining of the reputation of the United States as being the most powerful country on earth put in to question by the botched handling of the wars. It’s such a horrible shame that everything that goes on comes down to political pointing fingers. Not learning from the successes and failures of past and current presidents.
Now we come to McDonald’s, Wal Mart and other workplaces that don’t pay a living wage. How does all of this fit in to what I have just been talking about. Easily and in one word. Jobs. We didn’t recover from the recession of 2000, the collapse of 2008; we need a major jobs bill. And I mean MAJOR. We need to get people back to work with jobs that pay living wages. We need to create jobs for the 10s of millions who have been unemployed for over a year. We need to stop bickering about every little thing and work together so people can restore their dignity, have a job that can feed their families. Our priorities are wrong. Our school children ranked 30th globally in knowledge. Our infrastructure is old and decaying. It’s time to invest.
The Country and the People will be better off for it, all around.