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America, the Ugly

Updated on June 26, 2015

Recession Blues

The decline in popularity of the U. S. here and abroad has prompted a second look into what constitutes the ideal life, the ways to meet the standard, and the escape d look to keep the American dream alive.

We flaunt the freedom that made many successes but the same pursuit of self- motive caused excessive greed that led to the collapse of financial institutions, spiraling into global recession. Foreclosures, rampant unemployment, and bankruptcies characterize the downturn that humbled a nation known for its economic prowess and strong ability to champion the cause of the free enterprise system.

The government had to take immediate action or face further embarrassment. Adhering to the economists' solution of increased spending, it began by bailing out the ailing industries and stimulating a rapidly slowing economic activity, while consequently expanding national debt to a soaring proportion. Of course, the opposing politicians are quick to go against big government and point out that turnaround is nowhere in the offing. Yet to date, no brighter alternative is laid down even as the nation prepares for election.

In the face of this appalling reality, standard of living continues to be measured by material after another, making it more difficult for a homeowner to make both ends meet as employment is hard to come by and credit, the only purchasing ability extension other than tax relief and dole out, becomes more restrictive since usury has no limit and interest rates, no ceiling especially to those who have tarnished standing. As a result, sales decline and less profitability prevents new investments that would otherwise create jobs. Such vicious cycle deepens the hole. But the struggle persists and it's undeniable that the water is not buoyant enough to keep the ball afloat.

The harder to thrive, the worse the image we project, despite the arrogance and self confidence that the market will adjust itself.

Obviously, the last choice is to tighten one's belt. It entails responsible consumer spending, a challenge to strike a balance between bare existence and life preservation at costs only affordable with coverage or Cobra. With them, there's a pill for a pain, a counter pill for every side effect, and another to avoid needing the pill in the first place. Without them, these won't easily be available. Who would have thought that till now, it is still not clear whose benefits we actually stand for - the insurance and pharmaceuticals, or the patients for whom they were created.

Finally, the reality is that it's hard to generate enough work for those who are here. That is why, we find it lucrative to take the jobs abroad for cheap labor that would otherwise come to search the American dream that others already find difficult to keep alive. But investment spending abroad, coupled with high imports make the dollar cheaper and other currencies inversely dearer, a theory a basic International Economics student understands.

It seems the only beautiful things to hang on to are the taxable unemployment relief, Social Security that is troubled by longer life expectancy, Medicare and welfare not found in most parts of the world, and the free bus rides to the legalized gambling casinos that somehow, through persistence, will bring luck on the way.

Luck, like beauty, is a matter of faith. For as long as the skies are spacious, fields are green, and God loves this land from sea to shining sea, the ugly blemishes, real or imagined, remain a challenge, which when met, still forms part of our crowning glory.

Excessive greed and the capitalistic spirit

The pursuit of selfish interest brings about the focus on greatest satisfaction and endless hunger for higher profits at all costs.

Big government spending vs. private investment

What really generates employment? Making private business profitable or privatizing government enterprise.

The viscious cycle of consumer spending

Business thrives on consumer spending which, when limited , further curtails the ability to improve purchasing power, as credit becomes restrictive and sometimes usurious.

Hubber is also author of My Africa, A Sojourner's Memoir

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    • profile image

      Emiliano Zapata of Arana. 

      3 years ago

      Johnny Got your write up just now 12:15 noon here in PINAS June 27. Thank you so much. Please expect that this will be published on line in our next issue that will come out tomorrow. Please visit our website more often now. Joe Obias and Prof. Danny Gerona will soon be writing for PARAISO. Some people keep on making pranks calling me ADAN! Hehehe... Wish to see again after more than 48 years...

    • sojourner1949 profile imageAUTHOR

      Juan C. De los Santos 

      4 years ago from California,U.S.A.

      Layman's views on the economy and living standards

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