Hello Papamoka Bloggers - Well, it looks like George W. Bush is leaving office having eliminated nearly 4 million jobs and leaving us in a nightmare of a recession. He didn't quite wipe out the gains of the nineties, but he came close. WOW! That is amazing, and sad.
The official unemployment rate is now at 7.2% and when you throw in the under-employed and those who simply fell out the system, economists say it's more like 14%. Of course the far right is already saying that it's the Democrat's or Obama's fault, but the rest of us know better. They were in charge - despite their ignorant belief we were after the 2006 election, filibusters be damned - and they destroyed our system. Now we need to tune them out and pick up the pieces.
So, despite the bad news, I chose to rave this morning. Why? Because I choose to remain optimistic. One way to remain optimistic and start the healing process is to reflect on success in the past. In 1992, when Bill Clinton was elected President, the American economy was barely creating jobs, wages were stagnant, and the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. Sound familiar? That was under another Republican, and a Bush. I guess the Republicans loved those days so much they elected his son to do it all over again.
Obama's new economic plan is similar to Clinton’s at that time, however, whereas Clinton focused heavily on fiscal responsibility and debt reduction, Obama is forced to to renew parts of Roosevelt's New Deal. His bold economic strategy is focused on: government spending designed to spur growth, investing in education, and health care reform.
Once the bleeding has stopped, he also wants to focus on investing in green energy and other new industries. It's sill unclear what he'll do about Clinton's love of trade deals, so I guess we'll have to wait and see. I only hope he cares more about FAIR TRADE at the expense of free trade.
Still, if you consider what Clinton achieved, the strategy helped create over 22.4 million jobs and contributed to the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. WOW! Despite the idiotic opposition that always tries to take credit for the good while passing the buck on the bad, Democrats should be confident that we have what it takes to fix what George Bush and the Republicans broke.
So, let's try to be optimistic. Obama is not just a new beginning, he's a brilliant man, well suited to fixing the mess we're in now. He's working on creative solutions, perhaps taking the best of Clinton while adding his own bit of ingenuity.
That's what is so cool about the American system. Over the past eight years we Americans, or at least Democrats, have been envious of other countries with Parliamentary systems. We all know Bush would have suffered a vote of no confidence years ago. Our system is flawed, but the abusive presidents like Bush are few, while the number of very good, creative presidents, who accomplished great things, are clearly the majority.
So, we should be happy. We sustained a great deal of damage, the unemployment rate continues to skyrocket, but the ship of state is still afloat, and we have a captain who understands what must be done to repair her. It's not going to be easy, but then again, tough times aren't meant to be easy. They're meant to challenge, test men of good character, weed out the bad ones, and create new solutions. It's time for a fresh start, and soon we will have it.
Papamoka's Left Coast Contributor
from Our Rants & Raves Blog