The Problem

This page presents the problem in America that needs solving.  It begins by revealing the list of economic hardships, adversities presently endured by scores of millions of Americans.  Then we delve into America's history since World War II to understand how we arrived at this sad state of economic affairs.  Next we address responsibility, both for the mess we're in and who's going to get us out of it.  From the history lesson we identify the foundational problems that cause the listed hardships, the underlying root problems that need to be solved.  Then we introduce the historic roadblock to resolving the foundational problems that will be presented in the next page.

The List of Economic Hardships

Some Americans are doing well.  They and their families were prosperous for some time prior to the onset of the Great Recession of 2007, they weathered its ravages, and they've either retained their prosperity or they bounced back sufficiently in no time.

If you fall into this category, you are very fortunate.  Hopefully you realize how fortunate you have been compared to many.

Sadly, however, most Americans who pass this way are likely still suffering a frustrating continued socioeconomic hardship, some of you to the degree that it's very painful for you and your family.

For indeed, scores of millions of Americans remain socioeconomically challenged, some severely, long after the Great Recession has reached its technical end.

Yes, for most of you reading this, it is highly likely you've experienced and are continuing to endure one or more of the following listed adversities:

  1. You are working salaried more hours/week than ever, well beyond forty hours/week, creating a decrease in your hourly rate and your industry remuneration value, and at the sacrifice of other important aspects of your life.

  2. You continue to be presented with additional demands on your productivity, without being given adequate time, tools, and resources to meet those demands, and without additional monetary compensation for your effort.

  3. Your employment is more tenuous than ever, and you're reasonably concerned that you could lose your job to another person at any time.

  4. You haven't received a raise in some time even though prices have meanwhile continued to rise.

  5. Your salary took a cut some time ago and it has not truly recovered since, even though prices have meanwhile continued to rise.

  6. You've been forced to change your status from employee to contractor in order to keep your job with the company, losing your company benefits (especially low-cost healthcare insurance), without additional or sufficient compensation to offset the resultant increase in social security tax you thus have to pay, and at the risk of receiving no unemployment insurance should the company discontinue your services as a vendor.

  7. Your work hours have been cut to below desired full-time, without an increase in your hourly rate, and you have been unable to secure full-time employment elsewhere for adequate pay.

  8. You're a sole proprietor whose clients have dwindled over time, forcing you to lower your rates to obtain business or pick up additional unrelated work on the side that's insufficient monetary compensation.

  9. You lost your job during mass layoffs or when the company folded, and you've since been unable to secure comparable employment in your field.

  10. You lost your job to a company merger/takeover, and you've since been unable to secure comparable employment in your field.

  11. You've been out of the workforce while caring for family or recovering your health, and you've since been unable to secure adequate employment to support yourself.

  12. You lost your full-time adequately paying job to company cutbacks, outsourcing, offshoring, or insourcing from other countries (either legal or illegal labor), and either you've yet to secure adequately paying full-time employment in your field or you've been forced to take part-time employment outside your field at considerable loss of income.

  13. Your economic hardship has caused you to incur significant compensatory credit card and/or tax debt.

  14. Your economic hardship has cost you your house, which you've had to sell or allow to foreclose at the cost of your credit rating.

  15. Your economic hardship has cost you your romantic relationship, perhaps additionally preventing you from living full-time with your minor children.

  16. Your economic hardship has cost you your savings, including your personal retirement account.

  17. You are unemployed, barely managing on unemployment insurance payments.

  18. Your economic hardship has cost you the ability to put a roof over your head on your own, forcing you to share expenses with a roommate.

  19. You have been unemployed for a long time, and your unemployment insurance has expired.

  20. You haven't been able to find  adequate work and/or work in your field for some time, and you're reasonably sure that age discrimination or competition from extremely cheap labor is a factor.

  21. You've been forced into early retirement with a monthly social security retirement check that's woefully inadequate on which to live.

  22. Your economic hardship has cost you your ability to afford to put a roof over your head even with a roommate's assistance, now depending on a friend or relative for shelter free gratis or in exchange for doing chores.

  23. You are out of work, homeless, depending on charities for survival, often you and/or your family are going hungry.

Most likely you recognize some of the items in this list from your direct experience with them either currently or within the past decade.  Likely also you know others -- companions, friends, relatives -- who've succumbed to some of these adverse situations as well.

Scores of millions of us Americans sadly greatly suffer from these economic adversities, with all too many of us tragically enduring the bottom-listed quarter of these hardships.

We of the Powerful American Political Alliance website say this is completely unacceptable, that we've waited long enough for these problems to be solved, and that something has to be done immediately to solve these problems.

An optimal solution to a problem can often be found by exploring the cause of the problem.  With that in mind, let's first take a brief look at the causative history of these problems and with an eye to identifying the underlying foundational problems we need to address.

History

When World War II ended in late 1945, America had regained economic strength lost in the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Our regained economic strength stemmed from the meteoric rise in domestic production to create the war machine, production fueled by deficit spending, higher taxes, and government bonds, along with a spirit of great cooperation between management and labor, and we rode the back of associated technological breakthroughs and American manufacturing into the legendary peace-time prosperity of the 1950s.

Our population-to-resource ratio was manageable at the time, even with our service personnel returning from overseas, as traffic jams were rare, hospitable living space was abundant, water plentiful, and seats in college classrooms were open and affordable.  After a short post-war downturn, businesses utilizing new methods of manufacturing and distribution sprang up as banks were eagerly willing to support entrepreneurs and jobs were thus created.  Despite the onset of the Korean War in 1950, prosperity continued during the height of the baby boom.

Our effort and victory in World War II fostered a patriotic attitude in America, and loyalty between fellow Americans was additionally strengthened as we moved into the nuclear weapons era Cold War against the Soviet Union where the major world economies were divided up between first world free-market capitalism and second world government controlled-market communism.  American management and workers continued their post-war cooperation, working together for the good of us all.

Thus the 1950s saw Americans at their prosperous best, as we did our own manufacturing and assembling, living-wage jobs were abundant, and our economy allowed a family to own a home, often two cars, and do well with just one parent working, leaving the other parent available to give sufficient quality attention to the children.  We not only recognized that our standard of living costs couldn't compete with very cheap comparative "wage-slave" labor goods imported from third world autocratically controlled-market regimes, we also actively protected ourselves with tariffs on imported basic necessities and common luxuries to prevent unfair competition that could have caused us great unemployment and driven down our standard of living.  Meanwhile, our bond indebtedness from World War II was coming due and taxes were increased to pay for it, causing some reductions in consumer spending and resultant economic dips that we weathered well.

The advent of the 1960s came with an increase in the cost of raw materials mostly sourceable only abroad that caused an increase in the American cost of living.  Though wages lagged only slightly behind inflation for the most part, resultant strife was still kindled between management reluctant to provide cost-of-living raises and workers who wanted them.  Some families began to compensate for the price increases by having the previously domestic parent work a part-time job, at the expense of the attention needs of children and an increase in cars on the road at peak times.  New products were being developed thanks to continuing technological innovations sparked by the Cold War, and ubiquitous televisions were bringing news of these products into the American home every evening via commercials to pique consumer interest of even the youngsters.  But an increase in corporate production meant an increase in industrial waste and little innovative attention was paid to disposing of it safely, while government also mostly ignored this growing health hazard despite public protest.

The Vietnam War, a sad chapter in the Cold War that brought Communist China into the second world spotlight, along with the Cold War-related Space Race with the Soviets, continued to create the competitive technological breakthroughs that spilled over into the public arena, further whetting the appetites of American consumers.  As a result, additional previously domestic parents entered the workforce and with full-time jobs to cover the cost of these new niceties, not only facilitating a major increase in vehicle smog but also leaving latchkey kids alone after school or raised by babysitters and many of these kids compensated with drugs for the emotional pain of parental absence.  This resultant increase in available labor also reduced the wage and bargaining power of American workers, again exacerbating strife between management and workers, as additional protective workers' unions were formed and corporations lobbied for government protection. 

Recognizing American consumers were "hooked" on the plethora of new technology products and that the second parent's income was creating disposable spending money even after luxury purchasing, corporate leaders began the normal capitalist behavior of raising the price on everything, a little at first, then a little more.  But the consumer compulsion to have these new things was so strong that families succumbed to borrowing rather than saving to pay for them, creating so many additional monthly payments that by the early 1970s both parents in most families found themselves required to work to sustain the American standard of living, changing the socio-cultural nature of the American family to this day.  Though most parents were thus able to sustain economic stability without going too far in debt, parental discord associated with resultant unmet children's needs, lagging household care, and less relaxed quality time together, along with greatly increased opportunity for workplace romantic affairs, caused a dramatic rise in the divorce rate, contributing to a "new morality" of subsequent live-in unmarried romantic relationships complete with additional emotional conflict and pain for the children, greatly increasing the number of kids and adults self-medicating with dangerous illegal drugs.

Prices, however, continued to rise, especially at the gas pump when OPEC flexed its muscles in the early 1970s to remind us of our dependency on foreign oil, until families began to realize that they simply weren't banking enough of their paychecks for a rainy day or retirement.  The American psyche had also become depressed, caused in the 1960s by President Kennedy's assassination, the inefficiency and, despite great protests, unaccountability of our government's disastrous losing course of action with the Vietnam War that was daily costing so many young Americans their lives, and the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s that forced President Nixon's resignation. This economic and emotional gloom lead to a considerable recession in the 1970s that saw millions of jobs lost to cheap-labor foreign manufacturing.  Cars lined up for miles at gas stations due to the "gas shortage".  Skyrocketing inflation again challenged the relationship between company management and workers-consumers while greatly increasing the cost of houses and automobiles, leaving Americans in an economic and patriotic funk as they continued to tune out with now easily available "designer" drugs despite the declaration of the "drug war" to combat them.

By the end of the 1970s, Americans were a demoralized people with a sluggish economy, that created a significant recession in the early 1980s.  Something was needed to jump-start our psyches and our wallets, and that something came in the form of the nationalistic fervor of the Reagan administration, from which businesses received a big shot in the arm via a significant reduction of costly regulations, which included greatly reducing protective tariffs (that really benefited the Japanese economy and facilitated their government's increased ownership of American debt), and granting, over great public protest, legal-work amnesty to over 2.5 million cheap-labor illegal aliens so as to lower business costs.  These actions did encourage expansion of American corporations both here and abroad.  The "trickle-down" effect, whereby American employees (who didn't lose their jobs to those receiving amnesty) would eventually see some of these business gains in their paychecks, coupled with the "defeat" of the Soviet Union in the Cold War, got America psychologically upbeat and economically prosperous again as the 1980s came to a close.  But the cost of education had so greatly risen as population increases greatly outpaced development of new college facilities that most parents could no longer afford to send their kids to college, requiring young people to incur large school loans, saddling them with great debt before they barely got into the workforce.  The 1980s also saw a dramatic rise in the cost of healthcare, as the highly risen price of a medical education coupled with the technological development of expensive new diagnostic and treatment methods incorporated into standard care made it nearly impossible for consumers to get the best care without the help of expensive health insurance plans, affordable for most only as a part of company employee benefits. 

By 1990, the American population had greatly risen from the 1960s, as the baby boomers' generation-X children were beginning to raise their own generation-Y (millennials) children, and immigration, both legal and illegal, fueled by the 1980s amnesty, had skyrocketed to the degree clusters of illegal aliens were greatly overcrowding many cities, placing a great strain on population supportive resources.  This also put more people into the workforce than the economy could sustain, resulting in another significant economic recession and attendant unemployment of Americans, with associated lost tax monies, while our cities became unbearably densely populated creating intolerable traffic jams.  This dissatisfaction, coupled with the Gulf War and a split in the Republican Party, propelled President Clinton into office.  Though a Democrat, Clinton continued many of the economic policies established during the Republican administrations of Reagan and Bush.  Cheap labor immigration (both legal and illegal) increased, spurred on by NAFTA championed by Clinton to exploit cheap labor in Mexico under the guise of rescuing their economy but at the cost of American jobs, as American corporations continued their government-sanctioned expansion of operations outside of America to exploit comparative wage-slave labor in third-world countries.  But the domestic American standard of living generally declined for the vast majority of Americans, while available drugs slipping through the cracks of the drug war anesthetized frequently triggered associated pain.

The 1990s decline in the American standard of living was considerably attributed to the sudden dramatic increase of unregulated corporate competitive outsourcing (whereby American corporations laid off workers here in America, closed offices/plants, and contracted with cheap-labor companies in other countries to do the laid-off workers' jobs previously done at those offices/plants) and offshoring (whereby American corporations also laid off workers here in America and closed offices/plants, but the company reopened those offices/plants in other countries, hiring their cheap-labor people to do these laid-off workers' jobs).  American corporations were reacting to the necessity to compete with companies in other countries who had their tariffs greatly reduced or eliminated by the "Reaganomics" of the 1980s, and the resultant neurotic competition shorn of ethical governance was greatly harming millions of American citizens by preventing them from earning a living wage.  We continued to increase our dependency on illegal labor hired by scofflaw businesses in America, which encouraged millions of additional people to trespass into our country, take Americans' jobs, and send a considerable amount of their wages back to their homelands in support of their families, decreasing the value of the dollar, to which government essentially turned a blind eye.  We also continued exploiting wage-slave labor abroad, such as in China which in turn financed the Chinese government's purchase of our government financing bonds and our massive debt grew in dangerous foreign ownership.  Though the stock market thus continued to rise on the back of cheap foreign labor, the fortunes of the average American did not, and our government fell deeper in debt.

The latter 1990s also saw the advent of subprime mortgages.  Subprime mortgages were home mortgage loans that were more affordable in the first few years of the loan term, but came with built-in expensive rate increases over time.  Subprime mortgage loans were given to people whose historic comparatively low credit rating did not previously allow them to qualify for a prime home loan.  Initially the economy benefited from a boom in the housing and lending industries, and many were happy that these people could finally "afford" to own their own home.  But while subprime mortgages for millions of people were on the rise, so also was the unpatriotic insensitive outsourcing and offshoring of American jobs, the preponderance of those jobs belonging to Americans with a subprime rating, many of whom were mortgage holders in debt.  Though the stock market continued to rise, many Americans were still being denied a piece of the prosperity pie, while others, "sub-primers", were obliviously being exploited to fail, as the economic stage was being set for what would later be a major worldwide calamity.  Meanwhile, though busy engaging in personal shenanigans, our inefficient government's leaders seemed to pay little attention to the glaring contradiction of giving loans to masses of people soon to be laid off, mired instead as usual in stalemate between the two oppositional parties over minor inconsequential irrelevant matters, while we the common people remained clueless at the time as to how to attain sufficient power to hold government officials accountable for our growing economic problems.  Public dissatisfaction coupled with a split in the Democratic Party put the Republicans back in the White House in 2000.

The turn of the century found us in a petroleum struggle with Iraq and soon a battle with Afghanistan-supported terrorist group al Qaeda that commenced in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy and lead to the invasion of both Afghanistan and Iraq.  The recession of the early 2000s slowed the progress of business expansion and its now attendant outsourcing and offshoring of Americans' jobs.  The economic downturn dropped more Americans into the subprime borrower category, and subprime mortgages continued even while waves of subprime mortgage defaults began.  As the wars slowed, the cost of petroleum decreased a bit and business expansion resumed, as did the outsourcing and offshoring of our jobs, including the loss of our jobs from corporations insourcing (bringing into the country) very cheap labor (both legally and illegally) from other countries which again put a painful strain on our already over-burdened land, living-space, water, and road resources, thereby understandably increasing crime.  As usual, it seemed our government was simply unable to promote the general welfare of American citizens, despite protests from the public.  American corporations were now caught up in a desperate fight for their own survival, and our jobs became collateral damage in the battle, as workers were relegated to the inhuman status of a mere disposable cost item on a balance sheet in the name of increasing stock value.  Meanwhile savvy securities gurus on Wall Street began to see the economic meltdown handwriting on the wall, and they proceeded to bundle the soon-to-be-worthless subprime mortgages into complex securities that baffled federal regulators into sheepishly rubber-stamping them.  These securities were sold domestically, then repackaged and sold abroad, multiple times, until most holders of these securities really had no idea what they were holding.  By this time international conglomerates had formed to make exploitation of impoverished regions' wage-slave labor considerably easier, with the associated increase in profits partially utilized to buy up more of America's public bond debt.

Yet as the population continued its ascent, so did the housing bubble, as homes costing about $30,000 in the early 1970s were now priced around an inflated $500,000, way out of reach of the great majority of Americans, as many of these homes were bought up by people from other countries who had profited in some manner from all our outsourcing and offshoring.  Yet everyone in the industry knew the housing bubble would soon burst but they were uncertain when and just how.  By the mid-2000s only a few could afford a home, a car, an education, or their own personal healthcare insurance policy without going in great debt to pay for each of these.

By 2005 the economic prosperity of the average American appeared no longer important to the two factions holding political power in Washington, D.C.  The Multi-Cultural Internationalists, who held power on the left wing and championed rescuing the livelihoods of people of other countries over that of their fellow Americans, and the Corporate Global Expansionists, who held power on the right wing and championed international conglomerate exploitation of wage-slave labor abroad over jobs for American workers, effectively combined as strange bedfellows to sap prosperity from the average American citizenry.  Their rescue-and-exploit foreign policy left the vast majority of us at the center without power to hold our ineffectual government accountable for its thereby lack of attention to promoting our own general economic welfare and for its aversion to providing for our own common economic defense.  

Then near the end of 2007 the economy dipped in what would become the beginning of the Great Recession, the worst economic downturn in America since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Unemployment increased and consumer spending and business expansion just slowed a bit in response as usual.  But the shock of what gave this downturn its infamous name hit in August of 2008 when the first big batch of the subprime securities became "due" and holders discovered the defaulted mortgages backing them were worthless.  Waves of financial companies folded across Europe, America and throughout the industrialized world, bringing the manufacturing, distribution, and retail companies depending on their now commonplace regular weekly business loans down with them, and scores of millions of people lost their jobs.

A reactive bipartisan agreement was reached out of desperation in America in the fall of 2008 to provide at least a 2.0 trillion dollar bailout of the financial and selected manufacturing companies in America deemed "too big to fail", so that loans could resume and businesses could get back on their feet, though individual Americans absorbing the brunt of the economic catastrophe received no such bailout that otherwise might have facilitated a quicker recovery.  But most of the financial institutions receiving bailout money simply pocketed it, keeping them alive and saving the money for their own future rainy day rather than risk lending it.  Thus not only were essentially no jobs recovered from the bailout, but unemployment continued to increase, up to 25% in some parts of the country.  People all over the world, including millions of Americans, lost their savings, their homes, and many died because of the Great Recession.

The Great Recession technically ended in June of 2009, but that technical end barely even began an end to economic suffering in America.  Slowly, commencing in the 2010s, those Americans surviving the Great Recession began to trickle back to work as financial institutions had grown less skittish and had since resumed lending in support of business operations.  But it was never the same for most Americans after that, as government, again, was ineffective and unaccountably exerted little effort toward ending the dire life-and-death situation of a great many of its citizens.  A mass of unemployed Americans coupled with a more accurate estimation of 22 million illegal aliens combined to crush metropolitan populations and resources and push wages down, while prices comparatively fell little lest more businesses would resultantly fold and their newly unemployed would create a resultant loss of customers for other businesses, thus resuming the downward spiral.  Those securing full-time employment found themselves working tons of extra hours without additional compensation and many were resigned to accept part-time employment with less pay and no health insurance benefits.  And these were those who were lucky enough to find work.  Tens of millions of Americans never did find work again, and once their unemployment insurance ran dry, they simply fell off the face of the earth, statistically figuratively, and many, sadly, literally into an early grave, their children relegated to foster homes.  Those who managed to survive but suffered understandably in compromised health and without healthcare insurance, they, coupled with the illegal aliens, exacerbated a national inability-to-pay assault on healthcare facilities, threatening to bankrupt emergency rooms, trauma centers, and urgent care facilities, closing many of them, and forcing the government into enacting the so-called Affordable Care Act created to help pay for such medical services with the foundational intent to keep these essential facilities from closing their doors.

Now, halfway to 2020, our citizen population continues to grow .. legal and illegal immigration continues unabated while non-citizens are given college tuition funding preference over our young adults .. outsourcing, offshoring, and insourcing are still all the corporate rage .. millions of under- and un- employed Americans are still not reflected in the government's monthly statistics .. millions of America's children and seniors are deplorably homeless and starving .. housing, transportation, education and healthcare are out of reach of scores of millions of Americans while millions more struggle to pay back the credit card and tax debt they incurred just trying to keep a roof over their heads .. and our country's economic debt rating continues to be downgraded as nearly half of our country's public debt is now foreign owned, the so-called "global economy" thus hindering us in our dependency from easily making necessary economic improvements to help our people who still suffer. 

Today, in 2015, more than six years after it ended, the legacy of the Great Recession and the policies that created it continue to tragically impact scores of millions of Americans as reflected in the 23 economic adversities listed at the beginning of this page.  For most of us, there simply has been little to no recovery at all, as the great American dream prosperity of the 1950s has been completely lost to the catastrophic economic nightmare of today.

And, of course, our media is loath to really remind us of these horrific facts presented herein because their advertisers and sponsors, who own the media, don't want them to remind us, as they fear, without any real solutions on the horizon, such information would depress our psyches and thus understandably close our wallets, which would be "bad for business".  So many Americans, struggling to survive, simply don't know how bad it is for so many other Americans like themselves.  Had we the people, the average everyday American citizens, known that scores of millions of Americans were economically suffering, some unto starvation and premature death, we might have caused a ruckus about it long ago.

Responsibility

Often people ask who's at fault for this; who's to blame for the economic hardships suffered by so many millions of Americans today.

The answer you get usually depends on whom you ask.

Some say it was debt financing in general that cost us in payback for the expense of World War II and once we began easy borrowing we just couldn't stop ourselves.  Others blame "materialistic" Americans of the 1960s who succumbed to "the system" for starting us down the catastrophic path.  Some blame our lack of putting our best winning effort forth in the Vietnam War and the cascading economic descent that followed that loss.  And there are those who blame President Reagan for deregulating businesses, and they blame American corporations in general for being "greedy" and not caring about their fellow Americans.  Then there are those who fault American workers for being "selfish", forcing corporations to seek less expensive labor in other countries.  Illegal aliens are also often faulted for their crimes.  And, of course, the opportunistic subprime securities speculators get their share of blame as the "triggerman" of the Great Recession itself.  And the list goes on and on.

But who's really at fault for all this, for the miserable economic mess we're in?

From what we can tell, there's really no one person, entity or policy to blame, and certainly no one who deserves criticism or severe punishment for what happened over time in response to challenging situations.  Why even the subprime securities speculators themselves, by spreading the coming financial damage to Europe and elsewhere abroad, as unethical as that was, nevertheless saved America from taking the entire brunt of it that otherwise might have created a worse terrible global depression instead of an albeit very bad recession.

History reveals that new critical moments occurred throughout, during which we all, for the most part, did the best we could at the time to determine what to do and, above all, we did something rather than do nothing which could have been worse than what we did.

It's hard to know in regard to many of the historic events whether if we'd done the opposite of or anything different from what was done at the time that things would have turned out better.

It's complicated.  Our system of socioeconomics and the world with its now 7.3 billion people and America with nearly 322 million of those, managing everything and everyone, yes, it's complicated.  The fabric of our socioeconomic system is tightly woven, and when we attempt to patch one part of it we can tug other parts of it out of kilter.  There is always a push-pull effect at play in problem-solving something so intricate as our country's socioeconomic challenges, and completely replacing our current capitalistic system of socioeconomics with an essentially yet to be invented better one is out of the question, and even then not until the population-to-resource ratio is greatly negative, meaning until there are far less people than natural resources available to support them.  The very complicated socioeconomic system we have now remains the best system available, and we must work within its structure to, however imperfectly, solve our problems.

But, complicated or not, throughout history the brain trust who present solutions, and those in charge who hopefully carry them out in earnest, they gave it their best shot, as we always trust that our best in a given momentous situation is sufficient to create success in the particular matter without making too many other things worse.

Indeed, now we're faced with another critical moment in history, where the livelihoods and even the very lives of millions of Americans hang in the balance and our proposed solutions will also affect billions of the world's people as well.

Even though history teaches us there'll be repercussions if we solve these problems, let us focus diligently on accurately discerning the problems at hand and hope, as always, that we can solve the problems at the foundation of the 23-item list of economic adversities we Americans are suffering without creating too many other problems in the process.

But problems there are, and big ones.  We need to solve them, and now.

So now it's our turn, we the people, of our time here and now, Americans like those before us, who recognize what the devastating problems are, why they exist and how they cause so many Americans so much misery.  And it's time for us, Americans alive today, to create the solutions to these problems, many of these solutions which are obvious, and some not so obvious.

It's time now for us, for all of us Americans, to commit to making the necessary problem solutions, to make the changes that now have to be made in the name of restoring our prosperity, American prosperity, in the name of the livelihoods of us all, and in the name of the very lives of so many millions of greatly suffering Americans.

The Foundational Problems

Our history that tells the story of how we arrived at our current economic suffering has clearly taught us that there are foundational problems that need addressing.

We've also learned that many of these problems are interrelated.

The solutions that we create need to solve these foundational problems in order to truly improve the economic situation for us all.

The foundational problems revealed are as follows:

1.  Unpatriotic attitude toward our fellow Americans.

During World War II and the Cold War we were very patriotic.  We viewed our fellow Americans as brothers and sisters, kin of our own kind, and we sought to protect us all, to keep us all safe and promote our nation's success for the benefit of every American, not wanting any citizen to be left out.  We viewed being an American as special, and we were devoted to America's success, vigorously supporting our country.  So we had rules in place, laws born of ethics, that not only protected us from armed invasion, but from the economic invasion of wage-slave labor-made goods and services and from power imbalances between company management and workers.

Then the depressing Vietnam War's cost on our national self-esteem, the relaxing of regulations on corporations and the resultant increase in conflict between management and workers, the illegal alien cheap-labor invasion, a fast-growing indigenous population that's placed an over-demand on available resource, outsourcing, offshoring, and insourcing of "sub-primers'" and other's jobs, our public national debt nearly 50% owned by other countries, the failure of our financial institutions to use their Great Recession bailout money to keep loan-dependent businesses from going under and American citizens from suffering job loss, well, it's pretty clear we've lost that loving feeling, as the old song goes, for the general welfare of our fellow Americans.  Many now reluctantly realize they must view their neighbor largely as a competitor for scarce resources and they don't care whether their neighbor is a citizen or not.  The only thing that's important is to win, because recent history teaches us it's now everyone for themselves.

As a result of our lost patriotism, we are unmotivated to stand together against global economic forces that continue their onslaught on American prosperity, global economic forces that combine to lower our wages and thereby our buying power, and thus our standard of living keeps falling, until it will not be long before the majority of we the people find ourselves impoverished on a scale equivalent to that of the people of the nations making so many of our cheap imported goods.

This problem must be solved, and now, before we reach such a depressed unpatriotic point that we don't even lift a finger of protest as our country eventually slides into the status of a mere dependent city-state of the United Nations, when we've then lost all realistic hope to solve America's problems.

For our Pledge of Allegiance to be meaningful, its phrase "with liberty and justice" must indeed mean for all Americans in every way.  To paraphrase our great Benjamin Franklin, we must now all fall into alliance together, or we shall soon all economically fall separately.

2. Dependency on wage-slave labor.

Prior to the American Civil War, slavery was a way of life in America.  We depended on this very cheap labor in manufacturing, livestock, and agriculture as if we couldn't live without it.  Then the scourge of slavery was abolished.  In time, we learned that we could survive without it, and indeed, we learned to thrive without this horrific dependency.

Today, however, we find history has carelessly repeated itself, as we've become dependent on wage-slave labor in one country to pay a measly $8.00 for a pair of jeans and wage-slave labor in another country to get a free cellphone included in our service plan.  Unless we peek through the clandestine doors of our own illegal alien sweatshops, we don't ever see these people who get paid seventy-five cents an hour to sew clothing or assemble electronics, barely allowing them much more in food, clothing, and shelter today in their country than our own slaves had two hundred years ago.  But we do see our fellow Americans resultantly out of work, standing on the street corner begging for food, as once again here in America an elite of haves separates themselves from the have-nots of an ever-larger lower class while America's strong backbone, its once-lauded middle class, shrinks from sight.

So what happened to us?  How did we once again become dependent on such an abominable inequity?  Was it "out of sight, out of mind" that let us so easily succumb to being the beneficiaries of the tedious or back-breaking wage-slavery of non-Americans? Was it some grand idealized orator who persuaded us we had no other choice for survival than to so join the inevitable "global economy"?  Did our disdain for illegal aliens make it easy for us to look the other way as we exploited them on our own soil?  Was the utilization of wage-slaves a necessary step along the manifest path of America's attempt at worldwide domination?  And how long before the only work millions of our fellow American citizens can get will be for a wage-slave amount of pay?

Truth is, wage-slavery just  snuck up on us while we were all simply fighting to survive.  And, little by little, as we increasingly utilized wage-slave labor, we lost more and more American jobs, wage scales continued to decline, and America sank deeper and deeper into foreign debt.  That's the simple reality of it.

Today we simply couldn't make ends meet in this decadent dog-eat-dog world, it seems, without the sacrifice of wage-slavery, and our once great high self-sufficiency is now essentially non-existent.  Woe be it to us if China ever got ticked over some careless Washington posturing and decided to withhold their wage-slave services from us for a bit -- our stock market would be in the dumpster overnight, as would be millions of Americans' jobs soon thereafter if we didn't now walk on eggshells around the callous owners of the meek masses who truly hold us economic hostage.

For imperative reasons both ethical and economical, we must again put an end to our dependency on wage-slave labor, not only for the good of our fellow Americans and our nation's ability to stand strong on its own, but to put an end to the subjugation of others at the hands of totalitarian governments, making us a better more respected national citizen in the eyes of the world's people.  

3. Population and resource mismanagement.

Our population-to-resource ratio was considerably less than one during the mid-1950s, when our population was 165 million people.  This means that, aside from in a few of our largest cities, our population was healthily sustainable by the resources available, resources of hospitable land space, breathable air and drinkable water supply, job availability, roadway space, classroom availability, etc.

Today, however, our population is nearly 322 million people, almost doubled in only 60 years.  Most of our large cities today, like Manhattan and Harlem, New York, have long over-burdened their resources, especially the finite resource of land, forcing them to stack their people into uncomfortably crowded tall buildings with no road space for them to drive a car.  Larger metropolitan and suburban areas have other associated problems.  The most populous county in America, Los Angeles County, is infamous for its horrendous traffic jams, often taking three hours to drive a mere 40 miles, and their level of smog causes lung diseases.  A subway or any kind of effective mass transit system serving all of Southern California is considered unbuildable, meaning they'll have to get by with automobiles and the roads they have.  And these are just a couple of  examples of a great many such population-to-resource mismanagements currently existing throughout America. 

Yes, today our population-to-resource ratio is very high, we have greatly overcrowded our hospitable living space, traffic jams are commonplace, breathable air is limited, water supplies are dwindling, living-wage jobs are scarce, classrooms are overcrowded and colleges turn hundreds of thousands of students away annually, disease-causing pollution is way up as we're out of space for safe disposal, etc.  Cramming people so tightly together into intolerable living conditions causes both reported and unreported crime to rise.  The resultant high competition for scarce resources creates high anxiety which is painful.  When pain lingers, it creates anger and eventually rage.  This rage spills out into society in the form of road rage and mass tragedies we're reading so much about these days.

Our current high population-to-resource ratio also contributes to making our fellow Americans invisible to us as Americans.  We're scratching and clawing each other to grab and hold onto scarce available resources, and we don't care whom we beat in the process or what their nationality is.  Our current overcrowding is making us contemptuous of those in charge who let this happen in addition to causing us to resent each other as mere competitors for scarce resources.

At the current rate of native births and deaths and legal immigration and emigration, we're currently adding one person to the population every 12 seconds.  This may not seem like much, but that amounts to 210,000 people/month, the current populations of both Rochester, New York and Des Moines, Iowa.  If we do nothing to solve this problem, our population in 2050 is projected at over 400 million, and over 620 million by the year 2100.  The resultant painful chaos will be unbearable.  And these projections don't take into account the illegal alien factor which would push the population over the 700 million mark by 2100!

We are essentially out of hospitable land space for expansion, and enormous self-contained biospheres are mere fantasy, not projected to exist prior to 2100.  We will be forced to just stack people on top of each other, putting them in self-contained high-rises where they live and work and rarely leave, assuming we have adequate water supply and can pump and filter enough clean air into these complexes (especially considering how many oxygen-renewing trees we'd have to fell to build these complexes), not to mention how we'll be able to provide electricity to maintain these mega-complexes or if there will actually be any jobs in those facilities to provide people's basic needs.  And then there's the sewage and trash nightmare.  But, that's just no way to live.

Yes, we've already seen examples of this nightmare in countries like India and Bangladesh, where people living in cardboard shacks is commonplace, and in China, a country just a little larger than America, where they're so overcrowded that they have erected giant buildings housing over a million workers per building, tediously assembling electronic components, conditions so painful that people routinely throw themselves out of the windows to the degree they've had to hang suicide-prevention nets all over the sides of the buildings.  Again, no way to live.  At our current rate of population increase, that could be us not too many decades from now.

We are simply out of some non-renewable resources and severely drained on others.  In California, there is presently a major drought.  Rainfall is well below adequate, the snow-pack is less than 5% of the average, and they're simply running out of water.  Desalinization facilities are large and complex, can't be paid for by the current tax rates, and can't come close to matching the natural water supply volume.  A major catastrophe is looming as it is, and should it happen in California, by itself the world's eighth largest economy, you know that will spiral the rest of the nation into a debilitating economic depression.  We simply must stop overburdening our population support resources ASAP.

It is estimated that if we end illegal immigration and cut legal immigration each year to be no greater than the previous year's legal emigration, that we'd greatly reduce the projected population in 2100 from over 700 million to under 400 million.

But that's not enough.  We need to get the population change rate to a negative number, and fast.

The best way to do that is to advocate that no one person be a party to creating more than two or three offspring at the absolute most.  That, coupled with those who choose to have just one child or not to have children at all, will comfortably and sufficiently quickly begin reducing our population to where non-renewable resources (land, water, and air supplies) would once again be able to healthily sustain our population.

People and politicians have historically been very reticent to even talk about anything that remotely suggests that we manage our country's population, as people find the topic very threatening, especially people who'd fear their religious freedom would be infringed by societal pressure to manage their family size.  But our head-in-the-sand attitude toward this very critical true state-of-emergency matter only makes the problem worse, and painfully so, especially for our next generation of children.

We must begin to solve this major foundational problem now if we want to put a dent in the list of economic adversities suffered by scores of millions of Americans in the here and now, or the items on that list will soon be suffered by hundreds of millions of our American family members. 

4. Foreign ownership of America.

America has been selling bonds to finance government activities for many years.  The government also performs ledger transfers from its own accounts to fund ongoing operations. Back in the 1950s, the volume of this borrowing was very small and manageable, recuperated by normal tax volumes not requiring huge tax hikes.

But as history shows, all that began to change in the 1960s.  Funding of the Vietnam War, recovery from the 1970's recession, Cold War technology expenses, increased welfare expenses to help the growing number of economic unfortunates, additional war funding in the 1990s and 2000s, etc. was more than our normal taxes could recover.  It's all added up now, to the degree where our national debt has grown to over 18 trillion dollars, with no reasonably foreseeable end in sight to its growth, let alone an idea of how to reduce the debt permanently.

The public part of the national debt is the remainder of the total national debt when the government ledger transfer amount is removed.  Today the public debt is a little over 13 trillion, still a ton of money.  The public debt is debt owed to both American and non-American people and organizations (companies, conglomerates, countries).

The percentage of the public debt currently owned by non-American companies, international conglomerates, and other countries now stands at 48%.  That's nearly half of the public debt owned by non-American concerns.  China and Japan are neck and neck each holding around 9% of the total American public national debt.  Oil exporting companies and Caribbean banks each hold about 2%.  The remaining 26% of the foreign-owned American debt is divided up among roughly 34 countries and international conglomerates and companies.

This gives these foreign entities a huge financial say in the American markets, especially China and Japan, as well as indirect control over our federal government's decision making, compromising our ability to make autonomous economic decisions that could solve our current problems.

In addition, a number of foreign concerns have bought up land and houses in America, giving them ownership rights that can also block necessary problem solving efforts.

We are thereby linked to the so-called "global economy", the "global economy" which simply means, in actual practice, a one-world system of economics run by international conglomerates and nation-blocs exploiting wage-slave workers and administrated by the United Nations.

We can't continue to allow ourselves to be tied up in this global netting that hinders our ability to regain prosperity for our own people.

We simply must find ways to get that 48% of our public national debt back into American hands and buy back our land owned by foreign concerns.

If we don't do that, the "global economy" could put the brakes on our efforts to eliminate the economic adversities presently suffered by millions of Americans.

5. Highly adversarial relationship between management and labor.

The relationship between American corporate management and workers during World War II was great.  Both experienced themselves as soldiers in the war effort for the benefit of our fellow Americans overseas.  Management didn't take an obscene percentage of profit and workers were happy for the basic living-wage necessities and small luxuries their paychecks provided, and if they wanted something more, they simply saved up for it.

This attitude of patriotism-fueled sufficiency continued into the 1950s as the percentage of Americans prospering was at its highest peak.

But as war-developed technology was unclassified to enter the public arena, new products were developed by entrepreneurs and marketed to the general public in the 1960s.  This barrage of products caused consumers to want them now, while entrepreneurs were hoping to get rich quick as the American Dream promised.  So management needed more research and development money and owners wanted greater profits, while workers wanted more in their paycheck to buy these new products.

Thereby hangs the conflict, as old as time.  Between both corporate alliances and workers' union lobbyists in Washington, our government created laws to keep the conflict from getting too one-sided either way.

But as enticements to both sides grew in the 1970s, the balance was difficult to maintain.

Then in the 1980s business regulations were greatly relaxed, resulting in a win for management and the admonishment that workers will just have to wait for their piece of the pie to "trickle down" and the dismal economy that needed fixing then caused workers to throw up their hands and acquiesce.  But what both sides didn't all foresee is the corporate outsourcing, offshoring, and insourcing of foreign labor that would ramp up in the 1990s as a result of the 1980s reduction in tariffs and foreign business investment regulations.

Then add the callous treatment of subprime workers and the Wall Street's subprime securities fiasco that gave the Great Recession its name, and today the relationship between American corporate management and American citizen workers couldn't be worse.

This results in both sides blaming each other for layoffs and office/plant closings, as both sides are now locked in a battle to obtain as much as they can from the other, without regard to the consequences, and simply to survive.

But Americans need living-wage jobs, and corporations need to make sufficient profit to stay in business to retain employees.

So unless we can somehow carve out a middle cooperative ground, the "global economy" will continue to cause corporations to obtain cheap wage-slave labor abroad and Americans will continue to suffer from the items in the list of economic hardships at the top of this page.

We need to create protections for both sides, new rules of engagement that will profit both and at America's benefit.

This may be no easy task, but it's one we absolutely must undertake now and to success.

6. Extremely high cost of foundational necessities (food, housing, healthcare, education, and transportation).

The basics, even after the Great Recession attendant price drops in housing and a few other areas, remain more expensive than they were during the 1950s, making it harder today for the individual American citizen to make a living.

In 1955 the average annual salary was $4418.  In 2010 it was $41,674, an increase of 843%.

In 1955 a week of groceries for a family of four cost $10.00.  In 2010 those groceries cost $150, up 1,400%.

In 1955 the average price of a new car was about $2000.  In 2010 it was $29,817, up 1,390%.

In 1955 the average price for a gallon of gas was $.27.  In 2010 it was $3.23, an increase of 1,096%

In 1955 the average new home cost $15,200.  In 2010 the average new home cost $213,900, up 1,300% (and that was after the housing bubble had burst).

In 1955 the cost of tuition and fees for a year of public college was $198.  In 2010 it was 10,800, up 5,300%.

In 1955 the average annual cost of healthcare expenditures per capita was estimated at $125.  In 2010 it was $8,800, up 6,900%.

The average snapshot unemployment rate in 1955 was 4.4% of a labor force of about 65.5 million for a total of roughly 2.9 million unemployed people.  The average snapshot unemployment rate in 2010 was 9.6% of a labor force of about 158 million for a total of roughly 15.2 million people.  And, of course, we know that today many millions more unemployed people have fallen off the radar.

In 1955 living-wage jobs were greatly more plentiful in America and the money we made had considerably greater purchasing power than in 2010.  We just can't buy as much today as we could back then.  Even if the quality of some items is higher today, there's no option to buy a lower quality item that compares to those 1955 items, so our per-item outlay must be compared as it is above.

Nowhere, however, is today's greater percentage expense outlay more evident than in these basic items we all need, especially regarding the cost of a college education and healthcare which have skyrocketed beyond the reach of the great majority.

We can't keep going this way, not and provide recovery from the list of hardships for scores of millions of Americans -- we'll only add millions to the list otherwise.

The cost of basics must be brought back down, way down, so that we all can really afford them again. 

7. Too many Americans are mired in debt.

In 1955 the average household debt as a percentage of disposable income was a quite-manageable 47%.

Near the end of 2007, prior to the onset of the Great Recession, the average household debt as a percentage of disposable income was a staggering 136%.  This means most people were going in the hole each year!

We once were able to live within our means.  But the rate in which incomes rose in recent decades was considerably less than the rate in which prices rose including the prices of basic needs items.

By 2013 the average household debt as a percentage of disposable income had dropped to105% simply because of all the post-Great Recession home defaults and bankruptcies that skewed the figures.  Still, this percentage is way too high, as anything over 100% means you're going in the hole and deeper in debt each year.

With the high cost of living and the dismal income situations reflected in the list of economic hardships at the top of this page suffered by scores of millions of Americans, there's no indication the household debt percentage will be letting up any time soon unless direct action is taken to address this serious problem.

We can't have all of our households so on the verge of bankruptcy, as that very fact threatens to take down our entire national economy with a major depression.

We can't grow businesses in America without customers with disposable income to purchases the goods and services of these new businesses.

A solution to the consumer debt disaster must be found and soon, before the next looming economic disaster strikes.  

8. Insufficient attention to the needs of children and seniors.

There's a good rule of thumb that if children are miserable they will grow up to be miserable adults and raise miserable children, repeating the cycle.  Miserable people don't do well in our socioeconomic system, and often commit crimes, sometimes horrific crimes.

Sadly, the scores of millions of Americans suffering economic hardships today include children.  A November, 2014, report presented that one in 30 American kids are homeless, that's 2.5 million of America's children, an 8% increase over the all-time high.  So, six years into the supposed recovery from the Great Recession, our children are losing ground.  And that means their parents are still losing ground too, as reflected in the list of adversities at the top of this page.

With the high cost of living, many of our kids won't get the college education they need to compete for jobs.

The childhood misery index began its ascent in the 1960s and 1970s when the incomes of both parents were deemed necessary to manage the household, leaving abandoned kids to self-medicate their emotional wounds with drugs, a parental abandonment that has only worsened with time as it takes both parents' income just to meet basic necessity needs today.  Drugs and alcohol are easily obtainable by kids these days, damaging their brain as they succumb to the scourge of addiction.  Kids from previous generations have grown up so drug-addicted that they've coalesced in a few states and voted to legalize pot, thereby making it all the easier for everyone's kids in those states to get hooked on drugs, a sad, sad legacy to Americas' abandonment of their children.

Of course, hunger is a problem for America's children too. In 2013 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households.  That's 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million of our children.  That's 14 million food insecure households in America, and 6.8 million of those households experienced very low food security.

Adults can take initiative and have the wherewithal to find ways to endure at times, but children, they don't have that ability -- without adult help, children can easily starve to death.  Malnourished children who survive simply don't do well in school and are often criminals in the making.

We can't continue to sacrifice America's future to this horrific atrocity.

Our seniors are no better off.  Among the sheltered homeless persons in 2008, the initial shock year of the Great Recession, 16.8% of them were 51 or older, and of those individuals who remained sheltered for more than 180 days, 30.6% of them were 51 or older.

Since the homeless problem is worse today, "after" recovery from the Great Recession, that would also include worse for seniors.

Many seniors lost their homes and savings in the Great Recession, and, with age discrimination being very real in corporate America, seniors are comparatively seldom given the opportunity to work again as they did before.  The vast majority of seniors can't live on Social Security alone, and that's all that most of them will have the rest of their lives, as insufficient as our nearly-bankrupt Social Security Administration is.

We can't let our seniors continue to die in the streets from hunger.  Something needs to be done for our seniors, not just to rescue them, but to get them working and self-sufficient again.  Our seniors have a lot to offer, a lot of guidance to share, a lot of wisdom to teach, and a lot of love to give.

Our kids and our seniors need an innovative solution to their dire economic problems.  We need to focus on finding this solution, not only so they can have opportunity and dignity, but so that the old obviously failed attempt of merely throwing money at the root of the problem won't drag our government into bankruptcy as well.

9.  Government inefficiency and unaccountability.

Many people laud the checks and balances of our political bipartisan power structure.  They say it keeps one party from running amuck in a given branch of government.

More often than not, however, it instead functions to block necessary action while shifting the blame for problems back and forth between the two parties.  So we have a lot of finger-pointing with no actual accountability and inefficiently little gets done when we need immediate action to avert looming catastrophes or recover from them.

That's frustrating.  This polemic stalemate was a problem in the 1960s with the Vietnam War, the 1970's recession and the "gas shortage", the 1980s with the rising illegal alien invasion about which the government just kept looking the other way taking little relevant action, the 1990s as many could see the subprime mortgages and layoffs catastrophe looming on the horizon, the essentially ineffectual bailout of big financial institutions in the 2000s while nothing was done to support individuals, and the complete lack of a reparations effort to restore us to financial prosperity in the 2010s, it's all been one frustrating lack of efficiency and accountability on the part of our government to address and solve these matters to a quick conclusion.

For the past six years, government has likewise procrastinated on doing the courageous right thing to get Americans back on their economic feet.  This has just got to stop.

Clearly both the current wild bipartisan power pendulum swings resulting in rash self-defeating action and the all too frequent balances of power that freeze the pendulum in do-nothing mode, have got to come to an end.

We must hold our government leaders, not to some arcane party philosophy, but to the task at hand of solving very real problems as they occur, doing so reasonably, efficiently and with accountability and review to we the people, not party leaders.

This website's function itself will hopefully get that ball rolling.

10. Damaging rescue-and-exploit foreign policy.

How often have we heard our leaders say, "we invaded/included their country to help them, to protect them and get them off the wrong track and onto a better way of doing things", only to later realize it was about protecting and expanding our own interests, not about truly caring what happened to their people we're purporting to rescue.

Whether it be for rice or wage-slave labor or oil or whatever, our rescue-and-exploit foreign policy has been on display, from the Vietnam War thru NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement bringing Mexico in) to the invasion of Iraq and beyond.

And though we may look at ourselves with praise for "rescuing" other people and countries, they know, yes, they know, what we really wanted to exploit in these countries.

We just can't keep fooling ourselves and harming others anymore, as we've gotten a really bad reputation in the world that won't serve us well if someone comes walking in our direction touting the same excuse for meddling where we don't want them.  The last thing we'd want to hear is the word "hypocrite" leveled at us as no one lifts a finger to stop them.

We need to stop exploiting people in other countries under the guise that our presence there is "good" for them.  It gives us more problems in the long run than we gain, including costing us money we really couldn't afford and need to spend elsewhere on ourselves as well as it can cost our loved-ones' lives, completely unnecessary to lose.

It's time we really help other countries stand on their own two feet as they request our help, and that we turn our attention to problems in our own country where we know for a fact that there are scores of millions of our fellow Americans who are desperately asking for our help.

We also need to stop bailing other countries out of problems they either don't want to be bailed out of or where they don't want to put forth the effort to sustain the ground we gain for them.  It's simply a complete waste of both our times.  Better instead to call the United Nations attention to the matter and let a comprehensive non-exploitive solution be devised.

The Roadblock

Yes, most of the foundational problems aren't a big surprise, even if a couple might be heretofore not thought about prior to obtaining an accurate perspective of history.

We will see in a couple of pages on this website that the solutions to these foundational problems simply flow naturally, sufficiently so that one might wonder after grasping these solutions why they weren't created long ago.

Well, there's a reason for that.  There's a roadblock to courageous progress, a roadblock that reduces us to living ineffectively mired in our past emotional losses from childhood, a roadblock that divides and conquers us, preventing us from insisting on making the necessary changes to our socioeconomic system to effect the direly needed improvements to the economic conditions of scores of millions of Americans' lives.

But once that roadblock is identified, we shall be more easily able to remove it and to the furthering of our desire to make the necessary socioeconomic changes to facilitate prosperity for Americans here and now.

That roadblock and the removal of it is the subject of the next page in this website.

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