The U.S. Experiencing the Perfect Economic Storm
Robert Reich, former labor secretary during the Clinton administration, writes that the country is being threatened by what he calls a “perfect storm.”
The wind is blowing from three directions: The rich keep getting richer, with the top 0.1 percent of income earners making more money than the 120 million people at the bottom of the income scale. The rich are buying the elections. And meanwhile, the government is not helping the poor, and in fact is telling them: There’s no money left for you.
All of this is making radicals more vocal. “I think what we’re seeing now in America is an outbreak of isolationism, nativism and xenophobia,” Reich says, pointing toward animosity toward immigrants, accusations against China and growing skepticism of foreign trade.
“The US economy has been losing momentum for the last decade,” adds Edmund Phelps, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for economics.
According to Phelps, the US economy has undergone structural change as companies are dominated by investors interested only in the kinds of quick and large profits that can be achieved by reducing the workforce. Almost 6 million jobs have been eliminated since 2000.