A working economy

Published 12:50 pm Saturday, November 2, 2013

While surfing the Web a few days ago I was prone to visit the website of the U.S. Economy. As I sat there pondering what could have happened to cause the economy to change from one that was slowly strengthening itself to one that is weakening, I reasoned that one might have some sort of an elementary understanding of this trend if he knew what drives the economy in the first place.

It is ideal to have a stable economy that is robust and growing. It is important to understand that the consumer grows the economy. A working population (consumer) will spend money on goods and services. As more goods and services are purchased the demand (need) increases. An increase in demand translates into an increase in supply (production). A simple example is, “as more people buy sophisticated cell phones, more phones will be produced to fill the need.” This is common sense. The production of goods and services requires people. This translates into more jobs. In order for the economy to work properly in a capitalistic society, some of the money earned by the consumer must be invested in the system to create more jobs. This is basically how America works. So then, creating jobs for consumers grows the economy if the consumer uses his earnings properly.

When President [Barack] Obama took office in January 2008, the unemployment rate was 5.0 percent and increasing rapidly. At that time he declared that unemployed is likely to get worst before it got better, and it did, rising to 10.0 percent by October 2009. The unemployment rate has since dropped to 7.2 percent as of September of 2013. All of this affects the economy in one way or another.

A stable economy is one in which the permanent supply supports the need. In an effort to put Americans back to work and to boost the slumping economy he inherited, the president created a stimulus package early during his first term in office. The package was designed to create jobs rebuilding the infrastructure of the country. Some states, for whatever reasons, chose not to use money. Their governors verbalized that they did not want it. The president also presented other legislation that encompassed jobs to boost the economy only to be opposed by the Republicans, who offered no viable alternatives.

Sarah Palin, a “Tea Party” advocate, became a voice in American politics when John McCain thawed her out of the ice in Alaska to run with him on the Republican ticket in his campaign against Barack Obama. The objective was to help capture the female vote. He did not realize he was waking up Dracula. Although John McCain did not win the election, Sarah Palin’s influence on the extreme right wing became devastating to American politics. The influence of her ideology is observed in the dysfunctional congress we now have in Washington. Sometimes I wonder if she truly believes some of the things she verbalizes. or is she falsely promoting her own selfish agenda by playing up to the conscience of others. Whatever way it is, she has used a certain segment of the population to gain riches she did not have prior to leaving the governorship of Alaska.

When industries relocate the stockholders do not suffer. They benefit, that is why they relocate or cut back on employees in the first place. International Paper closed down its operation in Franklin leaving over 1,000 people unemployed. Some were able to find local jobs, others relocated, while others suffered devastation. This same scenario is synonymous with the United States when Americans jobs are shipped overseas. The stock holders don’t suffer, the American people do.

Getting the economy back on track and decreasing debt should be easy for a country as powerful as America. We simply need to put Americans back to work. This cannot be obtained by shipping jobs overseas and working with a dysfunctional congress that will deny the American people just to promote their own selfish agendas.

CLYDE JOHNSON of Franklin is a retired health physicist of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth. He can be contacted at 562-4402.